The Racialicious Roundtable For Flash Forward 1.11 & 1.12

Hosted by Special Correspondent Arturo R. García
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SPOILERS AHEAD

Call it injury piled onto insult: not only did ABC choose to bring Flash Forward back opposite the opening day of the NCAA Tournament, but it ended up being arguably the best – and by best, I mean “bracket-shredding” – NCAA opening day in history. Seriously, my particular bracket looked like L.A. on Blackout Day.

simon1That said, the two-part “Revelation Zero” gets points for at least trying to seem important, as the creative team busted out seemingly every narrative trick at its’ disposal and brought in more characters to bolster its’ biggest revelation: that the man we’d come to identify as Suspect Zero was in fact Charlie The Hobbit – which made the shot of him wielding a ring somewhat funnier than it probably should have been. But what did your Friendly Neighborhood Roundtable make of all these revelations? Well, we’re glad you asked …

I’ll say this about these episodes: at least the show looked more forceful than it had been before its’ extended hiatus. Even if very little of the plot holds up if you think about it for a minute (more on this later). What’d you think?
Diana: I was surprised to see the Hobbit’s storyline step up a bit. But honestly, I’m not sure if the show is going to last for much longer.
Andrea: I agree, Diana, that Charlie Hobbit’s storyline is stepped up, but his villiany–and to a lesser extent, Lloyd’s–make my eyes glaze over because their evil, be it intentional (Hobbit) or by abbetting (Lloyd), seems to stem from the fact that they have British Isle accents and are erudite. That makes spotting Teh Baddies just that much easier ’cause ya, know, that’s how stereotypes rock.
jen*: Evil Brit tropes might be tired, but they’re more fun to watch than what-really-should-be-side-story-Benford (IMO). Maybe that’s why I was more into the first half than the second. I’m not really into the Hobbit, but I can’t not love Steve.

That was the good. Now for the bad, starting with Gil Bellows’ “preacher” character. So far, this guy seems like a melding of the worst aspects of Heroes and Battlestar Galactica. And brace yourself for faux-outrage if he’s revealed to be a swindler (notice how he never told anybody what his FF actually was.)
Diana: Quite frankly, his sideburns were freaking me the hell out. That and the fact that the he is not aging well. Also I think the evangelist with a evil motive is a bit played out. Can you tell I didn’t really like this character or plot line?
Andrea: And his character did a wretched platitude mash-up of Christianity and Eastern philosophies. I cringed just listening to his faux-synthesizing blathering. But I think FF has been trying — and failing –to reconcile these ideas since the first episode. The Matrix (the first flick; the other two can kiss my behind) did a much better job.
jen*: This guy seemed so see-through, I didn’t really get what his whole storyline was for. For the 1 1/2 moments he spent with the babysitter-who’s-pining-over-the-resident-who’s-pining-over-his-FF-Japanese-girlfriend … it seemed a lot of background. Especially considering the babysitter and the resident already seem like minor characters.

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Tough night for our boy Demitri, but what’d you think of Michael Ealy stepping fully into the story? (Even if it was *sigh* Mark who made the Big Break in the case.)
Diana: I had double the eye candy with those two, so I was happy.
Andrea: I felt the way Demetri did when he saw Ealy and Charlie Hobbit in the conference room together: righteously serious direct side-eye. And John Cho melted my monitor and me with that look…only he can make side-eye all panties-worthy. I did agree with Ealy on one point: Demetri does need a new partner. Just not Ealy.
jen*: Actually, I’m all for an Ealy-Cho partnership – I thought they could totally begin working together. Though the blind FBI/CIA trust in the Hobbit is kinda crazy. I would so rather watch Cho and Ealy do the cop thing, than bring Mark back into the fold.

Speaking of Mark, how about that Plot Device, errrr, treatment, eh? One shot and he gets himself back on the case … too bad it didn’t really make him a more compelling character.
Diana: Mark is and will always be a tool. The show would be better if they let Cho take the lead and got rid of Mark altogether.
Andrea: Oh see, when the Hulu blurb said Mark would be suspended from the force, I thought–okay, I seriously hoped–that would mean I wouldn’t see him at all. Then, dammit, there he was, still the main character and the weakest link in this whole damn show. I’m going to say it: his flashforward is the flattest one. Unfortunately, it’s what the show is sorta hanging on.
jen*: You’re right, Andrea, and that’s including Demetri’s complete non-flash flashforward. But don’t mind-altering/tampering drugs tend to be problematic for addicts? Even if this experimental memory enhancer isn’t alcohol, can’t it lead to a regression?

What’s a more unpalatable possibility: that Simon could end up a hero, or that he could father Janis’ kid? (’cause I definitely picked up on some forced “tension” between those two.)
Diana: Well, clearly he was not a complete villain, but I don’t know if he’s a hero either–he’s still too self-centered. They have really dumbed down Janis and I was mad that she fell for the Hobbit’s okey-doke more than once.
Andrea: Six of one, half-dozen of the other in this case.
jen*: I didn’t get a hero vibe at all from him. But I did get the lech-y, might-try-to-roll-up-on-Janis vibe. Gave me the heebies.

uncleteddy1In light of the revelations that Uncle Teddy works for the Big Bad Chatroulette Guy, that they were responsible for the Blackout and that Lloyd might really be just a patsy … uh, where is this going again?
Diana: I think everything is going to focus on preventing the next blackout, and then the one after that, and so on and so on….
Andrea: Diana, I think that’s how they’re going to milk this show for several seasons. If it worked for Heroes … umm, wait. What?
jen*: After I read part of the wikipedia entry for Flashforward [the book] and realized that Lloyd was actually the main character, I felt duped. They spent all that time building up Mark and his entourage, who I could give a flip about, when we coulda got straight to some British lovin’ and some Cho detectin’. Or vice versa. Either way it woulda been better.

Open Mic!
Diana: They still haven’t explained the kangaroo.
Andrea: I was feeling how the characters of color and the white marginalized characters bad-assed their way through the first part of the two-parter. But the show lost me–bored the hell out of me, really–when they reverted to recentering the white male characters–hero, villain, and stooge–in the second part. I had a Heroes flashback watching all that whiteness. BTW, Diana, the damn thing escaped from the zoo. The end.:-D
jen*: If that’s the explanation, Andrea, I won’t be surprised, but I’ll still be disappointed. Finding out about the kangaroo, and about Demetri and Gabrielle’s end is basically all I want from the show. If they can’t figure out a way to keep Cho alive, I definitely won’t be watching after this season.