You don't have to be a die-hard Lostie to notice the similarities between ABC's Lost and what some are calling its spiritual successor, new drama FlashForward. But the producers seem to be going out of their way to tie the universes together, and possibly give to a clue regarding one of Lost's biggest secrets.
FlashForward debuted last week to more than 12.4 million viewers (no doubt, 12.3 million of them were also Lost fans), and it took all of zero seconds to notice some common themes. The intro shot was much like the incredible first shot of Lost's pilot episode, our hero snapping out of it only to be surrounded by chaos. There's also the whole "flash forward" thing, sci-fi mysteries, and shared cast members that further bond the two.
But the real gem of the evening was a collision of both shows' universes when producers blatantly placed an Oceanic Airlines (Lost's fictional plane service) billboard in one of the show's early shots. Picked up on and discussed in the TV.com forums (thanks, guys!), member ax083 noticed the billboard's text: "Perfect Safety Record." (Screenshot above and here courtesy of user lollypop18.) As everyone knows, Oceanic Airlines' safety record is far from perfect. Well, one crash from perfect, to be exact.
(Lost spoilers ahead for those who haven't yet finished Season Five.)
So what's the dealio? The obvious answer is yet more supporting evidence that the plan set into action by Lost's Jack worked; that is, the detonation of Jughead the H-Bomb did "reset" events and the crash of Oceanic 815 never existed. Lost producers haven't exactly been keeping this under wraps; videos from this year's Comic-Con panel showed an Oceanic ad touting a flawless safety record (video below) and Hurley's post-Lottery life as a Chicken peddler filled with nothing but good luck. All signs seem to point that Season Six will start with events that happened before the crash, and severe mind-f***ing will commence.
But the real question is, do Lost spoilers or clues belong in FlashForward? The answer is, "hell yes!" I'm ultra-protective of Lost and its mythos, but little things like this really drive home what makes Lost such a treat. It's a television show that lives beyond its timeslot and rewards those who really immerse themselves in the universe. Kudos to the people behind both Lost and FlashForward for giving fans a wink -- and more importantly, for making it work while remaining unobtrusive.
Do you like this subtle cross-promotion in your shows? Do you think there will be more?
FlashForward airs Thursday nights at 8 pm on ABC.