Episode Review: FlashForward:"Future Shock" (Series Finale)

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Tonight, for better or worse, FlashForward ends.
Was it a good death?
Let me save you some time. NO.

But read on anyway....

Recap

We open with all our main characters trying to alternately avoid or collide with the future as seen in their flashforwards.

Bryce is trying to get to Keiko through romance and bribery; Aaron is trying to revive Tracy, Olivia is running away from Lloyd, and Demetri and Janis are taking Simon to the accelerator and Stan bails Mark out of the drunk tank. So far, some bits are working, others aren't.

Stan gets a call: there are two bombs planted in the FBI offices... maybe more. Stan puts him on the line with Aaron to do the whole AA confession thing. He goes up to his office. Hellinger (Mr. Big) gives a sign to some bomb squad members, they pass meaningful looks and go back into the FBI building after Mark.

Lloyd finds Olivia (bodyguards are such busybodies. I know mine is...) and persuades her to come back to the house because he wants a breakthrough. I bet he says that to all the girls. At the house, Dylan writes the formula on the mirror that Lloyd saw in his flashforward. He apparently absorbed and processed the formula from some notes he was playing with. Olivia realizes that the moment is inevitable, and starts snogging Lloyd.

Bryce tells Nicole that he's in love with Keiko, and that he can't be with Nicole. In the meanwhile, Keiko is given a new lease on the U.S. when her mother creates a disturbance in the airport. We should all have such mothers. Keiko and Bryce rush to their brush with destiny at the restaurant. Nicole, however, accidentally drives her car into a pond. She's pulled out by a bystander.

Simon and Demetri break into the accelerator to do some ill-defined something. Janis has a problem with her pregnancy, and is rushed to the hospital. Her baby is a boy...(!?!) Simon and Demetri pull files out of the computer, but the accelerator fires up anyway.

The planted bombsquadders shoot down the real ones, and put on the plastic masks from the FlashForwards. Mark is in position in his office, putting the pieces together from Gabriel's notes. He learns the time of the next blackout: 12 minutes from the time of the first flashforward fulfillment.

Vogel, in Mark's backyard, says that Mark is dead, but he's only speculating on Mark's chances.

The mask guys blow holy heck out of Mark's office. Mark is hiding, and gets the drop on the shooters. He blows the heck out of them. Wedek takes one down from his toilet stall. Mark gets the time of the next blackout to Wedek, who makes the call to the White House... but Mark is still trapped in the building, bombs counting down and a never ending supply of thugs with guns coming after him. He calls Olivia to say goodbye, and then runs for the door.

The time counts down to zero- the world gets another flashforward to 2015 or so.... Betababe's kangaroo reappears, bounding down the street and the FBI building blows up.

The End.

Observations

Well that was action packed, dramatic and completely unsatisfying. This was obviously to set up the next couple of seasons which won't happen because the show took too long to become entertaining.

I was on the verge of liking this show- the concept was cool, the cast made up of interesting and talented actors... but a profound lack of early character development and stiff direction doomed this show.

I maintain that the preponderance of British actors trying to work in American accents hurt this show. If they hadn't been working so hard to overcome their natural speech patterns, they could've done the little things that make characters interesting. It's not really their fault, it's too much for even above average actors (see Michelle Ryan: Bionic Woman). Even Hugh Laurie has problems with it even after years of playing Dr. House. The actors eventually got used to it, but it was too late to make a first impression. When Joseph (Mark) Fiennes finally got a grip on his character, it was an amazing performance... but it took way too long to get there. We are told from the beginning that Mark Benford is a great agent, but we don't see it until two-thirds of the way through the season.

In TV, Movies, Comic Books, what have you... SHOW, DON'T TELL.

That brings me to the next problem with this series. In order to not be another LOST (while simultaneously trying to BE the next LOST), the writers info-dumped at every possible moment. There were rarely any questions that lasted longer than a week or two, except one giant question... "WHO CARES?". In order to build suspense in an arc driven show, you have to mete out the questions and the answers in a measured manner, and let people get a chance to know and like the characters. FlashForward played too many plot threads out way too fast, leaving the poor actors to try and imbue their characters with some sort of sympatico while spouting all manner of data and being pushed along plot-dictated character arcs, which if we are completely honest, made the characters do things that just didn't make any sort of sense.

But to the good, Betababe's kangaroo still doesn't have (or merit) an explanation. It is a Zen 'Roo.

Republibot 2.0's Challenge!!!

Imagine you are the showrunner for FlashForward. Take the same plot throughline, but this time make it actually work!

Give me your ideas for FlashForward necromancy below!

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