Headscratchers: FlashForward (2009)
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Mundane Flash Forwards
- So everyone seems to have flashed forward to a future where the flash forward occurred, right? Hence Mark is investigating it in his flash forward, and Olivia and Charlie's flash forwards featured people they only met because of the flash forward. In that case, why are so many flash forwards so mundane? If the whole world had a vision of a specific time and date in the future, don't you think there'd be a huge countdown? Don't you think, as that moment rolled around, there'd be millions and millions of people waiting, excited, wanting to see if it all comes true or the world ends or whatever? Surely you wouldn't just be on the john, or in a boring meeting or something. And how the hell do those gunmen get the drop on Mark?!
- Maybe most flashes are mundane because, by that point, most people have discovered that since the future is inevitable, they decide to live out their normal lives if nothing has happened. Besides, it would be impossible for any single event on the news to confirm their flashforwards because those flashforwards showed mundane events in people's personal lives. It is still possible that millions of people, including Mark, were deliberately looking at information that they they wanted their past selves to know.
- The vast majority of the flash forwards seem to be of a timeline where the flashforwards didn't happen, so that's probably what it was. If nothing else, absolutely no one reacted to the fact that it was "flashforward time." Perhaps the timeline seen was one where the blackouts happened, but the flashforwards didn't. In that timeline, Mark investigates the blackouts and manages to find the conspiracy, though it takes him a great deal more effort and time without the leads from his vision. Lloyd's family has the same accident which leads to him meeting Olivia. The nazi guy manages to use the information about the crows to get himself released (let's leave aside the fact that this should have been noticed by millions of other people). And so on. Also, we know that the future can be changed. The drug dealer that saw himself driving a hot car will now probably be in prison on April 29, for example.
- It's a bit of a leap to go from one flashforward that doesn't look like coming true to saying that the future can definitely be changed - half the flashforwards we've seen appear improbable or even impossible to the people who had them. Also, if the future was one where the flashforwards never happened then how did they get the same photograph of the burnt doll (not "they went to the same location at some point", the photographs were literally identical)? And what about the guy who would have died on the operating table if not from evidence gained from his flashforward?
- The latest episode has one character mention that in her vision she was at a big flashforward party in Times Square with half a million people, which would seem to confirm that the flashforwards happened in that timeline.
- The scene was unclear, but I got the impression that the party in Times Square was something that is now being planned, not something that was in a flashforward ("we're at half a million people already," "do you have something better to do?"). And if it was from her flashforward, it would contradict every single flashforward we've actually seen (including Mark's), where no one shows even the slightest indication that they had foreseen that moment.
- I just checked the scene again. She doesn't say that half a million people have booked, she says that half a million people have stated on Mosaic that they saw themselves at that party. Charlie from Lost follows this up with "half a million people glimpsed their future... and it's a glorified New Year's Eve party?", and then the woman tries to get him to tell her what he saw, arguing that she's just told him her flashforward. This really doesn't seem that ambiguous to me.
- As for how the would-be killers get the drop on Mark in his vision, by his own admission, he's drunk at the time.
- Bryce's and Keikos Visions seem to show awareness to me, he says "so you're really here" to her, she's running to get there and both look happy and relived that it did happen, they knew where they were supposed to be to meet each other. Plus if they don't meet before that then he must have fallen for her in the vision, at that moment six months in the past, because otherwise he's greeting a total stranger with love, but she knows it will happen so she accepts it, it's not like it's a serious girlfriend, it's someone he's only ever met in a vision up untill it happens.
- The guy on the toilet was FBI agent. He had more important stuff to worry about than a countdown and when a man gotta go, he has to go.
- As the finale turned out, most of the major flashforwards: Mark, Lloyd, Olivia, Stan, Janis, Bryce, Keiko, Vogel, Aaron, and Nicole's, all turned out to be true anyway, though there was a Prophecy Twist involved in most of them. Simon and Dem, who didn't have flashes, spent the time doing something completely unforeseen by the F Fs. It's implied that many of them did not come true if the person took specific action to avert it and weren't overwhelmed by causality.
- I always assumed the flashforwards were to an alternate future anyway. Frost said he took hundreds of Flashfowards and many of them were wildly different, which can't all be on account of this having changed between flashforwards. Also, when they were doing group experiments, the people they had take flashforwards also had wildly different experiences, so it's not unlikely that every single person actually had a vision of a DIFFERENT alternate future altogether. In some of them Mark and Olivia are married, in some of them, it's Olivia and Lloyd. He tried to guide the future to a particular one, but he obviously didn't quite succeed.
- If the ending to "Believe" is any indication, Bryce and Keiko apparently took the exact same flight from Tokyo to Los Angeles. How the holy hell did neither of them see each other at any point in the airport, on the flight, boarding/disembarking, etc.?
- Never took a major flight? Hundreds of people, everywhere. She is also short so she wouldn't be able to see properly and wouldn't be seen properly either. Completely plausible.
- Besides, There is the possibility of his being in a window seat, or pretty much anywhere where he wouldn't need to look up at the people filing in.
- The Blackout happened a) world-wide and b) everywhere at exactly the same moment. Okay? Now consider the time zones. Wouldn't that mean that in large parts of the world, because it was in the middle of the night, most people were asleep during the Blackout? Wouldn't they mistake their visions, if they had them at all, for just unusually realistic dreams? (At least until the point where they hear about the Blackout in the news or from people who happened to be awake at night.)
- This is actually brought up in one episode. China suffered few deaths because most people were asleep. An idiot assumes that this means that the Chinese were behind the blackout. The dream issue has yet to be brought up yet, though.
