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What caused the global blackout?
It's been awhile since FlashForward flickered across our TV screens and flooded our brains with its version of post-Lost geeky-humane fantasy-drama engineered for an age of catastrophe. Fans probably have no problem recalling the premise. But for newbies, here's the deal, adapted from the opening credit sequence itself: On October 6, 2009, almost everyone on the planet blacked out for 2 minutes and 17 seconds and got a peek of their future on April 29, 2010. Can the future be changed? Yes — but not easily. Is it possible that the future flashes are something else? Hallucinations? Possible futures or parallel worlds? Yes — and now you know why FlashForward spawns as many theories (and very similar theories) as Lost. Who knows? Maybe FlashForward takes place in Lost's Sideways world...
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What's with Agent Bedford's Wall of Clues?
In a trippy predestination paradox twist, FlashForward's chief hero, FBI agent Mark Benford (Joseph Fiennes), basically appointed himself lead investigator into the mystery of the global blackout because in his flash-forward, he saw that... he was the lead investigator into the mystery of the global blackout. What he saw specifically was a bulletin board in his office pinned and cluttered with clues, which he promptly tried to re-create from memory, thus beginning to fulfill his loopy destiny. Benford is an ex-boozer, and in his vision, he saw drunk. Consequently, he can't recall everything about his flash-forward. That will soon change. As the series begins anew, Benford is out of work, fired as a result of a rogue mission to Hong Kong. Expect his unemployment status to quickly change, as well.
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Who is Suspect Zero?
Not everyone blacked out during the worldwide power nap. At least one person, dubbed ''Suspect Zero,'' was awake and moving around in an unlikely locale: Tigers Stadium in Detroit. Suspect Zero is believed to be part of a larger conspiracy that knows something about the GBO and may have even caused it. Janis Hawk (Christine Woods) — one of the agents that works with Benford; the team name: Mosaic — was able to snag a fuzzy photo of Suspect Zero and enhance it enough to discern a weird ring on his/her finger crested with the Greek symbol/letter for Alpha. Look for the identity of Suspect Zero to be revealed very soon.
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Beware the ides of March?
Demetri Noh (John Cho) is Benford's partner and one of many people in the world who actually saw nothing during the GBO. These people are dubbed ''ghosts.'' The conventional wisdom: darkness = death. Noh has been encouraged to believe in this conclusion by dint of intel given to him by a mystery woman based in Hong Kong named Nhadra Udaya (Shohreh Aghdashloo); in her flash-forward, she saw an intelligence briefing reporting Noh's demise on March 15. Cause of death: Murder — with Benford's gun. Noh is engaged to a lawyer named Zoey Andata (Gabrielle Union). She initially believed her flash-forward envisioned her wedding day, but now believes she was actually witnessing Demetri's funeral.
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What's Charlie got to do with it?
By Charlie, we of course mean Lost actor Dominic Monaghan, who plays the quippy-arrogant genius physicist Simon Campos. He was part of a team of scientists working on a particle accelerator project that smashed some atoms together on the day of the blackout in an effort to produce energy that hasn't been seen in the universe since the big bang. The world now believes that these eggheads and their work had something to do with the GBO. Campos isn't convinced. He's now begun working with Team Mosaic. The agents suspect that the GBO conspiracy tried to test the weird work in Africa in 1991. The twist: The conspiracy used technology based on designs that Campos devised... in 1992. My theory? Time-traveling island.
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Who kidnapped Lloyd Simcoe?
Mark Benford's bumpy marriage to physician Olivia (Sonya Walger) has been made even rockier by her vision: In her flash-forward, she saw herself romantically linked to Simcoe (Jack Davenport), the father of one of her patients, an autistic boy named Dylan (Ryan Wynott). Simcoe is a scientist who worked with Campos on the particle accelerator project. Unlike Campos, he believes their work did trigger the GBO. Simcoe pushed Campos to announce that belief to the world, which has made them Public Enemies No. 1 and 2. Simcoe and Olivia were becoming friends and possibly friendlier when we last saw them — but then he was kidnapped by goons.
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Will Bryce Find Keiko? And how will Janis get preggers?
FlashForward has several compelling supporting characters, including Nurse Bryce Varley (Zachary Knighton). Terminal cancer pushed him to try suicide on the day of the GBO; a vision of true love with a woman he hasn't met named Keiko (Yuko Takeuchi) has given him new hope. Meanwhile, Janis, who is single and digs chicks, saw herself with child. How's that going to happen? We last saw her asking Bryce for advice on fertility clinics....
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Why was Wedeck on the pot?
In one of the more humorous flash-forwards that we've seen to date, Mosaic head honcho Stanford Wedeck (Courtney B. Vance) saw himself sitting on the toilet, going No. 2. We laugh, though the FBI assistant director's flash-forward becomes stranger — and more suspicious — the more you think about it. How come his flash-forward lacks self-awareness of the flash-forward moment? How come he has only ever described a small portion of his experience? Is he hiding something? Wedeck had a past working for the president, doing dirty tricks to help him get elected. One wonders if Wedeck has more skeletons in his past — and his future.
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Who are the bad guys?
Nhadra Udaya — who has a legion of thugs at her disposal and is in bed with the CIA — was last seen harboring a mystery man named ''D. Gibbons'' (Michael Massee), a chess playing, rosary bead-wearing whiz who destroyed a doll factory that possibly held clues to the GBO. There's also a shady private military outfit called Jericho, which may or may not be linked to the conspiracy. And there's another unidentified man, played by actor/illusionist Ricky Jay and deemed a certifiable bad guy by the producers, who recently obtained a case containing Alpha rings similar to the one worn by Suspect Zero.
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And finally: What's the deal with the kangaroo?
Yep. There's a kangaroo. Last seen hopping through Mark Benford's neighborhood on Halloween. Your guess is as good as ours.