EPISODE REVIEW: Flash Forward: "Black Swan" (Season 1 Episode 4)

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T+14 days since the blackout event (really??????)
A bus drives into an idyllic lake to a cheery tune… we're introduced to the oddest Flash Forward yet: A man flashes that he's an African-American in leather pants.

Yeah. Weird. More after the jump, the usual spoiler caveats apply...

Play by Play (well, sortof)

Nicole and Aaron are talking…. Nicole is apparently in AA, also.

Olivia, to her credit, is trying to avoid temptation. and suicide Doc (his name is Bryce!) is still relentlessly optimistic…. he is perplexed by Mr. Ned, the future African American in leather pants.

Demetri and Mark have a loud disagreement on where to rack up the frequent flyer miles. Demetri wins, they're going to do actual FBI work. This leads them on a rather funny and exciting foot chase through a trailer park culminating in the discovery of Yellow Cake Uranium… or not

Demetri is rather upset about his coming death. Or his wedding. There are times when I just can't read him..…. Seriously, Demetri tells Mark about his impending murder.

"We can use what we saw to stop what we saw."

Mr. Ned's flash forward has changed him, removing his fear of the future, where Nicole's has her more fearful than ever. She talks to a priest who is clearly out of his depth.

Dr. Bryce suddenly thinks he's Doctor House, and shouts the medical equivalent of 'Stop the Presses'

We're faced with our first possible paradox. If Mr. Ned is operated on, he dies. If he dies, his vision is invalid. Ned is getting operated on…

And Bryce saves his life.

The Blonde Terrorist speaks in riddles, and Mark decides that the answers may be in Africa, eighteen years ago.

Mr. Simcoe gets a phone call from Charlie. All this is happening because they should be back on the island..… oh, wait. Wrong show. But it appears that Simcoe has something to do with the blackouts…

Observations
Fourteen days… really? Things sure seem normal for just a fortnight from the 'worst disaster in human history'.

Aaron's connection to Nicole is interesting, but I'm not sure if it leads anywhere. The Episcopal priest she goes to is blindingly incompetent, but I think we could've guessed that from the T-Shirts: "Jesus is my Episco-Pal", Indeed!

Demetri is pretty messed up over his own murder, but I can see that as a fairly rational reaction. But why doesn't he just plan on wearing a bulletproof vest that day, if he gets three bullets in the chest?

The disease of Mr. Ned, diagnosed partially from his flash forward was clever. Addison's really exists, though the hyperpigmentation isn't usually so dramatic.

Olivia's efforts to separate herself from temptation is admirable; although Simcoe may put seduction efforts in second gear to get intel on Mark's efforts to uncover the source of the blackouts.

The problem that this series has is that although it doesn't hold the questions out that long-- the answers to a lot of what happens are not long in coming (usually; although the context of some of these answers is unclear), the through line doesn't quite feel compelling enough to sustain it.

Next week, Eric Roberts, the American Master!

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