FlashForward: Put a Ring on It


Course Correction
Season 1 Episode 18

We have to admit we’re still not bored with the slow-mo montages of people dropping like it’s hot during the blackout — going limp in unison, tumbling down stairs, etc. That’s some artistic shit, those shots, and this week we get yet another one to kick off the show, via a flashback to Lloyd and Simon’s workplace, NLAP (National Linear Accelerator Project), the day of the blackout. Also, we get Olivia and Lloyd making out again, Bryce and Nicole making out again, and Joseph Fiennes running around having trouble saying the word “talk” without sounding like Paul Lynde with a mouthful of gin.

“We’ve done enough damage. Maybe we can make something right.”
During the flashback to the experiment at NLAP, just after blastoff but prior to the slow-mo sequence, we get some lovely graphics of electrons flying through their tunnel, random people’s flashes flying through space-time, and a wave emanating out from Northern California across the globe, as well as, curiously, another wave coming from the opposite side of the globe. (These flying-object graphics remind us, charmingly, of how John Hughes expressed the idea of the Internet in 1985’s Weird Science.) As the two waves collide, this seems to be what causes the blackout — not the linear accelerator’s “Big Bang” simulation itself.

Cut to the present: Lloyd seems optimistic about he and Simon being able to crack the secret of the blackout-blocking rings that they keep calling QED devices. Simon tells Lloyd, in an awkward parking-garage exchange, that he owes everything to Lloyd, and tells him, “You’re the only real friend I have.” He then proceeds to disappear with the ring.

“Life is energy. If you mess with that energy, the universe pushes back.”
This week’s overarching theme has to do with the universe “correcting” for free will, and via that chilly asshole whom we met in episode seven, Mr. Slingerland (played by Callum Keith Rennie), we even get a nod to Schopenhauer and some hand-waving in the direction of nineteenth-century philosophy.

Long story short: People from that Blue Hand nihilist collective, the ones who’ve lived past their death dates, are showing up … dead. Fiona (Alex Kingston) is back, investigating, and all roads lead her and Demetri back to this Slingerland dude, who turns out to be helping the universe “push back,” as he puts it, by killing people who are supposed to be dead. He goes after Celia, the woman whom Agent Gough supposedly saved by offing himself, to hit her with his car, but magically Demetri swoops in just in time to smash into him. Then there’s a foot chase, and Celia ends up flipped over Fiona’s hood. So even though the vehicle, driver, and date are different, Celia ends up hit by a car anyway. “There are no accidents anymore,” Fiona concedes. Demetri shoots Slingerland, and Slingerland says, “See you soon, sport.” This made us chuckle.

“You’re the best thing since sliced bread.”

Gabriel MacDowell (we could have sworn that’s what he said, but IMDb now has it as McDow), the savant, sees Lloyd visiting Olivia on his way to little Dylan’s occupational therapy and gets overexcited, doing his very best Dustin Hoffman–Rain Man impression, talking about how Olivia’s supposed to be with him. Cut to them making out at Lloyd’s house, and Benford practically walking in on them.

“What are you doing? Go on, get out of here. The future awaits.”
Bryce, a.k.a. the sexiest cancer patient on television, gets a visit from Nicole while receiving chemo. Then he receives news that he’s in remission, and goes straight to find her so they can start getting busy. Meanwhile, Nicole gets handed some files for some “detainees” whom she needs to help give flu shots to at the hospital, and among them is Keiko. If she tells Bryce, will he ever make sweet love to her? Signs point to no, so she doesn’t tell him.

“Why would anyone kidnap your sister?”
Simon sees his kidnapped sister out on a random bridge in L.A. with a bunch of laser sights swarming on her face, and she tells him that “they” want the ring back, or they’re going to kill her. Simon has twelve hours to get it done. He tries to get some help from the FBI finding a license plate, but of course Benford sniffs this out and confronts Simon, trying to figure out how he’s connected to the bad guys.

Because he’s Agent Mark Benford, it only takes him about a day to find Simon’s sister, tied up in the back of a van in an empty warehouse somewhere in Los Angeles. He calls Simon, and Simon says thanks.

Rather than face Benford and, probably, prison, Simon takes off with the ring to hand it off to the big evil cabal, which may or may not connect us back to Jericho, the evil defense contractor who kidnapped Aaron’s daughter.

Benford hears from Lloyd how Simon had to fly to Toronto for his dad’s funeral the day of the blackout, and therefore wasn’t around at NLAP for the big day. He connects the dots and, of course, because he’s Agent Mark Beford, figures out within seconds that Simon is Suspect Zero. Benford then questions Annabelle, to figure out if she knows why they want Simon, but all she can tell him is that her captors wore weird masks and Simon’s going to cause another blackout. Yay!

Next week we edge ever closer to FlashForward day, which we’re thinking will hit on May 27, four weeks to the day of April 29.

FlashForward: Put a Ring on It