Friday, October 16, 2009

Flash Forward Extra Credit Blog #3 - Leap of Faith

Well, after this 3rd episode, some things may have become slightly clearer (how vague is that statement!).

Commentary about the episode:
1. Somehow, the widespread death (murder) of crows is possibly connected to the blackout - as evidenced by the scene in Somalia in 1991. The tower that the boy saw appeared to be man-made - there was a clear scene of a ladder on the outside of it. Is this tower transmitting some kind of radio waves or microwaves that kill the birds and cause mass unconsciousness?

2. We discover a date when Demetri Noh will be murdered - March 15, 2010 (Ides of March -the day of Caesar's murder??), but the mystery woman calling from Hong Kong won't divulge any more details.

3. The date that the blackout occurred was October 6, 2009, a date that is entirely plausible for a baseball game to occur in Detroit (if it hadn't been for the Sports Illustrated cover jinx and the Tigers collapsed down the stretch against the Twins and White Sox in the last week of the season - how's that for fate or self-fulfilling prophecy?).

4. Aaron's daughter's DNA was matched w/ the corpse that was buried two years previously.

5. The Nazi might have just "outed" Agent Hawk w/ his analysis of why she's wearing a ring on her left thumb. After that scene, I would like to take back my prediction that she and Noh would hook up and becoming pregnant. She's been very straight forward from the beginning that she doesn't want a baby nor has a boyfriend.

Blog Questions:
I would pose a few questions and you should do at least two (I thought that this episode was supposed to be a character-developer and didn't have much plot/action to it, so there's little to discuss):

1. Signs are pointing to something man-made causing this flash forward + blackout. Several questions popped up: If this happened before in Somalia in 1991, did the people see the future too (and did the future come true for all of them)? Were there any side effects for the Somalis affected by the black out (if it kills crows, it's reasonable to assume that there might be side effects on humans)? Did the black out have anything to do with the famine that killed 300,000 in Somalia later that year or the civil war that tore the nation apart? What do you think?

2. More self-fulfilling prophecies: The FBI director's wife is already counting on being the new adopted mother of the boy in her vision. She said that "people are saying that these visions are true" at lunch w/ Dr. Olivia Benford. I've heard that saying in all three episodes (I think), but my larger question is, how do people know that these visions are true if they haven't come true yet? What constitutes Truth for someone in this situation? Just b/c five billion people say it's true, does that mean it is (I'm being facetious here, but only sorta)?

3. If it's true/accurate that Aaron's daughter's body is really in the casket, then how does he explain the vision? Is the TV show showing us w/ the possibility that some of these visions can be incorrect? Or, even more insidious, what if the vision is correct and his daughter is still alive? Why would the military have covered that up? Check out the 60 Minutes story on former NFL player turned military man, Pat Tillman, here for a story of a military cover-up.
- To expand on this for a second, given the infinite possibilities within the human experience, it has to possible to assume, even likely, that not everyone saw the future (Demetri Noh, sheriff in Pigeon, Utah) or that some of these events are bound to be incorrect b/c of circumstances beyond their control.

4. I think the Nazi w/ news of 137 seconds connected to the Kabbalah might just be a red herring (or false lead). The people associated with Lost are not above dropping false hints in public interviews, and so I wouldn't be surprised to find out that these numbers mean nothing at all. There is the obsession with the Lost numbers, so maybe the producers of FF are trying to copy it or fake it.

5. When Benford and Aaron talked about a leap of faith, this could be a direct reference to Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard's concept of a leap of faith. SK believed that a leap of faith was necessary in order to believe in Christianity b/c there were some contradictory elements in it that you could not accept at the same time. To quote Wikipedia's page:
In his book Philosophical Fragments, Kierkegaard delves deep into the paradoxes that Christianity presents. One of these is the belief that there existed a being (Jesus) who is both 100% man and 100% God. Since neither logic nor reason can reconcile this, one would require faith to believe it in light of the paradox. So, when one decides to have faith that a being existed as both God and man, one makes a qualitative change from non-belief to belief, and thus makes a 'leap of faith' that it is true. (

Do you think that Kierkegaard is right and that we need a leap of faith in order to believe? Why or why not? If someone is not a believer in a higher power, then the leap of faith could be applied to different situations that are relevant to his/her life.
Please pick 2 of the questions above and answer them by Friday night, October 23, 11:59 pm.


