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Speculation Without Spoilers: Create your own 2:17


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#61

shapeshifter

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Posted Oct 10, 2009 @ 7:52 PM

growltiger,
But determinism doesn't require that the future that they saw in the FF was the real, pre-determined future. Rather, a predestined future would have to include the changes to the FF visions that result from people's reactions to the visions.

Lizling,
I am more inclined to speculate that she has the affair and that causes him to drink again.

#62

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Posted Oct 11, 2009 @ 4:24 AM

That the blackout is a cause is just another cog in the deterministic machine. A blackout occurred because a blackout always was going to occur, after which all the other chips fall where they were always going to fall. At least that is the way it would be in a deterministic universe. - growltiger

Which is why I don't believe that the Flash Forward universe is deterministic - the visions showed people who apparently didn't remember having them - and that is already at variance with the future the evidence says we'll get, since people do remember having them.

#63

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Posted Oct 11, 2009 @ 6:22 PM

Which leads to the possibility that the visions - with the possible exception of Mark's - are of the future that would be if the blackout had happened, but the visions had not.


That would be a pretty 'neat' explanation for why no one seemed to have an awareness of the significance of April 29, 2010 during their flashforward, SunlessNick, although I am not sure why Mark's would be any different?

This is just a random theory, but what if they are stuck in some sort of time loop? Everytime they get to April 29, 2010 something causes them to 'skip' back to October 6, 2009 - only this time they somehow managed to remember some of the 'future'?

But we do know that she knew who Dylan was, knew him enough to know that he was hurt, and knows that D. Gibbons is a bad man. Maybe her flashforward encompassed more than 2:17 worth of vision, and she's amassed a lot more knowledge of the possible future, and it scares her so much she can't talk about it.


Charlie seemed to have experienced alot during her flashforward - I wouldn't be surprised if she (and maybe Dylan as well) saw more of the future than everyone else did.

#64

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Posted Oct 11, 2009 @ 7:55 PM

What if it isn't a Flash Forward but a Flash Back? Something caused the world to go back in time 6 months and what people are remembering is the last few moments before it happened. The 2:17 seconds could just be a glitch of the time travel, along with forgetting everything that had happened in the last six months except for the last 2:17. Everyone would still be knocked out, the traumas would still occur, but instead of everyone having a vision of the future, they were remembering their last actions.

#65

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Posted Oct 11, 2009 @ 8:39 PM

What if it isn't a Flash Forward but a Flash Back? Something caused the world to go back in time 6 months and what people are remembering is the last few moments before it happened.

Someone on the IMDB boards is insisting that this is the case. It's an interesting idea, but I doubt they'll go that way.

#66

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Posted Oct 11, 2009 @ 8:50 PM

You are probably right, shapeshifter, but it just seems so much easier for me to grasp everyone going back in time then everyone seeing events that didn't happen yet. So I'll stick with my (and I guess at least one other person's theory) for now, until the pieces of the flash forward start making more sense.

Edited by pjamma, Oct 11, 2009 @ 8:52 PM.


#67

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Posted Oct 19, 2009 @ 5:23 PM

This is just a completely out of left field theory that just came to mind. In the past two episodes, we've had marijuana references (the bong and the Yellow Cake). What if this ties into some super strain of weed? Obviously the entire world doesn't smoke but twice in two episodes got me wondering if it might have some relevance.

Maybe it's something like the plan in Batman Begins where they plan to dose Gotham but something messed up in Charlie's evil reefer lab.

#68

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Posted Oct 22, 2009 @ 6:59 AM

If anyone here is into hard sf, Stanislaw Lem wrote a short story “137 seconds” which included the motif of predicting the future. In the context of the story 137 seconds was the maximum amount of time the present could last before turning into the past. The now was presented a continuum with a length varying depending on the size, or the processing power, of the observer – from a fracture of a millisecond for quantum particles, to less than half a second for human beings, to 137 seconds for a web of interconnected computers. Because of this a computer connected to that web was able to report on events that would occur within 137 seconds.

