As the season progresses, I think Flash Forward is getting better and better. So we now know that the anti-blackout ring is a Quantum Entanglement Device; Janice is working for the FBI, CIA and a secret group; Olivia is the key to the puzzle; Frost used autistic savants in his flash forward experiments since they have detailed memories, and the secret group wants Janice to kill Mark.
So our “secret phrase” for the night was The Antikythera Mechanism. I took this directly from their site.
The antikythera mechanism is currently housed in the Greek National Archaeological Museum in Athens and is thought to be one of the most complicated antiques in existence. At the beginning of the 20th century, divers off the island of Antikythera came across this clocklike mechanism, which is thought to be at least 2,000 years old, in the wreckage of a cargo ship. The device was very thin and made of bronze. It was mounted in a wooden frame and had more than 2,000 characters inscribed all over it. Though nearly 95 percent of these have been deciphered by experts, there as not been a publication of the full text of the inscription.
Today it is believed that this instrument was a kind of mechanical analog computer used to calculate the movements of stars and planets in astronomy. It has been estimated that the antikythera mechanism was built around 87 B.C and was lost in 76 B.C. No one has any idea about why or how it came to be on that ill-fated cargo ship. The ship was Roman though the antikythera mechanism was developed in Greece. One theory suggests that the reason it came to be on the Roman ship could be because the instrument was among the spoils of war garnered by then Roman emperor Julius Caesar.
X-rays of the device have indicated that there are at least 30 different gears present in it. British historian Derek Price has done extensive research on what the antikythera mechanism may have been used for. It was not until 1959 that Price put forth the theory that the device was used in astronomy to make calculations and predictions. In 1974, Price presented a model of how the antikythera mechanism might have functioned. When past or future dates were entered into the device it calculated the astronomical information related to the Sun, Moon, and other planets.
Some of these findings have been confirmed by more recent researches undertaken by scholars and scientists. However, the full extent of the instrument’s functions still remains unknown. Price had also suggested that the antikythera mechanism might have been on public display in a museum or a public hall. Some others have also come up with their variants of the ancient computer, based on Price’s model. Australians Allan Bromley and Frank Percival devised one such model as did Michael Wright, curator of mechanical engineering at the Science Museum, London.
A joint project is also underway to further study this astounding example of the advancements of technology in ancient times. Known as the Antikythera Mechanism Research Project, it is a collaboration between Cardiff University, the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, X-Tek Systems, UK, and Hewlett-Packard, USA. This project is funded by the Leverhulme Trust and supported by the Cultural Foundation of the National Bank of Greece. Since the study started more progress has been made. More than 80 fragments of the mechanism have now been discovered.
Wow! What a shocker. Janis Hawk is a double mole. And, me thinks, will become impregnated by Simon. But that is not my topic of the night. We seem to have misinterpreted what QED means, so I will blog a bit on Quantum Entanglement.
Quantum-mechanical phenomena such as quantum teleportation, the EPR paradox, or quantum entanglement might appear to create a mechanism that allows for faster-than-light (FTL) communication or time travel, and in fact some interpretations of quantum mechanics such as the Bohm interpretation presume that some information is being exchanged between particles instantaneously in order to maintain correlations between particles. This effect was referred to as “spooky action at a distance” by Einstein.
Nevertheless, the fact that causality is preserved in quantum mechanics is a rigorous result in modern quantum field theories, and therefore modern theories do not allow for time travel or FTL communication. In any specific instance where FTL has been claimed, more detailed analysis has proven that to get a signal, some form of classical communication must also be used. The no-communication theorem also gives a general proof that quantum entanglement cannot be used to transmit information faster than classical signals. The fact that these quantum phenomena apparently do not allow FTL time travel is often overlooked in popular press coverage of quantum teleportation experiments. How the rules of quantum mechanics work to preserve causality is an active area of research.
