Wednesday, December 30, 2009

FlashForward - 2010 Preview

Yes, beleive it or not, you are actually reading my long-promised thoughts on the 2010 mega-preview that appeared at the end of the FlashForward fall finale, "A561984."  I know, I know, you could barely enjoy your Christmakwanzukkah gifts because you were beset with anguish over what I thought about the preview.  Well, your worries can be cast away, because here they are:

*Up front, I believe the preview consisted of scenes from a number of already shot future episodes, and not just the March 4 return episode.  However, I don't think the show has too many future episodes in the can yet, so what we see must occur within the first few episodes back.

*We were told that our characters' destinies are "not set in stone," and are then later asked, "How far will they go?"  It seems (as we have suspected for a long, long time) that what someone saw in his or her flash can be changed, but to do so, proactive, and perhaps extraordinary, measures must be taken.  What this signals to me is that unlike the ancient debate between whether our futures are products of Fate (see Greek mythology) or Free Will (see Western philosophy), FF is operating under the premise that our lives are determined by a combination of the two.  To steal an analogy from Lost, throwing a pebble in a river will have no effect, but if you throw a boulder into a river, the river's path will change.  Likewise, our lives may be predetermined, but if you throw a large enough boulder in the way, the path of our lives will change.  Fate is the river, and free will is the boulder.  It is an interesting concept that plays nicely with the Schrodinger's Cat theory that the observer determines the outcome of given possibilities.

*We saw Janis, Demetri and an African-American man running, guns pulled, through a scene.  The last guy wasn't wearing glasses, so I assume it wasn't Wedeck.  I hope it is the CIA agent, Marshall Vogel played by Michael Ealy.  As I mentioned in the "A561984" recap, I enjoyed his character and hope he appears again.  He's a nice counterpoint to Mark and Demetri, and who knows, he may need to help Demetri if...

*...Mark switches sides.  That seems to be the way we're supposed to be thinking.  As was revealed in "A561984," Demetri is to be shot by someone using Mark's gun (the episode title referring to the serial number on said gun), and, presumably, by Mark.  Plus, we have in the preview Mark throwing Demetri up against a wall saying, "I should've killed you."  Does Mark really turn on his partner and the FBI?  Is this scene just a show for the "bad guys?"  Does Demetri turn on Mark?  There are obviously many possibilities.  We also saw Mark getting shot up with something.  Does whatever is in the shot "brainwash" Mark (he was LOADED, OK?)?  I am actually going to place my bets on Demetri avoiding his March 15th date with death, which causes some terrible change to Mark's future.  Just as plausible as anything else, right?

*The preview also tells us, rather dramatically, that "vows will be broken."  This is coupled with a shot of Olivia kissing Lloyd.  I think we all saw this coming -- Olivia's flash has to come true, doesn't it?  The question is: does Mark's drinking push Olivia to Lloyd, or does her daliance cause Mark's drinking?  I'm thinking the latter.  With Olivia and Lloyd's banter about Harvard in the last episode, plus Lloyd's kidnapping and Olivia now charged with protecting Dylan, there is obviously a lot of emotional drama that has and will be created between the two of them.  If Keanu Reeves taught us anything, love and desire can be born out of intense situations

*Quickly, Janis gets pregnant, and Bryce and Nicole kiss!  On the former, I figure someone we already have met will be the sperm donor for Janis' baby.  My bet is on Bryce.  His suggestion of a sperm bank, good genes (except the cancer thing, I guess), and he's unattached.  At least until he and Nicole get together.  So much for Keiko, huh?  They've been building to a Bryce-Nicole pairing with her helping him find Keiko and her working at the hospital, but I don't really see where this is going.  I mean, an entire episode was devoted to Bryce finding his love from Japan, and on April 29th he's going to meet her, so where could this go?  I guess we'll have to wait and find out.

