Episode: FlashForward 1.09 – “Believe”
Original Air Date: November 19, 2009
Screencaps by In A Dream Caps.
This week’s FlashForward had a pretty different tone than any of the other episodes so far, and I think I liked it. I say think, because while it was cheesy and sappy, it was also focusing on an interesting tangent of the whole phenomenon. I love the idea of people going out and making their visions come true by seeking out the people and places involved. Spoilers ahead!
This whole Dr. Bryce and Keiko thing is really cute. Very cheeseball, but cute! Until this week, all we’ve really known about Bryce is that he’s a doctor, he works with Olivia, he was about to kill himself the day of the blackout, and he seems to believe in the validity of the flash forwards. He was the center of this week’s A plot, and now a lot of blanks have been filled in. Turns out the doctor is also the patient: Bryce has stage IV cancer. That’s why he was ready to swallow a bullet on October 6th. Hmm.
So in Bryce’s vision he sees himself with this hot Japanese chick, speaking Japanese to her and holding hands in a Japanese restaurant. The audience learns it’s a young hot engineer named Keiko. Bryce heads to Japan and wanders around showing people a colored pencil drawing of a girl that he made based on his vision. Eventually, he’s directed to her home. Keiko’s overbearing mother is too interested in a pre-arranged marriage to even allow a strange man to know her daughter exists, and he’s turned away at the door. Don’t worry though, fate works in mysterious ways: at the same time that Bryce is coming back to LA all defeated, Keiko is pursuing her version of the vision. In her flash forward, she saw a sign on the restaurant reading, “best of LA.” She knows the Japanese restaurant is in Los Angeles! As a sad Bryce de-planes back in Cali,, we see a wannabe western Keiko (she’s dressed all “American”) stepping off the same flight a few people later behind the doctor.
Okay, you can sense my sarcasm? I apologize for laying it on thick. Like I said, this whole storyline was really cheesy in my opinion, but I do give it some props. I’m glad that they took the time to explore a sappy angle of the predictions. I like that Bryce now has motivation to live because he thinks he’ll be alive in five months. And I love this chicken-or-the-egg logic this concept’s made me ponder. If the blackout had never happened, would Keiko and Bryce ever meet? It seems like they’re both actively seeking out their future now based on what they saw. Bryce started learning Japanese because in his vision, he was (kinda) speaking it.
So, are the visions coming true because the viewers are making them? Or was it supposed to happen like this? Maybe the visions are already fated to come true; the whole Blackout Phenomenon was/is a part of this linear fate and for some people, seeing the vision is a necessary step for actualizing it. People are fated to pursue what they saw. I like that theory that the step of seeing the prediction is step one in it coming true. I also keep thinking about the reverse idea (Celeste mentioned this a few weeks ago, Oedipal kind of stuff here) that the more one tries to avoid a prediction, the more that person actually helps it to come true.
Someone who is clearly avoiding his prediction is Demetri. This week our ill-fated FBI agent gets a little hot under the collar when he finds out that his possible murder is being investigated, and he’s not in the loop. He got really mad at a meeting, and he demanded he be allowed to listen to the recording of the call his agency has. The call has been super analyzed, and based on some ambient background music, its been deduced the call was made from Hong Kong. Mark and Demetri ask for permission to go to HK, and are denied. This really upsets them both, and they talk about going anyways. I’m not really sure what going to Hong Kong will do at all, and I feel like this plotline is getting boring to me. For some reason I’ve lost interest in Demetri and his potential murder. I’m not sure why. I think that I’m on the side that wants the visions to come true, so I guess I’m just ready for him to go ahead and get murdered March 15th. Pretty callous of me. Oops!
I guess I’m miffed that I’m easily becoming callus towards characters, and right now that’s my biggest complaint with the series as a whole. I can’t find one character who I consistently like. They all keep annoying me at one time or another. Right now I’m annoyed with Mark and Aaron. I find the whole AA storyline to be really boring and ad nauseum. I don’t care about Mark’s drinking, and I’m really over all of the sponsor and addiction talk. Oh, and I also don’t care who sent Olivia the anonymous text about Mark drinking in his flash forward. I don’t think is was Wedeck or Aaron (and for the record, I think both of their angry reactions to Mark asking them about the text were really unmerited and exaggerated. Who would really get that mad?).
All in all, I like this episode for shaking it up and giving us something different. As much as I get annoyed by this show and its less than likeable characters, I’m still liking the show in general. The main plotline was cheesy but sweet enough to keep me happy. The other ongoing stories (Aaron, Mark, and Demetri) are grinding my gears a bit, so all in all, I’m going to give this week 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Rating: 3.5 / 5 Stars