Thursday, February 26, 2015

Forever, Season 1, Episode 16: Memories of Murder

We have a woman setting up to meet someone, putting in lots of effort – when her phone rings. She’s hidden it and quickly snatches it up and argues with the person on the other end who apparently keeps calling her. The door opens and she drops the phone and apologises to the person joining her

And we cut to a crime scene in a dump by the river and her murdered body. Jo and Hanson snark (her crime scenes are always in nice places, his always dumps). Jo notes the woman’s clothes and hair are very 70s. Hanson and Joe continue to snark – they should snark more often.

Over to Henry and Abraham and Abraham digging up a lot of sentimental stuff from his attic which he doesn’t value very much (like bronzed child booties) and, much more poignantly, Abigail’s cookbook; Abraham quickly pulls back his “junk” comments. This brings us to this week’s theme and Henry’s voice over – nostalgia, remembering or forgetting the past

To the morgue and examining 70s lady’s body and Henry gets all Henry-ish about her perfectly period she is – not only looking 70s but using genuine 70s products, some of which are discontinued or banned. He concludes, with the photographs, that she’s the object of someone’s obsessive fantasy

Jo fills in Reece so we can have a bit more snark (more snark!) and then Henry and Jo go off to interview the dead woman’s, Sarah, room mate. Jennifer mentions how Sarah had changed, becoming secretive and obsessed with one class, dropping the rest

To that course where there’s a lecture of sexual fantasies – led by Iona, Molly, professor Dawes; the dominatrix. Henry is full on I’m-going-to-be-professionaly-while-being-transparently-into-you.

They talk to her about Sarah and Molly tells them Sarah asked some advice about being in an unconventional roleplay relationship.

Lucas and Hanson examine the crime scene (and are actually kind of fun together) and get an address from some mail – so off Henry and Jo go and find a flat that’s a 70s time capsule. Complete with blood stain. There’s also an old polaroid, one actually from the 70s, of a woman who looks a lot like Sarah even wearing the same dress.

Time for some more Henry and Abraham moments – Abraham teasing Henry about his love life and a flashback to Henry and Abigail – but long after the war, when Abigail was no longer a young woman and Henry still looked young. Abigail was very self-conscious about what people would think seeing them together.

Back to the investigation and they find a video – an audition video – from Sarah to whoever was fantasising over her. Henry keeps pushing to have Molly involved which is kind of cute, especially with Jo being all knowing and indulgent over it. So consulting and flirting time and making the not particularly surprising conclusion that the fantasy is about recreating a memory – which has them analysing more details in the audition video and Henry’s mega-memory and experience suggesting a date and time.

They interview the man who rented the flat, Neville, at the time and he recognises the woman in the old photograph – his wife, Caitlin who died in 1981. He admits he was there when Sarah died – and even adds he might have killed her

Nah, too early in the episode. Questioning time and he confesses. Of course that doesn’t satisfy Henry. Jo guesses he’s prolonging the case to spend more time with Molly and suggests he asks her out – which leads to another flashback of Abigail being publicly humiliated by people assuming she was Henry’s mother.

On to the date with Molly and she adds her own doubts to the confession. He takes her to the crime scene so they can recreate the fantasy. Sexy murder recreation (oh people have interesting turn ons). Unfortunately, Henry focuses far too much on the murder recreation and the answers than the sexy (and, really, a guy musing on the personality of a murderer while you’re sat in his lap kissing him has to be a blow to the ego). Anyway, Henry guesses the man was drugged so it’s to the morgue (his dates are so romantic and unethical)

The next day the gang gathers to tease Henry about his choice of date – and all of them are interested to see well things went. They question Neville again and realise he’s covering for someone – most likely Cecily Neville, his daughter

They interview Cecily who knows all about Neville and a girl dressed to look like her mother – but Sarah isn’t that woman. Henry leaps to the brain squeaking conclusion that Sarah was dressing as Neville’s wife because Neville was obsessed and Sarah’s room-mate Jennifer was dressing as Sarah dressing as the dead woman because she was obsessed with Sarah.

Cut to Molly’s lecture and Jennifer is there, dressed like Neville’s wife in full 70s get-up who arranges to speak to Molly alone. Molly quickly realises all is not well but doesn’t succeed in avoiding being bludgeoned but at least she gets a call to Lucas first but didn’t have chance to speak.

To the rescue!

Jennifer happily expositions to Molly about how she wanted to save Sarah from the old man so she could go back to how she was and they had an argument that escalated. Henry and Jo arrive – but not before Jennifer stabs Molly in the neck

They get her to the hospital and she turns out ok as we see more of Henry getting attached to her. But, as he explains (and Molly understands) that’s precisely why he doesn’t want a relationship with Molly – he doesn’t want to be that vulnerable again. Molly notes “whoever she was, she hurt you pretty bad”.

Jo and Hanson sum up the case to Reece who declares she’d like to see Molly and Henry together – they look at her in shock “I know everything that goes on in my precinct”.

And we end with Abe cooking a recipe from Abigail’s recipe book.

I do find Henry’s all encompassing knowledge a little silly at times. Yes, he’s old, yes he’s intelligent and yes he’s had considerable experience – but nothing we’ve seen of Henry has indicated why he would be interested in the chemical composition of nail polish and when it was discontinued. Age is not sufficient reason to give him universal knowledge in all things; interest and reason for study is also needed. Also, remembering bad traffic 40 years in the past? Come on…

Henry and Abraham have a great rapport, but I do wonder a little about Abraham teasing Henry, his dad, about his love life. But then, their relationship may be father and son but it’s always been complicated by the apparent age gap going the other way, which makes for some nice complexities like this. Which adds to the poignancy of the sexism and ageism Abigail faced with her young-appearing husband and Henry loving her and knowing he’d lose her and trying to calm her worries and fears. It was well enough done that Henry pushing Molly away felt meaningful and real – not trite and clichéd.

I also have to say how I really love how all these characters interact – they’ve got a great raport