Yes! Yes! She’s gay! We get it! You can stop the hammer on the head any time, please, thank you.
Sorry this is so late, I was out of town all last week and weekend and didn’t actually get to watch Flash Forward till last night. So I’ll make the commentary on this week’s episode, “Gimme Some Truth” light and to the point.
1) First of all, not much happened in terms of action except at the beginning and end of the episode (interestingly, the teaser was a “flash forward” in and of itself, a not uncommon action of showing a major dramatic moment at the end of the episode and then suddenly going back and starting at the beginning. The West Wing used that convention several times. Although I guess technically the story started with the gunfight and flashed back to the beginning of the story, then caught up with itself. Whatever.) Anyway, Mark, Wedeck and the FBI gang are testifying in front of Congress for a continuation of funding for the Mosaic project. Apparently Wedeck, the lead investigator (Senator Clemente) and the President of the US have a secret past history together which ties through the whole episode. Wedeck eventually blackmails the president into arm-twisting Clemente to green light his funding. The President offers Clemente the newly vacated VP spot in exchange for the funding.
Wedeck is presented as a much darker character this week, actually blackmailing the President of the US – supposedly an old friend – while revealing his participation in an old DC cover-up regarding the POTUS and a woman. This is a fairly abrupt change for the character, though this early in the series I’m ok with it to a point… Up till now he’s been presented as a fairly steady yet uninvolved FBI office leader who seemed pretty harmless. We see now he’s got a past, some motivation, and a willingness to get his hands dirty when necessary. I like it, but we’ll see how it goes.
A comment about the President and Clemente – in a press conference the Pres remembers (to himself) his own flash forward – a vision of himself waking up in bed with a woman (presumably his wife) as a man comes in the door with important news for “the president” about something that’s happened (what else occurred in the rest of the 2:17 is unclear, since they only showed us about 15 seconds of the flash. It may have been 2:02 of snoozing). Alternately, Senator Clemente’s tells us (and we don’t see, so its truthfulness is still a bit suspect) that she herself is president in 6 months. Well, they can’t both be president… Although it is customary to call a past president, “Mr. President” even when they’re no longer in office, I doubt he would have been waken up in that manner if he had resigned or been impeached in the next 6 months. So two basically conflicting visions. Incidentally, who didn’t see Clemente’s impending appointment as VP coming down the pike?
2) Mark’s descent into despair, depression and ultimate return to drinking continues its inevitable progress – I’ve never seen a lead for a series try so desperately to stay in the background of his own show as Mark Benford. Despite his many assertions that he has “Zero desire to take another drink” you can see it’s inevitable. Similarly, Olivia doth protest too much that she will “never ever ever ever” cheat on Mark – when you know she will. It’s a little depressing itself to see two who obviously love each other are fated to ruin each others’ lives.
Meanwhile, someone knows Mark will fall of the wagon after Olivia receives a mysterious text. The only one who Mark has told is Wedeck, so he’s really the only possible suspect, but it could be anyone.
3) OK, so yes Janis is gay. It was hinted at a couple times before but now there’s absolutely no doubt. And if you weren’t entirely convinced by the first make-out scene between her and her artist friend – here’s the next morning make-out! OK, I have no problem with Janis or any character being gay, it just seemed forced and gratuitous, intending more to titillate the fan-boys that advance the plot. So far the only plot reason I see for her being gay is to introduce more mystery in how she gets pregnant, and by whom.
4) The shootout – somehow the Mosaic investigation has hit a bit close to home for somebody and roving bands of (presumably) Chinese assassins crash into the car carrying Mark, Wedeck, Demetri and Random Other FBI Guy Who’s In the AFLAC Commercials and a shootout commences. OK – there’s no way any of the four could have survived that missile hit on the SUV and subsequent explosion, much less escaped the car and survived unscathed. That was a serious credibility hit in a day and time where such things are less commonplace than they used to be. But, putting that aside, they all survive and kill a couple random bad guys in the process. First of all – I wonder if the bad guys who died had no flashes themselves three weeks ago? Second, a person who truly believes they will be assassinated in six months (i.e. Demetri) or anyone else who has certain confidence in the futures they saw might feel themselves invulnerable to death. I wonder if that mindset will play out for others in future episodes – it would be an interesting thing to explore.
Finally, back to Janis, who’s also attacked on the street by a Chinese assassin. She gets the best of him with some flying karate action (foreshadowed earlier in the episode) but is gut shot in the process. She takes him out on the way to the pavement. What will a belly shot do to her chances of getting pregnant? Time will tell.
Two last points:
1) The CIA director (Good old Ron Butterfield (West Wing)/Richard Walsh (24) aka Michael O’Neill!) blames the blackouts on the Chinese. Chinese assassins attack all our heroes, in LA and in DC. Ok, it’s the Chinese. However, the Chinese Fire Drill comment at the beginning of the episode was piling on the reference a little too thick :)
2) The attractive brunette FBI agent helping Janis with the Somali data on the laptop – was that Callie from Battlestar Galactica???? Speaking of Somalia – what were those “pylons”? I’m thinking some warlord in Somalia decided to build an amusement park in 1991 and had five Dr. Doom FearFall clones constructed, but I could be wrong…
See you next week!