Episode Title: "The Gift"
Written By: Lisa Zwerline & Ian Goldberg
Synopsis: The specific intentions of the Blue Hand become clearer as agents Mark Benford (Joseph Fiennes), Demetri Noh (John Cho) and Al Gough (Lee Thompson Young) dig deep into the organization's seedy underbelly. But that's not the only difficulty that Noh and Gough have to contend with, as each agent deals with the life-or-death implications of their experiences during the blackout.
Changing The Game: Well, how about that? Despite having a very vivid flash-forward — and a shared one, at that — Agent Al Gough was able to commit suicide, meaning that the deaths of those without flash-forwards isn't quite as set in stone as we were initially led to believe. How is this going to effect Demetri's attitude going forward? How does it possibly derail the Mosaic Investigation? The only thing we can say with any degree of certainty is that the flash-forwards aren't inevitable scenarios. They can be beaten, even if the methods for changing the game are rather extreme.
Ghost Gatherings: The concept of the Blue Hand being an organization for people without flash-forwards was very interesting, but it seems like a pretty tightly run ship for a group presumably formed a handful of weeks after the blackout, doesn't it? It's always possible that the many Raynauds — this one played excellently, if briefly, by "Battlestar Galactica's" Callum Keith Rennie — have been at this for a while. It's always possible that the figureheads behind the Blue Hand have ties to Simon, Simcoe and the others that are presumably responsible for the blackout. Honestly, it's just too early to say.
Daddy's Girl: Aside from Demetri, Gough and the Blue Hand, there were some other interesting subplots this week, with the most notable centering on recovering alcoholic Aaron Stark (Brian F. O'Byrne). First we find out that his daughter really did die overseas — or, as we saw, was gravely injured at least — but the final moments of the episode very much say otherwise. Where one character dies, another springs back to life. I'll be interested in seeing how this revelation effects Aaron's flash-forward, where he and his daughter are together in an underground environment.
The Future Is Unwritten: As Demetri's fiance Zoey (Gabrielle Union) puts it, there are conflicting visions at play here and "we can choose which one we want to believe in." That goes both for the characters and for us, I suppose. Whether Olivia and Simcoe wind up in bed together is now a lot more suspect than it once was, and whether or not Mark will end up drunk on the night of his flash-forward is also up in the air. But I'd be cautious to dismiss the flash-forwards entirely based solely on Gough's decision to kill himself — these events are likely to play out in some fashion, it's just unclear exactly how closely they'll adhere to what we've seen already. Still, there's a good dose of hope in this episode for Noh and the other "ghosts" without flash-forwards.
Best Quote: "No, we broke up. This is just porn." — Agent Demetri Noh
Verdict: While I don't know that I loved this episode quite as much as David Goyer did, I definitely enjoyed it. The implications of Gough's death are very fascinating and require a lot more thought than I've given it so far. Goyer and the "FlashForward" team should definitely be proud of this episode — let's just see how they'll follow up on the ideas spawned from this episode's conclusion going forward.
The Future: Simon and Simcoe are at it again, debating the merits of their still enigmatic involvement in the blackout over a high stakes game of cards.
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