FlashForward: Playing Cards with Coyote

A week ago, FlashForward seemed to really turn a corner with a great episode with lots of twists and turns and a major game-changer. Have things continued to improve this week? Spoilers follow if you haven’t seen episode 8 yet.

So, have things improved? The last two weeks have seen the show go from strength to strength, and hoping to see the upward trend continue this week I was sad to see that Playing Cards With Coyote was probably the worst episode of the whole series so far. FlashForward is becoming alarmingly inconsistent. Every time it starts to show it’s full, captivating potential, it shies away and reverts to the sluggish, uninspiring show it was for it’s first few episodes. In fact, it’s so annoying, I need to stop and look at some kittens to calm myself down.

You see the one on the left? He’s called Phillip.

Right. That’s better.

Things started with a look at how Al’s suicide last week has immediately affected the world, and it’s major news, although in yet another continuity error, according to the newspaper he died on the day of the global blackout. Seemingly he was the first person who has had a flash but still managed to take his own life, which somehow seems unlikely. This has meant that all those people dreading their fates, such as Mark and Oliva, have had a huge weight lifted from their shoulders, knowing now that their particular version of the future doesn’t have to happen. On the flip side, people looking forward to their futures now have a reason to worry, with Bryce more concerned than ever about finding the Japanese girl he saw in his vision.

So, some interesting ideas explored in the first minute or so, there, albeit with a Pearl Jam track that doesn’t really work with the pictures. But from there, the episode falls apart, and it goes back to the problems it had 3 or 4 weeks ago.

The FBI, with Janis back at work, get a mobile phone video of a man having his briefcase taken and then being shot by people with the same star tattoos Mark saw in his vision. Thinking there’s a mole in the FBI, they use the witness as a trap, but Mark accidentally shoots the tattoo man dead so he can’t be questioned. Meanwhile, Aaron talked to his daughter about her ordeal, it seems she’s been in hiding from “Jericho” and believes her life is still in danger. And Lloyd emails a group of other people, who were involved in the same experiment as him and Simon, suggesting that they come out in public and explain what they’ve done.

And that’s pretty much all that happened in this episode. Simon didn’t want to go public and suggested a game of Texas Hold ‘Em to decide what to do. This seemed to take up about half the episode, and certainly was a device to fill time, and a weak one at that.

Essentially, this was a very boring episode. Really, really, boring. Incredibly boring. In an attempt to portray just how dull the episode was, this paragraph will continue in this fashion. Because it really was very boring indeed. Boring, boring, boring. Just completely dull. Bor-ing. Dull, dull, dull. Tedious. Uninteresting. Just so boring. And that really, really, shouldn’t happen with a series with as exciting and appealing a concept as this.

Even the ending wasn’t especially thrilling. We see that the person in the photo from the baseball stadium was wearing a ring and then see an old, bearded man in an empty warehouse open the stolen suitcase and find that there are six rings inside. “There were supposed to be seven”, he says, as he shoots the star-tattooed goon who brings it to him.

Please improve next week. Thanks.


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