- "Mark" redirects here. For other uses of Mark, see Mark (disambiguation).
- "Benford" redirects here. For other uses of Benford, see Benford (disambiguation).
|First Seen||"No More Good Days"|
|Last Seen||"Future Shock"|
|Saw in Flash||Himself investigating the GBO|
Special Agent Mark Benford works for the Los Angeles Field Office of the FBI. A recovering alcoholic, Mark has been sober seven years and is a loving and committed family man, a family that includes his wife, Olivia, and daughter, Charlie. In the wake of the GBO, Mark finds himself at the center of the Mosaic Task Force, an investigation dedicated to uncovering who caused the GBO and why. Mark’s drive to piece together the mystery comes at a great personal sacrifice.
In his flash forward, Mark saw himself drinking, a clear sign that he is headed down a difficult path. Complicating matters further is Olivia, who had a vision of herself in love and together with Lloyd Simcoe, the man who claimed responsibility for helping cause the GBO. To make matters worse, Mark’s partner and friend, Demetri Noh, has learned that he is going to be murdered on March 15th, 2010, with Mark’s gun. Now, Mark is determined to do everything he can to save his marriage, his partner, and get to the bottom of the mystery behind the GBO itself.
Mark, a recovering alcoholic, had recommitted to sobriety in order to repair his marriage. His wife threatened to leave him if he relapsed into drinking again. Up until the flashforward, Mark had been successful in attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings with his sponsor, Aaron, and exchanging whimsical love notes with his wife in which they sarcastically profess to hate each other, with obvious humor.
At work, Mark and his partner Demetri had been investigating a suspected terrorist network who they believed to be planning a major terrorist attack. For the three weeks prior to the blackout, Mark and Demetri had been on a stakeout of their suspects, until the morning of the blackout, when they saw two of their suspects, Khalid and Omar, departing in a black SUV with an unidentified woman. They attempted to tail the SUV surreptitiously, but were spotted, and a high-speed chase ensued. In the middle of the chase, the global blackout occurred.
In his flashforward, Mark was in an FBI office, in a state of evident anxiety and frustration. He was pacing in front of a large bulletin board spanning one wall of the office, covered with notes and objects relating to his investigation of the blackout. Taking a long drink from a flask of some alcoholic beverage, he wrote a note reading "Who else knows?", underlined, on a page from a daily calendar, which displayed a date of April 29, 2010. He then gets a call to his cell phone from none other than Lloyd Simcoe, whom he tells to go to hell for obvious reasons, but an anguished Lloyd informs him that he is close to finding the answer to the formula and that D. Gibbons lied to Mark, and Marks tells him that unless they can stop this, there's going to be another blackout.
He then saw two dark figures carrying weapons with laser sights, approaching the office. He readied his own weapon as they drew closer. They were wearing plastic Halloween masks that covered their entire faces. One had a tattoo with three stars on his left forearm, a tattoo which was diagrammed among the notes on the bulletin board. The flashforward ended before any violence erupted. ("No More Good Days")
Mark's flashforward was unclear and fragmented due to his intoxicated state. ("Gimme Some Truth")
In the flashforwards of his daughter Charlie and Marshall Vogel, Vogel is seen informing another man that "Mark Benford is dead", suggesting that he may have had some role in Mark's attempted assassination.
In the immediate aftermath of the blackout, Mark and Demetri attempted to render assistance to the injured, and tried in vain to contact their loved ones. They saw the black SUV they were chasing, and found two of their suspects dead, but took the unidentified woman into custody. Upon learning of the widespread scope of the devastation, Demetri insisted that Mark go to check on his family. On his way to the hospital, Mark received a call from Olivia, assuring him that she was okay, and that Charlie was safe at home with the babysitter.
Back at FBI headquarters, Mark attended a meeting, led by his superior, Stan Wedeck, in which they tried to make sense of what happened. Mark shared with the others present the experience of his flashforward, and they began to realize that they have all had similar experiences, glimpsing the same interval of time in their own lives, 10 pm Pacific Time on April 29, 2010.
Demetri returned to headquarters with the prisoner as the agents continued to compare notes, and Wedeck decided to assign Mark, Demetri and Janis Hawk to the investigation of what caused the blackout and flashforwards. That evening, Mark and Demetri began assembling the bulletin board and notes that Mark saw in his vision Demetri told Mark that he did not see any vision of the future during his blackout, and shared his concern that this meant he would be dead on the coming April 29.
