Saturday, March 27, 2010

FlashForward Returns with a Fizzle, but Castle Ends with a Bang

FlashForward:FlashForward returned two weeks ago with a two hour episode. In this episode, we finally got some more information about Mark’s FlashForward. Dan thinks that they used the fact that Mark was drunk in his FlashForward to reorganize the show and fix some of the problems and plot holes by adding some new items to the board and using Mark being drunk as a reason for it not being clear on the board previously. I tend to agree with Dan’s assessment because of the whole Red Panda and the Hydra things, and a few others that we will discuss in the coming weeks. Also, they added the whole Simcoe and Mark discussion about D. Gibbons, but Dan and I agree that this change was probably always intended and was not part of the re-organizational changes previously discussed.

Here's a video to explain FlashForward in case you haven't watched it. For a better recap go here.

One thing that really pissed me off about the mid-season premiere was the lack of informatn about the whole Demetri death storyline. The lack of addressing this topic was inexcusable and lazy writing. It was such a huge part of the story at the mid-season finale that not addressing it in this two hour episode was an unbelievable letdown. Dan tried to explain it was because the timeline was out of sync and that the story was no longer in real time, so we had not reached the March 15 date of Demetri’s death yet despite being there in real life. This is the problem faced by shows when they try to do things really interesting like this. Ultimately the network and circumstances always seem to intervene and screw things up. ABC usually does not screw up like this, but the Haiti tribute and a few other circumstances prevented them from sticking to their initial spring schedule and essentially FlashForward is paying the price. Thankfully, this last week’s episode started to address the Demetri storyline and I am thankful for that.

The clues on this board explaining what caused the blackout are suppossed to be pieced together on April 29th, will the writers pull it off?

The ratings for FlashForward are not where they need to be for this show to be secured for a long run. Dan and I both think that it is an excellent show that we both enjoy watching and discussing, however we feel that it just has not found its audience yet and needs an opportunity to catch on to a wider audience. LOST is one of the best shows of last decade and Dan and I both felt that FlashForward had the potential to have the same success as LOST. We still feel that it could have the same success if the show progresses as we expect that it can. The problem is that LOST is very character driven and the audience was drawn into the storyline because we could relate to and root for the characters. This same thing can not be said about FlashForward. FlashForward is plot driven and most of the time I can not wait to see where the story is going, but feel that the show is really lacking the character driven element that made LOST such a success. There is not one character on FlashForward that really grips my attention and thus, while I am excited to see where the plot goes, I am not vested in any of the characters. This could be a problem that ultimately spells doom for the show despite the great concept and plot. Dan describes FlashForward as an old fashion slow grow show, which is a great technique, but it needs to get moving and get into gear or it will be canceled before it can really reach its potential. I hope this does not happen because I really want to see where they are going with the storyline.

Do these shows compare? Tell us your thoughts.

Finally, Dominic Monaghan was amazing in this two part episode, especially the 2nd hour. I really like him as an actor and loved him as Charlie on LOST and am liking him as the pseudo bad guy Simon Campos. Dan likes him too, but felt that his part in the first hour of the premiere was unnecessary and seemed a little excessive. He did not like the whole kidnapping and cutting his finger off parts and felt that they did not really move the story forward. I tried to explain that the amazing second hour with Dominic Monaghan would not have been possible without the setup in the first hour. Thus, while it may have seemed a little out of place or excessive to Dan, I think it was necessary to move the plot forward. We both agreed by the end of the discussion that the excessive first hour was ultimately needed to make such a killer second half.

Watch FlashForward Thursdays at 8/7c on ABC. Dan and I will discuss it in our next week’s phone conversation and I will discuss the next two weeks worth of FlashForward next time on the blog.


Chuck has been so great recently, it deserves a movie poster despite being on TV.

This week’s Chuck was a good episode, but not the greatest of the season (probably Chuck Vs. The Beard was the best). It appears that the writers are attempting to do something in each episode to keep Chuck and Sarah apart while they try to resolve the whole Shaw storyline. In this last episode, Shaw was pissing Dan and I off something wicked, especially when he was interjecting himself into the conversations between Chuck and Sarah when they were on the stakeout. Like I keep saying, Shaw has got to go!!!!

Dan had a theory that Casey’s family may return in a future episode and that this return will help with the return of Chuck’s Dad to the show. Rumors have been swirling about Scott Bakula’s return as Chuck’s dad (Steve Bartowski ), but I believe Dan told me this has been confirmed…maybe not. We’ll leave it as a highly likely rumor for now. Ultimately, the return of Chuck’s Dad may be the impetus that pushes Chuck to strike out on his own and form Team Bartowski, separate from the CIA.