Quantum Entanglement Device
Mythological godtech or clarketech communications device that supposedly employs quantum entanglement for limited FTL communicate at interstellar distances. Said to be in the hands of powers and archailects. It is commonly believed or supposed in cheap virchfiction that a few have over the centuries fallen into the hands of nearbaselines, who have however been able to use them to their useful potential. The reality is that no QED has ever existed; as with FTL it is a myth that is believed by the gullible. It has been known ever since the Atomic and Information ages of Old Earth that actual quantum entanglement cannot be used to send useful information.
More detail for those who can’t sleep
Quantum entanglement, also called the quantum non-local connection, is a property of a quantum mechanical state of a system of two or more objects in which the quantum states of the constituting objects are linked together so that one object can no longer be adequately described without full mention of its counterpart—even if the individual objects are spatially separated. The property of entanglement was understood in the early days of quantum theory, although not by that name. Quantum entanglement is at the heart of the EPR paradox developed by Albert Einstein, Boris Podolsky, and Nathan Rosen in 1935. This interconnection leads to non-classical correlations between observable physical properties of remote systems, often referred to as nonlocal correlations.
Quantum mechanics holds that observables, for example spin, are indeterminate until some physical intervention is made to measure an observable of the object in question. In the singlet state of two spin, it is equally likely that any given particle will be observed to be spin-up or spin-down. Measuring any number of particles will result in an unpredictable series of measurements that will tend to a 50% probability of the spin being up or down. However, the results are quite different if this experiment is done with entangled particles. For example, when two members of an entangled pair are measured, their spin measurement results will be correlated. Two (out of infinitely many) possibilities are that the spins will be found to always have opposite spins (in the spin-anti-correlated case), or that they will always have the same spin (in the spin-correlated case). Measuring one member of the pair therefore tells you what spin the other member would have if it were also measured. The distance between the two particles is irrelevant.
Theories involving hidden variables have been proposed in order to explain this result. These hidden variables would account for the spin of each particle, and would be determined when the entangled pair is created. It may appear then that the hidden variables must be in communication no matter how far apart the particles are, that the hidden variable describing one particle must be able to change instantly when the other is measured. If the hidden variables stop interacting when they are far apart, the statistics of multiple measurements must obey an inequality (called Bell’s inequality), which is, however, violated both by quantum mechanical theory and in experiments.
When pairs of particles are generated by the decay of other particles, naturally or through induced collision, these pairs may be termed “entangled”, in that such pairs often necessarily have linked and opposite qualities such as spin or charge. The assumption that measurement in effect “creates” the state of the measured quality goes back to the arguments of Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen and Erwin Schrödinger (remember Schrödinger’s Cat from an earlier blog) concerning Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle and its relation to observation.
The analysis of entangled particles by means of Bell’s theorem can lead to an impression of non-locality, i.e. that there exists a connection between the members of such a pair that defies both classical and relativistic concepts of space and time. This is reasonable if it is assumed that each particle departs the location of the pair’s creation in an ambiguous state (thus yet unobserved, as per a possible interpretation of Heisenberg’s principle). In such a case, for a given observable quality of the particle, all outcomes remain a possibility and only measurement itself would precipitate a distinct value. As soon as just one of the particles is observed, its entangled pair collapses into the very same state. If each particle departs the scene of its “entangled creation” with properties that would unambiguously determine the value of the quality to be subsequently measured, then the postulated instantaneous transmission of information across space and time would not be required to account for the result of both particles having the same value for that quality. The Bohm interpretation postulates that a guide wave exists connecting what are perceived as individual particles such that the supposed hidden variables are actually the particles themselves existing as functions of that wave.
Observation of wavefunction collapse can lead to the impression that measurements performed on one system instantaneously influence other systems entangled with the measured system, even when far apart. Yet another interpretation of this phenomenon is that quantum entanglement does not necessarily enable the transmission of classical information faster than the speed of light because a classical information channel is required to complete the process.
I have gotten a bit behind with my write-ups on Flash Forward since I have been out of town. I visited the Walt Disney Family Museum in the Presidio in San Francisco on Friday and will be blogging about that over the next few days.
Jeff “Doc” Jensen of Entertainment Weekly has some theories about Flash Forward. I loved to read his theories on LOST each week, so I am leaving you with his latest musings on Flash Forward.
