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FlashForward: Revelation Zero, Part 2

“For he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.”

Remember Dominic Monaghan’s Dr. Evil chair-spin in "A561984"? Remember him staring at a laptop and muttering ‘Annabel’? Well, the writers have figured out what’s going on with his heretofore ambiguous, cheesy, and completely confusing character. He’s a black and white kinda guy: most people, he doesn’t care for. Why should he? He’s a genius. But there are a few that do matter: his sister, his father, maybe even Lloyd.

We finally got some answers about Simon this week, and they’re compelling. His father died a few days before the flashes, killed by distant Uncle Teddy. On the day of the funeral, Uncle Teddy got Simon to go to from Toronto to Detroit, where Simon had the unique and unexpected (for him) experience of being awake during the flashes. Jess, you’ve won the Big Invisible Prize, for guessing that Suspect Zero was Simon back in Episode Three.

Uncle Teddy/Flosso/Ricky Jay has something on Simon: it seems like he got him wrapped up in something when Simon was just a kiddo, and refuses to let go. Of course, he’s really just a middleman for D. Gibbons, so his death doesn’t mean a lot for the plot, but it does speak to Simon’s moral values, and it ups the ante on everyone finding D. Gibbons at some point.

Simon killed his father’s killer, and he killed the man who orchestrated his sister’s kidnapping. He also killed the man who took his little finger in Part I. He’s hardcore, but I don’t think he’s amoral. He just has a very select group of people who matter to him. And he’s a fan of his pinky.

Lloyd’s one of those people. Simon is haunted by what he’s done—especially his first kill. He’s “confessed” this sin to two people: the stranger on the train (and that’s what strangers on trains are for, after all), and Lloyd. For both of them, he framed it in terms of what he saw, but with Lloyd it means something more, because Lloyd just might be the person he’s closest to, aside from family.

Simon’s family seems split down the middle. On the one side, there’s Uncle Teddy and the dead father who was probably up to something. On the other, there’s the nice religious mom who made an entire ham for dinner, the tall brothers, and the little sister Annabel. Simon has inherited the ruthlessness of his father’s side, but the devotion to family comes from his mom. Part I showed us the messy duality of Mark and Lloyd—Simon’s duality is all internal. How far will he take his revenge?

Simon “never lets anybody push him around.” He gets that from his mom, too. That could be good news, if he chooses to fight for the right side. But right now he’s something of a free agent—a trickster, a coyote. He said “we have to protect ourselves from the effects of another blackout.” Does he care about saving future people? (That is, is he defining “ourselves” as all of humanity?) Or is he talking about the “ourselves” of those people that are close to him? Or was it all just a ruse, because Janis was there?

Flashes:

• Does Mark have his job back? That was quick.

• Lloyd’s all about the evidence. He didn’t trust his source (Mark) about the possibility of another blackout, so he didn’t do anything about it.

• Janis was walking like she’d hurt her back. Did the masked intruders in Lloyd’s house do it?

• Is Simon’s mom Irish? That doesn’t really explain the Manchester. And his adviser, Scottish? Are there no Canadians in Canada? Is that why the Toronto airport looked like it was still running off generators?

• Janis was awesome in this episode. I loved that she just kept popping up, especially with the Shakespeare quote.

• So, my crazy Doc Josie theory? Simon’s adviser was reenacting, in miniature, Henry V’s victory at Agincourt. This battle was decided not just by awesome speechifying, but also by the use of the Welsh archers that Simon mentioned—the French were unprepared for the force of the Welsh longbow. In political terms, this meant that England used the technological force of one of its earliest colonies (Wales) to conquer the “bad guys.” Now, think back to the reason Familia Campos went to Canada: so Simon’s education wouldn’t suffer (weird, but whatever). Simon’s educational victories, in other words, are based on the resources of one of England’s later colonies, Canada. The question is: who are the French? Who might Simon defeat? And who will be lucky enough to qualify as one of his “brothers”? Fun fact: while Simon was watching a baseball game (the Detroit Tigers), the Detroit NFL team is the Lions. The first official coat of arms for an English king (Henry II) was a lion—and Henry V’s arms had two lions. Tantalizing, isn’t it? Mark could be the French--and this is where the Buick comes in. Buick is owned by GM, which also owns Chevrolet: the American car company named after the French cross used by the crusaders. So Mark, obviously, must be the French, and he must battle the Welsh longbows to save his kingdom from being overrun by a matrilineal excuse for a pretender. Of course, he's also Shakespeare, which makes the whole thing very meta.

