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"137 Sekunden"
1x03 137 Skunden.jpg

Episode Season {{#pad:1|2|0|left}}, Number 03
Air Date October 8, 2009
Title Image crows
Written by David S. Goyer
Marc Guggenheim
Directed by Michael Rymer
Guest Stars Shohreh Aghdashloo as Nhadra Udaya

Kim Dickens as Kate Stark
Thomas Kretschmann as Stefan Krieger
Lee Thompson Young as Al Gough
Barry Shabaka Henley as Agent Vreede
Curt Lowens as Rudolf Geyer
Gina Torres as Felicia Wedeck
Jeff Richards as Jerome Murphy
Gabrielle Union as Zoey Andata

Co-starring Ray Proscia as Helmut Baecker

Guido Foehrweisser as Schultz
Cade Olivas as Attaf
Robert Lonzo Thompson as Abdi
Lennon Wynn as Charlie
Anna Khaja as Older Woman
Amy Rosoff as Marcie Turoff

Episode Images

137 Sekunden is the third episode of season one of FlashForward. It first aired on October 8, 2009.

Mark and Janis travel to Munich, Germany, to speak with an imprisoned Nazi who claims to have knowledge about the GBO, and an anonymous tip leads Demetri to believe his deepest fears about his future. Meanwhile, Aaron pleads with Mark to help him get the approval to have his daughter’s body exhumed in order to re-test her DNA and confirm the identity of the remains.


Los Angeles[]

Demetri is pressing the anonymous woman who called him about his death. She avoids his questions, divulging only that he will be shot three times. Demetri angrily tries to reach her, to no avail. When he tries to track down the caller's location, he discovers the caller took careful provisions to ensure anonymity, with the signal apparently coming from two different locations, supposedly both just off the New York coast.

The FBI field office is sifting through international intel regarding the blackout. When reading the file from Germany, they come across the report of Rudolf Geyer, who requested a meeting with Mark. Mark asks to see the file, and remembers the picture of Geyer from the wall in his vision. After making his case to Stan Wedeck, Mark is allowed to travel to Germany with a reluctant Janis Hawk to question Geyer.

Demetri's fiancée, Zoey, arrives at LAX from Seattle. After greeting Demetri, she eagerly tries to convince him to discuss their visions. He avoids the question and suggests they go to a motel instead. After presumably engaging in sexual activities, they discuss their visions while lying in bed. Demetri is distraught to hear that Zoey's vision was of their wedding and that he was supposedly in it. He lies and says he saw the same thing.

The boy Felicia sees in her vision and at the memorial service.

Olivia meets with Stan's wife Felicia Wedeck over lunch for a friendly discussion of their visions and husbands. Felicia says that in her vision, she saw a young boy, Attaf, whom she has never seen before, living at her house, calling her "mom". At a memorial service for officers killed during the GBO, Felicia sees Attaf sitting in the front row, with a woman.

Demetri meets with Jerome Murphy, the customs official Geyer allegedly saw in his vision. He is not yet a customs official, as he applied immediately after seeing his vision. Demetri determines that Geyer's account of the future matches Jerome's, and as he is leaving he discovers a bong. Jerome begs Demetri not to arrest him so that his future can come true. Zoey wants to set their wedding date for the "D-Day", but Demetri is hesitant. He later agrees to set the date.

Aaron Stark pays a visit to his ex-wife Kate and tries to convince her to sign consent forms for their daughter's remains to be exhumed. When she refuses he asks Mark to help him, even though it's illegal. After a bit of resistance, Mark agrees. When the remains are exhumed, it is determined that they are in fact Tracy's. When Aaron tells his wife, she becomes emotional and they embrace, despite their strained relationship.

At a party sometime after the memorial service, Mark makes a connection that perhaps there might have been other events during which large numbers of birds died. He and Janis head back to the office and search news records. They find a report of an incident in Somalia in 1991, during which large numbers of crows died after residents experienced mass loss of consciousness, exactly the same circumstances as the blackout.


The meeting at Quale Prison.

The dead crows Rudolf Geyer saw after The Blackout.

Rudolf Geyer, a convicted Nazi imprisoned in the Quale Prison in Munich, Germany is talking with a prison guard about his vision. Geyer seems to think he has information that will secure his release from prison, and Mark Benford is sent for. Mark and Janis Hawk arrive at the prison holding Geyer and, along with warden Stefan Krieger and Geyer's attorney, they begin questioning Geyer. Geyer asks that, in return for information, he be released from prison and allowed to return to America with his charges dropped. To the protests of Janis and Krieger, Mark agrees to the deal so long as Geyer divulges something worthy of trusting him. Geyer accuses Janis of being a homosexual because of a ring on her left thumb and explains that the Hebrew spelling of "Kaballah", when assigned the traditional numbers, adds up to the number of seconds the blackout lasted. Mark angrily asks him for useful information. He explains his vision: he was returning to America and speaking with a customs official, Jerome Murphy; he told Murphy he had a murder to thank for his return. He did not tell Mark anything else about the murder.

After his story checks out, Mark promises Geyer his freedom. Geyer then reveals that the murder he saw was of a large number of crows, which he saw outside his window. He says he doesn't know why so many crows died, and offers Mark a book about birds.

Somalia, 1991[]

Mark makes a link between the crows, as seen by Geyer, that have died and scans a worldwide database only to find that, after the Global Blackout, the crow population plummeted. He then asks Janis to see if she can find other instances where the population of crows, in the past, has suddenly dropped. Janis makes a link to an incident in Somalia in 1991, where reports were made of the entire population of crows dying and unconfirmed "mass unconsciousness". Mark remarks that people have been busy wondering if this will happen again - not stopping to think about if it has already happened.

