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This is a "Wild Mass Guess" entry, where we pull out all the sanity stops on theorizing. The regular entry on this topic is elsewhere. Please see this programme note.
FlashForward (2009)
NOTE: The show is over, cancelled forever. The WMG's here are divided into pre and post final episode, letting you look at some WMG's as you make your way through the only season. If you have a new WMG to add, please try to put it in the appropriate folder.

    open/close all folders 
     Theories you can read right off the bat. No spoilers (they're hidden, at least), save for what a person would learn from the first episode or so. 
The blackouts are caused by nuclear fallout.
When the camera moves to take in the whole town, there is a dust cloud behind the monolith structure. It looks disconcertingly like a Mushroom Cloud. Also, the crows dying as the blackout hit died because of radiation or possibly an EMP blast.

Of course, this doesn't explain why people saw the future rather than died, but we don't have much on that.

Suspect Zero is the Ninth Doctor.
Just look at the identical black jackets! The man wasn't even affected by the blackout! There is no doubt he is the (9th) Doctor!

Suspect Zero caused the blackouts
He used it to keep everyone down to perform some major crime, with the Flash Forward being a side effect.

The Blackout was actually the Rapture, and everyone who died that day got a free ticket to Jesusland.
This troper is currently watching the first episode, and thinking, "Wow, this is exactly the kind of scene that Left Behind failed miserably to portray with any sense of realism!"

The Blackouts are glimpses of a future without the blackouts, not necessarily the same one.
Another event was going to occur on April 29th and the investigation on the board was originally unrelated to the blackouts as they didn't exist. Since, in my understanding of infinite universes theory is that most universes are very similar to each other, most people could have seen these similar futures. This explains the inconsistencies in some blackouts and why NO ONE WAS DOING ANYTHING TO CELEBRATE THE MOMENT THEY SAW IN THE BLACKOUT.
  • In addition to my above theory, I postulate that for many, the blackouts will become self-fulfilling prophecies as they will try to make it happen. Since most people saw normal or good events, they will make an effort to make it happen.
    • This troper must have just lost all his sanity points: This makes sense on so many levels!
  • Jossed. Half a million people were or will be in Times Square watching a countdown to flashforward time.

Jay Leno is involved in the flashforwards.
The flashforwards show everyone visions from 10 P.M. Pacific Time on April 29th, 2010, a Thursday. So everyone watching NBC on the West Coast during their flashforward will see the first 137 seconds of the Jay Leno Show. On the day after Leno's 60th birthday, no less. That can't be a coincidence.
  • Jossed, but not by the show itself - Leno moved back to the old timeslot.

The blackout was caused by followers of an Ancient Conspiracy who want to in effect become gods, at the expense of everyone else in the world.
Similar to the Evangelion example above, a SEELE-like cult that is possibly thousands of years old caused the blackout. The flash-forwards were an unintended side-effect, however, that will end up being used against them to their downfall. The blackouts (it's implied it has happened before on a smaller-scale) are all test runs for something much, much bigger that when caused, will kill everyone except for a select few who will then Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence. Of course, it's very likely that (at least) one of the members secretly plans to stab everyone else in the back and become the only ascended human.

Agent Benford dies in his flashforward.
Benford is alone during his flashforward, armed only with a pistol, being attacked by several heavily armed men... and he can't remember everything that happened. Isn't one possibility that they actually kill him?

The tattoo industry caused the Flash Forward.
After seeing the visions of the future, everyone will want to know whether the future can be changed. The easiest and least painful way to find out is to get a large, brightly coloured tattoo on the back of your hand. Even if you get it removed later, you'll still see a faint scar where it used to be. Since you saw neither a tattoo nor a scar in your vision, you know the future can be changed. So the world's tattooists just got billions of new customers.
  • I'd call this one jossed by Al Gough's suicide, since we know that yes, the future can be changed. We've seen it done.

     Theories offered as the series progressed. SPOILERS AHEAD. 