In the new issue of Entertainment Weekly now on newsstands, you’ll find a story written by yours truly in which I geek out on my new TV obsession, the ABC sci-fi drama FlashForward. If you’re new to the show, here’s what you need to know: On Oct. 6, the planet blacked out and for 2 minutes and 17 seconds, and everyone on earth saw a brief vision of their respective futures. The saga’s center is FBI agent Mark Benford (Shakespeare In Love’s Joseph Fiennes), who during his brief quantum leap saw himself investigating an elaborate conspiracy behind mankind’s perplexing power nap. The day glimpsed in all the flashes: Thursday, April 29, 2010. (Yep, the show will air that night.) Will Mark’s faithful wife Olivia (Lost’s Sonja Walger) find herself in bed with another man? Will vaguely sinister scientist Simon Campos (Dominic Monaghan, another ex-Lostie) strangle a dude to death? And will FBI agent Demetri Noh (Star Trek’s John Cho), who saw only darkness during his flash, be (gulp) dead? “The high concept pitch is simply this: if you were given a glimpse of your future, what would you do with it?” says FF’s exec producer David S. Goyer. “If you see something bad, can you change it? If it’s good, how do you make it come true?”
One of the things I love best about the series is the explicit and implicit references to science, literature, philosophy, and pop culture. When investigated, these references suggest all sorts of possibilities about what’s really going on in the saga, or at the very least add some cool or ironic shading to the story. For example: we’ve been told that Agent Noh will be killed on March 15. That also happens to be the date of Julius Caesar’s murder. More on the nose with FlashForward: Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, in which a seer tells the Roman leader to “beware the Ides of March,” i.e. March 15. Is that just the writers having some smarty-pants fun—or are they planting a cue that a Brutus-like colleague will betray Agent Noh?
Here’s another example—a little more tenuous, but if you follow my Doc Jensen work on Lost, you know that making pseudo-intellectual leaps are part of what I’m all about. In FlashForward’s third episode, Agent Benford traveled to Germany to interview a Nazi war criminal who claimed to know something about the true nature of the global blackout. The old Nazi was being held at Quale Prison, and as it happens, the word quale is directly linked to a philosophical term dealing with—in wikipedia’s words—“the subjective quality of conscious experience.” (The fact that FlashForward would name a prison after such a heady concept is pretty provocative. Is the show trying to suggest that objective reality is unknowable and mankind is fundamentally at odds with each other because we are locked into our unique, idiosyncratic perspectives of the external world?)
Are you with me?! I hope so, because in the weeks to come, I plan on doing even more obsessing about FlashForward here at EW.com, beginning with a complete TV Watch recap of the next episode, airing Dec. 3. Until then, here’s are some additional references (legit and perceived my crazy eyes) that FlashForward has made during its first nine episodes—and some theories about what they could mean.
Of course, Dominic Monaghan (Charlie) and Sonya Walger (Penelope) are living, breathing embodiments of Lost. Both actors played characters linked to Desmond Hume. During the show’s third season, the ex-Hatchman became super-charged with The Island’s electromagnetic energy and began having flash-forwards of Charlie’s death. He also went back in time and tried to change his destiny. David Goyer—a big Lost fan—slipped a billboard for Oceanic Airlines into the pilot, inspiring fans to wonder if both shows exist in the same universe. At the very least, they may share a similar philosophical idea: that no matter how much you try to change predestined events, fate will get what it wants.
