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!
- 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.
- 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)
- 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!)
- 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.
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.
- 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....
- 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.
- 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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