FlashForward Season 1, Episode 2: 'White To Play' Review - Featured

After last week's exciting FlashForward premiere, I couldn't wait to see what would happen next in the giant, complicated mystery of the blackouts!

My concern about this show is that like Lost, it's very possible it'll get too complicated to the point where viewers have forgotten a lot of important details, or details get ignored by the show for quite a while, and we're left frustrated as the show gets seriously confusing for the sake of waiting and waiting to make the big reveal after a number of seasons.

But all that aside, I feel as if the flashforward mystery cannot be the one and only mystery they carry on for seasons on this show. I'm hoping what will happen is that they make some big revelations about this incident by the end of Season 1, and fingers crossed it gets renewed, can have further mysteries that came of those discoveries that they can continue to work out in further seasons.

So, in this second episode, 'White To Play,' I was really looking for an indication that every episode was going to be exciting like Lost almost always is, and like the FlashForward pilot was, but not just making up new, crazy mysteries week by week so that we get frustrated with all that's going on.

And so far, judging from this new ep, I'm feeling pretty good that there will be plenty of step-by-step, episode-by-episode things to do that are still keeping focus on the big mystery as they unravel little ones that will lead to figuring out the whole picture.

This week, right as Mark and Demetri were discussing how hard it was going to be to get any leads, a "D. Gibbons" appeared in their office! And turns out she's DeDe Gibbons, a cupcake maker who'd been on the phone in her flashforward yelling at her credit card company telling them to talk to agents Benford and Noh. While weird and still mysterious, she ended up helpful with her mention of "pigeons" which they turned int Pigeon, Utah, where they were able to go to kick off their investigation for their "person of interest."

It looked like it was going to be a big letdown when their guy (or gal) didn't get on the bus he/she'd purchased a ticket for, but then Mark's flashforward came in handy as he spotted the abandoned doll factory which reminded him of the burned doll photo in his flashforward. So in they went, never mind thinking it was a bad idea because clearly it might be dangerous when that doll photo showed there'd been a fire and also bullets involved in whatever happened.

After a super creepy moment of Mark stepping on a step with a strip that activated music playing "Ring Around the Rosie" to dolls swinging around hanging by their necks from the ceiling, they ran into their man who didn't stay around to chat as he immediately tossed a lighter into a bomb-like set-up he'd created, ready for their arrival. In all the explosions, the friendly local police officer was killed, leaving Demetri entirely lost on any comfort he'd felt that maybe he'd be alive in 6 months since she was the only other one he'd heard who didn't see anything during the blackout.

So while there wasn't a ton more progress to be made on the investigation, at least they knew the mystery man had been doing some serious computer hacking looking into the blackouts.

Meanwhile, Olivia met the mysterious man from her flashforward who we'd gotten a peek at last week as the dad of the little boy who'd been rushed into the hospital after the blackout and knew Olivia's name. Also, as Olivia was just feeling relieved that their daughter didn't recognize the man, her daughter got sight of the little boy and, not so shockingly, she knew the boy from her flashforward.

We were then left with Mark hearing the creepy line from his daughter about her flashforward that "D.Gibbons is a very bad man," then him deciding to burn the friendship bracelet from his daughter in attempt to show the future he was fighting it, not giving in to it. Also, Olivia did her very best in avoiding creating any sort of relationship with the man from her flashforward.

What did you think of the second episode? Did you find it as thrilling as the premiere or did it let you down as they spent more time talking about all the drama that already happened?



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Oct 3, 2009 8:38AM EDT

Just complicated enough?
It seems that your play by play retelling of the show has done it great injustice. I a thrilled with episode two, think it struck a great balance between action and intrigue, and that even the minute seemingly insignificant or less active moments of the show were well worth watching and waiting to see what they are teaching me. I cannot wait for more.
After all, haven't we all had enough of the easy-to-figure out crime dramas and FBI shows? Isn't it nice to have a show be action and mental intrigue, be psychological and also a reflection on society? I think Flash Forward episode two showed us that that is precisely where it is going, that it is not just a puzzle but that given knowledge about the future do we give up and let that future pull us to it or claim our ability to act freely and make our future different than a version provided to us.
In fact, I would even disagree that a TV show can get really get too complicated, especially when the premise is that we know a certain amount about the future. Lost has done well with viewers, and so did Twin Peaks, two shows entirely built on layering complexities that do not always find their answers. I don't think viewers lost their way in them, but rather were hooked. We have a capacity for mystery, for desiring to unravel puzzles, and a patience about how they unfold. Here, I think the show is also going to be asking the viewer to do a little self reflecting on what they might themselves think were they given a simple insight into a moment from their own future. And for this viewer, that is enough to keep me coming back.

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Oct 4, 2009 11:18AM EDT

Ah yes, Kendra, the complications of Lost. That's why repeat dvd watching should be on the menu. I like the mystery surrounding Flashforward and have certainly not been disappointed by the first two episodes and can't see myself getting disappointed in the future (get it?lol). But on a serious note, I can possibly see it having a very short lifespan such as Prison Break.
I could almost bet that the last episode(s) will be shown on April 29th 2010, the date which everyone saw, which will have us on the edge of our seats. Since it's made by the producers of Lost it could well be a three-parter starting on April 29th and finishing the second week of May, which is normally when shows in the U.S end, right?
This will mean, as you said, there wil have to be a great lead into the second season which will let it carry on with style and not just being on TV for the sake of it until it dies a horrible death (Prison Break, I'm looking at you again!). Sorry, and like another analogy to Prison Break, each episode leading up to the end may surround a clue from Mark's wall just as Scofield's tattoo explained a new episode. Hopefully not and there will be clues being discovered physically from the case and not just from Mark's vision. Now Fringe is a show that just makes up crazy sci-fi stuff each week leaving the viewer getting bored sometimes waiting to see if there is a decent point to the overall storyline.
Definately will be hooked each week.
@JulipMarker: A play-by-play retelling? This style gives the reader/viewer an oppurtunity to see the episode in an entire literal piece which some find beneficial in case they have missed anything perhaps whilst self-reflecting about a simple insight into a moment from their own future. As you put it.

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