Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Future of FlashingForward




Hello FlashForward friends. I apologize for the absence. In the interest of prioritization and for personal reasons, I will be shutting down this site. My plan is to post occasional analysis of and theory speculation about FlashForward over on my main pop culture site, but not necessarily on a weekly basis. 


I have truly appreciated your feedback and comments. I'd like to recommend a few other FlashForward sites and a podcast for you to get your weekly fix:










And I also highly recommend that you check out Red Panda Resources, which is the official site of the creative team behind FlashForward. There is a fantastic forum and those behind the scenes of the show are actually answering questions posted by fans. 


Thank you again, and apologies for abandoning you mid-season. I still love the show and hope to continue interacting with you about it via Twitter and Facebook. And, of course, I will continue to see most of you over on Get Lost with JOpinionated.


-Jo


Monday, November 9, 2009

FlashForward, Episode 1.07: "The Gift"

"What you call cheating, I call finding a way to change the game."
-Demetri Noh


Welcome to this week's analysis of FlashForward!


As a reminder, I use FF to indicate flashforward and GBO when referring to the Global Blackout.


Al


Of course we have to start with Al, as the ramifications of his actions may have a vast ripple effect on the entire series. His suicide does indeed change the game altogether. And clearly he is not the only person who took their own life in order to prevent another's death. 





Hopefully we will get a glimpse into exactly HOW the game is changed when people change the rules on their own.


Celia


In theory, Al's sacrifice prevents Celia's accidental death. But we do not know at this point whether or not she was fated to die before April 29, 2010 anyway. Al is not going to be the cause of her death, but he may not have prevented the inevitable by sacrificing his own life. In his FF, her accident had already occurred; it remains to be seen if it still does.


Fiona Banks


Now that Al has taken himself out of the picture, I wonder whether or not Fiona will pursue the Rutherford case. If I had to guess, she not only takes over the investigation, she joins the team in LA in hot pursuit of the Blue Hand organization. 


Part of me wonders...if Fiona had accepted Al's offer to come over for dinner that night, would it have changed his outcome or decision the next day?


Mark Benford


I'm sure that if Benford had any inkling that investigating the Blue Hand would lead to the death of a fellow FBI agent, he would have done everything in his power to avoid it. 


Nicole





Am I the only one who thinks that Nicole has a crush on Bryce? Of course she thinks she's doomed due to her ominous FF and is watching him dream about the woman in his, but IF the game has changed...


It struck me as significant that Nicole mentioned that her father was former military. We know that she and Tracy Stark (Aaron's allegedly deceased daughter) were friends, so I automatically assumed that Aaron and her father served together. This may prove to be relevant if Tracy is alive and well (rather than merely a wishful vision come to life from Aaron's FF). Because if Nicole's father is still alive as well, perhaps he has information about or is involved with Tracy's current whereabouts...


Demetri Noh


I don't think that he is behaving any differently than I would if I knew my date of expiration in advance. Not only is he battling an unknown future and balancing a massive GBO investigation with a pending marriage, his two FBI friends from the academy are now down; Janis is in the hospital after being shot, and Al committed suicide.  


Simon


Potential parallel alert!





Judging by the bracelet that he is holding at the end of the episode, it seems that Simon has a daughter named Annabelle (it did not resemble the bracelet of a grown woman). Mark's daughter Charlie gave him a bracelet, which figures prominently on the Mosaic clue board in his office, and now we see that Simon's daughter probably gave him one as well. 





Is this the first hint of a softer side to Simon, or will it turn out to be the bracelet of someone that he killed? [sidenote: There is no way in hell that this bracelet belonged to the woman on the train...unless it belonged to HER daughter. But I still don't think that he killed this woman...]


Tracy Stark


Corporal Mike Willingham told Tracy's father Aaron that he saw her die in Afghanistan. I do not believe that to be the case. While it is true that she appeared to have lost a leg after the explosion, Willingham ran away and did not actually see her pass away. My guess is that she was either taken in by a sympathetic (non-insurgent) local and secretly attended to or Willingham and the military are lying/hiding something. 





If it turns out that Tracy is real and in the flesh at Aaron's house, it is my belief that what he sees in his FF still comes true. From the look and feel of it, she appears to be injured again and they are in a military zone. Perhaps she resurfaces only briefly and has to return on a mission, and Aaron goes to be by his daughter's side in six months time...


Zoey


Something still does not add up with her, at least to me. She is a criminal defense attorney with obvious intellect, and yet it didn't occur to her to check the Mosaic site when her fiance had been acting so out of character since the GBO? I do not believe for one second that it is a matter of trust, that she took Demetri's version of his FF at face value. I'm not implying that she has anything to do with his future murder, but I would not be at all surprised to learn that she has a connection to either Simon, Simcoe or Suspect Zero...


Let's not forget that we have not seen Zoey's entire FF. She repeatedly tells Demetri that she sees him, but we have not witnessed that.


Band of the Blue Hand


We now know that the Blue Hand group recruited others without FFs via the Mosaic website. I assume that is how they discovered Celia and put that note on her windshield. 





