It's all going to the birds.
Or at least, the latest clues on FlashForward are dominated by flocks of fowl. Or rather, murders of crows. As viewers of the ABC television show FlashForward found out last week, the blackout experienced by humans also affected crows, who dropped dead all over the Earth.
This clue led investigators to an incident in Somalia in 1991, when a large population of crows died during a similar episode of unconsciousness among one small African town's people. And during a flashback to that day in Somalia, we saw some type emission coming from what appeared to be a smokestack, apparently causing the blackouts.
There were also more clues about the future of various characters according to their flashforwards (for more details, check out our "Post Game" report), but the biggest clue to the greater mystery of the blackouts is concentrating on a murder of crows.
This week, we get at least a bird reference in the title, "Black Swan." Of course, the title is more likely to refer to a "Black Swan" event, which is a term used to describe something outside the realm of regular expectations. Of course, if there's anything last week's "137 Sekunden" proved, it's that the title of each episode of FlashForward can be misleading.
But before tonight's episode begins, it's time for the writers at the ABC television show FlashForward to answer some questions for Newsarama readers. This time we talk to assistant writer Debbie Ezer about those Somalian crows from last week, and find out more about tonight's episode, "Black Swan."
Newsarama: In the scene in Somalia, were there people on the ground who were unconscious? It was kind of hard to see them.
Debbie Ezer: Yes, it did look like there were people on the ground who were unconscious, didn't it? But you're right, it's kinda hard to see 'em. Marc Guggenheim's still complaining about that...
Nrama: Is there anything you can tell us about that final scene in Somalia? Was that a smokestack? Or a tower? Was it belching gas? Smoke?
Ezer: What you saw in Somalia could be any of those things – that mystery will remain on the Mosaic Team's radar in upcoming episodes and you will continue to find out more about it, possibly even from unexpected sources.
Nrama: Will we meet the child in the Somalia scene as an adult?
Ezer: Our show rarely introduces a character – or element – without there being a lot of thought behind it and a plan in place. Abdi, the goat-herding boy we met in Somalia, has a significant role to play in the future.
Nrama: Is the bird who hit the window in the flashforward we saw in the first episode at all linked to the "murder" we saw dying in this episode?
Ezer: Many have noted the bird "theme" that seems to have emerged in the episodes to date. They all play a part in the bigger picture, though the bird in Al Gough's and Fiona Banks' flashforwards is not specifically connected to the "murder" referred to in "137 Sekunden." And keep your eyes peeled for more birdy-ness in future episodes.
Nrama: We noticed the hints during the "FlashForward" title screen each episode. Will those continue? Whose idea was it to do those?
Ezer: It was an idea that David Goyer and Marc had. (In fact, they had the idea independent of each other, but that's a story for another day.) Short version: They thought it would be appropriate to show a "flash" of the "future" in the show's title card.
Nrama: The star clue we saw at the airport -- should we take that to mean something literal (that the airlines is involved)? Or should it just point us in the direction of the three tattooed stars' meanings?
Ezer: That's one of the show's many Easter eggs. In this case, KEY STAR AIR was the name of the airline whose plane crashed in the series finale of Marc's last show, Eli Stone.
Nrama: Is there meaning to the choice of crows as the birds on which the writers chose to focus?
Ezer: Yes, there is a definitive meaning to the choice of crows as particular birds that are being focus on. Take a closer look at Mark's Mosaic Board.
Nrama: And is there a meaning within the show to crows being the birds who are most affected?
Ezer: Crows possess a unique quality that is significant in light of the Flashforward event.
Nrama: Charlie asked her mother if the people who were on those missing posters would be found. Olivia said yes. But will we the viewers find out more about whether or not they're found? When? Any clues you can give us about that?
Ezer:: As with any massive disaster, some of the missing will be located while some won't, whether it's by circumstance or choice. And some we didn't even realize were missing may be found as well...
Nrama: When is Janis' story (and how she gets to her flashforward) going to kick in gear?
Ezer: Janis gets a fair amount of screen time in next week's episode. And in terms of kicking her story into gear... what makes you think it's not already in gear?
Nrama: Anything you can tell us about this week's episode, "Black Swan," or anything else coming up?
Ezer: This week's episode has it all – great action, advancement of the mythology of our show and some very funny scenes (come for the egg puppetry, stay for the chase sequence!). Nicole the AWOL babysitter is back on the scene and another character, played by an actor whose name begins with "D" and ends with "ominic Monaghan," makes his first appearance. Plus... a sinking bus and Björk!
After tonight's episode, come back here to list your questions for the "FlashForward" writers so we can ask them during next week's Pre-Game. And check back here for our summary after the episode, which airs tonight on ABC at 8 p.m.