Quotes:

• Janis: “Dude, you live in a hotel.”

• Simon: “Country is such a loose term. It’s Canada.”

• Simon: “Police types. All about power and intimidation. I could have done this with my trousers on, you know.” Exactly what I was thinking. Only I was thinking “pants” instead of “trousers.”

Four out of four cans of sardines for Samantha.

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

5 comments:

  1. I just loved the review, Josie. Straightforward, balanced and funny. I was going to comment on part 1 as well but I think it will be easier on everybody if I do it all in one place.

    First of all, I laughed a lot when you presented your Doc Josie theory. When "fun fact!" popped up, you had me in stitches.

    You mentioned that they chose to focus on two characters who were perceived as villains: Lloyd and Simon, after a long hiatus. As I'm obsessed about LOST, that reminded me of that long hiatus in early season 3, and when the show came back, it was a Juliet-centric ep. And the hiatus made LOST lose many viewers too.

    I was not excited about FF's comeback, and considered stop watchin this ep halfway through it. And the preacher was only one of the reasons. When I got to part 2, I realized what it was: I don't care about the characters, because we don't really know them very much. That's why I loved part 2, there were tons of answers, but we got to spend quite a lot of time with Simon (Campos?! The guy is a Brit who lives in Toronto and has a Portuguese last name?!?!). Isn't it sad that we know and care much more about an antagonist than about Mark, who should be the protagonist?

    Another reason is that the show thinks we're stupid. We heard Mark saying "when I crashed into that 8-ball" TWICE, and when he arrived at the former fast food place there was a frakking 8-ball painted on the glass. Did we really need them to repeat the 8-ball line right before he crashed into it?

    Anyway, I think this show should focus more on the people and less on the investigation. After all, there is a plethora of characters, so it's meant to be one.

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  2. Gustavo, I'm so happy you caught my "Fun Fact" joke!

    The show does think we're stupid, or maybe just easily confused. They're trying, on the one hand, to build a mythology a la Lost, but on the other hand, they're unwilling to let little things slip in and out. And the line about the eight-ball was just an improbable piece of dialogue, too: unless Mark and Lloyd don't meet again until April 29th, unless Lloyd is never again in physical peril, unless Mark's memory lapses while drunk somehow retain incredibly specific clarity, it's a line that can come back to haunt them as it's too specific to the present situation and doesn't do anything to set up future intrigue.

    Oh, well. This is a show that makes me think, and that's a beautiful thing. For our own sanity, I think we should look at Lost as an impossible ideal that can't be achieved by the majority of other shows. Otherwise, we'll just be disappointed. Sanity = low standards.

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  3. Yea! A Big Invisible Prize! It's like a fabulous No-Prize t-shirt from NPR's Talk of the Nation (which may be an actual shirt --- I can't tell for sure).

    It's too bad my big victory came after I gave up on this show. I'm still enjoying the reviews though. And I'm glad to hear Dom is getting more to do. Thanks for bringing the funny and the crazy Doc Jensen-style analysis, Josie. "Fun Fact!" Too funny.

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  4. Simon's mum just had a kinda dodgy Manchester accent, definitely not Irish though! Sometimes she really got the accent down but kept slipping enough to be distracting... Like a lot of the Brit casting on Lost as well, the guest cast do try hard but never quite get the Brit/Aussie accents exactly right to my ear.

    I notice the brothers kept pretty quiet so I'm guessing they got fed up trying to cast regional Brit accents at that point. I had thought the professor was English rather than Scottish though, but then it was getting a tad confusing watching Joseph Fiennes and Sonya Walger do American while Dom Monaghan and Jack Davenport got their own accents and my brain gave up by then..!

    ReplyDelete

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