Does every new Blue Hand candidate have to play Russian Roulette? If so, odds are that occasionally one gets the bullet. What is done with those bodies? Then again, who exactly is responsible for lining and covering up the bodies after they kill themselves? 





It seems to me that whomever wanted Janis in LA and the boys in DC killed specifically hired Blue Hand members for that dangerous mission and potentially suicidal attack on the FBI. 





FYI, I went to AlreadyGhosts.com but right now it simply redirects to the FlashForward site on ABC. Although that is rather disappointing given their track record of interactive alternate reality sites, I have faith that it may become active in the near future. 



Changes: Turn and Face the Strange


A Blue Hand indicates surrendering to the inevitable. Al Gough did just the opposite; he changed the inevitable. 





Now that Al has died, does that signify change for everyone else we've met? Perhaps Janis won't get pregnant after all, Mark won't fall off the wagon, Demetri will solve his murder before 3/15/10, etc. 





What is fascinating to me is the popular debate of fate vs. free will. It is a CHOICE for Janis to get pregnant and Mark to start drinking again, whereas Demetri may fall victim to fate. Of course he may have the will to dedicate his life to preventing his death, but that may be out of his hands. 

---


Thank you for taking the time to visit this site and read along as we traverse this new road together. I appreciate your eyes and comments. See you next week!


-Jo


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

FlashForward, Episode 1.06: "Scary Monsters & Super Creeps"




Apologies for the delay. Let's jump right in.


As a reminder, I use FF to indicate a flashforward and GBO when referring to the Global Blackout.


Captain Kangaroo


So far, the kangaroo has appeared twice on FlashForward, and both times were in front of Mark Benford. I feel as if it is a hint and plays a major role; perhaps it will serve as the final clue on or to Mark's Mosaic bulletin board.


I Want to Hold Your (Blue) Hand


It seems to me that someone retaliated against the Blue Hand assassins rather quickly for their simultaneous attacks on the FBI teams in LA and DC. It was striking that the Blue Hand victims were lined up and covered, rather than left where they were murdered. 





If I had to guess, the people responsible for executing the Blue Hands are investigating the GBO themselves; thus, they are taking matters into their own hands. Remember, the mystery man who escaped in Utah was trying to hack into Mosaic, and Noh believed that he was looking into the cause of the GBO. 

They're Blinding Me with Science

I am not in the least bit familiar with any of the scientific notions introduced by Simon, so here are a few links if you're interested:




Of course as a Lost fan, I am intrigued by Simon's statement that "both eventualities occur at the same time," given how Season 5 ended and the possibility of an alternate reality reveal in Season 6. I am also reminded of the mysterious Pigeon, UT man on FlashForward (White to Play, episode 2) who said that "he who foresees calamity suffers it TWICE over."

You Are Not Alone



Their "experiment killed 20 million people." Simon and Simcoe were not working alone. I wonder if we'll find out whether Suspect Zero was working with them. We already know that Gibbons was; he and Simcoe were both on the phone during the GBO (chances are that Gibbons sent that text to Simcoe at the beginning of his FF), and that little Charlie Benford knew that Gibbons was a bad man. She was living with Simcoe at the time...

Olivia Benford

Apparently, the B-Lynch procedure that Olivia performed on Janis is rare and usually necessary only AFTER a baby is born. There are various medical journal reports that discuss it online, but the best place to start if you'd like to research it is the official website of the very doctor that invented this suture (Christopher B-Lynch). 



Sidenote: FlashFoward must have a medical consultant on staff. Addison's Disease and now this? They are certainly utilizing realistic conditions and diseases. 

I don't recall whether or not Olivia knew about Janis' FF vision of pregnancy six months down the line, but I'm assuming she did based upon her decision to use the B-Lynch.

One of my favorite scenes in FlashForward thus far has to be the tense, awkward moment when Olivia comes home to find her husband Mark in the same room with her future lover Lloyd.

Al Gough

Right now he is listed in the credits as a guest star, but I'm hoping that Lee Thompson Young is made a series regular sooner than later. That they just uncovered the man who's case he is investigating six months from now (Rutherford) is an indication that he will be alive and potentially integral. Al's FF places him in London with a Scotland Yard investigator, played by Alex Kingston (ER), so I hope they take us down this particular rabbit hole. 

Janis Hawk

It will be very interesting to see what path Janis takes from here. The trauma and risky surgery to save her uterus do not seem likely to heal in a short period of time, and yet the clock is ticking as they inch closer to 4/29/10. I'm not sure how it will be physically possible for Janis to be pregnant and healthy mere months from this point, or exactly how she winds up with child...but I eagerly await that development. 

Demetri Noh



Even though he and Al were investigating Janis' attack on their own, it surprised me that they did not call the DC morgue immediately after discovering the Blue Hand stamp on the deceased gunman in the LA morgue to check for the same.  

Dylan Simcoe

Am I crazy, or would two adults who only began dating recently feel comfortable walking around shirtless (Lloyd) and in lingerie (Olivia) with two small children awake in the house? Something does not add up, and I look forward to finding out who's FF is misleading. And I wonder if Dylan's autism affected his FF in a way that no one else experienced. 

