This week’s episode of Flashforward was the one fans have been waiting for since the start of the season. March 15th was the day Agent Demetri Noh was predicted to die, and we finally reached that date. In one of the most dramatic Flashforward episodes so far, the answer was revealed. Read on for a full recap of the Garden of Forking Paths.
The tension begins right from the opening shot of a scared looking Demetri, anxiously sitting in a chair which is rigged up to a complex machine that has Mark Benford’s gun pointing at him. Behind him is an elaborate chalkboard with many photos and clues connected by lines, all in different colours. The camera closes in on a photo of Demetri, underneath which are the words “Demetri Dies, March 15th 2010”.
At the end of last week’s episode, we saw Dyson Frost approaching Charlie Benford at her school carnival, so this week, we got to see her being interviewed by the FBI. After a little gentle encouragement from Wedeck, Charlie begins to tell what happened.
In a flashback to the carnival, Dyson Frost told Charlie that he works with her dad and that he knew she liked to read. A weird conversation about Dr. Seuss followed and Frost said his favourite Dr.Seuss story is One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish,Blue Fish. He added that Dr. Seuss has all the answers. Frost then handed Charlie a picture and told her to give it to Mark.
Back in the office, Mark has the picture and on the back there is an address and a time. As Olivia and Charlie start to leave the FBI building, Wedeck distracts Charlie with some jelly beans, and an awkward conversation about whether Charlie needs to see a therapist occurs between Mark and Olivia. The discomfort between the two is very clear and begins to push us into thinking that Olivia’s flashforward may really come true.
The next scene shows an anxious Zoey interviewing the “hot blonde terrorist” Alda Hertzog to find out if she knows anything about Demetri’s disappearance. Shrugging off another of Alda’s comment that perhaps Demetri is with his girlfriend, she asks Alda to tell her everything she knows. A desperate Zoey begs for Alda’s help but the blonde continues to toy with her, saying that if Zoey can get her a hearing immediately, she will give up the information.
The FBI prepare for Mark to meet Frost at the designated time and place written on the back of the picture he got from Charlie. Vreede reveals that the picture is Oedipus and the Sphinx and Mark goes on to say that perhaps Frost is trying to send them a message. He explains that by trying to avoid his fate, Oedipus sets in to motion the events that led to the scenario he was trying to avoid.
Flashback to six months before the blackout, and Alda Hertzog is being taken to meet Dyson Frost by a man named Hellinger. We previously saw Hellinger involved in the kidnapping of Lloyd and Simon but his relationship to Frost is not yet clear. Hellinger explains that Frost is brilliant but eccentric and they had to fake his death to remove him from the public eye. He then tells Alda that he is one of the few people who understand the science behind “all this”, presumably meaning the blackout, but that if he gets out of control she may need to “take care of him”. As they enter Frost’s hideout, Frost tells them to be careful of the dominoes which are laid out in two different, yet intertwining paths, a black line and a white line.
When Hellinger introduces Alda to Frost he tells her that Frost helped to engineer the Raven River experiments, but Frost reveals that he created them. After some talk about the upcoming blackout, Hellinger asks if the QED is ready and Frost produces the first ring – one of the rings that made certain people immune to the GBO. As Hellinger and Alda begin to leave, Alda asks about the dominoes and Frost tells her it’s his garden. The white dominoes chart the path of his escape.
At Dyson Frost’s lair in the present, Demetri nervously waits and when he makes a slight movement, the mechanism on the device he is attached to starts to move, threatening to pull the trigger of Mark’s gun. Frost enters and indicates to the chalkboard behind Demetri, telling him he calls it the Garden of Forking Paths. It charts the possible futures that branch off every decision he makes. Frost goes on to explain that in the eighties, at a place called Raven River, they engineered thousands of flashforwards, some skipping a few seconds into the future, some many years but every time they saw a different possible future. Frost says that March 15th 2010 is often the date that he dies, possibly with Demetri killing him. Frost tells Demetri that by setting up the device with Mark’s gun, he is trying to conform to the possible future as closely as possible while still allowing for the chance that they might both live.
Mark Benford waits at the place Frost instructed him to be, watched by many FBI agents both in the building and behind CCTV cameras. The wait is long and eventually he is approached by a small boy carrying a Superman backpack. He hands Mark the backpack and inside is a photo of Demetri with the number 423 written on the back. Mark’s phone rings and Frost gives him a whole bunch of instructions, telling him that if he follows them, he will get the answers he needs about the next blackout. He then tells Mark to set his watch to the numbers on the back of the photo, the amount of time Demetri has to live. The next sequence shows Mark following the instructions Frost gave him, escaping the watch of his colleagues.
Cut to the hospital. Olivia is at work, when Agent Vreede enters and informs her that the homeless man that was shot by Dyson Frost had a cellphone and had sent her a text a few months ago. The text that told her Mark was drinking in his flashforward. Vreede asks Olivia to go to the morgue and see if she can recognise the victim.
Zoey, who has managed to get Alda a hearing, makes up a story that Alda needs to go to the hospital for suspected appendicitis. When her request is denied, Zoey is worried but Alda gives up the information anyway. She says that in her flashforward, she heard that Demetri’s body was found in building seven. As they head back to Alda’s cell, Zoey questions her further and before anything more is revealed, there is an organised explosion and Alda hops out of the window while everyone is still reeling from the shock.
At the morgue, Dewey the coroner tells Olivia and Vreede that there is nothing that can identify Kent Nelson (the homeless guy)because his fingerprints have been scrubbed off, but he does mention that Nelson may have been a savant, capable of memorising an enormous amount of information.
With only one hour and thirty minutes left to save Demetri, Mark arrives in the middle of nowhere and is approached by Frost. Frost tells Mark that he made sure he (Mark) stayed alive because he is the only member of the FBI he trusts. Taking a swig from his bottle of water, Mark spits it into Frost’s face then pulls him to the ground, asking him where Demetri is. Visibly surprised and afraid, Frost says this wasn’t how things were supposed to play out. When Mark questions him again about Demetri’s whereabouts, Frost says that he gave Charlie all the answers. As they walk, Frost notices a motorcycle in the distance but before they can figure out how someone found them, a gunshot hits Frost in the chest. Alda was the culprit, and before she drives away, she utters, “Not today, Mark.” Mark frantically tries to get answers out of Frost before he dies but there isn’t time so he begins searching through Frost’s bag. Inside Mark finds some photos which were pinned up on his investigation board in his flashforward.
Zoey goes to Wedeck to tell him what she found out from Alda, and Wedeck promises her that they will find him.
Olivia and Vreede go to the Neuro-Science Centre after finding an address book belonging to one of the doctors there. They ask him if he recognises the photo of Kent Nelson but he says he doesn’t. Later, at the Neuro-Science Centre, Olivia and Vreede stand at a coffee cart,waiting to order when a strange-looking man approaches, reciting exactly what Olivia is about to order. Surprised, she asks how he knows and he tells her he has stood behind her at that cart, on that day many times. When she tries to tell him she’s never been there, he cuts her off, repeating himself. He introduces himself as Gabriel and says that his friend needed to talk to her about the Raven River experiments but now his friend is dead, it’s all down to him. When Vreede asks him to answer some questions, he flips out saying, “You don’t say that, you never say that. The dominoes are falling, Olivia.” Then walks away leaving Olivia and Vreede confused.
Mark finds his way to Frost’s hideout, but is faced with a huge number of buildings to search. He calls Wedeck for help and is told to locate building seven. With three minutes to spare, Demetri quickly explains to Mark what is happening. Both men are concerned when Mark holds the gun that is pointing at Demetri but Mark quickly realises that Charlie actually did give him all the answers. Using the One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish concept, he slowly begins to unhook the wires on the device and carefully angle the gun upwards. With the clock ticking and the gun still pointing at Demetri, the tension began to build further until the gun fired, pointed above Demetri’s head and hitting the chalkboard directly on the photo of him. After the initial relief at Demeri still being alive, the feeling is short lived as he stands up, triggering a sprinkler system that proceeds to wash away Frost’s Garden of Forking Paths.
With Demetri reunited with Zoey at Frost’s building, Mark tells Janis and Wedeck about the chalkboard. He says there is one thing that stood out, right at the top of the board. The words “December 12th 2016 – The End”.
Another brilliant ending to an amazing episode! To find out what happens next, keep watching ABC’s Flashforward on Thursday nights in the U.S or on Channel Five on Monday nights in the UK!