The fourth episode of FlashForward, "Black Swan," introduces us to Olivia's latest and strangest patient of the day, Ned. On the day of the blackout, Ned was in a bus that careened into a lake but still managed to bring himself and another passenger to safety. Considering how close he came to drowning, Ned seems a little too upbeat in the hospital when he goes in to check up on his injuries. So why's he so darn perky? Because in his flash, he was wearing leather pants and mingling in a happening club. And he had inexplicably gone from Caucasian to African-American. Ok then!
Bryce may be fascinated with how a seemingly white man suddenly becomes black but Olivia's got bigger problems to worry about, namely Lloyd Simcoe. After a brief, yet touching, conversation between the two in the hospital cafeteria, Olivia tries to get Simcoe's kid transferred to another ward of the hospital but to no avail.
At the FBI, Noh is not only stressing over his upcoming nuptials but is also still trying to get a grip on the information that he will be murdered in a few months. This leads him and Benford on a wild goose chase to Indio, California courtesy of some misinformation from Alda. Once Noh and Benford realize they've been led astray, Noh confesses to Benford the phone call he received and the ticking clock now motivating his every move. Benford reminds Noh of his own grim flash forward and convinces him it was just a scare tactic and tries questioning Alda again to see what her connection may be to the blackout. However, as Alda says, Benford is focusing on the wrong question: who caused the flash forwards rather than why they were caused.
As Mr. and Mrs. Benford come to grips with the impact of the blackout at their respective workplaces, babysitter Nicole tries to get a handle on her flash to move forward personally and professionally. Thinking that someone was hurting her in her flash because she had done something wrong, Nicole turns to God to find some answers, or at the very least some volunteer work to help her atone for her believed future missteps. She finds volunteer work but it seems the church still hasn't even completely wrapped its head around the blackout.
Still obsessed with his flash and the flashes of those around him, Bryce continues to research Ned's flash as Ned prepares to go into surgery for some heavy internal bleeding from the bus crash. Minutes before the surgery starts, Bryce connects Ned's Holly Golightly attitude and his future change in skin color to Addison's disease, a condition that affects adrenaline and hormone secretion, causes pigment change over time and, most importantly, can cause major problems in high-risk surgeries such as the one he's about to endure. Unfortunately, Olivia refuses to validate the flashes and discounts Bryce's research, ordering him not to scrub into surgery. As Bryce watches on, Ned flat lines on the table before Olivia finally gives in to the flash and gives Ned the high risk medication that helps Addison's disease patients make it through surgery. Ned survives and Olivia faces the fact that the flashes cannot be ignored.
At "Black Swan's" end, we see Benford and the FBI reach out to a well-known computer hacker and Lloyd receives a very interesting phone call from a man named Simon. Played by Lost alum Dominic Monaghan, Simon's call reveals a whole new layer of intrigue. "Talking to me is just one of those little inconveniences you're going to have to put up with now that we're responsible for the single greatest disaster in human history."
What the heck does Lloyd have to do with the blackout? Who is Simon? When are we going to get the real scoop on Alda? Share your thoughts on the episode below!