FlashForward Episode Six: Scary Monsters and Super Creeps

In a surprisingly posh train car bound for Los Angeles, Simon drinks and tells a hot blonde woman that he knows the cause of the flash forwards. When she doubts him, he advises her to use her phone to Google “quantum physicist genius.” She does, and the first search result leads her to Simon’s photo: he’s naked, with lab goggles covering his genitals. He goes on about quantum superpositions and Schrodinger’s cat for a while, which is intercut with scenes of Janis getting rushed into surgery. Olivia stitches Janis up, and it looks like she’s going to be fine.

Lloyd does card tricks for Dylan in his hospital room. When Lloyd tells Dylan he’s going to take him back to Palo Alto with him as soon as he’s out of the hospital, Dylan seems vexed. Bryce pops his head in to mention that it’s Halloween, and all the kids are going trick-or-treating around the hospital. Lloyd scurries off to find Dylan a costume. Somehow, the poor kid ends up dressed as Flavor Flav. Unfortunate.

Stan, Mark, Demetri and cute Al visit Janis in the hospital. Stan apologizes to Mark for being kind of dickish after the Senate hearings. Mark reunites with Olivia, who tenderly bandages up the wounds he sustained during the shootout. Which was in Washington, DC, 2700 miles away from Los Angles. You’d think he could’ve sponged off the blood in the airplane lavatory. It’s a six-hour flight.

Demetri wants to stay with Janis, but Stan orders him to go home. Instead, Demetri and Al start their own investigation of the attack on her. They go to the morgue to look at the attacker Janis killed, whom the coroner has been unable to identify. The guy is Asian, like the attackers in DC, and has cornea scarring from Lasik surgery. He also has a blue stamp of a hand on the back of his hand. Demetri remembers the phrase “blue hand” written on Mark’s board, linked to the word “Baltimore.” He thinks it might mean Baltimore Street in Silver Lake. Al argues that it’s just as likely to be Baltimore, Maryland, but he accompanies Demetri to Silver Lake anyway.

Halloween night: Nicole hands out candy in the Benford home while Aaron and Mark take Charlie trick-or-treating. A kangaroo hops down the sidewalk, just like the one hopping through downtown immediately after the blackouts.

Stan stays with Janis, who is now awake and responsive. He tells her about the time his wife gave birth, which makes her think of her flash forward. Her monitor starts to beep ominously, and she’s rushed back into the operating room.

Back on the train, Simon boinks the hot blonde woman. She tells him about her flash forward, which she says was a big gathering, like New Year’s Eve, with everyone waiting for the moment seen in their flash forwards to arrive. This is kind of interesting, but if that’s the case, why is this the first we’ve heard of people being aware of their flash forwards within their flash forwards? Confusing. Simon tells her what he saw: He was strangling a man to death.

Dylan leaves the hospital on his own and boards a bus, which, like the bus that plunged into the lake in Echo Park during Ned’s blackout, is from the totally made-up “UTA” transit system. There are about seven different public transit systems in Los Angeles, but no UTA. I don’t know why this irks me, but it does. Granted, we saw indications last week with “President Segovia” that the FlashForward universe is slightly different from our own, but there’s a very real snobbery in Los Angeles against public transportation, and it seems like the writers figure it’s a detail that doesn’t matter, that no one will know or care they’re just making crap up. On behalf of all the public transportation-reliant citizens of Los Angeles, I register my objection. If Speed could use a real transit agency, so can you.

Anyway, Dylan asks to be taken to 25696 Sawyer Court, which happens to be the Benford address. When he arrives at the Benford home, he brushes past Nicole and walks into the house, heading straight for the cookie jar. When Nicole tries to stop him, he says, “It’s my house, too.”

Olivia performs emergency surgery on Janis. Over the recommendations of her colleagues, she opts to perform a less invasive procedure. It’s riskier, but stands a better chance of saving Janis’s uterus. Doctors, please note: If you’re ever performing emergency surgery on me, please use the surgical technique more likely to save my life and don’t fret so much about my uterus. Thank you.

Demetri and Al drive through Silver Lake. At Baltimore Street, they see a blue hand on a stop sign. They head in the direction the hand is pointing, then continue to follow a trail of blue hands.

While taking Charlie trick-or-treating, Mark sees a bunch of men in black wearing scary masks, like the men who burst into his office in his flash forward. When he confronts them, they scatter. Mark chases one through a cemetery. He tackles him and rips off his mask, but discovers it’s just some teenager who’s been egging houses. Nicole calls to tell him she doesn’t know what to do about Dylan, who won’t leave the house.