Back at home that night, Mark met with his sponsor, and confessed to him that he was drinking again in his flashforward. He explained that he could tell that it was not just "a one-time thing"; he felt just as he had back during the times when he was drinking heavily.
Olivia returned home as Mark finished repairing the garage door opener, to her pleased surprise. After checking in on a sleeping Charlie, they went to bed, and Olivia asked Mark what he saw. He told her most of it, but omitted the part about his drinking, fearing her reaction, given her ultimatum to leave him if he were to start drinking again. He then asked Olivia what she saw, and she refused to tell him. He pressed her on the subject, and she eventually relented and told him that she saw herself with another man, someone who is unfamiliar to her but whom she seemed to know and have feelings for in her flashforward. He reassured her that just because they saw these things, that doesn't mean they are certain to occur, a sentiment that Aaron had told him earlier.
Later, after midnight, Mark sat outside in their yard on a swing set, when Charlie came out to sit in his lap, telling him that she had a bad dream. He saw that she was holding something in her hand, and she revealed the friendship bracelet which he saw himself wearing in his flashforward. As she gave it to him, fastening it around his wrist, he looked quite disturbed at this indication of the accuracy of his vision, and what that might mean for his alcoholism and his marriage. ("No More Good Days")
After an outburst in an AA meeting, and the news of Charlie's trouble at school, Mark interviews Didi Gibbons, who revealed she mentioned Mark's and Demetri's names in her flash, as well as pigeons. After a background check, it is revealed that Didi's credit card was used twice in two different countries within minutes, and that the pigeons she was talking about were a reference to the town of Pigeon, Utah. Mark and Demetri flew to the town, where they met with Sheriff Keegan, who simply mentions she did not experience a flash. After a failed attempt to catch the person who, supposedly, cloned Didi's card, Mark noticed an abandoned doll factory. Remembering a photo from his flash, Mark enters, and spots a shadow moving on the second floor. Going further in, the three set off a trap, where a man was holding two lighters above containers containing some sort of liquids. After reciting a quote, the man drops the lighters to the ground, releases grandees, shoots Keegan in the chest and escapes, leaving the two agents and the dead sheriff behind as the building explodes. In the aftermath, the investigators found a white chess piece, while Mark witnessed the photo he saw in his flash being taken. The agent came to the conclusion that the man was a computer hacker, trying to investigate the GBO on his own.
Back in Los Angeles, after adding the crime scene photo to his office wall, Mark returns home and burns Charlie's friendship bracelet, determined to avoid the future he saw. Going to her room, Mark finds Charlie to be awake. She explains to him the trouble at school was caused by her fear of what she saw in her flash, and revealed to her father that D. Gibbons "is a bad man." ("White to Play")
At the FBI office, Mark is told an a captured Nazi, named Rudolf Geyer, asked to meet him in Germany. Stan agrees, and sends Janis along with Mark. Once they arrived, Mark and Janis met the warden of the Quale Prison, who clearly objects to the FBI cutting a deal with Geyer. During the meeting, Geyer suggests that in return for the information he has regarding the blackout, he will be released to America, with his charges dropped. While the warden and Janis object, Mark agrees, yet demands from Geyer to supply a piece of information before the deal is signed, as a sign of trust. Geyer then proceeds to write the word "Kaballah" (קבלה) in Hebrew, and, as he adds us the numerical value of each Hebrew letter, he shows the sum of the numbers is 137 - the amount of seconds the blackout lasted. Mark, feeling cheated, demands more information; Geyer then reveals the content of his flash, in which he was speaking to an American custom official, to whom he tells he was released from prison thanks to "a murder."
With Janis objecting to Geyer's release, claiming they should draw a line between criminals and Nazis, Mark eventually decides to cut a deal with Geyer, asking for the other piece of information. Geyer reveals that after he woke up from the blackout, he saw a murder of dead crows outside his windows. Although he stated he did not know why the crows died, he handed Mark a book about birds. Returning to Los Angeles, Mark attends a memorial service for all the victims of the blackout. At a party afterwards, Mark discusses with Janis the importance of the dead crows. Checking the archive of the crows' population, they come across an event that happened in Somalia in 1991. ("137 Sekunden")
After the failure of the investigation in Germany, Mark is not given permission to investigate the case in Somalia. Mark suggests that a hacker by the name of "Mr. Cheeto Dust" might be able to help them, although it would be an offense to the government. After investigating Alda Hertzog, Demetri follows a lead given to him by Alda, and Mark accompanies him to Indio, California, to visit the Customer Choice restaurant. After a successful chase of a suspect working at the restaurant, Mark discovers the suspect is merely a drug dealer, a act that ensues a fight between the two FBI partners. After insulting each other's view on the meaning of their flashes, Demetri punches Mark, and reveals the cause of his upcoming death. Returning to Los Angeles, Mark decides to question Alda himself.
