For some reason, I was under the impression that this was a two-hour season finale, but in reality, it was only one hour, and that's probably for the best. "FlashForward" had long since spiraled out of control, and any lengthening of its demise would have just delayed the inevitable.
The episode was bouncing around between all these unfinished story lines, while also attempting to set up the next storyline -- the one that's never coming. In the end, the show's final hour was just as sprawling and confusing as the entire series, and like the series, it spent too much time worrying about characters who we as the audience never connected with.
Perhaps the worst part of the episode was that the moment of the flash-forward actually came about two-thirds of the way into the episode, which left about 15 minutes of set-up for a season that isn't going to come. And while the writers did a decent job showing us many of those flash-forward moments, we'd seen them so many times throughout the season that by the time they actually happened, it was less of a revelation and more of a relief.
In the end, Mark Benford made his final move to figure out when the next global blackout would be, and it turned out that it was 14 minutes after the original FlashForward time. That didn't give him much time to do anything, especially since the FBI building was rigged with explosives (don't ask... I'm not even sure why...). In the series' final scenes, we saw the "next" global blackout, with glimpses of FlashForwards to what seemed to be multiple different times in the future. At the same time, the FBI building blew up. With Mark Benford still in it? That's the mystery.
I can't give this episode a grade, because I wouldn't really be grading the episode, but the series as a whole. The episode itself was a perfectly fine season finale, with a setup for what would hopefully be a better, more streamlined Season 2. But that season isn't coming, and with so much of the episode dedicated to that, it feels disjointed. Had "FlashForward" been set up as a one-season show (or even a 13-episode mini-series) from the beginning, with a tighter cast, it might have worked. But there was too much going on and too many stories to follow for an audience to care about all of them, so the audience ended up caring about none of them.
For more coverage of the 2009-10 TV season finale episodes, click here. AdamReisinger.com will be sharing thoughts on the finales of nearly 20 different scripted series that have been part of our viewing schedule all year.