Mark returns home. Dylan keeps insisting, “This is my house, too.” We see Dylan’s flash forward for the first time, in which he’s in the Benford living room, with young Charlie encouraging him to help himself to cookies: “Go ahead -- this is your house, too.” In the present, Charlie and Dylan greet each other like old friends, which confuses Mark to no end.

Lloyd arrives, having been contacted by Nicole via the information on Dylan’s hospital bracelet. He realizes he’s in the house seen in his flash forward, and also realizes that Mark is Olivia’s husband. At the same time, Mark realizes Lloyd is the man in Olivia’s flash forward. Olivia walks in the door and is shocked to see Lloyd sitting in her living room. Lloyd says, “You’re her!” and Mark snarls, “Not yet,” all of which is modestly intriguing in a melodramatic soap-opera-with a-sci-fi-twist sort of way, but which doesn’t hold a candle to the dead crows in Somalia, so do you think we can go back to that plotline any episode soon, please? Also, if Charlie’s flash forward -- which, remember, involved “D. Gibbons” being a “bad man” -- is so traumatic that she still hasn’t been able to discuss it with her parents, why is she so blithe and happy about seeing Dylan, whom she only knows from her flash forward? I’m feeling a little cranky, but this Mark-Olivia-Lloyd triangle is the least interesting plotline on the show, and it seems like some intriguing stuff, like Charlie’s trauma, has been shunted to the sidelines to make more room for some domestic squabbling.

Mark gets bitchy and orders Lloyd to leave and never come back. Lloyd and Dylan leave. Well. That was awkward, in more ways than one.

The hands lead Al and Demetri to a big, deserted house. They enter and find remnants of a wild party, plus smeared blood. There’s also a row of sheet-covered corpses. The blue-painted hand of one of the corpses peeks out from beneath the sheet.

Stan brings Janis flowers from Maya. Janis sobs and tells Stan that, despite Olivia’s attempts to save her uterus, there might be too much scarring for her to become pregnant.

Mark and Olivia squabble. Mark is passive aggressive and dickish and annoying, and I have to say, I don’t really like either of these two anymore. Olivia asks Mark if he’s hiding anything from her. He finally confesses that he was drinking in his flash forward, and she gets upset about how they don’t trust each other. It’s a long scene, and it’s difficult to get too invested in it.

FBI agents descend on the crime scene in Silver Lake, which is now known as the Rutherford case. Al mentions that he had been discussing the Rutherford case in his flash forward, which he apparently mentioned in an earlier episode. They show a flashback to this, and I’m mighty glad they did, because I have no memory of that scene ever happening. I have no doubt it did, just that I didn’t take particular note of it.

Dylan, back at the hospital, thanks Lloyd for coming to get him. Back at the Benford home, Mark and Olivia sulk, separately. At the office, Demetri looks at photos of blue hands, and Al looks at photos of a man on a website. He seems highly disturbed. There are hidden layers to cute Al. Stan remains by Janis’s bedside, Charlie sleeps, Dylan sleeps.

Lloyd gets in his car and finds Simon, wearing a Frankenstein mask, hiding in his back seat. Simon says he’s worried about Lloyd, adding, “We all are.” Lloyd doesn’t want to talk to him: “Our experiment killed twenty million people. What more is there to say?”

Comments

levitatethis said…
I'm confused about Charlie's flash too and this leads me to further confusion about the flashes in general. If someone flashes and sees someone else there did that person have the same flash seeing them in return?...and if that's the case then why does Charlie know to be scared of a D. Gibbons if her flash is the same one Dylan had of him going for a cookie?

I find I'm growing less enamoured with the show and my curiosity is more, "let's see how the show ties this all up."

I have to say I actually did like the unexpected meet-and-greet at the house near the end because the tension was sufficiently panicked, curious and annoyed all at once. And at least Mark, after being called out for being a dick, finally admitted he was drinking in the future. I really didn't want that tidbit dragged out.
Morgan Richter said…
I had this weird, strong impulse to Photoshop Mohinder into all of the FlashFoward stills last night. It's probably best I resisted. I think I expend too much energy on keeping myself amused.

I'm hoping Charlie's flash forward will make sense when we see it in full. Maybe once she leaves Dylan and the cookie jar, she walks into another room and sees D. Gibbons doing... something bad? (Which leads to another confusing point: If, as this episode suggests, people are aware of their flash forwards in their flash forwards, if you're one of the miscreants who has something to do with causing the flash forwards in the first place, wouldn't you make damn sure that for the those minutes and seventeen seconds you were doing something like feeding ducks or playing with puppies -- in other words, nothing that could possibly lead anyone who sees you from realizing, six months before it happens, that you have some connection to a future catastrophe, i.e. "D. Gibbons is a bad man?")

