Warning: Spoiler Alert
A hysterical woman in the back-seat of a taxi’s hitting redial and screaming into her cellphone as the cab drives over a New York City bridge, suddenly she tells the driver to stop the taxi and let her out, then opens her door. The driver pulls his vehicle off to the side and the woman jumps out of the car and climbs the outside railing of the bridge and then goes over to the other side. Less than a minute later, the woman screams in terror as her body drops from the bridge into the icy waters below.
The NYPD get reports from witnesses including the cab driver and are ready to call the case an obvious suicide, but the precincts Medical Examiner believes otherwise. So starts the second episode of the new ABC series “Forever,” as Dr. Henry Morgan believes that the young woman got thrown from the bridge rather than jumped, although all the witnesses and the driver felt otherwise. However Morgan points out quickly, that there’s lead paint under the young woman’s fingernails, showing that she struggled to hold onto the bridge’s rail. He also told Detective Jo Martinez and her partner Detective Hanson, that he ascertained she fell backwards off the bridge due to the injuries suffered, quite unusual in a suicide.
Martinez, already trusts Morgan’s instincts, though they’ve worked together just a few weeks, because of his track record of being almost always right. Of course she’s unaware that he’s been studying death for over 200-years, due to the fact that he doesn’t remain dead despite getting killed frequently over the years. (Think Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, only less humorous and a lot longer.) The precinct recently brought in a new commanding officer Lieutenant Joanna Reece, (Lorraine Toussaint) who lacks Martinez’s confidence in the medical examiner and tells her and Morgan to work on another case.
Later that day, Henry’s assistant Lucas tells Morgan that the young woman’s parents want to speak to him, but Morgan tells Lucas that he doesn’t deal with relatives. Unfortunately the parents walk into the examining room and see their daughter before Henry could cover her body fully. The father screams at Morgan that his daughter didn’t kill herself and the mother explains that the young woman was a brilliant student, just finished a renowned research project and had a scholarship at the Sorbonne in Paris and supposed to catch a plane the night she died. The father asked Henry what he believed the cause of death was and Henry said they should talk to the police, but the father said to Morgan he wanted his thoughts. The doctor told the father that he understood what the parents were going through, but when the father asked if he had children Morgan said he didn’t. The father responded then the doctor had no idea the anguish they suffered.
Henry actually hadn’t been truthful with the parents as we see in a flashback from 1945 in the following scene as Army Doctor Henry Morgan and his nurse Abigail pick up an adorable infant in the field hospital they worked in. Abigail says the hospital probably sends him to an orphanage unless a young couple fell in love got married and took him in as their own. Henry realizing she referred to them said things were a bit more complicated and she replied, what’s simpler than making an impulsive decision effecting the rest of their lives. The baby Abraham, grabbed hold of Morgan’s thumb and wouldn’t let go and Abigail said that now Henry’s stuck. The camera zoomed in on the concentration camp tattoo on his forearm and we’re in the present almost 70-years later as the camera zooms out from the number and we see the now elderly Abe.
That night Henry rides his bicycle over to the bridge and finds the exact spot the woman fell from, he sees two pair of foot prints confirming she got murdered. Morgan nearly falls off the bridge but hoists himself back up. However he’s killed soon after as a truck hits him head on when he reaches down to pick something he dropped on the bridge. Abe arrives soon after with a towel and a set of fresh clothes, but the next day Morgan gets a package from his mysterious “fan,” who says his death looked painful. The man contacted Henry in the series pilot, telling Morgan that he also kept surviving death.
Jo stops by Abe’s shop and tells Henry that the young woman had booked her flight for Paris that night, which made her believe someone killed her and she wanted Morgan to come with her and talk to the parents. After speaking with the woman’s folks Martinez truly believed that Henry nailed it from the beginning and she got murdered.
When Morgan stops at the lab the next day, Lucas tells him that the paint chips came from lead-based paint, furthering Henry’s suspicion she was gripping the rail for dear life. Lucas also told him that he found a piece of human tissue under her fingernail that could belong to the assailant. Morgan and Martinez head to the facility containing the codex where the young woman and her professor deciphered the historic text. The professor’s lecturing a class but when Martinez flashes her badge, he dismisses them and gives them their assignment for later in the week.
After talking with the professor, the pair leave with Henry convinced that the professor and the young woman had an affair and he lied about being at the opera with his wife the night before. They head to his home and his wife tells them that her husband and her attended the opera the previous evening. However, Morgan being slightly less than rude, interrupts the wife and calls her a liar, saying she’s covering for her husband who never arrived at the opera the night before and she knew about his affair. Martinez then tells the wife if she’s lying then she could be charged with a crime and asks again if her husband attended the opera and the woman said he didn’t.
The pair go back to confront the professor who admits to the affair, but tells them he broke it off with her for her sake due to their age difference. She was just 22-years-old by the time she reached thirty he’d be 65. However he says that he wasn’t involved in the murder, he loved her too much to harm her and Morgan believes him, shocking the detectives.
The next day at the lab Morgan and Lucas look inside the woman’s mouth and find another skin tissue sample and Henry bets that one doesn’t belong to the professor, but Martinez interrupts them, saying the professor just committed suicide in his office. But Henry says the professor also got killed by someone else as the slits on his wrists from the razor that sliced them were going the wrong way for him to have done it and leaves the room.
He goes searching for the student they met when they first entered the facility, finds the young man and startles him. He then point-blank tells him he realizes he killed the woman and the professor, so he could get greater recognition for his contribution to the codex. The student soon cracks and takes a blade and holds it to Morgan’s jugular vein. Henry of course doesn’t fear death but if the student cuts the vein and Morgan dies, there are video cameras to record the event. Finally Martinez and Hanson see the pair on the security cameras and take down the student.
The final scene takes place at Morgan’s home and he picks up his landline to find his “fan” on the other end of the line. They chat for a bit, but the other man tells Henry he’d wondered why Morgan still took so much pleasure from life, then realized he’s a toddler just 200-years-old. The caller told him that he’d been around closer to 2,000-years and Henry could call him Adam. Morgan says he’d like them to meet, and the caller says they will, but they have plenty of time.
While enjoying the acting just as much as I did in the series pilot, this episode seemed more like a Sherlock Holmes knockoff with the added gimmick of Morgan being immortal. The pilot reached deeper into Morgan’s past and I’m hoping further episodes go in that direction.
The Story Continues Next Tuesday, at 10:00pm on ABC.