“Across The Universe” by Rufus Wainwright Like Lost, Cold Case and so many other shows, FF has a penchant for episode-ending slow-motion montages, set to rousing score or a thematically loaded pop song. One of my faves was Wainwright’s cover of this classic tune by The Beatles, heard in the Oct. 29 episode “Scary Monsters and Super Creeps.” In the 1999 Robert J. Sawyer novel that inspired the series, the blackout/flash-forwards are caused, in part, by an anomaly in deep space—literally “across the universe.” Coincidence? Nay! I say: Synchronicity! As in…
“Ghost In The Machine” by The Police Agent Benford is a fan of the band and wore a T-shirt featuring this album’s artwork to an undercover operation—infiltrating an underground club catering to “ghosts,” people in the FF universe who didn’t see anything in their flash forward and thus believe they are destined to die before that date. According to band lore, the album was inspired by Sting’s fixation with Arthur Koestler, an egghead who postulated that people, events, and time are psychically linked via the concept of Synchronicity described by Carl Jung. (The Police song “Synchronicity,” from the album of the same (also inspired by Koestler), is a FlashForward theory unto itself; check out the lyrics here.) Koestler’s books include The Ghost In The Machine, The Roots of Coincidence (a book that has had a big influence on sci-fi, fantasy, and comic book writers), and Janus: A Summing Up, an exploration of systems theory that says that a larger whole or “holarchy” is make up of individual components called “holons” that also contain systems within themselves, or something like that, or maybe nothing at all like that, and yes, I don’t have any clue what any of this means. Bookmark that Janus name—we’ll be coming back to it in a minute.
Jericho In FlashForward, Jericho is a military contractor that provides private armies to the highest bidder. Their soldiers apparently played a role in the attempted killing of Aaron Stark’s daughter, Tracy, in Afghanistan. I also suspect they are providing goons to the conspiracy that perpetrated the global blackout. Of course, Jericho was also the title of the short-lived, intensely loved cult drama that imagined the aftermath of a cataclysmic nuclear attack on the United States.
Trying to make sense of Jericho’s treacherous attack on his daughter, Aaron likened the situation to a “Baldacci novel.” David Baldacci is the best-selling author of hugely successful books like The Collectors and Absolute Power, political potboilers that usually involve elaborate government conspiracies. Application to FlashForward: I’m thinking President Segovia (played by Peter Coyote)—who is (or was) tight with Assistant Director Wedeck (Courtney B. Vance)—knows much more about the global blackout than he’s telling. And remember Senator Clemente (Barbara Williams), the congresswoman who was leading the subcommittee investigation into the flash-forward event? She was no friend to Segovia and Wedeck, yet the president made her his new vice president—presumably to stifle her persecution of Wedeck’s Mosaic team. No, it’s not very realistic that a president would appoint a hated political rival as his No. 2—unless, of course, Segovia and Clemente aren’t the bitter enemies they appeared to be. I’m thinking that yes, Senator Clemente is in on the conspiracy, too. So what’s the conspiracy? Here’s the clue that sketches the big picture:
“D. Gibbons” The “bad man” from little Charlie Benford’s spooky vision and one of many cryptic clues gleaned from Agent Benford’s flash forward. The name undoubtedly refers to Dave Gibbons, co-author of the subversive superhero saga Watchmen, whose intricate mystery plot concerns (SPOILER ALERT!) a conspiracy to encourage world peace by staging a fake alien invasion. And like FF, Watchmen stuffed coded clues and tell-tale non-sequiturs in the margins of its story. I’m thinking that the power players behind the global blackout were attempting to do something similar—usher in a new era of world peace by staging a global cataclysm designed to cause everyone to rethink their lives, the way they live their lives and the political, religious, and philosophical barriers that divide us. The bipartisan union of President Segovia and Senator Clemente is symbolic and representative of the narrative the conspiracy was/is trying to promote throughout the world. The two-faced, double-edged nature of this scheme to engineer planetary rebirth via planetary catastrophe is reflected in our next clue…
Janice/Janus Janice is the name of the FlashForward character who saw herself having a baby on April 29… even though she’s a lesbian who is currently not in relationship and had been deeply ambivalent about even having kids until recently. Janice sounds exactly like Janus, the two-faced Roman deity of open gates and closed doors, of beginnings and endings. Janus is a deeply ironic, very paradoxical dude—both hopeful and ominous. That’s very Janice. Speaking of double-sided clues…
