Friday, October 30, 2009

FlashForward: Season 1 Episode 6 - Scary Monsters and Super Creeps

Hello Forward Bound Flashers and welcome back to the creepy children of the world!  Welcome to what will probably be a very abbreviated version of the FlashForward blog.  I'm not a happy camper right now.  I stayed up until 1am balancing my Phillies watching (they lost last night to make things worse) and my FlashForward watching and blogging.   I was 2/3rds completed writing the blog.  I saved the draft, woke up at 5:30 am to finish and guess what?   Everything I wrote is GONE!  No draft, nothing.  NOT HAPPY!   I had some good nuggets of information too!    Anyway, so I'm going to have to go with the less wordy rendition of the recap today! (besides this crazy paragraph naturally!)    It's a shame too, because I think this show is getting nothing but better and better each week.  LOVED last night's episode and was so glad I found a way to watch it in segments during the World Series and still not miss any of the game!  (God Bless TiVo!)

Lots of craziness going on in the episode named after a David Bowie song (also featured in episode).  It was Halloween so all the crazies were out!   Creepy kids, Kangaroos, Masked Men, Future Murdering Quantum Physicists.  We followed up on the fallout from the LA/DC shootings in last week's episode and get to the bottom of Janis's status.  The suspense in the Benford/Simcoe drama was kicked up a few large notches!  Demetri and Gough follow up on a lead from the shootings.     And, I thought that the show is doing a good job balancing all of the dark, dreary drama that is unavoidable with the premise of the show with some great moments of humor interspersed throughout the episode.  Dressing our heroes up for Halloween always helps to cut the tension a bit!  (Dylan - Flava Flav, Aaron - Obi-wan Kenobi  classics)   Anyway, let's try to dive in (again for me) and see what we can discuss.

Updated 11/1/2009 with Screen Caps.  Thanks to THE ODI again! 

Simon Says
We get a lot more of Simon in this episode as he is heading on a Pacific Coast train down to Los Angeles.  (Where do we think he's coming from?  Is it an important detail?  I'm thinking probably).  Most of that opening scene he seemed to be just using his flirtatious ways to get what he wanted from Camille (aka Daphne from True Blood.  You know you were wondering where you knew her from!)  but he did give some nuggets of information that are possible worth pondering.

  • We find out Simon is a genius Quantum Physicist who has won some prestigious awards that he has posed with in his underwear.  Dominic Monaghan distanced himself very well from his previous iconic roles of Charlie (LOST) and Merry (Lord of the Rings)!  He seems to be working on yet another iconic role, but let's see that play out over the season. 
  • Simon discusses with Callie the concept of Schrodinger's Cat in relation to what happened with the FlashForwards.  Any fan of the hysterical sitcom The Big Bang Theory should be aware of at least the NAME of this concept.  I don't think they used it in the same way, but it was used in the pivotal season 1 finale episode for the show!  Anyway, it's a thought experiment that basically investigated 2 possibilities of said cat after an event has occurred.   One possibility where the cat was dead and the other where the cat was alive.  Charlie...errr...Simon, told Callie that both eventualities exist at the same time and the observer gets to decide the outcome.  So should we take this as Gospel?  "Both eventualities exist at the same time" sounds like you could get away with the details in the Flashes being absolutely true but the decisions made by the people in their flashes could totally change?   Like Mark doesn't have to return to drinking but everything on his board is still a valid lead?    If I think about it any further than that, my head starts spinning so let's leave it at that for now!
  • Daphne reveals her FlashForward to Simon.  It's funny, I think I mentioned something like this a few weeks ago when pondering why Wedeck would still decide to go to the Bathroom on D-Day.  I thought, wouldn't this be a massive global event day where people would be gathering in places like Times Square?   Surely enough, the writers of FlashForward didn't miss out on this concept by placing Daphne along with at least 500,000 others from the MOSAIC website into Times Square partying like it's New Year's.  I'm glad they discussed this on the show, but it still doesn't explain why Wedeck would still need to go to the bathroom!  But based on the humor this show has already dished out this season, it could easily be something Wedeck ate!  Or based on the bullet above, he could choose NOT to go to the bathroom maybe.  
  • Simon also revealed his flash in quite disturbing detail mentioning that he remembered the smell of a meat locker and strangling a man with an Ox-like neck to death with great satisfaction.   Who is the man?  Not sure, I thought it was Bryce at first but then realized we probably haven't met who this is yet.  I'm sure we will though!  

Trust me, what I originally wrote was longer!  Yeah, I just don't know how to be less wordy!

Save Janis
Okay, here is where I was probably getting into a bit too much detail.  We saw a lot of the hospital in this episode.  Janis was brought to the hospital, just like I predicted, where Olivia and Bryce work and they performed the surgeries on her.  Our DC FBI travelers reunited with the rest of the LA crew at the hospital as they came to check on their fellow agent.  Once finding out she was most likely going to be okay, Wedeck sent them all home to get some rest.  Demetri didn't obey and took Agent Gough with him to follow up on the DC/LA shootings. (we'll get to that in the next section).  Mark has some moments with Olivia and Stan and Stan sticks around with Janis.

  • We see Olivia clearly get more concerned about the text she received about Mark drinking in his FlashForward.  She has been calling him repeatedly worried that something happened in D.C.   When she does see him she explains this and that they are getting too consumed by the flashes and forgetting to "live in the now" which is what she wants to do now.  We'll see how long that lasts! 
  • Mark is convinced that the shootings are linked to the MOSAIC investigation due to the simultaneous events in D.C. and Los Angeles.  Demetri even brought up the fact later that nothing happened until Mark start bringing up things in court like Dead Crows, D. Gibbons, Suspect Zero, etc...
  • Stan apologized to Mark for his blow-up in DC.   Mark calls it even by giving him quarters for the vending machine.  Okay, so it wasn't "Hurley" funny, but still a little funny!   (Sorry for the LOST reference non fans!) 
  • So over the episode, we watch Janis recover but run into some issues.  I'm sure it was just a good dramatic timing but her monitor started going crazy after Stan told her about the miracle of Childbirth which he informed Janis would see first hand.  She was brought back into the O.R. where Olivia and Bryce had to make a quick decision to save her.  They went with a "B-lynch" suturing technique.  The bullet had bounced around so much inside her that they had to leave it in.  I'm no doctor so I'm probably leaving something out!  But Janis explained that the outcome was that her chances of ever conceiving and giving birth to a child were very slim.   Hmmmmm.   So what is happening here?  Does she get pregnant anyway?  The odds are stacked against her big time now, right?  She likes women (Maya sent her flowers by the way) and her uterus is badly damaged!  Or was her flash playing a nasty trick on her planting in her the desire to want children but then taking it away the possibility of ever being able to?  That would have to be a pretty knowledgeable flash to be able to pull that off!   Is this another example of 2 eventualities existing?   Maybe her choosing to break things off with Maya changed her path from eventually mothering a child?  That doesn't sound likely, but stranger things have happened!
I promise you, this section was much longer too!

Follow the Blue Hand
As, I mentioned earlier, Demetri disobeyed a direct order for rest as he was determined to follow up on the shootings.  First stop the coroner to check in on the men Janis killed.

  • They found similarities to the men they killed in D.C.   They were all Asian, and they were professionals.  They couldn't find their prints, dental records, nothing.   Scarce medical history of a removed appendix or an achilles surgery.  These guys were pretty much off the map.  The coroner did note that one of the men had LASIC eye surgery.  He called it a junior requirement for professional hitmen. 
  • They eventually did find something with a blacklight though, a BLUE HAND stamped or tattooed on one of the men's hand.  The Blue Hand was a clue from Mark's board attached with the name "Baltimore".  Demetri finds himself wanting to follow the flashes to resolve this shooting which alarms Agent Gough because if he was in Demetri's shoes, he'd be wanting to prove the flashes weren't real. 

  • Gough wanted to look more into the Asian connection, but Demetri thinks China is a dead end.  He thinks they need to go to Baltimore Street a few blocks away.  Which Gough reminded him that they were in D.C. which was closer to Baltimore, Maryland.  Demetri eventually convinces Gough to head to Baltimore Street. 
  • And what do you know?  They find a Blue Hand sticker on a Stop sign and it's pointing in a certain direction.   They follow a sequence of Blue Hand stickers all showing different amount of fingers (indicating the # of blocks to go) and it eventually leads them to a bloodstained house with several corpses under a sheet.  One of the hands was sticking out from under the sheet and it was painted blue!  woaaaa   What is up with the Blue Hand Group? (oh come on, you know you wanted to say it too!)   I'm sure it will pay dividends in future episodes but for now we just know there are a bunch of dead blue hand people!   Did they die during the blackout?   Was it a cult-like suicide or was someone else behind it?   Perhaps there are 2 factions that we will be dealing with outside of MOSAIC.  Blue Hand vs. Red Panda?  eh I dunno. 