I'm not sure how this might be relevant for the show, but I can't help thinking that there has to be a connection. Possibly a tribute? Lem himself was inspired by Eddington, who is mentioned in the story.

#69

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Posted Oct 22, 2009 @ 4:36 PM

Fascinating stuff, Czerri. I was wondering from where the length of the blackout came. Science fiction on television where science is something more than a prop is rare and it cheers me to think that there may be more scientific mystery in the offering.

#70

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Posted Oct 22, 2009 @ 10:46 PM

While there probably are good explanations for the discrepancies, such as the fiancee not really seeing Demetri and assuming he was there, I'm wondering if the Flashforwards are showing potential futures?


This was mentioned over in the episode thread and I thought since it was more speculation that I would bring my thoughts here. Now, this isn't exactly what I am hoping to see, but here is a theory, although it is a little spotty.

When people are confirming what happened to them on 4/30, they are only able to confirm it via other people that it is the same. So, Janis and the doctor would have the same FF, at the hospital. Olivia and Lloyd also have the same FF at the house. Jett Jackson and that lade have the same FF with the bird. But everyone's FF is only confirmed with the use of the other person's FF. Janis can't confirm that she is in the same reality that Olivia is in. Maybe in Janis FF reality if she could leave the hospital and go to Olivia's house she would have seen Olivia and Mark together.

Individuals FF can only be tied together by other people not actually history. So maybe we will find that their is many potential futures. Perhaps the world's FF are split in two. Lets say there is group one (humans 1-3 billion) and group two (3 billion-7 billion). All the people in group one only communicated with people in group one during their FF so their stories all confirm one another; the same that with group two. That way there can be two realities that seem like they are one because no one can confirm otherwise.

#71

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Posted Oct 24, 2009 @ 9:20 AM

I think I found a way to tie in all the supposed inconsistencies in the FFs, why no one was seen having a FF party, and even why some people saw nothing. The people who did this found a way to black out the entire planet in such a way that taps into everyone's subconscious. They didn't see their future, they saw their greatest hopes/fears/dreams. This is not what WILL happen, but what they hope or fear will happen based on their hidden desires. Sometimes so hidden in the subconscious, they don't even know it is there. Some will come true because having unlocked their subconscious, they will work to make that come true. Some won't because we don't always get what we want. This also explains the oddity of things like collection calls at 10 p.m. and a wedding in broadlight in Hawaii.

President of the US: EVERY president fears a major event on his watch. Hence the secret service waking him in the middle of the night to tell him the world is about to end.

Sen. Clemente: Wants to be President of the US.

Custom agent: He wanted to be one but never thought he could. He was in awe of customs agents with their power, authority and uniform. Since he saw he was one, he believed it could really happen after all, so he applied.

Nazi guy: Wants out of jail (duh) and come back to the US.

Cupcake Lady: Has a kinda humdrum life, but wants to be important. Hence the call at 10 p.m. She gets to spout off to whoever it is that she knows agents who can fix things for her. As for the specific names, we only saw her FF after the fact, not during the BO. Probably she saw Bedford and Noh's name in a news article about some big bust and incorporated their names into her FF.

Aaron: this one is heartbreaking. He wants his daughter alive more than anything, he misses her so much.

Aaron's wife: knows her life sucks, doesn't believe it will ever get better, so she is still in that depressing bar.

Suicide doc: He is looking for a reason to live. A beautiful blond woman falling in love with him will do that.

Babysitter: She feels guilty for having sex with her boyfriend when she is supposed to be watching the kid. She feels she should be punished for it. So she is killed for her transgressions.

Wedeck: He's the bagman for the President. He knows a lot of secrets of a lot of people. He doesn't want to get caught with his pants down. Hence on the toilet at 10 p.m. when armed men are supposed to bust in (according to mark's FF).

