You know FlashForward is a very special program when it can't even make its plucky child protagonist likable. Seriously, Charlie Benford is a pint-sized harbinger of adultery. It's like she wants her mom to cheat on her dad or something.
If I had to compare this week's FlashForward episode - "Let No Man Put Asunder" - to a food, I would compare it a fine Provençal bouillabaisse that some crazed chef threw Jack Daniels, a Toblerone bar, and a vial of Rajaijah the poison of madness (from The Adventures of Tintin) into and then left in the Moroccan sun for a week. In sum, it was a bunch of good ideas and actors garbled up in an over-baked mish-mosh of a plot that will drive you insane. I want to love you, FlashForward, but you're leaving me peckish for good things to say.
What was The Big Event this week? Honestly, I don't know, given that ten or so Big Events were smushed together willy-nilly in this episode:
- Simon didn't show up. This was a Big Event in my book because he brings immediate levity to whatever sturm und drang's happening onscreen. He's the only character aware of Janis' moleyness - it was unsatisfying to see no follow-up to last week's big reveal.
- Marcie went trigger-happy on all of her FBI friends because she was feeling ignored or something. Low self-esteem is quite possibly the most weak sauce motivation for murdering six of your colleagues and joining an international conspiracy. We also discover that Marcie has been feeding Mosiac information to an unknown source and that her flashforward showed her prison, happy as a clam.
- Charlie Benford is a lil' demon prophet. You know an episode is bad when you find yourself waving your fist, Scooby-Doo-villain style at an elementary-schooler. Last episode, she gave Mark her creepy charm bangle from his flashforward; this episode, she set her mom and Lloyd Simcoe up on an inadvertent play date. The result? Lloyd and Penny get to first base with each other. Charlie's like the Bad News Breakers from Mr. Show.
In the final scene, Dyson Frost meets Charlie at the school carnival, where some demented face-painter has dolled her up like a Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper. My guess? That evil face-painter hired Marcie to betray her friends.
- The veep tells Stanford she saw Jericho catalyze a national crisis in her flashforward; she wants the group neutralized. Stanford finds an ally in Aaron. In exchange for Aaron cleaning house in Afghanistan, Stanford's giving him an arsenal's worth of guns. None of this seems particularly legal, but hey, at least Aaron's a likable character with logical (albeit vigilante) motivations.
- Demetri's Lawful Good seed has taken to Janis' Neutral Evil eggs. Their child will be a gelatinous cube.
- This episode was ostensibly about Demetri, who has a spur-of-the-moment wedding with Zoe because of Mark's suggestion to get away from it all. It's curious how Mark fails to follow his own advice with regards to his own marriage, but hey, he's Mark Benford. Dyson Frost later kidnaps Demetri the day of his wedding. Things aren't look good for Agent Noh, but I like his character so much that I'd watch a series in which Demetri did nothing but get drunk for 60 minutes.
In sum, this episode felt like four crammed into one. Characters came and went as they pleased, Demetri was the only person you gave two hoots about, and - unlike most children of divorce - Charlie has every right to blame herself.