This week's Flash Forward may have been full of characters telling the audience that the world has changed, but its moral was one that we've known for many, many years: Nazis are not to be trusted. Even when they're old.
After last week's pyrotechnics and introduction of a second Suspect Zero ("Suspect Minus-One"?), this week's episode "137 Sekunden" sidestepped that plot in favor of a bait and switch about just what caused the worldwide blackout and flashforward in the first place.
We open with a repeat of last week's climactic scene where Demetri gets a mysterious phone from a mysterious Asian woman who tells him that he's going to murdered, but this time we get a little bit more information: He'll get shot 3 times in the chest... Although, as we'll learn later, there may be much more to this than meets the eye. Being a good FBI agent, Demetri hands in his cell to FBI tech guys to trace the call, which they fail at after finding out that it was forwarded by two different towers. You might worry about the competency of the Feebs because of this, but don't worry; this is just the start. Not only do we see them making fun of foreign intelligence agencies' theories about what caused the blackout - because, you know, Mark's corkboard from the future is much more believable - but all it takes is the discovery that a German prisoner called Geyer has mentioned Mark following his blackout to get Mark and Janis on the first Transatlantic plane to the Fatherland.
(As the show goes on, we wonder more and more about Mark's boss; last week, he was all "I gave CPR to a guy who'd collapsed into a urinal, icky!" and this week, he completely reverses his "There's no way you're flying to Germany!" stance when Mark suggests that it may end up being useful. Sure, he tries to sound very authoritative with his "Book the flights!" command, but still: We all saw you do a 180 for no reason, dude.)
While Mark and Janis jet off to Germany, Demetri's fiancee Zoe arrives back in LA, and after a failed attempt to distract her with sex, tells Demetri what she saw in her flashforward: Her wedding day... complete with Demetri. As he lies and tells her that he saw the same thing, I'm left wondering if (a) she's lying about what she saw, for some reason (Is she the one who's going to kill Demetri?), (b) whoever kills Demetri takes his place somehow, and (c) if that is what happens, is it a way to keep John Cho in the show?
After a week of not doing much, Aaron decides to take action about his potentially alive daughter, and tries to get his wife Kate (who works in a bar! And is an alcoholic herself, it's implied!) to sign papers allowing him to get the daughter's grave exhumed, but understandably, she's not into the idea. Ignoring her wishes because, let's face it, if he did he wouldn't have much of a plot left, he convinces his AA sponsee Mark to get the FBI to dig it up anyway, only to find out that the DNA of the corpse matches the daughter's DNA... thereby giving us our second "What if the Flashforwards were wrong?" moment of the week. Maybe it's this week's theme.
No, wait! This week's theme has to do with Nazis, like our German friend Geyer. Turns out he's an old Nazi who was captured after hiding in the US for awhile, and he claims that he knows why the blackouts only lasted 137 seconds (or "sekunden" in German, hence the name of the episode), but he'll only tell if he gets pardoned, released and transport into the US. Mark demands proof and Geyer asks if Mark and Janis are familiar with Kaballah (Somewhere, Madonna is shouting "Yes!" and getting excited). If you write the word "Kaballah" in Hebrew, Geyer explains, each character has a numeric value, and that when added, these characters add to 137. He doesn't add like the seconds of the blackout!, but you just know that he wants to.
Back in the US, Mark's wife Olivia is having lunch with Gina Torres, who turns out to be the wife of the FBI boss. Just as Olivia saw herself with a new lover in the future, Gina saw herself with a new son - who she happens to see in the present for the first time by the end of the episode, which would be a little too much of a coincidence if the entire series wasn't full of them (See also: Olivia treating the son of her future lover, the flashforward happening at the same time as Bryce's suicide attempt, etc.).
In Germany, meanwhile, Mark and Janis need more than clever numberplay to release Geyer, and so he tells them that in his flashforward, he saw himself entering the US and thanking a "murder" for it happening, advising them to check with the US customs officer, whose name he luckily remembers, for validation. Demetri does so, finding the officer (who isn't actually an officer yet; he applied after he saw the flashforward, which is a fun example of the future-fuckery the show doesn't do enough of, outside of Mark's corkboard wall craziness), and the international law wheels turn with a speed known only to television, organizing Geyer's release. As soon as he hears he's a free man, he reveals his secret: When he woke up from the flashforward, he saw lots of dead crows. Understandably, Mark and Janis are somewhat underwhelmed, but what did they expect? He was an evil Nazi. Nazis lie, it's just what they do.
Disappointed, Mark and Janis head back to the US, where (at a memorial for dead FBI agents, always a good "montage of people looking sad while emotional music plays" moment) Mark suddenly decides to look at how many other crows died during the flashforward. Answer: A lot. Crosschecking, Janis discovers that the only other mass-crowdeath scenario occurred in Somalia in 1991, accompanying everyone in a small village collapsing at the same time. Cut to Somalia in 1991, where a small boy watches lots of crows fall to the ground before wandering over a hill to see lots of people collapsed (OMG He's Suspect Zero! Or a Suspect Zero!) and some kind of spooky cloud. What does it all mean?!?