Episode 5 of Flash Forward started at the end of the episode and then flashed backward 39 hours to tell us how we got there (taking a cue from LOST by traversing time in all directions).
The episode opens with FBI agents Mark Benford (Fiennes), Demetri Noh (Cho), Stanford Weddick (Courtney B. Vance) , and Agent Vreede (Barry Shabaka Henley) in Washington, D.C. getting into their car after exiting a Karoke bar when their car is suddenly rammed and then shot at by a group of Asian men.
39 hours earlier, the guys are in Washington to testify at Senate hearings and hopefully get funding for the Mosaic project. We get a few humorous moments where other people are giving testimony at the hearings suggest aliens or Chinese involvement in the blackout. Mark and his team are now focused on the dead crow event that occurred in 1991 in Somalia. During Mark’s lie detector test, he talks about the two men in masks with flashlights. However, he does not mention he was drinking too.
Mark’s partner, Janis Hawk (Christine Woods) is seen taking a karate class and kicks the stuffing out of the guy she is sparring with. Not to be put off, he asks her out on a date which she rebuffs. As we soon learn, Janis is more interested in her chef classmate Maya (played by Numb3rs star Navi Rawat), in a development the series has been hinting at since the visit to Germany. So Janis is “out-ed” to the viewers but will stay closeted on the show because, “I work for the federal government, and they’re not too big on trusting gays with guns.”
Janis is given a flash drive (no pun intended) with 18 years worth of imagery from southern Somalia. In reviewing the photos, Janis notes an asphalt road and mysterious pylons around 100 feet tall under construction there just before the dead crows event.
In another development, it seems that Stan is the man. We catch him playing basketball with the President (Peter Coyote). He tells Stan the Senate hearings will be closed. Stan asks him if he’s made his choice for the new Vice President since the old one was killed during the blackout. The President also tells Stan about his flashforward. He is sleeping in bed and a secret service agent walks in, wakes him, and tells him “Mr. President, something happened.”
The President also asks Stan if he would be interested in becoming the Director of Homeland Security. He also informs Stan that his nemesis, Senator Joyce Clemente (Barbara Williams) will be conducting the hearings.
In other developments, Mark’s wife Olivia is talking with Mark’s AA sponsor, Aaron and expresses her concerns about the possibility of Mark drinking again.
Stan has words with Senator Joyce Clemente, who is chairing the hearings. She chastises Stan for “what he did with that woman.” She also is still bitter about his helping the President get elected instead of her. However, she does drop the bombshell by telling us that, in her flashforward, she saw herself as President in 6 months. She is also unhappy with Mark’s explanation of his flashforward and wants to question him at the hearings.
The next day, Mark is on the stand at the hearings and goes over what he knows. He discusses the dead crows, the Los Angeles FBI office being the center of the blackout investigation in the future, and the two masked gunmen who try to kill him. He may have also been on the phone. He refers to the event as “impressionistic flashes of reality.”
The problem is, Mark’s flashforward on covers 30 seconds not the 137 seconds everyone was blacked out for. Plus, most people have vivid memories and his seem hazy and disoriented. Senator Clemente wants to know about the other 107 seconds of Mark’s flashforward. Joyce calls his story voodoo or fraud.
Janis meets her girlfriend, Maya, at an art gallery and Maya starts questioning her on her sexuality. It seems Maya’s flashforward was of her wearing a wedding band. She has also “Mosaic-ed” Janis and found out she is pregnant in six months. Janis gets freaked out by this and leaves.
Stan visits the President at the Oval Office. It seems Stan was the “bag man” for the then presidential candidate and covered up an affair the President had six years ago. Stan made the whole thing go away except his affair also produced a child. Stan shows him a picture of the girl and the boy (Stan visits them in Georgetown) and asks for him to get Senator Clemente off his back and give him the funding. He also tells the President that the girl’s flashforward has her living in Puerto Rico in 6 months. Stan leaves and the President makes a call stating “I have a problem I need you to take care of.”
Oliva is getting the house ready to go to bed when she receives a mysterious text message telling her Mark was drinking in his flashforward.
The guys are at a karaoke bar after the hearing. Demetri and Agent Vreede are getting loose single a few karaoke songs while Stan and Mark have a heated discussion. Mark finally tells Stan he was “loaded” in his flashforward. He tells Stan he has been sober 7 years and has no intentions of having another drink again. Stan feels that he put his career on the line for Mark and now he learns he was impaired.
