Warning: Spoiler Alert
Although Henry Morgan’s the finest medical examiner in New York City, I’d gladly go back to school to take a history course he’d teach, as a fringe benefit of living for over 200-years, is watching the changes society, technology and people in general go through over the years. Morgan’s witnessed a part of the city, harboring different waves of immigrants as time’s passed, turning into the low-income urban neighborhood it’s become. This week’s episode of the new ABC series “Forever,” revolves around a shady developer that wants to gentrify the neighborhood, turning it into the next hipster enclave and sending its current residents scrambling for new homes.
However an Ex-Con turned Community Leader, Raul Lopez’s upset that the Youth Center he volunteers at will soon cease to exist and he’s determined to stop the contractor named Delgrove from tearing it down. We meet Raul at the beginning of the episode at the Youth Center, taking out his frustrations on the heavy bag, until when one of the youngsters he mentors asks if everything’s alright. Lopez tells the kid that he’s got lots on his mind and the youngster offers to help him. Raul appreciates the gesture but tells the little guy he’s got to handle this problem himself.
A graphic appears on the screen to inform us, it’s three-days later and a real estate agent’s showing a young, trendy couple an apartment in the neighborhood. The man says he’s got reservations about the neighborhood and the real estate agent says she understands due to its reputation as filled with junkies and thieves, but says the neighborhood’s soon undergoing a major renovation project. The man asks what’s that smell and leaves the apartment to explore the hallway, as the two women keep talking. Suddenly the man screams out of fear and both women run to find him, the guy found the corpse of Raul Lopez, decomposing and his body and face ravaged by rats. The corpse also has a syringe in his arm, but Lopez stayed straight after getting out of prison.
Detectives Martinez and Hanson along with Medical Examiner Henry Morgan arrive to the scene and Hanson labels the corpse as “JAD,” meaning Just Another Junkie, but Morgan’s got his doubts. He thinks the corpse got moved after he died and he has some tar-like substance on the bottom of the shoes, but no residue on the floor. He also has a huge welt on the back of his head caused by a blunt instrument. They take him to Henry’s office, with Morgan believing the “junkie” got murdered.
We flash back to the same neighborhood back in 1880 and Morgan’s a physician trying to aid the immigrants. Morgan finds a man’s corpse, who died of Typhus and berates the landlord for not getting the body to a mortuary for the man’s sake as well as he’s a breeding ground for Typhus. Henry asks the landlord the man’s name and he replies Just Another Immigrant, but the man’s young orphaned son tells Henry his father’s named Jacob.
Back at his office Morgan realizes the syringe got put in Lopez’s arm after he died as it never struck a vein, X-rays also reveal that the blow to the back of the head killed Lopez, and he was setup to appear he overdosed. Henry tries to get the toxicology department to make Lopez’s blood work a priority, but they tell him it’ll take two weeks to process.
Henry heads to Abe’s store and tells his companion the most frustrating thing of living as long as he has, is watching history repeat itself time after time. The same greed and ignorance drive humanity, that did over 200-years earlier. Abe commiserates, but tells Morgan he has no frame of reference being a mere child of only 70.
Jo and Henry head back to the Youth Center and talk with Fabian North who runs the place about Raul. North said he realized something’s wrong with Lopez as he never misses a shift. Martinez tells Fabian that Raul was yelling on the phone the night he died and North says he fought with Delgrove to try to keep the Youth Center open.
Jo and Henry then go to the local Bodega to talk to the owner about Lopez and the guy says that Raul tried to keep the neighborhood together, but the owner’s glad to get out. He says Delgrove gave him good money to sell his store and he’s looking forward to a new life. The pair thank him for his time and head over to the construction site. When they arrive, Morgan’s convinced that this is where Lopez got killed, as the substance on his shoes are the same as the site’s covered with. He then has Jo dial the number to Lopez’s phone listening for the ring, but hearing nothing. Suddenly he gets an idea, takes his shoes and socks off, steps on the area and tells Martinez to call it again, this time he finds the vibration, grabs a shovel and starts digging up the surface, while the foreman goes to get Delgrove. The contractor soon arrives and asks what they’re doing and right then Henry finds the phone. Although the contractor says he doesn’t know Lopez, the last call Raul made went to Delgrove’s phone. The contractor still says he doesn’t know Lopez, he gets angry calls all day, every day complaining about the project.
The pair stake out a career criminal named Lou who works for Delgrove and finally the contractor arrives and gives his henchmen a large manila envelope, they follow him to the Youth Center and he drops the envelope off there. After Martinez picks the lock, they find the envelope and now Fabian North’s their prime suspect. They head to his house in the middle of the night back to Morgan’s office and how him Raul’s corpse and blame Fabian for killing him for the 50-grand in the envelope. North says he didn’t kill his friend, that Delgrove gave him the money to convince neighborhood member’s to sell their homes and businesses.
Henry sees the youngster that talked with Raul at the start of the show and Morgan starts winning the young guy’s trust when he looks across the street, sees Lou and the Bodega owner watching him and he takes off on his bicycle. Henry shortly later finds the bike but not the kid, Morgan’s first instinct’s Lou took the kid, but that proves wrong. So he and Martinez head to the Bodega, as the owner’s threatening the boy, turns out he killed Lopez and the kid witnessed it. Jo and Henry find them right then and he tries to escape but Henry chases him down. The guy’s about to shoot Morgan when he gets crushed by a panel truck.
Although they can’t pin the murder on Delgrove, he’ll spend a good stint in the gray-bar hotel on bribery convictions.
The Story Continues Next Tuesday at 10:00 pm on ABC.