FlashForward Series Finale – Future Shock (S01E22) – Episode review

Just like rubbernecking at the scene of an horrific car accident, tuning in for the last ever episode of [[FlashForward (TV Series)|FlashForward]] was a must. This finale episode would be the one that would either leave us in awe, or having us sending thank you bouquets to whoever at ABC cancelled the show.

So, to whom should I address my flowers?

The uber-serious cast of FlashForward acted their way through some scenes that were unintentionally hilarious. I’ve always argued that this show needed some kind of gallows humour to counteract Benford & Co’s constant state of red alert and tension.

Story threads wrapped up with incredible laziness and utter banality. Aaron Stark and that entire waste-of-time Afghanistan plot ended with a pantomime-style “My daughter’s dead…waaaaahhhhh!” while the field doctor replied “Oh no she isn’t!” And that was it.

In other news, a horny-as-hell Olivia Benford simply decides she’s had enough of playing impossible to get with Lloyd Simcoe and simply rolls over, breathing “Take me, Lloyd” on her’s and Mark’s double bed. I estimated they had about 10 minutes for a quickie before one of their kids walked in and received the traumatising of their life. As it turned out, Simcoe was only up for a little light snogging (and possibly over-the-top groping) before he returned to his equations. Wuss.

Seriously, was I the only one who wanted to see the divine Sonja Walger in a love scene?

In another bit of ludicrous plotting, Vogel reveals to Benford that in his own flashforward he was saying “Mark Benford is dead…” and later on, those very words pop out of his mouth followed by “he ran into the building, doesn’t have a chance”. What’s shocking is that Vogel delivers the line with a straight face – no recognition of that being a flashforward coming true, or the horror that what he’d ultimately told Benford might lead to the man risking his life. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Stanford Wedeck offers a moment of light relief when at the moment of the FlashForward he’s where he said he would be – sitting in a toilet cubicle. But this time, he’s waiting to shoot one of the gunmen who’ve infiltrated the building. Quite a clever moment, considering Wedeck’s story started off with him on a toilet seat.

However, outside the gentlemen’s room, Mark Benford is a one-man crusade against the masked killers. I’ve never seen a more trigger-happy bunch of morons in my entire life. They pepper the walls with bullets and blow out the windows. But it all feels a bit aimless. Presuming their intention is to destroy Benford’s evidence board, surely setting fire to it would have been more effective than shooting at it? And the building was rigged with explosives anyway, so what’s the point in going all the way up there in the first place? I don’t get it. Someone please explain.

Location spotting: You know the police station that Bryce Varley went into to ask after Keiko? Wasn’t that the exact same place Arthur Petrelli used as a base in Heroes? After a bit of research, it was called Pinehearst.

And on to lovestruck Bryce. Not happy with pulling the sexiest babysitter-slash-hospital volunteer in the world, he ditches her as he goes on the search for Keiko. All because he wore his brown jacket that day. I’m serious. Keiko’s en route to Japan again, until her mother causes a disturbance so she can escape and find Varley. Awesome.

Anyway, the banalities keep stacking up. Benford uses the seemingly random placement of pins in his board to pick letters out. Using his fearsome intellect, he distills from this that the next FlashForward will be in…checks watch…15 minutes. Demetri and the Hobbit with the sticky-out ears seem to have kicked the whole thing off this time. But too late to worry about that…the FlashForward’s happening!

By the time we receive the next cryptic sequence of Flashes, it’s too late. Our heads are reminding us that there won’t be another series, so it’s impossible to get invested in what we see. Then a sobering dose of logic kicks in: if they’d given it another series of this crap, we’d have all stopped watching anyway. ABC did the right thing. David Kinckley on NYDailyNews calls it the worst series finale in the history of TV.

It’s a sad fact, but FlashForward had all the promise and potential of being a great show, but tied itself in knots, created pointless sub-plots instead of working with a smaller, tighter cast. I’m looking at you Aaron Stark, you drunk. I’ve come away underwhelmed and frustrated – I watch and read a lot of time-travel related fiction, but I’ve honestly never seen it done with as little flair as the writers and producers managed here. They tried to go all Lost on us and it flopped, where I’ve have preferred a tighter, shorter-run series that managed to tackle the subject matter head on instead of looking for a way to stretch itself into the next big series.

Oh, and major budget disappointment with that second FlashForward – in the pilot we get planes crashing into buildings and dead, floating surfers – this time we get military and medical personnel flopped against the walls of wherever they were stationed. People just innocently slumbering on the ground. No freeway pile-ups, no disasters of any kind, anywhere in the world.

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