Based on the Robert Sawyer novel of the same name, this ABC series was based on one singular event: at exactly the same time, everyone on earth suffers a loss of consciousness for two minutes and seventeen seconds. In that time, the consciousness of everyone on earth is projected forward for exactly half a year, and they see their own futures. FBI agents Mark Benson and Demetri Noh are assigned to investigate this phenomenon.
This sounded like a real winner of a premise, and having read the novel, I looked forward to its execution. Unfortunately, once ABC got its hands on the story, they completely messed it up. Instead of a physicist investigating a scientific phenomenon, producer Brannon Braga changed the hero to an FBI agent investigating yet another lame conspiracy behind the event. The only real tension in the show lay in the ancient question of free will versus determinism–do we have free will, and if we do, how can the future be fixed? The segments that focused on the reactions of ordinary people to the flashforward were intermittently interesting, especially Demetri Noh (John Cho), who did not flashforward because he was going to be dead on that day. But then the seventh episode quickly dispelled any worry about free will, leaving the writing staff floundering for some drama to hang a story on. That, and a four month hiatus, made it nearly impossible to sustain audience interest in the show.
ABC cancelled this show immediately after its May 13 airing, due to low ratings.
These reviews contain spoilers.
No More Good Days – Series pilot introduces the major characters and shows us the incredible miracle when seven billion people experience the same moment. Does this universal vision mean the future is fixed? Or can it be changed? Airdate 24 September 2009.
White to Play – Agents Benford and Noh track down a name connected with Mark’s flashforward vision; meanwhile his wife Olivia is worried that her vision might come true when she meets the man from her forevision. – Airdate 1 October 2009
137 Sekunden – A former Nazi claims to have information about the flash forward, which he will tell only to Agent Benford. Airdate 8 October 2009
Black Swan – Olivia treats a patient whose faith in his flashforward convinces him to okay a risky procedure; Mark and Al investigate the possibility that this may not have been the only FlashForward. Airdate 15 October 2009
Gimme Some Truth – Wedeck and his team are called to testify before Congress about the Flashforward; Olivia learns that Mark didn’t tell her the whole truth about his vision. Airdate 22 October 2009
Scary Monsters and Super Creeps – Lloyd Simcoe’s partner shows up with a quantuum physics explanation for the Flashforward; Lloyd himself finally finds out that he was part of Olivia’s vision. Airdate 29 October 2009
The Gift – A shocking decision by a member of the FBI team investigating the Flashforward calls into question everyone’s assumptions about their visions. Airdate 5 November 2009
Playing Cards with Coyote – The discovery of a person in Mark’s flashforward impedes a romantic getaway with Olivia. Aaron discovers information about his daughter. Simon and Lloyd attempt to resolve a conflict, and Janis returns to the Bureau. Airdate 12 November 2009
Believe – Bryce searches for the woman in his vision, while Demetri tries to find the caller who told him he would be murdered. Airdate 19 November 2009.
A561984 – Mark and Demetri go to Hong Kong as Lloyd and Simon take responsibility for the blackout. Airdate 30 November 2009.
Revelation Zero – An attempt to bootstrap the series, this episode recaps the previous storyline and beefs up the roles of two players, as a Shadow Conspiracy is introduced and new backstory for Simon Campos is introduced. Airdate 18 March 2010.
Blowback – Zooey learns of Demetri’s lack of flashforward and wants to change his future; Mark and Lloyd face off over the mystery phone call to Olivia. Aaron looks into the connections between Jericho and his daughter. Airdate 25 March 2010.
Better Angels – Olivia asks Charlie about her flashforward. Bryce and Nicole bond over his cancer. The FBI sends a team to Somalia to investigate Simon’s tower. Airdate 1 April 2010.
Queen Sacrifice – Mark and Vogel learn that there is a mole in the FBI. Airdate 8 April 2010.
Let No Man Put Asunder – Wedeck helps Aaron investigate Jericho; Demetri changes his wedding date, hoping to change his fate. 15 April 2010.
The Garden of Forking Paths – Demetri is missing; Wedeck sends out a team to look for him. Zooey is also looking for him, and willing to strike a deal to find him. Airdate 22 April 2010.
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road – Aaron is in Afghanistan behind enemy lines, looking for Tracy. Olivia finds Gabriel, a high-functioning autistic man who saw several flashforwards. Airdate 29 April 2010
Course Correction – Someone is killing people who survived past their “death dates”, as foretold in the flash forward. Simon gets help from Mark in recovering his kidnapped sister. Airdate 6 May 2010
The Negotiation – The day before F-Day, the day which everyone saw in their future, sees Mark trying to protect Gabriel, Aaron trying to rescue Tracy, and Janis ordered to kill an FBI agent. Airdate 13 May 2010
Countdown – Mark tries to find out when the next blackout/flashforward will take place. Aaron discovers Tracy’s connection to Jericho. Demetri considers helping Janis and Simon. Airdate 20 May 2010
Future Shock – Mark finds out the date of the next flashforward. Demetri and Simon try to stop it. Everyone discovers whether their flashforwards came true. Airdate 27 May 2010 Series finale.