Warning: Spoiler Alert
“My name is Henry Morgan. My story is a long one. It might sound a bit implausible. In fact you probably won’t believe me. But I’ll tell you anyway, because beyond all else, I have lots and lots of time.” Thus begins the pilot of the new ABC series “Forever,” perhaps the most satisfying Television this writer has seen since Jeff Daniels brought News-Anchor Will McAvoy to life in the pilot episode of “Newsroom.”
The series revolves around Dr. Henry Morgan (Ioan Gruffudd) a medical examiner with a rather amazing secret; he’s been alive for over 200-years and though he’s been killed quite a lot through the years, he doesn’t die. Instead he emerges from a body of water naked as a jay-bird in perfect physical shape. His first time getting killed took place on a slave-ship and Morgan the ship’s doctor tried to prevent the crew from throwing a slave overboard into the icy waters below, because they believe he has Cholera. Morgan ended up getting shot and thrown overboard and possibly because of his noble actions, came back to life. He’s gone through the experience countless times over the ensuing 200-years.
Only two people know of his gift, the first being his companion Abe (Judd Hirsch) a 70-year-old man, whom Morgan rescued as an infant, found in a Nazi concentration camp in 1945 and raised him as his son. The second person’s identity’s unknown to Morgan, who introduced himself in the pilot via phone call and at the end of the episode he tells the doctor, he has the same abilities, cheating death several times as well. However he’s refused to identify himself to Henry so far, or how he realized Morgan possesses his strange abilities.
He’s thrown together with NYPD Detective Jo Martinez, to solve the murder of a subway conductor and the passengers in the first called, all killed except for Morgan, a passenger in that doomed car. Through an autopsy, the medical examiner finds out the murderer injected the conductor with poison, killing him at the controls of the cars and resulting in the deaths of the passengers in the first car. Martinez while reviewing surveillance footage of the station before the accident sees Morgan on the platform and getting into the train. She suspects that he might have murdered the conductor, but Morgan convinces if he had killed the conductor he would have been insane to reveal that poison killed him.
Henry has Abe inject him with a vial of the conductor’s blood so he can determine quickly what poison killed him. Abe meets him at the river with a fresh set of clothes and Morgan tells his companion the poison was Aconite derived from the monkshood plant. Henry’s also able to pick up the murderer’s finger print off the corpse, a man named Hans Koehler, whose wife died in an accident a few years before on a subway operated by the same conductor.
Morgan and Martinez are able to stop Koehler from creating a mass murder as he planned to fill Grand Central Station with Aconite through the station’s air-conditioning unit. Koehler shoots Martinez, knocking her unconscious then shoots Henry, but the medical examiner summons the strength to get up from the floor of the rooftop and pushed both them off the roof and onto the roof of a car stories below, killing them both with only Morgan resurrected.
Henry finds out that his mysterious caller wasn’t involved in the subway crash as he suspected, before hanging up he reveals that he’s like Morgan and sounds like he’s planning a future for both of them. Martinez, released from the hospital after recovering from the gunshot wound, comes to Abe’s shop and tells Henry she’s investigating a new homicide and requested Morgan as her medical examiner.
Even with most well-made pilots of shows that become beloved, there are usually some kinks that needs tightening. This viewer did not witness one false note during the entire hour, getting me very excited for episode two and the rest to follow. If “Forever,” can maintain the quality displayed inn the pilot, the show will air for quite a long time.
Forever Premieres Tuesday Night, September 23, at 10:00 pm on ABC.