FlashFoward took a small break from the action to concentrate on characters, but came back at the end with more action than we've seen since the pilot.
Actually, to be more specific, the episode with action, but then suddenly switched to the title, "39 hours earlier." (Chalk the number "39" up as another clue, as that was strangely specific.)
It should be noted before we talk about the episode that we've had quite a bit of news recently. Last week, <a href=http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/television/news/e3i82b86ce441a1c2c1d8d24d2aad856d65>The Hollywood Reporter broke the story</a> that writer Marc Guggenheim was leaving the job of showrunner so executive producer David Goyer could go solo. According to THR, Guggenheim was brought on post-pilot to kind of mentor Goyer in television writing, since his experience is limited, but has now finished the job.
Whether or not the change makes any difference is questionable, but is reportedly bringing in some good numbers for ABC so far, particularly in advertising. In <a href=http://hollywoodinsider.ew.com/2009/10/26/abcs-flashforward-advertisers-jay-leno/#at>Advertising Age's report</a> on commercial ad rates being paid at this point in the season, is the big winner, with the richest, per-30-second rate ($175,724) of any new show.
Whatever the climate at , viewers can be sure to see a whole first storyline completed, since ABC recently ordered the back half of the season. So we finally get to April 29th and see what happens that day all the characters saw in their flashforwards.
Last week's episode, "Gimme Some Truth," followed the story of Mark, Stan, Demetri and Agent Vreede as they visited Washington for Stan's testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee about the Mosaic project.
Clues about the blackout were few, although it was nice to see some of the characters out of their element, especially Demetri and Agent Vreede, who even did some horrible karaoke.
While our friendly FBI agents got some benefit from Stan being close buddies with the president, by the time the show ended, Stan's sworn enemy, Sen. Clemente, was named the new vice president. Probably not a good thing going forward.
The key moments in the Washington story during this episode:
- Stan has a history that includes being close to the president's secret former mistress and "love child," both of whom Stan tracked down during his Washington visit. While Stan's former job for the president wasn't named, it appears he was the person who made the mistress disappear so Dave could become president.
- Dave the president now values Stan enough to offer him a cabinet position, although he turned it down.
- Stan is dirty enough to use blackmail to get what he wants, something he clearly didn't enjoy, but he did nonetheless. He blackmailed his buddy Dave into keeping the Mosaic project going, despite Sen. Clemente's aggressive campaign to make sure it ended.
- In the intelligence community, there are theories galore about why the blackouts took place, most of which sound ridiculous knowing what we know. But one could imagine various departments pursuing crazy leads. One of the funniest ones pointed at China being responsible, since they had a low death rate during the flashforwards. Of course, it was the middle of the night there.
- Mark was drunk in his flashforward -- so drunk that details of his vision are sketchy. Although we knew he was drinking, the level of his inebriation was a bit of a surprise -- a huge surprise to Stan, who wasn't given that information.
- The formidable female Sen. Clemente oversaw the Senate Intelligence Committee and was dead set against Stan getting any money for his investigation. Apparently, she believes the president's former mistress is instead Stan's former mistress. Of course she's mistaken. But because Stan blackmailed the president into calling her off, giving her the vice presidency to shut her up, she's got even more power as a result. She saw herself as president in her flashforward. We now know she probably saw herself as vice president, since it's already come true.
- The satellite images of Somalia in 1991 that were stolen by Mr. Cheeto Dust reveal weird towers in the middle of the desert -- something we saw in the flash-back a few episodes ago. This brings us closer to finding out what that "emission" was that killed the crows and caused local blackouts.
- President Dave's flashforward means something on April 29th happens at around 10 p.m. that is important enough to wake the president.
Back in Los Angeles, we got to find out more about Janis, particularly her love life, as well as Olivia's mistrust of her alcoholic husband.
In the L.A. half of the story, we find out:
- Janis is a lesbian, something that was hinted in "137 Sekunden." This information makes her alleged pregnancy of the future even more of a mystery. In fact, her flashforward pregnancy invades her love life, as her girlfriend Maya confronts her about it, causing Janis to end the relationship.
- Olivia eavesdrops on other people's phone calls, the sneaky dog. Specifically, she hears Aaron on the telephone with Mark, encouraging him to attend an AA meeting in Washington. She discusses her concern for Mark with Aaron, who has now been established as the Benford's handy phone guy/social worker. Olivia is worried Mark will drink. Aaron is.... well, Aaron. Don't worry. Be good. Sun will come out tomorrow. Yadda yadda.
So, everything appears to be set up for the next episode, right?
But wait, there's all that action we were promised in the beginning of the episode. And sure enough, 39 hours later, all hell breaks loose and the action begins on both coasts:
- The FBI agents get attacked while in their car. The attackers are all Asian (wait? was the China theory right?) and they have a rocket launcher, which they fire into the car, destroying it.
- Our band of agents emerge unscathed, something that was a little hard to believe. Same thing happened in the doll factory when D. Gibbons blew up the office -- hardly a scratch on Mark and Demetri. Man, these guys are good.
- The FBI agents take down two of the attackers, but the others get away. They share a glance of satisfaction because obviously, their investigation is onto something.
- Janis gets taken down in L.A., shot in the stomach by... you guessed it! An Asian guy. She shoots back and succeeds in taking him down, but not until she's bleeding all over the pavement, thinking about her flashforward.
- A gift from Janis' girlfriend, an alarm clock that was featured in the show's title, starts spinning eerily through the blood puddle, saying out loud, "Time to get up!" As Janis lay dying, indications are that she's feeling her own mortality and will now somehow make her flashforward come true.
- Olivia gets a text from an untraceable number telling her that Mark was drinking in his flashforward. See? Aaron was right. Mark should have told her. But who sent the text? The only people who know about Mark's flashforward are Stan and Aaron. Is there someone else who knows? Hmmm... my time travel senses are tingling.
"Gimme Some Truth" felt like one of the better episodes so far, mostly because of the little character moments we saw. But if the action that finished this episode is any indication, the next episode, "Scary Monsters and Super Creeps," will see the agents draw more conclusions about what caused the flashforwards and what they all mean. And best of all, we get more Dominic Monaghan, whose presence might shake things up a bit.
So what did you think of this episode? Love the character moments as much as I did? Or despise the lack of concrete clues? Got any guesses about the future?