Last week, FlashForward protagonist Mark Benford barged into my home, soused to the gills and absolutely livid that ABC axed his show for Fall 2010. Since then, we've reached a shaky rapprochement, had some bro-chat, and wrote FlashForward's ending.
I'll be honest – living with Mark Benford (above) for a week wasn't easy. For all the semi-coherent vitriol he spouted about Lost (i.e. "FlashForward was supposed to be the new Lost," "I hate our 8 PM timeslot," "I'm a slightly more likable protagonist than Jack, etc. etc.), the sonofagun talked the whole way through last Sunday's finale. Furthermore, Mark Benford kept combing my home for sundry crap to put on the Mosiac board. Old banana peels, a cartoon of Howard Huge from Parade magazine, some dead ants he found in the kitchen. The man's not an FBI agent, he's the lost Collyer brother.
Thankfully, he calmed down for Thursday's FlashForward season/unintentional series finale, "Future Shock." Everyone saw their flashforward come true, minus Demetri (who's alive) and Zoey (who was absent this episode). Here's the quick and dirty of what happened:
- Thanks to Gabriel's mucking around with his Mosiac board, Mark Benford determines that it's a code for when the second blackout will occur: April 29, 10:14 PM. Unfortunately, Mark Benford has mere minutes to tell the world of the impending blackout (which is caused by Simon fiddling with a Large Hadron Collider-esque device in the NLAP facility) because a group of mysterious paramilitary troops in clown masks show up to kill him. Mark Benford kills all the troops and is trapped in the Los Angeles FBI building as the mercenaries' bombs explode.
- Keiko and Bryce meet in the sushi restaurant after Mrs. Keiko wigs out on airport security. Where did Keiko and Bryce's sexual chemistry come from? Who knows? It's like "Johnny B. Goode" from Back to the Future. This scene is actually kind of cute, in a mid-90s, Sandra Bullock rom-com kind of way.
- Nicole's car veers off the road and she almost drowns. Some nerd named Ed rescues her. Ed is the secret Bryce to Nicole's Keiko. Hooray.
- Aaron sees Tracy survive in Afghanistan thanks to Hollywood magic.
- After helping Demetri and Simon break into NLAP, Janis faints, goes to a hospital, and is carted off by Simon's femme fatale dalliance – Lita, who is wearing a QED ring – during the second blackout.
- Lloyd and Olivia make out. Sucks to be you, Mark Benford.
"Hey, I heard that," mewled Mark Benford.
"Apologies, I forgot you were in the room. Sometimes I speak as I type. It's a copy-editing thing." (Truth is, I was just being catty.)
"You're not embellishing this review enough, what about my John McClane-style gunplay? What about the scene where Wedeck ambushed that guy in the toilet? What about all of the images that flashed across the screen when the second blackout hit?"
"Well Mark Benford, the scenes in which you took down a whole cadre of paramilitary troops was fine and all, but weren't you drunk last episode? Wedeck's takedown of that guy was cool; I'll give you that. As for the flashforwards at the end, they were too vague to be intriguing. We got a letter dated Monday, March 14, 2011; a radiology chart for someone named F. Walsh; a black baby being baptized (Demetri and Zoey's kid?); a sign that says "HAPPY NEW YEAR 2015; and a grown-up Charlie Benford saying "They found him!" — I assume she's referring to you. We have no idea what this means (and never will), so it's hard to get excited about these things. Sorry, dude."
"But aren't you at least somewhat curious about the second blackout? Is it a series of multiple flashforwards to different days? Or are all those dates just red herring?"
"I honestly don't care at this point, Mark Benford. Barring a TV movie or straight-to-DVD installment for the diehards, we'll never know. Also, I saw you watching me sleep last night. I was too creeped out to confront you, so I just pretended to be asleep. You watched me for four solid hours."
"Those snores were fake?"
"Yes. Time for you to go."
"But where will I go? My show is canceled!"
"I don't know. I imagine there's a scifi show retirement colony somewhere, where you, Scully, Mulder, and that creepy telekinetic kid from The Twilight Zone can play Parcheesi until the death of the human imagination."
"But you promised me we'd write a happy ending to the show!"
"That was before you started screaming 'THE ISLAND IS A FLASHFORWARD' in the middle of the Lost finale."
"Please, at least give me something here."
"Okay, here's your ending."
"That was the ending of the Poochie episode from The Simpsons."
"It was backwards and in Spanish."
"So what happens to me, exactly?"
"You die on the way back to your home planet."
"I hate you."
"And I don't hate you, Mark Benford, despite the fact that your show wasted a couple hours of my existence with your pseudo-mathematical plot twist chicanery and the fact that whenever you jumped to a ludicrous conclusion, your assumptions were immediately validated. Your show wasn't terrible, but it wasn't great either. But we had some laughs, no?"
"I suppose we did. I suppose we did."
And with that, Mark Benford shook my hand, walked out the door, and flashforwarded into nothingness.