Two Guys, a Girl and a TV Set

Three college friends out in the world, filling the void with television…and loving it.

Posts Tagged ‘FlashForward’

“Playing Cards with Coyote” (FlashForward S1:E8)

Posted by Mr. Feeny on November 17, 2009

I’ve heard from one of our readers that my FlashForward posts are too long. I get that. So, I’ll try to keep it a little simpler. This time, a bit less review and a few less things we learned. There are a couple things I need to say about this episode, though.

I love that Al’s act of selflessness made front page news, so that it’s not just giving people in his life hope but everyone. It truly made his death seem worthwhile. Of course, Mark used that to justify his killing of a suspect. Questionable ethics and uncertain actions. Could this be any more like LOST? Of course, Mark never bothered to think that many others would have that tattoo.

Compared to the last episode (probably the best of the season), this one really dragged on. A classic stalling episode. A poker game to decide what to do next? Filler. Finding out there’s probably a mole. Learning about the details of Tracy’s humvee explosion (which will undoubtedly lead back to the guys with 3-star tattoos)…all predictable and dull.

What We Learned:

  • Mark unknowingly gives Olivia lingerie she was wearing in her vision (this is probably the stuff that I could leave out)
  • We learned more about Aaron’s vision. He talked to someone outside Tracy’s medical hut, heard that “the account has been verified,” and handed him a full envelope. Tracy knew the guy from Afghanistan.
  • The mysterious figure awake during the blackout was wearing a ring. One of seven rings, the others of which were acquired by the tattooed guys and given to some shady character.

Things from the FlashFoBoard:

  • A murder of an engineer in Barstow was perpetrated by guys with a 3-star tattoo on their arm…just like the guys with guns in Mark’s vision (and on the board)
  • Lots of people have those tattoos
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FlashForward Through Some Recaps

Posted by Mr. Feeny on November 8, 2009

Since I’ve been woefully behind, I decided the easiest thing to do would be to combine all the last three episodes into one recap. Since the goal of these is to help you keep up, this should suffice. I stand by my earlier opinions of the show, though. Still low on character development, but lots of good questions being raised to keep me curious.

I’m also enjoying the different angles of the blackouts. Like political ramifications with Washington hearings and world leaders hiding what they saw. For instance, Agent Wedeck convincing the president to make a troublesome senator vice president to show her that the flash forwards can come true. Again, chicken or the egg? And “mosaicking” people, as a new form of personal intrusion and relationship killer.

Some good moments in these episodes. Like the confrontation between Wedeck and Benford in the DC episode. Real emotion shown there. As for interesting questions, did Wedeck tell Olivia that Mark drinks in his flash forward? And is that to set their separation in motion? Why does he want these things to come true? Could he have been lying about his flash forward? I’m a conspiracy theorist, now.

Here’s another one. What about Mark’s sponsor and friend. Could he be behind this? He knew Mark’s flashforward and could have texted it to Olivia. And in the Halloween episode, he saw how the masks affected Mark. Maybe he tells the guys on April 29th to wear those masks.

One more prediction. What if the phone call Mark can’t remember is with Lloyd. He’s also on the phone. What if they teamed forces to stop Simon, and Lloyd being with Olivia is part of the plan. I think I”ll add a “Theories” section next time. And yours are always welcome.

I do think it’s stupid that Olivia and Mark are so quick to break up, without realizing that it’s all because of the flashforward. And knowing what it’s going to come to.

Also, I’m finding things to easy to predict. I guessed early on what the President would do and what Al would do. Need a little better veiling.

What We Learned:

