Part One of the massive event that is the Return of FlashForward: angst from Mark! Crazy from Olivia! A Villain! Boy, it sure has been awhile.
But now, FlashForward is BACK, after a hiatus time only rivaled by the length of this return episode. So let’s get back into it, readers. And pray to God that the show reminds us who the hell all these people are and what they were doing.
So we start out with some creepy guy who says he wants to tell us a story. Because I get enough of this from my family when I’m NOT watching TV, this isn’t exactly welcome news. It’s a story about a window washer in Los Angeles who was climbing out on his scary scaffolding on the day of the FlashForward.
Right away, we viewers feel pretty confident he’s not going to be washing windows for long. Both because it’s the day of the Black-Out, and because that would be a really boring hour of television. Now stay with me, because here is where it gets a little technical. When he blacks out on the scaffold he accidentally presses the “release all safeties and cause me to plummet to the ground” lever, which inexplicably releases all safeties and, uh, causes him to plummet to the ground. I wasn’t aware these levers existed outside of old I Love Lucy sketches.
There are dramatic shots of everyone in Los Angeles crashing and dying on the freeway (and I thought this was supposed to be science FICTION! Hey-oh!) and then the rope attached to Mr. Window Washer snags on the scaffold and he turns out to be OK.
Though I am interested in how they got him down.
Anyways, Creepy Voice keeps talking about divine intervention and how we would feel it if happened everywhere in the world at once. And then we see all of our favorites waking up from the flashforwards! Bryce! Mark! Dr. Olivia! The slutty babysitter whose name I have forgotten in the last three months! The moral of the story is supposed to be that how you act when you wake up, optimistic or pessimistic, is the important part. Also, Creepy Voice IS the window washer! The answers are going to flow freely tonight, America, I can feel it.
So back at the ranch, FBI Director is watching that security footage of the restaurant freak-out (on one of his FIVE TVS) and grilling Mark just a little more. Jeez, you already fired the guy. What do they do, call him down to the office once a week just to berate him? Maybe he proposes perfectly rational missions and FBI Director shoots them down, just for old times’ sake?
But this scene serves to remind us just how rogue Mark is, and across the hall Dr. Olivia is being questioned about the whole Lloyd abduction. The grainy black-and-white footage replays how the fake paramedics shot the security guard and Lloyd tries to protect Olivia, but she totally Freudian slips and identifies Mark as her savior. OMG, Penny and Commodore Norrington, sitting in a tree!
Back across the hall, Mark is hilariously reciting just how incompetent the investigation has been (haven’t been to Somalia, no D. Gibbons found, NO SUSPECT ZERO) and FBI Director defends himself from the frustrating inaction that we all came to know and love in the first ten episodes. But don’t say he’s never given Mark anything, because he hands over some bureau-mandated therapy info and when that’s taken care of, Mark gets to come back! Let’s here it for the FBI Human Resources department, everyone.
“I better get this taken care of before the health care bill passes.”
Mark finds the ol’ Mosaic board and photographs the whole thing as we stroll down memory lane. Creepy burnt dolls! Three stars! A musical interlude! A defiant Mark! Who else is glad this is back in our lives and on our Thursday nights?
Speaking of my Thursday nights, Simon calls Mark over and begs for a beer. Mark says he has them mixed up with the ATF (and I LOVE the idea that workers at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms are always wasted and playing with guns on company time) and asks why Simon is here at all. Simon reminds him he is here to advise on all things “scientific related.” Yeah, that’s about as specific as I could be too, FlashForward writers. Dr. Olivia shows up just as Mark sees the footage of her embracing Lloyd before the kidnapping.
“I’m so happy to see you, Lloyd! I mean, Desmond! I mean, Mark. Damnit.”
FBI Director is demanding to know where they are with Lloyd’s abduction, which technically seems like more of a local police job. The new team seems to consist of Demetri (STILL my #1 mole suspect), Janis, some girl I’m pretty sure we’ve never seen before, and Simon. Oh, and that black guy from the China episode! Hopefully they’ll say his name again soon.
Seriously, where did she come from?
Agent Vogul (THERE we go) has officially joined the force, much to Demetri’s dismay. Simon says it was clearly someone who wants info on the flashforwards, because Lloyd’s mind is a “precious resource.”
This provides a nice segway to Lloyd, chained up in some scary basement infested with poorly CGI-ed cockroaches. A SINISTER British man gives him some apple juice (SINISTER) and tells Lloyd he just needs to answer some questions.
And now for some reason we’re back to the window washer. We get it, there are a lot of metaphysical issues at play. Now let us watch the damn show! He tosses us over to ANOTHER creepy person who reads something vaguely disturbing, which is quickly becoming 90% of this show. Seriously, next week it’s just going to be an hour of Nancy Pelosi reading the health care bill in a strangely ominous way.
