Episode Review: FlashForward:"Playing Cards With Coyote"(Season 1, Episode 8)

sysadmin 2.0
sysadmin 2.0's picture

Last week, we learned that the flash forwards could be invalidated, but the method was rather drastic. Do our characters continue to embrace their destinies, or are they figuring out how to live beyond their visions?

Well, let's find out after the jump.

Play by Play
Celia gets the letter from Agent Gough- demonstrating that the future could be changed. This makes huge national news. It's now public knowledge that the flashforwards are not inviolable. Janis returns to work, only to express doubts of whether or not she should be there.

Simon and Lloyd argue about whether or not they should go public with their experiment.

And Olivia and Mark celebrate their new lease on life … in bed… until duty calls.

Mark is determined that now that the future can be changed, it can be prevented, but somehow he manages to give Olivia the exact WRONG set of undies.

Tracy and Aaron have a heart to heart about her being, well, alive. She deserted because they were fired upon by "friendly" private contractors "Jericho" and she feels that she can't trust the military.

Lloyd and Simon play poker with the truth about the fate of mankind hanging in the balance. They take sides in the great debate- Lloyd for free will, Simon for determinism.

Ms. Alverez, a witness who saw the death squad that will eventually come after Mark (Man, verb tenses get rough on this show), gives them a bit of a clue. She says that they said something like "Q.E.D."

Seeing a photo of Tracy sets Mark's optimism back, wondering if they can indeed change things. Olivia thinks so… she's tossed her undies.

Mark and Demetri (along with Janis and Wedek) determine that flashforwards cannot account for the fact that there's an enemy that is consistently one step ahead of them. They have a mole.

Tracy is afraid that Mark will betray her to Jericho- We get more details on Aaron's vision, and he's now more conviced than ever that it will come true. Tracy is able to identify a man in Aaron's flashforward, giving him credence.

Mark and company set a trap for the assailants who will come after Mark in a few months. They get one of the star-tattooed men… but uninterrigatable.

Simcoe wins the poker game-- by cheating.

Mark believes that the man he killed was the one after him in his vision- problem is , there are lot's of men with that tattoo… and they have jewelry.

Observations and Questions

The term 'Q.E.D.' pops up twice this episode. It can stand for two things, both of which relate to this series. First, the obvious one: it is an acronym for "quod erat demonstrandum"-'That which was to be demonstrated', the end game of a philosophical or mathematic proof. It's the philosopher's 'Checkmate'.

The other relevant definition of Q.E.D. is 'Quantum Electrodynamics'. Since Lloyd and Simon are obviously quantum physicists, this might have bearing on the mechanism of the blackout

The very fact that a significant clue branches into two equally relevant but otherwise unrelated definitions brings me to something that struck me about this episode, and perhaps the series at all. The flashforwards have been redefined by Gough's suicide to be probabilities, not a foregone conclusion. However, Simon believes very firmly that the future has already happened. The result of their experiment could've proved that we live in a clockwork universe, Q.E.D.

Yeah. Insert either definition there.

The poker game (and the banter over the table) demonstrates this. Poker is a game that is very nearly evenly spread between chance and decision. You are dealt cards, and you decide how to deal with what chance assortment lands in your hand. The Texas Hold 'Em variety is an interesting choice, as all the players have to make decisions based on a combination of their unique hands and community cards. This is roughly analogous to the idea that there are certain events that the characters share in common, these are the cards that are on the table. The character's perceptions may be the cards that each character is holding in their hands, and the characters decide what to do based on what they are holding, and what's on the table.

My fellow bots don't seem to like the relationship storyline. It has icky kissing and stuff. I think that it may very well be the key to the whole show. We see the decision making process writ large-- from the killing of a mercenary to the tossing of frilly underthings.

Oh, and it's fairly obvious that the assassins are part of Jericho, the same organization that terrifies Aaron's daughter, Tracy.

One more person joins the pigment change parade tonight. The witness, Ms. Alvarez, becomes a blonde in her flashforward. If I knew what that meant….

So, What was in Lloyd's email? Who else did it go to?

Who is the Mole in the FBI?

Why was Simon so sure of the outcome of the poker game? More interestingly, why was he wrong?

What did you guys think?