FlashForward: A561984

Because of the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States, tonight’s episode of FlashForward was broadcast here in the UK on Five before it’s been shown on ABC over there. So, for the Americans do the best things come to those who wait, or were we lucky to be put out of our misery first? Read on to find out, with spoilers of course if you’ve not seen it yet…

Mark & Demetri's duty free shopping is interrupted by this man from the FBI or CIA or something...

Since there won’t be another episode for a little while, this appears to be the Christmas one, with festive music appearing and the occasional Santa in the background. The episode began with the Persian woman in Hong Kong who called to warn Demitri of his murder. She was watching a TV adaptation of A Christmas Carol, and – trivia fans – it was the 1977 BBC version with Michael Hordern as Scrooge and Dad’s Army’s John Le Mesurier as Jacob Marley, which was made in colour but shown here in black & white here presumably to make it look older. Anyway, slightly more excitingly, it is then revealed that she has her very own noticeboard full of clues, which looks more or less just like Mark’s.

Meanwhile a press conference watched worldwide is held by a Lloyd and Simon, who it turns out are from a project that seems to be similar to CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. Lloyd announces that they were performing their experiment at the exact time the global blackout took place. Simon wanted to say there was only a chance it was them but Lloyd then told the world it almost certainly was their fault. A reporter inexplicably managed to bring a gun into the press conference and started shooting, presumably taking out her frustrations on the lectern as that’s all she managed to hit.

While TV talk show hosts compare Simon and Lloyd to the worst mass-murderers in history, Simon arrives in Stan’s office and asks in his most menacing way possible (i.e. not really very menacing, it’s still lovely friendly Charlie from Lost) to get involved in the Mosaic project himself and look over the information they have in case he can help. He looks at the satellite image of Somalia and thinks it’s a computer graphic of a plasma laser thingy he designed in 1992 but there still isn’t the technology to build, and is very surprised to learn that it’s a real photo from 1991. We know he’s surprised because of the way he hilariously spins around in his chair with a shocked look on his face while the camera zooms in on him. The FBI ask Simon about our old friend D Gibbons, who he doesn’t seem to know much about but isn’t very happy with after having his idea stolen before he even had it.

Zoey, Dimitri’s fiance, goes to a memorial service and upon seeing the flowers she realises that the vision she had of the beach wasn’t their wedding, and was his funeral or a memorial service. She visits his mother, who was against them getting married before, but after seeing in her own vision how much love Zoey had for him, says that she now would be happy for them to get married, although she now knows that won’t happen. Zoey insists that the future can be changed.

Demirti and Mark have arrived in Hong Kong despite Stan ordering them not to. They’re there to search for the woman who Dimitri dubs “Eartha” after her Eartha Kitt-like gravelly voice. Mark threatens a restaurant owner to get information, and discovers her name is Nhadra Udaya. They track her down quite easily and ask why she warned Demitri about the murder. She says it was to try and prevent “the first in a long line of dominoes she would rather not see fall down”. She then says that the person who will shoot Demitri three times is sitting at the table – it’s Mark. When asked for proof, she tells Mark the serial number of his gun – A561984. Mark flips out and tries to take her at gunpoint but instead ends up being arrested himself by the CIA. When Stan finds out what’s happened, Mark is fired, which is for the best if he doesn’t want the visions of the future to come true, so of course there’s bound to be more to it than that. Back in front of her noticeboard, Nhadra turns around to someone, saying “I can’t protect you”. It’s none other than D Gibbons.

Janice went to the hospital to try to get Lloyd’s contact details from Bryce, who is still pining for Keiko, but all the information she gets is about the nearest sperm bank, as she mentions she now wants to get pregnant after her vision, but it’s complicated because she’s “super gay”. Lloyd soon arrives at the hospital himself anyway and with all the adverse attention after his announcement, Olivia helps him move his son Dylan to a different hospital. Just as they say their goodbyes and Dylan is about to be loaded into the ambulance, the paramedics grab Lloyd and after a quick shootout drive away with him in the back, leaving Olivia behind with Dylan. This episode was the mid-season finale, meaning that this is the cliffhanger we will be left with until the show returns in the new year.

The episode had a lot going for it, it was pacy and there were plenty of new plot developments which was great to see. But there was something that didn’t feel quite right, some of the character’s decisions didn’t make much sense and perhaps there was almost a little too much happening all over the place, constantly flipping back and forth between many locations and plot threads. I’ve enjoyed a few of the recent episodes, but the ones that didn’t work had too little going on, so it was better to have more happening in this one, but it continued to give the series it’s disjointed, inconsistent feel. You really don’t know what you’re going to get when you tune in each week, and I don’t mean that in a good way. But despite it being far from perfect, this was definitely one of the better episodes so far.

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