Friday, September 25, 2009

FlashForward: Season 1 Episode 1 - No More Good Days

Hello future dwellers and welcome to the first FlashForward recap!  Welcome to all Lost Addicts Blog readers and American Idol Addicts Blog readers as well as anyone new that has stumbled upon this new blog!  I am taking a risky step by already declaring myself an "addict" of a show that has yet to prove itself or for a show that has yet to even prove it can retain an audience!  But based on the pilot episode that I just watched, I think it is a bet worth taking.  Many of us LOST-obsessed folk have been restless waiting for its final season to begin, yet there is some reluctance at the same time.  Once LOST gives us all the answers and the Island lowers the final curtain, what will we be left with?  Probably more questions still, but that's besides the point!   FlashForward is clearly geared towards the LOST fanbase, but it definitely is a beast all to itself.   Based on one hour, I am already along for the ride!  Hopefully, I'll be still saying this 6 seasons from now.  So are you with me everyone? Buckle your seatbelts kids, because we're starting a brand new blog!

Well, I think most of us understand the premise of the show by now, right?  So I don't have to keep us in suspense for when it was revealed to us.  The entire planet blacked out for 2 minutes and 17 seconds (why that length?  To be determined!).  The blackout caused mass chaos.  Planes crashed, car collisions, explosions galore, suicides interrupted, looters, riots, you name it.  No one yet knows what caused these blackouts. Anyway, the kicker is that during these blackouts everyone had a flash of their own future.  The future is at a specific date and time: April 29th 2010 10:00pm Pacific Time.  Over the course of the episode we learned that some people liked what they saw, some didn't, and certain people did not see anything at all.  There are believers and non-believers that what they saw was the actual future.  Just a note: Co-Creator/Executive producer David S. Goyer has already promised a solution to this season's major mysteries by the end of season 1.  Yes, we will see April 29th by the end of the season.  Convenient that that date also falls on a Thursday! Call it a bit of a "Lessons Learned" from its almighty predecessor LOST.  People demand payoffs during the evolution of an overarching mystery!

This recap will probably be a little different than the ones going forward because we were focusing on so many characters simultaneously in the pilot episode.  So let's do exactly what the episode did and get to know the main characters that we have met so far:

Character Introductions and Flashes

Mark Benford

Role: FBI Agent and Our Hero!

Joseph Fiennes (pronounced "FINES" everyone, like his brother Ralph Fiennes is pronounced "Ray Fines."  yikes) has done a good job adopting an American Accent to claim the role of potential "savior of the world" during this world-wide event.  His story?  He's a former alcoholic who has a lovely wife Olivia, which we'll get to in a second. He and his wife like stating the opposite of what they mean to each other (e.g. "You're a crappy husband" Post-its, "I hope I never see you again" text messages, etc...).  Why? Probably because they think it's cute!  But yikes, was it some crazy foreshadowing!  We'll get to that in a bit as well.  Prior to the Blackout Mark and his partner Demetri are tracking down some sort of terrorist (Alda?) who is planning to kill lots of people.   They end up in a high speed chase and then whoosh....FLASHFORWARD!

The Flash:  We see a bunch of images (might require some further analysis) before we focus in on Mark in his office, clearly drunk.  He sees a wall of names and clues, the case name "MOSAIC", the calendar with the date April 29, 2010, sees the time was 10pm, and someone is coming after him armed with guns sporting laser sights.   Here are some of the quick shots below we saw from Mark's Flash.

Special thanks to THE ODI for posting these shots on his site.  Check there for more screen captures.

Demetri Noh

Occupation: FBI Agent / Sidekick

Demetri is Mark Benford's partner.  He is engaged and at the time being trying to decide on his wedding song.  His wife, we have yet to meet, wants to dance to the classic Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton duet "Islands in the Stream."  Demetri's disgust for the song led to some good laughs prior to all of the drama.  He too was in pursuit with Mark of Alda when whoooooosh FLASH FORWA.......

His Flash:  Absolutely Nothing. This did not sit well with Demetri has he started realizing that everyone saw their future except him.  What does this mean?  Was he sleeping?  Maybe, but Demetri figures he would have been dreaming then.  He comes to the conclusion that he is most likely going to die before April 29th.  It will be interesting to find out what his fiance' saw (and we may have heard something in the upcoming previews).  He said that they should "discuss the future" when he gets home.   Hmmmmm

Olivia Benford

LOST Fans might recognize Sonya Walger as fan-favorite recurring character Penny from LOST.  No fear, since both shows are on ABC, Sonya says she can appear on LOST if any loose ends need to be tied up in the final season.  But here, Olivia Benford is the other half of the American Super Benford Couple.  Writer of nasty Post-Its and mean-spirited Texts to her husband!   She is a surgeon and was preparing to go into surgery when the blackout happened.

