The episode begins in a lovely downtown Los Angeles park. As Bjork's cover of "It's Oh So Quiet" begins, we see everyone slump into their flashforward, which makes this, what, the second episode where we get the recreation of the cataclysmic event? From the depths of the couch, Mr. Sobell grumpily asks if this will happen every week. I hope so -- I look forward to the episode where the apocalyptic death cult has a flashforward, then comes to just in time to realize their Dear Leader is wrong about everyone being bodily beamed into Heaven-traveling spaceships on Christmas Eve.
Anyway, the point to witnessing this facet of the blackout is so we can watch a city bus roll into the water with its unconscious cargo, then watch the bus fill with water as its passengers sit unawares. The juxtaposition of the song lyrics ("you cross your heart and hope to die/until it's over") with the bus sinking into the lake and the bodies floating around is pretty striking. One passenger comes to while his head is still just above water; he takes out his Bjork-blasting earbuds and calmly looks around. Another passenger comes up; she's sputtering in a foreign language, and the man swims over to reassure her, "You're going to be fine, okay? What we're going to do is on one, two, three, you're going to take a big breath with me, okay? One, two, three." The two suck in a great lungful of air, then duck under again. The man kicks out a bus window -- it takes long enough to make me really nervous as a viewer, so well done there with the pacing, director -- then escorts the woman out to safety. He then swims toward the light and the surface.
Zip! The man's finishing his story in the hospital, saying brightly that he wishes he could have saved more people. All he could do was a bit of freestyle (AKA "Australian crawl") back to the shore, then walked home. That was two weeks ago, but he's in the hospital today, telling his story to Bryce and Olivia, because "I didn't need a doctor until now." Further discussion reveals that this amiable chap is named Edward Ned -- please call him Ned Ned -- and he doesn't know how he stayed so calm. Also, he's flying on morphine at the moment.
Bryce asks why Ned Ned didn't come in sooner, and he's like, "It didn't hurt so badly before. I thought I had just bruised my spleen." Bryce then asks about Ned Ned's flashforward. "Not where I was going with this," Olivia says tartly, as she's hung up on the abdominal pain and low white cell count, but Ned Ned spins a compelling tale and we must divert our attention from lessening leukocytes to take heed: