Thursday, April 9, 2015

Forever, Season 1, Episode 20: Best Foot Forward

A ballet troupe gathers before a performance to commemorate a ballerina’s, Odessa’s, last performance. Despite the praise it’s clear she isn’t happy about this and is being forced into it by the director Dmitri who talks about the “pain in her movements” showing – suggesting she is ill or injured.

Eva, Dmitri’s “New princess”, as Odessa calls her goes missing during the performance – and her severed foot is found.

Over to henry who has managed a completely impossible job of restoring the gun that killed him – seriously he must have replaced most of those parts. While he thinks about the now working gun that may end his immortality, Abraham has gone back to trying to find Abigail. Both keep this a secret from each other. Both know it. Both don’t pry for fear of the other prying.

Alas, severed feet interrupts Jo’s date with Isaac and she and Henry go to the crime scene (with Henry all fuzzy and happy that Jo’s so happy because she’s been spending time with Isaac). Naturally Henry can tell a million things from the severed foot – including that the foot was removed while Eva was alive. They haven’t found the rest of her body

Back to the police station and Hanson remarks how odd it is for Eva to become a ballerina when she came from such an extremely poor slum in Cuba but Reece comments that it’s not odd, it’s impressive, with Jo noting that Eva was about to become the first Prima ballerina of Cuban descent (which isn’t entirely true).

In the morgue, Henry and Lucas examine the many injuries and conditions on Eva’s foot, reflecting the severe rigors of ballet training. With little other evidence than rug fibres, Jo decides to take Henry to interview Eva’s brother, of course she does.

He reveals that Eva had a stalker and information about Eva’s car – which they then find with no body but with a copious blood stain. And the possibility that Eva may still be alive.

To the ballet company where Dmitri reveals that Eva was replacing Odessa and that Odessa’s retirement wasn’t entirely voluntary but due to the accumulated injuries of being a ballerina. Hanson finds a threat on Eva’s mirror. They go see Odessa and find some menacing looking guys Jo and Hanson assume are Russian mob – one of which showing signs of having been pepper sprayed recently (Eva had a half empty can of pepper spray).

Interviews follow in which Odessa admits to having Sergei follow Eva – but only to distract her, never to touch her. Following the clues they give they find a note which in turn suggests Eva had a lover who she met at a hotel room. There they find more blood stains. They find Eva – still alive.

They get her to a hospital and ask her brother, Javier, about anyone Eva might have gone to meet. He doesn’t believe she would hide that from him.

So time to check out the ballet dancer she was dancing with – and there Henry finds a ballerina injecting an injured foot – he advises her to use ice and rest but she points out that none of them do what is healthy – they do what they must to be the best.

More clues point to Eva’s illicit lover being Dmitri.

Dmitri insists the secrecy was Eva’s idea because she didn’t want to be accused of sleeping her way to the top. At which point Eva wakes up so the next step is talking to her. Interviewing Eva gains very little new information – but they do learn that Eva’s wound was cauterised. The attacker did not intend to kill Eva. And Hanson finds that her brother was a battlefield surgeon.

They go to arrest him and he runs –trying to jump from one roof to another to escape. He doesn’t jump far enough and the buildings are very high and the ground very hard.

Back to the morgue where Henry talks about Jo’s plans to go to Paris with Isaac and gives her travel tips.

But there’s a twist! New results come back to send Henry back to the investigation and finds that Eva has a degenerative bone disease. She wouldn’t be able to dance for longer than a year – and she knew it.

He goes to Eva and helps wheel her out of the hospital and he presents his theory to Eva; Javier cut off Eva’s foot because she wanted him to for the fame and history remembering her. She leaves the hospital to a storm of press coverage to prove his point.

Jo is outraged – but Henry and Reece point out they cannot possibly prove otherwise. They tell her to go on holiday. Which she does (how soon can you get a passport in the US?) but as they go Isaac reveals her has every second of the holiday planned – which somewhat troubles Jo as she wanted to try Henry’s plan of just getting lost in Paris.

The whole suffering for art meme plunges us into Henry’s flashback of the week – Paris in 1929 with cameos from Picasso and Ernest Hemmingway. The party was for Valerie and artist who Henry later finds unconscious from a drug overdose (which he solves by making her vomit – but it’s an intravenous drug? Would that even work?). When she’s conscious she tells Henry that heroin inspires her and is why her art is doing so well. She creates a master piece – and dies from th overdose.

Abe continues to investigate Abigail’s disappearance and decides to recruit Lucas for his medical credentials and access to files – though Lucas fears he can’t keep it a secret from Henry because… well… Henry. They look but don’t’ find anything but we have some excellent depiction of Abe’s deep sadness that his mother died and he doesn’t know if anyone claimed her or buried her.

His sadness prompts Lucas to imitate Henry to try and get more information – and gets a possible match for Abigail.

Last twist – Jo doesn’t get on the plane with Isaac. She goes to Henry and says she didn’t want to go with Isaac – happy to go to Paris, but not with Isaac. Abe interrupts before the big big we-know-what’s-coming from Jo with his own revelation.

All the meta is coming together. I’m actually almost a little disappointed with Jo turning to Henry. I liked that Jo had a relationship that made her happy. I liked that Henry wasn’t jealous or resentful but was genuinely. I also liked the interracial relationship and the potential of Isaac as a character as well, not one that was fully developed yet but one that certainly could have been. I think they were good together and it also added a new dimension to Jo that didn’t revolve around Henry

The flip side is, of course, that Jo almost expressed the very same reservations that I had about Jo and Isaac’s relationship (something I put down mainly to my own issues) in terms of control and power. Still I think I would have preferred Jo to talk to Isaac, talk about what she wanted and what her concerns were and ask for space or a turn in the driving seat or more input than her just turning to Henry.

Abe’s quiet grief over Abigail is, in its subtly, in many ways more powerful than Henry’s more overt grief.

The actual plot line of this episode didn’t enthrall me over much. It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t amazing (and I do question the motive – I mean, how long WILL people talk about the woman who ALMOST made it? And actually finding Eva before she died required a lot of Henry-ish deduction which seems silly since sh needed to be found) –but behind it there’s a lot of good.