Thursday, October 15, 2009

Flashforward 1.04: Black Swan

CHAH-LIE!!! FINALLY!! Was anyone else whooping it up on their couch in the final minute of Flashforward? Because the moment I saw the name "Simon" on Simcoe's phone, I certainly was!!

In this week's episode, Mark found out Demetri's secret; Olivia operated on a patient who had a completely crazytown flashforward vision, but whose vision gave the other doctor clues as to how to operate; the babysitter had a vision where she was being drowned while feeling like she deserved it; she turns out to be Aaron's daughter (that's probably been mentioned already but for some reason I'd forgotten it); the other agent is looking for someone named "Celia"; Simcoe never actually saw Olivia in his dream (which we'd pretty much all figured out already); and Simcoe, as we suspected, is somehow connected to Simon and the evil, but he's in there reluctantly, it would seem.

Random Thoughts:
• I was freaking out a little as that bus was hurtling toward the people lying there in the opening scene, thinking, "Wow, imagine falling over in a park for 2 minutes, and during your blackout you're run over by a bus somehow." Yeowch.
• What are the chances that Ned Ned was sleeping and having a weird hallucinatory dream on April 29? Maybe he will never end up as a cool black dude rocking those leather pants, and was only dreaming of it, or hallucinating it through some medication.
• So... terrorist chick: How would SHE know that Demetri posted his flashforward on the Internet if she's in the LA County lock-up? How would that have become public knowledge for the prisoners?
• The other doctor keeps asking people what their flashforward was, and Simcoe comments that it's replaced "How's the weather" as the standard question. I don't think so: I think your vision would be pretty private, actually. Not everyone would be throwing it out there, and I find it a little forward of the guy to be asking everyone.

• "Jesus is my Episco-pal." I MUST have one of those shirts.
• I LOVED the choice of music at the beginning (oh, my love for Bjork is deep) and was singing along... I always love the juxtaposition of music that shouldn't fit the scene, like this lovely old standard against the backdrop of a world in flames.
• Breakfast for dinner made my husband and I crack right up. He LOVES it when I make that; I, on the other hand, am not a fan. Breakfast is my least favourite meal of the day, so why would I tarnish dinner by having it then?! Ugh. (I know I'm in the minority on this one...)
• Chah-lie as the evil little man! Presumably he's the guy who's 5'8" and 130 pounds or whatever who was walking around the stadium. Excellent! Will he be the hacker they call in, not realizing he's also Dr. Evil?

Lost moment:
• When Penny tried to get the chips out of the vending machine and it got stuck, she whacked the machine and nothing happened. I half expected Jacob to appear, get the chips and hand them to her and say, "Sometimes it just needs a little push."


Anonymous said...

I will buy 100 copies of this Season's DVD if the first time "Penny" meets "Chahlie" and the first thing she says is "Did you say Desmond?"

I am barely hanging on to this show. None of the characters are especially appealing and the story is way too slow. It almost seems like Season 2 of Lost where the writers didn't know what pace to be at due to not knowing the final length of the show.

The only really interesting thing happens in the last minute.


Robert said...

I agree. I used to review and watch this show every week, but I'm done. The only draw (and an effective one at that) was the Lost comparison and numerous Lost alumnus coming over to the show. So far, it's been disappointing from the beginning and hasn't really picked up.

I still like the premise, but if it's not the writing, it's the poor acting, and a lot of times it's both.

I will watch again when the show comes out on DVD because I want to know the plot, but the characters? Forget about it...

Gillian Whitfield said...

Like you Nikki, when they showed Simon, I threw my hands into the air and shouted "YES! FINALLY!" I do not care if he is evil or not.

But the chances of Simcoe being in cahoots with Simon? That I did not see. Well, sort of. I knew that he was talking to someone in his flashforward.

This was an amazing episode.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Ned Ned our friend Thomas from LOST (Aaron's baby daddy)? Do you think Darlton kick themselves for casting him in that role everytime the script calls for a 20-something Ben? Imagine that guy gassing Roger or kidnapping Alex.

JS said...


I love Bjork, and still get annoyed when I see a Lost alum anywhere as I am imagining the logistics of getting them to Hawaii (but maybe most of S6 happens in LA) and their absence in S6. I definitely screamed when Charlie/Simon came on.

But the show is slow. They have a lot to resolve and what do they do after April 29, 2010?

And the acting/writing/directing is OK, not great. But as Lost fans, we have been spoiled and do have a pretty high bar. I think it is interesting that it basically is a medical + FBI procedural + Sci Fi show. Ambitious.

