Warning: Spoiler Alert
The ABC series “Forever,” returned to the airwaves after a hiatus, with a splendid episode entitled “Dead Men Tell Long Tales,” introducing a new character in the process, Mega-Rich entrepreneur and industrialist, Isaac Monroe, portrayed by Academy-Award winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr. Monroe will stay with the series over the next two episodes, as NYPD Detective Jo Martinez and Medical Examiner Henry Morgan, meet him as a possible suspect in a murder case. However the jet-setter’s soon cleared of any guilt and takes a shining to Detective Martinez. While Jo’s exploring the future with the charismatic businessman, Morgan’s exploring the past as the case they’re working, played an important part in Henry’s lifetime.
We open the episode among strangers in a bar, a shaggy-haired, bearded man, comes to his table with four shots, we never see enough of the three other people at the table to identify them. The man puts the glasses on the table, then says to his companions, he realizes they’ve had their differences, but they completed their mission, walking away with a huge haul. He then says to the other three, to keep their mouths shut, as the most dangerous part of a treasure hunt’s after they find the treasure, he then makes a toast and all four clink their glasses.
The next scene takes place in the man’s office at Medford Deep Sea Salvage, he’s still drinking, but he hears a noise and walks out of his office to check it out. Suddenly we see a pair of hands, grab the harpoon from the company’s sign and runs it through the shaggy-haired man killing him instantly.
At Abe’s Antique shop, Abe’s happy as a schoolboy, as he just received some ancient and rare maps, for a customer and he’s intrigued by them. Henry sees what Abe’s doing, looks at the maps and recognizes the name of the cartographer, a man whose family, engaged in a feud with the Morgan clan, ending in a duel. Abe’s heard the story countless times and tells Morgan as much, so it’s kind of a relief when Detective Martinez arrives to take Henry to check out a new case.
The case naturally is the murder of the shaggy-haired man, named Rick Rasmussen, owner of the salvage company, Lucas and Henry have to saw the harpoon in order to remove, less they risk damaging Rasmussen’s corpse. Morgan of course identifies the harpoon including manufacturer and the year it got produced and Hanson turns to Lucas, saying he’s not surprised that the assistant Medical Examiner’s “partner,” has the complete lowdown on the harpoon.
During the autopsy, Henry tells Martinez and Hanson that Rasmussen’s body shows signs of recently returning from a dive, as air-bubbles in the blood and a jelly-fish wound on his arm attest to. They also found gold particles in the victim’s mouth, as if Rasmussen bit down on a gold coin to prove it’s real. They leave the morgue, heading to Rasmussen’s warehouse and start checking out the stuff the salvage owner acquired on his latest trip.
There’s no gold among the items, however Henry finds something that rocks his world, the steering wheel of the ship bearing the craft’s name, The Empress Of Africa, which he tells Jo and Mike, was a slave-ship. Jo once again asks the question she must repeat in her sleep; “How Could You Possibly Know That Henry?” What Morgan can’t tell Jo’s The Empress Of Africa’s the ship he got killed on in 1814, for the first time, leading to him escaping death for the last 201-years.
Henry returns to the shop and told Abe of their find, Abe tells him as much as he’s learned about his father’s other situations, in which he cheated death, Morgan’s always remained secretive about what happened on that ship. Abe and we find out, that the reason Henry’s kept the tale to himself, is because he feels he’s to blame for the death of 300-slaves, who were in the hull of the ship on that voyage.
The Empress Of Africa, belonged to Morgan’s father and was part of the slave-trading fleet, that captured free men from Africa, bringing them to the United States, to become slaves on Southern plantations. Henry, blissfully unaware his father sunk to slave-trading to keep his company alive, until finding out from the friend of a friend, was determined to free the slaves on the ship he sailed on.