*Last, but certainly not least, is Mark's declaration that "there is going to be another blackout."  Now, you'll have to trust me, but about two-thirds of the way through "A561984" I actually wrote down in my notes "I think there will be another blackout."  That was going ot be my Prediction for my post.  Then, of course, we get the mega-preview and Mark says that there's going to be another blackout!  Curses!  I initially figured the second blackout would occur in the season finale, so this seems like a really big reveal for ABC to give away at this point.  This must mean that there will be an even bigger whopper come season finale time.  What that could be, I have no idea.  As far as this reveal is concerned though, I guess the mystery lies in when it will happen, who will cause it to happen, and for what purpose?  Does the FBI gain control of the blackout device (whatever it may be) and purposefully cause a blackout to disrpt the original blackout perpetrators?  Do Gibbons and Nhadra cause the second blackout?  Ricky Jay and the Three-Star guys?  So many questions to answer!  I guess that makes it a great drama.

OK, that's the preview.  Again, sorry it was so delayed.  As I explained here, the holidays, work and a new endeavor came together in a perfect storm of procrastination and made me put off this post.  I'll try not to let it happen again.  The endeavor, however, should be a lot of fun.  Over at DocArzt's site, TVOvermind, I will be writing recaps for Chuck, Modern Family, and recapettes for FlashForward.  I will continue to write my long FF and Lost posts here as well, so please continue to check out this blog as well as the stuff over at TVOvermind.  As always, take a listen to the FlashForwardCast by Jay and Jack, and check out FF recaps by the always entertaining Jeff Jensen at  I hope you all have a happy and healthy New Year, and hope you're looking forward to what will surely be an amazing year of television in 2010!  Until then...


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Seasons Greetings, an Apology, and an Announcement!

Seasons Greetings, dear readers!  It's that time of year again, when the world is in love, and TV takes a hiatus because people are too busy running around to sit and watch anything, including me.  I know that I promised some thoughts on the FlashForward mega-preview, but work and the Holiday Season have colluded in preventing me from getting those thoughts up.  I actually have half the day off today, and the whole day off tomorrow, so hopefully I can get something up in the next 24 hours, but I am truly sorry for the delay.

Another reason for the delay, however, is that I have been in contact with Jon Lachonis, aka DocArzt of Lost blogging fame, about his TV wesbsite, TVOvermind.  I can announce that I have joined the site as a TV recapper and reviewer, and will be penning (typing?) my thoughts on Chuck, Modern Family, and FlashForward (Lost gets left to the Doc himself).  I am very excited about this endeavor, as it will be an opportunity for me to further engage with the programming I love and improve my critical writing as well.  I will, of course, continue to offer my thoughts on FFLost, V, and other topics here at Entertaining Thoughts.  I have defined duties over at TVO (play-by-play recaps of Chuck and Modern Family, and mini reviews for FF), but I have room to expound and ramble here at my blog, so I will keep at it. 

Anyway, I hope you will be on the lookout for my posts over at TVOvermind, and will continue to visit this blog for deeper thoughts and conversations on the stuff we love.  As soon as I get my thoughts on the FF mega-preview up, you'll be the first to know.  Have yourself a very safe and happy holidays. 

I leave you with a clip that I believe truly symbolizes the spirit of the holidays -- overblown stunts done to impress people!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

FlashForward - "A561984," Ctd, Ctd

Sorry for the delay on the recap, but as I said, it was a busy day at work yesterday.  Anyway, here I am on a miserable day here overlooking midtown Manhattan, reflecting on a great episode of FlashForward, "A561984," the fall season finale.  As we found out yesterday, FF will not return with new episodes until March 4, after the Winter Olympics.  With such a long layoff, there will be no reruns once the show returns, which is a good thing.  However, that means three months have to pass before casual viewers can see the show again, which is a bad thing.  The show's numbers have been dripping downwards since its premiere, and reached their lowest levels during this past episode.  Will casual viewers wait three months to see the show again?  One would think, then, that the fall finale would include a major cliffhanger to pique the audience's interest for those three months.  Do I think the actual episode did?  No.  Did the three-minute preview for the back half of the season?  Oh yeah.  I'll talk about that preview next week where I normally write a post about the upcoming episode, but first things first.  Here are my thoughts on "A561984":

*The title credits picture was the words "Help Us" written in what seemed to be blood, on a cheesesteak menu or sign.  Now, I will fully admit that I was watching the show at midnight after working all day and until 11:45p, but I don't remember seeing "Help Us" anywhere during the episode.  Usually the placement of the title picture is rather obvious during the episode itself, but I didn't see it.  Did anyone?  What is its meaning, both to the story and on a meta level?  Should we as the audience be clued into something by the fact that the picture wasn't in the episode?  I'll have to watch the episode again.

