Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Extra Credit - Flash Forward Blog #1

Flash Forward is the new TV show on ABC whose premise is that the entire world blacks out for 2 minutes and 17 seconds. During that blackout, many people had visions of events that would occur 6 months into the future, on April 29, 2010 at 10 p.m. (Pacific Daylight Time). Here's the TV show's summary from their website:

"Los Angeles FBI Agent Mark Benford (Joseph Fiennes) is
desperate to uncover why this happened and who or what is behind it. And he's
not the only one. Before long, everyone starts asking, "What did you see?" As
Mark and his team struggle to figure out what caused this bizarre event, they
begin to piece together the future by creating a huge database of people's flash
forwards from all over the world - The Mosaic Collective. No one knows what
these flash forwards mean or exactly what the future really holds. But it is
clear that across the globe people who've never met will somehow be intimately
connected and will have an impact on each other's lives in the next six months.
Some will fear what's coming, others excited; but not a single person will be

The questions that we raised in class concerned concerned self-fulfilling prophecies. How likely are the characters to fulfill their destinies? Mark Benford, the FBI agent investigating the blackout, worries about falling off the wagon. His wife, Olivia, worries about breaking up her marriage w/ a mysterious stranger. Will Demetri Noh, Mark's partner, figure out why he didn't have a vision in time to avoid a potential death? How will fellow FBI agent Janis Hawk become pregnant? Will Mark's AA sponsor and friend, Aaron, find his daughter alive in Afghanistan after believing she'd been dead for 2 years?

"Just because we saw these things doesn't mean they have to happen."

Questions (choose one of the following):
1. If you see a vision like the ones that these folks have seen, why doesn't it have to happen? Or, do you believe the opposite: these visions are glimpses of the future and that no matter how hard you try, you won't be able to avoid it? Or maybe we wish / desire something to happen so badly that it actually occurs?

2. Why do you think that some of the characters (Nicole, the babysitter and Bryce, the intern who almost committed suicide) turned to God as an explanation for the black out? Is it easier to turn to God as an explanation for this event or harder? Why?

3. Could our consciousness move somewhere else? In the TV series' example, it moves temporally six months into the future. Do you think it could happen? Why or why not? As a related question, where does our consciousness go when we dream?

Answer one of the questions with a minimum of 150 words and have it completed by Sunday night, October 12th, 11:59 p.m.


  1. These visions certainly don’t have to happen. Although everyone has a predicted fate for April 29th 2010 at 10p.m., each person can exercise their free will to change, avoid, or accomplish their prophecy. In Mark Benford’s flash forward, he was looking at a future project board of the investigation, with several names, pictures, and clues to help solve the flash forward. Also, Mark recalls a man breaking into the office with intent to kill him. We don’t know yet if Mark wants to fulfill his flash forward or not, but although he may not know it, he is. Mark strives to follow and investigate all the clues he had seen on his board, from D. Gibbons, to the abandoned doll factory across the street from the bus station, and now to Rudolf Guyer (Episode 3). He could just rip them all of his board and drop the investigation or even resign as several other FBI workers have done, but instead he decides to examine and explore the clues. Also, Mark sees himself wearing a friendship bracelet. His daughter gives him a friendship bracelet shortly after the flash forward and by means of free-will Mark burns it, so that right there is an example of why the future doesn’t have to happen exactly as people have seen it. Also, Olivia meets the man she cheats on Mark with in her flash forward, Lloyd Simcoe. Olivia has deliberately avoided getting to know Lloyd Simcoe in hopes of avoiding the future she saw. By doing so, she can avoid her vision. Agent Demetri Noh posts his flash forward on the Mosaic Collective and shortly thereafter he receives a phone call from a woman in Hong Kong who tells Noh that he will be murdered on March 15th, 2010. Demetri didn’t have a vision and feared his indefinite death, but now he knows the date he will be murdered. He can certainly alter his catastrophic prophecy, in several ways, simply by avoiding any possible dangers on March 15th.
    Nawar Dimitry 2nd Peirod

  2. I think that many people, who believe in God, turn to Him for explanations in many different events. In Flash Forward, some of the characters were in situations, which they didn’t feel like they could live any longer or just didn’t know what their purpose was. For example, Bryce, the intern at the hospital, was about to commit suicide, but then the blackout happened. After the 2 minutes and 17 seconds, he woke up, and felt like a new person. Bryce believes that God had something to do about the blackout, and wanted to give him another perspective on his life and that he was put here for a purpose. I do believe that is it easier to turn to God for any clarification on events, like this, happen only because he is the only one with the most power. He created the world we live in and He can do whatever to it, whenever. We may not all agree on this subject, but from what I am taught and my religion, I do believe that God does certain things and that there is always a purpose for us.

  3. In Flash-Forward everyone in the whole world saw there future six months from November. Many characters from the series believe that their visions will occur and that there is nothing they can do. Others believe that they can or in one case must change what they see or didn’t see from becoming a reality. I believe that if you truly believe that your visions are to become a reality, then it will become a reality. However if you think that you can change your visions, or if you just look at your vision like it’s a dream or nightmare than you can change your vision. This reminds me to the point of the question “If a tree falls in the forest with no ones around will it make a sound?” Most people believe so because what they truly believe in. Other people think it wouldn’t because of what they believe in.
    In the first episode we see how the FBI agent, Mark Benford, follows what he sees in his flash-forward, by recalling what to call the case, what was on his bulletin board, and the tattoo of one of the assassins meant to kill him. It shows how he is playing right into what he believes his destiny is. If you see visions that you believe that’ll happen you have the power to reject the fact that they might become a reality and strive to prevent them from happening.

