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FlashForward is a drama based around an incident where everyone on Earth loses consciousness and sees a vision of their future. ABC 2009-2010

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Episode 11 - Revelation Zero (1)

21 March 2010

Synopsis: Mark is told to go see a therapist before he can be reinstated. She suggests that some drugs might help him remember his whole flashforward. When he does he realises he was on the phone with Lloyd discussing another blackout about to happen. CIA agent Vogel joins the Mosaic taskforce and chases down leads surrounding Lloyd's abduction. Simon is kidnapped too while at Lloyd's house. Simon and Lloyd are confronted by Flosso, the man who was seen collecting rings and he says they did not cause the blackout but merely amplified it. Olivia pulls strings to keep Dylan at the hospital under her care.

The Good: There are plenty of logical developments here.

Mark being sent to see a therapist felt like the minimum he should be required to do after the trouble he caused. She played her role just fine and the suggestion that Mark had a God complex from something he saw fitted his behaviour. The attempt to unlock more of his memory was a nice plot device to give us more information. The revelation that he was talking to Lloyd and discussing another blackout is hardly shocking but is interesting. You would assume Mark would need to stay in touch with Olivia because of his need to see his daughter. The fact that he was working with Lloyd makes that situation even more awkward.

Stanford listing off the practical efforts he has made as part of the Mosaic investigation was a nice touch too. The following up on leads from Lloyd's abduction made sense. As did adding CIA Agent Vogel to the taskforce. If this FBI branch is going to be America's lead investigation into the flashforwards then you would assume other agencies would want a piece of the action. Vogel played his role with an engaging self assurance and made a good point to Demetri. He makes it clear that Demetri isn't the only one to have a disturbing flashforward and that saving the world is a lot more important than his personal fears.

Olivia being kind to Dylan fits her character and relationship with him and his Dad. Her suggestion to Mark that they move away from L.A. was good too. I like the way people talk about Al Gove's death as if it were a big deal. It demonstrates clearly that if they want to change their future they can so why not move away from the site of your flash?

The re-appearance of Flosso (108) and his mask wearing thugs is certainly a direct approach to dealing with the mysterious elements in the show. His explanation that Lloyd and Simon's work was somehow used to amplify the blackouts makes storyline sense. The blackouts have appeared to be part of a much larger conspiracy and Lloyd and Simon are being presented as good guys.

The opening scene with the window cleaner turning to religion was visually impressive and interesting.

The Bad: Unfortunately that opening scene also demonstrated what the show is missing. In a way the show might have been better off presenting each episode of season one with someone else's blackout experience. In themselves they are far more interesting than the stories which have emerged from them.

There is probably just too much going on in this episode for anything to sink in. The dramatic high point ought to be Lloyd tied up and interrogated but that scene was handled in a horribly naive way. No time was given to build up his sense of isolation, fear or suffering. Instead his guard immediately untied him and went to cliché city, telling him "you have no idea what hell is." The whole drama of him being kidnapped was diluted pretty swiftly too when the masked men effortlessly snatch Simon too. The ease with which that happened made a mockery of the lengths which they went to to extract Lloyd and neither Lloyd nor Simon showed enough fear to demonstrate how serious their situation was. Finally we have Lloyd being a true hero and refusing to reveal any information for fear that it might lead to another blackout. Except that instead of building the episode around that heroic decision it is just thrown out their flippantly amid everyone else's story so that its impact falls flat.

The revelation that in the future there is fear over another blackout is not an exciting revelation at all. The show is so obsessed with the flashforwards at the expense of everything else that it's no surprise at all to see them heading toward another blackout. The problem is that the blackouts haven't had enough of an impact on the world for that to carry any dramatic weight.

The Unknown: How does Agent Vogel know about Zoey's flashforward? Why is Nicole's mother burning Bibles and behaving strangely? Did she already have mental health issues?

When will Mark meet D Gibbons and why does Lloyd think he was lying? What is "QED" that it sounds like Lloyd is working on? What is the Eight Ball which Mark is referring to? Why do Lloyd and Simon's flahes not match up?

Best Moment: Agent Vogel slamming Demetri into the dirt and telling it like it is. A rare moment where a character seemed genuinely interesting.

Epilogue: The show's problems remain the same but as a setup for part two this was adequate.



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