FlashForward episode 12 review

Billy dreaded the return of FlashForward, but finds that he worried unnecessarily…

12. Revelation Zero

I’ll be upfront and admit that I’ve been looking forward to the return of this show in the way that I’d greet a reoccurrence of a virulent bladder infection. I’d hoped it would now have been consigned to the pile of shows entitled ‘experiments that didn’t work’, but, alas, it soldiers on.

Since it was last on, the remaining original member of the creative team behind the show, David S. Goyer, has finally bailed, after it lost showrunner Marc Guggenheim fairly early on.

My frustration with FlashForward began early on, as it soon became apparent that, presented with an intriguing premise, the writers failed to grasp the core realities of what would happen if we all blacked out, and then engaged in this ‘can you change your destiny’ guessing game. Except, on the basis that nobody in their flash was looking at the clock, waiting for that exact moment, it was obvious that the snapshot of the future wasn’t genuinely representative from the outset.

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Eventually, they underlined the obvious when one of the characters killed themselves so they couldn’t experience their flash, but it should have been obvious to supposedly intelligent people that the flashes weren’t set in stone ages before that. It would only have taken the accidental death of one person who recorded a flash on their website to sound alarm bells, yet none went off.

But I think what most annoyed me was the show’s insistence that the world pretty much goes on as normal, outside the FBI, despite the blackout, which is wholly unrealistic. If you and everyone else could fall unconscious at any moment, nobody would drive, fly, fish, rock climb, do surgery, operate machinery, wire electrics, go on a fairground ride or work on a building site, in a mine, on an oilrig or in the circus. And you’d not be able to get insurance to do anything remotely dangerous, or possibly even drive. None of these issues, or the thousand I’ve not put here, are mentioned, and within weeks of the blackout people are out trick-or-treating like nothing has happened.

I could mention some truly diabolical performances, illogical characters and stilted dialogue, but, frankly, FlashForward is just too soft a target to poke fun at.

So do episodes 11 and 12 take us anywhere we haven’t previously been? Yes, surprisingly, is the answer.

Firstly, I’m not going to review episode 11, because it was a rehash of what happened in episodes 1-10, boiled into a possibly less confusing flashback. My only regret about episode eleven is that I could have seen it instead of sitting through the earlier ten episodes, and have those bits of my life back.

Episode 12, Revelation Zero, is a double length story and starts pretty much where episode 10 left off, with Lloyd abducted, Mark carpeted and Demetri destined to be dead. But I’ll say this for it, it doesn’t harp on about Mark and Olivia’s rocky relationship, previously done entirely to death. And, it finally found something marvellous to do with Simon where he didn’t seem just like an egotistical prick, for once.

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He’s abducted, like Lloyd, by the same people and ends up in the same hostage predicament. What’s hilarious about this whole exercise is that they’ve been captured to be questioned, but those that did this seem to think that numerous head injures somehow make people talkative, and not brain injured.

Sadly, neither is in a coma when professional bad person Ted Flosso (Ricky Jay) comes to ask his questions, and beats them both around the head some more. But this scene does yield one nugget: Lloyd and Simon aren’t responsible for the flashforward, but their experiment did amplify what someone else was doing.

What else do we learn? Sonya Walger who plays Olivia can’t sing. During Mark’s flash he got a phone call from Lloyd Simco. In that call it’s predicated there will be another blackout. Nicole has a mad mother, who is more lucid than her daughter. The writers of show don’t research their science. Flosso tells Lloyd that CERN can generate 500 Tera Electron Volts (TeV), where the number is actually seven per proton.

But the revelation of the show is who the man was in the baseball stadium, and how much more interesting a character this makes him. If you hadn’t guessed, it was Simon, and Dominic Monaghan’s character is the total star of the second half of the proceedings, and almost makes up for the utter dross he’s been given to do so far.

Overall, this was a strong FlashForward, but I do wonder why we’ve taken so long for the show to deliver something more interesting. While it’s been setting up for episodes like this one, the audience has been leaving in volume.

However, even with the improvements made here I don’t see FlashForward getting a second season, unless there just isn’t anything ready to fill this timeslot. The audience it managed to shed in the first ten stories pretty much nixed that. But I’m now curious to see how much they can turn it around before they pull the plug on this, because, if this episode is an example, the rest of this might be really fun.

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Read our last Flash Forward episode review here.