Wedeck's wife: Misses her grown son. Wishes she had a chance to do it all over again -- better this time. Maybe she was too busy when her son was busy to tuck him in at night. She's seen the kid around before since he is an agent's kid, and a boy, he gets incorporated into the FF.

Janis: DEEP, DEEP subconscious. ALL women secretly want children in TVLand, even lesbians. As a lesbian she fears she will never have one. Sonogram at 10 p.m. makes sense because time doesn't really matter. It's about the fantasy manifesting itself.

Janis' Girlfriend: Lives in California where it is illegal to marry your loved one if they are of the same sex. really wants that to change, so she can be more open. Again, tv trope. All women want to be married and have a family.

Mark: he's an alcoholic and an FBI agent. He is terrified of falling off the wagon because it will cost him his family that he loves. As an FBI agent, he is terrified of another attack on this country ala 9-11. In his FF, he is drunk and the FBi is being attacked by unknown terrorists.

Olivia: Really doesn't want to be married to Mark anymore. You can tell she is far less committed to the marriage than he is. Her deepest wish is to get out of it and have an exciting new relationship.

Demetri's fiance: April 29 is their wedding day. It is the most exciting day in her life. It's ALL she can think of awake or asleep.

Demetri: Saw nothing. A generally easy going guy who takes things as they come. He's got a good job, a great fiance. He thinks his life is just great the way it is and doesn't really worry about things going wrong. Hence not seeing anything. He's a pretty uncomplicated guy. Lady who called just likes to mess with people. Someone posited she is going around telling everyone that. I can totally see something being that mean just because she can.

Simcoe: We know he is involved. His fear is unleashing something that destroys the world. So he sees himself getting a phone call that is exactly what happened. In the midst of his happy life -- good sex with a pretty lady, kids laughing in the background (yes, 4 year olds up at 10 p.m. good job parents), everything is good --the phone call comes that says the world has ended.

#72

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Posted Oct 24, 2009 @ 2:14 PM

It is all only a dream? Gosh, I hope not. You presented some nice character deconstructions, merylinkid, but I am still on board with the idea that the visions are a preview of either a possible or certain future. I would expect that many of the characters, not to mention the viewers of the show, will be disappointed in April 2010 if the visions were only dreams or virtual manifestations of their hopes or fears.

Edited by growltiger, Oct 24, 2009 @ 2:15 PM.


#73

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Posted Oct 24, 2009 @ 4:00 PM

I get you growltiger. I was worried when this idea hit me in the middle of the night. But, we still get the scifi mystery. SOMEONE managed to blackout the entire planet at the same. And it is not dreams, but tapping into our subconscious even deeper than dreams. I doubt Janis has ever dreamed about being pregant. but somehow this "force" (for lack of a better word) found a way to bring out subconscious into the forefront of our brains. Right out in front to the memory banks so they didn't forget what they saw -- unlike dreams. I am quite sure a force that can do that can be weaponized in some way.

#74

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Posted Oct 24, 2009 @ 8:54 PM

That is a fascinating theory, merylinkid. It is just as interesting as people seeing their actual (or possible) futures. The only problem with it in the context of the TV program is A) we've been told that people's FF match up and B) we've seen a couple of the FF's match up. One, was the custom agent and the Nazi's and another was Olivia's and Simcoe's. While Simcoe didn't actually see Olivia, he did see her house. Another thing is that a lot of people saw the date which matched up. Oh, and those 2 people saw the bird hit the window, too. Maybe you should write a book or short story with the subconscious premise. It's a cool idea.

#75

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Posted Oct 25, 2009 @ 10:46 AM

Two words:

The Matrix.

#76

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Posted Oct 25, 2009 @ 10:53 AM

Great analysis Mery, but I'd like to add something.

Babysitter: She feels guilty for having sex with her boyfriend when she is supposed to be watching the kid. She feels she should be punished for it. So she is killed for her transgressions.

Taking the baptism theory (i.e. she's being baptized). What if she wants to atone for her "sin(s)" (through being baptized) but still doesn't feel she deserved to be saved (thus her drowning).

