This is a series that caught me off guard. I was interested in seeing it, but did not anticipate just how much I would come to like it! Forever is about a man named Dr. Henry Morgan, played by Ioan Gruffudd. Henry studies the dead; trying to figure out why he is immortal. He has somehow cheated death for the past 200 years and with that many years of studying death under his belt, he’s become somewhat of a Sherlock Holmes of his own kind. Despite his immortality, Henry still feels pain, and he can still die. The problem is, he just doesn’t stay dead. Seconds after dying, his body is transferred to the nearest body of water where he returns to the living…naked. There is only one person who knows this secret and that is his elderly friend, Abe, played by Judd Hirsch.
In the first episode, Henry meets Detective Jo Martinez, played by Alana de la Garza. Jo is a recent widow; her husband suffered from a random heart attack. She quickly becomes impressed with Henry’s abilities to describe the ways in which people die with such precision that she requests his help with future cases. What’s appealing to me about this show is that at it’s core, it’s another detective show (which I love), but it aims to be more than that. Henry’s ability to avoid death adds a superhero-like quality to him. With his inability to die in a world where everyone else’s lives are so vulnerable, we start to see just how precious life can be. Henry refers to his condition as a curse, but what becomes truly shocking, is that in this premiere episode, we learn that Henry has a stalker; someone claiming to not only KNOW his secret, but apparently has the same condition as him. (WHAT?!)
Switching gears a little bit, I want to comment on the opening of the pilot. It was shocking beyond belief. Henry meets this Russian woman on a train and I’m sitting here thinking, “Oh she’ll be the love interest”, but it’s not even 3 minutes later when the train crashes into another train leaving everyone dead…including Henry. What I later realized is that this intro was revealing to us not only this episode’s case, but it was the perfect way of revealing the premise of the show, considering Henry’s condition. The one thing that didn’t sit well with me was how quickly the show seemed to move on from the death of the Russian woman. They gave her a sense of history through Henry’s observations of her. In a short amount of time we learned a lot about this individual, enough to care, and then BAM…she’s gone. I’m sure it’s realistic for things like this to come and go for Henry Morgan, but goodness, I was not prepared for that. But despite all of this, we were given a voiceover of Henry as he describes what it is that’s keeping him going. Many of my questions regarding his emotions was pretty much answered in this quote.
“I’ve seen a lot of death, a lot of pain, a lot of suffering. But I’ve also seen a lot of life, a lot of beauty, a lot of wonder. It’s not the number of years we live that matters. Our lives just add up to a series of moments. We never know when or where they’ll happen. But they stick with us, marking our souls forever. The problem with living for 200 years isn’t the loneliness or the pain or the loss, ok sure it is those things, but what really gets you is when life ceases to surprise you. I’ve spent my entire life studying the human body. And I can say with scientific certainty that what keeps us alive, more important than blood or oxygen or even love, is hope.” – Henry Morgan
I am hooked on this show! I’m very interested in seeing what’s to be learned about the mysterious stalker and what relationship will come to fruition between Henry and Jo. There’s a genuine trust there that I think it will be tested as episodes come along. It’s only a matter of time before she finds out his secret as well.
For now, I’ll leave you with a promo for the second episode. For more reviews and news on Forever stay tuned to my blog! And you can catch all new episodes on Tuesdays at 10/9c on ABC!