What part of the world are we off to investigate tonight, based on only the narrowest of clues? Will it be a game of bridge or Duck, Duck, Goose that tonight decides the fate of the world? And will suicide again prove to be the answer? Find out on another episode of FlashForward!We open with a stroll down memory lane to four weeks BEFORE the Black-Out. It’s before anyone had any idea what their future was and, more importantly, it’s when Bryce was still a significant character. He’s in a doctor’s office and the doctor is gesturing to images of the brain and telling him the treatments aren’t working, because it turns out our old friend Bryce has Stage 4 cancer. I guess now the suicide attempt makes more sense; I was just assuming Dr. Olivia had been particularly bitchy and/or homewrecking that one day.
In a daze, Bryce leaves the office and accidentally smashes into an expensive-looking red sports car. Central casting has sent over “belligerent asshole” (because we all know they’re the only ones who own red sports cars) and he starts screaming and yelling at Bryce. Bryce simply pulls out and continuously rams into the sports car while the car owner (who I guess in retrospect isn’t THAT belligerent) calls the cops. Bryce then jumps out of his own car and storms off. Well NOW we know why he wanted to kill himself! He had to deal with insurance companies.
Flashforward (a little pun there) to two weeks before the Black-Out. Over in the Land of the Rising Sun, a Japanese woman is going into facial convulsions in a bathroom mirror. Her name is Keiko, and she’s interrupted by a man who tells her that everyone is waiting and they need to go.
FlashForward continues to shatter racial stereotypes.
Keiko is attempting to get hired at this Japanese robotics firm, and talks about her engineering degree and being first in her class at the University of Tokyo. Also, she likes guitar and salsa dancing. Not sure why she finds that relevant, but more power to her. Unfortunately, it appears not to be going well.
This is going worse than the FlashForward pitch meeting!
Over in the States, Dr. Olivia is pissed because a certain patient is having the gall to “ooze” everywhere that they cut. I’m no doctor (I only play one on TV), but I think that’s called BLEEDING. Seriously, it’s some medical problem, and Bryce can’t answer any of the questions that she asks him about it. Surgery be damned, Dr. Olivia storms out.
‘Hissy fit’ is one of the leading causes of patient death.
We’re in Japan again, or else a SUPER Asian part of LA. Keiko arrives home to find all of her friends throwing a surprise ‘congratulations’ party for her. Recall that things did not go so well for Keiko, so this is probably only slightly less awkward than a ‘Happy Pearl Harbor Day’ party would have been. But Keiko plasters on her fake smile and thanks her mom. She is, however, shocked to find that her mother has invited two random guys that she wants her to get together with. Our girl Keiko is not digging them.
Also, this is her MOM? Does she have like a magic portrait, Dorian Gray thing going on?
Back to the US. Bryce is talking seriously to a therapist about whether he should keep being a doctor, and a helpful subtitle tells us that this is Black-Out Day. I feel like being a doctor isn’t like being a waiter or actor: you don’t just dabble in it, you go to school for crazy years and pay lots of money to get there. But whatever the case may be, Bryce is upset and he has cancer and then we find him taking a walk on that infamous pier. And we all now what happens from there, TVgasm readers.
There’s the extended Bryce flashforward, in which he’s in a Japanese restaurant and he meets Keiko. They’re really happy to see each other and they take each other’s hands, and then he’s back on the pier. She, presumably having had the same vision, wakes up on her bathroom floor. Finally, a character experience I can relate with!
Back in the present, Bryce is attempting to learn Japanese phrases via audio tape. I would comment on phrases he probably should know to travel in Japan, but I see that I’ve already made my extremely racially-insensitive joke today and so I’ll move on. He then runs to the bathroom and vomits for some reason. It’s no way to treat the Japanese culture!
Making his first appearance tonight (at fifteen minutes in? I didn’t realize how much I valued Joseph Fiennes and his comforting, almost growl-like voice) and calls Aaron. Aaron says Tracy is still worried about Jericho. Still worried about a mercenary military group that wants to kill her? She should just get over that already. Mark talks about Jericho’s headquarters a little bit and says he’ll look into it, then he has to go.
“Just a sec, Aaron, I’m trying to decide if THIS could be the random thing we investigate this week.”
Olivia asks Mark to answer her ringing phone (and I’m sure nothing bad can come of THIS, right audience?) and he finds the “Mark was drinking in his flashforward” text. Olivia, who usually turns her mouth and eyes into perfect circles when confronted like this, actually does a very decent job of shrugging it off. She has no idea who sent it, he already told her anyway, not a big deal.
It’s also doesn’t hurt that she’s naked and wet right now.
Over at the hospital, Bryce is showing clear signs of illness. Dr. Olivia tells him to go home , but then makes him sit down so she can examine him. Careful, Bryce, she’s going to charge you! You’ll have to fill out paperwork! IN TRIPLICATE! She finds the central line taped to his chest for his chemo, and he’s forced to come clean about the cancer. But he reassures Olivia that now he has something to live for, so she doesn’t need to take his shoelaces or anything like that.
Tracy has made Aaron dinner, and then she starts chugging the bottle of wine on the table. Man, it’s like a preview of my family at Thanksgiving. Aaron tells her she can’t start drinking like that and references that vodka he saw earlier. Oh, yeah, he’s an alcoholic too. Forgot about that. OK, sort of insensitive on Tracy’s part. She grabs the wine from the table and leaves, which is pretty much the textbook definition of alcoholic.