D. Gibbons is actually the FBI interpreting the words "The Gibbons".
Clearly, Gibbons are behind everything. Flashforward is a prequel to Planet of the Apes.

Demetri Noh is not the person seen in his wife's vision; instead, it's someone else who comforted her after Noh's death.
This explains why he saw nothing while she saw herself being married to someone who we can't see but who looks somewhat like Noh from a distance.

Demetri Noh's wife is dreaming about the wedding that wasn't during her flash-forward.
Demetri is scheduled to die six weeks before the wedding date.

Demetri's wife saw a doppelganger wearing Demetri's face in her flash forward.
One of them murdered the real Demetri.

Demetri will physically travel through time.
The report of his death is a cover story. One side effect of the time travel will be to prevent the flashforward from working on him.
  • If Demetri physically travels through time and the story about his murder is a cover, the effect is not that the flashforward does not affect him; he simply never arrives on that date at that time. He is either earlier or later in the time stream and never travels to the time of the flashforward. He can't have a vision of a future time that he isn't present in.

The crows also experienced Flash Forwards.
Rather than suffering some dangerous side effect as suggested above, they simply blacked out like humanity while they were in midflight and were killed by the fall to the ground.
  • Crows are known to be intelligent birds. Marc or someone on his team should have checked to see if other intelligent animals, chimpanzees for instance, went unconscious as well.

The Dark Tower in Somalia is a giant mind control device.
The great black tower works much like a radio antenna, except the wireless waves are fine-tuned to human brains, enabling the towers owners to "blackout" a certain radius. The drawback is the wireless waves also kill any crows unlucky enough to be caught in the middle.

Suspect Zero is Lloyd
One of the episodes ended with Lloyd getting a phone call from someone named Simon, whose actor also played Charlie. The phone call said something to the effect of "We caused a major disaster". This is actually someone else's theory, and that was all I got backing it up.
  • And yet another episode ended with Lloyd confirming that "our experiment killed 20 million people".
    • Yes, but in Scary Monsters and Super Creeps, he recognizes the Benfords' house from his flashforward, meaning he was not awake during the blackout.
      • furthermore, in "Revelation Zero, part 2" it is revealed that Simon, not Lloyd, was Suspect Zero. Right idea, wrong person.

Obligatory Evangelion-related WMG: The blackout was some kind of test for Instrumentality.
In this timeline, Second Impact never happened, and SEELE needed assurance that Third Impact would be global in scale. The flashforward was just a side-effect of the insane metaphysical-biology-based method they used to trigger the blackout.

Janis becomes a surrogate mother.
The characters all seem to take their flashforwards as inevitable. They might be wrong to do that, but imagine for a moment that everyone thinks that way. Then Janis can guarantee any couple a healthy 17-week fetus if the timing is right, with the doctor backing her up with his own flashforward. She's become the world's most desirable surrogate mother, since almost all the other women who were pregnant in their flashforwards would want to have their own children.
  • Alternate theory: Janis becomes a surrogate mother after scientists discover a way to turn egg cells into sperms, thus using the egg cells from Janis' girlfriend to impregnate her. The show is obviously set in an alternate universe with a different US president, so they could have this technology even if we don't. Of course then she wouldn't be a "surrogate", just a mother.
  • Janis is now pregnant with Demetri's child after being sent to Somalia during the only possible opening for her to become pregnant.

The blackout was an accidental side-effect of an experiment by evil!Charlie's scientists.
Evil!Charlie and his group of party-boy quantum physicists discover a way to work around the Speed of Light law that acts as a prevention (theoretically) of time travel, by sending their consciousnesses instead. However, their latest experiment went wrong for some reason, and managed to send everyone elses' instead of theirs. Hence the worldwide blackouts with the odd exception.

