Recap – FlashForward 1.18 “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”

Did you miss last week’s rather excellent episode of FlashForward, “The Garden of Forking Paths?” If so, read a recap here.

This week’s episode begins with Janis, speaking in a voiceover over a scene of FBI agents running the six-mile obstacle course “Yellow Brick Road,” describing how she joined the FBI. She never intended to join the FBI; she was a lawyer who hated her life. She wanted to do something patriotic. A friend, Demetri, got her to apply to eh Bureau, and she loved every second of it. She was not doing something that mattered. It is revealed that Janis is speaking two years before the blackout, to a woman named Leda, a headhunter. Janis tells her that she’s not looking to quit the FBI, which she just joined. Leda tells her that she has an opportunity for Janis, and doesn’t want her to quit. Rather, Leda’s offer would be more like multitasking.

Cut to today, the FBI agents are reviewing the blueprints and other papers Frost was carrying when he was killed. Mark repeats Frost’s final words, “In the end, you will be saved by the lady you see every day.” Vogel expresses his skepticism at the whole mission: their primary suspect in the blackout, Frost, is dead, and Alda, a known terrorist, has escaped. Further, anything Frost said should b dismissed because he was crazy. “He may have been crazy,” Mark counters, getting up in Vogel’s face, “but he was always truthful.” “Dial back the testosterone,” Wedeck warns, trying to cool the agents down.

Olivia is at home, preparing to leave for the hospital. Gabriel is waiting for her in her kitchen, and scares her with ramblings about The Pixies. He tells Olivia that he was there, with her at the Pixies concert she attended during law school, and at Scott’s wedding. Olivia warns him that there is an FBI agent outside the house that she is going to call if he doesn’t leave. Gabriel tells her that Lloyd is her husband(!). Finally, as she threatens again to call the FBI agent in, he begs her to not get coffee from the man who looks like Mr. Clean. With that, he leaves. Meanwhile, Janis is at her obstetrician, who tells Janis that she is worried about Janis’ baby. Janis is anemic, so the doctor would like her to see a specialist. Janis begrudgingly agrees to see the specialist. On her way to the hospital, Olivia calls Mark to tell him about Gabriel. She assures him that she and Charlie (who was already at school) are OK. Olivia pulls up to the hospital but sees a crash scene. A teenager crashed his car through the coffee stand. Amongst the rubble is a bald man who resembles Mr. Clean.

A year before the blackout, Janis enters a pet store. She asks the store manager, Carleen, for Red Dragon Flowerhorns. Carleen begins to pull out fishbowls, rocks and other fish accoutrement. Janis is confused; she wonders why she needs all this fish equipment. “If you’re going to be coming in here every couple weeks, you’re going to need an excuse,” Carleen, the contact for Leda’s “opportunity,” tells Janis. Carleen explains that she is to continue to do her job at the FBI, and report back to Carleen at the pet store periodically. Back in today, Janis informs Mark that analysis of the photos Frost had with him are from the early Twentieth Century. Further, there are two sets of fingerprints on them: Frost’s and Alda’s. Alda was nowhere near Frost when she killed him, so she must have touched the photos at some earlier date. Lastly, there was soil indigenous to the Kunar Province of Afghanistan on the photos, as well. Mark is left questioning what Frost would have been doing in Afghanistan.

