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1x13 Blowback.jpg

Episode Season {{#pad:1|2|0|left}}, Number 13
Air Date March 25, 2010
Title Image "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" written on Mike Willingham's chest
Written by Lisa Zwerling
Barbara Nance
Directed by Constantine Makris
Guest Stars Rachel Roberts as Alda Hertzog
Tim "Timbaland" Mosley as Evidence Agent
Mark Famiglietti as Mike Willingham
Genevieve Cortese as Tracy Stark
James Remar as James Erskine
with Michael Ealy as Marshall Vogel
and Gabrielle Union as Zoey Andata
Co-starring Laura Marano as Young Tracy
Kavita Patil as Dr. Jane Parker
Mackenzie Foy as Kate Erskine
Josh Wingate as Guard
Uncredited David Haley as Marine Major Blauvelt
Episode Images

"Blowback" is the thirteenth episode of season 1 of FlashForward. It first aired in the United States on Thursday, March 25, 2010 on ABC.


Previously on FlashForward[]

  • Janis Hawk recounts being shot in the abdomen.
  • Nhadra Udaya tells Demetri Noh and Mark Benford that Demetri will be shot three times by Mark.
  • Zoey Andata tells Demetri that her vision was of his memorial service, but that they can change the future.
  • Mark explains that his therapist administered a drug that helped him remember more of his flashforward and it is time for Lloyd Simcoe to tell him everything.
  • Marshall Vogel tells Mark that he is a very small piece of Mosaic; Vogel is appointed to the Mosaic task force.
  • Tracy Stark tells her father Aaron that Jericho will kill her if they can find her.


Tracy is abducted

Fifteen years ago, Aaron is in prison and visited by his daughter Tracy. Aaron says he's keeping his head down and both hope that Aaron will be released on parole soon. When leaving the visiting area at the end of visiting hours, Aaron is taunted by a prison guard who makes lurid comments about Tracy. Aaron remains in control of himself for a while but finally punches the guard in the face in retaliation.

Present day, Aaron meets Tracy at a bar. He tells Tracy that he knows what she is going through, but she tells him to "spare her the AA talk," and that he has no idea what she's going through.

Two years ago, Aaron is just getting ready to have dinner and watch a football game when he hears a knock on the door. Outside are military personnel who bring him the news of Tracy's death. Aaron falls to the floor, crying. He is later seen with a folded flag, drinking several glasses of hard liquor and smashing a chair in grief.

In the present, Aaron makes peanut-butter banana sandwiches for Tracy and himself. Over breakfast he tells her what Mark has found out about Jericho. Tracy says that “this is out of control” and wants Aaron to stop digging. At work, Mike Willingham tells Aaron that he thinks Tracy is still alive. Aaron eventually confirms this and Tracy's location. Tracy, home alone, is kidnapped shortly after, her unconscious body placed in a large box.

Aaron, after finding Tracy missing, realizes Mike was in on the disappearance. Feigning friendliness, Aaron lures Mike to a desolated yard and tries to beat information out of Mike, breaking his arm in the process. Aaron then goes to the house of Jericho's CEO, James Erskine, makes up an excuse about the powerline and bugs his telephone. He asks for his daughter back but James claims not to know her. After Aaron leaves, he's able to listen to a phone conversation between James and an unknown man. He learns that Tracy has arrived at Khandahar. The unknown man is then ordered to “get rid of the father”. Shortly thereafter, Mike's mobile phone rings. Later Mike is found by James' daughter hanging upside down (but alive) in front of a window with the words "Happy Birthday" written on his chest.


Zoey pushes for files

Demetri tells Zoey about their findings in Hong Kong. Zoey is very indignant about the news and immediately sees Mark as the “prime suspect”. She tells Demetri that she had seen his memorial in her flash and had mistaken that for their wedding. He tells her that he has the papers to get Mark's gun destroyed.

Zoey then visits Mark at home and tries to get him to admit that he'd shoot Demetri in a live-or-death situation, but he doesn't fall for it. She asks if he has some “deep dark secret worth killing someone over”. Mark turns the conversation around by hinting that Demetri could be a mole. She is enraged, and leaves saying "Go to hell, Mark."

Later she turns up at the FBI and pressures Stan into giving her access to the Mosaic Investigation files. She claims to have found something in Alda Hertzog's deposition that “may help us”. Later she talks to Alda and proposes a deal: She will defend Alda if Alda gives her the information Zoey believes Alda has.

When Demetri and Zoey go to the evidence locker to get Mark's gun (and presumably destroy it), it turns out that the gun is gone.

Lloyd and Mark[]

The formula on the mirror

Mark questions Lloyd about his vision. He wants to know if Lloyd knows D. Gibbons and Lloyd finally confesses that he actually knew D. Gibbons as Dyson Frost, who once took credit for Lloyd's research into the "wave structure of matter". Lloyd also reveals details of his flashforward, in particular the fact that he did not talk to Charlie about D. Gibbons. After that he suggests that Mark should talk to his daughter about what she saw. Then he leaves.

Later on Mark is talking to Stanford Wedeck about what he discovered about Frost: he wrote an important paper on the mirror test, an experiment into consciousness that has been conducted on many animals, including elephants and crows.


Janis talks about motherhood

Janis is in her house, looking a diary with 7 days circled: January 13 to 19, 2010. Then she takes pre-natal vitamins.


Thirteen-year-old Simon's design



  • With the use of the song Black Betty heard in Aaron's truck, this is the first time in which a diegetic sound has turned into a non-diegetic sound in the show.


Production Notes[]


  • Black Betty: As Aaron is driving Mike "to a restaurant", Ram Jam's version of this song can be heard on the radio. It eventually turns from diegetic sound (sound within the actual scene being filmed) to non-diegetic sound (sound added after the scene has been filmed).

Bloopers and Continuity Errors[]

  • After Demetri hands over a box of files to Zoey at the FBI agency, there is one line she is heard saying, but her lips are not moving.
  • In comparison to the new revealed parts of Mark's flash forward, the tone he uses when saying, "There's gonna be another blackout," is different in this episode from when he says it in Revelation Zero, Part 1.
  • Aaron cuts the power to the Jericho CEO's house, then rings the doorbell (though it could be battery powered)
  • During the fight with Aaron and Mike, Mike throws dirt into Aaron's face despite the fact it was raining, and the ground around them was all visibly mud.

Cultural References[]

  • Black Betty: As Aaron is driving Mike "to a restaurant", Ram Jam's version of this song can be heard on the radio.
  • Staying Sober: Aaron is seen with this book two years before the blackout just as he is about to sit down to some dinner before military personnel knock on his door to give him the news of his daughter's death. This is a real book used by members and non-members of AA to help with both their own and/or others' alcohol problems/addictions.

Literary Techniques[]

  • Symbolism: After the second title card "Two Years Ago", Aaron is seen drinking shot after shot of whiskey in front of the folded flag given to him by the military after Tracy's funeral. After destroying many objects in his house, he kneels before the table and the flag. Simultaneously, the camera pans down and shows Aaron through the spoked-back of a dining room chair, as if they were bars of a prison cell. Just as Aaron was a prisoner 15 years before the blackout, he now believes to be a prisoner of the earth, separated from his dead daughter.

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.


  • Why did Jericho first try to kill Tracy, while now they need her alive?
  • Why does Zoey think Alda Hertzog has any information regarding Demetri's murder?
  • Who is Jericho's CEO, James, calling after the visit from Aaron?
  • Did elephants and crows lose consciousness along with humans during the GBO?


  • What is the meaning of Lloyd's calculations?

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"