Lloyd Simcoe

Lloyd is very uncomfortable with his role in the GBO, and I believe that he did not know about or intend for it to happen. If he knew in advance that there was a risk of danger or death, he would have arranged for the security of his son Dylan.

Simon

When Simon was describing his FF to the woman on the train, I think he was simply describing a day in his life. I have a strong suspicion that he was actually awake during the GBO, and that we will find out exactly where he was and what he was doing before the end of the first season.

By the way, although I initially thought that the woman on the train would be killed after Simon's confession, I realized that she had a FF. Of course at this point, it is not clear whether or not all FF's are real/true, or if what people saw took truly took place six months from the time of the GBO. 

Marcie Turoff



For the second week in a row, Agent Turoff is the ONLY character to wear a shade of red. Either she is an obvious Red Shirt casualty in waiting, or some type of red herring...
---
Enjoy this week's new episode, which I hear is going to be stellar! I will be back next week with analysis. Thank you for reading along - please feel free to leave comments and share your thoughts every week. 

Sunday, October 25, 2009

FlashForward, Episode 1.05: "Gimme Some Truth"





As a reminder, I use FF in place of flashforward and GBO to indicate the Global Blackout.


Before we begin, I want to ask your opinion about something I noticed during this particular episode. With all sensitivity in mind, I want to know if anyone else found it odd that there were so many references to Asian nations, in addition to the fact that both sets of men who attacked the FBI agents in LA and DC were Asian: 

  • Agent Vreede refers to the Senate hearings as a Chinese fire drill.
  • President Segovia says that the Chinese view chaos as opportunity.
  • CIA Director Keller mentions that China suffered fatalities of less than half a percent during the GBO.
  • FBI Director Wedeck tells his wife that the whole thing is Kabuki theater.

Am I overthinking this one, are they misdirecting our attention, or does this relate to the GBO?


Mark Benford


Even though he was intoxicated at the time, I have a feeling that we will be privy to more than 30 seconds of Mark's FF in the near future. 


By the way, I realize that the rest of his team needs to blow off steam, but it strikes me as cruel that they subject their recovering alcoholic co-worker and friend Mark to hang out in bars. 


Olivia Benford


I feel they want us to assume that Wedeck texted Olivia to tell her about Mark's drinking in his FF. But that seems far too obvious to me. Mark was quite loud when he and Wedeck were arguing in the bar and he admitted to being loaded in his FF. It was DC, after all; every inch is covered with journalists looking for a story or angle. 


Janis


There are now two very strong reasons why Janis' FF is odd. First of all, she is gay and no longer dates men, making it quite challenging to become impregnated in such a short period of time. Second, she was shot in the gut and lost a good deal of blood. Most people don't recover from that type of injury quickly, nor would they be healthy enough (physically and mentally) to conceive for a month or two...no matter the method. 





So...is it possible that we're seeing her flash to a time beyond six months from now? I don't believe that Janis is lying or that she was dreaming, but I at this point I am flummoxed. 


I do have one point of contention with regard to this character and her reveal. In my experience, if someone is closeted (especially in their place of work, and for a government agency no less), they do not openly kiss their dates in a restaurant in the same town where they work. That is something that people who have nothing to hide are comfortable doing in public, no matter their sexuality. And don't get me started with the Angelina Jolie stereotype/reference, let alone the Clinton & Palin. Just my $02 on the subject.


By the way, Janis was shot in LA at the very moment that her team was attacked in DC. It was a premeditated job on every level, but I'm wondering why they seemed to want the DC gang dead and not Janis. After all, the assassin did not aim for her head or heart...





That last scene with Janis lying in the street as the alarm clock made circles in her blood? Visually stunning and very well done. 


Oscar Obregon


FlashForward is doing a great job of successfully intermingling the online experience with the series.  Obregon appeared in this episode, asking the President why he didn't share what he saw in his FF. 





Obregon runs the fictional TruthHack site and Twitter page, sharing data and videos from his investigation into the GBO. 


President Dave Segovia


In the President's FF, a Secret Service agent opens the door to his bedroom and says that "something's happened." That he says this DURING the GBO is fascinating. I look forward to the episode airing on April 29, 2010 because not only will we actually see who's FF was real, we will probably see something happen that opens up a whole new can of worms (i.e. what they'll focus on in Season 2). 


I find it hard to believe that the President didn't know about it ahead of time, and believe that he asked Wedeck to be his new Director of Homeland Security specifically to remove him from his current investigation into the GBO for the FBI. 


We already know that the President had an affair, so of course I now question if it was his wife in that bed during his FF. 


Another point to consider is that Senator Clemente saw herself as President during her FF, so Segovia may have been out of office but still under protection during his FF. And if he wasn't dead during his FF, then he was removed from office for a reason. 


In his mistress Renee's FF, she was alive and living in Puerto Rico. That is why I knew when the President made the phone call about "a problem you need to take care of," it wasn't her. The obvious conclusion is that the President ordered the entire FBI team to be taken out after Wedeck blackmailed him into continuing the Mosaic funding. 