Mosaic’s search for “D. Gibbons” led him to Pigeon, Utah, where he encountered a mystery man, coined “The Chess Player” by fans, in an abandoned doll factory. Before escaping, the chess player said, “He who foresees calamities, suffers them twice over.” That’s a famous quote from Porteus, an 18th-century English clergyman and noted abolitionist. His other major claim to fame was introducing something called “The Sunday Observance Act,” a “blue law” that regulated the ways people in England could spend their recreational time on Sunday. This is could be a double-faced clue. On one hand, we have an ostensible bad guy, quoting a guy linked to a righteous cause (ending slavery) and famous for forcing a righteous way of life on society (the Sunday Observance Act)—another possible proof on the aforementioned world peace conspiracy. But is The Chess Player part of The Blackout Conspiracy—or working to subvert it? The Porteus quote is darkly ironic. And coming from The Chess Player, it sounds like a warning or threat. Possibilities: If The Chess Player is trying to promote the conspiracy, he might have been trying to tell Benford that trying to solve the mystery of the blackout calamity will only produce another calamity—the ruin of its peace-promoting effect. But if The Chess Player is trying to fight the conspiracy, he might have been trying to tell Benford that flash-forward event had backfired—or will backfire when it reaches its fulfillment on April 29. FYI: Porteus is associated with another ironic quote that could be applied to FlashForward and my “Conspiracy of Peace” conspiracy theory: “War its thousands slays; peace its ten thousands.”
The Chess Player left behind some clues for Mosaic, including a chess piece—the white queen, which provocatively intersects with all sorts of fantasy and geek pop. The White Queen is a character from Through The Looking Glass—a scatter-brained figure that lives her life backwards and struggles to live in the present. (“Jam-yesterday or Jam-tomorrow, but never Jam-today.”) That’s fitting for a show whose people got mind-scrambled during the global blackout and are now playing out futures that may have already come to pass—who are constantly being reminded and challenged to bravely defy fate by “living in the now.” However, “White Queen” is the handle of several prominent characters in comic book land, including the morally ambiguous X-Men foil Emma Frost (who can see into other people’s heads) and another baddie, Sat-Yr-9, an unhinged femme fatale from an alternate reality Earth. Yes, it is unlikely FlashForward was deliberately trying to forge a connection to the latter character. But she does embody a high concept theory in quantum physics that was explicitly referenced by Dominic Monaghan’s Simon Campos character: the idea that all possible realities actually exist. (See: the Schrödinger’s Cat thought experiment, used by Campos to seduce the blonde lady on the train.) I won’t beat this dead (Schrödinger’s) cat further by bringing this full circle and explicating the link between Alice In Wonderland and quantum mechanics, or how the whole notion of white and black chess pieces illustrate the binary either/or dynamics of alternate reality logic. However, and fittingly, I will ask you to entertain at least two possibilities: 1. That what everyone saw in their flash-forward was actually a peek into an alternate reality; and 2. That per the implications of Schrödinger’s Cat, which says that reality isn’t created until directly observed by the viewer, that the future sketched by the flash-forwards is now locked into place as a result of being directly observed by everyone in the past via the global blackout. Got that? Thought so. Also see: A Christmas Carol SPOILER ALERT! David Goyer says Charles Dickens’ classic novel—about a grinch who’s shown a vision of his (possible) future—looms large in the Dec. 3 episode.
While I take a couple of days to digest episode 8 “Rules of the Game” of Flash Forward, I leave you with an explanation of what QED is. While sniping back and forth during their poker game, Lloyd and Simon threw this acronym at each other.
Q.E.D. is an abbreviation of the Latin phrasequod erat demonstrandum, which literally means “which was to be demonstrated”. The phrase is written in its abbreviated form at the end of a mathematical proof or philosophical argument to signify that the last statement deduced was the one to be demonstrated; the abbreviation thus signals the completion of the proof.
Etymology and early use
The phrase is a translation into Latin from Greek ὅπερ ἔδει δεῖξαι (hoper edei deixai; abbreviated as ΟΕΔ), a phrase used by many early mathematicians, including Euclid and Archimedes. These mathematicians, in particular Euclid, are credited with founding axiomatic mathematics with its emphasis on establishing truths by logical deduction (rather than experimentation or assertion); their use of this phrase symbolizes this emphasis, as well as marking this important step in the development of mathematical philosophy.
