FlashForward Ep. 1.22: How Soon Is Now?

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With a season’s worth of mysteries to clear up, ABC’s FlashForward reached its conclusion last night with answers, contradictions and the most unsatisfying series finale imaginable.

Even if the series had been renewed fro the second season its makers were clearly hoping for – Why else include a second flashforward at the very end of the season, or introduce new characters with twelve minutes to go before the end of the episode? – last night’s finale was a mess of characters behaving in unbelievable ways, massive jumps in logic and some of the worst acting on network television… in other words, all the reasons viewers abandoned the show in the first place. Let’s think about some of the worst offenders:

“The Next Blackout Is Going To Be At 10:14PM.” And how did alcoholic FBI agent Mark Benford work that out? By writing down the letters randomly marked on his noticeboard by pushpins. Which just so happened to spell out T.E.N.F.O.U.R.T.E.E.N. Yes, really.

Lloyd Simcoe’s Classic Pick-Up Lines. Quite why I’ve never thought to try the “You may not find me attractive now, but you have to come with me so I can work out this scientific equation” angle before, I have no idea, but apparently it works. Not as well as the “My psychic vision told me to rescue you from drowning!” line that newguyIdon’tcareaboutyourname used on Nicole, but still.

Deus Ex Desperation. Why did the kid write the equation on the mirror? Why did the FBI boss bail Mark out? Why did Simon text that equation in particular to Lloyd? Because the writers wanted it all to happen. You’d think that a series about predestination would be able to disguise its “Oh, come on,” moments, but this last episode was filled with them.

All The Blackouts Happened But Didn’t. Sure, some of the flashforwards semi-sorta happened – characters were in the right place, but doing something else, for the most part – but none of them actually came true… which kind of breaks the concept of doing it a second time. “We’ve had another flashforward – Now we have a whole new set of things that… won’t happen!” Seriously, if there’s one thing that the series definitely proved, it’s that the flashforwards are not set in stone… so why should anyone really freak out about it happening a second time?

It’s hard to imagine that the FlashForward producers wouldn’t have been able to guess that the show wasn’t going to get renewed – Not because of having seen their own future, just their own ratings – and have come up with a season finale that would’ve been more satisfying as a series finale, instead of a cliffhanger that still, somehow, managed to be uninvolving. They seemed to have fallen into the same trap as their characters, and paid too much attention to a possible future, instead of paying attention to what was actually happening in the present.

More On Techland:

“FlashForward” Star Joseph Fiennes on NBC’s “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon”

“Flash Forward: Season One, Pt. One” out on DVD