*The title refers to the serial number on Mark's gun: the gun that, according to Nhadra Udaya (the woman who warned Demetri about his impending murder, played by Shohreh Aghdashloo) is used to kill Demetri on March 15.  This obviously, seems highly unlikely because why would Mark kill his partner?  Mark even asked this very question, but was given no answer.  She said that she feared too much information might bring about unwanted circumstances, but what are the circumstances?  Doe she want Demetri to die, so that something else will still occur, or vice versa?  What is the "incident" she seems so worried about?  Could it be THIS ONE?!?  Likely not, but what game is Nhadra playing?

*Chess, it looks like.  We saw her later with The Chess Player, aka D. Gibbons.  The file the FBI had on Gibbons referred to him as "Deacon," but didn't vocally reference him as such.  Production error, or is that Gibbons' name?  Regardless, we do now know that D. Gibbons and The Chess Player are one and the same.  We saw in Nhadra's office that she and Gibbons were building their own version of Mark's bulletin board.  Back in my recap for "White to Play," I scoffed at one of the characters' suggestion that D. Gibbons was seeking an explanation for the blackout.  Now though, as he is clearly aligned with Nhadra, perhaps he is.  It got me thinking that while the FBI is investigating the cause of the blackout, perhaps Gibbons and Nhadra are investigating a result of the blackout.  In other words, perhaps they saw something that will occur on April 29th that seems impossible, and they are trying to discover the circumstances that lead to that event, otherwise known as "the incident."

*Speaking of the blackout, we actually had the follow-through of Lloyd's poker victory.   Surprisingly, Simon allowed Lloyd to announce to the world that their experiment was the cause of the blackout, even though Simon wasn't so certain.  As scientists at the National Linear Accelerator Project (the origin of the e-mail address), Simon and Lloyd were trying to recreate the Big Bang using a particle collidor, a copy of the experiment currently being conducted by CERN (for more info on the experiment, read here).  An unintended consequence, as Lloyd explained it, was the blackout and coinciding flashes.  Well, obviously, people were a little upset about that, to the point that one woman stole a security guard's gun and shot at Lloyd.

(Can I pause here to say, there is no way in hell that wooden podium was going to stop a bullet.  Lloyd was directly behind where the shot hit.  Why can't a crazy woman grabbing a gun and shooting wildly just miss?  That would be way more believable than the podium stopping the bullet.  OK, rant over.  Thank you for your time.)

*Whether it was the audience's reaction, the gun shot, or just his desire to escape liability, Simon was adamant that NLAP's experiments were not responsible for the blackout, declaring to Lloyd that it was now "war between us" (which reminds me of Raoul's similar declaration to the Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera (sorry, my wife has been in the show for a combined five years and will be returning to it in the New Year)), and he was going to prove it so.  He went to the FBI to assist in finding the true cause of the blackout.  We learned that the towers built in Somalia in 1991 are actually super-lasers used to amplify radio waves.  Problem was, Simon created the 1992!  Uh, what the what?!  The only explanation I can come up with involves the Many-Worlds Theory Lloyd told Olivia about later in the episode (illustrated with the idea that Olivia was supposed to live in the building Lloyd's eventual wife did at Harvard).  As far as I can understand, Many-Worlds Theory states that every possible outcome of every possible situation co-exists simultaneously in an infinite number of universes.  Possibly, someone involved in the blackout conspiracy found a way to see into one of the other universes, and bring the laser technology back into this world.  Heady stuff, I know, but do you have a better theory?

*I guess I should mention the Olivia/Lloyd situation.  After his announcement, Lloyd was persona non grata around L.A.  As a result, he thought Dylan wouldn't be safe, and wanted to move him to another hospital. Olivia agreed to help him and called in a favor at a children's hospital.  As soon as I saw the EMT's who were there to transport Dylan, I just KNEW they were bad guys.  I'm sure I wasn't the only one, but one question: if the EMT was so blase about killing a security guard, why not Olivia?  He just hit her (don't you harm Sonya Walger!).  Why leave witnesses?  Bad bad guys!