The Flash: We only get a brief glimpse of her flash but it shows her with another man in the Benford house, whom we meet by the end of the episode.  She is very distraught by this as she and Mark are having no issues 6 months prior.  But, we learn from Mark, that Olivia has stated that she will leave him if he ever starts drinking again.  If this future is to come true could she have left because of his alcoholism?  Maybe due to his obsession with the blackout/flashes?  Time will tell!

Bryce Varley

Bryce is another surgeon who works with Olivia.  He did not show up to work the day before the blackout.  Apparently things have been going bad and immediately prior to the blackout, he had a gun to his head on Venice Pier and was about to pull the trigger.

The Flash: Unknown, but we know that he was alive and that it seems he was in a better place 6 months from then.  He begins to rescue people waking up in the water after the blackout.  His mood is a little more positive than a majority of the globe who are trying to come to grips with what happened.

Aaron Stark aka Guy with the Big Beard

Aaron is Mark's AA sponsor and friend.  He is some kind of construction guy/electrician/telephone guy of sorts.  His daughter, Tracy, was in the military and supposedly died in Afghanistan and was shipped back to him in pieces.  Aaron was climbing up a telephone pole or something of that nature prior to the blackout.

The Flash: Aaron sees his daughter alive!  Woaaaaa.  What is going on here?  He realizes that she might be alive and has needed him for 2 years after he thought he had buried her.   Eventually there is a whole big discussion between he and Mark and the trademark phrase from all of the previews "You're worried your future is going to come true.  I'm worried mine won't."    This guy has "fan-favorite" character written all over him.  Possibly the John Locke of FlashForward.  Can't wait to look back on this post in a couple months to laugh at what I was thinking!

Other Characters: 

  • Charlie Benford - Olivia and Mark's daughter who was being babysat by the Nanny Nicole.  She had some nightmare of a Flash and we have yet to see it.  But she did get to tell us the episode's title "I dreamed there were no more good days"  oooh...always creepy when kids say stuff like that isn't it?
  • Nanny Nicole - She was being naughty and had her boyfriend over during babysitting hours and during the blackout.  We did not see her flash.  Not sure how essential her character will become. 
  • FBI Chief - Don't think we learned his name yet but he obviously will be important since he runs the FBI branch!  His flash consisted of him doing his "personal business" and reading the sports page.  He noticed that Kobe was injured and that the Tampa Bay Rays rallied.  I wonder if Vegas will close that day because people might already know the outcome of the games!  Probably something that won't be covered in the show!  
  • Janis Hawk - #3 of the 3 man squad to figure out what happened with the blackout/flashes. (Mark and Demetri the other 2).  It was her idea to start a website for everyone to post what they saw.  By the way, I believe this website was created for us all to use and is referenced on the right hand side of this blog:   Update: (thanks commenter Liz for correction!) Janis mentions that she saw that she was pregnant in her flash, but doesn't even have a boyfriend right now.  Interesting!
  • Agent Gough and Fiona - Agent Gough is the guy that told Mark his flash had him in London on April 30th at 6am (which is equivalent to 10/29 10pm in Los Angeles).   A bird hit the window.  It was important to note that Fiona saw the same thing.  
  • The Child Patient - A patient is brought in after the blackout and is injured pretty badly.  Olivia tells him he's going to be okay.  The child, having seen HIS future (we have not), says "I know Olivia"  Ooooh another creepy kid!  So what did this kid see?  And if he saw Olivia, why didn't Olivia recognize him? hmmmm  We were told his mother died and his father's name is Lloyd Simcoe.
  • Did I miss anyone?  What did YOU see?  (I'm gonna have a lot of fun with that phrase).  

