Thursday, April 1, 2010

FlashForward 1.14: Somalia, LA, Fate Resistible and Irresistible

A superb FlashForward 1.14 tonight - one of the best, maybe the best, of the series so far - that jumps in and out of the flashforwards being unchangeable fate with logic, wallop, surprise, and a real shocker at the end.

In Somalia:  A boy who witnessed the 1991 blackout is now a rising insurgent leader, whose vision from the 2009 flashforward showed him leader of his country.   Others from Somalia had ratifying visions - up now on the Mosaic board - and one describes the leader wearing a necklace.   But he last saw this necklace around his mother's neck, whom he presumed to be dead, in the blackout in 1991.

Our team in Somalia - Simon, CIA-guy Vogel, Demetri, Janis, and some expendable security - find a room with a videotape of the people who blacked out in 1991.   The near-future Somali leader's mother is on the tape - she (as we know ) did not really die, she just blacked out.   But the team soon discovers the skeleton of the mother, and all the other who blacked out in the area.  Around the mother's neck is the necklace.   The flashforward visions of the leader wearing the necklace are now on their way to becoming true.  But-

When the leader soon after is about to kill Simon - the leader has already killed a few of the expendable security - Vogel kills the leader.   And we have another instance (in addition to Gough's suicide) of a flashforward short circuited.

Meanwhile, also on this Somali mission, Janis tells Demetri that her time for being pregnant in her flashforward - her time for conceiving so she can be pregnant and getting a sonogram in her flashforward - is now or never.   Demetri - notwithstanding Zoey (Demetri's fiance) and even though Janis is gay - offers to "take one for team".  He's willing to impregnate Janis, or at very least give it his best shot, because he doesn't expect to be around much longer anyway.   Score one flashforward (Janis' pregnancy) still in play, against all odds.

And back in LA:  Charlie (the Benfords' daughter) finally tells Olivia her vision.  It's one in which she hears someone say that her father is dead.   But how can that happen, given that Mark remembers his vision?   Alas, if you recall, his vision was less than 2 minutes 17 seconds, and it consisted in part of bad guys closing in on him.   We had thought that his vision was likely shorter because he was drinking again, and that left some holes in his memory.   But Vogel later reveals his flashforward:  he's the one who's saying Mark Benford is dead, the words that Charlie overheard.   Another vision in which the pieces seem inexorably falling into place.

Further in LA, Olivia wants to go to Denver with Mark and Charlie, to escape the flashforward she and they have seen.   Mark refuses - he wants to see this through.   In a great scene, Olivia realizes that this is leading her to want to leave Mark - part of the very flashforward they both want to avoid.

And if this chilling, thrilling jigsaw of fate and defiance of fate isn't enough, episode 1.14 of Flashforward ends with something even more intriguing and provocative.   First, we already know that the facilities built in Somalia which provoked the little blackout in 1991 weren't invented by Simon until 1992.    Possibly someone - D. Gibbons - was the real inventor, and got that info to Simon in 1992 without Simon being aware of that.    But the last scene tonight shows something far more profound is going on:  on a tape presumably made in 1991, being watched by Demetri in our present in 2010, Gibbons directly addresses Demetri!

Now how could that happen?   Did Gibbons back in 1991, responsible for the flashforward in Somalia (which was supposed to be only two weeks into the future), cause/have yet another flashforward, in which he saw who would be in the area, in that very room,  on this very date in 2010?  Certainly the future times of the flashforwards - weeks, months - are variable.

I don't know - but that's what I call one fine piece of television.


10-min podcast review of FlashForward

See also FlashForward Debuts and Oceanic Airlines as a Portal Between FlashForward and Lost ... 1.2: Proofs and Defiance of Inevitability ... 1.3: Conficting Visions and Futures ... 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 ... FlashForward 1.8: The Nightie as a Grain of Sand ... FlashForward 1.9: Shelter from the Storm ... Olivia Benford at Harvard in Flashforward 1.10 ... Flashforward 1.12 Parts 1 and 2 ... FlashForward 1.13: Aaron's Daughter, Mark's Gun, and Magpies

Listen to 40-minute interview with Robert J. Sawyer

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