Quick Hits:

*Why did Mark keep protecting Demetri?  He took all the heat from Wedeck, put himself in danger with Nhadra, and took on the CIA agent in Hong Kong, which led to his being fired (and Wedeck's great line about "pooch screwing").  It was almost as if he was trying to get fired.  Does he think that if he no longer works for the FBI he can't be in his office on April 29th?  Something to keep an eye on.

*Wow.  Janis has got baby fever!  She wants that kid and wants it now.  Liked her line about being "super gay."  Nice moment of levity.

*Either Simon or Lloyd stated that they could not be charged with a crime because they were just conducting a science experiment.  I'm not saying it's definite, but I'm pretty sure they could be charged with criminal negligence.  They did kill 20 million people (as we keep hearing about).

*I thought the whole Zoey/Mrs. Noh storyline was filler.  Yes, Zoey did finally realize what we've suspected for a long time: namely, that her flash did not show her at her wedding with Demetri, but rather his funeral.  There was a touching moment where Mrs. Noh admitted that she was staying away from Zoey because she had the same flash of Demetri's funeral, but otherwise, I didn't feel it moved anything forward, as opposed to the rest of the storylines.

*I dug Hong Kong CIA agent Marshall Vogel, played by Michael Ealy.  He, interestingly, said that he has "nothing to lose."  What that means, I have no idea.  But I liked his attitude so I hope he shows up in future episodes.  I thought I saw him in the extended preview for the second half of the season, so it appears we may be seeing more of him.

*Thought the opening scene of Mark watching A Christmas Carol, specifically the scene where Scrooge is pleading with the Ghost of Christmas Future.  Nice metaphor for Mark's deep desire to change the future he has seen. 

From my preview for "A561984," I was way off on the meaning of the title (it wasn't a date, obviously); the show did accelerate the action in creating some momentum to get us through the next three FF-free months; the public did not take kindly to Lloyd's admission at all; and I nailed the fact that Olivia was going ot help Lloyd with Dylan (as if I was out on a limb there!); and we did get a huge reveal concerning Nhadra -- she's working with D. Gibbons!

Prediction:  Nhadra and Gibbons will cause a second blackout to avert "the incident."

So there you have it folks.  No more FlashForward until March.  The story moved apace, and although I may not have been overly effusive above, I really enjoyed both how the plots developed and the speed at which we are moving now.  I can't say I'm eagerly awaiting the answer to a cliffhanger (like, say, where/when the hell are the Lostaways), but the overarching mystery has been pretty perfectly pitched so I am jazzed for the return the show this spring.  I just hope others are coming along for the ride.  Doc Jensen of, he of the famous Lost recaps, has begun recapping FF.  His first theory-filled recap can be found here.  I'm eager to read it myself.  Remember to check out Jay and Jack's FlashForwardCast as well.  Lastly, if you are Twitter-inclined, I can be found at  If you have any thoughts, theories or questions, please post them in the Comments sections below.  As I said above, I will post some thoughts on the mega-preview that appeared at the end of the episode next week.  During the hiatus, should any FF news appear, I will post on that as well.  Of course, there is plenty of TV and other entertainments (and sports, and politics, and other stuff) to talk about, so make sure you check the blog regularly for more Entertaining Thoughts.  Thank you for reading.

I'm off to purchase a lucky Chinese cat.

Friday, December 4, 2009

FlashForward - "A561984," Ctd

Hello all.  I know I have been really good about getting my recap up on Fridays, but the provberial stuff hit the fan at work last night and today, so I will be unable to post anything today.  Tomorrow, however, I should have my full thoughts up on what I thought was maybe the best episode of the season.  While you're on pins and needles waiting for my thoughts tomorrow, chew on this news about FF's spring return.  Incidentally, V, will be returning on Tuesday nights at 10p after Lost.  That's a whole lot of sci-fi/mystery goodness.  OK, back to work.  See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

FlashForward - "A561984"

Hello all.  I hope my American compatriots had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, and that my international readers had a great....Thursday or jueves or jeudi or اليوم or whatever last week.  I can tell that I am really enjoying FF as it seems like it has been way longer than two weeks since our last installment, "Believe."  I am pretty sure that tomorrow night's episode, "A561984" is the last one for 2009, so I'm expecting a blowout episode with a nice cliffhanger to get us through the holidays.  From the preview at the end of "Believe," it seems we'll be getting just that.  Here's what I'm looking for tomorrow night:

