Flash Forward Episode 1-2 Review

Previously on Flash Forward: all hell broke loose, the world (±1) blacked out, and we learned that if you need to get around LA, Bryce is the guy to ask for directions…

Charlie’s standing on a playground, the only one awake of a group of children.  It looks ominous, but then one of them pops up and screams “Time’s up!”  They start asking each other “What did you see?”  When they get to Charlie, she tells them that it’s none of their business.  The rule of “Blackout” is that everyone has to play.  One of the kid pushes her, she pushes back, and when she runs away from the teacher, she runs right into a Demilitarized Zone.

Alan Ruck is giving testimony in Mark and Aaron’s AA meeting.  He’s very ticked off and drunk because in AA, they tell them to live their lives one day at a time.  And now, he can’t avoid it.  That means that the program’s a joke.  Mark tosses him out.  As they leave the meeting, Aaron reminds Mark of the rule to never interrupt another person’s share.  Mark tells Aaron that he’s been dealing with some stuff.  Well, so has he, and so has everyone else.    Mark’s worried about falling off the wagon in the future, maybe Alan has done it now.  Aaron reminds them that at least they have a support group to help them deal with it.  Everyone’s going through it.  it’s the first time in the history of the world where everyone knows what a single question means.  Everyone’s a prophet now.

Stan is leading a staff meeting.  Six agents resigned that morning which makes eighteen in the last three days.  He reminds them that while they’re dealing with the same thing everyone on the outside is dealing with, unlike the people outside, they’ve got a responsibility to figure out what happened.  They’re the ones everyone is looking to for answers.  He’s applauded by Anastasia Markum, the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security who’s announced that she’s taken Military Transport from DC to hear his little speech.

Trust me, if you’ve ever flown MAC, you’d know how truly impressed she is.  It’s officially the “flight to nowhere,” only to be used when you absolutely, positively, can’t fly commercial.  Which, okay, considering that the flights were all grounded might have mean that Anastasia was in that very situation.

But I digress.

Anastasia snarks about an FBI field office who appears to have taken it upon themselves to investigate the blackout.  Mark sort of echoes Demi’s words from last week, and admits that they’re investigating the blackout because someone in the office had a vision of them investigating the blackout.  If there’s another one, he’ll send them the case file.

He’s called out of the office by a problem at Charlie’s school.  Mark and Liv are meeting with a woman (school counselor, maybe).  She tells them that everyone else is playing the types of games that they saw after 9/11 and Katrina.  The kids are talking about their visions, but the fact that Charlie isn’t suggests that there might be a problem at home.  Mark and Liv deny this, and tell the counselor that they’re taking a “wait and see” approach. The counselor wants them to reconsider and ask.

Mark and Liv are talking about their visions. Charlie wasn’t in his, he’s assuming that she was home with Liv.  What if she saw the same guy that her mother saw?  Could she be upset because she thinks her family fall apart?  Liv assures him that she’s not going to let the guy she’s never met tear them apart.  Mark says that in the meantime, they need to show their kid that they’re still good.  When he asks if that’s true, they start joking about meeting with divorce attorneys.

Anastasia meets with Janis, Demi, Stan, and the young agent that was in England last week.  I thought he was a “throwaway” character last week, but it looks like I was mistaken.  Since I’m not sure what his name actually is, I’m going to call him Agent Bird for now.  Janis explains that the Mosaic website is establishing links between shared visions.  If they can pinpoint what people saw, they might be able to pinpoint how the blackout happened and determine the best way to prevent it.  Anastasia asks why they think it was a planned event, and Bird tells her that with the chances of something happening at the top of any hour being 1 in 3600 (isn’t that 24:3600, or 1:150 if it’s “any hour”?), it most likely was.  Demi can give them a list, though, of unscheduled events that happened to coincide with the top of an hour.  Anastasia tells them that the government isn’t supportive of wasting the money on “hypothetical flights of fancy,” so Stan pulls out the video from the ball game.