So this lady is reading the Bible while wearing angel wings (the part about eating from the Tree of Knowledge, so very nice epistemological tie-ins) and then she freaks out and lights it on fire. And then Nicole runs in (!) and puts it out with a pitcher of ice tea that just happens to be nearby. And that’s her mom? The whole thing is like a weird FlashForward Mad Libs.
I can’t make this stuff up.
Dr. Olivia is looking disparagingly at the Mosaic board that Mark has recreated in their house, but Mark reminds her he has nothing else to do because he’s sort of an underdeveloped character. Olivia wants to talk about the whole “she wants to bed Lloyd thing” and swears that the hug was an ending, just like the five million other times they said goodbye to each other since this show began. She thinks maybe if the two of them just up and left then they would be assured of preventing their seen futures, which is actually a pretty good plan. Mark considers.
The FBI is reviewing a 911 call from someone calling an ambulance for a homeless man. Janis says that the call was a hoax and this is when the paramedics were switched, so this is effectively their only evidence. Agent Vogel is angry that this was outsourced to LAPD, but Demetri is totally on my side and reminds him it was a local crime. Simon thinks they should check Lloyd’s laptop. Agent Vogel cements his position as team douche by making a big deal of ordering Janis to escort Simon to Lloyd’s house.
When JANIS is displaying emotion and DEMETRI thinks you’re too over the top, there’s definitely a problem.
Mark shows up to see his therapist (I guess they decided not to move away), but she’s decided to leave randomly in the middle of the day for an iced latte. What a professional. Don’t worry, I’m sure none of her clients are too important. You know, the ones given to her by THE FBI.
Also, does anyone else only see Oprah?
So she and Mark talk on some park bench instead. After about thirty seconds, she tells Mark he has a God Complex and there must have been something in his flashforward to make him think he’s the center of the universe. She hasn’t even talked to him yet! Where in the world did this woman get her degree? She notes that his flashforward doesn’t seem long enough, because somehow she knows exactly how long the events he described took, and recommends he take some drugs to remember the rest. Mark says he’s not comfortable with that, but Oprah the Therapist pushes them as hard as she can. I know that I’ve done nothing but complain since we met this character, but really I hate everything about her.
Simon asks Janis for a beer while he’s cracking the code, but Janis voted for Hilary and she’s all oh hell no. Simon keeps being a giant ass to her and because Janis is actually an intelligent and professional woman, unlike SOMEONE ELSE we met recently, she decides to just do it for the sake of the mission. It doesn’t end well.
Symbols of masculine oppression!
Janis finally comes to (aided by men; a little societal commentary? Probably not.) and IDs the guys as wearing masks like the ones on the board. THE PLOT THICKENS.
ANOTHER scene jump to the creepy basement, where Simon has apparently been captured by the mask men. He and Lloyd look at each other.
“Wanna play some cards?”
Now it’s time for a little bureaucratic fun. An evil hospital suit cackles evilly about throwing Dylan out because they need the bed, but the good Dr. Olivia is having none of it, especially after his dad was abducted. That would be pretty cold to just lose the kid, especially after Lloyd was taken on hospital grounds by villains posing as hospital employees. Dylan is hiding behind some medical supplies, but Olivia gets him to come out by singing the theme song to that show that the daughter we haven’t seen in forever used to watch. Because EVERYONE is a better therapist than the Oprah look-alike, he goes for it and allows himself to be examined.
“There’s a $25 copay.”
Demetri and Agent Vogel are out at the train tracks looking for the ambulance. Vogel suggests they take out their guns and wave them around. It’s a family show, Vogel! He basically says that Demetri needs to shape up and solve this thing before his fiance is marrying someone else, and then does a cool little flip move to pin Demetri to the ground after Demetri starts swinging. These two are single-handedly bringing back the hilarious buddy cop franchise. Oh, and then they find some dead naked paramedics in a train car.
It’s like Sunday morning at my house. Anyone? Anyone?
Over at the hospital, Bryce delivers his line and then wanders away. Nicole spots a man she recognizes as the guy drowning her in her flashforward! She chases him through the hospital halls but loses him. At the risk of turning into Jerry Seinfeld, what is the deal with hospital hallways? They’re always so confusing. Am I right, folks?
Nicole decides to tell the entire medical staff about this (because I’m sure they have nothing better to do) and Olivia says they’ve alerted security with a description. Wow, that seems intense based solely on Nicole’s word. How easy do you think it would be to claim that someone was going to kill you in a flashforward, just to get them in legal trouble? THESE are the questions I want answered.
A random nurse gives her a flier about “Sanctuary,” but only after really passive-aggressively telling her that she put them up everywhere. Of course, Sanctuary turns out to be the support group that Mr. Window Washer runs, so he gets to do a little MORE voice-over about his flashforward and how he found a place where he can feel safe and move forward in life.