Plot Points worth Noting

  • I had seen an interview with David S. Goyer where I think he said that everyone's flash lasted 2 minutes and 17 seconds.  So we are only seeing seconds of everyone's flashes in each episode.  It would seem that more will be revealed as the season progresses.  
  • Mark explained his flash like he was experiencing it.  He felt what it felt like to desire alcohol again.  He also described it as a memory that hasn't happened yet.   So they were not just seeing things, they were almost living it. 
  • Mark saw a Kangaroo while passing by the looters and destruction from the black out.  I think this kangaroo is going to be a recurring characer.  Important to the overall mythology?  I guess we'll see!
  • The moments following the flash were very reminiscent of LOST right after the crash.  That's probably as close as we're going to get to the similarities of the shows.  But I thought it was worth noting just because it was cool to see!  The gas truck exploding was like the big explosion of Oceanic Flight 815's  engine on the beach.  Mark overlooking the city and the chaos that the blackout caused was a nice visual too (couldn't find that picture!)
  • The MOSAIC task force was created based on the fact that Mark was working on the case in the future.  Almost a self-fulfilling prophecy.  
  • Things to look forward to in future episodes.  Mark saw a lot of things in his flash that went up on the bulletin board.  It looks like Demetri was creating the board exactly like Mark saw it.  D. Gibbons, Photograph of a baby doll (doll was burned, head melted, bullet casing nearby), Blue Hand, He was wearing a friendship bracelet.   His state of mind: He was scared.  The attackers wanted to kill him because of what he knew.  One of the men had a tattoo of 3 stars.  Not much we can do with this info quite yet, but definitely worth noting! 
  • Mark and Olivia discuss their flashes eventually.  Mark does not reveal he was drinking, but Olivia does reveal she was with another man after much pestering from Mark.  Hmmmm that can't help things! 
  • Mark and his daughter Charlie have a meeting of the minds on the swing set.  While she doesn't reveal her flash just yet, she does something equally important by giving Mark the "Friendship bracelet" he had seen in his flash.  And then she helps him put it on!  Mark is slowly seeing his future come true which has to be pretty scary since he knows where it is going.  Will he try to stop it?
  • The big cliffhangers: Lloyd Simcoe eventually comes to the hospital where his kid is.  He finds out that Olivia is the surgeon that saved him.  We see that Lloyd is actually the man Olivia is with in the future!  He decides to stay to meet her since he had the same flash as well.  crazy!  Still, we didn't see his kid in this FLASH scenario yet, so we gotta wonder how he knew Olivia's name!  Maybe he is there and we just don't know it yet?
  • After Demetri caves and tells his fiance' that he will dance to "Islands in the Stream," Janis calls him over to her computer where she is examining surveillance videos from all over the globe.  Everyone blacks out at 10pm.  2 minutes and 17 seconds later they wake up.  Except, in Detroit, at a Tigers game, there is one man, dressed in black with a black hat on, walking around the stadium unaffected by the blackout!  woaaaaa  Is he involved in what's going on?  Or is he some exception to the rest of the world for some reason?  hmmmmm  stay tuned to find out!

Easter Eggs
Not much to discuss here, but as I stated, us LOST fans are getting targeted for this show big time.  And during one scene, we even see a billboard for Oceanic Airlines!  Gotta love it!

So, the verdict for FLASHFORWARD after one episode?  Not bad for a Pilot episode!  It looks like ABC is going to put a lot of effort into making this show a success.  The production quality of this episode speaks miles for this!  I loved the episode and am looking forward to many more.  Stick with me as I figure out how to blog this one folks.  I may try a few different routes until we get an idea what a normal episode is going to look like.   Let's hope this one sticks around!    So what did you all think of the episode?  Are you excited for Dominic Monaghan (LOST's Charlie) joining the show in a few episodes? Nice that they showed him in a preview of an upcoming episode to try and lure more LOST fans into the fold!   Will the future play out just like we're seeing in the flashes?  Can it be changed?   Who is the man in the stadium?  Could that be Dominic's character?  Lots to speculate at this point.

I'd love to hear your comments.  And please forward the blog to anyone you know who is watching the show.  Let's get some good discussion going like we have had on the other blogs.  So, with that all said, I will leave you all with one question.  What did YOU see? (heh heh)   See you next week!

Special Thanks again to THE ODI for posting screen captures from the episode!  

Follow me on Twitter for blog updates and additional findings: @LOSTAddictsBlog

Check out my other Blogs too:
LOST Addicts Blog, American Idol Addicts


Liz said...

I believe in Janis' flashforward she saw that she was pregnant.

Mike V. said...

Oh right...duh! Thanks Liz, I'll make the update!

EduSan said...

Hey there, greetings from brazil!
Came here from Lost Addicts and becoming a big fan of Flash Forward myself!
Congrets to the new blog and good luck on running all three together heheheh
I believe we'll be having more of Olivia's flash forward since, as u said, it lasted 2m17s and we saw just a couple of things. About her and the boy in the hospital, I believe he saw her in his flash forward since he already knows who she is but for her, maybe she had seen him too and couldn't recognize him from the injuries...
There's a lot of things to unfold though, it's going to be very interesting!


Mike V. said...