Marcie Turoff


Those of you who had the opportunity to visit the Mosaic booth at Comic-Con earlier this summer may have met Turoff in person, as she was interviewing people who recorded their own personal flashforwards. She actually pulled me aside after I recorded mine, and asked me some very random questions about what I saw. Turoff is the face of JoinTheMosaic, and appears in videos on that site frequently. 





Of course Turoff is played by an actress (who is appearing the new Robert Pattinson film Remember Me along with Lost's Emilie de Raven), but I was pleasantly surprised to see that she is actually on the show. That being said, I don't think that we'll be seeing her for very long. It was not subtle when they placed her in a red shirt (using a red laptop) in the FBI conference room with Janis and Al in this episode. Star TrekLost and general pop culture fans know what a Red Shirt indicates. Sorry, Marcie. 



Agent Vreede


The information from his FF was brief but rather revealing. That he used the security exit at the exact time that the masked men with guns were going after Benford in the FBI building leads me to believe that he knew they were coming; that he knew to get out. I will be interested to find out how implicit he was with regard to what he knew and when.



Rather Alarming...


I noticed that alarms were front and center in Gimme Some Truth. The alarm system at the Benford residence was broken, and it is unclear at this point whether or not that was caused by the GBO. And Janis was given a new alarm clock that repeats "Wake up; it's time to get up." An alarm serves as a warning; Olivia is warned about Mark falling off of the wagon and Janis is served a dangerous wake-up call about investigating the GBO. 


Somalia


In a previous post, I suggested that the tall pole in the Ganwar region of Somalia may have emitted an airborne toxin or virus that could have caused the blackout in 1991. In this episode, they discover that there were several large towers secretly installed in another area of Somalia during that time, which further fuels my theory.


Crazy Theory of the Week


Senator Clemente accused Wedeck of something improper with a woman six years ago. Perhaps Wedeck not only paid Renee off to disappear after an affair with the President, he had relations with her as well. Her son appears to be six or seven years old, and he was very familiar with and excited to see Wedeck...who called the boy "my man."
---
That wraps up this week's analysis of FlashForward. You may notice that the settings for leaving Comments have changed; please see this post for details. 


Thank you for reading and and for your weekly input! I don't know about you, but I thought that this week's episode was a potential game changer and loved both the reveals and surprises. 


-Jo

Sunday, October 18, 2009

FlashForward, Episode 1.04: "Black Swan" (Thoughts & Theories)



Welcome to this week's analysis of episode 1.04, "Black Swan."

As a reminder, I use FF in place of flashforward and GBO to indicate the global blackout.

Al Gough (FBI)

Until this episode, we only knew that Al's FF involved an early morning meeting in London with a woman discussing the Rutherford case. A bird flew into the window during their meeting, which is an indication that the birds in that region were affected by the GBO. But now we have to ponder who Celia is, as he was searching Mosaic for her name. I'm also wondering if she is either involved with the Rutherford case or if he knew her beforehand and suspects her involvement with the GBO.

Alda Hertzog

If I'm not mistaken, there are a few photos of her on Benford's FF bulletin board. 

Even if it turns out that she wasn't involved with the GBO, it certainly seems as if she knew about it beforehand. If I had to guess, she and her co-conspirators were on their way to a location to prepare for the GBO when Benford and Noh's pursuit threw a wrinkle into their plan. 

Could Alda be a far more significant player in the GBO? Is she perhaps the White Queen?

Nicole Kirby

We learn that see that she was friends with Aaron's daughter Tracy. That fact alone leads me to believe that she is far more than a babysitter and plays a larger overall role in the GBO picture; that perhaps she knows something about Tracy's status (alive or dead) and her FF drowning may be related. 

Thus far, Nicole's FF seems to be the only one in which she dies during the 2:17. Of course she may have just seen herself passing out after being choked in the water, but it will be interesting to find out if anyone else seems themselves dying during their FF.

Lloyd Simcoe

Simcoe is a physicist and was involved with the creation of the GBO. It is now a safe assumption that the GBO was scientific in nature. 

If Simcoe was involved, he would have known exactly when it was going to take place. I'm sure that the phone call he received during his FF relates to it. But why is it that he experienced a FF rather than remaining awake like the man in the stadium? 

In Simcoe's FF, we clearly hear the sound of two children playing. Here is where there is a gaping disconnect, in my opinion. Those kids should be his son Dylan and Olivia's daughter Charlie. However, Charlie did not recognize Simcoe in the hospital after the GBO, and Simcoe did not recognize Olivia (or at least is pretending not to). 

Simon

Welcome back to the small screen, Dominic Monaghan.  For what it's worth, at Comic-Con I had the opportunity to ask series co-creater David Goyer if Dom had been cast before that infamous ABC promo aired in June, and he confirmed that he had. So they had Dom in mind when they created Simon, and knew that he would not be appearing until now. 



We know nothing about Simon, but I look forward to finding out exactly how he knows Simcoe and where he was during the GBO...if not Suspect Zero.

Bryce Varley

Is the woman from his FF and drawing going to be Janis, Nicole or someone we've already met? 