Charlie and Liv pass a “missing” wall outside the hospital.  Charlie asks what it is, and Liv tells her that people are still looking for their loved ones in the clean-up.  She her daughter that when they’re done, everyone will be found.  As they enter the hospital, Liv reveals her plan to leave Charlie in the corridor until she can pawn her off on a nurse since the babysitter’s gone AWOL.  Bryce runs up and tells her that Lloyd Simcoe, the kid from last week’s dad has been asking for her.  Despite the fact that she’s got 1,000 things to do, Charlie ropes her into fixing the doll.  Liv sends her out to bug Debbie for milk and cookies, and Lloyd takes the opportunity to introduce himself.  When Liv turns around, the color drains from her face.

Liv claims that it’s awkward, and Lloyd tells her that if she’ll just apologize for avoiding his kid, they’ll move on.  He claims not to remember her.  He reveals that Dylan is Autistic and that he split with his wife shortly after the diagnosis.  His wife died during the blackout.  He hasn’t given Dylan the news, and he has questions.  Liv pawns him off on Bryce.

Mark returns to the office, and Demi notices his friendship bracelet.  Demi tells him that if he’s putting on the bracelet, it means that he wants the future to come true.  Mark tells him that he doesn’t have kids, and they should just face the fact that the future Demi’s worried about isn’t Mark’s.

They get to work on the D. Gibbons name. Demi tells them that they’re starting to narrow it down from about 15k worldwide when Janis walks in and announces that the right one just walked into the office asking to speak to Demi.  Her name is DeeDee, and she brought them cupcakes!

Deedee tells them that in her vision, she was arguing to someone about pigeons.  She told the person on the phone that they had to talk to Benford and Noh with the FBI.  She insists that she’s a good person and that she hasn’t done anything to warrant an investigation.  Her pastor told her that she should contact the FBI, so here she is.

Demi thinks it’s convenient.  Mark thinks everything could be significant.  Stan makes off with the cupcakes.

He doesn’t get very far, though.  Mark, cakeblocker that he is, asks him about his vision again.  If he was in a meeting, that means he was in the office.  Stan insists that he didn’t see anything, but Mark can’t take his word for it.  Reluctantly, he admits that he was in the bathroom.  Mark’s sorry he asked, but Stan tells him that since he asked, he’s getting the full story. Turns out, Stan was also in the same, well, position when the blackout happened the first time! He banged his head on the stall, and when he came too, he found another agent face down, drowning in the urinal.   Stan admits that he gave him mouth to mouth and tells Mark that if he tells ANYONE, he will have him transferred to a cornfield so fast his head will spin.  He does not give Mark a cupcake as he throws him out of the office.  Mean!

Liv gives Charlie her doll back and takes Charlie for a walk.  She heads straight for Dylan’s room, points out Lloyd, and asks if she’s seen him before.  Charlie hasn’t, but when Lloyd moves and Charlie sees Dylan, she freaks and demands to know who hurt him.  From what I gather, they were together, but they weren’t at the house.

DeeDee is cleared by the FBI, but they find something a little weird on her credit cards.  She got a manicure in Newport Beach, and gas in Utah two minutes later.  It’s got to be a cloned card.  Maybe she was arguing about her charges in her Flash Forward.  Despite Demi’s reservations, they narrow it down to a place, Pigeon, Utah.  Stan tells them to contact the Salt Lake City office.

Liv shows up at the FBI and tells Mark about Charlie’s implosion at the hospital.  Liv also tells him about Lloyd being the guy from her vision.  She doesn’t think Lloyd saw her in his vision, and that’s why he didn’t recognize her.  Mark’s a little bitchy about it, and she says that he shouldn’t judge her for something she didn’t do.  They want to argue a little more, but Demi tells him that the fake Dee Dee is on the move and they have to catch a chopper to Utah if they want to track this guy down.

When they get to Utah, the Sherriff tells them that everyone in town is torturing themselves over what they saw.  She’s not.  She didn’t see anything.

Back in LA, Anastasia, Stan, and Janis are watching the video from the game.  He’s not surprised at what they see, so they’re certain he’s involved somehow.  They need to find Suspect Zero before he does it again.

Bryce is drawing in his office when Lloyd asks if it’s okay if he has a Happy Meal.  Bryce clears it, and tells him that Dylan is a fighter.  He also tells Lloyd that everything’s going to be okay.  Why? Because he saw the future.  Whether it was good or bad, the gift is in the knowing.  It’s an amazing thing.

