Thursday, April 22, 2010

Review - FlashForward Season 1 Episode 17 The Garden of Forking Paths

The writers have reached the point where they are stringing together random words to make the characters sound smart or mysterious. Not that they haven't done this in the past, but there were two instances where both the director and the writing stuck out as incessantly frantic and confusing to make a big deal out of something that could be simply explained without a whole lot of hysteria. The first comes a few minutes into the episode. After Frost uses Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres's Oedipus and the Sphinx, the characters go on wild speculation about Demetri getting himself in trouble because he tried to avoid getting shot in the first place. Vreede asks if the same thing will happen if they try to save Demetri, but Mark doesn't care. The second also comes near the beginning. Dyson Frost goes on a rant about experiments at Raven River and the future, trying to be as cryptic as possible.

It's not as complicated as it seems, though the writers through in all these analogies to muddle up the situation, which is actually pretty interesting. Essentially, Frost and other researchers, created many flashforwards to jump into the future, each time seeing something new, the different paths of the episode title, "The Garden of Forking Paths." Once the events foreseen start happening, the path is set in a certain direction and Frost intervenes with knowledge of the outcome to resolve the fork in the road to his benefit. In Demetri's case, Demetri kills him most of the time, but by kidnapping him, Frost attempts to alter the outcome.

In the end, Dyson Frost is dead and Demetri isn't. Wait a minute..the writers really decided to suck out all the dramatic weight from the characters of Dyson Frost and Demetri in the same episode? Dyson Frost is the really, really, really, evil, mean, insidious supervillain the show has been building since the appearance of the omnipresent D. Gibbons (cue dramatic music), but now he's a dead old guy lying in the desert. Demetri is the guy who was fated to die, but against all odds, struggled and overcame death. No twists and no consequences. Everything is turning out fine and dandy. This flashforward thing doesn't sound bad at all.

What's up with Baltar showing up in the end? Do we care? I know I don't.

Once again, I wrote way more on FlashForward than I should have. It'll be canceled, so the 2016 date holds little relevance.

Score: 7.6/10
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