You know what might’ve made “The Countdown” a little easier to handle? Just one more word in the title:
But seriously, this was your standard “darkest before the dawn” episode, where everybody battled the Determinism blues before next week’s Big Finish. While we’re waiting to see if this follows the finale trend set by BSG and now Lost, the Roundtable focused in on one specific plot thread: the final descent of Demetri.
So, you had Demetri finally ‘fessing up to Zoey. Props to John Cho for mustering up the right amount of groveling and contrition for the moment. But it left Dem having to hitch his wagon to Janis and Simon of all people. Your take? Andrea: I thought Gabrielle Union also brought the right amount of heartbrokenness, incredulousness, indignation, and upset to the scene. All I can say is I’m so happy she dumped Dem’s ass right there then took her freshly done sun-kissed weave and went to Hawaii with her parentals. As for Dem’s infidelity leading to his having to hang with Janis and Simon: Fuck him. Mahsino: 1.) I hated her highlights, they should’ve been a warmer tone. 2.) I almost felt bad for Demetri. It’s like he got 20 points for fessing up before it’s too late, but -1000 when he cheated in the first place. I do like how she brought up how she risked everything for him, I hadn’t even thought of that. Diana: I thought it was pretty realistic. Really, it made no sense to him to sleep with someone else because he thought he was going to die? That’s when you hold on to those you love the most. So I’m with you, Andrea, fuck him. Highlights or no, the weave was fresh. jen*: As much love as I have for Cho, I’m beginning to be ok with Demetri eating it in the finale. He should be in something else, anyway. Continue reading →
It wasn’t our fault, promise. Well, at least we don’t think so.
FlashForward officially entered lame-duck status last week, making “The Negotiation” awkward to watch, despite it finally putting its’ players, as Gabriel would say, “where they need to be.” For the first few minutes, watching Wedeck rally the troops – and credit to Courtney B. Vance for making this speech shiny yet not-saccharine – I thought this was the finale. Gang, your thoughts?
Andrea: As much as I had patience with the show to establish itself, another part of me wonders if the creatives thought they had more time to develop the show, considering that far worse shows have been picked up. I guess they forgot they were on ABC, not the CW (or whatever the hell it’s called nowadays). Mahsino: No Andrea, it wouldn’t have lasted that long on the CW, too many people of color. But yeah, I kept checking IMDB to see if this was the season finale. Arturo: Y’know, I’m not so sure. The CW lusts after the younger demos enough to think it would’ve been more likely to accept J-Cho as a lead actor vis-a-vis J-Fiennes. And while Smallville is positively bad, the network’s shown a steady hand in letting that fandom develop over the past 10(?!) years. jen*: It did seem like the finale. But I’m not thinking the CW would go for a show with so many old people … playing old people. Continue reading →
Not to say “Course Correction” was perfect, but it was definitely pretty good. If this is to be FlashForward’s only season – and there’s still a chance it might not be – then at least the creative team appears headed toward a stronger finish than we could’ve expected. In a very nice touch, we got both callbacks to Al’s suicide and another fresh team-up for Demetri, this time with the returning Fiona (between this ep and her guest stint on Doctor Who, it’s been nice seeing Alex Kingston on a regular basis again). This freed up Mark to finally break thru on one major clue while resolving another. So, fellow Roundtablers, where was this ep in the first half of the year?
Mahsino: Probably with the rest of the straws they were grasping at. Diana: Couldn’t say it better, Mahsino. Andrea: Ha! Get it, Mahsino. jen*: Word.