I'm liking Simon a lot. He's shaping up to be a pleasantly sinister loose cannon.

I gave up on Mark this episode. He doesn't have much personality, and what he does have is sort of unpleasant. No wonder Olivia boots him to the curb in the future. On the other hand, I could watch cute Demetri and cute Al doing their Hardy Boys act and following clues for a full episode.
levitatethis said…
I think you should photoshop one image of Mohinder in "Flashforward". Preferably in a shot with Demetri and Al. I'd watch that show.

Maybe once she leaves Dylan and the cookie jar, she walks into another room and sees D. Gibbons doing... something bad?

This is what I was saying to my co-worker. Did D. Gibbons suddenly show up five seconds later in the flash to scare Charlie?

if you're one of the miscreants who has something to do with causing the flash forwards in the first place, wouldn't you make damn sure that for the those minutes and seventeen seconds you were doing something like feeding ducks or playing with puppies

And now begins the realization that the so-called think tank behind the flashes might actually be idiots. Happens on every show. The potentially interesting "other" turns out to be a stark naked emperor. I hope not. I'm still enjoying this show but I'm nervous it's going to fall into more of its own traps.
Morgan Richter said…
Preferably in a shot with Demetri and Al.

Fast and sloppy. It's the best investigative team ever!

And now begins the realization that the so-called think tank behind the flashes might actually be idiots.

I guess it hinges on Charlie's full flash forward. If she sees D. Gibbons doing something dastardly, then yeah, the bad guys are idiots. If what she sees isn't time-sensitive (if she uncovers something in her flash forward that leads her to think he's a bad guy without him being physically there, like seeing a video of him? I don't know, that's pretty weak, but something), then it's more excusable.

I don't know. I have so many questions, and I'm not sure if I trust this show enough to provide satisfactory answers. I hope it will.
levitatethis said…
Best image ever! Great, now I want a show with these three investigating weird things...maybe in the "Fringe" verse.

I agree, if Charlie's interpretation of D. Gibbons can be done in a way where she's sensing he's bad but it's not necessarily obvious it'll be easier to swallow...I'd take her just getting an "off" vibe from him. I'd like to think this show learned from "Lost" and "Heroes" what not to do but only time will tell.
Morgan Richter said…
I love the idea of Demetri, Al and Mohinder getting their own Fringe-style show where they investigate things -- they could be a supernatural Charlie's Angels! They're like a trio of grim, adorable bunny rabbits.

I'm kinda worried for Al, though: since Lee Thompson Young isn't a series regular, it seems like he might be disposable, especially since he seems to be holding back some information on his flash forward.
Patrick said…
Loved the recap and loved the posh train to LA - I would definitely take that!

The Dylan FF was problematic - as people have noticed here. It seems unlikely that Charlie was traumatised by something that happened in the few seconds after she was playing with Dylan. We were all really worried about Charlie when we heard that 'D. Gibbons is a bad man' line. Now we know that at least Charlie is with her mother, Dylan, and Simcoe in six months time. Maybe D. Gibbons turns up at the house - still not something to worry about.

Didn't like the Mark and Olivia confrontation - this was like watching friends fighting, it was uncomfortable and awkward, and not particularly realistic.

One thing that I thought was significant. The way Simon explained the FF as two things existing at the exact same time - so things could go one way or the other.

A bit hazy today sorry! Would love to be part of the team mentioned in the Heroes post by the way!
Patrick said…
I thought it was pretty incredible that Dylan knew where to go because he read the address on a letter on the fridge door!

Up until now I thought that people had a sense of things that happened over the 6 months and not just the 137 seconds they saw. Or at least that kids did. That was why I thought Dylan was so relaxed and comfortable with Olivia. But this way she is just some woman at some house who is there when he is getting cookies. Similarly - why is Dylan so friendly with Charlie - he doesn't really know her.

And shouldn't Simcoe be wearing some more clothes when he leaves Olivia's bedroom? (as indeed should she). After all - Charlie and Dylan are running around eating cookies - be a little more discreet and responsible!
Morgan Richter said…
Next time I travel along the California coast, I'm going by train. That looked like the poshest way to travel. And here I've been wasting my time with Virgin America.

I felt like this episode totally deflated, if not flat-out contradicted, Charlie's genuinely creepy flash forward. So that's disappointing. And it seems like there's no internal consistency with the flash forwards: some people are aware of them, some people aren't.

