Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Tv Nibble: Change the Game

Well, this week’s Flash Forward certainly answered a lot of questions, while managing to open a whole Pandora’s box filled with different ones. If you haven’t seen this week’s episode, I snapshot(6)suggest you stop reading now.

A couple of weeks ago I posed a question about ABC’s filming schedule and how Lee Thompson Young could manage a main role in Flash Forward and Scrubs: Interns, well now we know. One of the long standing questions about this show has been “Can you change the future?” and up to now, without any definitive answer, all signs have pointed to no. The exception to that rule being that Zoey saw a different future to Demetri.

Of course, Al Gough’s death changes everything. At the very least we know that the future is still malleable. It is either still in flux or the Flash Forwards were only one possible future or alternate reality. However, his death (which seemed a little too hurried from an audience perspective. It would have been nice to have some foreshadowing a couple of episodes previous to it) could essentially mean that the Flash Forwards were not visions of the future at all. After all, the butterfly effect is now active, Gough’s death will have a direct impact on how people live their lives and snapshot(5)should cause a profound change in future events.

Of course an alternate theory (one presented in my favourite TV show of all time, Farscape) is that time runs to a set path, small changes in the timeline can essentially be erased as long as major events remain similar, time will course correct itself. That sounded confusing in my head. If you think as time as water, water takes the path of least resistance, if you divert the water, it will still take the path of least resistance and as long as it hasn’t deviated too far, it will eventually return to the original path. 

Flash Forward is far more likely to follow the second theory, that although changes in the timeline are possible, the eventual outcomes will remain essentially the same, give or take a small percentage. In some ways this was a necessary step for the show to take. Without the characters being under threat it is difficult to produce tension and knowing all but one of the major characters live happy, healthy lives for the next six months significantly reduces the level of threat and therefore the level of tension. Now however the tension is restored, not only have characters become effectively mortal again, they have been making decisions based on a possibly invalid future which, if there is an snapshot(7)ounce of sense in the writers room, should have major repercussions.

Quickly to finish off, before this nibble turns into a three course dinner, we also learnt this week that Aaron’s daughter Tracy is still alive and well. We learnt that Bryce is in love with a woman he has never met, possibly in Japan. And we don’t know what significance the name Annabelle has to Simon, so we can just add that to the list of questions. 

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