Episode: FlashForward 1.05 – “Gimme Some Truth”
Original Air Date: October 22, 2009
Screencaps by In A Dream Caps.
Mark and the LA office’s FBI agents are the main focus of this week’s heated episode. The pressure has been turned up a notch as Demetri, Mark, and Wedeck are in Washington to defend their Mosaic project and its hefty funding. Spoilers from here on!
Mark, Demetri and crew are in a parking garage, getting into a vehicle, when a dark SUV speeds into the garage, slams into a car and blocks our guys in. Next thing we see is a group of unknown-to-us men jump out of the SUV and open fire with automatic weapons and grenade launchers. The whole episode will then build us back up to the opening scene’s gun fight, and the puzzle starts being assembled 39 hours earlier.
Polygraphs about the contents of flash forwards are being administered to all of the agents in preparation for the budget hearings in DC. It seems that all of the characters we know are telling the truth about their visions, a good thing for the credibility of Mosaic. We also find out the Wedeck is old buddies with the President himself, as well as harboring an old rivalry with the woman who’s running the hearing: Senator Clemente.
Obviously we know that the hearings are going to end up okay for our characters, how could they not? I understand that the Senate shouldn’t dump a bunch of money into one renegade field office, but I wasn’t really buying that the validity of Mosaic could really be so questionable. Mosaic seems pretty baseline and important to me. Although it may not have been their call to start the project, since it’s up and running it seems a no-brainer to let it ride and see what happens.
We glean that world leaders aren’t making their visions public, which was interesting to me; sadly, I took until now to consider the weight of different visions. It makes obvious sense that world leaders or political/military higher ups could and should have had far more significant flash forwards than your Average Joe. I’m sure some of them were doing mundane things — making breakfast or taking a shower — but the opportunity for these people to glimpse into major futuristic events is pretty legitimate and fascinating.
Mark was boozing during his flash forward, which has led to a hazy two minutes and seventeen seconds that comes and goes in blacking-out spurts. He gets called out on this during his testimony, and it’s such a weird fine line he’s walking. He’s risking his credibility whether he lies or tells the truth. It’s so impossible to prove anything like these blackouts and visions; I think the show has done a pretty realistic interpretation of intra-personal trust issues, and taking people for their word on what they saw. Seriously, how can you prove it other than to just wait six months?
The issue of Mark’s drinking is a running theme this week. Olivia overhears Aaron on the phone (he’s at their home doing some work while Mark is out of town). Aaron is Mark’s sponsor and he’s encouraging him to go find a meeting in DC. It seems like Olivia is already starting to doubt her marriage, and cracks between her and Mark are widening. She sighs and confesses to her husband’s friend, “I love him, Aaron, I just [long pause] know I can’t control him.” She seems to be giving up here; it’s a turning point, in my opinion. Perhaps escaping the inevitable fate of the flash forward visions will be harder than anticipated (maybe it’s impossible?). The text Olivia gets informing her of Mark’s drinking in his vision is sketchy at best. I wonder who sent it (my guess is maybe the Simon character from last week). And for the record, I kinda don’t like Olivia anymore — she annoyed me this episode; I just thought she was whiny.
Janis is a lesbian. This is awesome! I’m about as progressive as they come, and seeing the same-sex smooching get so much screen time made me really happy. FlashForward’s stock went up in my book for this move. Although, they did lose a few points for the entirely cheesy and fake dialogue used on the ladies’ first date. Angelina Jolie? Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Ehh. Lame. Maya and Janis do expose an interesting facet of the visions: using Mosiac on a civilian average-joe level. Maya has looked up Janis’s vision before their date; she’s having dinner with a woman who will be pregnant in six months. That would be pretty overwhelming information to know! Surprisingly, it’s Janis who freaks out over the possibility of this date spurring something real, and Maya’s left lovestruck but confused when Janis says she’s just not ready for anything.
Janis also does more than dating this episode. After her team has scoured the satellite images of Somalia, they’ve discovered some very strange towers built right before the local blackout that happened there.
On a couple random notes, Wedeck has a kid maybe? At least I think that’s what all the stuff with Renée was. This episode also had some awesome bar karaoke scenes that I was appreciating for the LOLs. I was crooning “How does it feel?” for hours after watching.