In last week's episode, I was sort of assuming the hit on Stan et al was because he was blackmailing the President, and I assumed the hit on Janis was because Stan called her about an as-yet unidentified request. But with the blue hand gang and the dead bodies this week, it seems like they're trying to link the hit to the event that caused the flash forward, in which case... is the President involved? Did the President not order the hit? Are the dead bodies Demetri and Al found going to be entirely unrelated to the flash forwards?

Lloyd lives in Palo Alto, and Simon mentioned he was traveling down the coast, presumably from that area. That's Stanford University and Silicon Valley, either of which might be relevant to whatever they're involved in. And it does seem as if quantum physics might be behind the cause of the flash forwards. That's significant. (Also: From what Simon said to Lloyd, it sounds like the flash forwards -- or at least the millions of deaths they caused -- were accidental). No idea what it all means. Pieces of the puzzle.
Anonymous said…
http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&q=quantum%20physicist%20genius&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wi
Dan said…
I'm a bit with levitatethis. I kind of liked the confrontation between Mark, Olivia and Lloyd. I find this whole bizarre 'triangle that hasn't happened but which everybody's awareness of will almost certainly bring into being' quite a fun ramification of the FlashForwards. I'm also happy that Lloyd's in on the future affair loop now - that only seems fair.

Granted, Mark was a bit of a dick in the kitchen scene. But I didn't find it out of character or implausible. I think, in the same situation, I might well be a bit of a dick too.

Also, I can't help but think that Simon The Hobbit's little speech about quantum physics is a flag that the FlashForwards both will and won't happen. Which should, ultimately, explain the inconsistencies between some people celebrating the day and other people committing crimes during the one time period they should know better. Two futures intermingled - one where people saw the FlashForwards and reacted to them, one where they just lived them.
Dan said…
Huh. Just realised Patrick said pretty much the same thing about the quantum stuff.

So... what he said.
Morgan Richter said…
Huh. For whatever reason, I haven't been receiving comment notifications on this entry. Sorry, Dan (and, er, the rather cryptic anonymous commentor) -- I haven't been ignoring you, really.

...And having said that, I don't have much to add. FlashForward, like Heroes, doesn't seem to stick in my head very long these days, and I can't remember what happened in this episode. It was almost a week ago! I feel sure there was a hobbit involved. And justing from my site stats, a whole lot of people seem to think Orlando Bloom was on the bus with Dylan. Is this true? Anyone? I thought I had a pretty good Orlandometer, but if he made a cameo, I totally missed it.
Morgan Richter said…
(Well, apparently I receive comment notifications when I make a comment. That's very helpful. Also, "justing"? Pretty sure that's not what I meant to type there.)
Dan said…
I haven't been ignoring you, really.

That's all right. I was later than usual to the FlashForward this week - people visiting on Monday night pushed back my viewing a day. And given I usually start each week a few days behind y'all, anyway, it's hardly surprising everything's already been said.
Morgan Richter said…
It's this problem with my new strategy of attempting to do something resembling regular site updates: comments are slipping under my radar! I'm just quietly grateful that Glee is pre-empted again tonight because of the World Series.

So is it safe to assume there was no Orlando Bloom cameo in FF? Or not? I've received dozens of keyword searches about it over the past week, enough so I don't think people are simply getting their LOTR cast members confused.
Dan said…
So is it safe to assume there was no Orlando Bloom cameo in FF?

I'm going to say there was no Orlando cameo. I read far too many TV-related web sites and I'm sure if he was in there, it would have been all over them.

I'm assuming the searchers in question are merely confused. Unless they're searching for 'Orlando Bloom will team up with Skulky The Turtle Wonder to sort this shit out'. In which case, they're awesome.
Morgan Richter said…
These are the search terms, repeated multiple times over:

orlando bloom flashforward
flash forward" "orlando bloom
"orlando bloom" "flash forward"
orlando bloom" bus flash forward
demetri murder orlando
episode 6 flash forward orlando bloom
flash forward episode 6 orlando bloom
flashforward episode 6 orlando bloom
orlando bloom flash foward
orlando bloom flashforward bus
was orlando bloom in episode 6 of flash forward


Sounds absurd, but there it is. I've been wondering what the heck I missed (I have to say, I like the idea of sweet Orlando eventually murdering Demetri. There's a twist!)
Dan said…
Hmmm... it is mysterious.
Jamez said…
The guy on the bus wasn't Orlando Bloom, it was a guy called Vinicius Machado, who does look a lot like him.
Morgan Richter said…
Ah, cool. Thanks, Jamez -- that clears up that bit of confusion.

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