15. Queen Sacrifice
This story, Queen Sacrifice, perfectly represents how I feel entirely about this show. Because what it delivered was a mix of storylines, most of which I absolutely hated, and then in between them was an entertaining ‘mole hunt’ story that, when it came back on screen, I really enjoyed, mostly because it wasn’t the tedious other bits.
The three sub-plots that took up most of the running time were the sickly sweet Bryce/Nicole romance; its counterpoint, the Keiko search for Bryce; and the Bendford’s break-up. That last one is the worst element in FlashForward currently, because Olivia is a hopeless character and does some of the stupidest things for a supposedly smart woman. Her answer to being trailed by someone you don’t know: the best policy is just to confront them! But then only Mark would send protection (if he did…) and not mention he was doing that to his wife.
However, the mole hunt sequences almost made up for how dumb the rest was as, with the help of Vogel, Mark determines to flush the person, giving away their next moves to Dyson Frost. Except, if Dyson Frost has seen all these flashforwards, how come he needs to have a mole? Surely he knows what they’d do?
The other bit I didn’t entirely follow was the logic that was applied to the videotape he left them, predicting the future. They assumed he’d had a flashforward to the date they went to Somalia, so knew they’d be there. Yes, but only if he was there too… Or did nobody think that through?
As a theme to the events, they’ve established that Frost is a keen chess player, which provides the title and many references through the show. I guess enough people know chess to make this work, as it might not have if he’d liked Go or Mouse Trap.
The idea of the queen sacrifice in chess is to force the taking of a piece to reveal an opening where the game can be won. But, in the final analysis of what happened, this wasn’t actually the scenario that occurred. The mole was more of a pawn than a queen, and the real queen, revealed as Janis, is still on the board. So the analogy didn’t really fit, sadly.
As for the who ultimately kills Demetri, we don’t get any more clues this week. After the amazing “I’ll make you gayer” line last week, I’d almost convinced myself that it’s actually Zoey that shoots him. After she finds out that he fathers a child with Janis. And that at the end of her flash we’ll get to see the FBI coming to arrest her. She wanted the gun to destroy it, supposedly, but perhaps she wasn’t prepared to believe the FBI would just hand it over and took it anyway.
This story’s best revelation, beyond that Janis is a double agent, was that the FBI allows role playing games on their computers. That makes this agency seem a much more interesting job than I’d assumed, and perhaps they should push this in their promotional material.
Still no Rambo-Aaron, but I’m assured he’s back in the next story, for those that like that particular crazy plot.
Only seven more episodes of torture left, to my maths. I’m amazed I made it this far.
Read our review of episode 14 here.