FlashForward episode 13 review

Billy finds time for some characters in FlashForward, but not all…

13. Blowback

After watching this episode I was drawn to conclude that all the characters in this show fall into two neat categories: those you can care about and those you just don’t.

Apart from the illogical plotting, awful dialogue and poor pacing, the biggest issue for me with this show has been the sheer number of characters and the excessive time allocated to the worst ones. But, as things progress, this is starting to slightly balance out, as some of the dumber ones clearly aren’t liked by the writers either. But it’s possible for some characters to cross that line, in either direction, and this week Aaron might have headed in the right direction, though not enough yet to make me forget the Obi-wan outfit.

Aaron so far hasn’t been an inspirational character, as he’s far too caught up in his own little world to be a plausible support system for Mark’s drink issue. But in this story they try really hard to resurrect him by creating a backstory about his and Tracy’s past. This does involve some time hopping to the extent that it started to annoy me to a degree. Yes, I can see they’re trying to emulate Lost, in the way that they reveal information, but this show isn’t Lost, except in a creative sense.

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It’s mostly a setup for Aaron following Tracy to Afghanistan as per his flash, but we do find out some interesting things along the way, thankfully. Aaron’s best part is after Tracy is abducted, when he gets primordial on her old unit buddy now working for James Erskine, the head of Jericho, who tries to stab him. This excellent scene is entirely ruined because, after Aaron throws him from the pickup, the guy counter attacks by throwing dust in his eyes, despite the fact that it’s been raining, everything is wet and very muddy.

Much less satisfying is the entwined subplot which has Zoey trying to alter events so that Demetri doesn’t die as is predicted by the flash. I’ve never really warmed to Zoey, mainly because she never seems to have a real life, but also I see no chemistry whatsoever between her and Demetri. She gets up to plenty here but it’s predictably to no avail.

If there’s a hint that some things aren’t changeable, then she doesn’t take it.

As if to counter that particular plot element, they’ve now got Janis being almost as desperate to make her flash happen, as in the baby she’s supposed to be having.

Janis is on the plus side of the line, because Christine Woods is actually an intelligent actress but also her character has genuinely been developed by the experiences she’s had. How this will play out ultimately I’m almost curious to discover.

But probably the best written scenes this week were the ones where Mark walked Lloyd through his exact recollections of the flash, which, disturbingly for Mark, took place in the Benford’s bedroom. Thankfully, it didn’t involve Olivia, who, for me, is the most irritating character by a very long way. Considering that she’s a doctor, she’s terminally dumb and keeps saying exactly the wrong things to pretty much everyone. I kept wishing she’d admit she’s got the hots for Lloyd and we could all move on. Thankfully, we got spared her in this episode.

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What we did get were two subsequent scenes where Lloyd finally admits that he knows who ‘D Gibbons’ is, and it’s not a primate, but a devious man called Dyson Frost.

Overall, not as strong as the season re-opener, but gripping in places. In the next story, which I’m about to belatedly watch, the Mosaic team is off to southern California, or Somalia as it will undoubtedly be called, I predict.

Read our review of episode 12 here.