FlashForward episode 19 review

Billy wonders who is actually steering this show, if anyone, as he sits through the latest episode of FlashForward...

19. Course Correction

When FlashForward first appeared, a great many people drew parallels with Lost, in that this was obviously going to be a convoluted story that might occasionally wander away from the central themes.

It’s therefore something of a surprise to discover that those guiding this show have now truly given up with emulating that show, and have now decided that it’s a TV version of Final Destination. I can’t really describe how lame an idea I think that was, but they’ve done it all the same.

I’m not going into the deep details of what happens in Course Correction, but needless to say, minor characters come back and the previously entirely discredited notion of ‘destiny’ is once again resurrected. My frustration with all this is that they’ve already told us things that make this not a real possibility, not least that flashes forwards contradict on occasion, and there is no one perfect destiny for everyone.

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Yet, not soon after this story starts, we get told by Lloyd that ‘the forces of the universe may be pushing us towards the futures we’ve seen’. Err? What ‘forces of the universe’? Is he talking about ‘God’, perchance, or if this one of the forces that we’ve previously not noticed?

There may be fans of the show that entirely buy this idea, but so far the majority of universal forces we’ve seen making the future come true  did it entirely intentionally, and not with some unseen cosmic power. And with someone killing off those people who had lived past their predicted sell-by date, that’s hardly the universe in action.

There are also obvious holes in this argument, because presumably these mystical forces don’t have the ability to bring Al Gough back to life, since he stuck one finger up to his destiny earlier in the season.

The counter argument is that whatever happens to everyone was always the way it was, and that the flashforwards visions were just a perverse component in making these events happen.

But neither of these explanations factors in the idea of a cosmic grim reaper that’s got a number in mind, and isn’t keen on people who won’t shuffle off their mortal coil on time.

But forgetting that conundrum, what else did FlashForward bring us this week? I’d say a couple of bad things and one utterly brilliant one.

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On the less wonderful side of the coin is their rather ham laden attempts at soap-style romance. They’ve been slow simmering Bryce and Nicole for a while now, but decided to put some spice in that arrangement by now revealing to Nicole that Keiko is in the vicinity. It now makes perfect sense why Nicole can speak fluent Japanese, even if she’s determined to have a pay grade of a person who can’t even speak English. It’s presumably so she can tell Keiko to ship back to the land of the rising sun, and keep Bryce for herself.

The other ‘romance’ is that between Olivia and Lloyd, which after at least 12 episodes of whining about saving her marriage to Mark but doing absolutely nothing about, Olivia now entirely buys into.

I guess it was Gabriel McDow telling her that, with Lloyd, they were as like ‘sliced bread’ that pushed her for some lip-locking action. I do hope that at some point Gabriel corrects himself on the bread analogy, and says he meant ‘toast’.

But it’s Gabriel, brilliantly conceived by James Callis that is the highlight of Course Correction for me. There’s a scene where he’s brought a burger that isn’t exactly to the specification he requested (never ask the FBI to bring you lunch), which is one of the few intentionally funny sequences FlashForward has managed so far.

Callis plays Gabriel in a manner that makes you feel he knows this won’t be a long gig, so he might as well enjoy himself in the meanwhile. I loved this scene. It almost made up for the puppy eyes that Olivia kept making to Lloyd like she thinks that makes her more attractive.

If I read it right, James Callis’ intuition looks well founded, because it’s just been reported to me that FlashForward is cancelled. While obviously distraught on the inside, yet smiling on the outside, I’ve decided to interpret this as a special TV force in the universe which must balance good and renewed shows against bad and cancelled ones.

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To keep the fine balance of cosmic energies it has decided that this one’s destiny is to end very soon, thankfully. Those not wishing to accept this reality have three episodes to put their QED rings on.

Read our review of episode 18 here.