  • Oh right, they did find one of their licenses that had a name of Ian Rutherford.  And then they remember that Agent Gough was in London investigating the Rutherford case.  Demetri points out that this investigation begins today.   Woa...Al seemed to be in denial about the flashes, but as he recalled his flash and that bird hitting a window, he recalls looking out the window at the dead bird on the ground and yes, it was indeed a crow!  woaaa

I hadn't written this section before my Blog deleted itself, but it was brief right??

Trick or Treat
It definitely was Halloween in FlashForward land.  This led to some somewhat bonding time for Lloyd and his son Dylan, to Charlie Trick or Treating and for Kangaroos to wander out and about!   Let's not forget about masked men!

Lloyd and Dylan:
In the hospital Lloyd spent some time trying to convince Dylan to move to their old house in Palo Alto where they used to live before Lloyd and his wife were separated.  Dylan was acting kind of strange throughout the episode.  You could chalk it up to his autism if it wasn't Charlie acting strange at the end too!  But we're getting ahead of ourselves.  Here's the Lloyd and Dylan pointers:
  • Lloyd knows some crazy magic tricks.  The ol' Pick a card (Queen of Diamonds), memorize it and he'll guess it trick.   Lloyd didn't seem to be very impressed.  All he kept saying is "NO" that he didn't want to move back to old house. 
  • Bryce informed Lloyd that it was Halloween so Lloyd went and got Dylan a costume.  And yeah, he was dressed like Public Enemy's Flava Flav.  (Or the guy from VH1 reality shows, you decide!)  Bryce definitely called the costume "SUPER FLY"

  • Lloyd mentioned that he wanted to say goodbye to Olivia before they left the hospital for good.  Bryce was going to relay the message.
  • Eventually, Dylan decides he's going to run off and Lloyd spends some time with Security trying to track him down (which he does by watching him leave the building on a security camera and boarding a bus). 
  • There was some creepy guy on the bus that was trying to help Dylan find his way.  Not sure if he was a red herring or if he'll be important some time in the future.   Dylan rambled off an address 25656 Sawyer Court Los Angeles, California 90024.  One would think this was a reference to Sawyer on LOST, but others probably know that Robert Sawyer is the author of the FlashForward novel and an active resource for the new TV show.  Whose address was that?  And why did Dylan know it?  Read on to find out!
Charlie's Halloween Outing:
Charlie is getting all excited for Halloween by watching an episode of our favorite cartoon SQUIRRELIO!  (or however you spell it).  Fun fact, did you know the voice of the cartoon squirrel is Sonya Walger as well? (Olivia)  Aaron is there helping out with the kids, as well as Nanny Nicole who is going to answer the Benford's door for trick or treaters. 
  • Aaron convinces Mark to come out with them and get in costume.  Mark wears an eyepatch and fangs.  Did I mention Aaron was dressed up as Obi-Wan Kenobi?   Ahh that was a good time.   Pretty fitting for the philsophical best friend of Mark's as well.  Although, I think we know that Ben Kenobi was no recovering alcoholic! 

  • We got appearance number 2 of the Kangaroo!  He was just rolling (hopping) down the street in the Benford neighborhood.  I have absolutely no idea how they're going to tie this kangaroo into things but it is clearly important!
  • Of course, then we had the whole red herring chase scene when Mark saw 3 masked men dressed in black.  And it was the same masks that the gunmen he saw in his flash we wearing.   Mark chases them through a cemetary before he finally catches one.  Turns out they were a few teenagers afraid that the FBI was after them because they toilet papered a house!  (Unless that was just the kid's cover but I'm guessing not)   Mark asked where he got the mask.  He said it was at the 99 cents store.   Yep, definitely seems like a red herring.

  • Mark gets a call from Nicole and heads home.  Why?  You'll have to keep reading!

So everything came to a climax at the Benford home.  This happens to be the place where Lloyd was wandering and the address that he rambled off. 
  • Dylan just walks right into the home and goes to a cookie jar and takes out a cooke.  "This is my house too" he says.  Nicole is beside herself and doesn't know what to do.  She calls Mark. 
  • Mark arrives home and tries to talk to Dylan.   "My name is Dylan Simcoe, my favorite book his Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, my dad does magic, this is my house too"  woaaaaa  
  • We then see Dylan's flash where he is in the Benford home and he reaches into the cookie jar after Charlie (also there) tells him that "this is your house too".   We see Lloyd sitting on the couch in the background (Lloyd told us he heard Dylan there.  Now we know Charlie was there too).   Well then where was D. Gibbons?  Is it Lloyd?  Is it someone else that arrives at the end of the flash to take them away?  Or is it on the refrigerator that says "D. Gibbons is a bad man". 
  • We see Dylan read the address off of the refrigerator that he ranted off on the bus.  Then in the present day Charlie comes into the room and Dylan says "hey charlie!" and Charlie says "he dylan!" and then they both say "Toot Toot! Squirrelio!"   Woaaaaa that was creepy!  These kids just act like they know each other from running into each other in the flash.  Remember when Charlie was crying when Dylan was in the hospital?  So these kids, if not all kids, seem to be affected differently by the flash.  
  • Then the fireworks happen.  Lloyd shows up, and Mark welcomes him in not knowing who he is yet.  Lloyd slowly begins to recognize the house from his flash.  Then Olivia rolls in yelling "Trick or Treeaaa...." oh boy...what is Lloyd doing in my house?    Mark and Lloyd put the pieces together that Olivia already knew. 
  • Lloyd suddenly realizes why Olivia had been so distant from Lloyd at the hospital.   Mark clearly is agitated and informs Lloyd that nothing is going to happen.  He kicks Lloyd out.  Lloyd was calmly trying to make sense of the whole situation and seemed agitated by Mark although he still extended his hand which Mark shook.    Lloyd then says goodnight to Olivia and he and Dylan leave.  Woaaa, that scene was just intense, right?
  • Mark then starts bullying Olivia.  "I can see why you like him, he's very charming".  He starts asking how his son found his way here.  He called the hospital and found out Dylan was still Olivia's patient even though Olivia told him that she got him moved off.  Then he gets all high and mighty about honesty.  And then Olivia brings up the "are you being honest with me?" card.   Mark reluctantly comes clean about being drunk in his Flash.   And then the contradiction begins.  Mark is mad at Olivia for something that hasn't happened. But Olivia is seeing the signs now of Mark's alcoholism returning which she has already dealt with, and she is not ready to deal with it again.   As I had mentioned before, Mark's apprehension of Olivia's future with another man could drive him to start drinking.  That's the way it is looking now.  But can it be avoided?    We're not sure, but it looks like Olivia is close to her breaking point of leaving Mark if she isn't there already. 
  • Lloyd and Dylan return to the hospital.  Dylan was happy that tomorrow wouldn't be Halloween again because today was kind of scary.  He then thanks his dad for coming to get him. awwwww 
  • Then we get the montage to "Across the Universe".  Mark is alone in the kitchen, Olivia is alone on the stairs, Demetri is in his cube investigating the Blue Hand, Gough is looking into Ruitherford, Stan is with Janis in the hospital, Charlie is with Squirrelio in bed, Dylan is in bed and Lloyd is getting into his car and
  • DR. FRANKENSTEIN'S MONSTER is in the backseat!  Naaaa, it's just Simon.  Simon tells Lloyd that "we are ALL worried about you".  Hmm, We? All?  Sounds like a shady group of people I'd like to know more about.  Apparently Lloyd fled wherever Simon came from after the blackout.  And then he explains why.  "Our experiment killed 20 million people, what else is there to say?"  ........Um, I can think of a few things!

Their EXPERIMENT?  What is this experiment they're talking about? What were they TRYING to do witht he experiment?  Was the blackout an accident?  Clearly Lloyd is not happy with the way things turned out.  Is he a Physicist too like Simon?  Are Simon and Lloyd related to the Blue Hand Group or maybe they are part of Red Panda?   Or is there some other group of scientists involved?   Does Simon's knowledge of Schrodinger's Cat and dual realities hold any weight with the "experiment" that they conducted?   Yes, Lloyd there is LOTS more to say!

But for now, I think we've said enough.  I can't believe I actually retyped everything I lost!  Hopefully, it's worth reading!  Sorry again for the lack of pictures.  There just isn't a ton of resources for FlashForward like there is for LOST, yet.   But we'll get there!  I have read that next week's episode is a pretty pivotal episode and one worth tuning into.  Here's hoping it's the landmark one we've been waiting for!  (don't forget, potential World Series game 7 next Thursday so I'm not sure when I would get to the blog in that scenario!)

Keep up the great commentary that we have going every week.  What did everyone think of this episode?  Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and see you next week!

Thanks as always to The ODI for posting screenshots from the episode! 

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Friday, October 23, 2009

FlashForward: Season 1 Episode 5 - Gimme Some Truth

Hello Washington D.C. and welcome to FlashForward!   And of course, welcome all of you fine readers back to the FlashForward Addicts "in training" blog!   I welcome the capital of the United States to the show because, up until now we have been dealing with the investigation into the blackouts solely from a Los Angeles FBI branch, which some people were starting to wonder why the whole world were pinning their hopes on this one group to figure things out.   This episode definitely broadened the scope of things.  Sure, the scope is still a worldwide blackout, but at least now we see more people are trying to do things about it.  And to say things got more things got complicated and a whole lot more interesting is an understatement!  You can point back to particular moments in the past 4 episodes that stood out above the rest as key moments.  I have to say this episode had my attention from start to finish.   While I'm still waiting for my world to be turned upside down, the show is definitely paving a path towards some exciting things!

