Episode 19 - Course Correction
15 May 2010
Synopsis: Simon sees his sister Annabelle on the side of the road. She has gun sights on her and tells him that he must give up the ring or see her die. Mark finds out that Simon is up to something and finds Annabelle but Simon takes the ring, says goodbye and disappears. Agent Banks returns to help Demetri investigate the murders of several people who survived their death dates. They work out that it is Jeff Slingerland from the Blue Hand group who is trying to balance out the universe. Bryce's cancer goes into remission just as Nicole finds Keiko.
The Good: Seeing more blackout moments is generally entertaining and seeing Lloyd start the experiment was another. The idea that multiple people are avoiding their death dates is good to hear. Early on in the show it seemed odd that more people wouldn't take simple steps to avoid their fate coming to pass.
The Bad: Simon's horribly convoluted story comes back into focus and the "revelation" that he is Suspect Zero is of course old news. We don't know where Simon has gone or what he is up to and sometimes that can be a good thing. But in this case I have no idea what he is off to achieve, who he is going to work with or what his motives are. The likely result of all that is that we will be introduced to brand new villains who Simon will pretend to work for before trying to destroy them. The last attempt to make Simon into some kind of renegade bad ass failed horribly (112) because the writing was so awful. So I have no faith that this is going anywhere interesting. It also felt like a missed opportunity not to have Simon and Janis have a conversation before he left.
Meanwhile the show attempts to follow up on Dyson Frost's belief that the universe tries to make things happen which have been seen. We started with a hilarious scene where a news reader talked to Lloyd using phrases like "destiny" and "course correction." It seemed entirely implausible that a news anchor, reader or expert would ever use those phrases or assume their audience would have any clue what they were talking. "Course correction" might have become a more acceptable theory amongst science fiction fans but to the average person watching the news it would sound ludicrous. The attempt to move into Final Destination territory with the deaths of those who had survived past their death dates suffered from two problems. The first was just fatigue. After the intense shenanigans surrounding Demetri's survival it felt like a relief that he had survived and we could move on. Now it would seem we are meant to get all worried about his impending demise again and I just don't want to. The second problem was that the universe wasn't killing people off, Slingerland was. If he hadn't murdered several people then we have no proof they would have died. So the doom laden conclusions of Agent Banks seemed like an overreaction. I also don't think FlashForward has the emotional depth to carry off such a depressing story with any skill.
Bryce and Nicole's chemistryless romance took another bad turn as we wandered into deep eye rolling territory. Nicole comes across Keiko's chart and it looks like she won't immediately tell Bryce. It would seem we are in for a deeply unconvincing and uninteresting tale of guilt as Nicole attempts to preserve her newfound relationship while actually putting it in danger by lying. As clichéd as the story is it might work if Nicole were an insecure or selfish or stupid character. But she has been portrayed in a generic way and shown off bland morals, intelligence and sensible behaviour. So it just doesn't feel convincing that she wouldn't hand over the chart and do right by Bryce.
Seeing Gabriel yelling over the contents of his burger also felt very clichéd-crazy guy territory. Lloyd and Olivia really look like a-holes for continuing to cheat on Mark so blatantly. But really it's the inadequate writing behind their behaviour which creates that impression, I don't think the producers are trying to make them into bad people.
The Unknown: Where is Simon off to and what's his plan? As Annabelle has been rescued I am guessing he is off to try and stop the unknown organisation once and for all.
Best Moment: Ummm. Mark walking in on Lloyd and Olivia was pretty sad. I felt bad for the guy.
Epilogue: A combination of the show's least convincing storylines made for a poor episode.
Add your comments on this episode below. They may be included in the weekly podcasts.