    Collin Parson
    2nd hour

  4. Daniel Sherwood
    The characters in this show explain these happenstances by using God because it is the easiest explanation. The global flash forward that took place is a surreal event and God is a surreal idea so it would make sense that he created this whole thing. Bryce, especially, has reasons to believe it was God’s intervention because it would seem to him as if he was saved, right when he was about o kill himself the blackout occurred revealing a positive and happy future; who else but God? People have been searching for answers since we’ve been on this planet and there are many questions that are still up in the air. In my opinion, it’s these questions that made God develop in the first place, because if not for the mystical goings on of the earth why have an explanation? For this reason some characters in Flash Forward strongly believe that what happened was divine intervention. As Vernon L. Wesley said “When in doubt turn to God!”.

  5. In the first episode of flashfoward, you don’t really know the reason behind why the blackout happened. I don’t think that any of the characters know why it has to happen, or why it did happen, but all they know is that they had a flashforward of their future. I think that in any situation you can work hard and try to avoid it, but in this situation, people believe that their flashfowards are going to happen on April 10th, 2010, but in the end, how can you be really sure that the date is correct? I think that there is a reason behind the whole world blacking out for 2 minutes and 17 seconds, but we will have to find out in the show later on. The most logical reason for the blackout to happen for me is that G-d had to do something with it because most of the characters in the series believe in him.

  6. #3

    It is believed that there are two seperate parts of the mind, the conscious and the subconscious or the part of the mind that works while we sleep, a doorway into the deeper workings of the human mind. Throughout history we have various examples of the mind leaving the body or traveling on a different plane entirely. The native americans believed that through an ancient practice (and yes with the consumtion of drugs, though that is not the point at all!) that the mind and or spirit would leave the body on a vision quest. Though the proof is far from concrete the visions often times related so simularly to to real life that the practice is still done today. As a desendent of these people, I do believe that the mind can travel, it is free in a way that our physical bodies are not. Consciously, we are limited to this plane, this set of rules, but who's to say that our mind is limited to this? Who's to say that the rules of time, of fate, are the same somewhere else? Many figures of the world's history support this theory, Joan of Arc was said to have been a witch, with her visions she led an army to several vicories that were given to her by 'god'. Taking her experience out of the context of 'visions from god' she could easily fit the idea that her mind had traveled from her body, broken free of it's physical bounderies for brief amounts of time. In the periods of time, the mind transended into a plane where the laws of time that rule our plane don't apply at all. Nostrdamus could be tagged as much the same for the idea that the conscious was not limited to one plane, many of his predictions of worldly events have in fact come to pass.
    To say that I believe that the consciousness move somewhere else would be true, not only because I personaly believe the mind is not confined by our physical body but also because in history, we have seen this vary idea before.
    As to where it may wander when we dream? The belief that there is more than just our one reality, our one plane, maybe our dreams aren't really just our mind's leftover ideas put into motion, but a log of where we really have been. Maybe those scenes in our head are very real, just not here. Somewhere else, somewhere that the conscious can travel, and logs away for study like we do here everyday. For all we know, we could be the dreams for another body that the mind travels to when we sleep. After all, our rules only apply to us.
    -Molly 2nd hour
    Absent work

  7. I believe that Nicole and Bryce turn to the solution that god created the flash-forward because it was the easiest solution. Bryce also believes that it (the flash-forward) was shown to him by god so that he would not take his own life and lift up his spirits by showing him how he would later help others. As for Nicole, she might have translated it as an act of god’s hand out of guilt. I say this because we still don’t really know what she saw, or even her role in all this, but taking into view the actions she did during the first episode I would not be surprised to find out that she grew up under inside a strong Catholic family and feels the need for repentance. Now, I know that was a stab in the dark, but in my flash-forward, I saw everything turning out the way I wrote it. Adam Sadler

  8. I think that in the show, everything seen in people’s flash forwards are beginning to follow through. For instance, when the main character’s daughter gave him a bracelet in his vision, and it actually happened later in the second episode. All of the pictures and clues that were pinned up on the wall are starting to appear piece-by-piece. I’m going to predict that everything is going to happen and no matter what the characters do to avoid their fate, there flash forward is going to come true. They may take a different path, but they will find themselves with the same ending. I have the feeling that the characters are misperceiving their vision. There is going to be more meaning and understanding once they actually experience their vision six months from now. I also think that because the characters in the show have seen “this vision”, they are looking to experience the vision. They are more aware of the little details/clues that normally we ignore or pass by in our everyday lives. They are expecting this situation to come. Once you have seen something, its hard to convince yourself they it isn’t real.

    Casey H

  9. If I were to see a vision like the characters in Flash Forward, I would be very confused. I believe that these glimpses are their future, but they can fight them. If one character knows something bad is going to happen to them, or they don’t see a vision at all, then I think that they could have the power to maneuver their visions. Mark is following his flash forward. He is investigating the clues through his visions and his flash forward is gradually becoming his real life. Bryce was going to kill himself, but after the black out happened he woke up as a different person. Bryce believes in god and has a feeling that he was behind the flash forwards. These are two examples of characters that are handling their visions two opposite ways. Mark is following it because he believes that it is going to be his future and Bryce believes god meant to do this. These visions are glimpses of the future, but I believe that all of these characters have the power to change their vision if they also believe in it.


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