Nothing Makes A Statement Like A Nude Upside-Down Man In A Party Hat

Illustration for article titled Nothing Makes A Statement Like A Nude Upside-Down Man In A Party Hat

FlashForward is about people trying to divine meaning from a bunch of random images. Similarly, FlashForward's a show in which audiences attempt to divine plot from a bunch of random images. Just what the heck did we watch last Thursday?

First off, I enjoy FlashForward. I dig its premise, think John Cho and Gabrielle Union make a cute couple, and I like to pretend that Dr. Simon Campos is Charlie Pace's flash-sideways. But Van Damme, is this show's pacing bizarre: flashbacks bookend flashforwards, characters have sudden cases of explosive anger and storm out of rooms, Mark Benford is an angry bore. Characters state exactly what they are thinking. The show is as subtle as a runaway jackhammer, but a runaway jackhammer is still an entertaining sight.

For recap's sake, here are the events that mattered in "Blowback."

- We learn a lot more Aaron's alcoholism and relationship with Tracy via flashbacks. Looks like Aaron, who's an otherwise decent guy, was incarcerated for a bar brawl. The man has a demon in the bottle, but that doesn't mean the guy's a perfect citizen sober - indeed, he throttles a pervy prison guard for ogling his daughter. In the present, Aaron lets slip that Tracy's home to Mike, who tells Jericho, who sends goons to box up Tracy to prevent her from squealing on the whole "killing civilians" thing.


When Aaron figures out who boosted his daughter, he gets all Ram Jam on Mike, and confronts the Jericho head James Erskine at Erskine's daughter's birthday party. The episode ends with Aaron going off the grid to find Tracy. Easily the most interesting subplot of "Blowback," even if the scene juxtaposition for this show is seemingly picked out of a hat. Given the way the show works, Tracy's captors will inevitable have something to do with the blackout.

- Mark and Lloyd go to Mark's house to determine what exactly occurred in Lloyd's flashforward. The scene unfolded something like this:

Mark: I need to know more about your flashforward.
Lloyd: I am afraid to confide in you because I'll be mysteriously nailing your wife in a few weeks time.
Mark: I am the least likable protagonist on network television.

Illustration for article titled Nothing Makes A Statement Like A Nude Upside-Down Man In A Party Hat

We find that in his flashforward, Lloyd wrote a mysterious formula on Mark's bedroom mirror with Olivia's lipstick (Why not a pen and paper? That wouldn't be unnecessarily dramatic). This formula was related to his and Simon's research on the flashforwards. Lloyd also reveals to Mark that D. Gibbons' real name is Dyson Frost. He also encourages Mark to speak with his daughter, Charlie, about what she knows about D. Gibbons.


- Mark's gun has disappeared from the FBI evidence locker. Dun-dun-dun! My theory? Demetri purloined the gun himself so he knew its exact location. But then again, why would he need to put on a big show for Zoey at the locker?

- Demetri, Vogel, Janos, and Simon are trucking off to Somalia to investigate the crows and towers. I like how the FBI is run like a YMCA - Simon just strolls into that meeting and scores himself a trip to the Horn of Africa like it ain't no thing.


Also, I love how Aaron made sure to secure Mark's party hat upside-down. Sure his daughter's been kidnapped and he's on the lam from murderous black-ops agents, but he made sure to affix that damn party hat right. That's commitment.

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Annalee Newitz

Best. Headline. Evar.