Nikki Stafford said...

I really hate to say it, but I'm starting to agree with the doubters. I'm going to write a longer post on this talking about where the show is at, and where I'm at with it. The second episode was awesome, and it's never lived up to that bar since.

Robyn said...

I did like the stuffed kangaroo that was in Simcoe's kid's room. Maybe there is something there with the kangaroo? I'm holding on to this show, I refuse to give up on it. I know I'm going to need a Lost placebo soon enough...

obscure said...

The problem I'm having right now is that the show really, really wants to be like Lost, but it feels more like Heroes. The pacing is weird, most of the characters are flat, the dialogue is generally bad, but it drops cool cliffhangers that make you want to come back next week.

It needs to majorly up the quality of writing, though, if it wants people to still be watching a month from now. Cool cliffhangers and an interesting premise will only get you so far.

Zari said...

Episode 1 “No More Good Days” originally aired on 24 September 2009:
On what seems to be a day like any other, everyone on Earth blacks out at the same moment for 2 minutes and 17 seconds. They also have a vision of where they will be or what they are doing some six months into the future, on April 29, 2010.

So, why have the last two episodes started with a “title” saying “On October 6 everyone in the world blacked out for 2 minutes.”?? Please help! ;}

...and OT: Have you caught the “flashes” of “Juliette” in the promos for “V”?!

Susan said...

Zari the blackout occurred on Oct. 6. It's not like Lost where the plane crash occurred on the date of the premier episode.

Nikki I agree that "what did you see" is not a casual question, but in this case, Simcoe spends a lot of time in the hospital and has probably spent a lot of time with Bryce since Olivia is trying her hardest to avoid him.

As for me, I am sticking with this show, because while it can't be compared to Lost (what can?) it's still better than just about anything else out there.

fb said...

The problem I'm having right now is that the show really, really wants to be like Lost, but it feels more like Heroes. The pacing is weird, most of the characters are flat, the dialogue is generally bad, but it drops cool cliffhangers that make you want to come back next week.

obscure, you nailed it! this is EXACTLY what i think. the cliffhangers are what hooks me, but the rest of it, i'm really struggling with, for those very reason.

there are just so many random plot holes and inconsistencies that i feel like my eyes are constantly rolling. lost fans are trained to pay attention to the smallest details (inconsistent continuity is a major pet peeve of mine) and this show is lacking on that level.

moreover, i'm finding all the lost alums on the show very distracting. aren't there any other actors who need work in hollywood? i think the show would have fared better with a cast of unknowns or character actors and maybe one 'star' anchor (kind of like how lost began). instead, it feels recycled and almost gimmicky, plus none of the characters are particularly inspired or endearing or evil or quirky enough for me to be intrigued.

i'm hoping this show is more like season 1 of dollhouse, where the first part of the first season was weak until the show hit its stride, as opposed to heroes, where the first part of the first season was strong and then it just faded over the stretch. i don't hate it, but it's not must-watch TV, either. for now, it's entertaining and i have nothing else on thursdays at 8, so it'll do.

PS: anyone else think sonya walger was the image of jennifer aniston in her hospital scenes (when she had her hair up)? just me?

fb said...

looks like others are agreeing with us ...

Loretta said...

I totally squeed when I saw Dom. It doesn't hurt that I also love Jack Davenport (ahhh, Coupling), so seeing that they'll be interacting makes me excited girl.

I agree completely on the juxtaposition of the really cheerful old standard with the horrific scene. It was the most effective representation of the tragedy of the initial incident the series has shown.

Speaking of which (and not to be such a downer on this show because I do *kinda* like it), I still find it really REALLY hard to believe that everyone focused on their flashforwards so quickly when an unimaginable number of people died. (Did they ever say exactly how many people died that day?) I mean, people are self-centered, sure, so of course many would be focusing on their flashforwards. Demetri, for example, has a good reason to be thinking about the flashforward almost exclusively. But considering that EVERYONE must know someone who died that day, it really bothers me that there hasn't been enough mourning on the show. Well, I suppose if they haven't focused on it in the first few eps, it's probably never gonna happen...

redeem147 said...

So far, I'm enjoying it. I've given up on Heroes.

I'm wondering if the repetition (for example of Olivia's ff) is so that they will be really ingrained in our minds. I have a feeling some of what people think is going on is not what is really happening. Maybe they aren't lovers.