Bryce was obviously at his lowest point right before the GBO, when he was going to commit suicide on the pier. It seems odd that he would choose to do so in such a public location, especially with children walking around. Aside from that, his behavior and attitude following the GBO have made me reconsider why he was going to kill himself in the first place. I am now thinking that perhaps Varley knew what was going to happen or may have been involved himself on some level. 

Animals

There were birds flying in the air during Ned's FF, when his bus hit the water. So it appears as if birds were not affected during this GBO...at least in Los Angeles. But a bird hit the window and died in London, and an entire population of them died in Germany during the 2:17.  Were they affected in Europe alone, and if so, why?

In Alda Hertzog's FF, she mentioned that she was somewhere else and that the horses were scared. Add horses to our list of animals that survived the GBO.

Nicole's priest had a box of crickets; it is unclear whether or not that is a new batch or if that group of them survived the GBO. 

Dylan has a stuffed kangaroo in his room. Is he the connection to the kangaroo loose in NYC immediately following the GBO? Was it a gift from his father, and if so, did Simcoe's visit down under relate to the GBO?

Black and White

Let's see...we've seen the White Queen and now we're finding out about the Black Swan. Recurring theme alert. And if White is to play, Black (i.e. the blackout) is to stop...the world.

Customer Choice Restaurant Group

I don't think that Alda's clue was a wild goose chase entirely. I have a feeling that the initials (CCRG) will come into play in the near future. 



In addition, it is possible that she intended its location, Indio, to be important to Benford and Noh. Indio is a national bird sanctuary after all...

The Future

Every week we wonder whether or not they can change the future. They arrested the pot dealer in Indio, throwing a wrench into his big pimping FF. 



So if you believe that what people saw during their FF does indeed take place six months from now (versus another point in the future or in an alternate reality), we are getting proof that these visions can in fact be altered. 

[sidenote: I don't know if it's a clue or simply a nod to John Cho's role in Harold & Kumar, but this is the second week in a row that Noh has encountered someone with marijuana; first was future airport immigration officer Jerome Murphy with a bong in his house, and then the suspect in Indio with the briefcase full of baggies.]

The GBO

At least in the case of Ned, it is fascinating that the GBO has prevented the deaths of some. If he had not been that bus crash during the GBO, he may never have gone to the hospital or been diagnosed with and treated for Addison's Disease.  

Alda points out to Benford that they should be more focused on WHY the GBO occurred rather that who was responsible. Given that at the end of only the fourth episode of a brand new series, they are revealing the responsible parties...I have a strong suspicion that we should also analyze the possible reasons why someone would orchestrate such an event of that magnitude in the first place. 

Crazy Theory of the Week

Noh's fiance Zoey is associated with 3S (the big three, at least thus far): Suspect Zero, Simon and Simcoe. She is a criminal lawyer who found herself on the wrong side of the law after being blackmailed to (hopefully) save her future husband's life. That is why she planted the seed with Noh that Alda is being held without an attorney; Zoey will probably be the one who winds up defending her. 
---
Apologies for the shorter post; I finally recovered from illness and just returned from a brief vacation! Thank you again for reading and for your comments. I'm sure that I missed something this week, so enlighten me my friends! See you next week.

-Jo

Monday, October 12, 2009

FlashForward, Episode 1.03: "137 Sekunden" (Thoughts & Theories)



Welcome to this week's (belated) installment of FlashForward analysis. 


Before I begin, I wanted to let you know that it was announced today that ABC has ordered a full season of FlashForward! This is fantastic news, and it ensures that we will be treated to a complete first season. My hope is that it will be renewed for a second season and beyond, as interest in the series grows and the ratings steadily increase week by week. The word of mouth for this show appears to be quite strong, and I am very encouraged by the feedback I've read and received. 


As a reminder, throughout each post I abbreviate FF for flashforward and GBO for global blackout. 


Without further ado, let's start dissecting last week's episode of FlashForward, "137 Sekunden." 


On a Personal Note...


This episode hit a little closer to home in two specific areas. Many of you may be new to this site or unfamiliar with me, so I want to be as upfront and honest with you as possible. I happen to be gay and Jewish, facts that are very rarely relevant to the analysis of the many shows I watch and write about. Neither is a secret, but in this case I felt it necessary to share as much to preface my thoughts about both Janis Hawk and Rudolf Geyer. I am not disclosing this to be controversial, and I certainly hope that it does not deter you from further following my FlashForward perspective.  


Rudolf Geyer 


The easy guess is that the murder he refers to that led to his re-entry into the U.S. on 4/29/10 is Noh's, but I think otherwise. My belief is that something Geyer gives or says to Benford leads him to Noh's future assassin, and that Benford kills the man who intended to kill his partner. 





Geyer mentions that he had a stint at Treblinka, which is one of the more horrifying concentration camps that the Nazis set up for strictly extermination purposes in WWII. For this reason alone, I seriously hope that they never give this character a redemptive moment on the show...and that my above theory proves to be wrong so that he is not recognized for helping to prevent the murder of an FBI agent. 