In a news announcement, we learn that the President has selected Senator Clemente as his choice for Vice President. Stan tells Mark there are trade-offs to getting the funding.
The episode ends with the same attack seen in the opening of the episode. We see the FBI agents having a shootout with the Asian men to a karaoke version of the song “Like a Rolling Stone.” Most interesting is how Demetri shows no fear in standing up and walking toward his attackers while shooting at them.
At the same time, Janis is ambushed by an assailant and shot (in the stomach?). However, she is able to kill him before she falls down. The last scene shows her possibly dying, having visions of her being told at the ultrasound that she is having a little girl. So, if Janis does end up dying, we need to answer the question: Why did she have a flashforward of being pregnant if she is going to be dead in 6 months?
New things we learned this week:
It is now three weeks since the blackout.
“Mosaic-ing” is the new Google.
The license plate of the van leaving the shootout is 7S – 8487 (See photo to the right).
I love how they keep throwing out famous quotes at us. Here was one from this episode as stated by Senator Clemente to Stan.
“If you sit by the river long enough, you will see the body of your enemy float by. ” — Japanese Proverb, also quoted in the movie Rising Sun.
China had a low amount of casualties during the blackout since it was 2:00 am there.
The construction of the pylons in southern Somalia were completed in April 1991.
So, in my last blog, I talked about Kabbalah and the significance of the number 137. In last night’s episode of Flash Forward, we learn of this significance from a former Nazi war criminal, Rudolf Geyer. Geyer is in Quale Prison in Munich, Germany. He is talking to one of the guards and says that his blackout flash forward will “get him out of this hateful place.” He has sent notice to Mark’s (Fiennes) team that he knows why the blackout occurred and wants to specifically talk to Mark about it. Mark and Janis head to Munich to talk with Geyer (who is now accompanied by his attorney). It seems that Geyer hid in the United States for 20 years, and he has been looking forward to meeting Mark for quite some time (how long I wonder?). He saw Mark’s name in his vision. He wants to return to America and have all charges against him dropped. He will give Mark the information only in exchange for this. He worked at the Treblinka Death Camp in Poland. Treblinka was known as a camp that was primarily built for extermination. Sounds like Geyer was a pretty bad guy in his day. He offers to give Mark part of his information now as good faith and then the rest after the deal is sealed. He explains to Mark the significance of the 137 sekuden (or 137 seconds) and its association with Kabbalah, shrouded in Jewish mysticism.
In his flash forward, Geyer is repatriated to the United States. He is at an American airport. The customs agent is Jerome Murphy. He says to Jerome that he has a “murder to thank” for his return to America.
The next day Jerome applied for the customs agent job he has in the future after having the same flash forward as Geyer.
Mark agrees to Geyer’s terms and then gets the second part of message. Seems that when Geyer awoke from the blackout he looked out the window and saw dead crows all over the courtyard. Geyer hands Mark a book on birds. Later, Mark learns that crows died all over the world when the blackout occurred. Doing some further checking, it seems there was a blackout in Somalia in the Ganwar Region in 1991 and dead crows were everywhere. Also, CDC doctors traveled to the Ganwar Region in response to claims that the inhabitants suffered mass loss of conciousness.
Other interesting notes:
The White Rose Nazi Resistance were killed at Quale prison. The White Rose (German: die Weiße Rose) was a non-violent/intellectual resistance group in Nazi Germany, consisting of students from the University of Munich and their philosophy professor. The group became known for an anonymous leaflet campaign, lasting from June 1942 until February 1943, that called for active opposition to German dictator Adolf Hitler’s regime.
Demetri (Cho) was told by the caller that an American FBI Agent was murdered by being shot 3 times in the chest.
Demetri’s cell phone call signal came from two sites at once.
Jerome Murphy’s badge number was 3276.
Did Demitri’s fiance really see his face in her flash forward or just a person standing on the beach waiting to marry her?
Did Aaron lie when he said the body exhumed was his daughter?
At the memorial service for the FBI agents, the lady that Olivia was talking to at lunch sees her future son.
10/17/09 – I just posted a couple of new Flash Foward blogs. Here are their links: