Sunday, October 11, 2009

FlashForward - "137 Sekunden," Ctd

Before I start with my recap, I wanted to detail the schedule I try to follow in writing them.  FF airs on Thursdays, and I watch it live, just enjoying what happens and formulating preliminary thoughts.  I then watch it again over the weekend and take the notes that I turn into the recap, writing it on Sunday or Monday.  I try to avoid any other recaps before I write mine.  I then listen to the FlashForwardCast by Jay and Jack on Monday.  I listen to podcasts while at work, and download them first thing in the morning.  Jay and Jack's FF podcast doesn't appear on iTunes until late Friday morning, so I don't get it until Monday.  Anyway, that's the schedule I try to follow.  Of course, circumstances may change from time to time, but I'll try to stick to this timetable.

On to "137 Sekunden."  This was probably the best episode of the three that have aired so far.  Seems like the actors are getting comfortable in their roles, and the writers are getting comfortable with the pacing.  I'm still a little concerned with the creators' grasp of the mythology, but I think they'll get there.

*I think there's no way in hell Demetri is going to die.  As I wrote last week, John Cho is too important to the show to kill him off in a couple months.  But I have another reason too.  The show has said that the flashes all occur on April 29, 2010.  April 29, 2010 is a Thursday, the same day of the week the show airs.  This is clearly not a coincidence.  Demetri was told that he will die on March 15, 2010.  March 15 is a Monday.  I just can't imagine that such an important event would air on a day other than a Thursday when the show has made that point that it's most important event will occur in "real time." 

*I mentioned last week that an image of a white queen chess piece was shown during the opening title sequence.  We don't know why it is significant yet, but assumedly, it will be.  In the opening of this episode, a flock of birds was shown.  We would learn later that crows carry significance, so this opening image was a clue.  I think we'll have to look for more of these to help solve the mystery.

*We received some more comedic elements in this episode.  We had the "farting Earth," "Spidey sense," and "Britney Spears" jokes.  The difference with last week was that the jokes seemed to be better integrated into the script.  They were more natural, as opposed to the jokes yelling, "Look at us!  We're funny too!!"  Good to see.

*Demetri's fiance, Zoe, was finally introduced.  She is played by the fabulous Gabrielle Union.  I really like her and John Cho together.  There seems to be a nice ease to their relationship.  Anyway, Zoe's flash was, supposedly, of her and Demetri's wedding.  She assumed it was in Hawaii, which would seem to make sense.  Her flash was in bright daylight.  On April 29 at 10p PDT (when the flashes occur in L.A.), it would be 7p in Hawaii.  At 7p on April 29 would it be bright daylight?  Probably not, but it will definitely be light out (more likely dusk).  I know this seems like semantics, but if the show is going to maintain its credibility while emphasizing its time-based mythology, the writers are going to have to be vigilant about this stuff.  Further point: Zoe claims that it is her and Demetri's wedding, but she never saw Demetri (well, we never saw Demetri).  Was she marrying someone else?  I think not, but you never know.

*The bulk of the episode centered around the incarcerated Nazi, Herr Geyer.  Geyer claimed to know why the blackout lasted 137 seconds (or sekunden, in German).  Of course, this was a ruse employed to win his freedom.  If we have learned nothing else, it is never trust a Nazi!  The whole Kabbalah thing was just odd, but just odd enough that it may actually have some resonance later in the season.  One aspect of Kabbalah is that followers wear a red string bracelet.  Remember, Mark was given a string bracelet from his daughter, Charlie.  I know it wasn't red, but it could have deeper meaning.  Or not.  Gaier's flash showed him arriving at a U.S. airport.  If that were true, it would be 10p in L.A., and 1a April 30 in New York.  It appeared that the scene occurred during the day.  Perhaps not, but, as I mentioned above, the writers need to watch this stuff.  The interrogation of Gaier let Joseph Fiennes finally show us why he's a great actor.  I felt that in these scenes, coupled with his scene with Janis following the first interrogation, Fiennes was finally comfortable.  Much better job by him in this episode.

*The crows.  They were alluded to in the title sequence, and directly referenced by Gaier.  All of the crows around his prison were dead after the blackout.  This make sense if the crows were, too, effected by whatever caused the blackout.  Like airplanes, if something flying blacks out for over two minutes, it's going to die when it falls out of the sky.  Now, we didn't see any dead birds around L.A., crows or otherwise.  Nor did we see any other dead birds in Munich.  Does the blackout machine only effect crows and humans?  That would be rather bizarre.  Anyway, we saw that back in 1991, a similar event occurred in Somalia or Sudan (I think.  I forgot to write it down and don't have the episode on my DVR anymore.  Sorry!).  It seems that the large antenna/minaret thing caused the birdie blackout.  To me, it appeared to be some kind of sonic device, perhaps emitting a frequency outside humans' range of hearing that scrambled the birds' brains.  Seems plausible to me. 

Quick Hits:

*Squirrelio!!  Squirrelio!!  We saw part of his cartoon!

*What the hell happened to Nicole the babysitter?  They made a big deal of showing her in the pilot, then all of a sudden she's gone?  I guess she could have been written off the show, but why?  And why bring her back up again in this episode if she was written off?  Odd.

*The Lost similarities continue.  Aaron's wife is played by Kim Dickens, who played Sawyer's baby mama on Lost.  And her name is Kate!  And by the way, I've said it before, and I'll say it again, Brian F. O'Byrne is awesome.  He and Sonya Walger are giving the best performances on this show, by far.

*Janis is getting annoying.  Now she's possibly gay?  So she's going to get a sperm donor in the next few months?  Or she's going to give it one last try with a guy to "prove" she's straight?  Also, she's obviously really smart and has seen some really wacky stuff since the blackout.  Why would she just dismiss the crow theory immediately?  Fix this character now!

