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FlashForward Recap: Everything Feels So Futile

So we keep asking ourselves, and whoever will listen, why ABC had to go and cancel this show. Our work here, dear reader, feels so futile and empty now. Is it just that no one at the network could see where the writers could take things from here? Was it purely about ratings? Or were they just sick of hearing every character repeating the phrase, "In my flashforward" ad infinitum. We still hold firm to our prediction that this series finale will prove more satisfying than the one that's supposed to justify everyone's six-year commitment to Lost. And though we won't miss Fiennes trying ever so hard each week to pull off casual American swagger, it's still a hell of a lot easier than swallowing that angry, icky pill that is V.

"Today's the day Daddy's going to die."
Also, we won't miss Charlie, who — we're sorry — is just a creepy child. She opens the episode waking up in the wee hours of April 29, and Olivia goes to comfort her. Mom doesn't go so far as to say, "It's going to be all right, sweetie," or "Daddy's not going to die," because she obviously thinks he might. Olivia's solution? She takes Charlie to the FBI office to see Daddy alive and well, and then hightails it out of town, leaving Lloyd and little autistic Dylan standing outside her house in the Valley wondering how they're going to make their flashforwards come true now. Olivia says she just "had to get away," but judging from the preview of next week, she just drove out to Santa Monica or something and she's going to turn right back around and go make out with Lloyd.

"That, my friend, is fifteen covers of 'Islands in the Stream.'"
Mark goes to the trouble of making Demetri a CD with covers of his and Zoey's song by everyone from My Morning Jacket to Feist and several other bands we can't imagine Mark Benford ever listening to (does he ever do anything for pleasure? Oh, right, drink. More on that in a sec). He tells Demetri to take off work, head to Hawaii, and be with his soon-to-be wife.

Demetri proceeds to show up to the airport with his paper ticket (so quaint, that) to meet Zoey, and feels he must tell her, before boarding the plane, about how he bedded down with his lesbian co-worker back when they were in Somalia so that she could be pregnant like she was in her flash. Zoey flips out, but then with barely any discussion pulls this total soap-opera move where she says she doesn't want him coming on the trip, and when she gets back, she … just … doesn’t know what then, and turns on her heel and trots off.

"Take me to NLAP."
Speaking of the lesbian co-worker, Janis has got Simon holed up back at her apartment trying to convince her to take him back to the big particle accelerator that he thinks caused the blackout. He designed it, he planted some microprocessors somewhere, which scheduled the thing to go off on October 6, and if he can get back there he can maybe just save the planet. He's a reluctant villain, you see. He was "just a kid" when the evil cabal recruited him … he thought being a pawn in their scheme was going to be fun and lead to great fame and lots of sex. While all that appears to have been true, he regrets it all now and needs Janis's help.

Janis, for her part, still looks really put out about being pregnant, and really seems to have lost any of the vigor and edge she seemed to have earlier in the season — she's been phoning it in since about episode twelve.

Enter Demetri, who has no place to be anymore now, and who shows up at Janis's door. Despite their making an odd threesome, Demetri somehow agrees to chauffeur Janis and Simon off to NLAP so that Simon can save the world, and he literally, we're not kidding, has this conversation with Janis in the car where he says: "This is so you," and, by implication, "This is so us."

"Tracy!"
Aaron's still wearing that ridiculous getup, in Afghanistan, with Tracy badly beaten. The doctor friend tries to help her, but her heart stops. It's no use. So despite being alive in Aaron's flash, Tracy croaks, and Aaron proceeds to interrogate a Jericho dude while firmly pressing a finger deep into the dude's bullet wound. The takeaway: Jericho didn't kill that village, they just blacked them out. People were passed out for a one kilometer radius, in an experiment to prepare for the worldwide blackout, and they were trying to figure out why Tracy was still conscious. What'd we tell you about the circle getting completed between Evil Cabal and Jericho.

"We could start with some water polo."

Our time in the absurd and happy parallel universe of Bryce and Nicole is mercifully short. She brings him cupcakes to say "Happy FlashForward Day" (what?). He suggests they do some water polo on their first real date (what?). And she, out of some weird Christian guilt thing she has, decides to tell him about Keiko.

Meanwhile, Keiko's mom shows up at the detention center where she was being held in Lancaster and tells her they've got an 11 p.m. flight back to Tokyo out of LAX.

But Keiko has to be at a sushi restaurant at 10 if she's ever going to meet her love! Then we see Bryce show up, having driven all the way out to Lancaster, and, aw, he just missed her!

"You're a decent man. This is all just over your head."
Hellinger — ostensibly the head of the Evil Cabal, but we're guessing not really — is now being held in shackles but in a stylish suit at FBI headquarters. After hours of silence he finally says, "I'll only speak to Mark Benford," and when Benford gets in there Hellinger lays out for him how pretty much every path for the day leads to Mark dying, but maybe he can save himself if he lets Hellinger go. Mark, obviously, balks. Hellinger says Mark is going to end up beating the shit out of him and subsequently "losing everything." Later in the afternoon, said beat down does take place after Hellinger provokes Mark, saying "Charlie will be better off when you're gone." Mark then gets thrown out of the building.

Because people are idiots, many are spending their "Flashforward Day" out in the streets and drinking in bars, as if this were New Year's. Bryce, in fact, thought this would be an inspiring occasion and wanted to take Nicole to go watch all the festivities and fireworks (what?), rather than the scary shitshow it would obviously be, especially with all those Blue Hand people potentially still on the loose and looking to die.

But some jolly fellow, who may as well be part of the Evil Cabal as far as we're concerned, randomly comes up to Mark in the crowd and hands him a flask, saying, "You look like you could use a drink," and meanwhile saying he, himself, was quitting drinking. Do drunks still carry flasks? We thought that was only hipsters. Anyhow, cue Fiennes laughing like a crazy person and swigging from the flask as only a serious drunk must do. Then he goes to a bar. Then he gets into a brawl. Then he lands in jail.

We're left, then, with Mark having just about an hour to get both out of jail and back up into his office where he can get shot at while drunk. And also just about an hour for Olivia to turn that car around and race back to the arms of her lover Lloyd so they can solve the greatest mystery in all of physics in lipstick on her bedroom mirror. Also, Keiko only has an hour to ditch her mother and get to that sushi restaurant!

Honestly, we want to know where it all ends, but following an already canceled show through to its scheduled demise is like kicking a wounded deer down the road. It just feels cruel and unnecessary.

Photo: ABC