FlashForward Episode 8: "Playing Cards with Coyote" - Recap

First off, let me just say wow!! I don't think I fully realized what the impact of Al's death, what a truly big game-changer it is. Thanks to all the great comments, especially those who remember dearly departed Lee Thompson Young as Jett Jackson (and here I thought I was the only one) and a special shout-out to MDJones for the insightful guess into Demetri and Zoey's future: "I think she's probably walking on the beach in a white dress to scatter Demetri's ashes." After Al, I can't even begin to think about another death within the team but this definitely seems like a possibility.

Alright let's get back to the episode at hand. After Al's suicide, the theme of this week's episode of FlashForward is about the possibility of second chances. Some of our heroes are more optimistic than ever but others are still reluctant to accept that the flashforwards suddenly hold no meaning.

It turns out Al wrote the woman he supposedly killed in his flashforward, Celia, a letter explaining that although she didn't have a flashforward, she now has a second chance. The woman shares her letter - and Al's changing of his own flashforward - with the world and soon newspapers and TV shows are debating the validity of the flashforwards. At the beginning of the episode, we not only see Celia, but also flashes of the other characters. Noticeably, we see Lloyd in front of a computer sending an e-mail saying, "We have to take responsibility."

As the world deals with Al's death, we also see Janis return to work after her nasty gunshot wound to the abdomen. From the looks of it, she's not only reeling from losing Al, but the question of whether or not her flashforward of her pregnancy will come true. She tries to take a leave of absence but Stanford says he needs her too much.

One couple basking in the (relative) uncertainty of the future is Mark and Olivia. The two appear to be "enjoying each other's company" in an oceanfront hotel. "We can't take what we saw for granted," Mark tells Olivia before handing her a gift to commemorate second chances. Play time ends when Mark gets called into work.

Later, we see Olivia open the gift to find a black lace negligee. Rather than turning her on, it reminds Olivia of her flashforward with Lloyd, as she sees herself wearing that exact lingerie in the flashforward. So if she still gets the lingerie she's supposed to wear in her flashforward after a seemingly spontaneous getaway with Mark that only resulted from the make-up after Al's death ... then are the flashforwards more true than ever or is there a missing piece of the puzzle we are not yet seeing?

Unfortunately for Olivia, when she returns to work early she also finds Lloyd and his son are still at the hospital. The look on her face is priceless when Bryce inquires as to why she wants the Simcoes gone so badly and then comments on the "weird" relationship Olivia has with Lloyd and how tense she gets around him. Suffice it to say, she later tosses the gift.

In the hospital, we also see Lloyd talking with Simon (Simon ... in the daylight? This is a first!). Lloyd wants to go public with the information that he and Simon and some corporation are responsible are the blackout now that everyone is questioning it so much. Simon proposes they duke it out over a game of poker; if Simon wins, their involvement stays secret and if Lloyd wins, the truth comes out.

Elsewhere, Aaron is still reeling from the return of Tracy. The pieces are slowly put together as we learn Tracy was in the attack her fellow soldier told Aaron about last week. In fact, she lost part of her right leg in the explosion. However, she tells her father that she managed to survive the attack but has been in hiding for the past two years because she believes she was targeted from Jerichos (private military contractors) and believes they are still after her. Aaron talks with Tracy about how they are together in Afghanistan in their flashforwards and tells Tracy he talks with an ally of hers in the flashforward. The ally tells Aaron the "accounts are being verified" although Tracy doesn't know what that means. Aaron later tells Mark about Tracy's return and her fear of the Jerichos and asks for Mark's help. Tracy lashes out at her dad and feels the need to flee the coop because she feels no matter what the Jerichos will be able to tell where she is and come to find her and kill her.

At the bureau, Mark, Demetri and Janis take on a homicide investigation when one of the gunmen is seen with the three stars tattoo on his arm that Mark identified on one of the gunmen in his flashforward. They look for clues through an eye witness of the murder but instead of getting more evidence, Mark shoots and kills the gunman while protecting the witness.

Janis bonds with the witness, who gives her plenty of food for thought regarding her possible future child. Soon, like all good FBI agents, Janis seems to focus more on work than anything else and finds a noticeable piece of jewelry - specifically a ring - on one of the gunmen involved in the homicide.

Getting back to the World Series of Poker 2009 ....er, the poker game between Simon and Lloyd, Simon is winning big until (duh) he bets it all against Lloyd on the last hand and Lloyd wins. Up until then, Simon was preaching on and on about how the future was inevitable but your guess is as good as mine as to what he's actually getting at. Lloyd tells Simon to write up a draft of what they'll release to the public but we don't see much more than that. Now I officially can't wait until next week.

Later, Mark comes home victoriously to tell Olivia he really has changed the future by killing the gunman with the tattoo. "I changed the future," he proclaims. Olivia is doubtful and soon we are too after the very end of the episode shows an entire crew of gunman with the three-star tattoos. Not so fast, Mark!

These gunmen are outside a warehouse, where inside sits an unknown older gentleman looking at a suitcase of six rings. The man complains that one is missing before somehow bringing up the first atom bomb test. "What a foul and awesome display," he states before shooting the man who delivered the rings and walking into the dark.

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