Instant Replay: “Scary Monsters and Super Creeps”


(Welcome to “Instant Replay,” the shiny new review feature for FlashForward. This means that a) Heroes’ future is looking dire so I need to start looking in another direction in terms of quality reviewing venues and b) Reaction Time is now not the only review feature and c) this might push me to review FlashForward with any expediency/at all. Enjoy.)

Well. That was a less awesome episode than the title led me to believe it would be. There were definitely some excellent, properly intriguing and/or adrenalizing moments. But there were also some heavily overwritten, overly emotive, and just plain ridiculous scenes. Win some, lose some, I guess.

WINS:

  • DOMINIC MONAGHAN (!!!)
    Seriously. Did anyone realize he could do the creepy-but-sorta-sexy thing? Well? I already loved Schrodinger’s cat – y’know, since it’s pretty much the only physics thing I understand. But seriously. Having Dominic Monaghan as Simon explain it? Get me some smelling salts, ah seem to be havin’ tha vapahs. (Blanche DuBois impressions work better out loud.) The one thing I have to say against the Simon angle of the plot is, CAN WE PLEASE JUST GET ON WITH IT ALREADY? He’s been on the fringes for three freaking episodes now. And, so far, we’ve learned nothing we didn’t already know from promotional material. I know that, narratively speaking, we can’t be given too much information at this early stage. But seriously. SOMETHING. PLEASE.
  • Halloween Costumes
    Important? No. Amazing? Yes. I wish Halloween costumes could be that awesome in real life. Maybe I’ve just been going to the wrong parties.
  • Demetri and Al and the Blue Hand
    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I am truly impressed by John Cho. He is a much more talented actor than I gave him credit for. And his character is the obsessive-and-irritating-as-all-hell-in-his-obsession type, but it means that he actually does things to move the plot along, so I’m pretty much alright with that. Now, investing mentally in his superremarkable intuitive skills per this episode (Baltimore Street, decoding the Blue Hand code) maybe took a bit more suspension of disbelief than I’d like. But, again, he did actually get things moving. We’ve now had another angle of the FlashForward mystery revealed – the Blue Hand, whatever the hell that means. Thankfully it looks like next week is going to give us new questions, if not new answers (and also Callum Keith Rennie!). One last thing on this part of the FlashForward universe: can Lee Thompson Young just be a regular/lead character now? He’s been in more episodes than Dominic Monaghan and he’s had more screen time than Janis and Bryce and Nicole and if he’s going to keep being on the show with this much frequency, he should at least get the credit (and pay) for it.
  • Dylan’s Escape from the Hospital
    I was expecting him to run away to his mother’s house and for him and Lloyd to have yet another touchy-feely father-son moment. Thank goodness I’m not a writer. This round goes to you, FlashForward. But only for the first half of this story twist (see below).
  • Janis
    I didn’t manage to post this sentiment last week because I was lazy and didn’t actually get around to publishing a review. But, Janis is a bamf – I mean, did you see her take those guys out last week?! – and, because Christine Woods is an excellent actor with some great written material to work from, she’s also got a believable and complex emotional side that I’m hoping we’ll see more of soon. Also, I think I forgot to mention this prediction when I was predicting stuff the first time around: Janis and Bryce. Huh? Huh? (Yeah, it’s kind of a stretch. Not even taking into consideration that whole lesbian thing. But stranger things have happened. And if I’m going to be right, I’d rather be right sooner than later.)

Now, LOSSES:

  • Mark/Olivia/Lloyd
    Continuing from where I left off above, Dylan going to the Benford’s house and thus bringing that little scenario to a head = good thing. Opening the floodgates for all the angsty brooding intensity Joseph Fiennes can produce? Bad, bad thing. The whole situation is pretty ridiculous to begin with. It’d be tough not to overwrite. But there’s only so much tearful shouting and bitter sideglancing I can take. Most of the show, I feel like the possibilities of what people would do if they saw their own futures is being played out in a wonderfully believable way. This storyline, though, goes a bit too far. Yes, we do need to emphasize the idea that people might make their own futures by knowing them, even if they try to avoid the future they saw. But would anyone really get SO angsty and obsessed over it? …oh. Yeah. I guess they would. I guess you win this round too, FlashForward. It makes sense. I just don’t particularly enjoy it.
  • Chasing the Masked Teenagers
    Come on. Everyone saw it coming. No-one actually thought for even one second that Mark was really seeing the guys from his vision. We all knew exactly how that little scenario was going to turn out. And pretty much the same effect could have been achieved if he just stared at them with great intensity and then had Aaron or Charlie bring him back into the moment. The chase scene with the running and the fence jumping and the creepy tunnels and the completely gratuitous graveyard really did NOT need to happen. Please learn from this experience.

I’m looking forward to next week’s episode. It looks like it could be a riveting one. But then again, it could also end up looking really intense in previews and then not be interesting or informative or plot-directing in any way whatsoever. You can guess which one of those outcomes I’m rooting for.

Last thing: THE KANGAROO. WHAT IS WITH THE KANGAROO?! It probably isn’t that important, and it probably won’t end up being that interesting. My bet is on it being either a side-effect of the physics “experiment” that caused the FlashForwards, or the experiment itself (teleportation, anyone?). I just REALLY WANT TO KNOW.

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