FlashForward: Believe

Time for the weekly round-up of the latest episode of FlashForward shown tonight on Five. After last week’s terrible episode, tonight’s was much better, and gave us some characters to care about. If you’ve not watched yet, as usual, be warned that spoilers follow…

Keiko is played by the delightful Yūko Takeuchi, known to film fans as "that teenager at the start of Ringu"

The episode starts with a flashback to four weeks before the blackout, and we finally learn the reason for Bryce’s depression. He has cancer, and he learns that it’s not improving, it’s not looking good at all. In a scene that really works, he accidentally hits another car in the car park. As the other driver starts banging on the window, shouting, you can feel Bryce’s fury building, and coming just moments after his diagnosis, it’s easy to sympathise as he rams into the car again and again just to make sure, before driving off.

We then go to Tokyo two weeks before the blackout and meet Keiko, the beautiful girl from Bryce’s vision. She’s at a job interview for a major robotics company. She gets the job, she’s clearly a very intelligent woman, but we also learn that her heart is in playing guitar. Despite her talents, she is treated like a tea lady at work, and as she gets bored she dreams of a more exciting life.

On day of the blackout he Bryce talks to his psychologist. He hasn’t told anyone about his illness, not even his family. As we saw in the first episode, he walked onto a pier, pulled out a gun and prepared to shoot himself in the head, when along with nearly everyone else in the world, he blacked out. We got to see his vision properly for the first time, as he waited in a Japanese restaurant. Keiko arrives and sits down in front of him, it seems as if they are meeting each other for the first time but they also recognise each other straight away. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, they have both seen this before in their visions, and have been looking forward to this moment for months. We see that she has the tatoo with the kanji for “believe” on her wrist, and that by this point Bryce has learned Japanese in preparation for this moment. For the first time in this season it feels like a vision to really care about.

Now in the present day we see that Bryce is indeed starting to try to learn Japanese, but is clearly very sick after Chemotherapy. Soon he starts to get better at Japanese with the help of babysitter and a patient, and discovers that the symbol he saw on Keiko’s t-shirt was a logo for a restaurant in Tokyo (very convenient that she was wearing that, wasn’t it?) Olivia finds out about Bryce’s cancer and gets him on experimental drugs trial. But instead of going to Houston for the treatment, he goes to Tokyo, where he finds the restaurant and tracks down Keiko’s house, only to run into a dead-end when her overprotective mother to pretend that she doesn’t know the girl he’s looking for.

The other characters were in the background of this episode, something to be thankful for in the case of Mark, although he still managed to be annoying after finding the text message on Oliva’s phone and accusing pretty much everybody of sending it, including Aaron who is so upset by the lack of trust that he decides he can no longer be his AA sponsor. Aaron’s daughter Tracy, who still feels at risk from Jericho, a private military company who seem to have something to do with the flashes, is starting to drink more, not the best thing to happen while staying with her father, a recovering alcoholic, who feels guilt over her suffering.

Meanwhile, the NSA recorded call the phone call where Demetri was told he would die on March 15th, and after some audio analysis find that it the woman was in Hong Kong. So, they he finally has a lead on his future murder, but there’s apparently no money in the FBI budget to travel there, conveniently meaning that we won’t get any answers on that quite yet.

Bryce returns from his trip to Japan, deflated and full of regret for his foolhardy trip. Little does he know that following him out of the plane is Keiko, carrying her guitar. We then see in her vision that the meeting with Bryce will take place in a restaurant in Los Angeles.

After last week’s awful episode, tonight’s was very good, although it did feel a little like a stand-alone episode, focusing on Bryce and Keiko and by the end of the episode telling what appears to be most of their story. Last week I mentioned how infuriatingly inconsistent, hopefully this episode will prove to be a turning point and the show can go into its mid-season break next week on a high.

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