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Opinion

‘FlashForward’ – Black Swan

Forget why it happened, this is the emotional cost of witnessing the future


This review may contain spoilers.

In a series that deals with a global phenomenon in which the world witnesses its own future, unleashing all kinds of chaos on a scale we have yet to experience, “FlashForward” remains surprisingly funny without sacrificing any of the intricate drama to do so.

The opening teaser was artfully crafted, showing scenes of people dropping off to sleep in an almost blissful manner. Balloons pop, bikes fall and people tumble on the grass next to a lake … it’s all so quiet and the choice of Bjork to highlight the global naptime was perfect for the occasion. Enter the bus. Yes, a bus comes crashing through the crowd and sinks like a rock.

As the passengers begin to drown, Ned Ned remains calm and does what he can to save the only other passenger still breathing. And he was hilarious.

Where some of the characters witnessed heavier stuff, say for example the disillusion of their marriage, their own death or a happy revelation that they will be a mother, Ned’s future is more simplistic but even more bizarre … he’ll be a black guy and have the confidence to rock leather pants in a nightclub he’s been too scared to go near.

He acts as a very nice catalyst to Dr. Varley (Zachary Knighton), whose flash forward still remains a mystery. His drawings of a brunette girl are the only clue to what he saw and why his previously unstable psyche is so much more at peace. His flash forward gave him hope in the future, just like it did for Aaron (Brian O’Byrne), who is still dealing with the apparent truth that his daughter is dead.

Even with the comedy, “FlashForward” does not shy away from the action or the intrigue. As the only suspect in the dirty bomb plot goes on the run there is an intense chase sequence through a trailer park followed by a very emotional clash between Demetri (John Cho) and Mark (Joseph Fiennes), both of whom rise to the occasion and prove exactly why this show is on its way to become the new “Lost.”

What Worked

Eggbert at the breakfast table is just another example of how funny this can be and also makes it difficult to accept the character of Mark as a recovering alcoholic. This is a man who has it all – a beautiful wife, a lovely daughter and a sense of humor that captivates both.

The mystery of how Ned suddenly goes from a nervous white guy to a calm and serene black guy is one fit for Dr. House and as the seemingly random sequences of his flash forward are revealed you can’t help but expect Hugh Laurie to come limping onto the screen.

And finally, we see a darker side to the show as some very real baddies make their appearance : in the form of “Lost’s” very own Dominic Monaghan. How very ominous.

What Didn’t Work

The suspect from the dirty bomb seemed like a pretty important piece to the puzzle in the pilot, but since then she’s been treated as something of an afterthought. Does she even have any connection to the flash forward event, and what happened to the rest of her terrorist cell after the black out? Enquiring minds want to know.

Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

“FlashForward” stars Joseph Fiennes, Jack Davenport, Dominic Monaghan, Zachary Knighton, Peyton List, Brian O’Byrne, Christine Woods, Sonya Walger, John Cho Courtney B. Vance Bryce Robinson. “Black Swan” was written by Robert Sawyer, Scott M. Gimple and Lisa Zwerling. It was directed by Michael Rymer.

“FlashForward” airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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