'FlashForward' Episode 1.04: 'Black Swan'

Episode Title: "Black Swan"

Written by: Lisa Zwerling and Scott M. Gimple

The Story: Agents Mark Benford (Joseph Fiennes) and Demetri Noh (John Cho) revisit an old lead in captured terror suspect Alda Hertzog (Rachel Roberts). Meanwhile, Mark's wife Olivia (Sonya Walger) and fellow surgeon Bryce (Zachary Knighton) have a nearly fatal disagreement over how to treat a patient based on his flash-forward.

The Most Profound Question Of All: Noh is destined to be murdered, but Benford believes he can prevent it. Bryce believes that his patient has a medical condition foretold by his flash-forward, but Olivia thinks that's ridiculous. Only one side of the argument can ultimately be right — either these flash-forwards are inevitable, or the future can be prevented. The most profound question of all isn't why the blackout happened, as Alda suggests, but whether or not the flash-forwards can be stopped. Do they have to happen just because they were foreseen? The lives of many of our show's characters depends on the answer.

Enough About The Visions: I can sympathize with Olivia's refusal to embrace the inevitability of the flash-forwards, but there are definitely a few characters with visions I can't wait to see more of. Specifically, I'm looking at babysitter extraordinaire Nicole (Peyton List), whose murderous drowning has to be tied into Benford's continued investigation into D. Gibbons and the other flash-forward conspirators.

Simon Says: Big reveal tonight in the form of Dominic Monaghan's arrival. As Simon, it appears that Monaghan is somehow responsible for the blackout event — but more importantly, it seems that Olivia's eventual lover Lloyd Simcoe (Jack Davenport) was involved, as well. Pretty interesting. Calling it now: Olivia will end up sleeping with Simcoe because doing so can help her husband's investigation. Anyone else agree?

The Little Things: There was plenty of mythological goodness to enjoy in this episode, but it was the small stuff that stood out to me. For instance, the opening sequence that retold the infamous blackout — except this time, to the tune of Bjork's "It's Oh So Quiet." I also dug the not-so-subtle "Shakespeare in Love" reference between Sonya Walger and Joseph Fiennes. It's weird to say it, but those little gags go a long way towards bolstering the heart of a series like "FlashForward."

Best Quote: "You can't be fightin' fate, yo." – Apprehended Drug Dealer

Verdict: Not quite as strong as last week's outing, but nonetheless a solid effort from the "FlashForward" team. I'm getting pretty invested in the series, certainly much more than I expected to. The more character and mythological build-up, the better — the "FlashForward" writers clearly understand that idea and are doing an excellent job sticking to it.

The Future: The bad news? Someone's car explodes and it doesn't look they survive the encounter. The good news? The President of the United States shows up, and he's played by Peter Coyote. Awesome!

What did you think of tonight's episode? Let us know in the comments section or on Twitter!