Thanks for the props Eduardo! Managing 2 blogs and a full-time job is insane in itself. Adding a 3rd? I must be losing my mind!

Maybe they have selective memory too right now. Like they'll start remembering more from their flashes as time goes on...and then she'll realize he knows the boy. Right now, we're just left to wonder.

We'll see what happens!

Koob said...

I've got a question that I can’t stop thinking about.

So I’m going to assume this is a linear time line and EVERYONE just saw what’s going to happen several months from now.

If that’s true then don’t you think the events of that day and time would unfold differently now that everyone is aware of what’s to come? I would think that people would try to change the outcome. For instance, the FBI Chief won’t be in the bathroom at that time to see if he can alter the events. I would think some people would purposely act different on that day.

OR we could be seeing the effects of a self-fulfilling prophecy where the flash we saw was in fact the result of them acting differently and creating a loop. Whoa… I’m confusing myself!

Any thougths?

Mike V. said...

Koob, I was thinking along the same lines and kinda mentioned it above with Mark. Why did he accept the bracelet from his daughter? I guess maybe he didn't want to hurt her feelings. But yeah...if they know what's going to happen, why do things that will lead to exactly that end. Like creating the MOSAIC Task Force based on what Mark saw he was doing.

You would have to think, like you said, that someone is going to test out going against what they saw. Like Penny...err Olivia...will try her hardest not to like this man Lloyd. But then will her fighting her destiny lead to it coming true in the first place?

Will the fact that Mark didn't tell Olivia about him drinking in the flash, lead to her not trusting him?

I guess what we still need to find out is if the visions are 100% going to be what is going to happen...or if it is someone/something feeding these ideas to make them happen...or something like that.

I guess we just don't know enough to figure it out yet. But definitely good qustions to be asking! Thanks for the comment!

Jayce said...

I read elsewhere that the producers have already stated that we should not "trust" the flashforwards. Which leaves open the possibility of the "future" being changed. As far as "time loops" -- don't think we have to worry about that as noone has actually traveled in time. People have only had intense visions.

One thought on the flashforwards. If people were experiencing the visions as though they were memories of the future -- and not just watching it as though on a video playback -- would they have experienced their future MEMORIES as well. For example, I could have a future vision of myself talking a walk, but in my vision would I have also experienced what I was THINKING about while I was walking? Perhaps this explains how the child knew Olivia. In his future he would have met Olivia, and thus would have had a memory of her. Follow?

Mike V. said...

Ahhh I do follow! That's a very good point. Memories within a "memory"... very interesting! I like it. But I still say there is more of these flashes that we have yet to see. So there is a chance that the kid is wherever Lloyd and Olivia are (Benford's house I think)..but maybe Olivia doesn't see him and he sees her. I like the whole memory thing though.

Agreed on timeloops...definitely don't need to worry about that. I hadn't heard about them saying we shouldn't trust the flashforwards...but that would make sense. If we know the stuff is going to happen for sure, then what's the point of watching it play out over the season? It would be like Heroes Season 1 all over again. We all know what happened after season 1 of Heroes! They had no plan and the show is barely watchable these days.

Which brings me to an interesting question that we'll probably be asking throughout this season. If we're going to see 4/29/10 by this season's end....what happens in season 2? Another blackout? Something different? The show will still be called FlashForward so where does it go? Clearly, we still have a lot to learn over the season so it might make more sense by then. I remember wondering where LOST would go after season 1 with the raft setting sail...and they sure didn't disappoint! Goyer has said that they pitched a 5 season show when they went to ABC with they have an outline of where they're going. We'll see!

Lostie said...

So I like the show and will definitely get hooked, but did anyone else think some of the acting was kinda questionable?

Anonymous said...

I also thought the acting was not just quite right.
I wondered if it was the camera angles or timing ie. too short of face shots.
It just didn't help me feel the characters, if you know what I mean.
On another blog someone said that the Oceanic poster says something to the effect of "Airline with perfect flying record".
HUMMMM? Anyone see that?
The opening after flash was like you said, Mike V, was so reminiscent of LOST . I just laughed and clapped. Loved it.
And the previews....Dominic pulling off mask... much to look forward to. But as far as it being him in the stadium that fellow looks pretty tall. Right?
Ok so this is going to be fun.
Thanks for the blog Mike.

Mike V. said...

Yeah I saw a better picture and should revise the blog. Definitely says perfect flying record. Kinda like the commercial they showed at comic con that said "30 years of safe flying" or something like that. Just more teases for season 6! Lol

I didn't notice the bad acting too much...but I'm sure the cast will get better as the show evolves!