The episode essentially covers 3 stories during the episode.  Primarily Stan Wedeck, Mark Benford, Demetri Noh and Agent Vreede are in Washington attempting to sell their MOSAIC Investigation to a Senate Committee to avoid losing their funding.  Janis Hawk, meanwhile, holds the fort down in L.A. as well as unveils some of her personal life to us.   On the Benford homefront, Olivia spends some time catching up with Aaron Stark on her husband's stress level amongst other things.  Let's dive in and discuss!

Disclaimer: I was unable to find any screenshots from Last night's episode. Once I am able to find some, I will go back and add them to the post (and of course, give credit to whoever's site I "borrow" them from!).  10/27 Update: Thanks again to The ODI for posting some screenshots!  Hopefully soon I will have the technology myself to do this!   

The episode is told in the classic style of putting us right in the midst of a situation without knowing how they got there.  It's 1 am in D.C. Mark tries to convince Stan that the details from his flash that he DOES remember he remembers them clearly.  Stan tells Mark to not tell anyone else or he'll be D.O.A.  Mark is on the phone with someone telling that person that Wedeck may have swung something in their favor.  Their car arrives, they get in and oh boy an SUV is coming right towards Mark, Stan, Demetri and Vreede's car.  SLAM!   Then what look to be men of Asian descent all have guns pointed at the car and one man fires a rocket and there's an explosion.    HUH?

Cut to 39 Hours Earlier

(ohhh ok!) - And yes, now spend the entire episode catching up to that moment and filling in the blanks.  I wanted to point out that the men in that scene were Asian, because there were several blatant references to the Chinese and China in this episode, that they're either trying to throw us a red herring or they were trying to beat something into our heads!

Aaron and Olivia

  • While Mark is in D.C. he calls Aaron to have their daily discussion.  Aaron is working on the Benford house fixing their Alarm system, fixing the garage door that Mark fixed on Blackout Day (10/6).  Mark talks about the pressure to prove to the Senate that the MOSAIC investigation  is worth funding is stressing him out. Aaron, as Mark's sponsor, recommends Mark finds an AA meeting while he's in D.C.   Olivia just happened to be walking outside and overhears the conversation.
  • Later on Olivia is talking to Aaron and asks him to program hers and Mark's anniversary as the code 0312 (note, March 12th will be 3 days before Demetri's supposed shooting.  Anyone putting a timeline together out there?)  
  • Olivia mentions she overheard them talking about going to AA meetings and is worried about Mark.   Olivia also finds out that Aaron knows about her flash of being with another man.  She is very worried that fear of Olivia being unfaithful will drive him to drinking.  Well that and the fact that he needs his vision to come true for work but doesn't want his future to come true at home.
  • Aaron finds himself in a sticky situation because he knows Mark is drinking in the flash but he never told Olivia.   He mentions that if she can't trust Mark then who CAN she trust?   I guess he didn't feel it was his place to tell Olivia.
  • Or did he?  We'll get to the rest in our "GAME CHANGERS" section below. 

So How Does Janis Get Pregnant?
Off-Duty Janis

  • Janis apparently takes Karate.  We see her whooping up on some dude that seemed to be shaping up to be a love interest for her.  He even asked her out on a date to go see "Enter the Dragon."   While she rejected him nicely, in the next scene at the office we see her smiling at a text and assume it's from him.  
  • No such luck, next scene we see her with Theresa from the O.C.!   Or you may know her as Melanie from the first season of 24.  We here will know her as Maya, Janis's lesbian lover for at least one episode!   I'm sure I should have seen this coming considering it would make her "how does she get pregnant" storyline ever MORE complex!   But, I really didn't even consider it. 
  • We find out in Maya's FlashForward she sees herself wearing a wedding ring.  This doesn't allow Janis to let her guard down and tell her she was pregnant though.  They get all into their dirty talking and end up spending the night together at Janis's place.  Things look to be getting all lovey dovey.   Janis tells her to stay and make herself at home.  Janis complains about her alarm clock.   Maya invites her to some art thing at a gallery. 
  • So after work Janis does go to the art gallery and Maya went ahead and made things pretty weird!  First she buys her a new alarm clock with wheels that talks!  awww    But she also did the creepiest thing I could think of.  Janis would've been fine with her going through her stuff.   But no, she "MOSAIC'D" her!  Yep, she found out that Janis is pregnant in her future vision which led her to ask if she's into men too.   (not since high school Janis states. hmmmm)     Maya tries to defend herself and say that maybe it will be THEIR baby but Janis finds it way too weird and gives Maya the heave ho! 
  • Okay, so let's ask it.  In what scenarios COULD Janis get pregnant since she likes women and has no interest in men?  We did see a hint of a smile at Karate boy.   There is Bryce with his drawing of a woman that might look like Janis.....OH SNAP, I think I figured it out! (yep, "eureeka!" moment in mid-typing.  Those are the best!)    Let's say Janis gets shot in the stomach and is bleeding out, and then an ambulance picks her up...takes her to a hospital where a surgeon has drawn a picture of a woman he has only seen in his flashforward comes in with a gunshot wound.   He knows that she is the father of his eventual child, so he KNOWS he will save her and then Janis somehow takes a liking to him.   WOA...that was like Chandler figuring out the path of Ross and the Copy girl back to Rachel!     man, now we just need Janis to get shot!  Can anyone from China help us?   (check out Game Changers section) 
On-Duty Janis

  • At work Agent Al Gough finally cracked into the CIA with his hacker buddy "Mr. Cheeto Dust"  and got information on Somalia from the 90's.   Janis thinks this information will be helpful for the boys in Washington and wants to know if there's any more information on the dead crows and if people were unconscious.  Well, I thought that screen we saw from a couple episodes ago DID mention people had lost consciousness, but whatever!  
  • The next day, Janis checked in with the Gough and some other girl to see if they had found anything in the satellite images of Somalia.  They stumble upon an asphalt road and nearby there are 5 pylons in a star formation around a secluded area of Somalia.  Construction began 5 months before the 1991 "Crow" incident we witnessed.  And the analysis showed that they were probably up to 100 feet tall when the incident happened.   Probably the same tower we saw in Episode 3 right?  This one: 

  • The information is shared with Mark, Demetri and Vreede.  Mark thinks this discovery will cut some red tape and allow them to investigate in Somalia.  
  • Okay, so if this "proto-blackout" (as Mark called it) was caused in the radius of these pylons, how on EARTH, pun intended, did they get the whole world to black out?    My wife threw out a good suggestion.  How about Cell Phone towers?  They're everywhere and started getting put up everywhere in the 90's right?   I'll take it one step further, didn't everyone's cell phone not work in the Pilot episode right after the blackout?   Sure, we blamed it on mass chaos and lots of simultaneous phone call attempts.  But what if the towers were being used for another purpose?  What if D. Gibbons was performing some kind of Hack with his computer operation in Utah?  Well, I'm sure it wasn't just one computer in Utah. Man, did I actually have 2 good theories in one blog posting?   I'm on a roll!  (Props to Shanna V. for the tip!)  

Washington D.C.

Pre-Senate Hearing Lie Detector Test

  • Agent Vreede is annoyed being woken up early in the morning prior to the senate hearing to be brought in for a lie detector test.  He calls it a Chinese Fire drill to Demetri.  Chinese reference #2.
  • Demetri is summoned in and he said that he already told them he didn't see anything.  They still bring him in to make sure he was telling the truth. 
  • Not sure if we knew yet but Mark has been sober for 7 years and he was looking at his chip prior to be summoned in himself. 
  • Mark's lie detector test: He was alone and working late, he saw 2 men and they were wearing masks.  They still asked if he recognized them which fired up Mark!  
  • Vreede's lie detector test:  He was alone, working late and was leaving for night. He took the security exit and didn't see anyone else.   Hmmm why was he taking the security exit? 

Stanford Wedeck's Past in D.C.
As we noted above, Stan and crew are in town to preserve funding for the MOSAIC Investigation.  We learn that Stan has some history living in D.C. as we see him going around attempting to pull some strings.

  • Long story short, Stan has an "in" with the current President of the United States - Dave.  We see them playing basketball earlier and Stan was asking Dave for a big dog in his corner.  We learn that both of them seem to have some kind of sketchy past and that Wedeck is not too friendly with Clemente (the senator in charge of the hearing)   It isn't until Dave takes the podium at a press conference that we realize Dave is the President of the US.  