In 1991, a Somali boy looks on as the crows drop to the ground.

A strange structure seen during the 1991 blackout.

In a flashback to the year 1991 in the Ganwar region of Somalia, a young boy is seen herding a group of goats, when they suddenly become anxious; making them difficult to control. The boy looks around to see what could have startled the animals, only to see a large amount of crows flocking around him, apparently also in distress.

The boy is shocked as he suddenly sees all of the crows in the sky literally drop straight to the ground. Abandoning his goats, the boy quickly runs to what appears to be his town or village. Looking over the hill, there is apparently a large number of people on the ground unconscious. The episode ends as the boy looks to a large tower, in the center of the village, which appears to be emitting some form of white smoke at a very rapid rate.



  • "137 Sekunden" is German for "137 seconds" - the amount of time during wich the GBO endured.

Production Notes[]

  • Zachary Knighton (Bryce Varley) was credited but did not appear.
  • Peyton List (Nicole Kirby) was credited but did not appear.
  • Jack Davenport was credited, but Lloyd Simcoe appears only in reused footage.
  • After this episode ran, ABC announced it was picking up the series for the entire season.
  • This is the first episode to include the voice of Courtney B. Vance(as Wedeck) saying "On October 6th, the planet blacked out for two minutes and seventeen seconds. The whole world saw the future." before the montage of scenes from previous episodes.


  • "Boogie Shoes" by KC and The Sunshine Band. (Demetri finds Jerome Murphy dancing in his underwear).
  • "To Sheila" by Smashing Pumpkins. (Mark tells Olivia about his trip to Germany).
  • "Lover You Should've Come Over" by Jeff Buckley. (Katie consoles Aaron; Stanford gives a speech at the memorial service; Mark toasts the fallen agents).

Bloopers and Continuity Errors[]

  • The computer search reads that the CDC made a request to the DHS (Department of Homeland Security) in October 1991. However, the DHS was not formed until November 25, 2002. In the later episode "Revelation Zero" it is indicated that DHS stands for an agency called Demographic and Health Services.
  • The graph showing crow population since the global blackout shows the population through December. It is still October in the show.
  • The computer generated skyline of Munich near the German prison is wrong. There are no (and such huge) mountains surrounding Munich.

Cultural References[]

  • Kaballah is a form of Jewish mysticism.
  • When he knocks over a bong, Demetri says that he knows what it is. John Cho stars in the stoner movie series Harold and Kumar.
  • The name of the prison guard that Rudolf Geyer is speaking with early in the episode is Herr Schultz.  In the TV comedy series Hogan's Heroes, which aired for 6 seasons starting in 1965 and centered around a group of American prisoners of war in a German prison camp during World War II, the name of the inept prison guard responsible for the prisoners was Sergeant Schultz.
  • The White Rose  - As Mark Benford and Janis Hawk are being escorted into Quale prison for their first meeting with Rudolf Geyer, Janis asks their escort if the prison was the site where "Sophie Scholl" and other members of the "White Rose Society" were executed.  The White Rose consisted of a group of students at Munich University led by Sophie Scholl and her brother Hans.  They came together in 1942 and started writing and distributing leaflets calling on the German people to recognize that Hitler and the Nazi party had become murders and tyrants who were committing genocide and were sending thousands of German youth off to meaningless deaths.  Between 1942 and 1943 they wrote and distributed several more such pamphlets encouraging the growth of a German resistance movement.  In early 1943 they were arrested by the Gestapo, summarily tried, and then executed by guillotine at Stadelheim Prison in Munich.  Today they are viewed as heroes and as icons of resistance to governments that have run amok. A few years ago, readers of a popular German magazine for young women voted Sophie Scholl "the greatest woman of the 20th Century."

Literary Techniques[]

  • In literary circles, a collective group of crows is referred to as a "murder" (i.e. how geese form a flock). This is why Rudolf Geyer credits a murder as being responsible for his release from incarceration.
  • As in Native American storytelling, the coyote is a trickster, manipulating the main characters for his benefit. Rudolf Geyer manipulates Mark in order to be pardoned of his war crimes and released to the United States.
  • Warden Krieger's surname means "Warrior" in German. Geyer is a homophone of the German word "Geier", which means "vulture".
  • Flashback. In direct contrast to the premise of the show, a "flashback" of a previous blackout incident was seen after Janis found reports of it on the internet, which may help them understand what caused the GBO.

Unanswered Questions[]

Unanswered questions
  1. Do not answer the questions here.
  2. Keep the questions open-ended and neutral: do not suggest an answer.
  3. Avoid questions that are unlikely to be answered.
Theories for these unanswered questions should go on this article's theory page.


  • Who is Attaf?
  • Who is the woman with Attaf at the memorial service?
  • If you look closely when Demetri meets Zoey at the airport, the electronic hoarding above them shows a 'Star' logo. What is this logo, and why is it identical to the tattoo on the gunman's arm (albeit it with one star instead of three) in Mark's flashforward?

External links[]

FlashForward Season One
"No More Good Days" • "White to Play" • "137 Sekunden" • "Black Swan" • "Gimme Some Truth" • "Scary Monsters and Super Creeps" • "The Gift" • "Playing Cards with Coyote" • "Believe" • "A561984" • "Revelation Zero, Part 1" • "Revelation Zero, Part 2" • "Blowback" • "Better Angels" • "Queen Sacrifice" • "Let No Man Put Asunder" • "The Garden of Forking Paths" • "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" • "Course Correction" • "The Negotiation" • "Countdown" • "Future Shock"