The second week of ABC's FlashForward arrives with knowledge, action and intrigue! Read on below as I detail my thoughts from this second episode and remember - if you missed this evening's episode, there is a scheduled encore edition planned tomorrow evening. Same FlashForward time, same FlashForward channel!
I'll be reviewing this and future episodes of FlashForward in an ironic and incredibly-appropriate "stream of consciousness" format, giving you essentially what I'm thinking as the show airs. I encourage everyone to send feedback in regard to any of the points below and use this opportunity as a sounding-off point to tell the Screen Rant team what YOU think about this second episode, of ABC's FlashForward!
-- Stunning Visuals That Open The Episode: As we enter this episode of FlashForward, we're gifted with some astounding visuals of planet Earth, from just outside of standard shuttle and space station orbit and - well, it's just stunning. I'm eager to learn whether or not they're pure CGI or perhaps something from one of the many recent and final missions of our space shuttle adventures.
-- The Army is Always There: Every minute and a half or so as this episode starts, there is a great image of the military moving into place. During this episode, we see a variety of military-based vehicles and personnel taking up station in the city post Blackout and it's great to see.
-- Captain Harriman Inna' House! Alan Ruck makes an all-too-short but credited appearance as the apparently-drunk AA-goer in this episode. Does anyone know if we'll see more of him in this series? I don't see anything additional at his IMDB listing so I'm going to assume no at this point.
-- What did YOU see? This is an outstanding throw to more great fan-based discussion that really will stand the test of time. Just like knowing where you were for other real-life events (JFK assassination, shuttle disasters, 9-11, etc), this phrase and it's context will last a good long time.
-- Playing Blackout: "Role-playing like what happened after 9-11 and Katrina?": Clearly I'm missing a piece and this will serve as the first call to the audience. What "role-playing" are they referring to for 9-11 and Katrina survivors here?
-- Olivia and Mark and their Dialog: After seeing some of the worst train-wreck movies in recent history this last week (SlipStream, A Little Piece of Heaven, Fighting) it's great to see some engaging, REAL life dialog here inside of FlashForward. Olivia's dialog with both her daughter and the others around here in the hospital and more is wonderfully written and paid off perfectly by actress Sonya Walger.
-- The Mosaic Collective: This is one of the best-ever pieces of story and series concepts I've seen in a while. As we were compiling our weekly FlashForward Podcast, we received a gaggle of email from our listenership that sent us a link to a dedicated, official Facebook application now available called "MOSAIC" that - not so strangely, allows you to interact and talk about the series, the story bits and perspective - with people all across the world. Be sure to check out the listing of cool sites that we've got compiling here and if you know if one like the Facebook MOSAIC Site on the web that we should know about, please let us know.
-- The Perspective of Armed Soldiers Standing Guard: Call it a personal warm fuzzy here, but I'm all for the American military ensuring order. Extraordinary circumstances call for extraordinary measures and it's great to see something other than wide open chaos in a series that cultivates events that effect the entire world.
-- The Autism Spectrum: Do you know it? I don't. It's another rare thing when a series can not only call attention to social goings-on, but make you want to seek out more knowledge. Another great push here is that while Autism is mentioned, we're not bludgeoned over the head with preaching or down-your-throat details here as it's introduced. It's another showcase of writer's skill that's really appreciated and makes me want to learn more about what I'm listening to. Be sure to learn more about the Autism spectrum here.
-- Again, quick-hitting subtle humor: An admitted bowel movement session by investigative team leader Stanford Wedeck (Courtney B. Vance) suddenly becomes tragically even more funny. Another agent, Rafalski, was also in the restroom during the blackout, and apparently went face-down into a urinal in the bathroom. Wedeck, after waking up on the toilet from his blackout, then rescues his coworker, and - in true duty-filled fashion to provide then drowning of Rafalski - gives him mouth to mouth resuscitation to revive him. Just as in last episode, this is the one piece of quick humor that makes it's mark and quickly moves on in perfect contrast with the rest of the episode.
-- Deduction Begins: D. Gibbons: I have a feeling that we're going to see lots of the kind of interaction with people like DiDi (short for Diedre) Gibbons in FlashForward. When you consider the people that will contact an investigational organization like this new one, the interaction with people via MOSAIC, and the inevitable cameo from guest-stars-a-plenty, you can bet that we'll see more.
-- Sounds from STAR TREK: Note to everyone watching. Agent Hawks (Janice) is keying in and mining through data and the soft touches you hear, are the same sounds that you'd hear from many-a-STAR TREK character in the Next Generation (TNG) and Deep Space Nine (DS9) eras when touching a data console of the Federation. Ahhh, mindless sound memory trivia.
-- Another Team Investigating: This launches some of the same great rivalry potential that we've seen in other series and I'm really eager to see where they take us with it. Just when you thought we didn't have a large enough cast, you can bet there will be more without a doubt. We also are told in this segment that there IS confirmation of a second known player operating during the blackout which constitutes the definition of a "conspiracy" - a magical little word that will make fans heads everywhere swirl with anticipation week to week. Any speculation as to why THEY'RE investigating?
-- Conversation between Demitri and Janis: I was (sadly) watching a movie I really wanted to like called "Fighting" recently. While the venues in the movie featured wonderfully framed cinematography, the dialog in that movie, from GI Joe alum Channing Tatum and Zulay Henao was, well, horrid, forced and - no one talks like that. In stark contrast here in FlashForward, we see an outstanding scene between Janis and Dimitri that makes the eyes and ears swell, because - it's conversational, moving and - it's how people TALK to one another. Kudos once again to not only the writers but the actors that pull this one off wonderfully.
-- Another unobtrusive Next Episode segment: I have to hand it to the people editing this program. It looks to me like we're not going to get any "next time, on FlashForward" inserts that give away the farm. Let's hope that all other programs (in particular 24) do the same and give us just enough to whet the whistle without blowing any and all surprise for next time.
-- Encore Episode the tomorrow evening: For those of you that might have missed this evening's episode, and don't have dedicated, "at-least-44-minute-Internet access" there is hope! There will be an encore episode of this evening's show tomorrow! Be sure to tell friends! While the ratings for this show were solid, the fact is that the studio is going to need to see sustained gangbusters from the fans of this series or it's going to be potentially be a victim of walking a bit too close to chopping block later this year.
So what did you think? Discuss below!