FlashForward episode 21 review

Billy struggles to fight off depression through the penultimate episode of FlashForward…

21. Countdown

I noticed in last week’s talkback that a few people mused that I was actually enjoying FlashForward, despite its very obvious flaws. Don’t be confused people. What I’m enjoying is that this train wreck of a TV series is finally coming to an end, and like summer recess, school isn’t so bad when you know it can’t go on forever.

Though I must admit some amusement at seeing how, given that the writers of this show have driven it up some blind alleys, they’ll attempt to get out of them before this is done and dusted. But the real enjoyment here, if any is to be had, is that this show can be incredibly dumb on occasion, like it’s been drop fed some incredibly debilitating narcotic.

In Countdown everyone is getting edgy as the clock moves towards the flashforward point, which the creators of this show took as being the signal for them to be even more stupid than normal.

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First we have Mark Benford being warned of his impending death by Hellinger, who treats that information like he’s just been given advice about buying the best Sudoku puzzle books. And then we have Demetri, who does pretty much the unthinkable by telling Zoey, as they’re about to jet away to the sun, that he slept with Janis!

There has never been any perceivable chemistry between these two characters, and this scene just entirely underlines this lamentable combination. I really wished my death-by-Zoey prediction had come true, because Demetri really needed putting out of all our miseries by this stage. Having utterly trashed his relationship with Zoey, he then heads off to see Janis, where he runs into Simon Campos, leading into even more dubious choices all round.

The next character acting stupid we encounter is Olivia, who hasn’t really done anything smart since this show started. She turns up with Charlie at the FBI, because it’s not like Mark is doing anything important, and their little girl has a nightmare. If I’d have been Mark, I’d have said something very rude to her, around the concept of growing a spinal column. She’s made the bed with Lloyd, it’s about time she dealt with that choice, really.

Mark get’s to play the caring father, but perhaps his chance of survival might be greater if people didn’t drop by to burden him with their problems every five seconds!

The sight of Olivia is enough to push most people over the edge, so it’s not a big surprise (and because Hellinger predicted it earlier…) that, after she leaves, Mark entirely goes bonkers and despite being warned off five minutes earlier, he’s now left entirely free to attack Hellinger.

Is it me, or is the FBI a really sloppy operation where nobody does anything until it’s absolutely too late? It certainly seems so.

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But this entire episode is about disappointment, because everyone either says the wrong thing, at the wrong time to the wrong person, or worse.

Aaron gets the really unsanitary end of the stick, when, contrary to his vision, Tracey dies. I’m not sure why this was deemed necessary for the story, but it happens. Destiny is down another point on my scoreboard.

What I really didn’t get, however, was the idea that flashforward day is greeted by the populace as a reason to party? I mean, we’re told it killed 20 million people, and frankly, most people have no idea what will happen at the allotted time, so the idea that it’s a signal for global celebration makes no sense whatsoever to me.

Countdown doesn’t reach the actual flashforward time, which is kept for the finale next week. But what it does is knock a number of existing flash experiences on the head, leaving an increasingly smaller choice of ones that might happen.

I predict only one will actually play out as per the pilot show, possibly Mark Benford’s. It could be someone else, but I’ve discounted Stanford Wedeck as he’s had at least six months to stock up on laxatives. And just like Standford, sat in that stall, I just want this to end now, please!

Read our review of episode 20 here.

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