Home Featured TV Shows All TV Shows Movie Reviews Book Reviews Articles Frequently Asked Questions About Us

FlashForward: Gimme Some Truth

“It sounds like we consulted the Psychic Network for clues.”

Episode Five seems like a good time to sit back and take stock. Compelling pseudo-scientific puzzle? Check. Attractive international cast? Check. Willingness to play with standard narrative flow? Check. Dominic Monaghan? Check back next week.

The producers have gone on record: they know exactly how this season is going to play out, and they even have a five-year plan. (Just like Lenin!) I think we’ve got two related phenomena to credit for such long-sightedness. First, the fandom is vocal, and we’re vocal everyday on the Internet—not just as annual cons or however people used to do it back in the day. Second, Lost. When the Lost producers announced that they had negotiated a solid end-date with ABC, the TV demi-monde gasped in astonishment. Not dragging out? Being willing to end? What insanity!

But that insanity, and the fandom’s insanity, has led us to this point: we’ve got a genre show with high production values and a real plan. Now, on Lost the switch from a nebulous, eventual end to a specific schedule also meant a shift from episodes that took their time building characters and reveling in jokes—not to mention occasional duds that we may choose to forget—to episodes that focused on plot and revealing the secrets behind that plot. Not a bad thing, but a definite difference.

FlashForward, though, is taking its time with developing the characters, their reactions to this game-changing event, and their relationships with one another. This episode did almost nothing to further the mythos or the mystery. But it took its time to tell us more about some of our characters and how they relate to each other. It was also an episode about men being manly together (happy ending there) and women being womanly together, and then apart (possibly tragic ending there).

Agent Janis got hot and heavy with the incredibly sexy Navi Rawat from Numbers and The OC. A lot of emotional information was compressed into the Maya/Janis scenes, and the idea of lesbians talking about marriage on a first date is a bit of a cliché. But the emotional pay-off was worth it—I was quite surprised when Janis got shot at the end of the episode. If she dies, did the show just prove that you can change the future? If she doesn’t die, can she possibly recover quickly enough to become pregnant and carry to six months?

The men who went after Janis, of course, also went after our men in DC. It was the casual—and sometimes angry—talk between the DC contingent that really made me love this episode. Even when they drive each other crazy, even when they insult each other and hide things and sing bad karaoke, they’re still a team. Even before the firestorm, I was really enjoying myself.

But the firefight just might be my ‘And Now I’m a Convert’ moment. These guys had gone through days of boring accusations, stress, and senatorial cattiness. They’d lost their tempers, gotten drunk, and nearly lost their jobs. But they capped the trip off with a scene of transformative violence set to a Dylan cover. (Ron Moore: this is how you do it.) I don’t know how they survived the car being hit by what looked like one of those shoulder-held missiles. I don’t care. It was frakkin’ awesome.

I mentioned in my review of the premiere that I was impressed by the strong sense of LA in the show. That’s been less true lately (although I’m pretty sure that was Echo Park last week, right?). But they did it again this week with the mention of the Nuart, which isn’t just a theatre in West LA, but is exactly the theatre that would be showing Enter the Dragon. Plus, Olivia was putting out Halloween decorations, so there’s an awareness of time, too.

This episode was all about the bait-and-switch, from the in media res beginning to Peter Coyote as the president, to the female senator (yes, I somehow thought Clemente would be a man. Bad feminist. Bad!), to Janis’s date, to the question of whom Mark was talking to before the firefight. On a larger scale, we can see the bait-and-switch as reflecting the FlashForwards themselves: we see one thing, and develop expectations, but the real path to that moment is something totally unexpected.


• The CIA suspects that the FlashForward was intentional, and intentionally anti-American. Sure, it sounds like crazy Birther logic. But it might not be crazy: the CIA were the ones sitting on the dead-crow data—maybe they know something that the FBI doesn’t. Plus, the guys who attacked Janis and the boys were Asian. Is China to blame?

• All world leaders are keeping mum on what they saw. POTUS saw someone telling him that something was very, very wrong. Conclusion? Something awful happens world-wide on a certain April day.

• Most of the dialogue from the hearing was hilarious because it was so deadpan. ‘Crow attrition?’ ‘Okay, you have a bulletin board…’ ‘Now, did someone have a question about Nazi repatriation?’

• “I Mosaic-ed you. It’s way better than Google-stalking.”

• Who texted Olivia?

• In this world, we’ve experienced 9/11 and Katrina. But the president is still a white guy.

• Our symbol of the week is the rolling alarm clock.

Four out of four rolling stones this week.

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


  1. Hmmm ... still not a convert. At least I wasn't as bored through the middle of the episode this week. I liked the focus on Weddick (? Courtney B. Vance). He's an interesting character. A lot darker than we originally thought. And I liked Olivia's conversation with Aaron about Mark's drinking.

    I did not like the Janis part of the story. Except for the very end, where her FF came into serious question. I don't want her to die, but I do find myself really wanting something to show that these FFs are not set in stone.

    I detested the firefight. I thought the music made an otherwise compelling scene completely cheesy. It did not work for me at all. Sometimes a slow-mo fight scene set to music is great, but in this case, I feel like they picked the wrong song.

    I, too, thought Clemente was a man. But a delightfully evil character either way! The best part was that even though she had a personal axe to grind, she had some valid points about their investigative techniques.

    I'm willing to give this one a few more weeks, but then I may be out.

  2. It's funny, but I had the same reaction Josie did to this episode, and especially to the firefight at the end. The last two episodes have impressed me and they're starting to suck me in. I particularly liked Weddick's scenes, Peter Coyote as president, the evil Clemente, and the karaoke bar. I'm still not getting into Fiennes' Mark Benford, though, and it's always troublesome when the main character doesn't click for me.

  3. FF hasn't really drawn me in yet. I think the problem I'm having is that I don't really love any of the characters yet. Fiennes isn't really that likeable as a main character... and none of the others really appeal either. It's the actual story that's keeping me interested, though, at the moment I'm even finding that a little slow.

    I won't stop watching. I felt like this about Lost until about half way through the first season, and then something clicked inside and I was hooked. The hype that's currently surrounding FF is encouraging. If it can live up to it then everything will be fine.

    Fingers crossed.

  4. Kudos to the CIA - I actually thought the Chinese were to blame early on. When I saw the office flasback of the gunmen coming for the main character in the first episode, they focused on a tat of three red stars on one of the gunmens forearm. I thought Russian at first, but later when I was playing Fallout 3, I used a Chinese Officer sword, which had three red stars on the blade, and realised that China must be involved somehow.

    As to Janis - isn't it possible she chose to be artificially impregnated? I thought that was a given with her being a lesbian. That or getting raped, but I'd rather not think of that.

    I'm liking this show, but I think it needs to really pick up the pace. I wish they'd hurry up and find out about the guy at that stadium who was walking around during the blackout - I want to know!


We love comments! We moderate because of spam and trolls, but don't let that stop you! It’s never too late to comment on an old show, but please don’t spoil future episodes for newbies.