  • Did anyone notice the Press Secretary (actor Frank John Hughes) that introduced the President?  I just thought it was ironic because the last time I saw him working was in the White House for the President on 24 last season!   Crazy.  
  • The President addresses the media about how they're handing the fallout from the Blackout/Flashforwards.  They're redirecting fundings to programs that ARE worthwhile.   Someone asks why he isn't sharing what he saw in the FlashForward.   Apparently, leaders around the world are not revealing what they saw for security purposes.  But we did see that the President was in bed with a woman (most likely his wife?) and woken up by a secret service agent who says "something has happened".   The only thing I can note at this point is that it looks like he's still alive on April 29th 2010 at the beginning of his 2 minute and 17 second Flash.   More on this in a bit. 

  • Wedeck and the President meet in the Oval Office afterwards.  We find out that Stan was supposed to be a member of Dave's cabinet but that he couldn't work it out in the end.  Wedeck played the "you owe me card" and while he wanted the MOSAIC funding to continue, Dave had other plans in mind.  He wanted to appoint Stan to Director of Homeland Security.  He is given time to think it over. 
The Hearing

We go to the Capitol, which looks to be damage from the blackout.  The Senate Intelligence Committee Hearing are in session.

  • There are several other programs trying to sell their approach to dealing with the Flash Forwards.   We go through several senate committee's.  One was investigating some kind of crazy pharmaceuticals in the water supply but it was ruled out.  Another group investigating Alien Attacks and still believe it.  The one that got the most attention though was that (3rd mention) China was behind it.  The theory was absurd though.  China did not suffer many casualties because it was 2am during the blackout and most people were sleeping.  America suffered the most.  They believe that it was a targeted event to bring down the U.S. government.   While it sounds absurd, we cannot rule out that China was mentioned so many times in this episode and that the gunmen hunting down the MOSAIC crew were possibly Chinese!   I'm not saying they were trying to cripple the U.S. but what's the connection, if any, here?  stay tuned. 
  • Outside during a recess, Stanford is on the phone with his wife offering encouraging words.  Senator Clemente comes over and is, as formerly mentioned, an apparent nemesis of Wedeck's.  She is under some assumption that Stan had some kind of affair with a woman and that it would have been useful material in her campaign for President.  (I guess she went up against Dave?)    She is not a believer that the flashes show the future.  She thinks the MOSAIC investigation is a joke and is determined to make fools of them.   She mentions that her flash had her as President in 6 months' time.  Now while we do see progress by the end of this episode indicating that this could happen.  I think this is a good time to bring up again that the current President was still alive in his flash?   So what's up with that?   Was he not going to be 2 minutes and 17 seconds later?    On the other hand, if we go with the whole "types of flashes" theory, here is another person who has not gotten what they wanted in life, but has seen a flash of the future where they are on top of the world.  Interesting right?  

  • Back in the hearing Stan and Clemente go toe to toe.  Stan mentions how his team is gaining information from the flashes themselves.  Clemente jumps in that it was done without approval and attacks Stan's character.  They talk about Mark who had a flash that he was investigating leads that they won't have for another 6 months and that it has led to significant breaks in the case.  While Wedeck tried to prevent bringing Mark to the stand, it was inevitable.  Wedeck advises Mark to tell the truth since it got them this far. 
  • Mark starts going through his vision and the progress they made with Crow attrition.  He mentioned that he was running point on the investigation and had a wall full of leads.   He mentioned there were men after him presumably because of what they'll accomplish.  He mentions that he was on the phone but didn't know who he was talking to.   Clemente then pinpoints the one flaw of Mark's story which we really haven't discussed up to this point.  Everyone's flashes recount their entire 2 minutes and 17 seconds while Mark only remembers distinct images.   We know that Mark was impaired during his Flash, but there's no way he could tell the senate that!  Clemente gets on a roll making MOSAIC look like a ridiculous investigation.  Stanford storms out.  
  • After the session, Demetri agrees that it does sound crazy when you talk about Dead Birds, D. Gibbons and everything they have found.  Mark retorts with (4th mention) China and asking how ridiculous that idea was too.  
Stanford Saves the Day
  • When Wedeck left the Capitol, he called Janis to do him a favor.   Long story short, he dug up dirt on the President and blackmailed him into not closing the MOSAIC Investigation.   They searched the MOSAIC website for information on a woman, Renee, that Dave has an illegitimate child with.  She is living right there in Georgetown but will apparently be living in Puerto Rico 6 months from then in her flash.  This must be the woman Clemente was talking about and why it would have been helpful in the campaign.  But what did she think Wedeck did to the woman?   I guess he was involved with the campaign and helped sweep it under the carpet.   He also seemed to have some kind of bond with Renee and the child as he visited them too.  It must be where he got the picture of Renee, child and Dave.    Dave reminds Stan that he can only play this card once.  Stan takes the deal. 
  • The President makes a call and says that he has a problem he needs to be dealt with.  It sounded like he was going to turn the tables on Stan, which maybe he kind of did.   We'll talk about in a second. 

  • We find out that Agent Vreede and Demetri are lousy singers but their choice in music is unmatched!  We get a little "Sister Christian" and some "Like a Rolling Stone" during the night's festivities.  Mark tried to get Demetri to slow down his drinking.  But Demetri is in the "live in the now" phase of his "I'm gonna die in a few months" process.   I should also say Mark gets strikes against him for not being a fan of Karaoke!
  • Stan arrives and has words with Mark.  They are both mad at each other.  Mark eventually comes clean that he was "loaded" during his flash.   Stan is concerned because he has staked his whole career on Mark's flashes because he believes in him.   Oh boy.   He decides to keep it under wraps when Demetri and Vreede show up and turn it into a celebration that they saved the investigation.
  • They then leave the bar and we're back in the scene we started with.   Stan tells Mark not to tell anyone else (that he was loaded in the flash). 
  • They see a news report that Clemente was nominated by the President to fill in the Vice President's newly vacant seat.  (the VP was killed in the Blackouts).  That gets her one step closer to the President's seat.  But again, why does she see herself as President in her Flash if Dave still is president in his?   Will the "Something has happened" from Dave's flash be related to this?   So was this the the "problem" resolution that the President came up with in response to Stan's threat?  He makes Stan's nemesis the VP?   "Everything is a trade-off" Stan says.  Sounds about right then. 
  • We see the other end of Mark's phone call and it was to Janis explaining how they saved the investigation.  
  • They get in the car and....
We're finally there folks!

Game Changers

Olivia's Text

  • Olivia is at home trying to activate the alarm system.  #2312  not working.  She gets out her phone to text Aaron and she receives an anonymous text message from a blocked phone.  It simply says "Mark was drinking in his flash forward".  Oh boy!!  
  • So who sent the text?   The obvious choices are Aaron or Stanford since they're the only 2 that supposedly know.   Of course, anyone within shouting distance could  have heard Mark bring it up at the bar to Stan too.  But I guess option 4 could be someone who PLANTED these images into Mark's head in the first place and is operating one large conspiracy and the text to Olivia was the next step in drawing her closer to Lloyd Simcoe.   Eh I think crazy things sometimes!    

The showdown in D.C.

  • Just as we saw in the beginning of the episode, the SUV slams into the car with Stan, Mark, Dem and Vreede in it.  The rocket launcher fires into the car.   We see the 4 of them jump out of the vehicle on the other side.  

  • And to the tune of "Like a Rolling Stone" we get a nice gunfight.  Some Asian organization (Chinese?) fighting against the MOSAIC Investigation?  What does it all mean?  Is China really behind the blackouts?  Were they doing experimentation in the 90's in Somalia?   Where do Simon and D. Gibbons and Suspect Zero (maybe one of the two mentioned) fall into this?
  • For now, one of the threats got shot and some manage to escape.   And that is all we see of this for now. 

Janis's Shooting

  • Except that on Janis's end she is walking with the groceries, sees a baby in a stroller and receives the call from Mark.  
  • Just as she hears the shooting in D.C. she has her own band of Chinese fighters to deal with!  She shows off some of her Karate skills but a man comes out of nowhere and shoots her in the stomach.  Woaaaaa it's like someone was listening to me up above!  Bryce to the rescue anyone??
  • Janis manages to kill the 2 men that were after her.   Well, she shot one in the shoulder, not sure if we saw him again.  But then we see her laying on the ground, bleeding out.  We see more of her flash of the ultrasound where she finds out the baby is a girl and begins to cry.   

  • She has to survive right?  That would really throw a wrench into things if she didn't!  But at this early in the season it would be too soon to be showing cards that the flashes don't come true.   I really like my theory that she gets rushed into the hospital and forms a bond with Bryce.   It's perfect!   Let's see if it happens.      

But that's the end of the episode folks!  I really liked this one.  It definitely expanded the universe a little bit more for the show.  It got us out of this "follow a lead from Mark's flash and see where it goes" formula which was refreshing.  And it brought a whole new level of complexity.   This might be the episode I was looking for to turn things upside down.  But I think it's more of a large stepping stone in that direction.   I think things are going to get much more interesting!

Previews for next week look good.  I don't want to spoil much for those who don't like to watch.  But it does look like we may see Simon again!   And this is where I need to bring up a disclaimer.  The local Philadelphia Phillies have made the world series and are going for a 2nd straight World Series Championship starting next week.  There just happens to be games scheduled on the following 2 Thursdays (the 2nd being a Game 7 scenario!).   Just giving you a heads up that I will most likely be watching those games with FlashForward taking priority B.   So if you don't see the blog postings up right away, have no fear.  I'll get to them soon enough!   I'm sure any local readers will be in the same predicament!   GO PHILLIES!