During her questioning, Alda presents to Mark the idea of a "Black Swan", relating it to the recent blackout. She furthers comments that unlike the terrorists she works for, Mark is not fully committed in his search for answers. Later on, Mark approaches Al, asking him to contact Mr. Cheeto Dust in order to further explore the 1991 Ganwar incident. ("Black Swan")
Mark, along with Demetri, Vreede and Stan, flies to Washington, D.C. in order to testify before a committee in the senate. In the process, three of the agents are going through polygraph tests regarding the content of their flashes. After the hearing of Stan's case, attempting to expand the funding of the FBI's Mosaic Investigation, the head of the committee, Joyce Clemente, asks to hear from Mark himself about the progress of the investigation. While on the stand, Mark is questioned regarding the hazy setting of his flash, forcing him to lie about the real cause - the fact that by April 29th he will return to his alcoholic ways. Mark's inability to answer the question leads Clemente to conclude that the FBI's techniques are based on voodoo and unexplained visions, leading Stan to walk out of the hearing court.
Later on, in a karaoke bar, a devastated Stan forces Mark to reveal the real cause of his unusual flash, to which Mark admits that he was "loaded." Stan is shocked to hear he based his entire investigation on what could seem a hallucination Mark had under the influence. Heading out towards their car, Mark chats with Janis, yet the conversation is cut short when a hostile SUV rams their car. Seconds later, as assailant fired a rocket launcher at the group, blowing the car up. The FBI team, though, survives, and after a shoot-out, their attempted murderers are all dead. On the other side of the phone, Janis is not answering. ("Gimme Some Truth")
Returning home to Los Angeles, Mark is shocked to hear of the attack on Janis, and is fast to connect the two attacks made on the FBI agents. Olivia operates on Janis in the emergency room, and saves her life. The same day, October 31st, Mark, along with Aaron, takes Charlie out for trick-or-treat. While walking down the street, Mark yet again spots a kangaroo hoping down the street. Continuing their walk, Mark notices three men wearing the same masks as his attackers in his flashes. Calling them to stop, Mark is forced to chase the three strangers into a Jewish cemetery, and tackles one of the men down. It turns out to simply be a teenager, frightened he broke the law due to a prank. The confrontation is interrupted by Nicole, who asks him to come home.
As Mark arrives back home, he sees Dylan Simcoe, who seems to be Charlie's friend. Soon after, Dylan's father, who was contacted by Nicole, arrives, and recognizes the house as the house from his flashforward. Olivia soon enters the house, shocked to find her husband and the man from her flash face-to-face. Mark aggressively orders Lloyd to leave their house and never return. Later that night, Mark accuses Olivia of being dishonest, although he has been hiding the fact of his raging alcoholism six months in the future. Olivia, who received an anonymous text the previous day informing her of Mark's future alcoholism, claims he is hiding the truth from her as well. Mark objects, claiming Olivia is judging him on events that have not yet happened. Olivia claims Mark is doing the same. ("Scary Monsters and Super Creeps")
After a successful discovery made by Demetri and Al regarding a mysterious group using the symbol of a "Blue Hand, Mark joins them and attends a meeting of the cult, functioning under the name "Already Ghosts". The cult consists of people who did not experience a flash, and considering themselves as ghosts. In the club, Mark witnesses acts of self torture, pain and even suicide. After passing an initiation test, in which all three had to pull a trigger aimed to their head, Mark arrests the leader of this specific group, a person named Jeff Slingerland. During the investigation and questioning of Singerland, Mark learns that members of "Already Ghosts" find each by using the FBI's "Mosaic Collective" website.
