Friday, October 23, 2009

FlashForward - "Gimme Some Truth," Ctd

Hello all.  I decided to break with my recently outlined protocol, and take notes during my first viewing of "Gimme Some Truth" so I could get my thoughts up today, as I will be away this weekend (Beantown!  Go BC!).  I thought this was another great episode (I know, I sound like a broken record), and I think the show is finding its groove.  So much so, that from now on, we should all assume I really like an epsiode of FF unless I think: a) the given episode is one of the Top 5 hours of television ever (like "The Constant" or "Two Cathedrals"), or b) the episode completely disappoints (like "Expose" *shudder*).  Anyway, there were some very interesting tidbits that arose last night, so here we go:

*The picture in the title sequence was the rolling alarm clock Maya gave Janis.  As opposed to the other pictures from previous episodes, this one doesn't appear to have any significance to the greater mythology of the show.  Well, unless Maya was an agent for the perpetrators of the blackout, and she was using it as some kind of marker for the hit squad sent to kill Janis.  That would be an awful lot to swallow though.  At least at this point.  Did make for a cool image rolling through Janis' blood though (solid metaphor too for everyone running out of time).

*Badass Asian Assassnation Sqaud!  This death troupe was, obviously, sent to stop the L.A. FBI from investigating Mosaic any further (I mean, they went after the boys in D.C. and Janis back in L.A. at the same time).  Why were they all Asian?  No real idea, but I have two theories: 1) combined with the belief that Simon and Lloyd (two Enlgishmen) are also in on the cause of the blackout, it shows that Mosaic is a truly international conspiracy; or 2) my theory that Lloyd and Simon created the technology used in the blackout, but it was stolen by an outside force, is true.  For now, I will lean toward the latter, mostly because I hope to be proven correct.  Also, was it the President that ordered the hit?  We did see him go to the phone in the Oval Office and say he was going to "need some help" after meeting with Wedeck.  Wedeck was certainly blackmailing the President with the knowledge of the President's mistress and son (by the by, it seemed like Wedeck was related to the mistress in some way, hence the kiss on the cheek and the warm relationship with the son, but you're a liar if you didn't think it was Wedeck's kid), so a hit job is possible.  Personally, I think this was a purposefully not-well-hidden fake-out.  I believe the true purpose of the call was to arrange for Sen. Clemente to be nominated for Vice President and get her out of the way to keep Mosaic funded.  An assassination order is not the type of call a President makes from the Oval Office.  Everyone knows he does that from the Situation Room

*The shootout was done well from a production standpoint.  I liked seeing the guys channel their inner-Rambo and take out the hit squad with abandon.  One thing though: I know they had a fight in the bar about Mark not telling Wedeck that he was drunk in his flash, but Mark seemed genuinely shocked Wedeck saved him when he was pinned behind the car.  Wedeck even gave the wordless, head nod.  Why would Mark be shocked by this?  They only had a spat in a bar!  Geesh!

*I totally dug the Senate Intelligence hearing, where the Committee was hearing testimony on blackout leads so as to properly appropriate funds.  Senator Clemente (played expertly by Barbara Williams), a real...firebrand, let's say..., was a great character and antagonist to be introduced.  A real Lady Macbeth type, who clearly has it out for Stan Wedeck, who, evidently, cost her the presidency.  How he did that, it wasn't clear to me.  Regardless, she was having none of what was being testified to by the L.A. FBI.  To me, her ambition is the cause of her frustration; first in not winning the presidency, but second, in that her flash showed her as President.  Her rational mind believes that there is no way for this to possibly happen (as she is just a senator at the time of the hearing).  She reacts incredulously to Mark's testimony because he is basing his investigation on the idea that is flash is the future, i.e. it will happen.  Since Clemente can't foresee her flash coming true, she certainly can't believe Mark's will come true either.  Clemente also refers to the Mosaic investigation as "voodoo" and "fraud."  Further, these comments seemed to be pointedly directed at Wedeck.  What is she implying about him? 

*How could Clemente see herself as President, when the current President's flash shows him being awoken by a Secret Service agent because something has happened (it's 1:00am in D.C. at the time of the flash)?  We have no reason to believe she is lying about what she saw (hell, it informs her whole character to this point), so how is this possible?  Is it a Zoe Bartlett kidnapping-type situation, where the V.P. takes over for the President if he can't perform the job and resigns temporarily?  (Sorry for all of the West Wing references.  I adore that show, and with tonight's FF set in D.C., it feels apt.)  It will be interesting to see how this works out.

