Saturday, November 14, 2009

What I’m Watching: Flash Forward

Flash Forward: Season 1, Episode 8 “Rules of the Game” (C)

There’s a point at which toying with the world as if it’s meaningless enough to be decided over a card game becomes impossibly irritating. This show reached that point relatively quickly, as the previously relatively unseen Simon comes onto the scene full force to meddle with Lloyd’s livelihood and exert his mysteriously-amassed medical knowledge to conveniently insert himself into situations that shouldn’t really involve him. The fact that Lloyd cheated at the supposedly fateful game seems remarkably out of character for the righteous do-gooder weighed down by a guilty conscience, but it appears it was the only way to stop the evil-oozing Simon. These characters really are defined as black-and-white, and the attempts to make the heroes seem flawed and potentially corruptible (killing to avoid being killed, for instance), don’t really work. Gough’s death as a way of transforming people’s outlook on the future would be better displayed by looking at the populace as a whole rather than just the members of the team. Aaron’s daughter’s presence is even less germane this episode as the one connective tissue to the primary storyline, Mark, is seen as a threat when we know that he’s anything but and can be implicitly trusted over any character on the show. In short, Gough’s monumental act of self-sacrifice last week should have paved the way for a far more coherent and well-grounded follow-up, and this episode is hardly that. Perhaps it’s time for Mark to meet Simon and they can talk about the fate of the world.

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