And only 16 hours before Episode 2!
Okay, I've got to say, I'm impressed and intrigued. The first few minutes dragged a little, but once the blackout hit and the real meat of the story was put out there, I was sucked into the story. Opening with the aftermath, then flashing back, then going back to the aftermath ten minutes or so later was a little oddly paced, but I guess they felt they had to grab people right at the beginning. As boring as the first few minutes were, i guess they had a point. Anyway, we've got (sigh, I have to go to IMDB to look up characters names, hold on) FBI Agent Mark Benford and his Doctor/Surgeon wife Olivia. They wake up, go to work, they have a mildly creepy daughter and a hot trampy babysitter. Agent Benford works with John Cho, Olivia doesn't work with Dr. Brice, because Brice is busy offing himself on a pier (a couple hundred yards away from a kid with some balloons...way to leave plenty of nightmare fuel behind you, ass). Shakespeare and Sulu are staking out some generic terrorists, and following them through L.A. traffic when...THE BLACKOUT!!!
So, basic premise at this point for those of you who didn't watch the episode/read an article/read the book/eat the breakfast cereal already: Everybody on the planet blacks out at the same time, for a duration of 2 minutes and 17 seconds (which doesn't add up to 108 in any way, LOST nerds! Be happy with the Oceanic billboard), then they all wake up, having had a vision (or a Flashforward...and they're going to great lengths to establish that term for the last half of the episode) of what they're doing six months in the future (April 29th, around 10 PM, for those of you keeping score).
Agent Mark has a vision of himself working on a case file (or visiting John Nash's house), drinking (he's a recovering alcoholic), and then being stalked by guys in Police Academy 3 masks and toting laser sight rifles. John Cho has no vision, which he thinks means that he's dead in six months. The flashforwards are kind of like the flashbacks on LOST, little character moments that will be parceled out over the next several episodes. Considering how many people must statistically die with any given six month span, I'm thinking that people like Demitri (yes, I'll stop calling him Sulu...for now) will be a pretty juicy storyline on their own. After all, imagine what could happen if...say 50,000 (just to throw a number out) people knew for a fact that they had less than six months to live.
Okay, not to jump around too much, but the idea of "can we change the future" gets tossed around a lot in this episode, and I'm really wondering how the show will deal with it. Can they put a character in any kind of mortal danger, if we know that they're alive in six months? Will they have to off someone in order to establish that these futures are still flexible? Or will they be flexible? Lots of questions, and the fact that I'm actually bothering to ask them is a sign that I'll be into this show for a while.
Back to the plot: The FBI sets up a task force to look into the flashforwards, named "Mosaic" after the case file name that Mark sees in his vision. Very chicken and egg moment there. Mark takes a pedeconference with Courtney B Vance (of Vance Refrigeration) and Seth McFarlane. They go over some more exposition, and...
Yeah, looks like he'll be popping up from time to time as another FBI agent. Well I'll be damned. That's more random than the time I got that job serving pancakes on the Amistad.
In one of the more obvious (in a good way) moments, one of the other agents suggests putting up a website where people can log in and share their visions, and try to cross-reference things. Hell, I'm sure people would have been Twittering within the first few minutes of that happening (@babyarm I saw a vision of myself holding a bloody knife and a clown mask, oh and I spilled my latte). We get some TV news exposition of a doctor saying some mumbo jumbo (it IS Brandon Braga, after all) which just establishes the "these are memories of the future, not hallucinations" beam that the show hinges upon, and we learn that Olivia's flashforward is her ostensibly cheating with a mysterious man. A man, who we learn at the end, is the father of a boy she saved on the operating table. A man, who is STEVE FROM COUPLING!!! WHOOOOO!!!! Between him and Gina Bellman on Leverage, this is awesomesauce!
Anyway, lot of questions, and a lot of things the show will want to establish sooner than later (unlike LOST, which took it's sweet fricking time).
-Are the flashforwards unavoidable?
-What caused them?
-What are the future dead people going to do?
-What does the Oceanic billboard mean as far as crossovers with LOST?
-Is Red Panda going to be their Dharma Initiative?
-What does "No More Good Days" mean?
-How long does the show take to get to April 29th, 2010, and what happens to the show on April 30th?
And that's just the first episode. I'll definitely be sticking with this show for a while, starting with a new episode tomorrow. New Community too, so it'll be a big Thursday!