Interesting to see that the more you pull Mark away from the rest of the ensemble (save Wedeck; Fiennes and Vance have developed some chemistry) the more it benefits everyone. Case in point: Demetri & Fiona just work as a team. And the callbacks to Al really resonated through these two characters. Your thoughts? Diana: I miss Al. Demetri and Fiona do make a good team. I like Demetri with just about anyone other than Mark. Andrea: Well, it just goes to show what we’ve been saying all along: Joseph Fiennes and his character really doesn’t –and can’t — serve as the show’s center. As much as I love looking at the man, I know he doesn’t have that leading-man “it-ness.” If anything, Al and his suicide seems to hold the show because it continues to play against the wall of his suicide and if it really changed people’s fates. Now, if the writers can actually get with that, this show just may sweep May. Mahsino: I agree, Mark doesn’t act as a good lead character, and I don’t think the show needs one main character to constantly save the day. My favorite episodes so far have been the one’s where they mainly focus on one character and let the others act as supporting stories. The better episodes remind me of Heroes: Season 1, the Mark-centered ones are more reminiscent of Heroes Season 2: Benetrelli Boogaloo. Diana: LOL, Mahsino. Benetrelli Boogaloo = Mark “Meh”-ness jen*: I definitely prefer episodes that decentralize Mark’s story. I almost feel like the savant is our voice inside the show – “you should be with Lloyd! Not that other guy.” Continue reading →
After last week’s action-driven ep,FlashForward cooled its’ jets with the Janis-centric “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” which followed up on what had been the series’ most interesting plot-point: that the mother-to-be was actually – DUN DUN DUN – one of the bad guys. As it turned out, being a spy wasn’t exactly what Janis imagined; she doesn’t even like fish! But what’d the Roundtable make of her journey? Glad you asked …
Getting Janis’ backstory really made her a more interesting figure at this point: sure, the Evil! Janis smile was cool at the time, but now we see she’s trapped: by Vogel, by the pet store lady, and in a sense, by her wish to see her FF through. Odds are, though, she’s not going to succeed in her mission to kill Mark, as Charlie’s vision says it’s not “his time” yet. What do you think are her odds? Diana: Personally, if I was writing for this show, I’d probably have Janis fake her own death and retire on the beach somewhere to have the baby. Maybe she can enlist Vogel or Simon Charlie Hobbit to help. But everyone has pretty much pushed her into a corner. Should be interesting how it all turns out. Arturo: Something I just thought of, though: upon reflection, I realize that we never actually learn why she joined Dyson’s organization. She didn’t seem disgruntled talking to the “headhunter,” and the GBO seemed to legitimately affect her. Hopefully we’ll get some explanation soon. Mahsino: Finally, we have a surprising, plausible turn of events. The only issue I have is that nobody has seemed to notice her weekly pet shop visits. Now I don’t own fish, but I doubt you need to go to a pet shop every week for food. Andrea: Having had fishes for pets, Mahsino, I know the feed lasts for a while. As for Janis, I was mad seeing Demetri hugging up on her in the flashback. I know it was before he met Zoey, but I also have the sinking feeling it was also a foreshadowing that he indeed impregnated Janis. ::Giving Demetri all sorts of side-eye:: At the same time, Arturo, Vogel said Shakespeare died. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? ::shrug:: Continue reading →
So, judging by last week’s responses, the future isn’t bright for this show, is it? Or was it something we said? Gang, what do you think?
jen*: That, or everyone was just thinking, “mmm. Cho.” Diana: I was disappointed, but maybe this week will be better. Mahsino: yeaaah. maybe it’s a proportional reflection of the decline in ratings? Andrea: Mmmmmm. Cho.
In some ways, it’s a pity, as this episode was an example of the writers giving us more of what we’ve been after – a clear-cut story focused on action and possible consequences. jen*: Um, Yeah! Is it really too much to ask to get this on the regular? Are shows just focused on the season open and then a 4-ep build to the finale? Cuz if that’s the case, I can skip the midseason and take up a craft. Diana: Jen, it’s not too much to ask. But if you do start crafting, may I suggest knitting. You can throw one of the needles at the tv if you need to and not miss a stitch. jen*: You know, I always did wanna learn how to knit… Mahsino: I make and elaborately decorate cupcakes, but I hear knitting is nice too. But yeah, I haven’t even been as into an episode as this one. Continue reading →
He smokes, he sings, he stares down paranoids … “Let No Man Put Asunder” was all about Demetri. Kind of odd, in that an ep named after something you hear at weddings focused nearly exclusively on the groom, but what the heck – the Roundtable didn’t mind him being the focal point of an episode. Mark who?
