Sunday, October 4, 2009

Round Two: Flash Forward

Flash Forward: Season 1, Episode 2 “White to Play” (B+)

It’s nearly impossible for the second episode of this hot new series to live up to the spectacular opener from last week. Fortunately, while it’s not quite as stunning or incredible, it’s still a strong continuation of the story and a signal that the show should have a positive future ahead of it. After airing a fantastic pilot, “The Nine” quickly went downhill because it focused on the less interesting post-holdup story rather than the actual bank robbery itself. The same kind of risk exists here, where the show could falter if it spends too much time on whatever viewers find less compelling, whether it’s the flash forwards or the current investigation leading up to it. The show seems to have settled more on the latter, which is probably a good idea because it leaves more to be discovered later while still delighting in finding little clues and Easter eggs along the way. Demetri’s concern about not having seen anything in his flash forward continues to be the engaging storyline, and the surprise appearance by the fantastic Shohreh Aghdashloo confirming that he’ll soon be dead. The comic relief provided by the otherwise very serious Courtney B. Vance is a nice occasional break from the appropriately tense drama. It’s clear that the focus of the series will be on troubled couple Mark and Olivia, and the very eerie relevance of their daughter and her visions is quite intriguing. I hope we’ll see more of Michael Massee, who played villain Ira Gaines in the first season of “24,” as the mastermind of the plot who orchestrated that incredible exit from all of the agents surrounding his warehouse. This plot will be sure to unfold slowly, though I’m fairly certain that it will be an exciting ride. Do you agree?

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