Well, I love how subtle the episode is. We start with Nhadra Udaya (Shoreh Aghdashloo) watching a A Christmas Carol and studying her own flashforward-type mural. Oh my gosh, if people don't repent of their current actions, they'll have a lousy future!
Mark and Demetri head to Hong Kong, which pisses Weddick off to no end. Then he notices a press conference on television, and his mood goes even further south because…
Lloyd and Simon hold a press conference and Lloyd basically takes credit for creating the flashforward with a fancypants physics experiment, whilst Simon glowers in the background. When Lloyd is asked point-blank, "Are you taking responsibility for all the death and damage caused by the blackout?" Simon practically tackles him at the podium to keep him from saying, "Um, yes." But Lloyd does manage to assure people that blackouts won't happen again, a vow which I imagine will be endlessly amusing to Ricky Jay and his cadre of tattooed thugs.
After Wedeck sees the press conference, he sends Janis out to fetch Simon and Lloyd. She does not immediately get to Lloyd -- he's more concerned for Dylan's safety and just wants them to be left alone. Since Lloyd is now Public Enemy Number One, his quest to get Dylan into a secure facility is not taking off -- not until Olivia takes pity, steps in, and gets Dylan transferred to a private hospital. The two of them have a conversation where Lloyd briefly talks about the theory that there are many worlds, courtesy of the decisions we do or don't make, and in another world, he and Olivia knew each other from Harvard. It's all very warm and fuzzy until the end of the episode when Lloyd's kidnapped in front of Dylan and Olivia.
Simon comes in on his own. He and Wedeck commiserate on their pain-in-the-ass emotional colleagues, and Simon asks for full access to the Mosaic investigation. Wedeck wants him to jump through a few hoops first, so Simon comes in the next day, checks out the Somalia satellite pictures and chatters on about the mystery plinth: He designed the plasma afterburner back in 1992 as a way to more efficiently broadcast radio signals, and he can't wait to see it being built. Janis and Wedeck are all, "Funny, because this one was up and running in 1991." For the first time in his life, Simon can only reply, "Guh?" And he's so pissed about his plasma afterburner being lifted by someone else -- Wedeck's all "D. Gibbons, mayhap?" – that he agrees to help the FBI. I am unreasonably excited about the snark factor when Simon and Wedeck team up.
Mark and Demetri, meanwhile, do little to advance Asian/American relations, as Mark threatens potential leads with things like "I will send you to Gitmo!" and "I will sic my big brother Voldemort on you!" They eventually find Nhadra Udaya in a dim sum restaurant. She is hesitant to tell them anything because "the act of telling you may bring about the incident we are all trying to avoid," and says she only warned Demetri because his death is but the first in a series of unfortunate events. But Mark and Demetri give her the Bambi eyes and Nhadra says that Mark will be the one to kill Demetri; she even names the gun model that Mark's carrying and rattles off its serial number. Spooky! "It will be your gun, Agent Benford, and you will pull the trigger. And then again. And then again," Nhadra intones.
This so pisses Mark off that he takes Nhadra hostage, and poor Demetri covers him as they attempt to escape the restaurant, no doubt thinking all the while, "You're going to kill me? With the stupid crap you're pulling, you're practically inviting me to kill you." But the CIA's man in Taiwan arrives and manages to get them out of the situation. But at a high cost -- Wedeck gets hold of the security tape from the dim sum restaurant, courtesy of the U.S. ambassador to China, and he's so pissed off, he orders Mark to surrender his gun and his badge.
We also find out that Nhadra is pals with the man we all know as D. Gibbons; when she warns him that the FBI's on his tail and "I can't protect you," he's all, "Well, I guess I'll find someone who can."
Also, Zoey finds out what her flashforward really means. Clearly, she's never watched 30 Rock, as anyone who has knows that in Korea, white is the color of mourning, and on April 29, 2010, Zoey will not be walking down the beach to wed her fiancé, but to bury him with his family.
As always, the episode begins with a reminder that "On October 6, the planet blacked out for two minutes and seventeen seconds. The whole world saw the future." And "On October 1, October 8, October 15, October 22, October 29, November 5, November 12 and November 19, the Flashforward episode began with a reminder that the planet blacked out, because someone somewhere thinks the people watching this show are so dumb, they can not possibly be expected to remember the premise of a show, nor that the show's title reiterates the premise."
"I'm here to warn you tonight that there is yet a chance and a hope of you escaping from my fate ..." Yep -- it's Jacob Marley talking to Ebenezer Scrooge in what qualifies as the Victorian-era Flashforward, A Christmas Carol. Nhadra Udaya (AKA Shoreh Aghdashloo) is sitting in her office and watching the movie, and the camera pans over from her sitting at her desk to the mural she's constructing on her office wall. It rivals Mark's in scale and accuracy, and as she sits, listening to the warnings to expect three visitors ("without them, you cannot hope to shun the path I tread"), the camera pans over the Hong Kong skyline and transitions to Mark and Demetri's landing in the airport the next day.
The guys are hanging out in the airport, the better for Demetri to express doubts about this overseas jaunt, and Mark assures him that "Linguistics pegged your caller as Iranian, specifically from Tehran, London-educated. How many Western, Persian-speaking women with that accent could there be in Hong Kong?" Well, when you put it like that, it sounds easy-peasy. Mark's mobile has been ringing throughout the conversation, and a suit-wearing man behind him says, "You really should answer your cell. It's your boss calling." The man introduces himself as "Marshall Vogel, FBI Legats Office, Hong Kong. Did you really think you were just going to stroll into town without Immigration flagging your arrival?" Mark declines to answer that and starts to make introductions, but Marshall jumps in there too, and rattles off many nitpicky details about Demetri. You just know he spent time memorizing all that and practicing his delivery in front of a mirror; he's that kind of strategy-loving federal toady. Marshall concludes, "I know all about that mystery woman and I know why you're looking for her. But this is a sovereign territory of communist China, a country that ours believes was responsible for the blackout." Demetri's like, "So you're helping, right?" and Marshall basically offers to help them back onto a plane bound for LAX.