- I just assumed they thought their flashes were dreams until they heard about the GBO, at which point they try to figure out what they were dreaming about during those times. Or it could be something obvious like a vivid dream that completely vanishes the next morning, except for the flash. Because everyone remembers their flashforwards with the utmost clarity, except for cases such as future drunkenness/brain damage, it doesn't make sense to think that the flash would vanish with their dreams.
Flosso build up
- Why is Flosso built up to be such a Magnificent Bastard? He gets all (but one) of the rings, yes. He kidnaps both Simon and Lloyd, yes. He has Lloyd's prof killed, yes. But he is such a wooden liar that it's ridiculous why anyone trusts him. Also, he can't even claim the right of orchestrating Annabelle's capture/the Suspect 0 footage, as we clearly see D. Gibbons' involvement in the latter, and Flosso describes himself as a "middleman", implying that he wasn't entirely behind the Annabelle's kidnap either. Not to mention his clear breaches of Genre Savvy. He invokes Good Smoking, Evil Smoking, but doesn't see that by doing so, he is violating Evil Overlord List #222: always misdirect your opponent as to what exactly your one weakness is. And again with #187: once one's Evil Plan is complete, do not laugh at the Unwitting Pawns and leave them alive. And don't, under any circumstances, allow yourself to be incapacitated and killed by said pawns. Especially if they are normally lightweights. He would have a hard time misdirecting Simon as to his weakness - Simon didn't figure out that he had a weak heart from his smoking, he already knew since they had known each other since Simon was a child. He also had no choice but to leave them alive, Flosso was still trying to blackmail Simon at the end so obviously they have more use for him.
- He clearly thinks he's a Magnificent Bastard, but the writers (and Simon) clearly disagree. I think it's supposed to be some kind of weird parody of other TV villains... For example, Arthur Petrelli.
- I'm not sure if it was a parody, but it was clearly intentional.
- Magnificent Bastard? Ha! He is actually a Smug Snake, who may be talented and/or intelligent, but his ego is so big that he makes stupid mistakes like you would not believe. That, and it makes him so detestable that his death is totally a Karmic Death. Go, Simon!
Destroying the gun
- Say, Mark, here's an idea. You know your gun is going to be used at some point in the future to kill your partner, so why not DESTROY THE DAMN THING AS SOON AS POSSIBLE NEVER LETTING IT OUT OF YOUR SIGHT, instead of just merrily giving it into the evidence locker, when you KNOW there's a mole in your office?
- Procedure. There's only so much you can do.
- Except that Mark is already established that he's willing to be a Hot-Blooded Rabid Cop jackass in order to get done what he thinks needs to be done. Destroying a gun is small potatoes compared to some of his other stunts. This is a man who cut a deal with a literal NAZI for god's sake.
- If the future can't be changed, then there's nothing he can do. If the future can be changed, then whoever was responsible for the murder could easily use a different gun. Either way, trying to destroy that particular gun would accomplish nothing.
- So, per "Queen Sacrifice", we know that Janis is the Mole. Does this mean she arranged her own shooting? You know, the one that nearly killed her?
- Janis is very low down in the conspiracy, she probably wasn't responsible for arranging the shooting. Also, they weren't afraid to cut off Simon's finger to divert suspicion away from him.
- The main page says Janis is possibly pregnant with Noh's baby? when did that happen?
- When you watch the show. ...Okay, honestly though, in Better Angels, but it's confirmed in Let No Man Put Asunder.
- I know they hinted at it but I must of missed the part of that episode where it was confirmed so was just trying to find out.
- So the second blackout was predicted by Gabriel's modifications to the board, who modified the board because he modified the board, because he modified the board, because he modified the board? Come again?
- The series goes into Timey-Wimey Ball territory a bit, but this was a pretty straightforward Stable Time Loop.
- There were people who saw thousands of flashforwards and each one of them was different. Gabriel for example. It's not like he took any action to change them, and yet, he saw any number of possible futures. I'd say it was pretty clear by the end that the flashforwards weren't sure things and may even have been glimpses of timelines that could never happen, or that might have happened, but for want of a nail.
Flashforward to FBI building
- No one else had a flashforward about being at the FBI building? Mark or anyone who knew his flashforward could have asked the night watchmen, the janitors, or any agents who were assigned to be there who had a flash forward to the building at the same time Mark was there if they had seen any armed guards coming in. Or what about the bombs? Did anyone remember them?
- What actually happens on April 29th at the FBI building and the flashforwards are shown to be different in specifics. Mark is drinking in his Flashforward. In real time, he does not. Wedeck is on the john, reading a paper. In real time, he is hiding out in the stall to get the jump on an invader. And so on. One could Hand Wave that in the Flashforward, no one was at the FBI building because it was late and the assailants simply snuck in.
Flying on the day of
- Zoe tells Demetri that she picked up plane tickets to Hawaii dirt cheap because "evidently no one wants to fly on April 29th", however.. when Demetri meets Zoe at the airport, and also when Keiko is at the airport near the flash forward time, the airports are crowded and busy.
- Apparently a bunch of other people had the same idea and bought cheap tickets.
Remembering the party
- The flashforward obviously happened - so why doesn't anyone remember the wild party?
Proving the future can be changed
- It took until Al Gough commits suicide for anyone to realize the future can be changed. Come on - no one on the planet did anything preventing their Flash Forward until that point? No one died in an accident?
- Nope. Or, to put it a bit better, no one proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that they had averted their flashforward. Maybe they weren't public enough or didn't interact with enough people in their flashforward, or whatever.