I'm not sure I get why Simcoe would allow himself to be bound by the results of a poker game with Simon - Simcoe wants to go public with their causing the flashforward, Simon does not - but the game does provide some good occasion for some ontological talk about hard determinism. Hey, when was the last time you heard that phrase (hard determinism) on television, or, for that matter, saw that word (ontological) in a TV review? FlashForward gets props for doing and eliciting just that.
Meanwhile, Tracy's story is interesting in and of itself. She was presumed dead in Afghanistan because her leg was blown completely off, and her DNA was mixed into the remains that were examined. Even without the flashforward angle, this is one of more original wartime stories I've seen.
As for Mark Benford, he sets up one of the assassins he saw in the future to be killed right now. I don't quite see why this is so significant - has the point been made that all of you have to do change the future is remove one detail, or one part? Perhaps that's so, but wouldn't Mark be just as vulnerable from the other assassins? I suppose, operating on Butterfly Effect logic, that changing any one thing in the future could change everything, but this has to be made more clear.
The most on-point event last night in the Benfords' struggle to prevent the future revolves around the sexy little night outfit Mark gives to Olivia as a present. She's quietly horrified, because it's the same damn outfit she was wearing in her flashforward with Simcoe. So she throws it out.
Like Mark's friendship bracelet, and the guy he killed last night, this nightie is but a grain of sand in the avalanche Mark, Olivia, and the people who don't want the future are laboring so mightily to prevent...
5-min podcast review of FlashForward
See also FlashForward Debuts and Oceanic Airlines as a Portal Between FlashForward and Lost and 1.2: Proofs and Defiance of Inevitability and 1.3: Conficting Visions and Futures and 1.4: FlashForward Meets Shaft and House ... Drunk FlashForwarding in 1.5 ... Across the Universe in FlashForward 1.6 ... FlashForward 1.7: The Future Can Be...
Listen to 40-minute interview with Robert J. Sawyer
The Plot to Save Socrates
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