Al is dead, Janice is barren, Tracy is alive. THE GAME HAS BEEN CHANGED.We open with Celia receiving the letter that Al left for her right before he took the plunge last week. There’s a montage of all the characters contemplating the new developments in their lives, and Celia joyously showing the letter to newspersons. Which is kind of cold, when you consider he was essentially saying that he was going to end it all for her benefit. Olivia and Mark are making out in an ocean-side hotel room, JANIS is returning to work, etc. etc. We’re three minutes in and I already feel an extreme sense of closure. Why wasn’t this the END of last week’s episode?
THAT’S how you spell it? Goddamnit.
Television reporters are debating the implication’s of Al’s suicide while Lloyd sends an email to several people titled “WE HAVE TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY.” Quick jump to FBI Director’s office, where Janis is attempting to resign. He doesn’t want to let her do it, but because of Al and the “getting shot at” thing she feels like she needs time off. FBI Director reminds her that if Al proved anything it was that choices matter, so get back to work. Also, notice she waited until AFTER the bitching “Welcome Back” party to resign.
“After several wild weeks, I promise to keep to this one facial expression tonight.”
Lloyd is doing more magic with his son when Simon enters and makes fun of him. For spending time with his son. What a (lovable) jerk. Simon says that the email was dumb and a death sentence for them, but Lloyd says that they NEED to publicly acknowledge blame. My God, how many scenes are these two going to have where they dramatically take credit but refuse to give specifics? You got me, FlashForward, I’m already hooked!
Olivia and Mark are still in their hotel room, talking about how great it is that they don’t need to end up like F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. Demetri calls Mark and shows him a video of a homicide, in which the killers have the same ninja star tattoos that Mark saw in his flashforward. Sorry Olivia, the vay-cay is over. Though theoretically a changed future means that Mark is no better prepared to investigate the Black-Out than anyone else, right?
“It’s a belt of Scotch! Haha, I kid, I kid. It’s a ‘Slut’ tee.”
Janis gives flowers to Mark to give to Olivia (and how great would a Mark/Olivia/Janis love triangle be?) and then hands over photos from the homicide video. They’re…exactly what we already saw, but Mark takes this moment to give a dramatic speech about changing the future and putting this guy away. Meanwhile, Dr. Olivia opens her present to find lingerie, the same lingerie that she’s wearing in her flashforward with Lloyd. Or I guess it’s the same. Being a boy-person, I really couldn’t have told you what color clothing anyone has been wearing in any given scene. But a replay of her flashforward with a not-so-subtle zoom in on her underwear tells me that yes, they are the same.
These kinds of gifts are always seen as creepy when I give them. I guess it helps when you’re married. And actually know the sender.
Bryce pops his head into the office (and episode). Thanks for dropping by, Bryce!
Over at Aaron’s house, Tracy is having nightmares about her time in Afghanistan. She wakes up and complains about how much she hates her prosthetic leg, and then Aaron is all like, uh, maybe we could talk about how alive you are.
“These fans aren’t your standard Desperate Housewives/Grey’s Anatomy watchers, Tracy. They’ll eat us alive if we don’t give them answers.”
Tracy starts to cry again and refuses to answer, but Aaron pushes her. He reminds her that they have the same flashforward, so start talking because they’re together for another four months, at least.
Back at the hospital, Bryce fills Olivia in on the new reasons that the writers have decided Dylan can’t leave yet. Olivia reacts with understandable levels of annoyance and Bryce asks why she cares so much. It’s called a storyline, Bryce, you just wouldn’t understand.
Lloyd, recalling his vow to leave Olivia alone forever, approaches her to ask some mundane medical questions. Simon also pops in, asking if it would be safe for Lloyd to bring Dylan home because of his stable condition. Olivia, who basically founded the Keep Lloyd Away club (KLA), gives it a big hell yes. Simon again tells Lloyd that his plan is idiotic, and will stop him. But Lloyd says nothing will stop him from going public and accepting the blame. Simon says there’s only ONE way to settle this.
No, but I wasn’t far off. It’s going to be Texas Hold ‘Em. Personally I favor Crazy Eights when sorting through ethical dilemmas that carry global implications, but to each his own. Lloyd is understandably reluctant, but Simon compares them to Gods playing with mortals and intones, “let the games begin.” I hope this turns into a heartwarming story of healthy rivalry and the true meaning of friendship!
Mark, Demetri, and Janis arrive in Barstow to talk to the homicide witness, but the police are already there. A woman has been murdered, but it’s actually the witness’s roommate. Man, is this woman unlucky.
It’s like Cash for Clunkers…WITH BULLETS.
Cut to the poker game, where Lloyd and Simon are playing in a fancy room with two other guys. I’m not sure who the others are, but I’m imagining that each one has his own plan for dealing with the Blackout guilt, including a murder-suicide pact and turning the situation into a sitcom pilot. Simon keeps talking a lot of trash. I guess we’ll just check in on them later.
The team is interrogating Ingrid, witness extraordinaire. She walks them through how she saw the thugs in the alley, called 911, was put on hold, and then video-recorded the incident. She says that they took a case from the victim and she couldn’t really describe the criminals, but they’re going to throw her at a sketch artist anyway. Also, they were talking about “QED” as they left. Now that we have a sufficiently random clue from her, let’s check back in on the game!
