With the departure of Marc Guggenheim, this leaves me a little dismayed with FlashForward and last night’s episode was a bit of departure and not that good. It did, however, expand on some characters, rather than just focusing on Fiennes and Cho. We spent time getting to know Courtney B. Vance’s character of Stanford Wedeck, who is Head of the FBI LA office, and Christine Wood’s character Janis Stark.
We open on Fiennes, Cho, Vance and guest star Barry Henley as Agent Vreede, walking out of some building. Fiennes and Vance are talking and Vance says something about not telling anybody anything about his [Fiennes] flash forward or they are”d.o.a.” Fiennes is on the phone with Janis Hawk telling her something about funding. Getting into a car, they are immediately set upon by a black SUV and hit with a Rocket Propelled Grenade blowing up the car, seemingly killing all four inside.
Cut back 39 hours, and the four of them are in a basement taking a lie detector test. Apparently they are in Washington, D.C for a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on what the various agencies are finding on the black out case, and they have to take the test for the hearing. After the test, Fiennes talks with his sponsor who tells him to go to AA meeting which Sophia Walger overhears the sponsor talking about while he fixes some stuff around the house. He’s apparently helping them out around the house while Fiennes is away doing document support for Vance in DC.
Vance is playing basketball with Peter Coyote during all of this and is asking for backup with these hearings considering he heard a rumor that the hearings are meant to shut down funding for cases that aren’t producing promising leads. Coyote tells him not to worry and that Clemente is chairing the hearings to which this scares Vance to the point that he says he wouldn’t have even come in to DC if he knew that, apparently he used to work in DC.
We cut to Janis Hawk (Christine Wood) at a Taekwondo class where she fights a guy who asks her out immediately after. She passes and this girl standing next to Wood says he’s a douche. Why? He was just asking her out, but we’ll find out why later on in the episode.
Getting into the office, Lee Thompson Young’s character gives Wood a drive displaying satellite images of Somalia that his hacker friend gleaned from the CIA’s files.
Going back to DC, Cho, Henley and Vance are at the White House press conference on the hearings where we’re introduced to the President: Peter Coyote, which may be the coolest thing since Dennis Haysbert played the President on 24. Here he reveals that the hearing is specifically designed to handle various agencies leads on the black outs, and for redirecting funds to the ones with the most promising leads. Vance squirms in his seat like he just dropped one in his pants.
Coyote follows up by revealing that his new Vice President will head up the investigations into the black outs. (Apparently something happened to this VP but at this point in the episode writers Dawn Prestwich and Nicole Yorkin don’t bother to say anything, but whatever). Coyote says when asked by a reporter why he’s not revealing what he saw in his flash forward, and he says that he’s following others leads and will not reveal what he saw. We cut to his flash forward anyway and he’s awoken by a Secret Service agent to a problem.
Cutting back to Walger and the Sponsor they talk about the new alarm system and blah blah blah, something about overhearing the discussion about AA meetings. Like most of the scenes with Walger and the Sponsor they’re never interesting.
Now Vance is meeting with Coyote who offers him the Director of Homeland Security job, which is apparently Clemente’s job.
Janis Stark is on a date with that girl (Navi Rawat) from her and its revealed that she’s a lesbian which is what makes her flash forward even weirder where she’s pregnant. Her situation gets even more sticky (shut up!) as the episode continues.
At the Senate Intelligence hearing, various agencies field their theories on the black outs. Most of which say its aliens, and pharmaceutical companies and finally the CIA says China citing the reasoning behind it is that China had the lowest amount of fatalities. The reason for this is that China was asleep at the time of the blackout. Oh, CIA…
After, Clemente, a real jerk of a person approaches Vance and threatens about what Vance did when he was in DC last, working for Coyote on the campaign trail and whether his wife knows anything about what happened. She reveals that she saw herself as the President on April 29th. Crazy, which makes it clear who will be the replacement VP. She makes the ridiculous claim the LA office’s leads are based on Fiennes vision and demands that he testify in front of the committee.
After the commercial break, we’re at Janis’s apartment where she makes some eggs and her new girlfriend demands that she does that. Maya, Rawat, will stay over and invites Janis to a gallery opening later on.
Back in Washington, Fiennes is humiliated in front of the Senate committee about his visions and Clemente demands why he only saw about 30 seconds of visions and not the clear 2 minutes and 17 seconds that everyone else saw. He declines to mention that the reasoning for that is he was drinking again. Vance has a hissy, a quiet hissy, and storms out of the session pissed off at the gall of Clemente.
Back in LA, Janis, her hacker friend and Young’s character go through the satellite footage and they get an image of those towers surrounding the Somali town. She passes the images on to Fiennes and Company and they think this will buy them some leverage with the committee. Vance, however, has dropped off the grid, and is off pursuing something of his own.
Janis goes to Maya’s gallery opening thing. Maya bought Janis an alarm clock, that rolls around, its pretty neat clock. Janis, in the previous scene with Maya, said to go through her stuff. When Maya did that she “Mosaic’d” Janis which I kind of guffawed at. Upon finding out that Janis was pregnant in her flash forward. They break up.
Vance knocks on a door, revealing a woman who says its been a while. A kid, with glasses like Vance’s, runs up and hugs him. This must be the situation that Clemente was talking about previously about whether his wife knew about what he did back in DC. Clearly he had an affair, but ho! Not really. He goes to meet with Coyote again and in this totally awesome scene blackmails him to get the funding, because Coyote had an affair with the woman Vance just met with. He tells him that he will destroy the negative once they get the funding. When he leaves, Coyote makes a phone call to have someone handle a problem he’s having.
Vance goes to celebrate with Fiennes and company at some karaoke lounge to which Fiennes is skulking around some corner whining about hating karaoke. I don’t blame him, but when Vance shows up they get into an argument to which Fiennes reveals to his boss that he was drinking in his flash forward and this hits Vance like a ton of bricks. The fact that he’s been basing the entire investigation on Fiennes vision and he was drunk?
Oh my Godzilla, he just blackmailed the President over an alcoholic’s vision? This scene knocks them further on their asses when its revealed that Coyote nominated that heinous jerkface Clemente as his replacement VP, after his original one was killed in the black out. Way to reveal that bit of information after its been annoying me for the first 35 minutes of the episode.
Oh, somewhere in here Walger gets a text message from a blocked number saying that Mark (Fiennes) was drinking during his black out.
Back to the exciting stuff, the boys are leaving the karaoke lounge where we get caught right back up to where we started. Turns out Fiennes was on the phone with Janis Hawk while she comes home from breaking up with her new friend. All of them are jumped and Janis gets shot in the belly causing her to fade out of consciousness while Maya’s cool clock rolls around in her blood making concentric patterns. Gruesome stuff.
The boys, after the car is blown up, survive somehow because they’re professionals and John Cho has to live another five months, get into a gun battle with some Chinamen (they’re not the issue, its Coyote that is the issue since he likely sicked these guys on them).
A truly righteous gun battle ensues with “A Rolling Stone,” song playing in the background. I kind of love the fact that when these kinds of action sequences happen on the show its always with some totally cringe-worthy music choices. Here we have Cho and Henley who were karaokeing this song in the previous scene and now they’re gunning down people with the song playing in the background. Its pretty cheesy, but I love it. And we close out the episode with Janis Hawk bleeding out on the sidewalk after she’s gunned down her attackers.
The next episode another Lost alum joins the show, Dominic Monaghan, who hopefully won’t drag on how the black out happened and will get right to it. So far, a month in, and this show has me hooked. Good stuff.