108 – Playing Cards with the Coyote

It was obviously very hard – no, nigh impossible – to top last week’s episode, The Gift. This episode sets up a new chapter, a sort of “Act 2″ of the first season. We now think we know that the flashforwards can be prevented (although I do expect shit to hit the fan for Celia). Although… not everyone’s a real believer yet. And those who do believe… will feel the backlash pretty soon.

The more I watch of this show, the more apparent it becomes that it has a big issue: motivation. How the hell do you motivate people who just witnessed a glimpse of their future? Flashforward’s characters keep on flashing between hopeful and desperate. It’s something I like – maybe not the most optimal solution, but a plausible scenario nonetheless – but apparently, the audience does not. In a way, Flashforward is suffering the same problem that caused some people to hate LOST’s fifth season: time travel makes it very hard to keep your characters engaging. The fact that this is only Flashforward’s first season, though…

We finally got a better look at Simon – Dominic Monaghan’s character. Not sure what to say. Surely enough, I believe the performance (even if I did think “Not Penny’s Boat” when he met Olivia), but was a card game really the proper way for the audience to get our first insight in the character? I’m aware of the fact that those scenes were all about Lloyd (who is such a charming, likable man), but I know I’m not the only one whose eyes were directed at Simon the entire time.

I think it’s the setting that did it. Sure, other series have pulled off insane settings, but it’s something I don’t want to see in FlashForward just yet. I mean: where could Lloyd and Simon be playing poker with two random other guys, an odd looking dealer and openly discuss the fact that they caused a world-wide catastrophe? Or are those men – and the dealer – part of the Flashforward Causing Clan?

In All

I like this show a lot. I’ve not yet reached a point where I would blindly follow the creators and not doubt their decisions, but if this season delivers something solid, I’m sure it will be. This episode made me wonder, however: can they do it? Card tricks only get you so far – I don’t want to see the card house they’re constructing collapse in front of their noses…