In the European Renaissance, scholars often wrote in Latin, and phrases such as Q.E.D. were often used to conclude proofs.
Perhaps the most famous use of Q.E.D. in a philosophical argument is found in the Ethics of Baruch Spinoza, published posthumously in 1677. Written in Latin, it is considered by many to be Spinoza’s magnum opus. The style and system of the book is, as Spinoza says, “demonstrated in geometrical order”, with axioms and definitions followed by propositions. For Spinoza, this is a considerable improvement over René Descartes’s writing style in the Meditations, which follows the form of a diary.
There is another Latin phrase with a slightly different meaning, and less common in usage. Quod erat faciendum is translated as “which was to have been done”. This is usually shortened to Q.E.F. The expression quod erat faciendum is a translation of the Greek geometers’ closing ὅπερ ἔδει ποιῆσαι (hoper edei poiēsai). Euclid used this phrase to close propositions which were not proofs of theorems, but constructions. For example, Euclid’s first proposition shows how to construct an equilateral triangle given one side.
Equivalents in other languages
Q.E.D. has acquired many translations in various foreign languages. In French, German, Italian and Russian (with English, the main languages of modern Western mathematics) it is respectively C.Q.F.D., for ce qu’il fallait démontrer (or sometimes ce qui finit la démonstration), W.Z.B.W. for was zu beweisen war, C.V.D. for come volevasi dimostrare, and ч.т.д., for что и требовалось доказать. In Spanish and Portuguese it is Q.E.D. for Quedo esto demostrado. There does not appear to be a common formal English equivalent, though the end of a proof may be announced with a simple statement such as “this completes the proof” or a similar locution. Most modern math textbooks in English end proofs with a symbol, often square. (See below.) In modern Greek texts sometimes the initials ο.ε.δ. (for ὅπερ ἔδει δεῖξαι) are used at the end of a mathematical proof.
When typesetting was done by a compositor with letterpress printing, complex typography such as mathematics and foreign languages were called “penalty copy” (the author paid a “penalty” to have them typeset, as it was harder than plain text). With the advent of systems such as LaTeX, mathematicians found their options more open, so there are several symbolic alternatives in use, either in the input, the output, or both. When creating TeX, Knuth provided the symbol ■ (solid black square), also called by mathematicians tombstone or Halmos symbol (after Paul Halmos, who pioneered its use). The tombstone is sometimes open: □ (hollow black square). Unicode explicitly provides the “End of Proof” character U+220E (∎), but also offers ▮ (U+25AE, black vertical rectangle) and ‣ (U+2023, triangular bullet) as alternatives. Some authors have adopted variants of this notation with other symbols, such as two forward slashes (//), or simply some vertical white space.
In popular culture
The 1982 US television series Q.E.D. starred Sam Waterston as Professor Quentin Everett Deverill, an American detective in Edwardian England who uses a style of logical deduction similar to that of Sherlock Holmes. Hence, the show’s title derives both from the protagonist’s initials (by which he is primarily known), as well as the logical proofs he presents.
Douglas Adams‘ franchise, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, famously uses Q.E.D. to conclude its Babel fish proof, which determines that God no longer exists because the Babel fish is too improbable to have evolved by pure chance; therefore the Babel fish was a proof for God, and as Faith involves no proof, there was no God, QED (using humorous fallacy to mock teleology and intelligent design principles).
With that, the rules of Flash Forward changed. People with flashforwards can actually die before their flashforward occurs. Also, this means that people who have had flashforwards might not necessarily live to see them come true.
We find out early in the episode that Celia is left a flyer on her car windshield. It is for www.alreadyghosts.com (which is a real Web site, which directs you to ABC’s home site for Flash Forward). On the back of the flyer, someone wrote “We know you are one of us.” We can also assume that Demetri received the same flyer since we see him surfing that site.
Aaron is visited by a soldier, Mike, who served with his daughter Tracy. He gives Aaron a gift from Tracy: a pocketknife Aaron gave her before she went overseas. Aaron interprets this as a sign that Tracy is still alive.
