Last night's episode of ABC's FlashForward addressed some of the theories floating around the discussion boards about the cause of the worldwide blackout. Either the show's writers have been paying attention to fan forums, or they'd already anticipated these suggestions when they put the episode together.
Two of the theories on what cause the blackout get debunked quickly during a Senate subcommittee hearing in the ep, "Gimme Some Truth." Another seems to gain traction as the episode progresses:
1) The world was drugged. The first theory presented to a Senate committee is that a psychotropic pharmaceutical in the water supply caused the blackouts and flashes. That's a fancy science way of saying they drugged us with LSD. We're immediately told that three organizations—the FOA, EPA and CDC—have ruled it out. We know the Environmental Protection Agency and Centers for Disease Control, but who's their third source? We think she meant the U.N.'s Food and Agricultural Organization, FAO, and the actress flubbed the line.
2) Aliens! Aliens would be the easiest out for the show. They could just say extraterrestrial technology cause the blackouts and flashes. Then they wouldn't have to explain it with Earth science. This theory is glossed over so quickly it's clear no one at the show plans to take it seriously.
3) China. The committee spends the most time dealing with the theory that China caused the blackouts. A CIA official observes that China suffered the fewest blackout casualties and that the blackout conveniently took place during a time when most of that country's population was sleeping. But the Senate committee quickly writes him off.
Meanwhile, FBI agent Mark Benford (Joseph Fiennes) has a tough time convincing the Senate committee to take his flash-forward seriously. At the same time, Agent Vreede (Barry Shabaka Henley) says that China is starting to sound like a good theory.
That's when all heck breaks loose. Benford and his FBI companions are attacked in a parking garage by gunmen in a black SUV who appear to be Asian. Chinese? And in Los Angeles, Agent Janis Hawk (Christine Woods) is shot, again by Asian gunmen. Chinese government assassins? Gangsters? Spies?
FlashForward airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.