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You Wanted It, So Now You’re Gonna Get the Blow-by-Blow

By S. P. Ashworth | TV | October 5, 2009 |

By S. P. Ashworth | TV | October 5, 2009 |

Previously on “FlashForward”: ABC led North America to believe this was a good show. Some believed them; others did not; and some returned to their heroin addictions. Win, win.

FlashForward! We zoom in from the atmosphere and onto an elementary school playground. As the appropriately creepy song “Ring Around The Rosy” plays, we see a crap-load of kiddies scattered on the cement like dead bodies. That is, except one: the young Charlie Benford. Why do I get the feeling Charlie isn’t at all like that kid from Jerry Maguire?

Then all the kids hop up, since they’re playing a game dubbed “Black Out.” As Charlie stares on, the kids rhyme off their individual flash forwards. That is until one kid gives Charlie shit for not taking part, causing Charlie to run down the streets until what stops her? Yeah—the army. Everywhere. Which is as big a surprise as gonorrhea after a gang bang.

Back at the FBI, Stan the Man in Charge explains how agents are mad-quitting (because in “FlashForward” Land, there is no recession). Suddenly, there’s sarcastic applause from outside the room and Deputy Secretary Anastasia Marco appears for … oh god, I dunno. The Obligatory Chiding Factor in a television series? Sure. The “OFC,” if you will.

Shortly after, NotRalph (or as the show likes to call him, Mark Benford) gets a call from Charlie’s school. Apparently the Principal is concerned that Charlie has “problems” and “deeper issues” and … uck. At the school itself, NotRalph surmises to his wife, Olivia, that Charlie may have seen Olivia with her the beau in her flash forward. And so to help Charlie maybe, you know, crack a fucking smile, they agree to ramp-up the love, and they revert to their game of “I hate you even though I love you.” And it’s right about here that I write in my notebook, “I HATE YOU JOSEPH FIENNES,” because I swear to Christ this man needs to either, A: speak the-fuck up, or B: tear his jaw off and play with it like a boomerang. Either option, Fiennes. Take your time.

Over at the FBI: A website is created to track the world’s flash forwards, thusly tracking patterns to assess an explanation. Cool.

Back at l’hopital, Dr. Olivia drags Charlie through the halls. (I guess Nicole was too busy to babysit.) However, it doesn’t take long for Olivia to be reminded that Lloyd Simcoe is still waiting for her (whom, I failed to mention in the last recap, is the man from her sleazy flash forward.) And then, defying my expectations of the producers’ dragging-out of this plot point, Lloyd totally meets Olivia. Nice job, “FlashForward.” Lloyd (Pirates’, Jack Davenport) then berates Olivia for avoiding his autistic son, while Olivia acts rightly weirded out. Good scene.

Over at the FBI, Janis (a smarmy brunette whose flash forward is an ultrasound at, you know, 10:00 p.m.) informs Demetri and NotRalph that D. Gibbons has shown up at the office. Why do we care? Because this name is posted on the mosaic board of NotRalph’s flash forward. And, ladies and gentlemen, she’s a woman. Gender twist! Eat that up, ladies. Gibbons (“Mad TV’s” Stephnie Weir) tells the agents how, in her flash forward, she’s yelling over the phone about pigeons and NotRalph, as well as Demetri, not forgetting to refer to Demetri as, “Chinese, or Mongalese—one of the ‘ese’! He’s Asian, I dunno!” Oh, the racial humour! This is all fantastic. (Although…actually pretty funny.)

But, if I can take a second to rant, here’s where I get frustrated with the show’s mediocrity. A good drama thrives from comedy. Take any drama (i.e. “The Wire”), and even at its grittiest there is a wonderful balance of humor within all the characters. It’s what helps you love the cast — their ability to act fucking human. And I feel like “FlashForward” is trying, but right now the jokes are so painfully obvious that only a few of the laughs stick. Happily this scene is one of them, but mainly because of Stephnie Weir. If we’re left to rely on “FlashForward’s” regular cast with their stilted chemistry, I’m not sure audiences will care what happens to them by season’s end. Okay. End rant.

