I complain (a lot) when things are bad on a television show; I speak up and shout and point fingers… loudly. Consequently, when a show I've watched but found grossly disappointing does something right I feel myself obligated to speak up and say as much.
For a long time – months – FlashForward has been moving towards March 15 (within its world, not ours). That is the date, Demetri Noh learned, on which he would be shot, killed with his partner's gun. While not the season's climax, it has certainly been promoted as one of the big moments in the season. It's a moment that the show gave us this week, and while it wasn't a perfect episode, it was a great moment and one of the better things the show has done all season (and I'm not even going to say something about how that wouldn't be hard).
The episode, I think, had a few missteps, the biggest of which (this would be a SPOILER — in fact, much of the rest of the piece is) was the elimination of Dyson Frost. FlashForward has put forward, over the course of the season, a bunch of potential bad guys – people who may have caused the flash. They then have go on to kill them right after we were allowed to get to know them. It's the sort of introduction and subsequent dismissal that makes me feel as though the producers are still trying to figure out whodunit and haven't quite settled on it yet. Frost was a great bad guy, the most charismatic one we've seen and to lose him is upsetting (if he's actually dead).
Yes, we've gotten the introduction of another couple of baddies, but as of this moment, they seem kind of weak and I particularly don't like Alda as one of them. She seems like a hired hand, but the idea that Demetri and Mark were following this woman who was involved with the flash just prior to the flash (even though they had no idea that the flash was coming) seems a little overly lucky.
Wait, I said that I was going to talk about the good, didn't I? Let's forget about the baddie issue for now – the producers may actually have worked it all out and may be able to make the villains we're left with compelling.
The good was the actual moment when Mark found Demetri and the reasons for Demetri being tied up. Frost, having had a whole bunch of visions about the future was doing everything he could to make sure that he didn't end up dead. Frost didn't want Demetri dead, but certainly preferred for Demetri to die than for him to lose his own life. That was a great reason for Frost to put Demetri in a near death situation.
We don't quite understand why Frost had to proceed exactly as he did and it seemed like there were a bunch of other choices, but that's something the producers were able to get away with. They explained that Frost had seen a bunch of futures and while we can guess about other ways Frost could have gone, Frost already saw down those future paths and had reasons for choosing the method he did. He knew it didn't have a massive chance of success, but it was the best option of which he was aware.
So, FlashForward did a great job of setting up Demetri's predicament with the gun set to go off, and of Mark's quick-thinking to save his partner's life. It was actually a really fun to watch moment in the series, one of the few times they've managed to have a crazy thought process and bit of action that mostly made sense; it put one of the best character's on the show in a life or death situation and extracted him from it sensibly. Plus, it had the great backdrop of the garden of forking paths. That picture Frost had drawn was tantalizing and something which I'm sure truly devoted people will have freeze-framed and closely examined. There was a little bit of something for everyone in the moment and they managed to keep Demetri alive – which is, I think, something we all wanted.
Does this all mean that the show is now heading down the right forking path? I hope so, I'm not guaranteeing anything, but I hope so.