The episode starts with a flashback to Mark swearing, “Our family will always come first,” and then he leaves it in the present.
The FBI reviews the tape that Dyson Frost left -- he warns that Demetri and his futures are on “a collision course” (he and Demetri share a death date of March 15), then namechecks Mark. How did he know all this? He’s had hundreds of flashforwards. Mark points out that Frost’s tape confirms that the flashforwards are visions of potential futures.
Then, using some serious deduction-fu, Mark figures out that Dyson Frost encoded a phone number in his chess strategy from the late 1980s, and when Mark calls the number, Dyson’s got a recorded message waiting for him. But when Mark flies up to San Francisco to meet Dyson’s former chess partner, he learns that the guy juuuuust took two bullets to the head. After he gets back, Mark and Vogel conclude there’s a mole in the FBI office. Vogel uses this as an excuse to get the CIA to come in and turn the place upside down. He finds a bug in Mark’s keyboard, and the question becomes, “Who has access to Mark’s office?” The answer: Everyone who’s a series regular, plus Agent Seth McFarlane.
The mole is revealed to be alleged series regular (i.e. background scenery) Agent Marcy. There is a shootout, but she is eventually taken down by Janis the badass. Later, Simon coos sweet nothing at Janis, ending in whispery admiration at how she clever she was to direct all the attention to Marcy, because she’s so clearly the second mole. Janis smiles evilly.
Finally, in the plot that is only going to get the one-paragraph treatment in the recap: Keiko wanders around Los Angeles, uses her robotics know-how to get a job at an auto shop which appears to be run by the extras in Stand and Deliver, and gets in trouble with immigration officials because she is taking a job that a gang-banger-friendly American robotics savant could be -- oh, wait. Anyway, she gets in trouble with la migra. She juuuuuuust misses Bryce -- they are like two sushi boats passing in the night. (Also: Bryce kisses Nicole, which freaks her out.)
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Three years before the blackout: Olivia's pelting into a recovery room, where Mark is wincing heroically. It seems he got in the way of a bullet. Olivia frets, "I'm not sure I can handle this any more." Mark's reply: "Livy, I was an FBI agent when you married me." Olivia does not point out, "And you were a single man when you married me. But that changed, and so can this." Instead, she points out that she did not go to all the trouble to bring Charlie into this world only to expose her to the unwelcome childhood experience of daddy dying. "I've got to know that our family comes first. Something's got to change," she says. Mark sighs -- so unreasonable, this woman, with her reminding him of the whole wife-and-kid thing -- and concedes that Wedeck's just offered him a position on a Homeland Security task force. It will probably be safer: "Two guys in a car eating burritos and listening to phone calls in Farsi. I'll be out of the line of fire. My biggest concerns will be boredom and cholesterol." Olivia frets that Mark will hate it. Not if he expands his range to encompass flautas and the occasional quesadilla, he won't. Mmmm, flautas. Mark tells Olivia that yes, he probably will hate the new desk/car job, but he would hate losing her and Charlie more.
And in the present day, because Mark's family comes first, he is leaving them. He's staying at the Wedecks' place. I desperately want to see what kind of home life the Wedecks have. Oh, please, let's get a glimpse of the domestic routine soon! ANYWAY, Olivia gives Mark the reproachful "We could have been on a United flight to Denver instead" look, and they sort of shake hands (?), and then they look at Charlie, who's been hanging out in the car, alone and unattended for 20 minutes. How fortunate that the day is a cool and rainy one, so that Charlie doesn't cook while her parents dither.
Mark slides into the car to talk to Charlie, who's in her PJs, and answers her questions about where he's going and for how long. Then she hands over another friendship bracelet: "It'll keep you safe from the bad guys until you get back. Let me put it back on." We cut to Mark's flashforward, and he looks profoundly uneasy, and I have to ask: Why? He's not going to see Charlie for a few weeks! He can "lose" this bracelet too, then invent a story about it giving its life to save him from the bad guys. Mark hugs his daughter goodbye with "I love you so much, Charlie-bear," and we flash! to the credits.
Then we're in Wedeck's office. He, Demetri and Mark are viewing Dyson Frost's message: "If you're watching this in 2010, that means the global blackout was successful. That also means we've had a near-miss in Pigeon, Utah. How do I know all this? Because I myself have had hundreds of flashforwards. In nearly all of my futures, I end up dying on March 15, like you, Demetri. So if you managed to find this tape in Somalia, it would seem our fates are on a collision course, and the possible outcomes of the game are narrowing. As for the endgame, the next move is Mark Benford's." Mark glowers at the screen while Demetri confirms that indeed, the tape is authentic to 1991, and the only plausible explanation is that Dyson Frost had a flashforward back in 1991 and was inspired to make the tape he "saw" people finding in 2010. Which... suggests that he can see flashforwards that are not his? Or that he flashed to a conversation he'll have later which suggests the existence of a tape? Whatever -- the intriguing thing here is Dyson Frost admitting he's flashed to multiple version of the future and the outcome of any of them can be altered by actions taken in the present. This has two major implications: 1. Mark and Demetri can stop Hamlet'ing all over the greater L.A. area over their flashforwards and 2. There is a mad genius out there who has been using the one-two punch of foresight and superior intellect to steer the future toward his own, as-yet-unrevealed ends. Mark picks up on the mutability of the flashed futures, then says the tape is a veiled warning that there will be another flashforward. Demetri does not take this well, possibly because he doesn't want to be excluded from this round of blackouts, too.