Jul. 01, 2009
43 min.
ABC TV Network

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A mysterious global event causes everyone to black out simultaneously for two minutes and seventeen seconds, and each person sees a glimpse of their lives six months from now. When they wake up, everyone is left wondering if what they saw will actually happen.

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Mark Benford FlashForward
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Mark Benford

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  Played by:
Joseph FiennesJoseph Fiennes
Joseph Alberic Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes is an English film and stage actor. He is known for Shakespeare ...

Character Bio

Mark Benford photo
• FBI Agent at the Los Angeles Field Office-
leader, problem-solver-- his dry wit is one of his
many tools.

• Devoted husband to Olivia Benford & father to
Charlie Benford.

• A recovering alcoholic. The impending birth of
his daughter, Charlie, caused him to sober up.

Before the Blackout

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 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.

Mark's flashforward was unclear and fragmented due to his intoxicated state.

After the Blackout

In the immediate aftermath of the blackout, Mark and Demetri attempted to render assistance to the injured, and tried in vain to contact their families. 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.

Back at FBI , 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.

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.

Episode Screenshots

01x19 - Course Correction
Season 1, Episode 19
01x18 - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Season 1, Episode 18
01x04 - Black Swan
Season 1, Episode 04
01x02 - White To Play
Season 1, Episode 02
[More Episodes]

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