Monday, November 2, 2009

FlashForward 1.06: "Scary Monsters and Super Creeps"

“For some weird reason I get feeling that your husband is a little bit of a neat freak. I don’t know, something about how he doesn’t like his black pens next to his blue pens. Does that sound familiar?”


“Scary Monsters and Super Creeps” was an okay, but not especially stand-out episode. It advanced the MOSAIC investigation somewhat, which is always welcome, but it also lingered on Benford drama more than I would prefer. Dylan’s Halloween costume kind of cracked me up in a sad way, though. Go mini Flavor Flav!

One thing I was looking forward to in this episode was the first significant appearance of Domenic Monaghan as Simon. He appears in the very first scene of the episode in the dining car of a train bound for Los Angeles flirting. His pick up line? “I know what caused the black out.” Simon is a physics genius. He even breaks out Schrodinger’s Cat to try to get a woman to sleep with him. Using physics to pick up a woman must take some serious game. It sort of worked for Leonard with Penny in the The Big Bang Theory, but Simon’s use of the concept has more finesse. Simon did eventually get the woman to sleep with him, and later in the episode he reveals to her what he saw in his flash forward. He saw himself strangling a man to death. The filming of the flash forward is kind of jumpy and hazy, so it’s hard to tell the identity of the strangling victim. It could be Lloyd. It probably isn’t.

Quite a bit of this episode’s action takes place at the hospital. Janis is brought in clinging to life just before the opening title sequence rolls. After a code and some quick surgery, Olivia manages to, at least for now, save Janis’ life. Afterwards she’s exhausted, and she is worried sick because Mark didn’t answer his cell phone any of the many times she called to tell him about Janis. She does manage to take a bit of a doze before Mark arrives at the hospital and wakes her up. The FBI agents who just got in from the big skirmish in DC need a doctor to tell them that Janis is going to make it. After Olivia explains Janis’ condition, Wedek orders all the agents out of the hospital. He wants them to take a little time off. Demetri has other ideas, though, and he convinces Agent Gough to join him.

Demetri and Gough make a stop at the morgue, where they talk to the coroner and examine the body of one of the men who attacked Janis. The only thing remarkable about it is that the guy has a blue hand stamp that shows up under UV light. Demetri remembers Mark saying something about “Blue Hand” and “Baltimore” being on his flash forward conspiracy wall, and the hunt is on. After Demetri and Gough debate whether Mark meant Baltimore St. in Silverlake, CA or Baltimore, MD (which also has a Baltimore St., by the way, but I digress). They decide to go with Silverlake for practical reasons. It’s nearby.

The agents figure out pretty quickly that they chose the right Baltimore. Almost too quickly. It would have been more fun to see Demetri squirm a little over the possibility of being wrong. On a stop sign at Baltimore St. in Silverlake, there’s a sticker with the blue hand symbol. The hand has three fingers, and Demetri figures that means they should go three blocks. Three blocks down the street, there’s another blue hand. This one points them towards a house that they promptly raid. It’s not a pretty sight. There’s blood everywhere and corpses covered in sheets. A blue hand protrudes from one of those sheets. It’s hard to tell if it’s been painted blue or if it’s a glove. All I can think of is “two by two, hands of blue” from the Firefly episode “Ariel.” Demetri and Gough do learn some useful information from the Blue Hand house, though. One of the corpses is identified as having the last name “Rutherford.” In the pilot one of the FBI agents (it might have been Gough) said that during his flash forward, he was in London to speak to an agent there about “the Rutherford case.”

Back at the hospital, Janis’ situation is touch and go. She does wake up from surgery and briefly talk with Wedek, Olivia, and Mark. Wedek stays by her bedside through the whole ordeal. I guess he feels responsible for what happened to her somehow, although that doesn’t really make sense. Maybe because he authorized MOSAIC in the first place and the simultaneous attacks were MOSAIC related? Janis does have to go back into surgery at one point, and Olivia is torn about whether to perform a hysterectomy or an alternative procedure that may save Janis’ uterus. She goes with the alternative, although Janis’ chances of being pregnant are still extremely low because of all the scaring from the bullet. Surprising even herself, Janis is devastated.

The Benford drama took up a lot of time in the episode, but I’m giving it minimal space here. Hear that ABC? This blogger, at least, is only minimally interested in the Benfords, even if I’m a huge fan of Sonya Walger’s character Penny on Lost. Lloyd tells Dylan it’s almost time to go home, and they’re going to be going to Lloyd’s house in Palo Alto. This upsets Dylan and makes him fixate on the phrase “It’s my house too.” Dressed in his Flavor Flav costume (the only costume in his size left in the gift shop), he escapes the hospital and makes his way to the Benford home, where Nicole is handing out candy. Mark gets home from taking Charlie trick-or-treating and chasing down some guys in the same scary masks as his flash forward (just some harmless teens), and he’s very confused by the extra kid.

Lloyd eventually stops by the house to pick up Dylan, and Mark gets surly when he finds out who Lloyd is. The look on Olivia’s face when she walks into the house and sees Mark and Lloyd facing off is freaking priceless. It turns out Dylan was drawn to the Benford home because his flash was Charlie encouraging him to take a cookie out of the Benford cookie jar. How does “no more good days” and “D. Gibbons is a bad man” jive with meeting Dylan in the kitchen for cookies?

After Lloyd leaves, Mark and Olivia have quite the argument. Mark is furious that Dylan was back on Olivia’s service and she didn’t tell him. Olivia is concerned because the pattern that usually signals Mark falling off the wagon is quickly manifesting. Mark is a total hypocrite, begging Olivia to be honest with him when he still hasn’t managed to be honest about drinking in his flash forward. Thanks to the phantom text message, Olivia gives as good as she gets and gets Mark to finally fess up. The status of their marriage is unknown at the end of the episode. The one thing they agree on is that they can’t trust each other.

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