And with that, I bid you adieu.  As always, I love to hear your thoughts and discussions on the episodes, so please start the commenting below!  And also as always, I will see you next week!

Thanks as always to The ODI for posting screenshots from the episode! 

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Friday, October 16, 2009

FlashForward: Season 1 Episode 4 - Black Swan

Hello all of you leather pants wearing fearless dancers of the world and welcome to yet another recap here on the FlashForward "almost" Addicts blog!  Well, Lord of the Rings and LOST fans have been patiently waiting for a certain character to show up on this new serial drama, and he sure showed up in a big way didn't he?   We'll get to it a bit later.  For now let's discuss our reaction to this new installment of FlashForward.  Pretty good yet again wasn't it?  It was a solid outing that advanced the story lines of some of the key characters who are heading towards a "potentially" defined outcome. Once again we had a struggle of the Believers vs. Not-Want to Believers in this episode and then ended with a crazy cliffhanging moment.

This week continued to focus on Demetri's coping of his supposed March 15th expiration date.  Olivia and Bryce have a new patient at the hospital with an interesting outlook on life.  Meanwhile, Olivia has a few more run-ins with Lloyd Simcoe - her supposed future lover!  And we get a little more information about why the Benford's nanny Nicole went MIA after the flash.  Let's dive in!

Date: October 20th, 2009

MOSAIC Investigation
Basically by the end of this episode, we feel like we pushed the pause button on the MOSAIC Investigation.  Demetri leads Mark to what seems like a dead end, and the Mark decides to grow a pair and follow up on a hunch from last week by the end of the episode.  But, even when it seems like nothing happens, there are still moments to discuss!

Demetri and Zoey Discussion

  • Zoey, in the midst of wedding planning, seems to be digging for information for a story from Demetri.  Looks like Zoey is a journalist or news reporter of some kind.  She was asking about Alda, the terrorist that Mark and Demetri were chasing in the first episode (prior to the blackout).
    Thanks commenter MIB815 for pointing out that Zoey is a Defense Attorney!
  • Basically, Zoey convinces Demetri that if "Bin Laden in Prada" has anything to do with the blackouts, they should be drilling her for info.  

Mark and Stan Wedeck Discussion

  • Mark tried to get the green light to follow up on the 1991 Dead Crows lead in Somalia.  Chief Wedeck was very reluctant to send Mark on another wild goose chase across the country, claiming that all they got from the trip to Germany was a story about dead birds.   Hmmm, really?  I could've sworn that report said that PEOPLE were unconscious too in 1991.   I guess it was all a writer's excuse to hold that storyline off for an episode!  
  • Apparently the CIA is giving the FBI the runaround on providing access to their files on the Somalia incident. Hmmm, that's interesting isn't it?  Could the government possibly be involved in this worldwide catastrophe?  
  • Mark briefly mentions to Agent Gough about a computer hacker they had recently caught that would love the opportunity to hack into the CIA mainframe.  Gough quickly convinces Mark that this is illegal and not a good idea.

Alda's Lead

  • Demetri attempts to get information on the blackouts from Alda.  She claims she was not involved and that they need to talk to her associates (who all died in the blackout).  Does that mean they ARE involved?   
  • Alda sells Demetri by telling him he's running out of time, which seemed to imply that maybe she was involved and had information on Demetri's fate.  Later we find out Alda had overheard that Demetri didn't see anything in his flash forward so she seemed to be messing with Demetri's head.   
  • She does give up a clue "Custom Choice Restaurant Group" that leads Mark and Demetri on a Wedeck approved mission since it is a "legit" lead on a known terrorist.  
  • Dem and Mark head to Indio, California to what seems to be a regular old Burger joint.  Once the cook gets wind that the FBI are there, he bolts out of the place with his backpack.   Crazy chase scene ensues ending in a trailer park where they find out that he is a drug dealer with his own special brand of weed called Yellow Cake.  The guy they caught is a total classy guy complete with PIMP Chain.

  • The man said that in his flash he was rolling with 19 inch rims so he thinks he becomes the Scarface of Pot!  
  • When he told them that you can't fight Fate, Demetri went off the deep end and started beating on the man.   This leads to a brawl between Demetri and Mark.  Mark is fed up with Demetri being all depressed (I think we all are Mark!).  Demetri informs Mark about his supposed murder on March 15th and the anonymous caller.   Mark clues Demetri into his plan of learning as much as they can to PREVENT the future from happening.  He vows to help Demetri solve his murder before it happens so that they can stop it from happening.  Okay, now we're getting somewhere!   He said you can't live in fear. In his flash he saw gunmen coming after him. But he's choosing to fight to make it not happen.   Let's hope Demetri gets out of his funk now! 

Mark vs. Alda

  • Mark attempts to interrogate Alda which is where we found out she didn't have any more information on Demetri than anyone else in the FBI had.   But he asks her about Somalia, Detroit, Utah (the 3 different towns featured in the previous 3 episodes).   Alda still claims to not be involved but she still eggs Mark on with telling him that the question he needs to be asking is "Why?". 
  • She then gets into the Black Swan metaphor.  I hate to do this again, but anyone that watches LOST will likely see another tie in here with the Swan Station, the DHARMA Crew wearing Black Swan Station outfits in season 5, the endless motiff of Black and White, and of course the Black Rock. I have no theories on this, but I didn't want to upset anyone by NOT mentioning it!
  • Black Swan events are high impact events that no one can predict (e.g. September 11th, or a massive worldwide blackout where everyone gets a glimpse of the future).  Its origin dates back to the 1700's where scientists believe that all swans were white, and alas they were wrong.   Fascinating! 
  • She then begins to speak of a Sufi Parable in Russian about a boy and a lit candle. (10/19 Thanks Commenter M for pointing out that the she was probably speaking Arabic which makes sense since Sufism refers to the mystical dimension of Islam!) The old man asks where the light comes from and the boy blows out the candle and says "if you tell me where this light went I will tell you where it comes from."   I'm sure there are tons of ways to look into that statement and compare it to the show and the meaning of life and what not. But for not I'm just gonna throw it up here and allow it to be analyzed and digested by you fellow readers! 
  • What Alda was getting to was that she has worked for dangerous people willing to sacrifice their lives for ideology.  She doesn't think Mark has the stones to do whatever is necessary to get tot he truth.  This inspires him to "get out of the dark" and tell Agent Gough to look up their Hacker buddy "Cheetah Dust" or "Cheeto Dust".   They're going to hack into the CIA Mainframe.  Stay tuned for next week! 
  • So what do we think?  Is Alda a shady character?  She seems to know how to push these guys' buttons and get them to do things.  But is it for her personal amusement or is there something larger at stake here?  I'm undecided.  But she does seem to be of value still.   
  • Note: They made a point of showing us the Kangaroo again from the October 6th blackout.  We have been told this will play an integral part of the show.   So, I thought I'd just bring it up again!  

  • Sidenote: Haven't heard much about Red Panda lately, but we know that is still out there!
  • One more thing that happened during the MOSAIC scenes.  We catch a glimpse of Agent Gough searching for "Celia" on the MOSAIC site.  He puts his head in his hands before he gets interrupted.   Not much to go on right now, but we know he was in London on business during his flash and not with a Celia.   So what's that all about? 

The Return of the Nanny
So everyone's favorite nanny returned in this episode.  We follow her through her slow unveiling of what she saw in her flash.

  • Before Mark and Olivia reveal to Charlie that Nicole will be returning, Joseph Fiennes gets to show off his "English actor playing an American imitating an Englishman" acting skills.  Mark stars as "Eggbert" the talking egg in making Charlie breakfast.  Ahhh good times.  I have to say though, in the battle of English actors playing Americans, Sonya Walger (Olivia) is knocking it out of the park!  
  • This is another chance to show Mark and Olivia still being affectionate towards one another.  We can only assume that this is going to get progressively worse during the season as they fight to avoid their supposed fate.
  • Meanwhile we find out that Nicole and Aaron Stark have a connection.  Apparently, Aaron is the man that recommended Nicole to the Benfords as a nanny for Charlie.  Aaron's daughter Tracy just happened to have been Nicole's nanny back in the day.   This was another chance for Aaron to show that he is one of the resident Men of Faith on the show by saying that everything they saw "they saw for a reason".  

  • Sidenote:  In case anyone didn't read the comments from last episode's blog posting, I had read and discussed several theories around Tracy.  In Aaron's flash, we apparently only see a face and maybe one hand.   There is a chance that whatever remains were sent back to the United States were only PART of Aaron and Katie's daughter.   Could we perhaps be running into Tracy with no legs in a wheelchair at some point this season?  Something to ponder!

