FlashForward: Course Correction

Two days before the blackouts: At their laboratory in Palo Alto, Simon and Lloyd share a toast and prepare for their latest experiment, in which they’re going to attempt to simulate the Big Bang. Their giddy mood is dampened when Simon gets a call from his mom informing him of his father’s death.

The day of the blackouts: With a great deal of fanfare, Lloyd, minus Simon, activates a big, shiny blue particle accelerator. As soon as he does this, the blackouts take place across the world.

Present day: It’s now only a week from the date seen in the flash forwards, which means this season must be coming to an end. Hallelujah! As the world gears up for this event, Lloyd is interviewed on television, along with Celia, the woman who was saved from her flash forward-ordained death by cute Al’s suicide. Lloyd claims that people like Celia who have managed to avoid their fate are anomalies. He believes the universe will keep pushing toward the futures shown in the flash forwards. The universe is spiteful and vindictive like that. Lloyd also claims there’s no chance of another blackout occurring. Lloyd is a big old liar.

Simon meets with his kidnapped sister Annabelle on a bridge, while unseen assailants in a nearby parked van hold her in their rifle sights. Annabelle tells Simon her kidnappers want him to give them the QED ring, or they’ll kill her in twelve hours.

Back at FBI headquarters, Simon tries to bribe a random FBI agent into tracking down the license number of Annabelle’s kidnappers; van. Instead, the agent rats him out to Mark.

MI-6 Inspector Fiona Banks (remember her? Alex Kingston? Last seen back in, oh, Episode Seven and never referred to since?) meets up with Demetri at a crime scene. A man named Andrew Weeks, who had managed to avoid his flash forward-predicted death from a drug allergy, was murdered: Someone put rat poison in his coffee. Fiona explains to Demetri that there’s been a rash of murders of people who, like Demetri and Celia, had otherwise managed to escape their fates. Fiona has traipsed over from Merrie Olde England to investigate these murders, all of which have taken place in the Los Angeles area. I’m sure this raises all kinds of jurisdictional issues, but hey -- as far as I can tell, the Los Angeles branch of the FBI is currently being headed up by CIA agent Vogel, so clearly nobody’s being much of a stickler on jurisdiction these days.

Vogel, by the way, is not in this episode. This is a disappointment. The joys I get from this show are few and far between, but Vogel’s smarm can usually make me smile.

Among Andrew’s papers is a flyer for a Blue Hand gathering. Oh. Those guys again, huh? Much like Fiona, we haven’t seen them since Episode Seven. They haven’t been missed.

Mark calls Simon into his office, wondering why he wanted the information on the license plate. Simon ‘fesses up about Annabelle’s kidnapping, though he claims to have no idea what her kidnappers want with him. Mark gets shirty with Simon about how this puts the Mosaic investigation in jeopardy. You know, more than the investigation has already been jeopardized by all the various moles in Mark’s department. Simon steals the QED ring from the FBI, bids farewell to Lloyd, and takes off.

Demetri and Fiona interview the weird, creepy leader of the Blue Hand group, who is once again played by Callum Keith Rennie. His character name, apparently, is Slingerland. I feel reasonably certain I did not know that before this episode. Huh. Anyway, Slingerland claims to know nothing about Andrew’s death. He, like Lloyd, believes the universe will try to balance itself, and thus all the people who tried to dodge their deaths in their flash forwards are doomed.

Of course, it turns out Slingerland is doing his best to help the universe along. Demetri and Fiona discover Slingerland poisoned Andrew. They try to stop him before he can run over Celia; Demetri manages to kill Slingerland, but in the chaos, Fiona accidentally hits Celia, gravely injuring her. So Fiona and Demetri start to think that maybe there really is something to this whole “universe balancing itself” talk.

Olivia fusses over Baltar in the hospital. When Lloyd drops by, Baltar is delighted at the prospect of Olivia and Lloyd hooking up, as he’s seen in his multiple flash forwards. Vreede questions Baltar about a drawing of Mark’s evidence wall found among Baltar’s possessions. Baltar claims he saw the wall during one of his flash forwards

Meanwhile, Nicole is assigned the task of giving flu shots to people in the custody of Immigration. She looks through their medical records and sees one of the files is on Keiko. Nicole goes to tell Bryce she’s finally tracked down his mystery dream girl, but before she can, Bryce trumps her good news with his own: His cancer has gone into remission. He kisses Nicole exuberantly.

Mark tracks down the van Simon saw on the bridge. He finds Annabelle tied up in the back, safe and alive.

In Lloyd’s apartment, Olivia and Lloyd look over Baltar’s brain scans, then make out a bit. Brain scans make them randy. This gets a little awkward when Mark unexpectedly stops by to talk to Lloyd about Simon’s disappearance.

Now thoroughly suspicious of Simon, since he stole the ring and ran away and lied about his sister’s kidnapping, Mark and Stan analyze the security tape from the Detroit stadium during the blackout and prove conclusively that Simon is Suspect Zero. Since we the audience found out about this five episodes ago, the revelation lacks a certain dramatic punch. When Mark questions Annabelle about her ordeal, she tells him she overheard one of the kidnappers say Simon would cause another blackout.

Just a few more episodes, folks, and we can all put this show behind us for good.