  1. 2. People say that the visions are true because they have either convinced themselves that the visions will become a reality instead of considering that they might just be a dream. At first people were calling the visions a dream but it wasn’t until people describe the dream being to real, they felt like they were there and could recollect what they were thinking and how they were thinking. It all depends on the character if the visions are destined to happen or not. Demetri and Olivia who’s Flash Forward aren’t something that they want to become a reality. Already we see Demetri play it off to his fiancé, Zoey, telling her that he saw her in his vision at the beach with him (which you have to ask is she lying to him too? Really, lying is bad for any relationship).
    But other characters such as Mark Benford are using the visions to dictate what they do in the present. Which will inevitably lead to his vision becoming a reality. What constitutes the truth for a person in this situation is whether or not a person believes in the visions.

    5. I do believe that in some cases we do need a leap in faith in order to believe in some things. I think that Aaron Stark is taking a big leap of faith when he believed that his daughter is steal alive. But I also think that part of it is him unwilling to believe that his daughter is dead. His wife (who seems like an unpleasant person) has seemed to accept that her daughter is dead (putting the majority blame on Aaron Stark.). I believe that Mark is taking a leap of faith by pursuing his vision even though he knows the outcome of people trying to kill him. I guess my religion is a leap of faith since I have a strong faith in Christianity, but I don’t look at it as a leap, because that’s up to chance. I believe that I have definite faith about my religion.

    Collin Parson
    2nd hour

  2. I think that the Somalia civil war may have been due to the (isolated?) blackout and the foreseen futures, because one of the side effects of the flash-forward is peoples’ belief in whether or not they will occur. About the famine, someone from the opposing side could have seen that as a way of crippling the enemy, or I might have missed your point and you are talking about unseen consequences involving the weather, in which case the world should stock up on different assortments of weather gear and prepare for the worst. As for the question about whether or not the blackout could affect the human lifespan, I could see how that could be significant, but I believe the writer wouldn’t put an entire world at that sort of risk. Or maybe they are sadistic, who knows? Rather, I think with the birds dying, it is this, there were preliminary tests before seeing whether the flash-forward would affect people which affected birds, so they fell down in midflight and died. But this also happened after the blackout, so all the birds dying in Somalia might have meant, again, isolated blackouts. Concerning the character development, at the end of the episode, the father of Dylan and future (lover?) of Mrs. Benford got a call saying he was a co-conspirator of the blackout. While he seems not to want to involve himself anymore, the other guy has a more menacing feel (personally) and apparently guilt’s him into working with him again.
    Focusing on Aaron’s case, it is the first time people have seriously considered the fact that everything they saw was not the defined truth. And I don’t think the military had anything to do with it, I believe she is authentically dead. Now, call me optimistic, but I think Aaron will track down the guys responsible for the blackout and try to have them do an “isolated incident” which will reach back and bring his daughter’s conciseness to a similar body of his daughter’s. Tragically, this will be the reason she dies in on the battlefield and the “men in black” won’t be able to keep the connection going more than a minute or two. Like I said; optimistic. Looking back on the mosaic of the show (bum bum pssh!) I feel like there are still pieces missing, but are already there, if only you look at them a different way. Adam Sadler

  3. Q2)
    People just think that these visions are true, there will be no proof of these visions actually coming true until October 30th, 2010. Demetri theorizes that because he didn’t have a flash-forward, that he will be dead in six months. We then hear from the woman in Hong Kong that he will be murdered on March 15th, 2010. Demetri meets the sheriff in Pigeon, Utah and she also didn’t have a flash-forward. She then dies by a bullet at the hand of a mystery man in the same episode. This is the closest evidence we have that somewhat (barely) substantiates that the flash-forwards will come true. (In episode 4, there is some proof that the visions will come true. They introduce the character Ned + Addison’s disease + surgery) Sure, you are being facetious, but it’s true that there is no proof of the visions being right. This question is making me feel like a skeptic since billions of people had visions and many of them are proven to be related through the Mosaic Collective. But nothing leads me to believe that if this actually happened in my lifetime, that I should believe my vision will come true 100%.
    I think that Kierkegaard is right and that we need a leap of faith in order to believe. I am led to believe this because I know many people who “suddenly” become religious as they approach their twenties, thirties, and even forties. I believe that this happens as a direct result of the leap of faith. People seek an ultimate truth in their lives and a higher power can grant some ultimate truths. People then think that they need to get in closer contact with their faith in order to get in touch with their higher power, in order to obtain ultimate truths and explanations for events. Religion focuses on supernatural and metaphysical claims and that’s why people turn to the higher power. People need to take the leap of faith once they feel the need to answer the supernatural and metaphysical questions. (And now I feel like a cynic as well as a skeptic)
    Nawar Dimitry 2nd Period

