Teams must decide when it’s most advantageous to go for it!My excitement for the new Amazing Race aside, FlashForward is the show that ABC is heralding as the second coming of Lost. So, like the rest of America, I’m excited to hand the show an Emmy in its first season, start bitching about how much it’s started to suck in its second season, and then quietly stop watching it sometime around when Nikki and Paulo show up. Let’s get down to it!
I told flipit I DIDN’T want to recap Trauma!
So right away the Lost connections begin and we start with some guy waking up. He’s in an overturned car and people are screaming and yelling. Living in Southern California, I’m not really sure why this is any big deal. He starts calling for Demetri and then there’s steadily more graphic car accident shots and then a guy ON FIRE and then the opening credits. Which in no way resembles another show in which the title simply moves closer to the camera.
This isn’t your grandmother’s Red Asphalt.
Now it’s four hours earlier. Our mystery man opens a safe and brushes aside a hate message (he keeps that in his safe?) to get his badge and gun. Ah, excellent plot exposition, ABC. But wait, because that’s just the beginning of what will now be the rapid-fire exposition round. He kisses Penny from Lost (Dear FlashForward writers, Please just name her Penny on this show, too. Easier on all of us. Love, Moorels) and then makes breakfast for an all-too-adorable daughter. Central casting sent over a Hispanic gardener who’s waiting outside, and in a special two-for-one deal they also dispatched a wild teenager to serve as babysitter. Also, the garage door is broken. I feel like that’s going to be a HUGE plot point later.
Post-It should use this in their promotional ads.
Now we cut over to some new guy named Bryce. He’s brooding his way down a pier and grimacing at the couples and balloon man. Dr. Olivia has called him three times, and he makes sure to set the phone and his wallet down as dramatically as possible before removing a gun! Oh no! I wonder if this is just going to be an hour of completely non related scenes that end in a dramatic cutaway.
Mystery man is now in an AA meeting, and some guy with a GIANT beard is talking about losing someone in Iraq and starting drinking. That’s kind of a downer. I feel like I could never be like a real alcoholic, because they all have really defining and intense moments that started their drinking, and I just have “I wanted to fit in at college.” The guy with the beard is Aaron, and he knows Amanda, and they all know Dr. Olivia. How did this show lose me after just five minutes?
Wild babysitter girl is making out with some guy on the couch while the kid sits quietly upstairs. Is this important? I just report what they show me, folks.
Yes, I did indeed mistake this guy for John Cho when originally planning this joke.
Mystery man is in a car with the REAL Sulu, who’s taking pictures of some other people all private-detective style. He’s babbling about drunk karaoke and girls and Klingons and then we learn that mystery man is married to Dr. Olivia. NOW we’re getting somewhere.
You’re a lot like Lost. WE GET IT.
So they follow the people that they were taking pictures of, and also call in to the FBI and make a report. But somehow the guys that they’re following magically know what’s up and speed off, and then the entire show turns into The Fast and The Furious in like two seconds: cars are flipping over and careers are being ruined and Sulu and mystery man are exercising the buddy cop dynamic that any two men in a car chase are required to by law.
“Increase to Warp Five, and ready all phaser banks!”
Oh, and Bryce back on the pier? He’s getting ready to kill himself. There’s more quick flashes of what everyone is doing as the music builds dramatically: Aaron and his beard are climbing a telephone pole, Dr. Penny is prepping for surgery, wild teenagers are having hot sex, mystery man’s daughter is…still sitting quietly. She really got to show off her range in this first episode.
If I had a nickel for every suicide interrupted by sudden worldwide black out…
So lots of random image flashes. You know how back in the day, cops would take the evidence to “the boys in the lab?” I feel like today America has the same reliance on “the geeks on the internet.” So, for now, just know that these images are being carefully analyzed by the geeks on the internet and they’ll let us know if anything comes up.
And now it’s time for our first FlashForward! This is the only FlashForward hidden on this leg of the show. Mystery man is pacing in front of one of those giant bulletin boards that obsessed people in dramas inevitably make, and he’s drinking (!). There’s flashes of words that plays out like a Mad Libs game and then a ridiculously convenient calender page to let us know that it is now April of 2010. Some weird guys with guns are coming to kill him, aaaaand…that’s it. Intrigue!
He loses more balloons this way…
He then wakes up where we first saw him, so I guess Sulu is Demetri. Ok, here’s my first FlashForward technical question. Now that he’s seen himself at that time, he HAS to be alive then, right? So he’s basically immortal for the next six months? This is hurting my head and I guess it might still be explained, so for now I’ll just shut up.
So basically everything is going crazy in LA, but Demetri is cool and he finds our STILL unnamed hero. They’ve apparently watched Lost so they spring into hero mode and start rescuing people. Bryce (he of the thwarted suicide) starts saving the surfers that blacked out in the water. Teenage babysitter is worried about the little girl, but if there’s one thing that this kid excels at it’s sitting quietly, so I’m sure she’s fine.
In case of disaster, survival tip #1 is to dramatically perch yourself at a scenic point.
Mystery man and Demetri go to the car that they were originally tracking, and the driver is dead but the blond is still there. Demetri flips out and wants to know what they did, but mystery man reminds him that he’s an idiot and there’s NO way she did this.
“We’ve got to live together, or we’re going to die alone.”
Mystery man goes running to the hospital to check on Dr. Olivia. General mayhem is occurring around him, as well as a kangaroo. Yes, a kangaroo. Included under Article 4 of the JJ Abrams Gospel: Throw a random-ass animal where it doesn’t belong. He also passes the standard people gathered around a collection of TVs, which confirms that the blackout was worldwide. Seriously, when was the last time you saw one of those stores with a bunch of TVs in the window in real life?