Or maybe I'm trying to give the show the benefit of the doubt for Rob's sake.

And while I'm enjoying it, it's no Lost.

Debi said...

Nikki - Loved your post - where did you get the picture of Dom? I don't remember it from the iTunes version.

Agree the show is getting a slow start, but did Lost really have everyone hooked by the 4th episode?

Really have to get reading the book "Flashforward" now that the TV character Lloyd is accused of being the cause, just as he is in the book.

Lost some faith in the Olivia character when she never gave credit for her miracle diagnosis to the other doctor.

redeem147 said...

Lost some faith in the Olivia character when she never gave credit for her miracle diagnosis to the other doctor.

She doesn't want to credit anything to his vision, because she desperately wants them not to be true. It's hard to separate one from the other.

redeem147 said...

I mean of course the other doctor's belief in the patient's vision and his use of that in his diagnosis.

Susan said...

Nikki are you sure Aaron and Tracy are father and daughter? They have different last names (though that doesn't prove anything). It was my impression that Aaron's daughter used to babysit Tracy, and Aaron later introduced Tracy to the Benfords for her to be their babysitter.

Debi I agree with you about Olivia, hopefully she will give Bryce the credit for recognizing the disease, though maybe she's afraid if he gets the credit the whole thing will come out, including the part where he warns her against performing the surgery.

Anonymous said...

I agree with anonymous Tim,
I am barely hanging on to this show.
Obscure you are spot-on.

Susan said...

Oops I got a couple of names wrong, when I said Tracy I meant Nicole. Tracy really is Aaron's daughter, but what I meant to say was I don't think Nicole is Aaron's daughter.

Ok I think I have them straight now ;)

Anonymous said...

Susan you are right. Aaron's daughter Tracy babysat Nicole and Aaron introduced her to Olivia and Mark.

Nikki Stafford said...

I thought we saw someone say to Nicole at one point, "Are you Tracy?" and she looks down and says, "No, I'm her sister." Did they say a different name?

Susan said...

Nikki I don't remember, I'd have to rewatch.

I do know that their names are Aaron Stark and Nicole Kirby, but it's not impossible for them to be related even with different last names.

redeem147 said...

They have names?

Then again, by this point in Lost I was still referring to Charlie as 'Crack Hobbit.'

Garrett said...

I was really getting into this show and it hooked me right off the bat...but...

A few annoyances are really pushing me away not least of all is nothing happening except in the last seconds of the show. Also the show basically revolving around Los Angeles is a little nearsighted, but convenient for the production. The acting and writing are bland and there are no characters to really connect with.

At any rate epi's 1 and 2 were okay and then I started getting bored. Seems others are feeling that way too.

EvaHart said...

Just watched this weeks episode in the UK and I too was cheering when Charlie/Simon appeared, I don't mind that he is probably one of the bad guys, it will be interesting to see him in a different type of role.

I also caught the Shakespeare nod to Mark/Joseph Fiennes's role in Shakespeare In Love at the beginning. The shakespeare of cheesy Dad

@Susan and Nikki
I don't think Nicole is Aaron's daughter and the name she was confused with was her sister-Paige

I am still slightly confused about the suspect who just happened to have internet conncetion in a holding cell, is she somehow linked to the blackout? She seemed to be hiding something and said she knows very 'dangerous' people- Simon maybe??

M9 EGO said...

ok , so its as brilliant as we first thought BUT I think there could be some good twists to come. For one I believe Olivia is not going to cheat with Simcoe.....I think it will turn out that she is working under cover for the police to try and find out Simcoe's secret. I did wonder if the man drowning Tracey was Aaron ?

eve said...

@M9ego: Wow. What a thought. It has always bothered me that Olivia could be in love with another man in less than 6mos. Her working undercover seems like a great explanation, her hubby may have even put her up to it!

nicolets said...


This television series pales in comparison to LOST. Sorry Nikki, but this show has some pretty pathetic writing.

First of all, they open every single episode with a recap of the "217 seconds".

Then you have two lesbians who's lines are ridiculous!

But the worst writing has to be all of the doubters that the flashforward/dreams are actually predicting the future. The evidence is all all around---all of the dreams are falling into place. No one appears to be able to change the inevitable future.

But you also have the FBI boss barking at Ralph Fiennes the entire's soooooo cliche. It reminds me of the 1980's movies like Lethal Weapon where the sergent is asking Mel Gibson to turn over his badge. Come on!

Cha-lie or no Cha-lie, this series will never make it to season 2.