  4. Daniel Sherwood

    4. It is undoubtedly plausible that the whole introduction of that Nazi character was just a kill time. I mean watching any show or movie for that matter you need to keep in mind that it is designed to make money and get a lot of viewers, so the longer the show the more money you can make in the long run. Hence the introduction of a character who pretty much wastes thirty minutes of the episode, really only leading to the whole murder of crows thing, which we still don’t know about

    5. I really like this question. I think that everything in this world requires a leap of faith. I find Mr. Kierkgaards’s philosophy interesting and furthermore am surprised that he only links it to religious beliefs. Please note the irony in “leap of faith” in something like religion. Faith is all you have to really believe, you know? But I definitely think that in order to believe in anything that is slightly fantastical it takes a momentary suspension of reality and reason. For someone to be truly religious I think they need to understand that there are some things that are just miracles and that’s all there is to it.

  5. 2. I feel that people are starting to believe theses visions, because it is their only hope to get closer to the truth. Many people’s visions involve other people, and vice versa. For example, in this episode, the FBI director’s wife had a vision that she had adopted a young boy and became a mother again. She doesn’t know who this child is, until she goes to the funeral for her husband’s co-workers that died in the blackout. When she is there, she sees the little boy in her vision, and makes a connection to her vision. The young boy was the son of one of the officers, and I think that she is going to make her vision come true. This showed me that anything can happen if we just believe and think of only the positives.

    3. I don’t think that, with the infinite possibilities within human experiences, some of these events were bounded to be incorrect because of the circumstances beyond their control. I think that they can try to change it, and to be more aware of what is going to come next. For example, in the second episode, Demerti Noh meant another person who didn’t have a vision and she ended up dying later that day. And in this episode, he received a call from a woman in Hong Kong, saying that he was in her flash forward and that he was going to be murdered on March 15, 2010. Noh is terrified, and when his fiancé comes home and shares her vision, he doesn’t tell her about his flash forward. Instead, plays along with hers and acts like he saw the same thing. But I have this gut feeling that she doesn’t end up marrying him because all I saw was her, running in the sand with her white dress. The groom was too far away for me to see if it was Noh or another man. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what is going to happen.
    Annie Sovran

  6. 2. I think the FBI's director's wife will go out of her way to meet the young boy because she saw him in the vison. She'll keep reassuring herself that its supposed to happen because she say it in her flashfoward.She saw how close they were in the flashforward and she may need the love that she felt in the FF. It also seems like the boy's mom may be mistreating him and maybe she'll step in. And people think that the visons are going to come true because smaller things that happened in their visions are happening (for example the bracelet the daughter gave to her father.) So they believe the bigger things will happen as well.

    5. We do need a leap of faith in order to believe...while in church as your listening to the pastor you may think everything he is saying is bologna but you still listen and follow the world because your holding on to a string of hope that it might be a thing called heaven, and it might be life after death.

    The characters have to have a leap of faith to believe that their flashforwards may happen because if you dont believe it, it won't happen. Another question is Are the people who saw a flashforward purposely trying to make what they saw come true ? (like psyching theirselves out to believe something is fated when its not? )

    -sharnice rogers

  7. I agree with agent Benford,and I think that the widespread death of crows is connected to the blackout. I think that the blackout occurred in Somalia in 1991 and that was the first time that the people who caused tested it. When they figured out how to cause a blackout, they tried it on the entire world, and it worked. I think that the first blackout did cause the famine that killed 300,000 people later that year and the civil war that tore the nation apart.
    3. I think that Aaron's vision was accurate but I do not think that there was a military cover-up. I think that Aaron's daughter's body was in the casket. I think that Aaron was sleeping during his flash forward and the vision he saw of his daughter was just a dream that he was having.
    Lauren Peterson


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