Ok, but if later there’s a Spanish comic book with a kangaroo in it, I’m done.
Dr. Olivia calls the mystery man (really? Have I just missed his name this far?) and they reaffirm that they’re both OK. Dr. Olivia casually tells him that they lost their patient when they all blacked out (and THAT’S going to be a lot of paperwork) and then hangs up to help an incoming patient, who already knows her name. I say again, INTRIGUE.
The patient was able to perfectly articulate an eerie greeting to Olivia like five seconds ago, but now he’s gasping for breath. In an attempt to consume EVERY OTHER new show this year, there’s some extremely graphic medical work by Dr. Olivia. Far more disturbing is the random appearance of Seth MacFarlane in FBI headquarters as they try to come up with a reason why everyone on Earth blacked out. I’m guessing he was also included under Article 4 of the JJ Abrams Gospel.
The bigshot at the FBI is going over all the ways that this sucks big time, like car accidents, plane crashes, hospital procedures, etc. But, the news isn’t all bad: Joe Biden is dead. I kid! Sort of. Mystery man is still disturbed by his vision and shares with the group his vivid dream. Suddenly everyone jumps on the bandwagon and claims they had them also. Seth tries to brush this off as a hallucination, but mystery man isn’t buying it. Everyone else admits that they also saw the same day: April 29, 2010. And really, how unlikely is it that they would ALL know that?
This guy was very screen-capable.
Still picking up the pieces, and Demetri is continuing to be unbelievably belligerent to the blond chick. Yeah, terrorist and all, but still. This guy runs over and explains the way time zones work and then they call up some British woman to collaborate visions. From the TV we learn that many people had visions of watching the news or reading the paper (and how lame would it be if THAT was your FlashForward?) and they’re all reporting the same stories. Wow, did some of them get like sports’ scores or reality TV results? Because that would present huge problems for bookies and loan sharks.
Olivia sends a text that says she hopes to never see our hero again, so we now know that that is a disgustingly cutesy thing that the two of them do. Demetri says he didn’t have a vision (!) and one of the FBI chicks says she was getting a prenatal exam. I guess she knows to be a little more picky in the man department for the next six months. FBI Director guy snaps up the time-traveling cliche I previously stated and says he grabbed some sports’ scores while on the john. Demetri wants to start a record of everything everyone saw in the paper that day, meaning that there’s going to be a REALLY easy edition of the paper to produce in six months.
We can’t do anything to alter the time line, Marty! Great Scott!
The show suddenly turns into the Junior Detectives’ Club, and the FBI chick excitedly babbles about the super cool website that they can put together. And the investigation is off and running! They start by attempting to replicate the clue board that mystery man saw in his FlashForward. Demetri asks the ridiculously leading question about his “state of mind,” so mystery man shares about his potential murderers. Demetri gets all mopey about how he didn’t have a vision and he’s probably the Boone of this show.
And he won’t even get a sex scene with Maggie Grace first.
Bryce admits to Dr. Olivia that he wanted to kill himself, but then he saw a glimpse of his future and he was alive. Yeah, that tends to be a side effect of NOT KILLING YOURSELF. Dr. Olivia says that she saw the end of her marriage. I’m going to bet right now that it’s just her misunderstanding one of those love/hate things that she and her husband do.
Mystery man shares with Aaron and his beard that he was drinking again and Dr. Olivia was going to leave him if that ever happens, so I guess that sort of ruins my love/hate-note theory. Aaron says that in his FlashForward the girl that he lost in Iraq (Tracey) is alive again, so now he’s worried about her being out there somewhere. Yes, why let mystery man babble on about his failed marriage and impending murder when your lover might actually be alive instead of dead? Poor, poor you.
So mystery man finally fixes the garage door just in time to reunite with Dr. Olivia. They check in on the kid (yep, you guessed it-lying quietly) and then they talk about the FlashForwards. He says he was working on the case and being hunted, but carefully removes the drinking thing. Dr. Olivia says she doesn’t want to share her vision and that he doesn’t want to hear it anyway. Please, just let it go. Marriage is all about compromise: you attend my brother’s wedding, I don’t pry into the GLIMPSE OF THE FUTURE that you had, etc. She finally admits she was with another man, and MARK (I totally caught it this time!) says that this isn’t necessarily what will happen.
“He was handsome and Scottish and had trouble with linear time.”
The hurt boy’s father shows up (even though we already heard that both parents were dead) and hey, it’s Commodore Norrington! I guess that’s Admiral Norrington to me.
“A short drop and a sudden stop.” Leave your favorite Norrington quote in the comments!
OK, the little girl is now both standing AND talking, so this show just got a little too creepy for me. She tells Mark she had a bad dream and then hands him the friendship bracelet that he saw himself wearing in the FlashForward! I feel like I’m not as shocked by this as the writers want me to be. Yeah, symbolically binding him to his future, but still. I thought the dramatic music was unwarranted.
Demetri has a tense phone call with his honey (cause he’s in a Charlie “you’re gonna die” phase right now, don’t forget) and then the slutty one (so called because of the impending baby) calls him over and shows him surveillance footage from a baseball game in Detroit where there’s a guy who WASN’T asleep! And what I wouldn’t have given for a classic DUN DUN DUNNNNNN right then.
Wow. So that was actually pretty good. Who’s going to watch next week? Any early theories? And am I the only one that didn’t catch his name until the last ten minutes?