At the end of the day, Mosaic is saved and funding will go on. And then we see the scene from the beginning. The scene of the agents walking towards the SUV with their guns out, “Like A Rolling Stone” cranking in the background, was pretty awesome. This show has a knack for montages that I am totally digging. At the same time, back in LA, a lone gunman (ethnically similar to the gunmen in DC) finds Janis and shoots her coming out of a store. The episode ends with her laying on the ground bleeding, thinking about her future baby vision. This is a pretty significant cliffie. If Janis dies, the validity of all flash forwards can be questioned, or at least the implication of the fate being finite can be. If she lives, it further locks in how all actions now keep chugging down the tracks towards the visions coming true.
I’m still hooked in, and the long story arc is really fascinating to me. We saw some really interesting development this week, and yay for featuring a gay relationship on primetime tv. But due to some cheesy dialogue and too much focus on the hearings, I’m just giving this episode three and a half out of five stars.
Rating: 3.5 / 5 Stars
So with you on the girl/girl. Love that they’re including that (I’m a sucker for anything homo), but their characterization is really bothering me. The dialogue was awful and they moved way faster than was particularly realistic. I hope they fix those problems because I personally think portraying it that way does more harm than good.
Celeste, i TOTALLY agree with you 100%! They really need to do a better job with Janis’ character and her relationship with Maya.
Do you think its a baby that she’s planned with Maya? Do you think she’ll live? Honestly, I’m predicting yes to both questions. Kinda hoping I’m wrong b/c I’d like to see the show so us some kind of a curveball here and these assumptions seem so straightforward.
I definitely think she’ll live. I don’t believe the flash forwards are changeable, but I think there will be some twists that neither we nor the characters expect. Knowing what will happen during any given two minutes of your life without context is definitely not the same as knowing how you got there or what it means! As for the baby, I dunno if it’ll be something she plans with Maya, with someone else (since she apparently only takes one date to fall madly in love with someone), or if she’s a surrogate or something else entirely.
I am curious why no one is questioning the obvious scenarios and situations being played out in this program. Dont get me wrong i like the show and continue to watch and mostly thrive on the fact that some out of no where twist is bound to take place towards the latter half of this season that will likely either explain some of the seemingly botched visions or may simply create the scenarios of life these charachters seem to be destined for 6 months down the road.
Could someone explain to me how Janis can be pregnant and showing the way she is in her flash forward during a sonogram!! if this is true, she should be pregnant now, this to me is ridiculous.
And i really dont care what sort of marital infadelity is going on, you;re gonna tell me that Mark and his wifes characters are so determined to not let their marriage fall apart that in 6 months this guy from nowhere will be in the house with her with no shirt and his feet kicked up on the table with her looking down at him from the stairs saying she loves him!!! Cmon!!, thats almost more ridiculous than Janis being pregnant if it were not for the statistical fact that a test would show shes pregnant now if she is that far in 6 months.
And what is with the hearing on peoples ideas of why the blackout happened…is it just the madame chairmans hard headedness that she is bashing Mark over his flash forward…he is a damn FBI agent (of some authority from what i can see)some unbelievable phenomenon happens like this and she doesnt believe or think he is credible enough to let him be an FBI agent and research, investigate, pry, prod…do WHATEVER to find out why the whole world went unconcious except for 2 people…thats just stupid unless of course she is in on it. She herself saw her as president (IN SIX MONTHS!!!)
It seems like some of these characters and their story lines are getting dumber and dumber, not to mention the horrible acting…i mean can Mark speak any more like a modern day cowboy that you can barely hear with a pathetic rhaspy yet hoarse voice to makes him always sound intense yet ridiculous.
Im sorry, i watch every week and will continue to but things just seem a little out of whack and unbelievable
hartwicklax22 – the Senator is being hard on Mark and Mosaic because Wedeck is in charge of it and she has a vendetta against him. I don’t think she even got to the point of asking herself if it’s a good thing to have or not — all she cares about is seeing Wedeck fail. We also only know that she SAID she saw herself as president, not that she actually will be. However, if she gets appointed VP by the prez as she apparently will be, there is the possibility that something will happen in six months to move her up to president. Obviously it’s not that the current president will die, since he had his own flash forward, but someone woke him up to tell him something and we have no idea what that might be.
Same goes for Olivia & Lloyd — we don’t know the context of that. We’re meant to assume that because Mark has started drinking she’s kicked him out and Lloyd has moved in, but I doubt it’s that simple. Especially since Lloyd is apparently in on it.