  • Back to Nicole, before she heads to the Benford house, she goes to talk to a cricket loving priest!  Apparently, she has a church-going sister that looks just like her named Paige.    Nicole wants to repent for things from her flash that haven't happened yet.  She wants to volunteer to do things for the church.   Apparently the Church is loaded up with volunteers due to the fallout from the massive tragic event of the blackout.  But when she started questioning if God was punishing her for something, the priest gets her in contact with the volunteer lady, Audrey Ridgeway.  I guess we'll be meeting her in the future! 
  • Bonus points for anyone who spotted the Jesus T-shirt that said "Jesus is my EpiscoPAL"   Ahhh good times.  
  • When Mark returns home at night, he has a little chat with Nicole.  Nicole feels bad for disappearing for awhile and was wondering why they didn't fire her.  The Benfords seem to consider Nicole as one of the family.  This allows Nicole to open up about her flash.  She saw herself drowning and feeling like she deserved it.  We got a glimpse of the man's face.  I thought he looked like Jerome Murphy from last week's episode but we already know he's supposed to be in Customs letting Geyer into the United States.  So that doesn't make sense.  Could this be the "bad man" D. Gibbons?  Could Charlie be witnessing it?   Could Nicole feel like she deserves being drowned because she swore to protect Charlie and she failed?   Could the man be the mysterious Simon that we just met at the end of this episode?  Doesn't really look like him, but you never know! 

  • Mark tells Nicole that they're going to fight the future in so many words and that it "wasn't her" in the flashes.  He's going to have an FBI agent talk to her.  Perhaps they'll try to do a profile of the man she saw in the flash?  
  • The night ended in a glorious feast of BRINNER with Mark, Charlie and Nicole!  (Thank you J.D. and Turk from Scrubs for creating the perfect word for Breakfast at dinner!) 

Ned Ned and Hospital Drama  

Ned Ned
The episode opens up with a "14 Days Ago" text, hence how I did the highly complex math and came up with the current date being October 20th!  We get to see another shot of the blackout affecting the masses in Los Angeles.  Everyone is going about their normal day in a park and then bam, everyone falls over.   They did this whole scene to a very odd and upbeat tune.   There is a bus full of people that drives directly into a body of water.  Everyone is unconscious and drowning.  2 minutes and 17 seconds later, a man wakes up with his head above water and full of confidence.  He helps rescue a woman from the sinking bus.   14 days later we see him show up in Olivia and Bryce's hospital.

  • The guy's last name is Ned, and is first name is Edward but his friends call him Ned.  So, yes, he confirms his name is Ned Ned.  Now I knew I recognized this actor from other things so I went ahead and looked him up.  You might remember him as the creepy son that "takes a liking to" Vince Vaughn's character in Wedding Crashers (drew that nice painting of him).   Or, if you REALLY have a good memory, you might recall him as the guy that knocked up Claire on LOST with Aaron! Yep, that's him! (huh...funny...he was an artist on LOST too) 
  • So Ned said he didn't need a doctor for 2 weeks since the flash, but needed one now for the pains he has been having since the crash.  He thought he bruised his spleen.   He is a very chipper guy and made a joke about morphine being "More Fine" because that's how he's feeling for the first time since the crash.  This eventually led Bryce to ask about his flash.  
  • Ned brought up how he was wearing leather pants which he never does and he was dancing in a club with all of the confidence in the world.  He also brought up that his skin changed color and that he assumed he was African American.   But, again like Bryce, Ned seemed to be in a depressing place prior to the flash but when he saw his future he was confident and on top of the world.  (if you think wearing leather pants puts you on top of the world that is!)  This goes again with my "different types of flashes based on your current status" theory. 

  • Ned seemed to have a whole new outlook on life, hence the heroic saving of the woman in the bus crash.  
  • Bryce and Olivia get into a heated debate in this episode about using FlashForwards to help with a diagnosis.  Olivia is mainly trying to write off the accuracy of them because she does not want to believe her flash of being with another man (Lloyd Simcoe).   She instead tries to change the subject to Bryce needing to go to therapy for his attempted suicide.   Bryce eventually tells her he doesn't need therapy because the future changed him. 
  • Bryce eventually diagnoses that Ned has Addison's Disease which causes skin discoloration.  Olivia had already prepped Ned for surgery based on some crazy CT Scan results.  Bryce recommends a shot of hydro cortisone or else Ned will die in the surgery.  Olivia refuses to treat a patient based on the FlashForward. 
  • In surgery, Ned begins to code, Olivia tries everything then takes a breath and mentions that he has Addison's Disease and calls in a shot of hydro cortisone.   Naturally, it worked.  So once again, someone's flashforward revealed accurate information.  So, even if the future wil be somehow prevented, like Mark said they are still able to gain information from these flashes to help them.  
  • Ned, a believer like Bryce, said he was never worried because he was alive in his flash.  Bryce informs Ned that the future saved him too.  

Lloyd's run-ins with Olivia and Bryce
Throughout the episode, we see Lloyd interacting with these 2 characters as his son Dylan is still in the hospital.

  • Olivia continues to remain distant to Lloyd, afraid of making any connection with him.   Lloyd continues to be persistent to get advice on his son.  Olivia tries to get Dylan transferred but the Chief reverses the request.  So as much as Olivia tries to get them out of her life, she can't seem to do it. 
  • Lloyd asked for advice on ways to connect with his son.  We find out he has the keys to his wife and Dylan's house.  Olivia recommends him leaving the hospital, probably for selfish reasons, and to spend time in Dylan's room to get to know him.  
  • Lloyd does take Olivia up on this.  While the are pictures around the house with Dylan and both of his parents, there is a drawing that he made that is labeled "My Family" and only shows him and his mother.   This seemed to impact Lloyd but I could be just looking into things!

  • We also see Star Wars Clone Wars bedding and a book of magic which eventually Lloyd uses to try and bond with his kid.  Olivia, seeming to lighten up a little bit, watches on from the doorway.  uh oh! I see a crack in the armor! 
  • Lloyd runs into Bryce as well.  Bryce left a sketch of a woman in Dylan's room.  He mentions that it is someone that he hasn't met yet or something like that.  Do we think we recognize this woman?  I have read musings that Janis's "un-conceived" child's father could be Bryce!   If Bryce knew he was going to be in a happy relationship and would be an almost father in his future, that might give him something to live for.   But does that sketch look like Janis?  I'm not sure.   But clearly we should be on the lookout for this woman!   

  • After seeing a news report about a postal worker's flash of a cop that will save his life, Bryce asks Lloyd the new "how's the weather" conversation piece:  "What did you see?"   Lloyd's story seems to resemble Olivia's.  He got a call from someone but wasn't sure who.  Here's the kicker...he knew Dylan was nearby and we could hear him laughing.  This might explain how Dylan knew Olivia.  But it still doesn't explain Olivia not seeing Dylan.  Unless, she has a repressed memory of the future!   Anyway, Lloyd said that there was a woman who called to him and he knew they were together.  When he turned to look at her he woke up.  So, this pretty much confirms that Lloyd doesn't know Olivia is her eventual suitor, right?   Well, one would think until the bombshell at the end!   
  • After Lloyd was doing magic tricks with his son, he was headed out to get Dylan some food.  His phone began to ring.  He sees that it is SIMON. (anyone that has been anticipating a certain actor's entry into the show, already knew who we'd be seeing next!)  Lloyd looks nervous, takes a deep breath and picks up the phone.   

  • Lloyd told Simon that he can't talk right now.  Simon said "Well, I'm truly sorry about that Lloyd.  But talking to me is just one of those little inconveniences you're going to have to put up with now that we're responsible for the single greatest disaster in human history."   We get a sneak peek of who Simon is.  

Aaaaaand CUT! 

Yes everyone, it's certainly Dominic Monaghan!  LOST lovers know him as Charlie, Lord of the Rings obsessees know him has Merry, and now FlashForward addicts know him as a potentially bad bad boy!  Welcome Dominic to the show!   So seeing how he made his entrance to FlashForward, it raises some interesting questions.
  • What DOES Lloyd know about the flashes?  Is he a pawn in the event?  It seemed like he hesitated to pick up when Simon called.  And Simon seemed to talk to Lloyd like they forced him to be involved.  But that's all speculation.  
  • Perhaps Lloyd had a vendetta against his ex-wife and wanted his son back?   
  • He accurately depicted his flash.  Does this mean that he may have known he was going to have a Flash before the blackout but didn't know what it would be?   Does this make him different than Suspect Zero who was walking about during the blackout? 
  • Who is Simon?  Is he the head honcho or just a foot soldier of an evil organization that caused the blackout?  Or something else?  Was he involved in the 1991 Somalia blackouts?   He probably would have been too young, right? 
  • As I mentioned before, we haven't heard much about Red Panda lately.  But could this be the start of us seeing members of the Red Panda organization?  
  • What's up with Lloyd and Simon being of UK descent?  Neither of the actors have tried to adapt their natural born accents for am American one like Sonya Walger and Joseph Fiennes.  So does the root of this organization trace back to the United Kingdom?   I guess we'll eventually see!
Lots of questions to ponder, and I see this as a good thing.  We are slowly being pulled into this new mythology and getting more intrigued with every nugget of information we get.  Now, FlashForward just needs that BIG episode that will turn the world upside down, make all of our jaws drop and hook us for the long haul.  Then, we can officially call ourselves FlashForward Addicts!