#77

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Posted Oct 26, 2009 @ 7:45 PM

Would be possible to engineer a future if you implanted false "memories" of that future?

#78

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Posted Oct 26, 2009 @ 10:14 PM

Would be possible to engineer a future if you implanted false "memories" of that future?



Very possibly...like say a recovering alcoholic might fall off the wagon if he honestly believed it was his destiny to go back to drinking and furthermore thought his marriage was about to collapse. And a loving faithful wife who ordinarily would never dream of cheating on her husband would find that being told that some other man and her were fated to be something that might actually forced her to consider possibilities in that other man she otherwise wouldn't even if she was willing herself not to. (Try not to think about elephants.)

#79

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Posted Oct 27, 2009 @ 2:32 AM

I am not at all a fan of the false memory theory, but I have to agree that if there was somehow, someway to engineer a massive and interlocking fabrication, then sure you could drive some people towards that designed conclusion. But not everyone.

I feel ridiculous trying to defend the a universal blackout where everyone has a vision of a certain point of time in the future. But as science fiction goes I like that idea better. I can even spin an explanation as to why future visions do not contain references of themselves or the blackout. (Because the act of massive and coordinated observation collapsed all possibilities to a single thread of events. Schrödinger's cat lives. Actually she dies because Schrödinger hated cats. Or maybe it was just that cat. Whatever.) Anyway, unless the writing that gets us there is beyond amazing, I will be real disappointed if it was all a dream.

#80

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Posted Oct 27, 2009 @ 9:16 AM

Someone on another board mentions an interpretation of Mark's FF that would clear up the current time loop plothole, that is, why is his the only FF that refers back to the FF? Possibly Mark was working on the case of a future terrorist plot that would become the FF. I don't recall anything about the Mosaic board in his FF that overtly says there had been FFs. Am I forgetting something?

#81

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Posted Oct 27, 2009 @ 11:24 AM

"Try not to think about elephants."

Trying, but not very successfully!

"I am not at all a fan of the false memory theory, but I have to agree that if there was somehow, someway to engineer a massive and interlocking fabrication, then sure you could drive some people towards that designed conclusion. But not everyone."

This is actually my favorite theory, but I admit it seems difficult to pull off on a large scale with millions of people. A specific example? Ensuring the faithful wife will meet the same stranger she recognizes from her vision as the man she will have an affair with.

Regarding the flash forwards some are having where there is no apparent awareness of earlier events (save Mark's), I think it's wise not to ignore the possibility of future blackouts. What if before that date there is another blackout and people have their memories wiped? Sounds messy, I know, but who knows what will happen between now and then?

#82

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Posted Oct 27, 2009 @ 3:26 PM

Another obvious problem is that dreams contain fabrications and collections. So take the unfaithful wife scenario. First off, her place or his? Okay, hers. Now assure that he has all the details of the place so that if they inevitably compare notes that the visions sync. How do you do that? Did he see a futon when she has Early American décor? What if they agree the appointments were Early American, but he saw cherry wood and she owns walnut?

The devil is in the details. As fantastic as somehow cutting a slice of a future experience and pasting it into the present, at least there is a common and shared reality. Dreams cannot assure that verisimilitude. And it is just not a handful of people but the whole world that is in on this thing. To make the dream scenario work takes FlashForward from the realm of science fiction to outright fantasy.

#83

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Posted Oct 28, 2009 @ 1:14 PM

Perhaps it's unfair to say that the visions were fabricated; just that they were "possible" futures; but possible futures that probably weren't all that probable before the person who had the vision had them but now are much MUCH more likely. As in you can't manufacture something out of thin air but by showing people certain possibilities and not others you can very easily dramatically affect their future behavior.

#84

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Posted Oct 28, 2009 @ 2:06 PM

On the other hand, the visions do include events that follow from consequences of the blackout - without the blackout, there's no known reason why Olivia would meet Lloyd for example. Which leads to the possibility that the visions - with the possible exception of Mark's - are of the future that would be if the blackout had happened, but the visions had not.