Speaking of Afghanistan, Aaron sits in an Afghan bar, sipping a drink when he is approached by a man. The man explains he is Wedeck’s contact, and that they must leave immediately as Aaron, despite his local dress, doesn’t blend into his surroundings as well as he thinks he does. Back in L.A., Janis takes Frost’s blueprints to a professor of antiquities, Prof. Corrie. Corrie likens the object detailed in the blueprints to the Antikythera Mechanism, an ancient Greek calculator of sorts, used to determine eclipses. Though likely a similar-type calculator, Corrie cant figure out what the object in the blueprints is designed to calculate. He will keep a copy of the blueprints to make a more detailed determination. Janis leaves the professor’s office and goes to the pet store. She gives Carleen a copy of the blueprints, but Carleen wants to know how many other copies there are. Janis explains that she gave a copy to the professor, and there is a copy attached to Mark’s Mosaic board. Carleen orders Janis to retrieve both sets immediately. So, Janis returns to Corrie’s office in the dead of night. She breaks into his office, grabs the blueprints and installs a device into the wall socket. As she leaves the building, she presses a button an a remote that fires the device and knocks out all of the power in the building. Janis then goes to Mark’s office. She removes the blueprints form Mark’s board, but when she turns around, Mark is standing there. He wants to know what she is doing. Janis explains that she screwed up: the professor called her saying that he misplaced the original blueprints she gave to him, and needed another copy. She knows she shouldn’t have given Corrie the originals, but she just messed up. Mark wonders how she got into his office, to which she replies that she used his passcode. When did he give her his passcode? She answers that when he was in D.C., he called her to ask her to get the Gaier file from his office, and he gave her the passcode then. Mark seems to be warily satisfied, and warns her that this was a rookie mistake. As she is dismissed, she hands over the copy she took from the board.

Olivia, at home with Charlie, pulls out her old photo albums. She searches through them, stopping on a picture from Scott’s wedding. Sure enough, the waiter in the picture is Gabriel. She hurriedly flips to a picture from the Pixies concert. Gabriel is there, too! The next morning, Olivia takes the pictures to Vreede. He explains that he’s been looking into Raven River, as the name turned up in Mark’s side of the case as well. He’s found a couple Raven Rivers” one in Illinois, Wisconsin, and an abandoned psychiatric hospital in Arizona. The hospital is notable because it was the first to treat autistic patients. If they treated autism, what about savants, Olivia wonders. Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, Aaron shows the contact a photo of Tracy. The contact asks how Aaron knows she is alive. Aaron just knows; “I saw it,” he explains. In Aaron’s flash, he also saw a man named Khamir Dejan, a doctor who will lead Aaron to Tracy. The contact asks how they will find Khamir. Aaron shows the contact a symbol from his flash. The contact recognizes it as the symbol for Eyes on the Mountain, a medical non-governmental organization working in he country. They are located in the mountains, so that is where they will head.

Janis sees the neonatal specialist, and has an ultrasound done. The baby’s heartbeat and blood-flow are good, but the doctor is concerned with the baby’s abdominal girth. Janis needs to get more sleep, and must reduce her stress, lest she lose the pregnancy. Janis returns to the FBI office, only to find Professor Corrie in Mark’s office. It seems the professor has some interesting information. The electricity in the building failed, and all of the computer hard drives were wiped out overnight. Moreover, the blueprints were stolen from his office. Fortunately, he had taken pictures of the blueprints on his camera phone. From the calculations and renderings he conducted, he determined that the planned device is designed to calculate dates. So far, the only date he can determine is October 6, 2009, the date of the blackout.

Janis thinks back to that day. She received the call form Mark that he and Demetri were pursuing a blonde terrorist. Wedeck ordered Janis to run the photos of who would turn out to be Alda Herzog through forensics. On her way to the department, the blackout hit, flashing Janis to her doctor’s appointment. She is told in her flash that there is a problem with a bleed, but that the baby should be alright. When Janis wakes from the blackout, she is dazed. She stares out the window at the carnage wreaked below her. She vomits in the bathroom, and collapses, crying over what occurred. Janis rushes to the pet store, and tells Carleen that she wants to get out of the conspiracy. She did not sign up for killing millions of people, including her friends and coworkers. Carleen matter-of-factly tells Janis that she can’t get out, she’s in too deep. Besides, Carleen can’t make that decision anyway, Janis would have to talk to the “man in charge,” and she will never get that opportunity. Obviously losing this battle, Janis storms out.


3 Comments

  1. Tom April 30, 2010
  2. mikenjd April 30, 2010
  3. leeaundra April 30, 2010

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