For those of you who don't know, FlashForward was picked up for the entire 1st season, so anyone who has been nervous of getting into a show of mysteries without getting any resolution, put some of your fears at ease!  It will be a busy blogging season for me in January!  I will do my best to keep up the level of effort in all 3 blogs, but I am only human!   Anyway, as always, thanks for reading the blog.  Pass it on to your friends, co-workers and family!   And let's start having another great discussion.  Let the comments begin.......NOW! See you next week!

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

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Friday, October 9, 2009

FlashForward: Season 1 Episode 3 - 137 Sekunden

Greetings crow killers!  (not feeling that label either?  Could be a season long mission to come up with a name!)  Welcome back yet again to our evolving study of the new television show known as FlashForward!  Episode 3 still left me dazzled and wanting more.  And we seem to be stumbling upon a trend that the last 4 or 5 minutes of the episode is going to unleash some groundbreaking concepts or information about the Flashes.  Does that mean everything else is filler?  Some might thing so, but we are getting hints here and there about things to come.  And of course, little details in people's flashes and their present reality have been revealed to make us ponder the true nature of these visions.   I have some crazy thoughts, and just maybe, I will share them with you!  It's time to dig in folks.

137 Sekunden.  No, not someone's address.  Not someone's name.  But duh....I'm sure anyone that Googled it found out Sekunden was German for "seconds".   Of course 137 is the number of seconds that everyone blacked out (2 minutes 17 seconds).  Our new favorite Nazi in Munich, as well as a commenter on last week's blog, gave us some other details around the number 137 to chew on later into the episode.  We'll get there!

This week's episode gave us pretty much 3 major storylines to follow.  Mark's MOSAIC Investigation led him to Munich, Germany to question a prisoner with valuable information.   Demetri reunited with his fiance' and furthered his investigation into his own "destiny".  Aaron Stark finally got some screen time in his search for the truth behind his vision of his living daughter.  And of course, as is the trend, there were some other small scenes for other characters to tie everything together.   Let's see what we can figure out!

Personal Quests for Answers
Demetri Noh
Demetri was last left talking to a woman, Nhadra Udaya across continents who told her that she was reading an intelligence briefing in her vision that said Demetri would be murdered on March 15th, 2010.  We continue his story right where it left off.

  • This woman tells Demetri that he will be shot 3 times in the chest and that he's an American FBI agent.  She also mentions that maybe now that he knows he can prevent it.  Then she hangs up. 
  • Dem tries to trace the call but unsuccessfully.  Why all the secrecy on her end?  Is she playing games with Demetri?   Demetri didn't waste time enlisting Agent Gough on trying to trace the call.  
  • Meanwhile, we meet Demetri's fiance Zoey Andata (played by Gabrielle Union).  She has been stuck in Seattle since the blackout due to planes being grounded across the globe.  She gets on a flight back to L.A. that is occupied only by a few passengers including the CEO of the airline, trying to prove it is safe to fly again.  Funny stuff!  
  • Demetri meets Zoey at the airport, she immediately wants to discuss what they both saw and mentioned that she figured they both saw the same thing.  Demetri decides to put off the flash discussion and suggests a motel, complete with a "blackout special" sign out front.   And lamest line of the week goes to Zoey who, after "reuniting" with her significant other, says "that's the 2nd time I've blacked out this week!"  or something like that.  Ouch...but of course, still earned a chuckle!  
  • Anyway, finally Zoey reveals what she saw in her flash.  She was in a wedding dress and they were in Hawaii at a place where they have been together in the past.  She says that she saw Demetri there, but WE did not get a glimpse of Demetri there.   Demetri lies and said he saw the same thing.  Zoey believes in the vision and thinks they should set their wedding date for April 29, 2010.   "D-Day"   Demetri is not a big fan! 

  • So what's going on here everyone?  Demetri saw nothing, was told by this woman that he will die on March 15th (based on her "supposed vision"), yet Zoey supposedly saw Demetri in HER vision on D-Day!   And if Zoey did see Demetri, why didn't WE see him in the vision?  I have some thoughts to these visions, but I want to wait until we discuss a few more before getting into it.  
  • Later, Demetri checks back in with Agent Gough who was unable to trace the phone call from the woman.  The results came from 2 sites at the same time.  Demetri, obsessed to find the unknown caller, wants a log of calls made that went through the 2 cell phone towers which could be in the "millions".   Stay tuned on this one!   
Aaron Stark
We all figured Aaron's storyline of finding out if his daughter is still alive was coming eventually.  Well, the search began today.  We start with him meeting up with Mark at his home and discussing what we learned of Charlie's vision last week "D. Gibbons is a bad man".  Aaron advised Mark to do whatever it takes to find the man before he can hurt his family.  He said that's what HE would do.  The world has changed, maybe the rules need to as well.   Aaron may as well have been talking about himself as he went to great lengths in this episode to confirm his daughter's status.

  • We may have already known this, but it was brought up in this episode that Aaron is a divorced man.  He catches Mark in a lie to Olivia about the phone being broken.  Olivia had just used the phone calling their Nanny (Nicole), who hasn't been to work since the flash.   Mark now is keeping the return to the booze in his flash as well as Charlie's flash information from Olivia.  This cannot end well!   (Sidenote: the cartoon Charlie was watching...did anyone notice if her stuffed squirrel was one of the characters?)
  • Sorry for getting sidetracked!  Aaron, an alcoholic, heads to Tinhorn Flats Bar to talk to the bartender, who ends up being his ex-wife Katie.  LOST and Deadwood Fans note, it's Kim Dickens!  (Aka, Cassidy - friend of Kate's, and Baby Mama to Sawyer's kid Clementine)   Aaron tells Katie of his vision of their daughter.  That she was alive and that he wanted Katie to sign an affidavit to exhume her remains and identify the body.   Katie flips out.  She brings up that her vision was her doing her mundane job at the bar.  Same thing as always, same regulars in the bar.    She sarcastically said that maybe Aaron was in "heaven" or that he saw wishful thinking.   This is kind of in-line with one of the theories I'm brewing that will probably end up being totally wrong!   But let's wait a little while longer! 
  • Aaron swears that he's going to find their daughter.  Katie wants nothing to do with him and refuses to sign anything.   Aaron goes through Mark using the whole "if it was Charlie you know you'd do it" angle.  He also, to all doubters that didn't see any John Locke in him, told Mark that this was a "Leap of Faith"!  Oh yes, this is a man that WANTS to believe in miracles!  Mark agrees to have the body exhumed, to which he gets Demetri to carry out.  

  • The last scene we see with Aaron is him returning to the bar to talk to Katie.  The body was identified as their daughter's.  Not all is for naught though.  Katie and Aaron have a long embrace and Katie consoles Aaron.   
  • So what is going on here?  Is this proof that the future visions are not real?  Or perhaps, not ALL of them are real?  Let's keep digging through the episode.      

The Mosaic Investigation

Quale Prison -Munich, Germany 
Rudolph Geyer, a former Nazi serving a life sentence in Quale prison, is having a discussion with a prison guard about their flashes.  The Guard said his was the norm.  Him doing his every day thing, talking to his wife about every day mundane conversation.  Rudolph claims to have seen something that insures his release from the prison.  dum dum dummmmm!

Los Angeles
Mark's MOSAIC crew - Janis Hawk and minor player Agent Vreede - have been going files from various intelligence agencies across the globe who claim to have figured out what caused the blackouts.  They eventually stumble upon one that gets Mark's "spidey senses" tingling.  (nice one Janis).

  • Gotta love the one claim from an intelligence agency that the blackout/flashes were caused by "toxic gas that was released as a result of crustal rifting"  and Agent Vreede's response "So the Earth farted and we blacked out?"    Good times! 
  • Of course, things only got interesting when Vreede mentioned that a prisoner in Germany claimed to know why the blackouts lasted 137 Sekunden (seconds).  CUE Mark Benford's FLASH and his Wall of Weird! (sorry, wrong show).  There was a flash of 137 Sekunden and a picture of an old man which just happens to match the photo in the file.   Even more interesting, the file mentions Mark Benford!  

  • Mark and crew bring the revelation to the Chief who is doubting the need to follow up on a Nazi with some information.  He wants answers on Suspect Zero and D. Gibbons and their connection.   Mark sells him by stating that this could be the clue that leads them to identifying Suspect Zero and D. Gibbons.   And just like that Mark and Janis are off to Germany. 
  • Sidenote: the chief is pre-occupied with having to prepare a memorial service for their fallen agents.  
Mark and Janis's Interrogation of Rudolph Geyer
Mark and Janis arrive in Munich, Germany.  They are accompanied to the prison by some German official that states that the FBI agents are guests in their country and have no authority.
  • Janis shows her hatred towards the Nazi by bringing up Holocaust references and them possibly using the prison has a concentration camp.   The German official retorted with Americans wiping out the Native Americans to seize their land and also enlist slaves to work for them for a couple hundred years.   Mark gets the winning line though "Yes but we also gave you Britney Spears!"  

