With Flashforward not returning this fall, it seems a tad moot to recap this episode. We're doing this for posterity's sake at this point, people.
"Negotiation" opens the day before the D-Day, and the FBI is on lockdown. But things are leaking regardless – new footage of Subject Zero has emerged to the media, but it's not the FBI's footage. Meanwhile, Simon's on the run under his American moniker – David Walker – until a femme fatale named Lita shows up and makes him an offer. Cue credits with a flash of a flask. This is either A.) a premonition of Mark Benford's impending alcoholism or B.) an unspoken warning that we'll need a slug of something harder than 35 proof to make it through the episode.
Cut back to the office. It's a-buzzing. D-Day is like Christmas, only everyone's expecting anthracite and reindeer excrement. Zoey demands that Demetri to go to Hawaii with her, but he starts yammering about how he has to be there for mopey Mark. Last week, we discovered that those who evaded their April 29 demise might still be marked for death. The all-knowing Gabriel corroborates this theory, as he starts he losing his shit when Demetri saunters on by. If Demetri's doomed to die, at least off him with one of those Rube Goldberg-style contraption akin to Final Destination. Kill him with an evil roller coaster or something.
(Also, Dem now wants to play baby-daddy to Janis' ill-conceived Somalia conception. This is a left-field demand that makes Demetri – the only consistently likable character on this show – come off as a socially obtuse prat.)
The FBI – whose security rivals that of an OfficeMax – allows Gabriel to ogle Mark's Mosiac board. Mark touches Gabriel, who starts screaming until Mark placates him with a soda. Gabriel breaks into the office and keeps rearranging strings to correspond with Mark's blackout. Lax!
Back to Suspect Zero. Simon has given Lita the horn and is basking in the glow of his own innate suaveness. He meets Lucas Hellinger, the Big Boss. Hellinger needs Simon to "calibrate the accelerator," but Simon isn't playing. They can't blackmail him or kill him. Killing Dyson Frost was a bad idea – he may have acted like Frank Gorshin, but at least he knew the technology. Simon grabs his chapeau, thanks Lita for the intercourse, and walks off.
Meanwhile, Janis is vexed by Carlene's command to kill Mark Benford. She doesn't want to kill Mark, but both Vogel and Carlene are fairly cavalier about Mark kicking it. Janis stalls her by coughing up Gabriel's location. Carlene drops some sassy barbs about Janis "being worth the money." Since FlashForward isn't coming back, I guess we'll never see a Carlene spin-off program. This depresses me.
So Hellinger's gang intercepts Gabriel's caravan, and Mark gets a badass moments by dressing as everyone's Pixies-loving savant and getting the drop on the goons. These crooks sure are dumb – fooled by a hoodie and a pair of Rivers Cuomo glasses. They infiltrate Hellinger's secret headquarters, but Hellinger deletes everything just as the FBI rushes in. Too slow, M.B.
Other Events Of Interest
- Janis fesses up her moleyness to both Mark and Demetri. Neither is impressed.
- Aaron's on Jericho's tail in Afghanistan and finally discovers his daughter.
- Wedecke informs the POTUS that he's passing information about a "Joshua Base" over to Vice-President Clemente, who saw herself as President in her flashforward. The President knows what this means and will probably step down. What's "Joshua Base?" We're probably meant to find out next season. Whoops.
- Simon steals the QED and appears in Janis' apartment, demanding her help.
Was this a good episode? Not particularly. Barring some action sequences with Gabriel's caravan, the show was essentially the same, muddled, "characters doing things for the sake of doing things" plotting that's plagued the latter half of Season One. We're told that there are high stakes, but we have no sense of what these stakes are. The villains are shadowy to the point of inscrutable and protagonists come and go as they please. The show's best episodes had a singular focus (i.e. "This episode is about [Demetri's death/Somalia].") The rest have been mostly interchangeable. The acting and production values are solid, but the plot's been a cockamamie slurry of disparate character arcs punctuated by Mark Benford acting like Encyclopedia Brown.