Saturday, December 5, 2009

FlashForward Goes on Hiatus

Well, I guess I'm going to complain about FlashForward some more. Why do I watch a show about which I do nothing but complain? Well, I couldn't tell you. I don't hate it completely - if that helps?

Because I feel somewhat silly constantly harping on the show, I'll start with what I liked about the latest episode. Dominic Monaghan's Simon Campos continues to be a compelling character, and this week we got to see the two most dynamic actors in the series interact - Monaghan and Courtney B. Vance. Vance's Wedeck doesn't buy Simon's sudden altruism after confessing that he and his partners may have caused the worldwide blackouts. And Simon gets that, but he also appears interested in solving this mystery which he hopes will at least save his reputation. He appeared completely flummoxed upon realizing that his genius idea - "I'll get a Nobel for it in a couple of years" - was actually built a year before he thought of it. I much prefer to see Simon working with Wedeck than verbally sparring with the wet blanket that is Lloyd Simcoe.

And now, the complaints. Lloyd Simcoe forces Simon and their other partner to have a televised news conference to confess that they caused the blackouts. Simcoe was fumbling, and made the situation much worse. He was shocked to find that someone then wanted to shoot them. And that everyone looked at him suspiciously afterward. His world-wide notoriety took him by surprise. And he's a genius? He was kidnapped at the end. Perhaps they'll lose him.

But the most annoying part of the episode was Mark Benford. He and Demetri decided to go against Wedeck's orders and travel to Hong Kong to find the woman who had told Demetri he would be murdered in the future. Somehow, they were allowed to carry their guns on them, even though they weren't really on official business. And they did find the woman, played by the go-to actress when an older exotic woman is needed: Shohreh Aghdashloo. First, Mark had to threaten an Iranian restaurant owner with torture if he didn't give him the name of the woman. Then, after he finds the woman, he grabs her in front of her guards, threatening to shoot her if she doesn't tell Mark and Demetri more. It turns out, she also knows that not only is Demetri murdered by someone he knows, but that the killer is Mark himself. But that's all they get out of her. Wedeck makes Mark give his gun and badge to Demetri - he's now out of the FBI.

The episode made me realize, there's little about Mark that I like. I more or less like the other characters, but I find nothing attractive about the main character. His one redeeming characteristic is his obvious love for his daughter, who's been MIA since the Halloween episode. Otherwise, he acts before he thinks, and his impulsivity seems out of character for a seasoned FBI agent. The fact that the blackouts and flash forwards are such extraordinary circumstances doesn't seem to me to be reason enough to act so rashly. As you know, I don't like self-righteous characters, and Benford is definitely one of them.

There are no new episodes until March. Sadly, I won't miss it. I'll watch when it returns, and find out what actually caused the blackouts, but I don't know that it will return to the rotation next year.

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