  • Director/Agent Wedeck is very close to the President, who won’t reveal his flash forward, but we see that he’s in bed when an agent tells him something has happened.
  • How is Wedeck associated with the president? He paid off the chief executive’s mistress years ago.
  • Agent Janis Hawk is indeed gay.
  • Agent Vreede’s flashback had him working late and punching in a security code to exit.
  • Senator Clemente says she saw herself as president in six months.
  • Somebody wants to take out the Mosaic team, since they ambushed them across the country, with Hawk getting shot.
  • We finally met, for a longer period of time, Simon, played by Dominic Monaghan. He says he’s a quantum physicist who knows what caused the flash forwards.
  • Lloyd’s son keeps saying “it’s my home too.” Could he be talking to Olivia’s daughter, who recognized him? He then gave “his” address, which is the Benford’s. And asked about magic tricks. And now that I’ve seen more of the episode, that is indeed the reason. He and Charlie saw each other.
  • Simon’s flash forward is of him killing a man in a basement, cracking his neck. Or so he says.
  • Janis’s injury risked her uterus. She had already developed feelings for the child. So she wanted to take that chance as soon as possible?
  • Mark sees some people in masks on Halloween, dressed like the guys with guns in his flash forward.
  • Lloyd and Mark meet in Mark’s house, so all that truth comes out. And Mark and Olivia have their falling out.
  • In the blue hand house, Al reminds Demetri about his flashforward. He and someone else were at a desk, looking at some paperwork on “the Rutherford case,” in front of a window with some odd things in the background…a ferris wheel, a castle, kind of London…almost like it wasn’t real. Well, there’s an ID in the house of someone named Rutherford.
  • Simon meets Lloyd in his car. He says Lloyd ran off, that “we’re worried about you,” and Lloyd says he made it clear he didn’t want to see any of them right now. He says their experiment caused the blackouts (which killed 20 million people)
  • Agent Fiona Banks from M16 comes to LA after Rutherford’s body was found. She’s the woman in Al’s flashforward, going over the case file.
  • Fiona tells Al that after he got a phone call and left, she looked at the bird that hit the window. We then see Al tell his attorney that he killed “her.” At this moment, I guessed he’d kill himself to avoid killing Celia, since he was doing the voice over to her at the beginning (she was a ghost, didn’t see anything).
  • Aaron gets his daughter’s pocketknife, which he gives to her in his flash forward. But the soldier who gave it to him says he saw Tracy die.
  • Dr. Varley saw a girl in a pink shirt, in front of a Japanese character, which means “believe.” He’s sketching everything he saw.
  • We still have never seen if Demetri is actually in his fiancee’s flash forward. I think she just assumes it.
  • Aaron came to terms with his daughter’s death. Then she shows up at the end. Whoops.
  • Even though I knew it was coming, Al’s death was still very touching and well done. Someone had to test it. Someone had to show that the future can be changed. His death should give all the others connected to him the strength and hope they need. Truly was his gift.

Things from the FlashFoBoard:

  • One of the guys who attacked the Mosaic team had a stamp of a blue hand on his hand. A blue hand was also on a stop sign at Baltimore Street. Mark’s board had “Blue Hand” written on it, near “Baltimore.” The hands lead them to a house with a bunch of dead bodies.
  • “Blue hands” signify members of the “Already Ghosts” club, where people kill themselves because they saw nothing in their future. Rutherford was one of them.
  • At the club, Mark picks up the match box that was posted to the board.

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“Black Swan” (FlashForward – S1:E4)

Posted by Mr. Feeny on October 21, 2009

“All I can hear is the clock ticking, every day.” – Demetri

First off…any one else find the opening music completely random, out of place and a little creepy? Made the blackouts seem frivolous, as people were drowning and buildings were burning.  I mean, I get it was the guy’s headphones…but it seemed like a an unnecessary way to show it.

I did really like the way they used a random trumpeter for music during the chase scene. That seemed natural and a unique background.

Once again, the writers have set out to confuse us with these flashforwards. Are they real or not? The patient at the beginning, Ned, says he will be black in six months. Does he undergo a Michael Jackson, or are some people getting fake flashforwards. Maybe confusing them with dreams or delusions. Of course, then we find out that he probably had Addison’s Disease, explaining the darkened skin. But it’s still a valid point that we need to know what to believe. And that things may not be as they appear…or as people describe them.

I do like another question Ned’s flashforward raised, though. Could they be used to change a person. He said he was afraid of the leather pants he was sporting and the club he was dancing in. Could seeing it in the future give him the confidence he needed to go in? In other words, does the flashforward cause the flashforward? Mark is going under the assumption that they can use the flashforward to change the future. But I think it actually just sets events in motion. It’s nice that they give people confidence…but the visions give other people fear.

If the other doctor, Bryce Varley, ever starts to doubt the realism of the flashforwards, he’s going to relapse into depression, whatever made him want to kill himself. The only reason he’s changed so suddenly is because of the hope he saw in his future. As he said, “the future saved him.”