Janis Hawk


In WWII, in addition to Jewish people, the nazis targeted and persecuted those who were either openly or deemed homosexual (primarily men). In my opinion, Geyer's historical disdain for gay people led to his insinuation about Hawk's sexuality, in an attempt to get under her skin in Munich during his prison interrogation. But I believe that her lack of response and later contemplative state in the bar indicates that he may actually have been on to something. I actually would not be surprised at all it they reveal that Janis is gay. And although I briefly sported a thumb ring myself in the early 1990's, it was purely a fashion choice (and faux pas in retrospect). :)


Last week I suggested that Dr. Bryce Varley may turn out to the be the father of Hawk's baby. Assuming that what we've seen in Hawk's FF comes true...although I can't wrap my head around how this is logistically possible, given the amount of time it takes to secure a sperm donor and then successfully impregnate - it is rather interesting to consider that perhaps Hawk doesn't have a boyfriend or husband at all. I suppose that Hawk may turn out to be a bisexual character. Either way, it is still up for debate whether her FF tears were joyful or sorrowful, and whether or not her boyfriend/girlfriend/donor were also in the room at the time. 


Is it possible that Hawk, in an enormously selfless and generous gesture, becomes a surrogate for someone in her life who is trying to get pregnant but did not have a FF; someone who wants more than anything to provide a family for whomever she is leaving behind when she dies in the next six months? 




Demetri Noh


Trivial question: why would Noh take Zoey to a motel for a quick roll in the sheets rather than his/their house? It simply struck me as odd, given that after a traumatic incident and recent union with a loved one...I'd want to feel as comfortable as possible, at home where it is safe and familiar. 


Kate Stark


We know that Kate will still be working at her bar in six months, and that Benford will have fallen off the wagon by that point. Something tells me that he'll be visiting that bar before season's end. 


Marcie Turoff


Marcie Turoff was stationed at the Mosaic Collective booth at Comic-Con earlier this summer, and I thought that she was an actress hired just for that occasion. I mentioned her in my last post because I'd heard that she was going to become a real character on the show. And now I have to assume that the Marcie referred to by Wedeck is indeed her. 



Nhadra Udaya


The woman who calls Noh to tell him that she read about his murder is Middle Eastern (as is the actress portraying her; Shohreh Aghdashloo is Iranian-American)...and on Benford's bulletin board in his FF, there is a case file with a photo of a Middle Eastern woman named Nhadra Udaya. Thus, it seems as if Benford will certainly be helping to prevent his partner's murder. 


It may be too soon to introduce conspiracy theories that are a stretch, but I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Udaya has a connection to Aaron Stark or his daughter Tracy. Aaron is ex-military and Tracy was stationed in Afghanistan when she was allegedly killed. That Udaya read about Noh's murder in an intelligence report indicates that perhaps she is also involved with the military or government. Then again, it seems as if she is making that phone call from somewhere in Asia, so I might be way off course. 


One of the more intriguing aspects of Udaya's call to Noh is that the cityscape behind her on that balcony appears to be intact, as if the GBO did not affect that locale at all...


Mrs. Wedeck





In the FF of FBI Director Stan Wedeck's wife, she sees that she will be a mother to a young boy with whom she is not familiar with at this point. We then see that boy at the FBI funeral service, and it appears as if his father died during the GBO. 





Is it a safe assumption that this boy's mother did not experience a FF, that she will also die in the next six months? It would you explain how and why the Wedecks would come to adopt the orphaned child. 


Zoey


I am thrilled to see Gabrielle Union as Zoey, Noh's fiance. I also love that she is a criminal defense lawyer, because that puts her on the opposite side of the table from Noh and the FBI. It would be a fascinating twist if Zoey wound up having to defend Suspect Zero or any of his/her cohorts who may have had a roll in the cause of the GBO. 





Hypothetically speaking, if you knew in advance that on April 29, 2010, the entire world was going to experience a 2:17 blackout, wouldn't you want to be at home? I did not see many guests on the beach in the brief glimpse of Zoey's FF that we were privy to, and I'm guessing that is because most people would not want to travel anywhere near that date. I'm curious whether or not Noh or Zoey will ask any of their invited guests what THEY saw during the GBO; if any of their visions placed them on that tropical beach six months from now. 


One thing is for sure...some of the most important people in Noh's everyday life (Mark, Janis and Stan) are definitely NOT on that beach on 4/29/10. 


Animals & Blackouts





In both the 1991 and 2009 blackouts, we see entire populations of crows seemingly black out. In the 2009 GBO, we witnessed both a random kangaroo and a dog in a car after the incident. Did either of those animals experience a blackout, or do the causes of these blackouts only affect smaller or airborne animals? 





In Somalia, we watch the young boy witness the crows falling out of the sky, but we never see what happened to the sheep he was herding...


Somalia


I have to admit that I was so focused upon what I've dubbed the 'White Crow Monster' in the sky above the Ganwar region of Somalia in 1991 that I failed to notice the very tall pole protruding into the sky above that area until I watched the episode for a second time. 





It seems to me that they specifically chose that region and year because of the Somali Civil War, which started in 1991. While it was not a war involving chemical warfare, my first thought was that they're hinting that the crows and villagers blacked out due to an airborne virus emitted from that extremely tall pole. That the White Crow Monster seems to either be originating from or hovering above the pole leads me to believe that it IS chemical in nature. Given that the episode was primarily about an imprisoned nazi, I could not help but draw a parallel between the gases emitted in concentration camps to the toxins that may have been discharged in Somalia in non-lethal doses from that pole. 


