FlashForward, If You Must

FlashForward is basically Lost for people with learning impairments. The show's still got a great premise and some fun execution, but sweet fancy Moses do they go out of their way to make sure you don't go five minutes without a brain-crushing reminder that this one guy was totally in that chick's vision, or a plastic doll was totally in another guy's vision, etc.

There's nothing inherently wrong with these cuts -- they're kinda the show's entire thing -- but they can be overdone.

The second episode continued to follow FBI Agent Mark Benford and the rest of his team as they investigate clues about the worldwide happening in which (almost) everybody blacked out for two minutes and saw a vision of the future. The vision they saw was all of the same moment, too: an evening in April 2010, at 10 p.m. Pacific time. Mark conveniently happened to be in his office in his vision, staring at a big old board of clues about the investigation, which hasn't begun yet, into the blackout everyone's currently in.


So for now the show is Mark tracking down leads from the bits and pieces he remembers from his vision. "Wait a minute," you say. "He's investigating things he wouldn't know about unless he saw them in a future in which he'd already investigated them? Isn't that kind of circular and weird? Isn't this the plot of Kate and Leopold?"

To which I would answer: Yes, yes, and no you silly that one was about Hugh Jackman being all dreamy and gentlemanly.

So: In this one, Mark started tracking down the name "D. Gibbons," which he'd scrawled on an index card after seeing it in his vision and then placed on the bulletin board he would eventually see in his vision. (I know.)

A woman with those initials comes in --played by Stephnie Weir of the NEVER REMOTELY FUNNY Mad TV -- but Mark and Co. figure out her credit card has been cloned and is being used by a dude in Utah, so they chopper out there to follow the lead. Mark's partner, btw, is played by John Cho and named Demetri Noh.

Demetri's worried because he didn't have a vision, just blackness, and thinks that means he'll be dead by April. So you know when a local cop in Utah says she didn't have a vision either, I had my fingers crossed that she'd be dead by the end of the hour so Demetri'd be extra worried. And she was!

But here's the thing, and it's kind of FlashForward's whole problem: After revealing his worries to the website the FBI set up to catalog the visions, Demetri gets a mysterious phone call from Shohreh Aghdashloo saying he's gonna get capped in March. So why did the local cop have to die? A much better story would have been for her to live, giving Demetri hope, only to yank the rug out from under him with the phone call. It's just lazy plotting.

But Mark found a whole bunch of clues in Utah when he and Demetri followed the lead to an abandoned doll factory (+5 for creepiness, roll again) where they found a guy holed up in a dark room surrounded by tons of computer equipment. He kills the cop and escapes in an explosion, but not before ominously telling Mark: "He who foresees calamities suffers them twice over." Um, correct? I think the guy might be hinting at the most interesting possibility for the show: that by trying to prevent the future, people make it happen anyway, when if they'd left it alone, they might have been okay.

Also last night: Olivia did lots of fretting over the fact that the father of one of her patients is the same man she saw herself having an affair with in her vision, and that guy turned out to be British and charming and pretty dangerous in any circumstance, especially probable predicted adultery. There were tons of cuts to Olivia's vision to make sure people remembered this was the guy. Guess what, ABC? I did! So, dial it down a level.

This episode also reminded me, via an FBI agent, that there are 60 seconds in a minute and 60 minutes in an hour. So.

Next week: More things happen! (I didn't watch the previews, but I feel safe with my prediction.)

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