It all started with that damn Oceanic Airlines billboard. Within the first six minutes of FlashForward's premiere episode, the similarities and connections to that other ABC time travel show became hard to ignore. Consider the evidence for a FlashForward/Lost conspiracy.
The billboard: At the 6:13 mark of the premiere episode, characters Mark Benford and Demetri Noh stake out possible terrorists. Across the street from them is a huge billboard ad for Oceanic Airlines touting a "Perfect Safety Record." Some online Losties are claiming that this is a nod to Lost's next season, wherein Oceanic flight 815 will never have split in half over the mysterious Dharma island.
Is the billboard simply ABC's attempt to cross-promote, or is it proof that FlashForward and Lost are happening within the same universe? Isn't it curious that Oceanic isn't an airline that exists in the real world, yet it exists in both of these TV universes?
Wild Animals: Both shows play with the idea of seeing wild animals outside their natural habitat. In Lost, it's the existence of polar bears, known to live in the cold arctic, running around the humid tropics of "the island." In FlashForward, it's a kangaroo (or wallaby) hoping along the streets of Los Angeles. Not only is the imagery similar, but why a kangaroo, an animal well known to live in the Australian outback, a country our friends in Lost were flying from when their plane crashed? It can't just be coincidence. FF producers David Goyer and Brannon Braga hint in a web clip that the kangaroo, while at first didn't have much significance in the show, will now have its own backstory later in the season.
Time Travel: Both shows deal heavily with the idea of time travel. FlashForward limits the traveling to visions. Lost deals with the idea more literally as Desmond is able to not only see visions of the future (as with Charlie's inevitable death) but he's able to move through time in order to attempt to change his destiny. Now here's where things get weird. Both the characters on FF, meaning the entire planet, and Desmond on Lost both experience flashes of the future after a catastrophic event — a mysterious black out for FF people and an electromagnetic release in Desmond's world. Which leads me to my next clue...
Electromagnetic Phenomena: Could the same phenomena that caused 2004's Oceanic Flight 815 crash, a release of electromagnetic energy, also have caused the entire world to black out on September 24, 2009? In the last episode of FF its revealed that the towers found in aerial footage of Somalia are pulse lasers. Could the same electromagnetic energy found on the island be harnessed in other parts of the world?
Some conspiracy theorists predict that the massive explosion in Lost's last episode could be the cause of the blackouts around the world in FlashForward. After all, we know that time on the island works on a different continuum than it does in the "real" world, and that events that happen on the island can affect any number of time continuums.
Conspiracy theories aside, it's hard to ignore that both shows share a philosophical debate revolving around destiny — should you sit back and let the future happen or can you control your ultimate fate?
Is the connection between the two shows simply a connection of like-minded storytelling scheduled in such a way to keep viewers of a soon-to-be expired show tuned to ABC? Possibly, but I'd rather not settle for that destiny, so I'll continue to find connections — valid or not.