Does this actor have naked pictures of the producers or something? WHY ARE YOU HERE?
Because this continues to be a really random thread throughout the episode, we immediately cut back to the boys in the basement. That scary guy that opened that briefcase with the rings inside shows up and start telling them about his emphysema. Sorry, unless you’re a window washer, you need to have a point. He tells Simon and Lloyd to call him Flosso (which sounds remarkably like the hero in a cartoon about dental hygiene) and assures them that he’s a villain. If he needs to assure people that he’s a villain within the first thirty seconds of meeting them, he must have a serious villain-inferiority complex. Speaking as the recapper, I’m going to need to see something a little more evil than blowing smoke at Simon before you gain villain status.
Flosso tells them to imagine a basket the size of Montana that’s filled with money, because that’s how much he’s getting paid to be here. Man, he just will not shut up about how great he is. He’s like that friend you have that’s always finding a way to interject their high-paying job or new girlfriend into a conversation. Anyways, Flosso asks some science-y questions, but when Simon tries to answer (remember, he handles all things “scientific-related”) he just gets beat up. Flosso asks again and then drops a little bombshell: Simon and Lloyd didn’t create the Black-Out, they just amplified it! But in fairness, this may just be another way that Flosso plans to take credit for something and reassure himself that he’s a really good villain and everybody is afraid of how villainous he is.
Over at the train yards, they’ve found a cell phone cover but no phone. So, if they can triangulate the signal and find the phone, they can find the bad guys. Yay! Science that WE can understand!
Fake Oprah is getting ready to shoot Mark up with some memory drug, and she asks him what made him change his mind. Mark says he doesn’t want to drive everyone in his life away just because he can’t cope with his future. She commends his honesty and sticks the needle in his arm.
“Oh, no, this needle is for me. Some days even the 3:00 iced latte won’t do it.”
Simon is remembering killing that random guy in his flashforward and Lloyd is shocked how violent Simon’s vision was. Lloyd is also confused because he was supposed to receive a text from Simon, but how could Simon be texting AND killing at the same time? Hell, sometimes I can barely text OR kill by themselves.
Lloyd sticks a piece of paper reading “Help Us” out the window and says he just needs one person to walk by. Unfortunately, he is foiled by a complex scientific process known as “a windy day” and loses the paper. He yells in frustration. Shouldn’t one of the most brilliant scientific minds in the world have anticipated WIND?
Mark is starting to trip out/remember more of his flashforward and hey, there’s the “Help Us” note on the mosaic board! Oh, you devilish writers. He gets a phone call and says “I just wish you were standing behind the 8-ball when I came crashing through. Go to Hell, Lloyd.” Wow! We’ve learned…that Mark doesn’t like Lloyd. Huh.
Flosso has found the note and is back for more questioning. Lloyd still won’t answer any questions, despite Simon’s begging for Lloyd to just tell them. They drag Simon away.
Mark is calling Aaron from outside a cocktail bar! Oh, no! Don’t do it, Mark! There’s a nice little mash-up of Dr. Olivia singing to Dylan while Mark wrestles with this, and then Aaron finally shows up to heart-to-heart with the alkie. Mark goes ahead and recaps everything that’s already happened to him (leave that to the pros, Mark), but he does include some juicy tidbits about how he was apparently working with Lloyd in the future and UNLESS THEY CAN STOP IT THEN THERE WILL BE ANOTHER BLACK-OUT. And frankly, I don’t know that I could take another six months of angst from Mark.
This new info is taken to FBI Director (because who gets results better than him?), and he urges Mark to keep working with the new clues he saw in the drug-fueled flashforward. Which is a really sneaky way to get Mark to work without paying him, if you ask me. Then, goddamnit, it’s that window washer again, and he’s babbling on and on and God and abandonment and bad comb-overs, and again the moral is that God is always there for you whether or not you know it.
Nicole wants to ask Window Washer about the punishments when one isn’t obedient to God and tries to dispute the claim that the Black-Out was good. Window Washer wants to talk to her a little more about this stuff and suggests meeting for coffee. This guy is one smooth operator.
“With this one episode, I’ve more than doubled your screen time in the past ten.”
Mark goes to visit Red Panda, which is apparently a humanitarian organization. He finds out there was no RP in 1991 when those crazy towers in Somalia were built, but he still wants to join up and be a Red Panda helper. Awww. The lady in charge totally shoots him down, though. That was an odd scene.
And does that Red Panda logo freak anyone else out?
Back in the Basement of DOOM, Flosso is still grilling Lloyd. Flosso is playing this weird logistic game with Lloyd’s usage of the word “sacrifice,” and as sinister as it is, it’s still painting Flosso as a pretty dorky villain. He throws his little cigar cutter thingy to his henchmen who put it around Simon’s finger, and then draws a gun on Lloyd!
It could have been much, much worse.
TO BE CONTINUED IN PART TWO! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!