In the first episode, when Janis is first telling her coworkers about being pregnant in her flash forward, she says the baby is about 17 weeks. That’s only just over 4 months. So no, she would not have to be pregnant now for her flash forward to be true. She needs to get pregnant fairly soon, though, since I think it’s already been several weeks since the blackouts.
I think the fact that the future scenarios, in many cases, seem impossible or at least improbable is one of the strengths of the show. If all we saw were things that made perfect sense, neither we nor the characters would feel much conflict or tension. As time progresses, I expect that things will continue moving in a direction which leads to the things seen in the flash forward, but the twist(s) will be how it gets to that point.
Thanks for the reply Celeste…i understand that there are many aspects of the show that are left well hung in the balance of being awkward and not understandable, however, with many of the shows these days being so intricately detailed to the very spec of technology (if that makes any sense) i guess i expected to see more validity and obvious realism in the story lines. Again, i find the show pretty exciting with the exception of some poor acting by many of the characters.
I also do realize that the Senetor is out to get Wedeck, but feel that with the unbelievably far fetched scope of this “blackout” i would feel that even the most powerful decision makers in the world would be a bit humbled at least to the point of working any angle possible to explain this occurrance.
Also, six months is not an awefully long period of time for such drastic events to take place in the lives of anyone. Most people when speculating optimistic or pesemistic foreshadowing look at how things may be years into the future…You and i in six months time will most likely be doing something quite similar to what we are doing now in six months, so why is everyones flashforeward so drastic (i know to make the show) but still seems mostly improbable.
And just to add a few more questions for thought:
…pertaining to the comment about 1 billion people in China having had a less than 1% casualty rate during the blackout according to the statement made from one of the theorists at the hearing, the response was that possible because it was night over there and they were all sleeping….Helloooo, in a country with that many people and just using common sense, we all know that there are still a HELL of a lot of people who are just not asleep, so that statement to me was ridiculous.
…and pertaining to a persons “fate” “flash forward” or what have you…if you are expected to be shot/murdered as is the case with Lloyd…how is there no way to prevent that. I mean really, if you know how you are going to die, then buy a ticket to Patagonia in 3 months and go stay there for a while.
…i mean jeez, ifsomeone says im gonna get shot by my neihbor next week im going to disappear for a bit until things blow over with my prophecy to prevent it.
…At least these things provide for some good blogging/healthy debate over different topics…thanks for the feedback
I’m going to assume you’re familiar with Oedipus Rex — avoiding a prophecy is frequently (in fiction) exactly how you ensure that it plays out. Prophecies are rarely properly understood by those seeing them, because of the lack of context. I know what you mean about how so many people’s flashes are drastic, but like you said, that’s what makes the show. If they were all just having dinner or (like Wedeck) going to the bathroom, it wouldn’t make for a very interesting story. =)
hartwicklax22, sorry i’ve been so slow to get back here to comment!
i don’t think that the flash forwards are so far fetched. i know that for many people six months may not be a ton of time to provide a huge change in lifestyle, but i feel like whenever my life has taken a major turn or changed directions, it is usually very abrupt, and unseen on the horizon.
i think that the divide between olivia and mark is already there, and i was even commenting this week that it seems to be growing deeper. at this point, with olivia’s frustration and fear (with mark’s drinking and the possible affair in her FF, respectively) i think its very feasible to see her separated from mark in 5ish months from “now.” and like celeste mentioned, we know that lloyd is involved in this all somehow, so who knows what kind of pull he’ll have in making the visions become realized.
also, during the hearing about possible sources of the blackout – i think that the whole reason they mentioned the absurdly low casualty rate in China during the blackout was to make a point. I think you’re right to say that such a low percentage of death seems improbable, and i feel like that was the point they were trying to make. way more people should have died in china, thus the suspicion that the chinese are somehow behind the blackout.
and about preventing one’s own prophesy, in your example with the neighbor murdering you. i think if you reall did hit it to patagonia in a means to escape your inevitable murder i feel like the neighbor would just show up there as well if it was really meant to happen. its like what celeste was saying, a traditional approach to prophesies in fiction is the fallacy of escapist actions actually enabling the prophesy to come true.
and finally, i do agree that its nice to have an interesting show to spark debate and discussion!
celeste, nice tie in with oedipus, that’s an excellent point indeed, and one i felt like i have been mentally circling around without being able to pinpoint. thanks!
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