Religious Possibilities


Fair warning - I am not at all familiar with the Bible or Kabbalah outside of literary references that I have researched over the years. I know that many of you are more spiritual and/or knowledgeable, so feel free to school us all in the Comments if any of this might be relevant to the series...


As I continued to ponder the significance of April 29, 2010 (or D-Day, as Noh refers to it), I started to wonder if there were any end-of-the-world predictions out there that were posted long before FlashForward was even a glimmer in David Goyer's eyes. I did not find any, but I did come across many references to one passage in the Bible that jumped off of the page...Mark 4:29.  


"But when the crop permits, he immediately puts in the sickle because the harvest has come."


I have no idea if or how this relates, but there you have it.


Mark Benford is clearly one of the central players in the series, and if his FF is any indication, his involvement on an international level may be the most important by the time April 29 of next year rolls around. 


In addition to the the fact that the numerical value of the Hebrew word for Kabbalah is indeed 137, the numerical value of the Hebrew words for Prophecy and Wisdom combined add up to 137.  Both of those elements appear to be of great importance as the journey toward 4/29/10 inches closer, especially given the frequent use of the word 'prophet' on the show. 


I believe it is also possible that Geyer introduced Kabbalah as a hint to Benford that he has encoded messages in the Bird book that he passed on to him. 


Tattoo You


I'm not sure if this is an Easter Egg or if I'm simply imagining it, but it's worth mentioning nonetheless...





When Noh goes to LAX to pick up Zoey, there is a star on the digital display (above) that strongly resembles the three stars that are tattooed on one of the men who is coming after Benford in his FF. 





Crazy Theory of the Week


The Somali boy who witnessed the blackout in 1991 is an associate of Suspect Zero and/or D. Gibbons. We will see him awake during the 2009 GBO in a future episode, and will recognize him immediately by the scar across his face. After all, that young boy was the only person who seemed to be awake during the one in Somali the first time.


LOST But Not Least


Now that the first three episodes of FlashForward have aired, those who are on board know for sure that is it NOT Lost, nor is it trying to be. That being said, I had to laugh when we find out that Kate works with Jack in a bar frequented by Aaron. 
---


Thank you for taking the time to visit and read the above.  I encourage you to leave comments if you have further thoughts about or would like to offer theories of your own!


Because this is a new site analyzing a very new series, I am trying to get the word out to FlashForward fans everywhere. If you are enjoying what you read here, and happen to be discussing the show either in person or online with your friends and family, I would really appreciate any recommendations; you could pass along/post a link or simply have people find me via Google (using the search word JOpinionated, you will find a link to all of my sites). If you link here from your own site, please let me know so that I can add your URL to my FlashForward Friends blogroll. Thanks in advance!  


-Jo

Sunday, October 4, 2009

FlashForward, Episode 1.02: "White to Play" (Thoughts & Theories)






Welcome to week 2 of FlashForward analysis! 


From an aesthetic standpoint, I have to say that I love how the show is filmed in darker, muted tones. This episode reminded me of the feel of The Dark Knight (especially the Utah scenes), which is no coincidence given that FlashForward co-creator David S. Goyer wrote the story for both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, and also wrote and directed "White to Play." I hope that Goyer maintains his active role on FlashForward, that his very strong influence on this show continues to seep into its direction and overall aesthetic. 


For future reference, I will be referring to the Global Blackout as the GBO and a person's flashforward as FF. 


After only two episodes, I'm trying to wrap my head around what each main character saw in their future flashes. Bear with me as I attempt to explore the relationships...

  • Charlie Benford knows Dylan Simcoe, but not his father Lloyd
  • Dylan Simcoe knows Olivia Benford, but Olivia does not seem to know him
  • Lloyd does not recognize Olivia

Mark Benford


More than anyone, it seems as if Agent Benford is destined to live out D. Gibbons' prescient statement, "he who foresees calamity suffers them twice over."


Dr. Olivia Benford


We know that her husband Mark is not telling her that he fell off the wagon in his FF; that he was drinking heavily during his vision. My guess is that she is failing to divulge all of the details from her FF as well. 


Janis Hawk


Hawk has three circles tattooed on her forearm, and in Benford's FF he notices that one of the men who is coming after him has three stars tattooed on his forearm. Mere coincidence?





For what it's worth, Hawk is quickly becoming one of my favorite characters on FlashForward, especially because of her FF. At the Comic-Con panel earlier this summer, Christine Woods was the only unknown actor on stage, but I found her to be very charming and am happy to see that she plays such an integral role on the show.  


Demetri Noh


Obviously it does not bode well for Noh that the Sheriff in Pigeon did not have a FF and died shortly thereafter. And then there is that late-night phone call from a woman who tells him that something she read in her FF indicated that he will be murdered on 3/15/10. That she read this in an intelligence report leads me to believe that she is CIA or from some other government agency, although it is unclear which country she hails from or works in. Given that Noh is an FBI agent, he certainly has the resources and is in a better position to attempt to solve his own murder in advance. Noh's character is the key to the entire series; if you know HOW you're going to die, can you prevent it?