Back to that image analysis. They’ve made out the Greek Alpha symbol on the ring, which could mean anything. Personally, I’m hoping for a Dollhouse crossover. Don’t cancel it Whedon, just smash it into an existing show! Anyways, the NSA lady gives a million reasons why we can’t even guess at the guy’s face but we have a freaking 3-D model of the ring. She then hesitates and says that she’s a little uncomfortable because the NSA has red-flagged Demetri, due to the weird phone calls on his cell phone. Remember, the crazy French lady? Demetri freaks out and wants the phone number that the French lady used, and NSA gal says she’ll try.
“Sorry, as a female in power on this show, I’m contractually obligated to be a bitch.”
BACK to Japan. Keiko is in an office, looking glumly at a robot that feeds her candy. She then plugs in her headphones and watches a Jimi Hendrix music video. Replace “a robot” with “my hand” and “Jimi Hendrix music video” with “Dancing with the Stars Results Show” and you have my typical day at work. Also, I’m guessing this isn’t her robotics dream job. She’s told the boss wants to see her and goes running, but it turns out he just wants her to serve tea. Being, you know, a woman. Oh snap! That would be basically the worst thing for your morale ever.
This must be how Sarah Palin feels!
Bryce is sharing what it’s like to actually matter for an episode with Nicole at their Underused Secondary Characters meeting. Nicole (who’s looking more and more like Denise Richards every day) is also helping him with his Japanese. And, wow, that was it? Shortest scene ever.
Over at the AA meeting, Mark tells Aaron about the mystery text. Aaron wants to know if he’s being accused, and Mark says that he only told two people. Aaron says he’s sick of listening to Mark bitch, and Mark reminds him that he’s his sponsor and it’s sort of his job. Aaron freaks out and starts throwing chairs around, and then tells Mark to get a new sponsor if he doesn’t trust him. That was rough, but Mark does have a point. It’s unlikely that FBI Director contacted Olivia. Our favorite FlashForward bromance has just been broken! How will Aaron abuse the FBI for personal purposes now?
Back to Japan. Keiko wants a tattoo. The artist laughs her off, but she insists that she’s serious. She doesn’t care what they think of her in that office. This is so uplifting! I feel like Hilary Duff should be playing this role in a feel-good Disney film, five years ago.
Back to LA. They’ve got a copy of Demetri’s phone call! Also, Mark is ready to confront FBI Director about the text. FBI Director reacts as Aaron did, except instead of chairs he throws Mark. Out of the office! Hi-oh!
Over at the hospital, Bryce shows his drawing to a Japanese patient. She identifies the logo on the girl’s shirt as the logo of a Japanese restaurant, and now Bryce knows where to find her! Hooray! Olivia intercepts Bryce and tells him she got him into an experimental cancer study. This seems a bit unethical and unfair, but for the purpose of primetime television I’ll allow it. Bryce is worried that the study will make him sick or kill him and his flashforward means he’ll be fine, but Olivia counters by reminding him that it’s because of the study, probably. So get to Houston! But Bryce goes to Tokyo. Give him an episode, and he walks all over you.
He arrives at the restaurant and asks them for the girl, but his terrible Japanese makes the whole thing awkward and gives us tonight’s Stab At Comedy. But the chef recognizes the girl in the drawing as Keiko. They decide to tell him where she is.
Bill Murray already did this. It was much funnier.
Keiko has told her mother she’s planning on quitting because the job has become “a cemetery for her soul.” Wow. I’m adding that to “masturbating to the sound of its own voice” as FlashForwardisms I will remember forever. Her mom reminds her how hard they worked to give her this life and how she can’t just throw it all away, and it’s become more and more like a Thanksgiving preview again.
We’re listening to the audio tape of the phone call, and this time we’ve stripped away everything but the background music. It’s the Symphony of Lights, which plays every night…in Hong Kong Harbor! It’s time again to play “Please, Please, Please Can We Go?”
“Sorry boys, you know the drill. I can’t authorize anything that sounds like a genuine lead.”
After being shot down for the Hong Kong trip (tough international relations with China, they’re needed here in the states, FBI Director always needs to be wrong at first, etc.), Mark and Demetri go to buy tickets anyway.
Bryce arrives to see Keiko, and finds only her mom and younger sister. Her mom doesn’t like this random white guy looking for her daughter and closes the door in his face. It’s like Romeo and Juliet! Except, you know. Less well-written. But with more guns and FBI agents!
Bryce calls Nicole and tells her that he’s basically failed. Nicole tells him to just come home.
Seriously, look at her. She’s gonna be marrying Charlie Sheen any day now.
Over at Aaron’s, Tracy is passed out on the couch when Mark shows up. He says he was out of line, and Aaron tells him that everyone has issues so he needs to be more considerate. Tracy is his top-priority, he says, and her alcoholism is his fault. C’mon, Aaron, this is supposed to be your big reunion! Give him a hug! Then watch the game and drink some beers! Or an equally-manly non-alcoholic substitute, I guess. He says he doesn’t want to be his sponsor anymore, but they can be friends.
Bryce is back in LA, and Keiko is right behind him getting off the plane! How sweet! Her flashforward is her running down this weird dark alley with sparks everywhere like she’s in a Rihanna video and then meeting Bryce, and she thinks that that is supposed to happen here in LA. And that’s the episode!
That was a good episode for what it covered. I’d like more on the actual mystery itself, but I bitch about Bryce way too much to be mad when they actually give him a plot line. Who else is rooting for him and Keiko? And are you on Team Aaron or Team Mark? WHO SENT THE TEXT?