FlashForward

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Don't Be Stupid, Be a Smarty …
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

The episode begins with Demetri having his conversation with Agent Shoreh Aghdashloo, per the show conventions of endlessly repeating all that has gone before. We re-establish that he's going to be murdered on March 15, 2010, and learn that Demetri will die courtesy of three shots to the chest. Agent Aghdashloo says, "My hope is by telling you what I know, you will be able to prevent your murder from happening." You and me both, lady. She hangs up, and Demetri's left to flip out alone in a parking garage.

We then cut to an aged man with a cane taking his morning constitutional next to a barbed-wire fence. He makes small talk with the guard who's pacing him on the other side, and we learn that Herr Geyer's flashforward consisted of "something that will release me from this hateful place." As the camera zooms back, the soundtrack music sounds uncomfortably like the background music on Prison Break -- it's okay if you don't recognize it -- and we get a caption telling us that Herr Geyer's incarcerated at Quale prison in Munich, Germany.

Several thousand miles to the west, Charlie is watching some dreadful morning cartoon that stars a pop-eyed girl and Squirrelio, and she's eating breakfast. Mark is watching her anxiously, but that's pretty much his default state these days. In the background, Olivia is still trying to raise the babysitter Nicole, who's surely off in the desert eating honey and locusts as she continues her God-sent-the-flashforwards-to-punish-me-for-bonking-on-my-boss's-couch trip. Anyway, Mark volunteers to pick up Charlie after school and take her to work. "We're sifting through blackout intel from Interpol and such. I'll welcome the distraction." Why make Charlie a distraction? Put her to work, I say. Children love pattern-matching games.

Aaron comes over right at that moment, and Mark lies about why Aaron's there -- why bother getting into the habit of telling Olivia the truth? -- and drags Aaron into his home office. Aaron points out, "If you want to prevent the future and save your marriage, the first step isn't keeping secrets from your wife." Alas, as is so often the case on TV, Aaron's words of sanity are completely overlooked. It turns out Aaron's here because Mark feels like talking about Charlie's flashforward -- again, a conversation he should perhaps be having with his good lady wife -- and then Mark flashes to his flashforward again (drink!). Aaron cuts through the bullshit with "You think whoever you're investigating will come after Charlie?" Well, sort of. Mark worries, "What if this whole investigation circles back on me?" Aaron says, "Father to father? I'll tell you what I'd do. If someone's out to hurt your family, the best thing to do is to catch them before they can. The world's changed. Maybe the rules need to change a little too. If it were up to me, I'd do whatever I had to do." Mark embraces this advice, since he so clearly doesn't need to talk to anyone at work who's ever dealt with the messy interstices between personal and professional obligations.

Meanwhile, it appears that it does Seattle Tacoma International Airport no good to be right down the road from Boeing, as its runways are littered with lots of planes that won't ever be repaired. (Somewhere, there's a retired Boeing exec getting an earful from the board about the folly of all those layoffs.) Aaaand we zoom to the empty first-class section of an airplane, where the lovely Zoey is texting Demetri about her pending plane ride. She has a brief conversation with one other passenger in business class, and that's how we learn that surprisingly, people are wary of getting on planes after a widespread airplane-go-crash phenomenon, so all the airline executives are flying around all day to convince people it's safe. Well, I suppose it beats testifying before Congress as to why none of their planes had working autopilots.

Back in the Los Angeles FBI office, Demetri is looking good for someone who left the office only a few hours before. He strolls on over to Al Gough (we met him in the pilot) and asks him to back-trace the call he got earlier that morning, the better to find the cell sites the call was routed through. Al asks what priority this has, and Demetri tersely answers, "Nuclear."

Mark wanders into his office, where his colleagues are pining for "the good old days when law enforcement agents didn't share their intel with each other." Fun fact learned during this scene: the Kingdom of Tonga has an intelligence agency, and it blames phytoplankton blooms for the flashforwards. Janis is unimpressed: "I'll see your 'boring' and raise you an 'insane.' The flashforwards were caused by a toxic gas that was released from deep within the earth as a result of crustal rifting." That is the most hauntingly suggestive geological sentence I have ever heard. Then Agent Not Introduced Formally Yet sets this week's plot into motion with a briefing from Germany: "There's a former Nazi --"

And we interrupt your recap-in-progress so I can complain. Why does it have to be the Nazis? The Third Reich committed terrible crimes, but don't fool yourself into thinking they're the world's final word in genocidal regimes. Plenty of countries have committed brutal mass, ethnically-motivated murders -- in our lifetimes even! There's Pol Pot's Cambodia, the Guatemalan civil war, Burundi (1962 and 1993), the Iraqi Kurds, East Timor, Rwanda, the Bosnians in Srebrenica ... I could go on. You're telling me that in all that list, there's not a single person who could be a stand-in for "unrepentant evildoer?"

ANYWAY. "There's a former Nazi -- a Rudolf Geyer -- who's claiming to know why the blackouts lasted exactly 137 sekunden. Sekunden -- that's German for seconds." Mark flashes back to his flashforward again (drink!) and that's how we get a picture of Geyer. Sure enough, the aged Nazi stars as a poster boy in Mark's wall collage. Mark wants to follow up, and Janis drawls, "Based on what -- your Spidey sense?" Would that were the case -- it would give FBI Boss Dude Courtney B. Vance the push into J. Jonah Jameson territory we all deserve to see. But, no. Instead, Geyer's report mentions Mark by name. Even Janis looks impressed by this.

Hooray! It's FBI Boss Dude Courtney B. Vance! We see a shot of his desk -- a photo of him and his lovely wife (as played by Gina Torres) -- and then a shot of the great man himself as he asks, "Let me see if I got this right. We got agents working 24/7 to identify the two guys who were awake during the blackout. This week alone, I've got to figure out how to eulogize eight dead agents. And you want to fly to Germany to talk to a Nazi?" Mark abashedly replies, "Well, a former Nazi." FBI Boss Dude Courtney B. Vance immediately snaps, "Well, that just makes me feel so much better." (HA. I love him.) Mark pleads that Geyer requested him specifically -- not that he's had social dealings with Nazis in the past, he emphasizes -- and he won't explain why the blackout lasted 137 seconds unless Mark's there in person. This is going to go really well. If it's one thing the Nazis were known for, it's their code of absolute honesty, right? FBI Boss Dude Courtney B. Vance gives Mark some static over how there seems to be a lack of progress on the Suspect Zero and D. Gibbons front, but we all know that Mark's going to be in lovely Munich before the next commercial break.

We cut to LAX, where Demetri is waiting for Zoey. He's in his suit (sans tie) and holding a giant bouquet, 'cause he's just that kind of classy guy. Zoey comes cantering toward him, and we get a very sweet reunion. Well, sweet right up to the moment that Zoey asks, "Can I tell you now? What I saw in my flashforward?" Demetri stalls and Zoey says, "It's not like we didn't see the same thing." Demetri doubts that, but rather than bring down what had started off as a very promising reunion, he simply points out that a) he is available for the afternoon, and b) he has thoughtfully booked a hotel suite nearby. Zoey doesn't need to be asked twice.

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FlashForward

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