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FlashForward: 137 Sekunden

“The future’s what all of us are living for now. It’s what we’re living by.”

Wow! 59 minutes into this episode, I was debating giving it a meager two Boogie Shoes. The last minute actually made me yelp. What just happened?

Most of this episode was really about emotional reactions to the devastation, grief, and confusion of the global blackout. I really like that they’re not underplaying the life-changing ramifications of everyone flashingforward. It makes it feel like there’s a big-picture story going on in the background, and we just happen to be focusing on how a few people are handling it—a nice balance of the mythology and the human-interest aspects.

Gina Torres provided a lovely counterpoint to all of the devastation, grief, and confusion. She sees a purpose in all of this, and looks forward to the path she’s glimpsed before her. And while I’m not a fan of sappy acoustic music at the end of an episode to provide emotion and closure, that memorial service nearly did me in. It’s not just Courtney B. Vance’s speech, although that was pretty great, but the Jeff Buckley song. Jeff Buckley, just like the lost agents, died too young, in a freak accident, way before his time.

The show also tackled good and evil, too: real evil. Nazi Evil. Kabbalah-Numerologist Nazi Evil. They drew the subplot out, but it wasn’t just to play with us. It also gave our characters a chance to figure out the new morality of fate, knowing the future, and bargaining. The discussions about Nazis and the ends vs. the means were nicely handled: “There’s no statute of limitations on evil.” (Amen to that.) Mark and Janis gambled with the devil, and they lost, as usually happens in that situation. But they discovered an important clue.

Which leads me back to that last minute of the show. I read a smallish spoiler about this episode, and I was expecting a certain someone to show up. Didn’t happen. What did, though, was the revelation that a mini-blackout happened in 1991 in Somalia. In that blackout, a young boy with a distinctive facial scar stayed awake through it—hmmm, I wonder if we’ll see him again? Plus, some sort of something was all glowy in the sky. I’ve got no idea where this is going. I love it.

I don’t know about you, but this fangirl jumped for joy twice: Kim Dickens (Cassidy, mother of Clementine, from Lost), and Gina Torres (Zoe from Firefly, Jasmine from Angel). Plus, a new (to me) teaser for V, which premieres Nov. 3rd.

Last week, we saw Demetri talking to a woman who knew more about his future death. Does anyone know where she’s supposed to be? That skyline looked important, but I can’t place it.

Flashes:

• The airline CEO nervously flying drunk was a nice, human, moment.

• John Cho (Demetri) is really good at this acting thing. Nice casting, guys.

• Aaron the telephone repairman’s accent really faded in and out in a few scenes. It was interesting.

• Boogie shoes.

• Didn’t Prison Break have an important bird book?

• Kim Dickens is a gorgeous woman, but that hairstyle has never done her any favors in any of the shows I’ve seen her in. So pretty! Fix the hair! So pretty!

Quotes:

• Stanford: “Let me see if I’ve got this right. We’ve got agents working 24/7 to identify the two guys who were awake during the blackout; this week alone I’ve got to figure out how to eulogize eight dead agents, and you want to fly to Germany to talk to a Nazi?”
Mark: “Well, a former Nazi.”
Stanford: “That just makes me feel so much better.” These lines are actually much funnier in the show than they are just written down.

• Janis: The only thing we know at this point is how much we don’t know.”

• Jerome: “I can explain that.”
Demetri: “That’s okay. I know what a bong is.”

• Janis: “There have to be people that we won’t deal, or flip. And—I’m sorry—but if we won’t draw that line at a Nazi?”

• Mark: “My mom, she always says ‘Live in the now.’ How is anyone supposed to do that anymore?”

• Stanford: “We’re all prophets now. And I can’t think of a prophet worth a damn that didn’t suffer. And I also can’t think of a prophet that God didn’t love.”

Four out of four Boogie Shoes.

Josie Kafka is a full-time cat servant and part-time rogue demon hunter. (What's a rogue demon?)

17 comments:

  1. Very nice review, Josie. I was doing the same thing. Oooh, Gina Torres! Oooh, Kim Dickens! They know their audience, don't they?

