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TV: FlashForward (S01E03)

Wikipedia Fact: "FlashForward is a science-fiction television series currently airing on ABC. It is based on the 1999 novel Flashforward by Canadian science fiction writer Robert J. Sawyer."

Wikipedia Fact: "It differs from the novel by following non-scientists, including lead character Mark Benford (Joseph Fiennes), and changing the "flash forward" from 21 years to six months."

Year of Broadcast: 2009

Starring: Joseph Fiennes, John Cho, Jack Davenport, Zachary Knighton, Peyton List, Brían F. O’Byrne, Courtney B. Vance, Sonya Walger, Christine Woods

*Spoilers Follow*

Summary: Benford and Hawk go to Germany to speak with a former Nazi who claims to have valuable information; Aaron tries to get his daughter’s body exhumed to prove she’s still alive; Demetri’s fiancée returns home and wants to set a date for the wedding.

Thoughts: After coming away from the previous episode unimpressed, this third episode, “137 Sekunden”, seemed much more enjoyable.  I liked the whole dilemma around whether or not to give into the Nazi’s demands in exchange for information about the future, information which the FBI wouldn’t really be able to tell is worthwhile for some time yet.  Of course, the episode ended by showing that the information was in fact worthwhile as it pointed Benford to a similar incident in Somalia in 1991, which seems to have been a trial run for the worldwide blackout, but they had no way of knowing that when they made the deal.

The flash forwards being open to manipulation is something that occurred to me last week, actually, when Janis posted on the Mosaic website about being pregnant in her vision despite being single currently.  That seemed incredibly open to being exploited, because a man could easily come forward and say that in his vision he was the father (“I was talking to a buddy about the baby, and showed him your photo”) and trick her into a relationship, because people are fairly cruel like that.

The other major plot point was Demetri’s continued struggle to handle the idea that he’ll soon be dead, even getting an exact date for his death from a mysterious caller.  His fiancée, Zoey, claims to have seen him alive in her vision, but when it showed us what she saw it wasn’t possible to recognise Demetri at that distance, or even that it really was a wedding.  That could easily turn out to be his funeral, or the place where Zoey decides to spread his ashes in a small ceremony.  Or Zoey’s interpretation might be real and Demetri lives, and it’s the mystery caller trying to manipulate him into doing things for her.

Demetri had a big opportunity to put the “destiny” of the flash forwards to the test tonight when he was given the choice of whether or not to report a man’s drugs possession to the authorities, which would forever blacklist the man from getting the job he has in his flash forward.  It didn’t show us what choice he made but I really hope he decided to report him, because Demetri really does need to find out how flexible (or not) the future is.  His life really does depend on it.

The final big plot point running through the episode concerned Aaron’s attempts to confirm what he saw in his vision, that his ‘deceased’ daughter actually still lives.  This was seemingly proven false when her remains were exhumed and the DNA matched, but it’s unlikely to be the end of the story.  When we saw Aaron’s flash forward we really did see his daughter alive, and as she was lying down it could easily be that she lost a leg or something, and that’s what is returning positive results, even though the rest of her is alive and well.

So, yes, whatever was missing from episode two seemed to be back in the third and I’m properly interested in FlashForward again.  At least until the next episode, anyway.

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