Sunday, November 1, 2009

This Flashforward was definitely a trick

FlashForward - "Scary Monsters and Super Creeps"

What the heck just happened? That huge sucking sound was this episode talking all the air out of the room (and viewers' lungs).

Here's the episode description on Hulu: "Mark, Demetri and Wedeck try to connect Janis' attack with a separate attack made on them; Olivia confronts Mark about his experience; Demetri and Gough track down a clue from Mark's; Dylan goes missing from the hospital."

This felt like a whole lotta nothing. Because it was.

First of all, the first line of that description is wrong or overstated. Demetri (John Cho), with Gough (Lee Thompson Young) riding shotgun, is the one who looks into Janis' attack. Wedeck (Courtney B. Vance) is babysitting Janis (Christine Woods) at the hospital, so he's not turning over any stones at the moment.

Mark (Joseph Fiennes) takes his daughter Charlie (Lennon Wynn) out trick or treating and gets into a big footchase with some black-garbed guys who seem to be wearing the same masks as his assailants in Mark's flash. Of course the guy Mark tackles is just some kid out egging houses.

Demetri and Gough do end up finding another piece of Mark's Mosaic board (Blue Hand) but what it means - and who are all the dead bodies - isn't clear.

Mark at last comes clean with Olivia (Sonya Walger) about him drinking in his flashforward. And Lloyd Simcoe (Jack Davenport) finally realizes why Olivia has been so abrupt with him.

The big teasing moment in last week's preview of this episode involved Dominic Monaghan's Simon asking someone if they want to know what caused the flashforward. Turns out that it was bullstuff (OF COURSE IT WAS). He was trying to pick up a girl in a bar. The only concrete piece of info from the entire episode is that Simon is some sort of physics genius (he had her do a web search on that subject, and he pops up in a risque photo, probably from Playphysicist magazine).

This episode didn't pack any "oomph." There was no forward momentum, just a lot of spinning wheels and keeping balls in the air (it felt like Season Two and most of Season Three of Lost, before they set an end date), and a new clue added to the pile that as this point really means nothing to the audience. Did they spend too much money on action or visual effects in previous episodes and just decided to do a show about the personal dilemmas of the characters? If I want that I can always watch Brothers & Sisters, folks.

One character truly seems to be ripe for cutting: Dr. Varley (Zachary Knighton). He was going to commit suicide just before the flash happened, and now he's alive and has a sunny disposition. His only function appears to be to question and debate his superior, Dr. Benford, a lot. His character has no real stakes in anything or anyone.

To paraphrase and contradict Talking Heads: Let's start making sense. And soon, please.

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