Thursday, January 8, 2015

Forever, Season 1, Episode 12: The Wolves of Deep Brooklyn

A rich CEO is having dinner and the waiter (and son of the restaurant owner) who wants a job with his company seems to think that a) CEOs are likely to make entry level hiring decisions in huge, powerful companies and b) that he wants to have impromptu interviews over dinner.

And it actually works (kids, don’t try this at home). 5 years later he’s not only hugely successful but the rich CEO is calling him “like a son” and giving him a fancy car as a gift in which he then has sex with a woman

The next day his waterlogged body is the centre of a crime scene. Cut to Lucas and Jo who are very bored and sad that the new medical examiner is not as insightful, interesting or kooky as Henry. He also actually does his job (examine bodies) rather than engage in amateur detective work.

Henry is being kookier than usual, dissecting rats. Abe tries to talk him into going back into work and not feeling guilty about killing someone in self-defence – but it’s not entirely guilt that has Henry hiding. Henry was manipulated into killing someone, Evil Immortal Guy Lewis, outsmarted him. Abe also gets news that one of his old friends has recently lost a son.

Back to the morgue where new-medical-examiner-who-does-his-job is being all stuffy and repressive and dismissing random litter as super-important evidence and being mean to Lucas which is kind of on par with kicking a puppy. Henry swoops in to save the day (the dead man, Jason, is that friend’s dead son) to point out all the evidence bad!pathologist missed and ask a whole lot more questions. Bad!pathologist gives Jo the choice between a quick, easy resolve or Henry’s random “insanity”. Jo chooses insanity

After a brief check in with Lt Reece who is wary about Henry coming back to work because of how killing someone can hurt you, they go out to investigate: first talking to Abe’s friend Marco, Jason’s father, who didn’t see as much of his son as he’d like and was upset that his ritzy, money-obsessed life consumed so much of Jason’s time.

Then to Jason’s girlfriend at his house (who went home while Jason drove around more) who tells them how much joy Jason had in the life he was living. Henry uses genius to find a stash of cash and a key (but his girlfriend, Abigail, points out that $100,000 stashed isn’t actually a huge amount with their assets).

To Jason’s employers, an investment company, where they find people who drink champagne at work and a man, Val, already hiring decorators for Jason’s office (yes, decorators) between disparaging references to Jason’s upbringing. They also find blood in the office. Followed by a big motivational speech by Oliver Klauston, the big boss who likes to make his employees chant “kill”. Interviewing him reveals lots of arrogance and a cocky sense of his own ruthlessness and generally not helpful

Henry interviews Melanie, Oliver’s assistant and with a similar rags-to-riches claim as Jason and gets the name of the person Jason fought in his office. Kevin – an autoshop owner in Brooklyn. Kevin tells them he wasn’t very happy with Jason after he trusted him to invest his money – and Henry finds little clues to how Jason died and bits of his car (because Henry knows cars, apparently). And henry decides to stand in front of a speeding car to make it stop – Jo pushes him out of the way. His risking his life does force the car to crash and be captured.

Jo is not impressed though – and doesn’t take Henry’s far-too-lampshaded-and-not-even-accurate claim of not wanting to be manipulated as a good excuse.

To interviewing Kevin, he claims he got Jason’s car when someone else parked it at 4:00am – who looked like Jason but wasn’t Jason. ID parade and steering wheel fingerprints point to Val who is promptly arrested (anyone who didn’t expect him to be more involved was not paying attention).

Val cracks after Jo threatens him with prison rape (which we’re all going to pretend is ok as always happens on these shows) and tells them he merely dumped Jason’s body for Oliver – the body was found floating in Oliver’s pool. They go and search Oliver’s house – and find both a murder weapon (broken glass from a wine bottle) and the water of the pool is likely to match that in Jason’s lungs. But they hit a block because Melanie, Oliver’s assistant, goes to Lt. Reece and confesses to the murder. She claims Jason hit on her, insulted her and she lashed out in anger

Abe has decided to follow his own investigation and, with an old crony (a locksmith), they use a key Henry found to go to Oliver’s humidor on his boat and find some papers. Calling in another old crony (an accountant) they discover the papers show that Oliver’s business is one elaborate con. Henry isn’t exactly elated because he’s finally decided to care about chain of evidence.

He does call Jo though and she lies to Melanie – claiming that the SEC is investigating Oliver and whatever money he promised her is going to be lost as the investigation exposes what a fraud he is. Melanie cracks and implicates Oliver.

Cue chaos at Oliver’s business and Oliver himself shredding paper and trashing hard drives. Jo, Henry and many police move on the office while Oliver sneaks out. Of course Henry ends up chasing Oliver alone in the parking lot. We have a repeat of Henry standing in front of a car to make it stop and, again, Jo stops it – this time shooting at the car wheels and windscreen so Oliver breaks, inches away from hitting Henry.

Success! Jo reports to Lt Reece and is justly congratulated – but Reece wants to know if Henry is showing any odd behaviour after having killed someone. Jo covers for him.

The flashback backstory of this episode is Henry and his fear and pain watching a young Abe being called up to fight in Viet Nam. Young Abe comes up with the line “risking your life for something you believe in is a blessing, not a curse”

At the end of the episode, Jo goes to Henry at night to bond and offer help, comfort and insight over killing someone – with lots and lots of romance building.

Do I just have silly high expectations in that I’m sad that Jo chose “insanity”? Because it (in highly dubious language) focused on Henry’s kookiness rather than the much more important subtext to that exchange “do you care about the truth or do you want it to be quick and easy”?

Abe’s line about risking his life is all kinds of dubious because of the context (Viet Nam not being a choice for many of those “risking” their lives and it begs the question of just “what you believe in” really is there) but does raise an interesting nuance about Henry: people can be brave and risk their lives, but that’s a concept beyond Henry’s understanding. All he can risk are other people he cares for

I do like Henry’s angst at the beginning of the episode – killing someone upsets Henry, but what really gets him is that someone was older, smarter and more cunning than him. A man who is so used to his own superiority, is so certain of his own rightness, faced off not just with a peer (shocking in its own right) but someone who was better than him. It’s a wonderful little character moment, and deserved better than unsubtle lampshading