Dylan Simcoe


I find it very interesting that Lloyd's son is autistic, and am curious to find out if and how that affected his FF vision. 





From the little I know about autism and the research I've seen about how autistic children communicate, it seems that they are less likely to share their experiences. So of course I can't wait to see why he is asking to speak to Olivia. His social development and interaction will be quite different from other children, and so I also look forward to scenes between Dylan and Charlie for that very reason. 


Lloyd Simcoe


I know I'm not alone when I say that he is hiding something, that he does indeed recognize Olivia, and that he may be involved with the GBO. The fact that he stepped away from Olivia in her vision to take a private phone call only fuels this theory fire. I wonder if Mark and his team will ever trace Simcoe's phone if they do become suspicious of him for any reason, and if that call will be connected to the suspects they've identified thus far...


Dr. Bryce Varley


Last week I was curious about what in his FF changed him from a man on the verge of suicide into an optimistic, philosophical person? I had an epiphany upon a second viewing of this episode, and it is purely speculative...Dr. Varley is the father of Janis Hawk's unborn child. Perhaps that is why he is a changed man, why he seems to be the happiest person post-GBO than anyone else we've met. In Janis' vision, we only see her and the OB/GYN technician, but I have a feeling that when we are finally privy to Varley's FF, he will be in the room as well. Regardless of whether or not I'm on the right track, we do see him sketching a mystery woman in the hospital, so it seems his future involves a love interest. 


Stanford Wedeck, Assistant Director of the FBI


I have to say that the infusion of humor this week, at Wedeck's expense, was appreciated. Obviously this show's focus is rather dramatic, so I do enjoy the moments of necessary levity. 





Case in point - Wedeck's FF in the men's room. 


Suspect Zero & D. Gibbons


They are the only two people that we know about thus far who were awake during the GBO. We have no idea what caused the GBO, but I have to ponder how these men were immune to it; i.e. did they create and take preventative measures such as drug or other chemical injections? 


It struck me that Janis pointed out that there is a 1 in 40 chance that Suspect Zero is female. Like many others, I am hoping that they're wrong - that Suspect Zero is in fact a woman. If for no other reason, it would be an unusual twist on the typical television 'villain.' 


At first I wondered why D. Gibbons purchased that bus ticket in Pigeon. He must have intended to lure Agents Benford and Noh to the doll warehouse next door. His investigation into the cause of the GBO probably led him to the agent's names, and he rigged his secret lab to blow when they arrived, allowing for his escape. He WANTS their attention and for them to follow his trail. 


Last week I mentioned that the name D. Gibbons was more than likely homage to original Watchmen comic book artist Dave Gibbons. Taking that thought a step further, there are indeed a few themes from that graphic novel which may be applicable to FlashForward as it progresses; alternate realities/histories, investigating the unknown to avoid further global disaster, etc. And taking David S. Goyer's comic book adaptation background into consideration, you have to agree that Gibbons was specifically designated as a key name in the series. 


White Queen chess piece


The title of this episode is "White to Play," which I think signifies the beginning of a premeditated game between Suspect Zero, D. Gibbons and their team with the FBI and Benford. 





I believe that the white queen chess piece may be a very significant clue in the GBO puzzle, and that there are many possibilities as to its meaning:

  • The white queen is the most powerful of all chess pieces; it may be an indication of a female villain
  • The White Queen in Through the Looking Glass is actually a helpful ally, but one who travels rather quickly. Perhaps Benford is her pawn, and he will be chasing her down the GBO rabbit hole from here on out.  
  • There is an unusual female thief named Sandra Paris in a series of short detective stories by Edward Hoch who goes by the nickname White Queen

Of course some of these are a stretch, but the creative team behind FlashForward seems to be as pop culture savvy and well-read as those who bring us Lost, so it is not out of the realm of possibility that literary references will be interspersed throughout the series. 


Mosaic Collective


For those of you who have not already done so, I recommend perusing the active Mosaic Collective website. It is a well produced and fascinating site, and I believe that all videos are canon with regard to the series. 





In fact, I've heard that Marcie Turoff (an Intelligence Analyst with the Mosaic Collective) may appear on the show. I actually met her at Comic-Con, as she interviewed me after I recorded my personal FF video in the Mosaic booth. 


Crazy Theory of the Week


Charlie Benford was with D. Gibbons in her FF, and that is how she knows that he is a "bad man." She said she dreamt that "there are no more good days" but I have a feeling that those exact words were expressed by D. Gibbons and she is repeating what she heard during her FF. 
---


I don't know about you, but I simply cannot wait to meet Simon, Dominic Monaghan's character on FlashForward. From the very brief glimpse we got of him in a scene revealed at the Comic-Con panel, it seems that Simon has the potential to be a small-screen Joker; a jovial, mysterious menace.  


Thank you for tuning in again with me this week, and for all of your comments! I look forward to your thoughts about this episode and the next, "137 Sekunden." 


-Jo