So far this is the only explanation that can solve the paradox. Good work, SunlessNick! If they don't go with this explanation, or something else equally elegant, I'm not sure I can keep watching the show.

It's bad enough that no character has brought up the fact that the visions CANNOT occur if people have foreknowledge of them. (They keep emphasizing that in the visions people feel emotions, too - but on the 'real' April 29 everyone's emotions will be 'holy crap, the big moment is here!'). But as you said, a lot of the visions cannot happen unless the blackout DOES happen. Having the blackout and visions be distinct (if simultaneous) phenomena had better be part of the evolving mythos if the show wants smart viewers to keep watching.

#85

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Posted Oct 28, 2009 @ 4:08 PM

I am good with the idea, that a 137 second film clip of the future was cut and pasted into their minds for their entertainment as they blacked out. Except for those who died during the blackout. And those who will die before that fateful day in April 2010. It even allows for the argument between free will and determinism to persist. (That is, are they fated to do thus and so or can the future be changed.)

As for visions being many possible futures, I am just trying to be practical over the corroboration of the vision experience. If the visions are just scattershot possibilities there are just too many variables to manage and still come up with a coherent mosaic. I guess if there were just handful of people affected it could be made to work. But the scale of the vision experience was just epic.

Edited by growltiger, Oct 28, 2009 @ 4:12 PM.


#86

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Posted Oct 28, 2009 @ 8:03 PM

I happen to be a fan of loop/circle/fatalistic shows. I was thinking about what at this point would be the ideal way for me to see this show. So I have written a brief summary of my story/speculation.

Mark Benford would be the key character in this story as his actions drive forward the plot. Also I am just focusing on a few characters. Also there has been some speculation that Charlie is kidnapped, so I am going to use that information too. It could use some polishing but you can get the general idea.

On Oct 6th 2009, the whole world blacks out and sees their future. Mark sees himself investigating the case and drinking again. Days begin to pass and he starts working on covering the case of the blackout. His partner, Noh, sees himself dead in a few months. Olivia is cheating on her husband. Mark and Noh delve deep into the case and start to neglect family life. Olivia starts to wander from her husband. In March, Noh is murdered. Somewhere in that time Charlie is kidnapped. Mark starts to lose it. Olivia can't seek solace in him so she goes into the arms of another. On April 30th 2010, masked gun men abduct Mark from his office. They bring him to a secret lair where they admit that they were the cause of this blackout/visions. They say that these visions didn't have to come true but that they made them come true anyways. These visions led to him losing his wife, daughter and partner. Mark says he wishes that they never had these vision that the future came true because they made it come true. One of the bad guy says "so you think that if you never had the vision that your life would be better." He says yes, everyone's life would be better. The guy is like well all you have to do is press this button and you can go back to that day and no blackout will occur. Mark thinks long and hard and presses the button.
On Oct 6th 2009, the whole world doesn't black out and see their future. Mark and Noh investigate the terrorist they were able to capture and start trying to learn about the kind of attack they were planning. Mark gets distracted by work. Olivia meets a handsome guy named Lloyd. Noh gets murdered while investigate the case. The terrorists kidnap Mark's daughter. On April 30th 2010, masked gun men abduct Mark from his office. They bring him to a secret lair where they tell about their evil devise that will cause worldwide blackout. He says "this isn't over yet, I can still beat you." They say, "really, well, if you press this button you will be able to go back to Oct 6th and you will be able to remember only 2.17 minutes from today at 10pm." He presses the button.
On Oct 6th 2009, the whole world blacks out and sees their future.......

#87

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Posted Oct 28, 2009 @ 9:10 PM

On April 30th 2010, masked gun men abduct Mark from his office. They bring him to a secret lair where they tell about their evil devise that will cause worldwide blackout. He says "this isn't over yet, I can still beat you." They say, "really, well, if you press this button you will be able to go back to Oct 6th and you will be able to remember only 2.17 minutes from today at 10pm." He presses the button. On Oct 6th 2009, the whole world blacks out and sees their future.......