He went to the holding cell and sought out a man named Obi, who spoke English, he told the African he’d return later with a key, that would release all the slaves shackles, as well as the cell door. When they left the cell, Henry said to head to the ship’s armory and grab all the weapons you can and you can take over the ship. He asked the man if he understood and Obi replied he did. However Henry never got to deliver that key, as the craft’s captain shot him to death first. He says they’re bloods on his hands and call his immortality, a curse, not a blessing. Abe refutes the statement, then mentions they made it one thousand miles north of where they’d been headed, so Henry has no idea what went on.
There’s a tribute being held for Rasmussen, at a bar on the wharf, so Jo, Mike and Henry attend. We see a man with longish hair in his forties, thanking the folks for showing up, even though Rick could be a mean son-of-a-pup. They raise a glass to Rasmussen, then the man named George walks towards the back of the bar. Jo realizes he’s Rick’s former partner and tries to question him, but he says people in the salvage industry don’t talk to cops and walks way. Mike steps up just as George leaves, telling Martinez, he keeps getting the same response, but Henry says he’ll get some answers and walks up to a young guy at the bar, with a jelly-fish wound on his right hand.
The guy named Davey, refuses to cooperate with Henry and Morgan notices there’s a huge-guy at the end of the bar, giving Davey the stink-eye. Davey finally gets up and walks away, Henry tells Jo and Mike to follow Davey and the guy who looks like a wall with a face into the parking lot. They say fine, but tell Henry to stay in the bar. He sits down at the bar, getting a female bartender with “David Bowie Eyes,” one blue and one green and of course Morgan remarks about it, she tells him he’s full of information.
He notices she’s shaking pouring his shot and deduces she’s a diver and suffering from decompression sickness, he starts questioning her and she tells him to enjoy his drink then leaves the bar area. Henry decides to disregard what Martinez and Hanson told him and goes to the parking lot, he sees the big guy banging Charlie against a fence, while the bartender Margo tells the big guy Chappy, to stop. Henry interrupts them and Margo says he’s a cop, they start to run, but Mike and Jo arrest them and put them all in handcuffs, Hanson asks which part of stay inside, was too tough for him to understand?
Mike and Jo interview all three crew-members and Hanson believes all their stories. Discouraged, Henry heads back to Abe’s shop and Abe suggests, they grab a sandwich and break into Rasmussen’s warehouse. They start searching around and they find a coffin, they open it and there’s the remains of a slave inside it, with a bullet in his head. Abe says he had a decent burial and Henry realizes that a dead slave should have gotten thrown overboard as they did to him, but here he was in a casket.
Another flashback to 1814, Henry’s got the key and is about to hand it off to Obi, when the Captain shows up, says the key’s missing and asks if Morgan knows anything about it? Henry asks if he’s getting accused and the Captain says Morgan may be the owner’s son, but on his ship he’s judge and jury. Just then an aide says Morgan’s needed to check out a slave with fever, minutes later he’ll be dead.
Someone else breaks in and although Henry and Abe lack a weapon, Henry confronts the man and chases him out of the warehouse, right into the waiting arms of Hanson and Martinez, but Henry and Abe soon show up and Martinez blows up, asking Morgan what they’re doing?
Back at headquarters, Jo asks Henry why he’s being so obsessive over this ship and Morgan says because it was a slave ship and 300-people died. That satisfies Martinez, as the reason for his interest but she tells him she needs him in the present to help solve this murder. She talks to George, who tells her that he and Rick attempted to recover the ship, but it was far too deep and a diver Rick sent down died, George says Rasmussen was responsible for the death. He’d heard rumors Rick hooked up with some financier, who bankrolled new equipment and renovations on Rick’s ship.
That financier is Isaac Monroe and he’s giving a speech that night at the Explorers Club, Jo tells Henry they’re attending, Morgan wants to get into Black-Tie, but Martinez says no. They arrive and Jo identifies them, telling him they need to talk to him, but they have to wait, as they’ve just introduced him to give his speech. He produces the gold from The Empress Of Africa, saying it’s worth $7 million and then tells the crowd the proceeds are getting donated to the Walker Institute For History Education. Henry asks Jo then why did he steal it?