Back at the hospital, Olivia continues to drag Charlie around the halls until they see Lloyd standing by his son’s side. Olivia asks Charlie if she recognizes Lloyd, and Charlie’s all, “Whuza?” Lloyd then steps away, revealing his son, Dylan, whose head is wrapped in a ginormous bandage. Seeing Dylan in such a state, Charlie freaks the fuck out. She jibba-jabbas to her mom about Dylan being hurt, while Olivia only thinks about Lloyd without his shirt. Poetry, bitches! Ka-Pow!

Back at yonder Eff Bee Eye, the team determines that the woman D. Gibbons is not the Gibbons they’re looking for after all. That, in fact, it is someone who identity theft’ed her ass with her credit card. They also determine that Pigeon is a town in Utah where said credit card theft occurred. So, to track down the man in black, Demetri and NotRalph are gonna head that way to do some detectivin’. But, before they take off, Olivia has arrived with Charlie. Apparently some form of traffic laxative has spread across the city obliterating all means of grid lock. I bet it’s that shit they put in sugar-free gummy bears. Draaaaaaainage!

And away to Pigeon, Utah. A local cop meets them at their helicopter and chats them up about their situation. She admits that she, like Demetri, had no flash forward, which gives Demetri’s fears of death even more validation. Ah, negative validation. Feels good, don’t it? Like McDonalds’ fries.

Back at the Flabbiggity Bajiggity Izzletown, we learn some facts about the man in black: he’s a dude, 5’8”, and is now named Suspect Zero. “Ess Zed” to you, baby.
Sorry. Getting old, isn’t it?

Back at the hospital, Lloyd lets loose a fact: his wife is dead. Good to know.
Over in Pigeon, it’s a stake out. The local cops, Demetri, and NotRalph wait outside of somewhere because … well … I dunno. Does it really matter? Long story short, they think the fake D. Gibbons is there. However, nothing’s doin’ and Demetri is all, “Dude. This is fucking retarded. Let’s go.” But, having seen a doll factory which triggers a flash forward of a burnt doll head, NotRalph says, “Fuck it!” and they head on in. Fifteen minutes left in under 300 words? You ready for this?

A shadow moves beyond the window and creepy dolls hang from rafters. Upstairs a shadowed man is found in a room chocked full of electronics. And after a few cryptic words, there’s a fire! And explosion. They lose the man. NotRalph then witnesses the snapshot of the doll in his flash forward and lady cop is zipped-up in a body bag. End reveal? Gibbons seems to also be investigating the blackout.

And also? Lloyd is a big fat wiener, taking forever to explain his wife’s death to his son. But the cincher? “I wanna see Olivia,” says Dylan. Cincher!

Now, at 3:00 a.m., ze FBI figure out that the fake D. Gibbons was on the phone with Suspect Zero for six seconds into the black-out. Demetri admits to Janis that NotRalph’s flash forward clues might have merit. During this tender moment, Janis decides to reach out through the mosaic website to the doctor in her flash forward. So what does Demetri do? Whine about the lady cop dying who’d had the similar non-flash forward. Why, oh why, did they make John Cho such a freaking lame-ass?

Back at the Benford residence, NotRalph is … ah, Jesus. NotRalph is drinking ginger ale, from a fucking high ball glass, at four in the morning, in front of a fire. It’s all so fucking somber! Can someone just DO it already? Can I get a bit of intrigue? A bit of angry sex, maybe?

And hey! Guess what? Demetri is gonna get murdered on March 15th, 2010. So says a woman from a balcony on a foggy night.

And finally, the obligatory creepy moment with Charlie as she chats with her dad: “D. Gibbons is a bad man,” she says. Thanks, tips. Can I get you a publisher? ‘Cause apparently you’re writing the show’s fucking cliff notes.

S.P. Ashworth is a fourth-year creative writing student from Victoria, B.C. with aspirations of screenwriting, but realizes that without penning the next Devil Wears Prada, she’s pretty much hooped. You can email her or leave a comment below.

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