Thursday, October 1, 2009

FlashForward 1.2: Proofs and Defiance of Inevitability

A powerful second episode of FlashForward tonight, which pulled all the right emotional strings, and bodes well for the continuing success of the series.

Boding - for well or otherwise - is what FlashForward is all about, and the single most riveting story of foreboding tonight was Demetri's - Mark Benford's partner. Demetri, as we learned last week, had no flash forward. And although that might well only mean that he was sleeping six months from now - as pointed out by Janis (pregnant in her vision of the future, no relationship now) - it could also mean that Demetri doesn't survive. Demetri would therefore like the visions, including lack of visions, to be meaningless hallucinations rather than glimpses of the future.

But he gets wrenching proof tonight that they're not, when another agent, in Utah, tells Demetri and Mark that she had no vision during the blackout either. She's shot to death minutes later.

Mark is struggling not against death, but the death of his relationship with Olivia, who is with Lloyd Simcoe in her future vision. But his work, in particular the case he's investigating tonight, is inexorably filling in the pieces of his vision, putting them literally up on his board. Tonight the same action that kills the Utah agent provides Mark with a photograph of a burned doll which was right up there on his future wall.

Why doesn't Mark just refuse to put the pieces of the puzzle up there - why not just throw the photograph away, rather than use it to flesh out a future he doesn't want to occur? Mark can't bring himself to do that - so far - as an FBI agent. But he can try in his personal life, and in a powerful moment tonight he burns the friendship bracelet his daughter gave to him.... It will no doubt turn up, or another bracelet that looks just like it, before this season is over....

Not everything in the visions is profound. Courtney Vance's Stanford, head of the FBI LA Office where Mark, Demetri, and Janis work, found himself on the can six months from now, which is where he was in our present when he had his vision.

But the deft kaleidoscope of philosophic puzzle and human touches, action and agonizing, humor and hints of conspiracy, means that the can is the last place FlashForward is likely to land.

See also FlashForward Debuts and Oceanic Airlines as a Portal Between FlashForward and Lost

Listen to 40-minute interview with Robert J. Sawyer

6-min podcast review of FlashForward

Post a Comment