Can you avoid the future? A key question. Olivia wonders it now, after transferring Lloyd’s son to a different wing to get rid of him, but he was sent back.

One quick pet peeve…the priest in this episode was terribly written. He was flippant and not at all concerned for a parishioner who came to him. The writing continues to be weak.

This was definitely the weakest episode so far. Just based on how little we learned. It was mostly just more of how people are dealing. That is good character development, getting to now how different people cope. But it’s not as interesting. And actually, I did like how Olivia was forced to accept conclusions drawn from a vision to save a patient (convinced by Bryce, who has that ultimate faith). I hate, though, that the writers needed to verbalize everything I just said at the end of the episode.

What We Learned (in order):

  • Alda Herzog, the woman who was arrested right after the blackouts, is withholding information about the weapons exchange. But the FBI thinks it might have something to do with the blackouts. And so does Demetri, after she told him “you’re running out of time.” Does she know what he saw? She says she learned it from the Mosaic website. She seems to know something mysterious about the blackouts…but it could just be a red herring.
  • We got confirmation that Lloyd never saw Olivia in his flashforward. But he says he could feel they were together and that she was important.
  • Nicole, the babysitter, says she thinks she was being punished in her flashforward. We don’t see why, but we do see someone in the water, and she says she needs to atone for something she hasn’t done yet. That’s interesting.
  • Agent Al Gough (from Disney’s old Jett Jackson show) searched for a “Celia” on Mosaic…but we don’t see why
  • Here’s Nicole’s flashforward: she saw someone drowning her. She was in a white dress. She saw the man’s face. He was in a black outfit. She felt like she deserved it. And at the end, the man let go and she sank.
  • GREAT TWIST AT END. Dominic Monaghan’s character (Simon) calls Lloyd and tells him they are responsible for the blackouts.

Things from the FlashFoBoard:

  • Nothing

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“137 Sekunden” (FlashForward – S1:E3)

Posted by Mr. Feeny on October 13, 2009

“The world’s changed. Some of us…all of us…are making decisions based on what will happen not what could. Makes us do things we wouldn’t normally do.” – Wedeck

When watching FlashForward, I feel like I’m taking notes in class. Constantly writing down what the teacher says but not really absorbing it. Consequentially, I pause it a lot and end up taking an extra 20 minutes to watch. But, I like that. That’s my type of show. I’d prefer a little better storytelling, but it’s good enough for now.

I am having trouble with the writing. Using Britney Spears as a punchline solely to illicit a laugh is cheap and lazy. The dialogue is rushed, with characters not even pausing to think of what to say next. And there are certain questions that should be immediately asked by any logical agent. For instance, no one considered that Rudolf Geyer might have information about the blackouts because he’s involved with them? And once he’s freed, he’ll be able to act on them? Never even considered? Again, convenient omissions for lazy storytelling.

Or how about an elaborate plan to set this in motion. Someone told Geyer the name of a customs agent (or applicant, to make it more believable), then he just recreates what he said happens so that Murphy sees it too. We’re playing with the space-time continuum, now, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they go down that road of manipulating your own visions.

Of course, Mark is a bad FBI agent. Why would he divulge all sorts of information to a civilian, even if he is his best friend? It seemed odd. And just because Aaron pointed it out doesn’t give the writers a reprieve.

Could Demetri’s fiancee and Lloyd’s dead wife be connected? It seems odd that they both would have been in Seattle during the blackouts. Why not pick another city for one of them if they’re not connected?

Speaking of Zoe, how do we know when someone’s telling the truth? If we see a vision, is that actually what they saw? The writers haven’t made that clear to us, which will make me very upset if they break that unspoken pact. We need to be able to trust something. Perhaps the visions are faulty, not lies. The wedding scene seemed too pristine. Almost fake. Also, we never saw Zoe seeing Demetri, so maybe she’s just imagining him there. She expects to see him so she convinces herself she did.

I do like the overlying theme of this show. Would you be able to even do the little things in your day to day life without considering the ramifications on the future? Would you be bound to these visions? But I HATE the weekly summaries of what people must be feeling, how the world has changed. Banging us over the head with these themes. They do make nice quotations, though, for the beginning of the post.

For the recap of information, I use “seems” a lot. That means we don’t have vision or fact confirmation. Just what people think or see. “Is” is different.