*What does "A561984" mean?  The easy answer is that it is a case file number, like in The West Wing's "7A WF 83429" which was the file number given to Zoey Bartlet's kidnapping (just rewatched the four episode kidnapping sequence -- such awesome stuff.  I loved that show!  Check it out!).  However, the title is screaming for the "1984" to be taken as a year.  If you do, and take "56" to be May 6 (in America) or 5 June (pretty much everywhere else), then we're looking at a date of some unknown significance.  Is it a charcter's birthday?  If so, that person would be 25 years old.  Anyone of significance on the show about 25?  Tracy or Nicole, I suppose, but the episode doesn't seem to focus on them.  Perhaps its the date the blackout technology was created or initially tested?  If so, Simon (and probably Lloyd) would have been way too young to be involved then.  If I had to bet, I'd say it's just a file number, but I hope I'm wrong and it's something extra-special cool.

*After a nice respite at a rest stop along the highway of the future-seeing mystery that is FlashForward, by all accounts, "A561984" will ramp up the Mosaic investigation by giving us a lot of info on the cause of the blackout.  From the preview, we see Lloyd actually following through with his public declaration of responsibility for the blackout.  I am still holding tight to my original prediction that Lloyd and Simon's technology is responsible for the blackout, but they were not the ones who caused the blackout to occur.  Something tells me that even if Lloyd lays out this point explicitly, the public is not going to take to kindly to it.

*Simon seems, from the preview, to be working with the L.A. FBI and revealing his and Lloyd's part in the blackout.  Now, most people tend to believe Simon is a "bad guy," so what is his angle in helping the FBI?  Is he trying to cast attention elsewhere in order to protect himself and his group's true intentions?  We will hear Simon tell the FBI, "I'll find him."  Who is "him?"  Suspect Zero?  D. Gibbons?  The Chess Player (the guy who blew up the doll factory in "White to Play")?  I think we did see a flash of someone handling chess pieces in the preview, so maybe the Chess Player is who Simon will be seeking, but why?  What cards does Simon have up his sleeve (pun, sadly, intended)?

*Olivia tells Lloyd she will help him, with something.  With Dylan?  Does Lloyd confide in her that he is "responsible" for the blackout before he tells the public?  I think it's more likely the former because why would she want to assist the man responsible for the greatest catastrophy known to man?  Oh, and how quickly will Mark run to Olivia to say "I told you so!' once Lloyd goes public?  Thirty seconds?  A minute?

*We will also see the return of Shohreh Agdashloo tomorrow night.  If you remember, she was the one who told Demetri he would be murdered on March 15.  The preview had us believe that she will tell Demetri that the one who will murder him is sitting at their table, apparently in Hong Kong.  Methinks this will not go down as expected.  I didn't see who was also in the restaurant with them besides Mark (Vreede, you there?), and although we do know there is likely a traitor in the FBI, I just think there will be a bigger reveal than the one telegraphed by the preview.  But we do get a table flipped over and gunshots in an Asian restuarant, which always reminds me that anything goes (couldn't find the exact clip that didn't have offensive blackface in it, but you know what comes after the song and dance).

I'm preparing myself to be hit with a big, and welcome, download of information tomorrow night regarding the mechanical cause of the blackout (will I also score on my satellite prediciton?).  However, the continuing mystery will be why the blackout occurred and who perpetrated it.  I would like to see some more Janis tomorrow night, as I thought they were building her character nicely, all to, literally, leave her for dead a few episodes ago and not give her much screen time since.  Maybe she'll go to Hong Kong with the boys.  I don't expect more than a passing glance of Bryce or Aaron after the last episode; I think we'll be Mosaic-heavy tomorrow night.  This, I believe, is a good thing because it is the overarching mystery that will give us the great cliffhangers necessary to steel ourselves for the cold and barren winter. 

If you need a refresher on any of FF's episodes, all of my recaps are here.  Plus, always rememebr to check out the crackpot theories over at FlashForwardCast with Jay and Jack.  If you have any thoughts or theories about tomorrow night's episode, please drop them in the Comments section below.  I'll be back this weekend with my thoughts on tomorrow night's episode.  Until then...