    The wedding thing completely confused me. Was Gabrielle Union lying about her flashforward? Was she about to marry someone else and just didn't know?

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  2. I was doing the same thing too! =D

    I think Gabrielle Union was definitely lying. We saw her part of her flashforward, but we didn't actually see the part where she saw Demetri. We only have her word for it. Hey, if Demetri can lie about his flashforward, why can't she?

    The biggest thing that bothered me about this episode was the Nazi storyline. Yes, yes, moral relativism, where do we draw the line, blah blah blah. But seriously, Germany could just revoke the cooperation of the U.S. Didn't they explicitly state that the U.S. has absolutely no power to grant favours, conditions, etc., without the express approval of Germany?

    Also, seriously? The Nazi is the only person to see and/or remember seeing the crows on the ground in prison? No other prisoner saw it? No one else saw any crows or other strange phenomena occurring? It was a weak plot point.

    Aside from that annoyance, the rest of the episode was good.

    Keep the reviews coming! =)

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  3. Hey Josie,

    You forgot about the daughter who's DNA matched, I can't remember her name. This and the wedding could mean that what they saw was a possible future close to the one they have now. That would explain the time-line contradictions.

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  4. The DNA match doesn't mean much. Lots of soldiers have lost limbs in Afghanistan, and only a few pounds of her came back. Maybe she lost her legs but is still alive. I would be willing to accept that scenario--it may stretch logic, but it doesn't break it.

    KAM

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  5. Koi Nahin,

    I think many others saw the crows, but the Nazi was the only one to feel that the fact had any significance, exactily because he saw a clue in his FF. Just like everybody knew abou the doll factory last week, but Mark knew the dolls had a significance because a picture would be on his wall in the future.

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  6. I was wondering if maybe Gabrielle Union and Aaron were asleep and dreaming in their flashes. Seeing things that they wanted to be true and were dreaming about.

    If Demetri is killed about a month and a half prior to April 29, then it would make sense to me that Zoe would maybe have a dream in which she gets the happy ending they were planning.

    And certainly Aaron's daughter was already on his brain before the flash. The flash of his (possible) dream has only put her on his mind even more.

    I was more into this week's then last week's. I think I just like the way they played out the story and the moral dilemmas / existential issues a little better. I particularly liked Janis and Mark debating what to do about the Nazi.

    And I did a little mental fangirl squeal when I saw that Jonesy was married to Zoe! Glad Gina Torres will apparently be a recurring character.

    Does anyone else wonder if Lloyd Simcoe is the man that was awake in the stadium? Every time I see them replay the stadium clip, I keep thinking the man in black reminds me of him. Not sure if the timing would have worked out, given that he showed up in Olivia's L.A. hospital not too long after the flash and all air traffic was down. Just something that keeps running across my brain.

    Or maybe given the height dimensions, the stadium person is Josie's crush. He's got a hat on right? Or is it dark hair?

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  7. I definitely think Gabrielle Union's character was lying about her flashforward. I think she might have seen herself scattering Demetri's ashes or something and decided to lie to give him the best, most-loving life she could for what little time they have left. It's what I'd do.

    By the by, I just want to say how cool it is to see an Asian character named Demetri on TV every week. It's like I'm living a double life! I suspect I'll be feeling pretty weird on March 30.

    On the downside, Mark is turning out to be one of the stupidest cops in the history of TV cops. Last week, he stormed a big creepy warehouse with only two other cops when he had a whole SWAT team desperately looking for something to do. This week, he makes a deal with a Nazi to know about his vision when all he had to do is interrogate all the other people present in the vision to get the same information. Granted, it turned out the birds thing took place outside the flashforward, but he couldn't have known at the time.

    Plus, you'd think he might have a better chance of avoiding his lonely alcoholic future if he stopped trying to recreate the board from his vision. After all, there's nothing in his flashforward indicating he solved the case (quite the contrary, in fact), so maybe another approach would have better chances of success than, say, zero?