I guess we should’ve known something big was up when Demetri both talked down *and* shot up the Lone Gunman there all by his lonesome. Andrea: Demetri is full of awesome sauce, full stop, with a caveat. (I’ll address this shortly.) And it’s about time the writers start realizing who the show’s emotional center is….and it isn’t Mark Shakespeare. jen*: Dem is awesome – no doubt. I could definitely see him carrying the show from here on. Diana: Dem’s the man. Mahsino: I dunno, I hate reckless, illogical thought processes more than I love Dem. When he was doing that I could help but think, wouldn’t it be a bitch if he gets shot here and dies the next day? Continue reading →
Even excluding the episode’s surprisingly good ending, “Better Angels” shouldn’t have worked: an ad-hoc team journeys into Hollywood Somalia looking for a plot device? Forget Red Panda; this had Red Flag written all over it.
Case in point: Abdi, the unfriendly neighborhood warlord of the (fake) Somalian village where Dyson Frost/D. Gibbons and company beta-tested the GBO. All the signals were there for the character to become a caricature: blind religious faith; a flashforward that fed further delusions of grandeur; and seemingly the itchiest trigger-finger this side of Yosemite Sam.
Fortunately, writers Scott M. Gimple and Ian Goldberg took care to give Abdi not only a backstory, but a sense of hurt to balance out his more venomous traits, and even more fortunately, Owiso Odera was able to fashion a performance that actually generated some emotion. I actually felt sad when Vogel gunned him down. Let’s see what the Roundtable thought:
Andrea: *Sigh* I thought Odera did a good job in a bad role, namely playing a “Somali warlord.” Of course, “Somalia” is stereotyped as only a war-torn place full of superstitious people with delusions of grandeur. Whether it’s ruling with the gun or the olive branch, they will be great with the CIA’s help. Of course, the CIA will shoot that notion down–in Abdi’s case, literally. Diana: Meh. I didn’t really like the whole black on black violence vibe. jen*: Um … yeah. I was definitely sad to see him die. I wasn’t super-thrilled with Janis’ convenient savior moments, but the story moved along well enough that I didn’t have to dwell on it. Come to think of it, I was actually a little pissed that Abdi was killed like that. Mahsino: They really took that to an unfortunate place. I dunno, I feel they could’ve gone someplace really great with that and just phoned it in once they realized how much work it would be to create a whole subplot around helping Abdi achieve his destiny. Continue reading →
When ABC executives reportedly addressed FlashForward’s objectives during its’ extended hiatus, it’s (hopefully) doubtful that one of the network’s missives was, “Y’know what? People need more of Aaron Stark.” So seeing him become a focal point of “Blowback” was a classic example of trying too hard with a character who doesn’t deserve it.
Here you had a character that went from mopey sidekick (and looking mopey compared to Mark Bedford is as impressive as wearing the douchiest Ed Hardy shirt at a UFC show) to, this week, Ex-Marine Hardened Ex-Con Amateur Hacker. What, he’s not a ninja on the weekends? His character isn’t worth a spit in the scope of what should be the show’s driving plot – the GBO and the efforts to find the people behind it before it happens again. His only connection to anything important going on is the chance that his daughter, who exists as nothing more than a plot device for him, has been abducted by those same culprits. And somehow, this suddenly-brilliant tactician records a phone-call that proves his suspicions, if not a bigger conspiracy behind it, yet he neither records the call, nor hands it over to his buddy and his FBI co-workers?
But maybe I’m being too hard on the guy. Let’s see what the Roundtable thinks of his antics. Continue reading →
Race, Culture, and Identity in a Colorstruck World