What We Learned (in the order we learned it):

  • Demetri’s death on March 15 was a murder, but the woman who calls him doesn’t know who did it. All she knows is he was shot 3 times in the chest.
  • Rudolf Geyer (the Nazi prisoner) mentions Mark by name, based on his vision
  • Aaron’s ex-wife saw her normal life working in her bar
  • Demetri’s fiancee saw her wedding on a beach. She says she saw Demetri there.
  • Agent Wedeck’s wife saw her college age son’s room, cleared of his stuff, and in its place a boy about 8 years old, who called her mom. She never saw him before.
  • Agent Hawk might be gay. Which makes her pregnancy flashforward more interesting.
  • Geyer believes the 137 seconds is arrived at by taking the word Kaballah (meaning everything has other meaning), spelling it in Hebrew, assigning each letter a number, and adding them together. Yep. That much of a stretch.
  • In Geyer’s vision, he was returning to America. His papers were being checked by an airport customs employee, Jerome Murphy, and he said his freedom was secured by a murder.
  • Murphy saw the same thing
  • When Geyer woke up, he saw Munich burning and dead crows all around. The crows seems to be the key, not the 137 sekunden. That’s all he knows. (wouldn’t there be dead birds elsewhere…why go to Munich for this connection?)
  • A testing of Aaron’s daughter’s remains apparently showed a match to the military’s records. So how does his flashforward make sense?
  • The little boy in Wedeck’s wife’s vision seems to be the son of a fallen agent. He’s at their memorial service…with a woman who seems to be his mother.
  • There were other crow deaths on the day of the blackout all over the world. Massive drop in population (but not all). Other crow populations drops happened in Somalia in 1991, when people in that region suffered widespread losses of consciousness.
  • In Somalia (via flashback), there was a huge monolith when it happened…making this seem like it’s crossed into the extra-terrestrial.

Things from the FlashFoBoard:

  • “137 Sekunden” is 137 seconds in German and refers to the length of the blackout
  • The picture above “137 Sekunden” is of Rudolf Geyer, a German prisoner who claims to know why the blackouts lasted that long

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“White to Play” (FlashForward S1:E2)

Posted by Mr. Feeny on October 1, 2009

FlashForward is one of those serials you really need to watch every episode. But if you don’t, and don’t have time to catch up with the whole show on Hulu, just look at our weekly review. All the important information and revelations will be recapped. But if I’ve forgotten something, please let us know in the comments. First, some general observations:

Did the blackouts set everything in motion? fulfilling their own prophecies? Will Olivia and Mark get farther apart because of what they know? Do these pictures and words on the board have a relevance to the case, or is Mark putting the cart before the horse? Finding clues only because he’s seen them before, not because they mean anything.

Why did flashforwards end when they did? Why right before Lloyd saw Olivia?

And we’re already questioning whether things are coincidence or fate.’ Oh so many questions to answer.

Some early predictions: 1) There will be TONS of red herrings and mistaken assumptions in this serious. Possibly to the point of getting old. 2) This mysterious bad guy they met today…won’t really be a complete bad guy. Probably like Ben in LOST. 3) Every episode will feature a big twist. I’m hoping they’re all as good as tonight’s, which showed us that DGibbons’ cell phone was calling the mysterious baseball stadium guy during the blackout.

As a side note, I really liked that the kids on the playground were playing “Blackout.” As well as Mark’s friend mentioning the significance of this. How everyone knows what everyone’s going through. Those are the little big picture elements, beyond the story, that make me like a show.

What We Learned (in order we learned it):

  • DGibbons, the owner of a cupcake store, visits the FBI to tell them about her vision, which included a mention of Demetri. She was angry with the person on the other end, said she’s “sick of you people harassing me,” and mentioned Pigeon, which led the FBI to Utah (where a seemingly dangerous guy in black blew up stuff after playing chess)
  • We start to find out what Charlie saw in her vision. She acts distraught when she sees Dylan and asks “what happened to Dylan?” Then she cries “don’t hurt him.”
  • Lloyd didn’t see Olivia in his vision (apparently). He might have been there, but Olivia never saw him see her.
  • Suspect Zero is a man about 5’8″ and 150lbs (based on computer guesses)
  • Someone inside the Detroit baseball stadium was talking to someone using DGibbons’ cell phone 30 seconds into the blackout. Are things as they seem?
  • Seeing nothing in a flashforward could mean death, since the officer who also saw nothing got killed this episode
  • Janis’ baby is a girl. She started crying when she found out in the vision.
  • A woman calls Demetri to tell him that in her vision, she read an intelligence brief that mentioned he was murdered on March 15
  • “DGibbons is a dangerous man.” That’s what Charlie, the daughter, says she learned in her vision. So who’s the DGibbons they’ve been following? And what else does Charlie know?

