Episode 16 - Let No Man Put Asunder
8 February 2012
Synopsis: Marcie is taken away before she can tell the Mosaic team anything of value. Dyson Frost kills a homeless man with Mark's gun putting Demetri on edge. He decided to marry Zoey now and run away before his death date. But Frost knocks him out and heads out to have a word with Charlie. Meanwhile the Vice President comes to Stanford and asks for his help in taking down Jericho. Stanford tracks down Aaron and arms him for his trip to Afghanistan. Charlie and Dylan organise to see each other forcing Olivia and Lloyd to interact and eventually kiss.
The Good: This was a busy episode and the tension slowly mounted over whether Demetri was going to get a sudden bullet in the chest at any moment. Similarly watching Janis now has a new edge of intensity because we don't know when her divided loyalties will come into play.
Demetri has always been one of the more likeable characters. The injustice of his expiration date and his easy going nature have made him sympathetic and enjoyable to watch. Here we get a bit of real characterisation for a change as we see him in stressful situations and in flashback. It's too little too late for this show but was decent stuff nonetheless. We see him talk down a crazy gunmen with bravery and skill as well as drunkenly pouring affection on his friends and being excited to marry Zoey. We also see how they met (see Best Moment) and his first day as a full FBI agent. Seeing all these different sides of Demetri makes him seem more real and it becomes easier to care about his fate.
Elsewhere we have Jericho being linked directly to Stanford and thus providing Aaron with the means to get to Afghanistan. That's certainly more plausible than Aaron sneaking around a warzone on his own. Charlie and Dylan arranging a play date was a clever way to force Olivia and Lloyd to spend more time together.
The Bad: Unfortunately Olivia is not coming across well at this point. She has only herself to blame for the breakdown of her marriage after turning up at Lloyd's house and drinking gin with him. There is actually a very interesting story being told here. And that is about the nature of love as an emotion. Both Olivia and Lloyd accessed the memory of themselves in love with one another. They carried the memory of that emotion back into the present. The really interesting question therefore is about what is love? And how exactly love can be affected by memories of a person you haven't met yet. But instead the story is simply focussed on the new relationship. Which means that Olivia looks like a horrible person for cheating on Mark when she knew full well how to avoid that happening. Lloyd looks like a bastard as well and I don't think the writers wanted it to play out like this.
Marcie's story was handled in a deeply unsatisfying way. Were we really expected to believe that she went on a killing spree just because she didn't get enough attention at work? It came across as stupidly shallow. A lot of FlashForward's problems come from its own failures. At this stage it doesn't feel as if there will be a second season and therefore many of the stories being developed here have an irrelevant feel to them. Stanford's relationship with the Vice President won't get played out. Aaron's adventures in Afghanistan could presumably last a very long time. Demetri's fate isn't that important to us anymore because there won't be a season two for him to survive into. A season in which he would presumably have to explain to Zoey why Janis is carrying his baby. A plotline which still requires a lot more awkward attention than it's apparently going to get.
The Unknown: Why did Frost kill the homeless man? Who was he? What does Frost want with Demetri or Charlie? What are Jericho up to and what does it have to do with the President?
Best Moment: The flashback to Zoey grilling Demetri on the witness stand was very enjoyable to see. Her attempt to ask him out when he was seething at her behaviour was the first glimpse of a complicated relatable situation for the photogenic couple. The obvious conflict in their professions enables us to imagine the passion and chemistry they had to have in order to overcome their differences. We could have used many more scenes like that in the early episodes of the show.
Epilogue: A fast paced and enjoyable episode on a surface level. Beneath that the gaping holes remain.
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