Back in Utah, they’re staking out the bus station and learn that D. Gibbons never picked up his ticket.  Demi is convinced it’s a coincidence and a wild goose chase.  He apologizes for the circus.  Mark sees a building from his vision.  Is that a coincidence too?  They investigate and see a shadow moving around.  The building is booby trapped, and when Mark steps on a stair, the dolls start singing.  They rush upstairs, and the shadow tells them, “He who foresees calamities suffers them twice over” before blowing up the building.    They all start shooting, and the sheriff is hit.  She doesn’t survive.

The crime scene technician takes the photo from Mark’s vision board.  Demi tells him that the shooter’s in the wind; the only evidence left was a cell phone and a White Queen Chess piece. The shooter’s been hacking into websites around the world, including Mosaic.  It looks like they’re not the only ones investigating.  They head for home, so Mark can continue to build the board.

Charlie and Liv leave the hospital and are stopped by Lloyd.  Liv apologizes for not stopping by.  She’s been very busy.  Lloyd can’t figure out how to tell his son that his mother’s dead.  She reminds him that when he does, to tell him that he loves him.  Reminding the kids of that, it’s the only simple part.  Later, when Lloyd tries to tell Dylan, Dylan asks for Olivia.

Janis, Anastasia, Stan, and Demi look over the cell phone records of the phone the guys recovered from the warehouse.   D. Gibbons was extremely chatty; he even made a call six seconds into the blackout.  From the cell phone triangulations, it’s clear: He was talking to Suspect Zero.

And then there were two.

Late at night, Demi and Janis are looking at postings.  Demi tells her that he feels like an idiot: he’s been ragging on Mark and the board, but the clues are starting to pan out.  Stan walks up, Dee Dee and more cupcakes in tow.  She thanks them for saving her credit.  When she leaves, Janis snarks about her ass blowing up, and Demi reminds her that her ass will get bigger despite the cupcake.  Janis says that she never had the urge for a child, but there she was, with a blonde woman, getting the ultrasound and finding out it’s a girl.  Janis posts her vision and tells Demi it’s his turn.  He tells her that he didn’t have one, and if today was any indication, he’ll probably be dead.  For the record, though, he’s keeping it from Zoe.  Janis asks if he wants to know how it happens; he doesn’t.  She points out that if he did, he might be able to prevent it.  “What the hell?” Demi says, and posts a message.

Mark’s awake at three in the morning when Liv comes downstairs.  He’s worried because, at work, he wants the vision to come true but at home he doesn’t  Liv asks if she did the right thing telling him about Lloyd, and Mark says that they shouldn’t keep secrets from each other.  Then he flashes to the drinking and lies about why he just made the fire where he burned Charlie’s Friendship bracelet.

Demi’s finally leaving work. Walking through the garage, he receives a call from a woman who’s seen his posting and wants to chat.  She tells him that in her vision, she’s reading an intelligence briefing  that says that on March 15, 2010, he’s going to be murdered.  She has an accent that sounds French, and the landscape is cloudy.  It doesn’t appear that she’s in Paris.  For book-related reasons, I’m thinking it might be Switzerland, but my lips are sealed on any possible spoilers that might come out of that.  If you’ve read, you know what I’m talking about.  If you haven’t, enjoy the ride!

Mark goes into Charlie’s room one more time. He gives her a kiss goodnight, and she wakes up.  Charlie admits that the reason she was bad at school  is because the other kids are saying that the Flash Forwards are going to come true.  He assures her that only the good ones will and asks if she saw something scary.  She nods and tells her father, “D. Gibbons is a bad man.”

Week #2, and the action is plugging away!  So far, Nicole (AWOL for this episode) and Bryce are the only two who haven’t revealed at least a detailed piece of their visions.  We know they have vastly different takes on the whole experience, so again I ask: what did they see?

As far as our FBI crew goes, I really like how, when a clue is found, they flash back to the board and show how it fits in.  It’s like an Seventh Guest game (remember that one?) in the way that you can use the clues you’ve already found to solve the puzzles of the future.  I do have to wonder, though, if Mark’s on a treasure hunt to find the pieces he already knows he has, but his Flash Forward doesn’t have him solving the crime, why isn’t he looking for the pieces he doesn’t know he has?  Or is this a Catch-22 that will make my head explode if I think about it too much?  Maybe Demi will find something when he’s investigating his murder…maybe Demi’s murder has something to do with the Flash Forward event….

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