‘Flashback’, a short film directed by Jed Shepherd, follows Jess, a yoga instructor living with her boyfriend Scott. She’s happy with her life till the day an intruder enters their house and threatens to destroy everything close to her. This also leads to a little time travel, giving Jess another chance to do things differently. She’s able to get in touch with her past self and fix some mistakes but at a heavy cost. When she’s back and things are different, there’s still a lot of mystery about what exactly happened to her, which is explained in the mid-credit scene. SPOILERS AHEAD!
Significance of Dr. Bones in Jess’ Life
When Scott and Jess are shot by the same intruder, Jess gets a flashback, which is something she has been training for all her life. Even if it happens suddenly, Jess knows exactly what she has to do to capture a moment in one of her flashbacks and correct a past mistake. She now has the chance to go back to her 13-year-old self and convince Scott to never see her again. Jess knows this is the only way she can prevent both of them from dying in the future, and she starts narrating her story to a confused teenage Scott. He isn’t convinced about the time travel part, but a slap from Jess after a kiss is enough to make him forget about her. And sure enough, when she’s back in 2022, Scott isn’t in her life any longer. The film ends with Jess coming to terms with her choice of saving Scott’s life, which has led to him ending up with her friend instead of her.
The mid-credit scene shows an ad for children with Dr. Bones, a vulture-skull face creature, who is used as a mascot for a children’s song. From the song itself, it becomes clear that Dr. Bones was probably invented as a figure to help kids sleep and wake up on time, just like a bogeyman. While it’s supposed to be scary enough to make them go to bed, some children like Jess remember Dr. Bones as a friendly creature. The stuffed toy of him with her as an adult is also an indication of Jess probably finding a friend in Dr. Bones in her lonely childhood. Dr. Bones in her story, therefore, manages to look a lot intimidating as a stuffed toy, but sinister nonetheless.
It appears that Jess was so obsessed with Dr. Bones in her childhood that he became a huge part of her adult life. Interestingly, the other adults in her life, like her friend and Scott, have just dismissed Dr. Bones as an old childhood memory. But for Jess, Dr. Bones is always present with her as a stuffed toy, and an entity who makes her feel safe. It’s possible this is the reason Jess manifested him in her real life. Her obsession with the flashbacks people get when they’re about to die and Dr. Bones, led her to that one moment right before her death when she decided to use her practice of controlling her breath to her advantage for time travel.
Dr. Bones is such a huge part of her life that she feels comfortable with him at any point, even if he comes to her in her past self as some sort of an angel of death. This is why, even if Jess loves Scott more than chips, Dr. Bones is a very huge part of her life. When she’s back in her present, even if Scott isn’t there, Dr. Bones is still her alarm in the morning.
She doesn’t see him as a vague figure after returning anymore, since it’s possible that the time travel trip she needed to take to save Scott’s life has been completed. In a way, Dr. Bones has been her guiding light and protected her and Scott from an early death. He becomes the reason she can achieve the impossible and save her and Scott’s life to turn her destiny around. Now that she and Scott are very much alive, Jess smiles in the end, knowing that after escaping death once, she has her full life ahead to find her happy ending.
Read More: Best Short Horror Movies on Netflix