Tuesday, June 1, 2010

What I’m Watching: Flash Forward (Series Finale)

Flash Forward: Season 1, Episode 22 “Future Shock” (C)

It’s difficult to evaluate the final episode of this show since it was so clearly intended to be a season finale designed to provoke new questions and establish a new pull for another season. Unlike the last ever episode of “Pushing Daisies,” however, nothing was done to try and wrap up any of the show’s story arcs at the last minute after the show was officially cancelled. Perhaps it’s a way of leaving the story open and refusing to seal off its universe forever, but it’s still a flawed ending. In many ways, the resolution is cheating, since some things don’t quite happen as they had appeared in the flash forwards – like Nicole being strangled and Gedeck sitting on the toilet without his gun drawn – without any sort of explanation. It made me think of a great episode of “The X-Files” called “Monday” where the same day occurs over and over again, but instead of adhering to the same chain of events, something minor happens slightly differently every time the day starts over. It’s a cool idea, but nothing about this season suggests that it makes any sense. Why did Demetri not see anything in his flash forward and why did Gough see himself as alive while Olivia still ended up in bed with Lloyd? The logic is clumsy at best, and Mark’s discovery that another blackout was going to happen in fourteen minutes sure didn’t help matters much. Seeing a glimpse of Charlie’s flash forward raises an infinite number of questions that will never be answered. I think it would have been much better to just see everyone fall down again and then cut to black. Certain elements proved expectedly completely irrelevant – I’m looking at you, Bryce and Keiko – and nothing really tied this episode together, except the conclusion that you can’t prevent the future. Except you can. But not really. This show doesn’t have any idea what it’s talking about in the slightest sense, and having Lloyd explain math problems isn’t going to cut it. An awesome pilot and a small handful of good episodes does not a lasting show make. Farewell, “Flash Forward.” It’s been a bumpy and less than satisfactory ride.

Series grade: C+
Series MVP: James Callis as Gabriel
Best episode: “No More Good Days” (Pilot)

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