The FBI team receives a visit from Fiona Banks (Alex Kingston). Al and her discuss their common flashforward. Alex wishes there was a way for her to help the bird that crashed into the window and ease its pain. Al leaves the room in the flashforward to take a call from his attorney uttering the words “I killed her.”
We learn that many people did not have flashforwards. They refer to themselves as “Ghosts.” It seems some entrepreneurial ghosts have set up clubs for this unfortunate group of people. Each meeting has a different Dr. Raynaud. There is an LA club meeting that night.
O.K., I need to do a sidebar here. Again, Flash Forward threw an interesting name at us: Raynaud. In medicine, Raynaud’s phenomenon (pronounced /reɪˈnoʊz/, us dict: rā·nōz′) is a vasospastic disorder causing discoloration of the fingers, toes, and occasionally other extremities. This condition can also cause nails to become brittle with longitudinal ridges. Named for French physician Maurice Raynaud (1834–1881), the cause of the phenomenon is believed to be the result of vasospasms that decrease blood supply to the respective regions. Emotional stress and cold are classic triggers of the phenomenon, and the discoloration follows a characteristic pattern in time: white, blue and red. Viola! The Blue Hand!
Mark, Demetri, and Al head downtown to check out the club. They are handstamped with a blue hand. Once inside, one of them needs to play a game of Russian Roulette with a gun. Thinking that Demetri will take up the slack here since we know he is murdered on March 15th, 2010, it comes as a surprise that Al grabs the gun and plays. Al gets to keep the one bullet in the gun which as written on it “Not Today.”
Once inside the main club area, Mark finds another artifact from his board: a matchbook with “The Blue Hand” scribbled inside.
Aaron is revisited by soldier Mike who tells him he was with Tracy when she died. After their Humvee is bombed, he sees Tracy on the ground with one leg ripped off, apparently looking dead. Perhaps she is only unconscious, but Mike did not have time to take a pulse before he had to run for his life.
Back at The Blue Hand Club, things are really rocking. I don’t know about you, but if I had six months or less to live, getting waterboarded or electrocuted would not be on the top of my list of last things to do. The guys learn that people believe that the blue hand represents “a portal. A gateway from one understanding to another. It marks the surrender to the inevitable.” They stop that night’s Dr. Raynaud from killing himself. His reason for trying to off himself can be found in Nietzsche. “If you gaze into the abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.” Ironically, the potiental cliental for The Blue Hand Club are found using Mosaic.
In what will be a poignant scene after the show, we see Al making him a batch of dirty rice which was one of his favorite meals as a kid.
Demetri comes clean with Zoey about his flashforward. Zoey tries to comfort him in the fact that they have conflicting visions. They can choose which one they want to beleive in.
Aaron gets Mike a job with his company in return for giving him peace.
We wind up the episode with Al leaving Demetri a letter for Celia. We are unsure what Al did to have caused Celia’s death, but obviously it has affected him enough to end his life to save hers. His attorney says it was an accident, but Al keeps insisting it was his fault and he killed her.
So Al jumps saying “I found a way to change the game.”
The episode ends with Aaron walking in his house after work to see his daughter sitting in a chair. “Hi Dad.”
Things we learned this week
Mark Benford was wearing a The Police T-shirt to the Blue Hand Club. While there is some irony in that, I thought it was more interesting it was related to their Ghost in the Machine album.
Who is Annabelle and why does Simon have her bracelet. He was looking at it fondly with a sad look on his face. His child prehaps?
We find out that Nicole speaks Japanese. She is now volunteering at Olivia’s hospital. She knows Japanese culture too (her dad was stationed in Okinawa when she was a little girl). This coincidentally draws Bryce to her and he discusses his flashforward of his mystery girl with her. Nicole is able to help Bryce understand the symbol behind the drawing he has made of the mystery girl. The symbol means “believe.”
Back in London, Fiona puts masking tape on her office window, as Al suggested, so the bird won’t fly into the window and die.