*When Janis first searched the database for sudden crow depopulation, the screen did not show the blurb about the corresponding human "loss of consciousness" in 1991.  Only when the camera cut back to the screen was it there.  These types of continuity errors drive me insane.

*Wedeck's eulogy was probably the most emotional moment of the series to date.  Well played.

As far as what I wanted to see in this episode, I didn't get everything.  We got more Demetri, but no Dylan, Charlie, Suspect Zero, or Dominic Monaghan.  Further, I was totally off, at least for now, on why the blackout lasted 2:17. 

We saw that the large antenna thingy caused the 1991 blackout, on a small scale.  If the blackout device works because of a sonic pulse or the like, it must be large enough to reach the whole world. 

Prediction:  The perpetrators used the numerous satellites around the Earth to "broadcast" the sonic pulse to cause the blackout.

OK, that's it for "137 Sekunden."  Again, the best episode of the three so far, and I think the show is starting to find its groove.  Let me know your thoughts and theories in the comments below.  As always, thanks for reading.

I'm off to add up my name in Hebrew numerals.


  1. lol
    the day that FF airs is different depending WHERE it airs, it would be small minded to have it airing on a certain day when it could be wasted on viewers around the world. you mention demetri supposedly dies on monday, well that's when it airs in the UK!

    you dont believe it could be the case, but it's too convenient that Zoe saw her husband-to-be from a long distance, meaning it's entirely plausible that it's someone else.
    To anyone who says it's highly unlikely Zoe would marry someone else in less than 6 months, I give you Olivia being with another man or Aaron seeing his daughter despite her remains "apparently" being buried.

    assuming the story revolves mainly around science fiction and not spirtual fiction, the blackout was caused by some scientifc phenomena, seemingly a large tower with transmitters on each side (like the force field generators in lost) which must generate a signal that only affects humans and crows, luckily in very different ways. Is it possible that whoever developed the signal originally INTENDED it's effects to be lethal? a strange side effect was time distorted memories and was only lethal to crows?

    does the cloud above the tower have any significance? it looks remarkably bird shaped when the somalian boy first see's it.

    No doubt the teams first visit in episode 4 will be to that particular region in somalia, so I suspect we wont have to wait long before we answer at least that question, personally I'm curious if they have more flash forwards, and if they do (between now and april 29th) why didnt anyone come forward as having known about it? (surely SOMEONE was viewing/talking about the dates the FF occurred, be it one or many.

    I'm curious on the mechanics of the temporal shift; it seems that what people saw either will happen, or it's just a possibility (i think it's a cert or the FF meant nothing other than a warning) so if what's happened has happened and always WILL happen, then the FF showed everyone their future already knowing that it would show them what they were doing on that date, meaning that 7 billion people had to be precisely where they were shown to be at that precise time, so surely BILLIONS of people were in obscure locations to prove the FF wasn't guaranteed?
    It's a mind f$&k to say the least.
    I surmise that you can see the time between the FF and april 29th as a loop; what people saw in their FF makes them behave a certain way, so BECAUSE of it they make what they saw happen, HAPPEN.
    meaning that EVERYTHING mark (joseph fiennes) has written on his wall or ever looked at because of his FF is quite possibly 100% useless to the investigation - he's chasing leads he saw in the future, but he only DID that future because of a vision of it... make sense?
    It's a mental mindfield making the writers pretty flexible in whatever they do with the story, but at the same time making themselves wide open to abuse when they forget to consider the sort of theory I've just described.

  2. Agreed with Gavin, FF airs Monday in Australia too, and also i don't know if it's just me or what but this episode felt like the worst of all three so far; nothing seems to be moving forward. What happened to the search for suspect zero? also Janis seems to be the only interesting character theyve got going [oh and i think Demetri might be the father] Hmmmm. maybe things will pick up next week.

  3. Hello global Commenters! You're right, I had no idea that FF aired on a different day in other countries. I apologize for my American-centric TV attitude. It's tough to shake those last eight years (but thank God we did!). Anyway...

    Gavin, I'm beginning to think like you are, insofar as that the flashes are showing them the possible future, perhaps the path they are currently on. However, the future can be changed. I think that's much more likely.

    I still think it's unlikely Zoe would be marrying someone else in 6 months, save for a reason like "we'll kill Demetri if you don't marry Suspect Zero!" Affair in six months? Sure. Living with someone in six months? Sure. Marrying someone in six months? I'm still dubious.

    I thinik the explanation is definitely sci-fi, and not spiritual, at least not any more overtly spiritual than Lost is. I didn't notice the cloud. Good catch.

    The time loop you describe is what I was alluding to in my post vis a vis the writers. They need to be very careful that they keep their version of "time" consistent. If that means that the flashes are self-fulfilling (because they are the TRUE future), then they must be across the board. I hope they have a strong grip on their mythology because I think it can be really great.

    Anonymous, I think they will get back to Zero next week. I look at it this way: the blackout was a global phenomenon, and therefore, there are going to be clues around the world. So the show is going to have to investigate those clues as they arise. Each episode is only 44 minutes (without commercials) so investigating these new clues will, sometimes, require sacrificing other leads being front and center.

    I like Janis too, but I think they need to figure out who exactly she is. Not that all the mystery around her needs to be revelaed immediately, but I think she needs some more centering. And I think there are other interesting characters, specifically Demetri and Aaron. I like Olivia too, mostly because I love Sonya Walger. Anyway. We're only three episodes in, so I'm willing to give them more time.

    Thanks all for reading and writing. Hope you'll come back.


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