FlashForward: Course Correction

This was another very good episode of FlashForward. As you’ll know if you’ve read my blog previously, for much of the season I’ve found the show to be inconsistent and frustrating, with the occasional good episode between ones where very little happened. But over the last four weeks or so, something seems to have clicked and there has been a dramatic improvement of the quality of the show. Which is why it is very disappointing to learn that ABC have cancelled the series. There will be no second season, so I hope that as much as possible can be wrapped up by the finale in a couple of weeks time.

As is now customary, the episode starts with a flashback. This time, it’s to a couple of days before the blackout, at the particle accelerator where Lloyd and Simon are preparing for the experiment they’ve been working on for years. Simon gets a phone call and is told that his father has died. He leaves, telling Lloyd to continue with the experiment. On the big day itself, a journalist joins Lloyd in the control room to watch the event. Just after launch, a wave emanating from the site of the experiment is seen spreading around the world. However, it is only when it meets with another wave, spreading from another location, that everyone in the world blacks out. This includes the journalist, who falls and hits her head, killing her.

Back in the current timeline, and Simon is being driven along a bridge when he spots his sister by the side of the road. He gets out and speaks to her, but there are several laser targets on her head. She tells him that he has a day to give “them” back the missing seventh ring, which Mark Benford now has at the FBI. She’s taken away in a white van, which he memorises the registration number of. He takes it back to the FBI and bribes an agent to secretly look it up, but the agent tells Mark who talks to be Simon about the kidnapping. Simon then sees Lloyd in the car park and thanks him for all his help over the years, seeming to say goodbye.

Lloyd goes on a TV discussion programme, assuring a caller that the blackout did not cause any brain damage and that there will be not be any more blackouts. Deep down, he’s feeling guilty about lying, as he knows there’ll be another blackout and has no idea about the brain damage. He’s joined on the programme by Celia, the woman whose life Al Gough saved when he jumped from the roof of the FBI building. She was due to be run over and killed by him, but like Demetri, her prophesied death was avoided. She tells the audience how much she values and appreciates life now.

Olivia is treating Gabriel in her hospital, when Shelly arrives to ask him some questions. In his notebook is a detailed sketch of Mark’s noticeboard, with everything pinned up on it, which he obviously had seen in one of his flashforwards. Lloyd and Dylan arrive to say hello to Olivia and Gabriel again says that the two of them are supposed to be together.

Later, Olivia goes to see Lloyd at his place, bringing some brain scans to show him that the blackout didn’t cause any brain damage, making him feel better about what he said on TV. They kiss, and there’s a knock on the door. It’s Mark. Uh-oh. Olivia suddenly realises that she has to leave, and awkwardly makes an exit, while Mark tells Lloyd that Simon has gone missing.

Mark uses CCTV to track down the white van Simon’s sister Annabelle was in and finds it in a warehouse with her safely inside. Back in the office, he and Stan look at the video of Suspect Zero and realise that it’s Simon, after comparing his physiology on footage of him in the car park. They question Annabelle, who doesn’t seem to have much information, with the people who kidnapped her always wearing those clown masks. The one thing she overheard was that they’re planning another blackout, and we knew that already.

Back in the hospital, Nicole is given the files of some people who have been recently picked up by the immigration service and need to have medicals. As she goes through the file, she realises that one of them is the lovely, beautiful, sweet.. ahem.. she realises that one of them is Keiko. Meanwhile, Bryce visits his doctor, who tells him that his cancer is in remission. He goes back to tell Nicole his wonderful news. She is about to tell him of her new discover, but is interrupted when Bryce kisses her. What would he want to do a thing like that for?

Inspector Banks (AKA Riversong off of Doctor Who) travels to Los Angeles to investigate a series of suspicious deaths of people who survived their predicted death dates. Demetri arrives at the scene of Andy Weeks’ murder. He was a member of the Blue Hand club, which you might remember from early on in the season was a place for “ghosts”, or people who didn’t have a vision, would get together to enjoy what they thought would be their last days. Weeks was supposed to have died from a medicine allergy and became a minor local celebrity when he avoided death. He was poisoned, despite being in a room full of guns, leading Banks to suspect that the killer was attempting to get as close as possible to the original cause of death.

Inspector Banks and Demetri question the head of the Blue Hand club, Jeff, who we saw in that episode months ago. He is a schoolteacher, and has some interesting views on the universe making course-corrections to make up for any changes in destiny, a concept familiar to anyone who has seen a Final Destination film or been a regular viewer of Lost. They visit the coffee shop the victim regular went to, as the poison was found in his coffee, and one of the staff there tells them that he saw them with a man wearing a horseshoe ring – which is what Jeff was wearing. They race back to the school to find that Jeff had run away after seeing them coming. He left a message with one of his pupils, something that Celia mentioned on TV, and they realise that she must be next on his list, and he’ll try to run her over.

Jeff indeed is trying to hit her with his car but just as he’s about to, Demetri manages to hit his car first and preventing the accident. But, then, Banks’ car swerves around the corner and hits Celia. Although at this point, Celia is only wounded, it seems that the universe has somehow managed to make it even more relevent – instead of being hit by Jeff’s car, she’s hit by the car belonging to the woman whose vision was shared with Gough, the man who was “supposed” to kill her. Banks knows that the on the day everyone foresaw in their visions, she will get a phone call telling her that Celia has died.

The episode was, again, very good. The end of the season and, as we now know, series is shaping up to be a vast improvement on what came before. As I mentioned, it’s a shame it’ll not be continuing, so (barring a last-minute reprieve), all we can hope for is for it to have a good ending.

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