Will the Buy More staff join Team Bartowski to be a rogue spy group defending America's freedom?

Dan’s Team Bartowski theory for how the show may be heading, seems to gaining some credence. My only question with regards to this theory is how will this work with all of the supporting characters? Will Chuck still work at the Buy More as a cover if he strikes out on his own? How will they keep Jeff & Lester a part of the show if Chuck is no longer at the Buy More? Jeffster is so over the top hilarious and such a fan favorite (especially me) that the show can not lose them without losing a part of itself that makes Chuck the show that fans love. In reality, if the show is going to lose any supporting characters, unfortunately, the two that would be the least disruptive to the show would be Ellie & Awesome. I really would hate to see Awesome go and hope this is not the case. Also, this was a strange episode for Morgan to be MIA. He should have been in this episode to be there in support as the best friend while Chuck took his big test, but alas he was not in this episode. His absence was strange. Dan and I both hope this does not mean that maybe Morgan is being squeezed off the show, which would be a travesty.

Here's another Jeffster performance for your viewing pleasure.

Anyway, watch Chuck Mondays at 8/7c on NBC and I’ll leave the discussion this week with the best line from the last episode: “I’m a naked spy”

Dan and I were correct in our hypothesis that the cliffhanger for this week’s episode would be the explosion and we would be wondering if Beckett is dead. Of course Beckett is not dead! Dan is coming around to my theory that the killer used the explosion as a means to kidnap Beckett. Actually, Dan and I both thought the scene where the guy committed suicide was going to be the explosion scene as we were watching the episode because just prior to that scene we learned that the FBI agent (Guest Star Dana Delany) was a mother. Her random declaration that she is a mother, which is unnecessary personal information about a guest star or secondary character, usually means that the character is going to die. Thus Dan and I both believed that the FBI agent was going to die in the explosion as she was arresting the guy in the building with Kate and Castle outside watching. This, of course, did not happen, but we both believe she is going to be killed in the next episode based on my theory of excessive information and based on the previews.

A look at Part 2 of the Castle Television Event.

Speaking of theories for next week’s episode, Dan believes that it is going to fall to Castle to solve the mystery and rescue Beckett. I agree with this theory. I still think that this killer could lead to a nemesis character and that they don’t need to necessarily catch him this week, but Castle will rescue Beckett. Dan believes we may see a little Malcolm Reynolds emerge from Castle this week…playful, but very driven demeanor… goof around to relieve tension, but very focused on figuring this case out and rescuing Beckett. Castle hit it off with the FBI agent in this episode so that it is not out of character for him to be his goofing around self whilst trying to find Beckett in the next episode.

Does Castle have a little Captain Mal in him? We'll see.

Also, I think Castle was making nice with the FBI agent intentionally to make Beckett a little jealous… and jealous she got. Maybe she began to realize that she had more feelings than just annoyance and actually has turned to true fondness for Castle. I’m not saying romantic feelings (yet), but a true fondness and friendship has developed and thus she got jealous of Castle's interest and playfulness with the FBI agent.

An example of the relationship dynamic between Beckett, Castle and the FBI Agent.

Best scene from the episode: When Ryan & Esposito are questioning Castle about why he was at Beckett’s apartment and Castle calls them in for a huddle to say, “Tell you guys a secret…. NOTHING HAPPENED!” Great stuff! Along those lines, Dan and I have a crackpot theory that Beckett and Castle will eventually get together and when they do, Castle will get writers block since he can no longer use Beckett as his muse. Castle will have to ultimately decide whether to kill off the Nikki Heat character or end his relationship with Beckett so that he can go back to objectively writing the character. We think this is an excellent 3rd or 4th season overarching plot line. Watch Castle Mondays at 10/9c only on ABC.

Well, that is more than enough for this week. Keep up the comments, voicemails, and tweets. @AcrossAirwaves, The first good voicemail with a crackpot theory about any of the shows we discuss will be featured on blog, so please participate. Til next week, “I’m a naked spy!”


Rocketman2387 said...

I'm kinda getting the sense that Jeff and Lester are gonna join Team Bartowski, as surveillance specialists or gadget experts. In other words they would act as the Q of the Chuckverse.

CReifste said...

Yep. I think you are exactly right about that. I loved last nights episode and next week's gonna be amazing. I think it may finally be the end of Shaw.

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