Of course he didn’t steal it, his arrangement with Rasmussen all along, included getting the cold, he was paying Rick and his crew a fee after they returned. He also tells Jo he’s got an airtight alibi where he was when Rick got killed. Henry leaves the office to explore the museum, while Isaac asks Jo out for a date, she says she’s a cop and he’s a suspect and he smiles and says think about it.
Henry’s checking out exhibits when his cellphone rings and it’s Adam, whose actually about 20-feet away. He shows Henry something he thinks Morgan might have interest in and it’s the Captain’s pistol that killed him the first time. Adam explains he knows all about Henry’s history, then starts reciting it. He says he’ll get in touch soon.
The next morning Jo receives a bouquet of roses, along with a card from Monroe, asking her to have dinner with him that evening. Hanson’s at his desk and he says she should go, (so he read the card) he gave a speech at the Louvre, when Rick got killed. She accepts the date.
Henry also gets a package, his is the Captain’s gun with a note from Adam, that Lucas brings to him and it appears that Lucas looked inside the box as he knows it’s the gun from the Empress Of Africa’s Captain. He then says that it took a minute to load one and the weapon only had a range of 15-feet, he says you’d have to be a real doofus to get killed by that gun.
Jo arrives at Isaac’s apartment and he answers the door wearing an apron, telling her he planned to cook for her that evening. He says he hopes he’s not coming on too strong, she says not at all, she’s got her gun in her purse. He asks her if that’s true and she says she’s joking, he smiles and says he’s glad there’s no need for her to be a cop tonight.
Henry’s in his lab going through evidence in the case and has his first real good look at the face of the first diver, who died, he also had “David Bowie Eyes,” one blue and one green and Morgan realized Margo’s his sister. He finds Mike, asks him where Jo’s at and Hanson says she’s on a date with Monroe, Henry tells him a bout Margo and they figure her next victim’s Isaac.
Margo sneaks into the apartment as Isaac and Jo are preoccupied with each other, then Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On, comes on the stereo and Martinez asks if Monroe’s going to try to pull a move and he reacts with false indignation, then admits he might, causing her to have a panic attack. She asks where the bathroom’s at and he points her toward it. She goes in there and gives herself a pep-talk, when she comes out she sees Monroe’s on the floor and she gets into a brawl with Margo.
Henry and Mike arrive at the door and start knocking but of course nobody responds, Hanson hears Marvin Gaye and thinks they might be following the songs instructions, but they keep knocking. Suddenly they hear a table move and dishes rattle and Henry says those aren’t sexual noises and Mike kicks down the door. Turns out Jo did have her gun in her purse as she pulls it on Margo. Isaac had yet to get involved in the project when her brother died.
Back at the station, he tells her she saved his life, at the very least she owes him one more date, she smiles and agrees and he says he’ll call her. Henry catches Isaac in the hall and says he realizes that recovering the Empress Of Africa was his passion, not Rasmussen’s and he asked why. It turns out the slaves did escape, when they took Henry’s dead body past their cell, the key fell out his hand right at Obi’s feet, they rose up and took over the ship. They then made it far enough North that they landed as free men and one was Isaac’s ancestor, so Henry was a hero after all.
Back at Abe’s shop, Henry gets a call from Adam, who asks if he got what he sent him, Morgan says he did and asks why Adam sent it. Adam tells Henry his first time dying was by a Roman dagger plunged into him, he believes the only way either of them can die and stay dead’s through the first weapon that killed them, so he’s provided Henry with his. He says the thing he hates the most about being immortal, is he’s lost all sense of time, the feeling that every minute could be his last. He then admits to Morgan that he once possessed the dagger, but lacked the guts to test his theory, he tells Henry to be a sport and if he ever feels like doing it let Adam know.
When Adam hangs up, Henry’s suddenly aware of the clock on the mantel ticking loudly and asks Abe when he got it fixed. Abe says the clock’s always worked fine and he winds it daily, he then asks Henry if he’s alright?
The Story Continues Next Tuesday Night at 10:00 m on ABC.