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  8. I don't think Gabrielle Union's character was lying, although maybe she was having a very lucid and not-surreal dream: I feel like the fact that we got to see her flashforward supports the idea that what she's telling us is the truth. Otherwise, why would they show us something that was fictional?

    On the other hand, if they're willing to show on screen something that doesn't/didn't happen--if we're going to have to determine which scenes are real and which imagined--then that really ups the ante for the theorizing the show.

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  9. That's a good point. I agree that we should always assume that the visions shown onscreen are genuine. Anything else would seriously cripple the series' ability to tell a story and provide clues we can get invested in.

    However, I think they're going for a visual sleight of hand with Gabrielle Union's vision. We see her on the beach in a white dress. She's smiling. Every other information is communicated verbally, and therefore could still be a lie.

    Here's the scenario I have in mind:
    1. Gabrielle Union's character lied to Demetri about the vision, so they fix the wedding date at the same time as the flashforward.
    2. Demetri dies on March 30. She knew that would happen.
    3. On the date of the flashforward, she scatters his ashes (or something similar) on the beach in her wedding dress in rememberance of the man she loved, which leads to the short glimpse we had of her vision.

    The reason I like this scenario is because it's nice and romantic in a big melodrama sort of way, and I think that's the sort of story the series is gearing for. It would mean she's lying to Demetri, and he's lying back by confirming the fake vision, and she knows it, and they're all doing it in the name of love. Huh... In other words, they're Jin and Sun from Lost.

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  10. I thought Demetri died on March 15? I remember thinking, beware the Ides of March.

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  11. You're most probably right, Billie. It's likely I got the day of his death mixed up with that of the Flashforward, April 29 (or 30 in Europe).

    Oh, and because I forgot to mention it in my last two comments: Lovely review as usual, Josie.

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  12. I kind of like Dimtri's idea about Gabrielle Union being on the beach to scatter ashes, BUT she looked happy to me in that glimpse we got of her vision (if memory serves). I find it extremely difficult to believe that she'd seem so happy and at peace with scattering her beloved's ashes on their planned wedding day in her wedding dress. I scattered a loved one's ashes on a beach four months after she passed and it was absolutely gut wrenching for everyone there. No one was happy and beaming, despite the beautiful weather and setting. (I realize that I'm projecting a bit here.)

    I do kind of like the concept that they mutually understand that they are lying to each other all in the name of love, but I don't think that's what's going on. She seemed to genuinely believe they were getting married that day and was excited about planning it. No bittersweet undertone whatsoever (from her at any rate). And I'm pretty sure that we've seen that each individual doesn't just see what happens, they experience it (please correct any misinterpretation). So she would know how she was feeling that day.

    Her story certainly is a big piece of the mystery, isn't it?

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  13. Finally got around to seeing this episode tonight and, Whoa! Good ending. The rest of the episode was so-so with that clich├ęd old Nazi pulling a fast one on our gullible heroes. Who didn’t see that coming?

    But that flashback ending was simply terrific. No idea what any of it all means but I’m hooked and tuning in again for the next hopefully thrilling instalment.

    Oh, and when I saw the boy with the distinctive facial scar it reminded me instantly of Michael K. Williams who played Omar on The Wire.

    Please say he’s going to show up as the older version of that boy. The casting people on this show already deserve a raise for all the brilliant guest stars so far but that would really make my week.

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  14. Up until now i've been watching this show and not really loving it, but the last few minutes hooked me in. The sky was eerie ! And i wonder if the boy who didn't black out in 1991 has grown up to be one of the men who didn't blackout in the present ?

    I have no idea where they're going with anything at all really but i am definately intrigued.

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  15. So it turns out we all missed speculating that the strangely shaped cloud at the end was a space ship. My favorite is that it was a cloaked Goa'uld Death Glider.

    http://scifiwire.com/2009/10/new-flashforward-mystery.php

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  16. Yes, Mark, yes! Please let the adult version of that little boy be Michael K. Williams! And give him some good material. I get so depressed when I see some of the greats from 'The Wire' doing small time, bit parts or bigger parts on crappy shows.

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