Tuesday, August 3, 2010

FlashForward 1.21: "Countdown"

“I was a kid. They told me I was destined for greatness. I believed them.”

“Countdown” was yet another extremely disjointed episode of FlashForward. Really the only thing that tied it together was that by the end of the episode, nobody seems like they’re going to be where the need to be to see their flash forward visions come true. This is important, considering it’s now April 29, aka D-Day. We’re following every plotline all at once in this episode, which makes it quite the difficult one to blog. I find many of the stories to be at least mildly interesting, but this disjointed method of storytelling does them all a disservice. On the bright side however, this is the penultimate episode of “FlashForward,” so after one more episode, we shall never have to speak of it on this blog again. Such a ringing endorsement of the show, right?

We begin the episode back at Janis’ apartment, where Simon explains just what he wants from Janis. He wants Janis to help him break into NLAP. He wants to get back to the NLAP computer mainframe, because he thinks there will be secrets to the blackouts there. He pleads his case by reminding us all that it was the nefarious organization that turned his and Lloyd’s experiment into the catalyst for the event. Meanwhile, Demetri is still reeling from thenews that he’s the father of Janis’ soon-to-be baby. Even though Janis has made it clear that he doesn’t need to do a thing, Demetri is still torn over what to do. Mark, even though he has no clue what’s going on, is still trying to convince Demetri to spend his time with Zoey. Demetri, of course, doesn’t do what everyone tells him to do. If he did, it wouldn’t be television. Demetri meets Zoey at the airport, but instead of going with her to Hawaii, he confesses that he slept with Janis. Zoey is understandably upset. She says she’s going to Hawaii with her parents, and she doesn’t want Demetri there. She doesn’t close the door on ever taking Demetri back, but at the moment, she doesn’t want to see him.

Demetri is so broken up over Zoey that he ends up at Janis’ door (I’m holding up a sarcasm sign here for all you Sheldon Coopers out there). He is, to say the least, surprised to see Simon there too. He’s not willing to listen to Janis’ explanations, and he arrests Simon on the spot. Demetri’s plan is to take both Janis and Simon back to the FBI headquarters, but Janis manages to change Demetri’s mind. Which isn’t really surprising, considering Demetri is completely infatuated with Janis. Janis doesn’t even really give all that great of an explanation, but not only is Demetri willing to let her and Simon go. He’s joining them on their caper. Of course, he almost leaves her by the side of the road first, but he predictably turns the van right back around.

After giving Demetri advice on his love life (which really doesn’t make much sense, considering the mess he’s made of his own), Mark has to deal with Hellinger. Vogel has two very interesting bits of information for Mark. First, it appears that Hellinger has been using the flash forwards to make quite a lot of money. He rode the dot com and housing bubbles perfectly. Second, Hellinger says he will only talk with Mark. That’s why the FBI is going to be let anywhere near him. Hellinger is really a first rate ass. He spends much of the episode toying with Mark. Hellinger tells Mark that he’s seen countless flash forwards, and in every possible future, Mark loses control and attacks Hellinger. Well, that’s not so far out of the realm of possibility. Mark does have quite the temper, after all. More disturbing is that Hellinger says a second thing about every possible future is true. Mark is killed. Mark manages to keep it together for most of the episode and refrain from attacking Hellinger, then Hellinger uses the ultimate bait. He tells Mark that Mark must know Charlie is better off without him. That leads Mark to attack Hellinger and get himself kicked out of the FBI building for the rest of the day.

Before getting himself in trouble, Mark was also somewhat involved in a plot that centered around Lloyd. Lloyd is still trying to work out the equation from his flash forward. He and Mark have both seen the same symbol in their respective investigations, and Lloyd tells Mark that it’s the symbol for the tachyon constant, something physicists have been trying to figure out for decades. This leads Mark to look into the word “tachyon,” and he finds references to Tachyon Information Systems and “tachyon wipe.” Mark now believes that “tachyon wipe” means all the data at Tachyon Information Systems is going to be erased. Wedeck sends an FBI team to Tachyon to try and keep the data wipe from happening, but it’s a trap. None of the agents survive the ambush. Mark is able to be restrained from attacking Hellinger over this, but not over the comment about Charlie that I mentioned earlier. Go figure. Lloyd spends most of the episode wanting to spend time with Olivia, while she’s resisting with all that she’s got. Dylan starts messing with Lloyd’s paperwork and mentions something about all the pieces needing to be in place. This prompts Lloyd to hightail it to Olivia’s house.

Since this is an episode of FlashForward, there are a few other plots to deal with, too. Aaron and Tracey are still in Afghanistan in the place Aaron saw in his flash forward. Tracey’s condition deteriorates throughout the episode. Aaron questions a Jericho goon they’ve captured, and he finds out that the reason Jericho wanted Tracey was because of what she saw. She didn’t see a village wiped out as she thought she did, though. She saw a localized black out- a test for the global event that happened back in the fall. Also, Nicole’s feeling guilty over knowing where Keiko is and not telling Bryce. She brings Bryce cupcakes. While Nicole and Bryce are planning to go to a big outdoor event to celebrate D-Day, Nicole finally confesses the truth. Predictably, Bryce is upset and disgusted. He can’t believe that Nicole would just let Keiko rot in a detention facility. It’s really not all as bad as Bryce thinks, though. Keiko’s mom has arrived in Los Angeles, and Keiko is to be allowed to fly home to Japan. Keiko doesn’t want to miss her foreseen meeting with Bryce, but her mom points out that security guards won’t let her not get on that plane.

At the end of the episode, we’re left wondering how any of the characters are going to be where their visions said they would be at flash forward time. Janis and Demetri are on their way to help Simon with whatever he wants to do at NLAP. A partier out in the street gives Mark a flask. Mark then gets drunk and winds up in jail after a bar fight. Nicole is by herself and not near water. Bryce is at the detention facility. Keiko is at the airport. Olivia and Charlie are at the beach, and Dylan and Lloyd are outside Olivia’s house. Clearly the season finale will show us how at least some of these characters get from where they are now to where they saw they would be. And really, at this point, I don’t care anymore.

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