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Flash Forward, Episode 107: “The Gift”

Well, this episode was a good deal better than the last.  We finally get an answer to whether the futures seen in the flashes can be changed, as well as a heck of an unexpected cliff-hanger.  That and an almost word-for-word replay of a scene from the premiere of “V” two days earlier (perhaps they themselves were having a flash-forward…).  What more could you want?

1) Our Heroes’ private lives continue to be tossed in turmoil as the effects of their seemingly inevitable flashes continue to mount.  We find out who the Blue Hand group is, apparently – a “death cult” of sorts, made up of those who saw nothing during their blackouts and presumably have nothing to live for.  Mark, Demetri (still can’t get used to why people call him “Dem”) and Al attempt to infiltrate one such meeting.  We watch a quick Russian Roulette-type interrogation with an old codger of a gatekeeper and see Al step in to immediately pull the trigger on himself.  In light of events at the end of the episode, I wonder if even then he was seeking ways to “break the pattern” and prove to himself that he can prevent what’s to come.

I love Alex Kingston – she was one of my favorite parts of watching “ER” back in the day – and I’m glad she’s at least a recurring part of the cast.  I wonder now, since Al’s suicide, if she will remain or go back to England.  Hopefully we’ll see her again.

Not much more to add to Al’s Leap of Faith – yes, there were probably still other things he could have done to prevent the accidental killing of “Celia” (whoever she was, and however it would have happened).  I still can’t believe nothing like this hasn’t happened to somebody around the world already – an accident, a suicide, a sense of invulnerability and immunity to harm based on seeing themselves alive 6 months hence.  But now it has, and we can put that speculation aside (finally).  The future can be changed – there’s no doubting it anymore.  Demetri can save himself and still get married to his fiancee.  Mark and Olivia and prevent their respective “indiscretions” (how wonderful was that hug between them at the end? Like a drowning man suddenly tossed a life preserver).  And Fiona can save the little bird :)

2) Aaron receives another key component to his flashforward, a pocketknife belonging to his (presumably dead) daughter given to him by the soldier who was with her when she was lost.  I didn’t trust the young soldier at first, and thought perhaps he was party to the people who either rescued or kidnapped her after the attack and was sent to eliminate her dad (or at least distract him from pursuing the truth) but it seems he was on the up and up.  I wonder if he’ll join Aaron in his search–

Oh, wait.  No need.  Dear Daughter just turned up back at Aaron’s home!  “Hi Daddy! What’s for dinner?” the formerly missing, formerly dead soldier seemingly says to him from the kitchen table.  Now, assuming this is not a cheat – another flash, a dream, a vision, a hallucination – his daughter is in fact alive and well and living in L.A.  Not much more to go on, but I still wonder if the Corporal might be involved in her now return…  Have to wait till next week.

3) Babysitter Nicole somehow luckily knows Japanese (her father was stationed in Okinawa when she was a kid and she remembers some of the language) so in her new hospital volunteer role, she’s suddenly all buddy-buddy with Dr. Despair-turned-Optimist Bryce.  We finally get a glimpse of his flash – an evening spent out with an apparently hypnotic Japanese lady, and a mysterious Oriental character seen behind her.  Nicole completes and translates the character for him, which tells him…not much.  His search goes on.  I like how his suicide-to-hope changed mirrors Al’s hope-to-suicide development.  It would be nice if that dichotomy is pursued.   We still need to learn eventually what drove him to almost jump off that pier in the series premiere – there’s a lot we don’t know about Bryce and I think parts will be key to the whole mystery.

4) Who is the mysterious lady (I forgot the name already) spelled out in the bracelet that Simon is holding in his (brief) part of the ending montage?  I’m going to hope he didn’t steal it from the woman he met on the train last week :)

5) The interactions between Olivia and Lloyd are both cute and painful to watch, as they struggle to prevent any possible attraction or connection between them.  I think this very struggle may lead to a mutual attraction, despite their efforts.

6) A month after the blackouts and downtown buildings in LA are still covered with tarp from all those choppers and planes that crashed into them?  What kind of shoddy workmen are they hiring down there? :)

7) Back to the flashes very quickly – we’re starting to get small bits of information about the nature of the blackouts and why people saw what they saw (or didn’t see) but there’s still a big question to be answered regarding Mark’s Fox Mulder Memorial Bulletin Board of Conspiracy ™ – that of, in a future 6 months down the road supposedly when the blackouts hadn’t happened,  how he has obtained all of these clues?   I think we may find out that Mark’s flash is of a different nature than the others in some way, since it was more prescient-seeming than others we’ve seen.

Time will tell.