Simon is telling one of the guys that fate is fate and free will doesn’t exist, which is a quantum physics thing. QED. Wow, that’s the fastest turn-around on a clue that I’ve ever seen. So I guess it was less of a clue, more my own ignorance. Simon continues to hound Lloyd about how they’re scientists and they need to face these hard truths, but Lloyd says that he’s just using science to defend his immoral behavior. You tell him, Norrington! But Simon wins the hand and talks some more about not fighting the future. This is perhaps the worst boys’ night out ever.
Nicole is still thinking about her flashforward (drowning) but tells Olivia that they can change the future. Yeah, that’s been pretty well covered tonight, thanks. You were getting so good, show, don’t drag on me now!
Tracy is ready to start talking. She says she was fired on by Jericho, a private contractor for the U.S. So she can’t even trust the army. She says that a few weeks before that she saw Jericho agents wipe out a village without mercy, and she thinks that they tried to kill her because she witnessed it. Really, FlashForward? You don’t think this show was rich enough already? We need to add some social commentary? And this sounds awful, but these trained soldiers really didn’t check to make sure that she was dead? They shoot her with a rocket launcher, you think that they’d have waited around five seconds, seen her rolling around on the ground, and finished the job.
So Aaron tells Mark that Tracy is alive, then tells him the story about the explosion and Jericho. Which is where it turns into, hey, Mr. FBI Agent, can you take a break from the tiny little “Black-Out” thing and also protect my daughter? And also take on the U.S. Military?”
Mark goes back to Olivia and says this makes him think that all the visions will come true, but Olivia thinks they can change things. It turns out she threw out the lingerie. But will it be enough? Sigh. This is a supporting episode if there ever was one.
The FBI team wants to use their witness as bait to draw out the thugs. And here’s where it starts to get good again: FBI Director reminds them that their enemies always seem to know what they’re doing as they do it. Which means they have…a mole. Who could it be? Demetri? Janis? That black guy who wasn’t Al? Mark would be a real twist.
“Don’t worry, I use FBI resources for personal reasons all the time.”
Aaron is trying to make awkward conversation with Tracy, and he tells her that he told Mark her story. Tracy freaks out and says she has to leave immediately, but Aaron reminds her that if she had a flashforward then she’s going to be alive. He goes over his flashforward again, and the only new information is that he talked about accounts and handed an envelope to someone outside the hut where he saw Tracy. Tracy says that the guy he was talking to was likely this one guy that she had a thing with, and she also fears for his safety. Aaron says they have to trust in the flashforwards. We’re beginning to slow down again, readers.
Over at the stake-out, Janis is inside with Ingrid, who has an insane amount of birds and bird accessories. They girl-talk about flashforwards, and Ingrid says that she was blond and working at the Bronx Zoo in hers. But it’s stupid to change her life based on that. Clearly, Ingrid missed the last few episodes. Out in the car, Demetri tells Mark that Zoe wanted him to quit so that he can’t die, but he thinks he could die just as easily if he were unemployed. Which is a good theory, but it’s the same defeatism that Ingrid is employing when you think about it. It’s interesting that the “don’t change based on the flashforward” idiom seems discouraged when the future is bad (Demetri getting shot), yet encouraged when the future is good (Ingrid working for the zoo). We can’t have it both ways, people.
Of course he won’t quit: THE MOLE needs to stay. This is total speculation, but Demetri is my official guess. The person I most medium suspect, for you Office fans.
Enough of that. Ingrid wants to give Janis one of her birds, but they’re interrupted by a loud noise. Janis goes to investigate and also radios Mark and Demetri.
“This could be trouble! I’ll get out my camera.”
All of the lights suddenly extinguish and they call for all units to move in. There’s a montage to reinforce the fact that yes, there are a hell of a lot of ‘slinking through the shadow with guns’ moments on this show, and then they see the guy! And there’s a gunshot! And a commercial!
When we return, Demetri looks angry with himself. He killed the suspect, meaning they won’t get any answers. Now they need to put Ingrid in the Witness Protection Program, which totally fits with her vision of a different future. Another loose end nicely tied up, show.
All the excitement of Tournament Poker, now on primetime!
Over at the Eternal Poker Game, Simon is kicking Lloyd’s ass. He wants to make this hand winner-take-all, and Lloyd agrees. That was a great way to reinforce that Simon is, in fact, one cocky bastard. Simon has four kings, but Lloyd has a straight flush. He leaves the thousands to the house (cause it’s not like he has his son’s MASSIVE HOSPITAL BILLS to think about), and then in the hallway reveals to Simon that he totally cheated the whole time. Or, as we FlashForward-ites call it, he “changed the game.” OWNED.
Janis is reading an article on sperm donation when her boss, FBI Director, comes over to talk with her. That would be incredibly awkward in most cases. Hey, remember that guy that was awake at the baseball game like ten episodes ago? Well, we’re still working on the image enhancement (how long does that take, really? You either enhance it or you don’t) but it looks like he’s wearing a weird ring. I’m not sure why this is valuable information, it’s not like that’s a particularly noteworthy or even permanent feature. But it is enough to keep us fans on the edge of our seats for another week.
Mark returns home and he’s upset because the guy got killed, but happy that he has apparently changed the future. Except there are like a million other guys with the same tattoo, and they’re all in this weird warehouse area. One of them delivers that stolen case to some scary old guy, who opens it to find six rings. One is missing, which I’m guessing belongs to mystery ball game man. Old guy shoots the messenger, then walks out with the case dramatically.
Well! Well, well, well. Well. I’m going to be honest, I thought this episode was kind of a let down. They had been building so well, but tonight’s just sort of played on the whole, ‘did we change the future?’ theme. Thoughts? Arguments?