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FlashForward: Course Correction

“The future does have a way of fighting back.”

According to Lloyd Simcoe, any situation can be altered just by being observed. By that logic, the futures that people have seen—although they are just possible futures—are given more weight because they were seen. The viewed futures want to happen, even if it seems impossible. The universe has a way of course-correcting, in other words. Or ‘destiny’ has a way of happening.

To be blunt, the wholesale theft of this phrase from Lost is tasteless. It would be one thing if Lost had been off the air for a few years—then calling this episode “Course Correction” would have been cute, a nice nod to the show that made this show possible. But using the phrase when Lost isn’t done yet is just as tacky as stealing money from your grandma’s wallet, because you expect the cancer will finish her off soon enough.

In other news, Desmond—I mean, Gaius Baltar—is attempting to reconcile disparate timelines. His high-octane cliché-spouting contrasted with Reynaud’s attempt to orchestrate some course-correction of his own. Situational irony: when your attempt to kill others in the name of a course-correcting universe in fact cause your own death, itself a course-correction. It’s an O. Henry story waiting to happen.

Speaking of doubling, Fiona Banks seems to have inherited Special Agent Al’s destiny. She killed Cecelia, she got the phone call in front of a bank of windows. She has to deal with the grief that should be his—Agent Al really just made things worse by killing himself. I felt bad for Celia.

Simon, meanwhile, was forced to reconcile his belief that one person’s life or death is irrelevant with his own love for his sister Annabel. I’m glad Annabel is safe, and I’m definitely curious to see what Simon is up to. I thought for a minute that he would kill himself—that his speech about the irrelevance of a single life would turn out to be about him. He certainly did say goodbye to everyone, as Lloyd pointed out. Don't die, Simon!

This episode seemed to course-correct in a larger sense, as well: now we know that questions of fate, free will, and destiny are mute: the future appears to be more or less unchangeable. In place of that drama, we now have a possible show-down between Mark and Simon. I’d be more excited about that if this show had shown more facility with developing character nuance. But at this point, each episode is feeling a bit like a synopsis: all information and exposition, lots of plot changes, but very little in-depth development of any kind.


• The CGI recreation of the large hadron accelerator? Silly.

• Reynaud: “Everyone! Next week’s reading: Schopenhauer.” For high schoolers?

• Lloyd: “[Simon] is capable of everything. And he always has a plan.” Lloyd is big with the honesty, eh?

• I don’t fully understand where Simon was, with the see-through safe. Ah, the evidence room. But why was the safe transparent?

• Nor do I understand why a candy striper would need files on people being detained by INS to give flu shots. Oh, well.

One and a half out of four pessimistic German philosophers.

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


  1. First to nitpick a bit: it's agent Fiona Banks and she ran over Celia. :)

    They said in the Lloyd interview that the 29th is a week away so next episode we'll see the future come to life. But that's not the season finael, so of course as i wrote somewhere around the premiere the season will end with another flashforward. So a cliffhanger ending and no renewal.

    Course correction is indeed borrowed from Lost but as a phrase but how else could they describe it. :) They already mentioned Schroedinger's cat back in the 1st half of the season so that was to be expected.

    While the show isn't particullary deep at least it tries sometimes while i can't say the same about V. If indeed ABC is planning to keep one of the two i would choose FF.

  2. I'm trying to stick with this show--I really am--but the moments of frustration are vastly outweighing the "Wow" moments.

    I don't think the writers have a good sense of where they're trying to go, vis-a-vis the free will versus destiny angle. Celia's death was the only instance of "destiny trying to reassert the pattern that was meant to be" (to steal from Koontz): she was meant to be accidentally hit by an agent and she was, even though Al killed himself to avoid it.

    Reynaud's murders of those people weren't destiny--they were acts of free will. He chose to kill them and had he managed to kill Celia it would not have been an instance of fate course-correcting. A person isn't supposed to be able to choose to be an agent of destiny--that's not how it works. The writers are not delving into these issues with any kind of depth (or at all, in some cases). And we got so little of Reynaud's motivations for the murders that it was hard to care.

    And how many physicists out there believe in the concept of immutable destiny? That is more of a religious/spiritual belief,not a scientific one. I didn't buy Lloyd's comments about the future for a moment. He was the wrong character to even raise such issues; the choice to have him put forth the idea of a course-correcting fate that controls our future seemed like a sloppy and illogical move.

    I'm also putting this out there: if Simon dies, I am going to stop watching altogether.



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