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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 20 - The Negotiation

8 February 2012

Synopsis: It's the day before April 29th and the FBI are on high alert. They question Gabriel and plan to move him to a safe house. Janis phones in the information but it's a trap and Mark is dressed as Gabriel instead. Mark captures Hellinger who earlier made an offer for Simon to come work for him. Mark calls Janis out on being a double agent and she confesses to Demetri as well. Aaron rescues Tracy and takes her to the place he saw in his flashforward.

The Good: The build up to the final momentous day is relatively solid. The show's strength has been that the events of the future have been talked about so much that everything now feels significant and important. Unfortunately it's about the only strength of the show.

Stanford's opening speech was excellent, preparing all his officers to be on their guard and obviously getting extra security for the building. Mark once more outsmarted the bad guys by pretending to be Gabriel. Mark and Demetri had really nice scenes with Gabriel. By treating him like he is a bit simple both scenes were clear and easy to follow. Mark, seeing his wife slipping away from him, asked Gabriel if she will be safe with Lloyd. Then Demetri, sensing that his life may still be in danger, asks if he was ever alive in Gabriel's flashforwards (see Best Moment).

I liked Zoey coming once more to Demetri to suggest they get out of harms way and I thought it was understandable that he would want to stay and help out. Equally relatable was his desire to be a part of Janis' baby's life. Janis had a good scene with Vogel where you really felt sympathy for her. He was so unhelpful and unsympathetic to the position she was in that you could really see her loneliness.

Aaron finds his daughter as expected, nothing much to report there yet. I liked the radio commercial using the flashforwards to advertise food, you know that would happen! I also liked Simon's bitter retort "Like what? Take my last remaining nine fingers and kill my mother?" That was perfect, that is pretty much all they left themselves with. His final scene with Janis was a passable cliff-hanger.

The Bad: The big bad guy Hellinger is clearly not "the" big bad guy. He was caught far too easily and seems way too young for all the long term planning that has gone into the flashforward concept. He also seemed weak for not just forcing Simon to work for him, considering how vital he apparently is.

Mark's conversation with Janis was a major disappointment. There just wasn't the emotional resonance present to convey all the emotions they must both have been feeling. It was too big a reveal to be dealt with so quickly. I liked that they covered Mark's detective work in figuring out that she was lying about something. But the flashback to a scene we had never seen felt anti-climactic. It would have been nice to see her emotions as she double crossed her bosses. It also seemed like Vogel was in on the plan which rather takes away from her big moral choice. Mark seemed understandably disgruntled with her in the conversation yet you would think he would either be far more angry or a bit more sympathetic. The writing tried to draw out the loneliness they have in common but it just didn't take. The story, the acting, the writing, it just couldn't pull it off. Then she told Demetri and we didn't get to see his reaction at all. Again that was a real waste and you would think he would be angry and upset or indeed more sympathetic. The whole story was blown off way too soon and we don't know how Stanford will treat her or indeed if she will stay at the FBI. You would think they could no longer trust her.

The Unknown: What happens to Janis now? What is Simon's plan and how does it involve Janis? Who does Hellinger work for?

Best Moment: Demetri comes to see Gabriel and asks him if he has ever seen him (Demetri) alive in any of his flashforwards. Gabriel says no. Demetri asks him what he thinks happens when the future changes. Gabriel says it's like getting lost, you go down different paths but the destination remains the same. He concludes by saying "everyone is ending up where they are supposed to be." Demetri smiles and says "Makes sense." Again the smiling conversation Demetri is forced to have with this damaged person drove home his tragic situation in a relatable and sad way. It would seem Demetri is destined to die and he is having to deal with those emotions all over again. You suspect a heroic death is on the way as the series winds down.

Epilogue: Passable stuff as we build toward everyone's flashforward moment.



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  • So, here is a more "feedbacky" bit of feedback.

    This episode was just boring to me. I had a hard time getting through it.

    I guess the thing that stood out the most to me was Demitri.
    I liked that he suddenly seems ambivalent in his feelings for Zoey. It made me wonder, now that his death is not inevitable, is he reconsidering his choices? He seems to be actively avoiding Zoey, which seems like an odd way to behave towards the person you supposedly care about the most. Maybe I am reading too much into things, but they seem like an incredibly loveless couple. The fact that he refuses to go to Hawaii with her really makes it seem like he just doesn’t consider her a priority.

    What I DIDN’T like about Demitri was his sudden need to wedge himself into Janice and her baby’s life. Has a lesbian on TV EVER conceived a baby with a male friend who didn’t end up violating their contact and forcing himself into her life? Is there a “Lesbians-on-TV” handbook where this scenario is a mandatory plot device? Leave her alone, Demitri. You made a deal. You have no fraternal rights. Now stop bothering her. It just makes you look like a jerk.

    I also fear that they might be trying to plant the seeds of a "Demitri realizes he loves Janis more than Zoey" plot, which makes me want to punch my TV.

    Posted by Beth in Sacramento, 15/05/2010 9:53pm (10 years ago)

  • @ Beth, abusive may be a bit strong but I believe we will all be relieved to see this mess tied up and tossed.

    Hopefully some of the fine and wasted actors will find better fare to serve us soon.

    Posted by Yogabon, 15/05/2010 4:57am (10 years ago)

  • I hate to say it, but GOOD. I'm glad it's been cancelled. You said it perfectly Beth...we can put an end to this abuse!

    Posted by Brando from the Cinemaphiles, 15/05/2010 4:21am (10 years ago)

  • It looks like FlashForward has officially been canceled. Our abusive relationship is finally coming to an end.

    Posted by Beth in Sacramento, 14/05/2010 8:34pm (10 years ago)

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