Monday, April 5, 2010

FlashForward 1.13: "Blowback"

“I’ll tell you one thing. Prison? Especially where I was? It changes you. Makes you a capable man.”


I think that “Blowback” is yet another episode of FlashForward that suffers from the show’s overall lack of focus. This episode only really half-heartedly tried to focus on Aaron. We got Aaron flashbacks, and we got some significant advancement of the Aaron/Tracey plot, but the show also tried to deal with at least three other plots, too. That was too much, and it took away from what could have been a very emotional, heartbreaking, and, yeah, kinda creepy, storyline for Aaron. I think the best way to handle the merry-go-round that is an episode of FlashForward is to address each character’s story in turn.

Since the episode is slightly Aaron centric, his story seems to be a good place to start. We see several flashbacks of Aaron that all seem to establish a few important character traits as the episode moves forward. He has a temper. That temper is usually controlled, but he can sometimes suddenly go off the rails. His daughter, Tracey, also seems to be the most important person in his life. We see Aaron when he was in prison, where he tried to beat up a corrections officer who made lewd comments about Tracey. We see him get “The Visit” after Tracey was presumed dead in Afghanistan. There are shots from Tracey’s funeral interspersed with Aaron drinking and raging.

In the present, Aaron has to coax Tracey out of a local bar. He warns her that if he was able to find her easily (just look in the closest bar), Jericho goons would certainly be able to do so as well. The next morning, as Aaron makes his special hangover cure for Tracey’s breakfast, Tracey tells him she’s reluctant to drag him into this whole Jericho mess. Aaron’s not having it, though. He’s confident everything will turn out for the best because his vision showed them together again, even if it was in Afghanistan. Aaron makes the mistake of spreading the joy a little. He visits Mike, a former Marine with whom Tracey served, at a construction site and tells Mark that Tracey is alive and staying at his house.

Tracey is cooking- it looks like spaghetti- when some masked kidnappers (this is becoming a bit of a recurring theme in FlashForward now, isn’t it?) subdue her. They put her in a big moving box and cart her right out of the house- it’s a rather disturbing image. A pot of water is left boiling ominously on the stove. Aaron arrives home to see the smoke detector going off. It doesn’t take him long to realize that Tracey has been abducted. It also doesn’t take him long to realize that Mike is likely the person who tipped Jericho off to Tracey’s location.

Aaron most definitely goes off the rails for the rest of the episode. He finds Mike and lures him into his truck. Once they’re driving, Aaron confronts Mike with what he has figured out. The two have a knock-down-drag-out fight, but we don’t see the outcome just yet. Next, Aaron heads to the home of a local Jericho big wig. The whole thing is very sinister, as Aaron uses his job with the DWP to gain access to the property. He fakes a power outage, than says he’s there to fix it. Being the voracious consumer of pop culture that I am, I figured a murder was about to take place right there, right then.

The confrontation between Aaron and the bigwig is kind of lame. They both insult each other, and Aaron threatens the big wig and walks away. Later, we see Aaron in his car eavesdropping on the big wig. He hears the big wig tell someone he’s going to call in a hit on Aaron. He also finds out that Tracey has been taken back to Afghanistan. He gets out of his car, and we begin to see just how far off the deep end Aaron has gone. He opens the trunk, and a tied up Mike is revealed. By the end of the episode, tied up Mike is in the big wig’s house to send a message, and Aaron is “off the grid.”

Another story that receives a decent amount of focus in this episode involves Demetri and Zoey. Their roles seem to have reversed from the early episodes of the series where Demetri was brooding over having now flash forward and Zoey was convinced she saw their beach wedding. Now Demetri is the one convinced that he’ll be okay (he trusts Mark), and Zoey is the one freaking out. She starts her “Save Demetri” crusade by paying an awkward and kind of hostile visit to Mark. To make things even worse for Demetri, she then files a FOIA request for all of the FBI’s MOSAIC files. Demetri, is, understandably, upset and kind of embarrassed that she’s causing so much trouble for his friends, colleagues, and boss.

Once she gets some information from the files, Zoey interviews the blonde terrorist from the pilot (who is still in custody). Zoey offers to represent her in exchange for information on Demetri’s murder. The terrorist is skeptical at first, but she agrees once Zoey asks her if she was in prison in her flash forward. I guess that means she wasn’t. Demetri’s not happy about this turn of events, either, but he and Zoey reconcile when she tells Demetri that he’d to the same if he knew she was supposed to be murdered. Demetri goes to the evidence locker to get Mark’s gun so it can be destroyed. He and Zoey are thrilled that this is all going to be behind them now. There’s just one small problem. The gun is missing.

Meanwhile, Mark brings Lloyd to the Benford home to question Lloyd some more about their flash forward phone call. He brings Lloyd up to the master bedroom, which is all kinds of awkward, but it’s kind of fun to watch Lloyd squirm as Mark broods at him. Eventually, Mark manages to get Lloyd to admit that Lloyd knows D. Gibbons. D. Gibbons stole some of Lloyd’s research. Which sounds kind of familiar, considering the big pylons in Somalia were the product of Simon’s stolen research.

Speaking of Somalia, Mark also keeps pressuring a still reluctant Wedeck to authorize a trip to Somalia. CIA agent Vogel, however, actually makes it happen. There’s a catch, though. Demetri and Janis will be going to Somalia along with Vogel, but Mark won’t. Vogel claims it’s because Mark’s knowledge of MOSAIC makes him to valuable to risk on such a mission, but I’m starting to get really suspicious of Vogel. He never really seemed to care about Mark before. One final addition to the team is made, though- Simon. And in other news, Janis has been accepted as a patient at a fertility clinic. Yeah, you can do the math on the number of stories included in this week’s episode. I’ve about had it.

No comments:

Post a Comment