Things from the FlashFoBoard:

  • D Gibbons could be the woman from a cupcake shop who came to them to explain her vision (two FBI agents were mentioned in it, including Demetri)
  • The picture of the doll next to DGibbons was taken this episode, at a rundown doll factory in Pigeon, Utah (they were led there by Gibbons’ vision)

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FlashForward Premiere Review

Posted by Mr. Feeny on September 24, 2009

“Just because we saw these things doesn’t mean they’re going to happen” – Mark

Flash forward to April of 2010. LOST is winding down, finishing its successful and historic run. But LOST fans aren’t completely depressed. They’re ready to keep obsessing a new show. And like FlashForward, they got a sneak peek of life without LOST tonight.

Like the running theme of this show (can destiny be changed?), there’s no way to guarantee FlashForward will be as good or as addictive as its natural ABC counterpart. A lot could happen in the next six months. Characters might not develop interesting backstories. Clues to the meaning of the show may not be steadily revealed. It might just become boring. But as of today, I’m excited.

So excited, that I was drifting off to sleep at 7. Couldn’t keep my eyes open. Ten minutes into FlashForward, all that drowsiness was gone. This show is captivating.

The basic plot, if somehow you haven’t heard: everyone in the world blacks out at exactly the same time, and sees visions of their future at the exact same time six months from now. Or so they think. Now everyone’s trying to make sense of what happened and whether their visions are unavoidable.

Now, despite all the inevitable comparisons to LOST, it’s not a carbon copy. But, let’s list the similarities anyway. How about the first scene, which features complete mayhem, explosions, screaming, the main character saving people. Perhaps that was supposed to give us a feeling of deju vu, because we have seen it before. On a remote island. We’ve also seen the main actress before: Sonya Walger as Olivia (Penny on LOST). Also, in two weeks, Dominic Monaghan (Charlie on LOST) will be joining the cast. There’s a feeling of being lost, as none of the characters no where to start. Instead of flashbacks, we get flashforwards…but they still reveal aspects of the characters. And then there’s just the completely inexplicable oddball moments. Substitute polar bear for kangaroo. There’s even a shout out to LOST fans with a billboard in one scene for Oceanic Airlines (see photo). Not so subtle.

For FlashForward to hold my interest, there needs to be surprising connections between characters and events. The mythology, as it’s often called in LOST. By giving us little clues throughout the flash forwards (and the massive bulletin board of images and words and string), I’m fairly confident will get those reveals. Just in this first half of the pilot, we saw how Mark (Olivia’s husband and main character) got his friendship bracelet and how Olivia meets the man she apparently is going to have an affair with…who she had never seen before. It’s a natural mystery with enough intrigue to keep viewers glued to the TV every week. Will everything really happen? Is anything unavoidable? Who is the person who didn’t blackout in Detroit? Who’s behind this? I WANT TO KNOW!

That’s why crime procedurals are so successful. Viewers love to solve mysteries. As long as FlashForward gives answers each episode, leading to the bigger one, I can’t see a way this show won’t stay popular. It’s not a guaranteed hit, though, unless the characters develop as well as we’d hope. Intrigue is only half of what people tune in for. They want action (since half the characters are FBI agents, that shouldn’t be a problem), romance (plenty of flash forwards involving love and lust), and interesting characters. Writing can sometimes take a back seat (like when Mark’s daughter says she “saw no more good days.” Yeah, that sounds natural) as can acting if the plot is compelling enough. Consider that this type of idea has been tried at least twice in the past few years. Both those shows failed quickly. We shall see if the writers have provided enough miscellania to captivate.

I can’t wait for tomorrow’s water cooler debates to begin. “I don’t think they can change it. That’s their future.” “Are you crazy? There’s no such thing as a sure thing. It’s all up to them.” Let the games begin.

Grade: A-

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