I am intrigued by the button, or rather what the button does because it turns the flash forward event on its head.

So I guess in this scenario the blackout was not importing a vision of the future into what was the present. Rather, some future event imports a slice or glimpse of its present somehow, someway into the past and that caused the world-wide black out. Did I get that right?

I do not know if I can buy that theory but it is a novel since it takes a different path to the problem. Yet another speculation to consider until the show starts doling out some answers.

Edited by growltiger, Oct 28, 2009 @ 9:38 PM.


#88

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Posted Oct 28, 2009 @ 9:52 PM

So I guess in this scenario the blackout was not importing a vision of the future into what was the present. Rather, some future event imports a slice or glimpse of its present somehow, someway into the past and that caused the world-wide black out. Did I get that right?


That sounds about right. Mark would seem to think that he can prevent the future that his has on April 30th 2010 by resetting and only remembering 2.17 minutes of the previous path. If Mark 1.0 is no FF and Mark 2.0 is with FF...Mark 1.0 thinks he can prevent all the bad things from happening so he press a button and becomes Mark 2.0 with 2.17 minutes of memory from Mark 1.0; Mark 2.0 with only that partial memory ends up thinking that is the path he suppose to take instead avoid the same type although maybe not exact same future comes true, he thinks the knowledge of the future led to the future, so he presses the button and goes back to prevent to the past with no knowledge of the future thus becoming Mark 1.0 again.

Basically he keeps trying to avoid the future but the future happens with or without the knowledge of a FF. It could be a cool loop thing where the end of the series after the second "button" press ends up with them showing the beginning of the premiere. He keeps making the same decisions and the world is stuck in a loop repeating Oct 6th to April 30th forever...like Groundhogs Day.

Edited by Roll the dice, Oct 28, 2009 @ 9:54 PM.


#89

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Posted Oct 29, 2009 @ 11:26 AM

It's an interesting concept Roll the Dice, that the future will occur regardless of the FF, with or without, and any attempts at change will result in a loop similar to Ground Hog's Day, from October 6 to April 30. I don't read or follow a lot of sci-fi, but this is clever.

In my personal life, I believe in free will, not determinism or fatalism. Despite whatever sci-fi or scientific theories manifest themselves in FF, I hope the characters will be able to have some choice or say in their fates. Cho can protect himself by solving who wants to murder him, before they do. Janis decides she wants to have the baby in her vision, so she goes about finding a way. But, I firmly believe in self-fulfilling prophecies. Some characters will drift into the unwanted truth of their visions, simply by feeling fatalistic or by making bad choices. Mark ignored his sponsor by not finding an AA meeting in DC. He is going to be sidetracked by work, and unless he tries hard to stop it, he will be a drunk again. Dylan's father (can't remember his name), will be someone convenient for Olivia to lean on.

To me it would be more interesting to see who embraces their visions; who tries to change an unpleasant vision, but can't; and who confronts their death or bad vision, and fights to change their FF future.

Edited by sweetpd7, Oct 29, 2009 @ 11:28 AM.


#90

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Posted Oct 29, 2009 @ 1:53 PM

Actually determinism allows for the illusion of free will. In the big picture, everything and every event is done. We are just checking the boxes on the way to a certain end of form. But we still have to perform some dismal calculus in our minds in order to decide which box to check. And that is your free will.

For mortals such as those that walk this good earth, the future is unknown and ineffable. The universe appears rich in possibility and choice. As long as we see it that way it does not matter that the universe is driving to a foregone conclusion. So the perception of free will is just as good as having it. At least that is one apology for determinism.

Maybe this is the big reveal for the inhabitants of the FlashForward universe. They are playing out the string to a deadly encounter in a dark office, to an extramarital affair, to a conversation with a collection agency, or to darkness and the void. Until the show runners show their hand we have to wait along with everyone else as this fictional future reveals itself to us.