Understanding that his future will only cause pain for a woman named Celia, Al decides to change "the rules of the game", and heads to the rooftop of the FBI building. Despite the support of his fellow agents, Al commits suicide, proving to all that the future is not written. Mark returns home and embraces Olivia, hoping the future in which their marriage is destroyed will not happen. ("The Gift")
Mark decides to mend his relationship with Olivia, and the two go on a romantic vacation. As a gift, Mark buys Olivia a set of black lingerie; unknown to Mark, this set of clothing is the same one Olivia wore in her flash, in which she was sleeping with another man. Their getaway is soon cut short, when Demetri acquires an execution caught on film, in which a three-star tattooed man is seen stealing a case from his victim. Mark believes that their arrest will prevent the event he saw in his flash. The woman who witnessed the execution, Ingrid Alvarez is a future target. After her close friend was mistakenly identified as Ingrid, and was murdered, Mark, Demetri and Janis decide to use Ingrid as a bait to catch the assassins. With Ingrid hiding in her pet store, the lights go out, which signals a breach. The three FBI agents patrol the store, looking for the moment to capture the murderers. Mark, though, is determined to prevent his grim future, and kills one of the men, allowing the other one to escape.
Although questioning his own moral judgement, Mark returns home and shares the recent developments with Olivia, alluding that their grim future is not going to happen. Olivia, on the other hand, fails to reveal that she threw away his gift, attempting to escape any element that appeared in her flash.
Mark is contacted by Aaron, who asks him to come to his house. Aaron shows Mark a picture of his deceased daughter, Tracy, fully alive in his house. Aaron reveals to Mark of her status and what led her to fake her death. Aaron asks Mark, being a member of the government, to help Tracy. ("Playing Cards with Coyote")
In December 2009, Mark participates in a meeting with Mrs. Levy of the National Security Agency about enhanced images security camera footage of Suspect Zero. The images of his hand show his ring clearly enough to see and alpha symbol on the ring. Levy explains that the hardness of the ring makes such analysis possible, while the softness of Suspect Zero's skin makes retrieving an image of his face impossible. Mrs. Levy says she is uncomfortable talking in the group because Demetri has been red-flagged by the NSA after the agency learned he received a telephone call whose origin had been professionally concealed. All of the agents become upset and push Levy until she agrees to make a call to her headquarters. ("Believe")
At home, Olivia asks Mark to answer her cell phone. When he picks up the phone he sees the text message she received ("Gimme Some Truth") about his drinking during his Flash. When Mark asks Olivia why she did not mention the message to him, she replies that she never mentioned it because he told her about the drinking before she had a chance. Olivia goes on to finish dressing and Mark fingers his seven-year sobriety token. Because he had only told Aaron Stark and Stan Wedeck about the drinking during the Flash and asks each man if he sent it. Both men become angry and Aaron tells Mark that, if he does not trust Aaron as his sponsor, he should get a new one. Wedeck tells Mark to get out of his office. ("Believe")
Agent Vreede analyzes a copy of the recording of Demetri's mystery phone call electronically. He is able to strip out everything but the background noise, which he explains is the "Symphony of Lights" in Hong Kong Harbor. Mark and Demetri try to get permission to go to Hong Kong, but Wedeck refuses. As the two leave Wedeck's office, Mark says they are going anyway and that Stan will get over it. ("Believe")
Mark and Demetri track Udaya down in Hong Kong. ("A561984") She claims that Noh's killer is Benford, leading to an armed confrontation between the FBI agents, Udaya's men, and the Hong Kong police which is defused by Marshall Vogel. ("A561984") Later, at the Hong Kong airport, Benford realizes that Vogel is CIA and that Udaya is somehow associated with the CIA.
- Mark Benford has appeared in 22 of 22 aired episodes.
- Mark and Olivia's anniversary is March 12 ("Gimme Some Truth") .
- Theories for these unanswered questions should go on this article's theory page.
- Who was coming for Mark in his flashforward?
- Does being intoxicated mess up Mark's view of his flashforward, maybe even altering it?
- How far in the investigation was Mark in his flashforward?
- Who else knows about Mark being drunk in his flashforward?
- Will he be able to change his future?
- Did Mark survive the explosion in the Los Angeles FBI building?
- Is there any significance to Mark seeing a kangaroo on LA streets at least twice (episode 1, just after the black out, and in episode 6 when he's celebrating Halloween with Charlie)?
|Main Characters of FlashForward|
|Mark Benford • Demetri Noh • Lloyd Simcoe • Bryce Varley • Nicole Kirby • Simon Campos • Aaron Stark • Stanford Wedeck • Olivia Benford • Janis Hawk|