The group with the three star tattoos is the Jericho PMC, and are working with Simon's group.
It seems too much of a coincidence that, in the same episode we here about the Jericho PMC, a Private Military Contractor which was responsible for massacring civilians in Iraquistan and trying to kill Tracy Stark, we find out about a shady group of professional killers who have a connection to Mark's flashforward and use what look like US military hardware, which the Jericho PMC would easily be able to get from working with the military in Iraqistan. The Jericho PMC being involved in the blackouts would also tie Aaron's arc in with the main Myth Arc, and possibly explain what he and Tracy are doing in Iraquistan: looking for evidence connecting the PMC to the blackouts, maybe in the village where Tracy saw the massacre.

D. Gibbons is Future!Simon

It has been suggested that the experiment that Simon was working on is what caused the blackouts, but Simon himself seems to genuinely believe that he is innocent. Plus, a straightforward accident wouldn't explain things like the conspiracy and the guy who was walking around during the blackout (which can't have been Simon as he had a Flashforward). The most recent episode reveals that some advanced piece of technology that Simon invented but never built was somehow constructed one year before he even thought of it. Some time in the future, Simon will travel back in time and build the tower, then use it to interfere with his own experiment and cause the blackouts.

Simon and Lloyd will attempt to replicate their experiment in the season finale, gaining approval first, and giving the world advance warning so as to minimize casualties.
Partially Jossed: the experiment did not create the blackout, but merely amplified a simultaneous experiment.
The kangaroo is the one behind everything.
The Blackout was instigated by the kangaroo for the sole purpose: Giving it an ideal opportunity to escape from the zoo! (And maybe the kangaroo's irrational hatred towards crows also played a factor.)
  • In the final moments couple of minutes of the finale we see the kangaroo again hmm....

D. Gibbons has access to the portal from Being John Malkovich, but instead of putting him in John Malkovitch's head, it puts him in Simon's future.
The idea that one is the other's future self has been more or less Jossed by the fact that they look so different. (We can assume this is canon, because Lloyd ought to have noticed a resemblance.) But D. Gibbons still must have some way to look into distant points in the future without using a particle accelerator, and so far the only person whose future he's definitely seen is Simon's: We know he got the plans for the towers, and we know he expected Demitri to be in the room when the hidden message appeared. He also obtained Lloyd's paper, but for now we can chalk that up to Simon having seen it, even though this wasn't stated explicitly.

The pseudonym "D. Gibbons" is a Line-of-Sight Name.
During his experiments in Somalia, Dyson Frost compiled a list of all creatures affected by the Blackout. And the list looked like this:
  • A. Humans
  • B. Crows
  • C. Great Apes
  • D. Gibbons

     Theories offered after the final episode aired, or could still have been possible. SPOILERS AHEAD. 

Benford is going to fake his own death.
Janis is under orders from the group she is working for to kill Benford. Vogel and Janis are going to fake!kill Benford so that Janis will still be in the good graces of the group and therefore Vogel will still hav his double agent. The three men in Mark's flashforward are three men hired by Janis and Vogel to make it look like Benford is killed. The man Vogel is speaking to in his and Charlie's flashforwards is the FBI officer protecting Olivia and Charlie. Vogel is telling him that Mark is dead so that Olivia and Charlie will hear it and believe that Mark is dead, just to lend credibility to the fake killing.
  • Awesomesauce. Let's see how it turns out.

The man Charlie is talking about in her second flashforward isn't Mark
"Him" is a very vague pronoun. She could be talking about Dylan, or Simon, or, more likely, Demetri and Janis's son.

The loose threads of the show will be wrapped up in The Event
Hey, one can dream...

Flashforward is the alternate universe of Jericho.

In the Flashforward universe, the nuclear attacks that happened in September in Jericho never happened - they were stopped by Robert Hawkins' team. However, something else bad happened in its place; therefore, the Flashforward came along that October to kill millions instead of the nukes.

Evidence? Both contain conspiracies featuring a PMC (Jericho(!) PMC in the FlashForward (2009) verse; Ravenwood in Jericho); both contain a shadowy Chess Master behind the main event, who also want to create a SECOND similiar event.

The Chinese Government is behind the Blackout!
Why else would they be so eager to help stop the investigation that they would take on a wetjob from the US president?


The Flash (2014)WMG/Live-Action TVFlash Gordon

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