Comments

Morgan Richter said…
Just FYI, folks, I'm going to be in transit tomorrow, so there may be some delays before I can reply to comments. It's not because I don't care!

I didn't hate this episode. I've just reached the point of being a little exhausted with this show. Too much unfulfilled potential. Looking forward to the end of the season.
Patrick said…
Never mind about Lloyd and Olivia meant to be living together by this stage, what about Mark's drinking? Will that just suddenly appear in the next episode?

I will smash the tv screen if Lloyd buys Olivia the lingerie that she is wearing in the FF.
Patrick said…
Because how sleazy would that be? They are still - it seems - just at a very early stage in their relationship. And if Olivia buys it herself then she really deserves little sympathy.

Robert J. Sawyer apparently wrote this episode (according to the web). It didn't really show - apart for his desire for 'course correction'.

I'd be amused to see what they would do with a season 2 - given how quickly this season was derailed.

But back to the drinking. Do we really believe that Mark will start drinking on 29 April - in his office - and call Lloyd - even though he knows armed men are coming. He's not that useless!
vallikat said…
Lloyd and Olivia deserve each other and I have no sympathy for either of them. I mean I can understand her choosing Lloyd. After all, Mark is a dolt and I'm sure this case has opened her eyes to that fact in spades (I really have no clue how he ever managed to solve a damn thing before without having future knowledge to rely on). However, what reasonable, responsible adults are upstairs doing the do while their kids are up and about downstairs??

Idiots! The pair of them! Or I really should say all 3 of them because as stated Mark is an idiot too.

So with that summed up, I'm sure that the 3 of them will walk headlong into their flashforwards, be that purchasing lingerie, moving in, hitting the bottle, whatever. Because they all 3 seem to think they have no choice.

I'm sick this weekend so I haven't actually watched the episode yet. After reading Morgan's summary I felt that I needed to be in a better frame of mind before going in. I may be lucky though and give it a shot later. My hulu queue is backing up with the other things I needed to watch as well so maybe I'll tell my family to bugger off (it is Mother's Day after all) and I'll do a TV marathon.
vallikat said…
Watched the episode last night. Since I'm not quite in such a miserable mood as I was over the weekend, perhaps this comment will be a bit nicer. :)

I didn't mind this episode. Some progress is being made as we count down to 4/29.

Question: Of all the people that were there when Lloyd and Simon's big bang experiment was going on, why didn't any of them wonder if they weren't the cause of the GBO? I mean seriously, you're conducting an experiment of this magnitude and at the exact moment the GBO occurs and not another person in that room (except for Lloyd) thought that perhaps the 2 events were related? I mean you'd think someone would have gone to the press well before Lloyd and Simon did. Even anonymously. Or did Lloyd and Simon somehow hush all those people up?

Ah Mark, if not for luck you'd never be able to solve a damn thing. Once again due to extreme coincidence of being at the right place at the right time, Mark is able to save the day. Amazing! Annabelle is rescued and all is well. Or is it? If Annabelle was rescued why did Simon still steal the ring? Am I really to believe that he really plans to cause another blackout? And why wouldn't Annabelle tell Mark that the bad guys just wanted the ring?

Color me confused. But I'm willing to accept that I was in a sickness induced haze.

Brief Bryce and Nicole scene was nice. Just enough to remind us that they exist. I also like the chemistry between these two characters. It will be interesting to see if Nicole tells him about Keiko. I don't think she will though.

I wonder what about her own FlashForward? Isn't she concerned now that someone is going to be trying to kill her in a few days time?
Morgan Richter said…
Sorry for the delay in responding, Vallikat and Patrick. I was visiting my dad and ended up being pretty much offline until just now.

Vallikat, it's definitely strange that none of the people observing Lloyd's big experiment seemed to consider that maybe -- just maybe -- it was somehow involved with the blackouts, seeing how it took place at the exact same time. And yes, I'm through with Olivia and Lloyd and Mark and their entire love triangle thingy. None of them are very sympathetic. It just seems like they're arbitrarily moving toward this pre-ordained future, whether their actions make sense for their characters or not.

Do we really believe that Mark will start drinking on 29 April - in his office - and call Lloyd - even though he knows armed men are coming

Patrick, if Mark does indeed crack open the bottle on that day and gets soused knowing full well that he's about to be ambushed, I will... well, I don't know what I'll do. It's not like I'll lose further respect for this show.

Argh. I'm tired of this. Just a few more episodes, huh?
vallikat said…
Just a few more episodes, huh?

Yes and according to Wiki, next week will be 4/28 and from what I can understand the final 2 will be on 4/29.

Based on the episode descriptions it does not look like they're wrapping things up. I don't think it's been officially cancelled yet. However I can't imagine that anyone believes it will be renewed.
Morgan Richter said…
Yeah, at this point we'll most likely have to wait until ABC's upfronts later this month, when they unveil their fall schedule, to get official word of cancellation. But... yeah, it'll definitely be cancelled. No way around it. After a promising start, it turned into a ratings disaster.

I hope these last few episodes manage to wrap things up gracefully. The quality has been so uneven, especially in these post-break episodes. There have been a couple that I thought were genuinely good... and then there have been a bunch of episodes that I've barely been able to get through. It's weird. Makes you wonder what's been going on behind the scenes.

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