*Janis.  Oh, Janis.  It had been alluded to, both by a Nazi, and her own admission at not having a boyfriend (in the pilot episode).  She wears masculine glasses, has tattoos, kicks ass in a tae kwon do class (you know, to butch her up), and rebuffs a handsome guy's request for a date.  Yes, it's true, Janis Hawk is a lesbian.  Was this all a little stereotypical?  Absolutely.  However, I do have to give the writers, producers, directors, and, of course, Christine Woods, a ton of credit for how they handled Janis' coming out.  As an ardent supporter of gay rights, and someone who wants more gay characters on TV, I thought FF did a fantastic job with this issue, precisely because they didn't make it an issue.  They slightly teased the coming out over the first four episodes, which makes sense because although it would be nice if a show just had a gay character from the get-go (you know, one where we don't have to wonder is s/he or isn't s/he; where the character just references his/her partner/spouse nonchalantly like I mention my wife in these posts), the fact that Janis is gay is actually consequential to her storyline: the mystery of how she is pregnant in her flash.  When it came time for the reveal of her homosexuality in (aptly) "Gimme Some Truth," it was done very well, and with the nonchalance I wanted to see.  Janis and Maya just went out for dinner, shared a kiss, and the story moved on.  Nothing done for a ratings boost, like some shows.  It's just who Janis is, and it's refreshing.  Well done, FF.  Oh yeah, then Janis got shot at the end, with her new clock winding its way through her blood.  Damn Badass Asian Assassnation Sqaud!  I think she'll live.  One last thing: in Janis' flash she is definitely showing her pregnancy.  Further, she is told that the baby is a girl.  The sex of a baby can usually be first determined between four and five months.  That means Janis needs to get pregnant by December.  November sweeps anyone?  (And, for that matter, where does one get a sonogram at 10:00 at night?)

*Now for my weekly adoration of Sonya Walger and Brian F. O'Byrne.  This should be short, because they were in their only scenes in this episode together!  Such a great job by these actors.  When Olivia overheard Aaron tell Mark to find an AA meeting while in D.C., her look of worry, and almost weariness, that she might have to go down this road with Mark again was spot on.  Further, as she teased the information out of Aaron (who expertly voiced the audience's question: "Are you asking for him or for you?"), you could see her further worry not only for Mark's sobriety, but how this situation could push her into another man's arms, thereby rendering her flash true.  Although, I did take her stated determination to not let that happen as honest.

*Who sent Olivia the text that Mark is drunk in his flash?  Only two people know: Aaron and Wedeck.  If Aaron was going to say something, he would have when speaking to Olivia.  Is Wedeck that petty after he and Mark's spat that he would tell Olivia?  Would he have Olivia's cell number in his cell phone?  All seems a bit hinky.  If it was someone other than Wedeck and Mark, the implication, to me, is that it is possible the flashes were planted into people's minds.  How you do that to seven billion people, I have no idea.  Maybe the rest of the blackout was just cover so a select few could be implanted.  Very odd, and something to be watched.

Quick Hits:

*I always like when time is measured in 39 hours or days, therefore missing the Biblical 40 hours or days.  Just means something "unholy" is about to happen.

*If Demetri's parents are that upset he's not marrying a Korean girl, would they really have given him the name Demetri Fortas Noh?  The only Fortas I know, is former U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Abe Fortas.  He was responsible for the opinion that banned creationism in public school science curricula, in Epperson v. Arkansas.  Anyone know any other significance?

*I liked Mark's AA chip reading, "Keep Coming Back."  Seems like a nice mantra to keep him focused on Mosaic.

*Whoa!  How about Joseph Fiennes' real speaking voice during that volunteerism commercial?  I forgot how thick it was.  I apologize for my criticism of his mastery of an American accent.

*I loved how Sen. Clemente's questions voiced those of the audience, when she asked why would the L.A. FBI office, specifically, lead the blackout investigation.  I like the awareness of the audience's possible questions and doubts.

*Really? No one in the U.S. government noticed huge towers being built in Somalia?  Really?!?!  I still think satellites were used on the 2009 blackout.

*Great use of Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone."  I think the lyrics "How does it feel / To be on your own / With no direction home / Like a complete unknown," were particularly apt for Mark, don't you think?

From my preview of this episode, I went 1-for-6.  I was right that Demetri was not a main part of the story (although he can rock some karaoke), but otherwise, no Lloyd/Simon (but wait utnil next week!), no Bryce, no Zero, nothing on Aaron's daughter, no Al/Celia.  We did get Olivia finding out about Mark's flash, but he didn't tell her (pop out to the catcher).  I guess I'm expecting/wishing for the wrong things.

Prediction (Conspiracy Division): The President did not order the hit, but is involved in the conspiracy.

Predcition (Non-Conspiracy Division): Janis, having now been shot, will realize that there is more to life than her job, and will reconsider the baby, a relationship, and coming out to her co-workers.

OK, that's about it my friends.  If you have any questions, theories or corrections, please drop them in the Comments section below.  Don't forget to check out the FlashForwardCast with Jay and Jack.  As I said above, the show has really hit its stride for me, and becoming a higlight of my television week.  Hopefully, it's doing the same for you.  Thanks always for reading.

I'm off to see if Angelina Jolie can host my next appearance on Millionaire.

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