FlashForward, ABC's intriguing new drama, chronicles a frightening world event in which everyone loses consciousness simultaneously for two minutes and 17 seconds. During that time, each person experiences a "flash-forward" to the same date about six months into the show's future: April 29, 2010. Many critics (including us) are calling the show the next Lost. Will it be? Let's meet the Flashers — and learn what they saw when the whole world blacked out:
Mark Benford (Joseph Fiennes) is a FBI agent at the Los Angeles Field Office. He becomes the de facto squad leader of the Mosaic case, in which the Feds piece together the visions of thousands of people to create a cohesive picture of what happens in the future. He's also a recovering alcoholic.
Where He Was: He and his partner Demetri were in hot pursuit of a group of people who were suspected of planning the detonation of a dirty bomb. Just as their car was about to smash into an oil tanker, they lost consciousness.
His Flash-Forward: He was in his office, working on the Mosaic case. He remembers four terms that were posted on a crowded bulletin board in his office -- D. Gibbons; Baby Doll Photographs; Blue Hand; and Friendship Bracelet. He says he felt like someone was coming to kill him because of what he knew. One of the men had a tattoo of three stars on his forearm. Also: He was off the wagon.
Burning Questions: Well, I mean, where do you start?
Read more about the show TVGuide.com is calling "the new Lost"
Dr. Olivia Benford (Sonya Walger) is Mark's wife and a trauma surgeon. She is concerned about her colleague, Dr. Bryce Varley, who didn't show up for rounds the previous day.
Where She Was: She, and the entire O.R. staff, blacked out just as they were beginning surgery. When they come to, the patient has died on the table.
Her Flash-Forward: In her vision, a scantily clad Olivia approaches the second-floor landing in her house. But when she looks below to the living room, instead of her husband, Mark, lounging shirtless on the couch, it's Lloyd Simcoe (Jack Davenport), the parent of one of her patients on the day of the incident. "Hey, honey," she says to him.
Burning Questions: Did Olivia leave Mark because he was drinking? Can she change her future vision — one that she clearly doesn't want to come true — or are we all victims of our fates?
Charlie Benford (Lennon Wynn), Mark and Olivia's daughter, is thus far mostly just a cute kid.
Where She Was: She was asleep in her bed while her babysitter, Nicole, entertained a guest. At the end of the episode, she gives Mark the bracelet that he saw himself wearing in his flash-forward.
Her Flash-Forward: We don't know what she saw, but when she wakes up, she says, "I dreamt that there were no more good days," hence the title of this episode.
Burning Questions: In a hospital scene, the Simcoe kid calls Dr. Benford by her first name, implying that he already knows her. Did he see her in his flash-forward? Do kids have some separate understanding of these future events?
Dr. Bryce Varley (Zachary Knighton) is a surgical intern who reports to Dr. Benford. The day before the incident, he skipped rounds without any explanation.
Where He Was: Bryce was standing on a pier at the beach with a gun pointed at his chin, preparing to commit suicide. The incident interrupted his plan, and when he came to, the sea was full of the lifeless bodies of surfers, and he sprung into action to treat them.
His Flash-Forward: We don't see it yet, but whatever he saw gave him the will to live. Following the incident, he is zen-like and chipper.
Burning Question: What changed his tune?
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Stanford Wedeck (Courtney B. Vance) is the fair-minded director of the FBI's L.A. Field Office. He appears to have a good rapport with his agents.
Where He Was: We don't see where he was, but immediately following the incident he is in the L.A. Field Office and, in his role as the office's director, immediately mobilizes his agents to hypothesize about what could have possibly occurred.
His Flash-Forward: All we see is him sitting on the toilet reading the sports section, a few details of which he remembers. It's important to note that of the two minutes and 17 seconds, we only see a few seconds, so there is obviously more to learn — a fact that applies to all the flash-forwards of which we get a glimpse in this episode.
Burning Question: What more did he see?
Demetri Noh (John Cho) is Mark's partner. He's engaged to Zoey (Gabrielle Union), an attorney who we haven't met yet. Demetri's idle conversation with Mark indicates that Zoey wants to play the Kenny Rogers-Dolly Parton duet "Islands in the Stream" for the first dance at their wedding, a song that he sheepishly admits to singing one night at a karaoke bar.
Where He Was: He was sitting next to Mark, in hot pursuit of a suspect.
His Flash-Forward: Demetri claims he didn't see anything during the mass blackout.
Burning Questions: Does that mean he's dead in April 2010? The show's producers have indicated that we shouldn't necessarily trust the flash-forwards, so... maybe not?
Janis Hawk (Christine Woods) is a friendly, no-nonsense agent who thus far appears to be just one of the guys.
Where She Was: She indicated in a phone call with Mark that she was in the Field Office. After the incident, she started scanning security-cam footage to look for any anomalies. She found a big one at Detroit's Oxide Stadium, where she saw a lone figure walking through the stands while everyone else was unconscious.
Her Flash-Forward: She was getting a prenatal sonogram. She was 17 weeks pregnant, and it was a baby girl. She reports significantly that she doesn't even have a boyfriend at present.
Burning Questions: Well, who's the creepy guy in the stadium, of course? And are there others like him?
Aaron Stark (Brian F. O'Byrne)
Aaron is Mark's sponsor and best friend. He's an employee of L.A.'s department of water and power. He reports that he starting drinking again when his daughter, Tracy, a Marine, was killed in Afghanistan.
Where He Was: Aaron was strapped into a safety harness at the top of an electrical pole, making repairs. When he came to, he was hanging practically upside-down, but appeared to be unharmed.
His Flash-Forward: He sees his daughter, Tracy, lying prone, but definitely alive and smiling.
Burning Questions: How could that be possible when he exposits during an AA meeting that his daughter's charred remains were identified via DNA testing? Also, if you see a vision that you want to be true, can you will it to happen?
Check out our burning questions about ABC's FlashForward
Nicole Kirby (Peyton List) is a 19-year-old college student who babysits Charlie for the Benfords.
Where She Was: While Charlie slept/napped, a rapidly stripping Nicole was just about to get BI-ZAY with her boyfriend on the Benfords' living-room sofa.
Her Flash-Forward: Nothing to report yet, but she is visibly shaken after the incident, so it doesn't seem like she saw anything good.
Burning Question: ABC press materials indicate that Nicole was a childhood friend of Tracy Stark, Aaron's presumed-dead daughter. How does Nicole fit into her story?
Simon (Dominic Monaghan) doesn't show up until Episode 3, according to producers. Maybe it's the years of Lost viewership, but their evasiveness about this character makes me immediately suspicious.
Where He Was: Who knows? Certainly not still on the island! (R.I.P., Chaahlie.)
His Flash-Forward: Again, it's all a mystery. We don't even know if he even had one (see below).
Burning Question: I have a big one. Call it a hunch, but could Simon be the mysterious hooded figure we saw walking through the stadium in Detroit?
So, what did you think? Did FlashForward live up the hype? Will you keep watching? Have any burning questions? Read this.
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