  • So Mark and Janis meet with Geyer and his lawyer, but it does not go as easy as expected.  Geyer mentions that he saw Benford's name in his flash.  Before he was incarcerated, he lived in America.  The original deal was to allow Rudolph to finish his term in a minimum security prison if he cooperated with the investigation.  No dice.  Geyer wants full immunity and wants to return to America.   Taking the place of Demetri in this episode as the DOUBTER of Mark's visions is Janis.  And she goes on quite a rant of how they shouldn't allow this Nazi murderer to go free.  

  • Geyer and his lawyer eventually agree to compromise by offering up proof of his vision before giving his valuable information.  Geyer starts talking about symbolism behind the number 137.   He talks about the symbolism of Janis wearing a thumb on her right hand.  He hinted that it referred to declaring one's homosexuality, as does GOOGLE refer to this.  But Google also refers to this as symbolic of stating one's independence.   This is basically Geyer's segueway into discussing the Jewish mysticism of Kabbalah: "It is a set of esoteric teachings that is meant to explain the relationship between an infinite, eternal and essentially unknowable Creator with the finite and mortal universe of His creation." (Wikipedia Entry)  Anyway, apparently the numerican value for Kabbalah in Hebrew is the number 137. Kudos to commenter "Synchromystic Librarian" for calling this out last week.   

  • Mark is not interested in numbers symbology.  (Well, kids...I guess we can throw away our 4 8 15 16 23 42 references from FlashForward and leave them for LOST.  Gotta say I'm temporarily relieved!)  He yells and screams until Geyer starts giving useful information.  Geyer begins to discuss his flash.  In his vision he was being "Re-patriotized" to the United States and he bought his freedom with his 2nd clue.  The security officer at customs was Jerome Murphy.  In his vision Geyer explains that he's coming back to the US because he has a "murder to thank for it". Geyer's lawyer suggested that the FBI find Jerome Murphy and verify that he had a similar Flash, and then after his pardon was granted, he would reveal the rest of his information.  Geyer was very confident that he would be returning to the United States on 4/29/2010, so he was not willing to negotiate any further.

Meanwhile Back in the States
  • Stan Wedeck gets the information from Mark and recruits a reluctant Demetri to track down Jerome Murphy.  Long story short, Demetri found Jerome as an "APPLICANT" to be a custom's officer.  He wasn't one yet, but supposedly he'll be one in April 2010. 
  • Very funny scene ensues when Demetri goes to Jerome's house to question him.   Jerome is dancing around in his underwear to KC and the Sunshine Band's "Boogie Shoes"  
  • Jerome Murphy is very excited that he passed the test in the future to become a Customs Official.  Jerome was scared that he failed the physical due to his clearly illegal and regular drug intake!   He did verify the story when he saw the picture of Geyer.  "I know that dude!!"  He discussed that he remembered admitting him to the United States the man saying that he had a "murder" to thank for it.  
  • Once Demetri verifies the story he leaves but not before knocking over a bong pipe.  Jerome tries to reason with Demetri that he shouldn't be arrested because then his vision wouldn't come true.  While Demetri had no interest in arresting the guy, you couldn't help but sense that he was considering arresting him to try and prevent the future from coming true. 
Okay, let's pause for THEORY TIME! 
So, it seems that these visions are falling into certain categories doesn't it?
  • There are the people that are in bad places in their current life who get visions of a promising future (Aaron Stark sees his daughter alive, Bryce is about to kill himself and is now super excited about his future, a pothead somehow passes his drug test and gets a job as a US Customs Officer?)
  • There are people that seem to be in a good place that see their lives turning for the bad.  (Mark returns to the sauce and people are after him, Charlie has her nightmare vision of D. Gibbons, Olivia is unfaithful to Mark)
  • There are people that saw themselves living their mundane lives.  (The security guard at the prison, Katie running the bar, Wedeck using the bathroom)
  • People that didn't see anything at all vs people who saw these people in their visions.  
  • Alright, so I don't really have a concrete theory, but what if people all saw different TYPES of visions.  What if whoever is possibly behind this vision wanted for some reason to turn the tables?  Enlighten the depressed, Bring the happy down a notch?   But, they didn't have a plan for everyone, so some people just got a vision of them doing the same thing they were doing before.  Which might explain why Wedeck was in the bathroom for both of his flashes and possibly Katie was at the bar in both of her flashes?    Why this would be the case and HOW they would go about figuring out who is happy vs sad?   Yeah, you got me.  It's just a theory folks!   But this line of thought would go into suggesting that the visions aren't entirely real, which could help explain why Aaron's daughter Tracy appears to still be dead.   What throws this theory off is Demetri with seeing nothing and Zoey seeing a bright future when it doesn't seem her current life is in shambles.  
  • Oh well, just some current thoughts I have brewing up in that noggin of mine.  Wanted to share!


  • Mark and Janis are shown having dinner and discussing what to do with Geyer.  Janis is still pessimistic about the visions and brings up how her vision had her pregnant.  Speaking of which, did she say how far along in the pregnancy she was?  Because if it was 6 months, shouldn't she be getting pregnant soon?   I think I've read theories that maybe somehow she become pregnant during the blackout, but that's kinda weird right?   
  • Mark brings up the words of wisdom from his friend Aaron who said it's a "leap of faith" and that they need to follow these visions.  Of course, at the same time, he is still hiding the fact that he wants to prevent his OWN vision from coming true.  
  • Demetri called in and verified Jerome had the same vision as Geyer.  Mark tells Geyer he is a free man and requests that he starts talking.  Geyer said that when he woke from his flash, he looked out the window and saw the city burning.  But he also saw that the courtyard was littered with dead crows.  The "murder" Geyer was referring to in the vision was a "Murder of Crows".  I guess this could be taken 2 ways since there are a bunch of dead crows as a result of the flash.  But also that a group of Crows is referred to as a "MURDER".   Ahhh interesting.  
  • At the time, it would seem that Mark and Janis got played by the man for freedom.  Of course, it would seem that possibly Geyer felt this way too as he admitted he knows no significance behind the numbers 137.  But he does know that he will be set free because of the information he has provided.  
  • Mark and Janis, feeling as if they failed head back to the US.

Other things happening in L.A.
  • Olivia and Stan Wedeck's wife Felica are apparently friends and discussing their visions.  While Olivia refrains from saying anything significant about her flash, Felicia brings up that her son's bedroom is no longer occupied by her son or his belongings but that of a small boy.  She is optimistic that these visions will come true and that this boy is going to come into her life and she will be his mother.  Ironically, by the memorial service at the end of the episode, the boy is sitting in the front row with another woman that would appear to be his mother.  Hmmmmm wonder where THAT is going?  

  • Stan Wedeck delivers the speech at the memorial service and borrows a line from Aaron Stark through Mark that "We are all prophets" and while prophets suffered, God loved them all.   
  • Everyone went to a bar after the memorial service.  Demetri gave in to Zoey and said that they should plan for "D DAY" as their wedding date.  He said that he wants to make his future happen.  Not sure what the change of heart was unless he's trying to give Zoey false hope?  Or is he starting to believe that he will avoid his death on 3/15/10?  I'm still guessing he will avoid that untimely death.  His character is too interesting to just boot off.  
  • Someone at the bar made a comment about how these memorial services are probably happening every day around the world.  
Mark's Brainstorm
This triggers an idea for Mark as he recruits Janis to go back to the office.  They search for the population of Crows since the blackout.  Apparently it plummeted but some did continue on.  They expand the search through the MOSAIC website to try and find trends.  Something comes up that states that in 1991 there was an incident of fallen crows and as you can see from the text on the screen, a mass loss of consciousness was investigated in Somalia in 1991!!   Mark said it best that they have spent so much time worried about if the flashes will happen again that they never considered they may have happened before!  (I'll join the club Mark, how did I not even ponder that!?)

Somalia - Ganwar Region - 1991
We see a boy working the fields as he runs into a "Murder of Crows" flying around in the air.  LOTS of crows.  And all of a sudden they fall to the ground.  The boy goes to investigate and sees them all lying on the ground outside a town.   Up in the air though, we see a large tower and above it some FLASH of light or an explosion of some sorts.  


Daaaaaaaang!!!  (yep, still no WOW, this might take all season too!).   So the blackout has happened before, but I guess in a more controlled, smaller scale?  Seems like this may have been whoever is behind the blackout, testing their product??  Maybe not.   So what's up with the flash of light?  Where is that coming from?  Does that tower in the picture above hold any significance?   Do we think that Mark will be going to find this boy that was on the scene?  It will be 18 years so obviously he's not a child anymore?  Surely, that's what has to happen next.

Consider me intrigued!   What say you everyone?  Did you like this episode as much as the first 2?  The final moments definitely seem to be the most interesting and plot advancing.  Any new theories out there about what is behind all of this?   Anything blatant that I forgot to talk about? (Surely, there is!)   Feel free to add your thoughts to the comments below.   Thanks for everyone who is sticking with this blog and contributing to the discussion.   Let's keep it up!  See you next week.

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

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