Yeah the guy in Detroit definitely looked tall. I just threw it out there because there is a lot of mystery surrounding the character Dominic is going to play. Time will tell!

No prob on doing a blog. I'm excited for the new venture. Thanks for reading!

James Rogers said...

Love the blog. You have a lot of great info on here. Looking forward to see what happens next on the series!

Mike V. said...

Thanks James!

Mike V. said...

Hey guys, something I missed in the Pilot episode...though maybe we weren't necessarily supposed to catch on just yet. Keep an eye on RED PANDA sightings. Apparently this could be an organization that is the equivalent of LOST's DHARMA Initiative. There is a David S. Goyer sponsored site called I added the link to the right-hand side of the blog. We'll see where this goes!

Mike V. said...

note: there were apparently 2 red panda sightings in the in Mark's Flash...and one on the subway or something?

Jenn said...

Great blog Mike! I liked the show, but don't know if I am hooked yet. Was anybody else extremely disappointed with the previews at the end of the show? I won't say what, but they showed something important that I wish could have been revealed during the season. At least now I know - don't watch the previews.

Like Lost's first episode, the Armageddon-like destruction after the flash gave me the chills.

Mike V. said...

Thanks Jenn! Yeah, I was kinda annoyed by the previews, which is why I chose not to discuss them in the blog here! They gave away some key elements. And I think mainly they wanted to show LOST fans that Dominic was eventually going to be on the show. That was really like a "okay, here's this new's what you're in store for if you stick around this season" preview. More than just clips from next week's episode. Dexter did the same thing last night with their previews for the upcoming season. It pretty much gave away the cliffhanger that episode 1 left us on!

As for being hooked on FF...well i have no choice but to immerse myself in the show and be hooked from the start if I'm going to blog about it! lol

MJ said...

Show was great - and a great recap Mike.

I had chills when the little girl gave her dad the bracelet.

I do wonder if some people are going to try to change their future. For some it would be easy - like don't be in London in April 2010, or don't have sex for the next few months and you won't get pregnant. But - by changing on forward vision they will impact others.

I think - but am not sure - that in the episodes to come montage that there was something wrong with this baby though.

Mike V. said...

Thanks MJ!

I like the whole concept that this might not even be their future...but some organization or something put these ideas in their heads to try and sway them towards a certain future that benefits them? I dunno...

I read somewhere about the Chief why on earth would he still decide to use a bathroom at 10pm on April 29th knowing that that's where he was in his vision. Wouldn't that day be like some kind of global holiday? where everyone is gathering to see what is going to happen?

ORRRRR....could they possibly learn something by then where they all decide they HAVE to be doing exactly what they were doing in their visions for something else to happen?

Of can't coordinate 7 or 8 billion people to stick to their visions! lol I see a lot of opportunity for plot holes and continuuity disasters unless we learn something else about these visions NOT actually being their future.

Crazy right?

Hey sidenote to commenters: Do you guys like this embedded comment box format better than the one i have on the LOST blog where it opens a new screen? The only thing I don't like about this one is that it's impossible to log in to post without leaving the page and coming back! lol Thinking about changing it to the LOST style but thought I'd get some feedback. Thoughts?

Niknak said...

Okay okay, so I watched the first one (UK tv sucks! Always behind on EVERYTHING!)....really random question. What was the song playing throughout the first scene before everyone blacked out?? It was definetly playing whilst the girl was getting it on with her boyf on the sofa if that helps. I cannot find any trace of it anywhere! Arghhh xoxo

Mike V. said...

Used shazam on my iPhone and found your song! "quiet dog bite hard" by mos def. Ahh technology!! Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Is it my imagination or does Janis Hawk accidentally call John Cho's character "John" instead of Dimitri when she calls him over to look at the Detroit footage? It definitely sounds like she says "John". Blooper in the pilot??

Mike V. said...

iPhone to the rescue again! Just checked the scene. Sounds like she says "Dem, come here" Never knew Demetri could be shortened, but hey why not!?

MJ said...

By the way - I totally did not catch anything about a Red Panda - or see the Oceanic Airline ad. But I did LOL when in the crash scene the bus had a huge Desperate Housewives ad - gotta love ABC with their self-plugging !

Mike V. said...

Hmmm...didn't catch the DH ad! pretty funny. But ironically, there apparently was also a LOST ad on a bus too! I think it's when Mark is wandering down the street (kangaroo scene) and there is a BUS in the distance. you can see the "ST" of a LOST Logo on the side of the bus. I saw it on a tweet yesterday, and now I can't find it! oh well lol