FlashForward

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When Take Your Fiancee to Work Day Goes Off the Rails
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

So here's what we learn in the first few minutes of the episode: Fifteen years back, Aaron did a stretch in the pokey, he was on the verge of making parole, one of the guards made lascivious comments about then-adolescent Tracy, Aaron then proved that, like Chuck Norris, he could subdue heavily-armed men with only his righteous fury and his bare fists. The episode doesn't show this, but I'm guessing Aaron's chances at parole were severely diminished after that episode.

We then transition to "Lathan's" in present Los Angeles. It's a bar, and Aaron's found Tracy drinking there. He finally pries her off the barstool with "Let me ask you one question before you shut me out again. If you're so scared these Jericho guys are after you, and I found you by walking into the closest bar ... do you really think this is a smart move here?" Even drunk, Tracy can see the logic in what Aaron's saying.

Across town, Zoey is getting the details on Demetri's pending murder. She is none too happy to learn that Mark is a prime suspect in said murder-to-be, and Demetri pleads with her not to get "all lawyer-y on me," pointing out that Mark risked both his career and his life to try and find out the details of Demetri's murder-to-be, because Benford's just that swell. Zoey, however, is still hung up on her flashforward -- hell hath no fury like a bride who has to repurpose her dress for a Korean funeral -- and Demetri tells her to chillax, as he's filed the paperwork to have the gun destroyed and it is presumably tucked away in an FBI evidence locker awaiting its fate. This is not reassuring Zoey like it should.

And now, Plotlines That Can Be Distilled Into One Paragraph: Did you all know that Janis was pregnant in her flashforward? She was! And according to the timing, she has to get pregnant NEXT WEEK to make that flashforward come true. Janis has a discussion at the fertility clinic that basically comes down to her saying, "Baby! BABY! BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAABBBBY!" and then she has a discussion with Demetri that basically comes down to her saying, "Baby! BABY! BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAABBBBY!" and then the FBI blows a hole in Project Baby BABY BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAABBBBY by sending her off to Somalia to investigate the phenomena that may be linked to prior blackout experiments. So help me, if the next episode has Janis knocking back a few to bolster her resolve, then propositioning one of her male colleagues so she can keep to her conception timetable, I am going to break up with this show.

We then head out to stately Benford Manor, early morning. Zoey's come to pay Mark a social call, if by "social call," you mean "attempting to get him to confess to ways in which he might kill Demetri." Mark, however, has been filleted by the best Congressional examiners, so he easily deflects Zoey with "Look, no matter how crazy things get, I'd never hurt Demetri." Zoey asks, "But what if Demetri's got a gun to your head, he's about to pull the trigger -- to save your own life, do you shoot him?" And what if Mark has a mako shark gnawing on his leg and the only known mako shark repellent is Korean brain matter? Or how about if Mark is kidnapped by evil gnomes, brainwashed into sympathizing with them, then forced to fight when Demetri kicks over the gnomes' mushroom headquarters to free his friend? Or what if Demetri discovers that what he thought was sushi is really the egg casing for a parasitic alien host that will eat its way out of his stomach, then enslave the human race? We can make up hypotheticals all day. Mark shuts down the speculation with, "I know you love Demetri, but I think you may want to reel it in there, Zoey." Undeterred, Zoey moves on to blaming Mark: "The question becomes, what could you possibly do that Demetri wanted you dead? Do you have some deep, dark secret worth killing over? What am I missing here, Mark?" He tartly suggests, "Here's a theory: Someone at the Bureau's been leaking a lot of information, putting us in danger. Now, I don't think Demetri's the guy, but if he was --" Zoey makes a dismissive noise and Mark twists the knife by giving her the Full Bambi look and saying, "I thought we were playing Outrageous Accusations." And I thought we were playing, "Two people who knew Al Gough also know he killed himself, therefore proving that the flashforwards show only a possible future, not the only future, and that free will can still alter any projected outcome." I mean, COME ON. Al's death affected the flashforwards of at least four people (himself, Agent Fiona Banks, the lawyer to whom he was talking, and the kid of the woman he killed), therefore nullifying their flashforwarded futures. Ergo, these visions are not reliable future indicators. Why are any of these people still taking the "OH MY GOD, IF A SPARROW FLAPS ITS WINGS, IT SIGNALS A DESTINY FORETOLD" approach to any of this? Anyway, Zoey invites Mark to go to hell, then takes off. As delightful as seeing Mark on the receiving end of that was, it's weirdly unsatisfying because I'm sympathetic to him. Damn you, Zoey.

We flash back to two years ago, and the quietly devastating scene where Aaron learns of Tracy's death from the two Marines assigned to that terrible honor. Man, I dislike the Aaron-and-Tracy plotline with the white-hot fire of a thousand burning suns, but I have to give mad, mad plaudits to Bryan F. O'Byrne for the layered fury, grief and loneliness he depicts in this scene.

In the present: Aaron's making Tracy grilled peanut butter and banana sandwiches for breakfast, which makes him one of the most awesome dads ever, because yum. He tells her, "Best thing in the world for a hangover." (I will respectfully disagree: Chinese food is awesome on those gruesome mornings -- or afternoons -- after.) Tracy says, "I always thought you made it because I liked it," and Aaron says, "Two birds, one stone." Okay: heh. The point to this scene is not to remind us of the long and fraught father/daughter relationship, but to introduce the name James Erskine. He's a resident of the greater Los Angeles area and the head of Jericho. My, how geographically convenient to this plot! We also find out that Tracy's friend Khamir is indirectly responsible for her being in Los Angeles: per their flashforwards, he conceived of the idea that it was Tracy's destiny to bring Aaron to Afghanistan, so off she went on a humanitarian-aid plane back to the States to set the wheels of destiny in motion. (Because, apparently, the only person who ever looked at a flashforward and said, "This is bullshit. I'm not doing this" ... was Al Gough.)

Mark then decides to make his day a little more frustrating by bringing Lloyd into the office and interrogating him on the phone call the two of them will presumably share on April 29. Mark has a sketch of the man they call D. Gibbons -- uncannily accurate, as these things go -- but Lloyd claims not to know D. Gibbons. Mark is not buying this: After all, D. Gibbons will be name-checked as a liar in their upcoming phone call. Mark says, "I don't have time to play pissy Brit with you" -- especially since he's really playing Petulant American instead -- and takes Lloyd back to his place under the theory that seeing the Benford marital bower will prod Lloyd's recall.

In another part of the office, Zoey has just swung by. She greets Demetri sweetly and hands over lunch. Wedeck looks frankly skeptical of this move, but goes to mooch some free food. (I love him.) Zoey says, "Don't worry, Stan, I brought you something even more delicious." It's a Freedom of Information request on everything related to the Mosaic project. Nummers! Demetri is really taken aback by this; Wedeck just looks nostalgic for the days of a presidential administration that regarded "human rights" as a collection of funny syllables and considered the answer to a problem like Zoey to be "rendition." Demetri is appalled. He and Zoey promptly launch into one of those clenched-teeth-and-calm-voice arguments couples try to have when they want to fight in public without causing a scene

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FlashForward

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