Forever continues to brilliantly delve deeper into the complexities of humanity than almost all of the Crime Series in recent times. It is one of the main reasons I watch it. As ever the human stories are always seasoned by the crimes, the investigations are the canvases upon which the hues of every Human emotion are deftly and cleverly painted weekly. The Writers have outdone themselves again!
This one Episode alone touches upon the issues of belief, friendship, Loss and prejudice.
The premise, a diamond theft is juxtaposed against a petty theft over at Abe's shop. The resulting investigation sees Jo forced confront her as yet unresolved grief for her Husband, Henry to remember that placing his trust in someone about his secret does not always end in "very Scientific" torturous pain and heartbreak. The always Hilarious has Abe to confront some of his own prejudices.
Ioan Gruffudd again brings a deft touch to his portrayal of the immortal doctor whose long life has given him an extensive Forensic knowledge, but it is his emotional range when opening himself up to people again after so many disappointments in the past, that really brings his performance above and beyond the usual, exceptional detecting mind, always one step ahead of the police. He brings a breadth to Henry that is charming and clever, but also vulnerable and sweet.
The flash backs in this episode really show that for Henry to come to the emotionally healthy place he is in today which will be integral to his interactions with Jo and to a certain extent, even Mike Hanson in this episode, that he had to have been given some hope that his secret could be shared. This is of course confirmed when he begins a life with Abigail and Abe, but I suspect the scenes in the prison cell with the Irish Priest, played with such relish by the wonderful Roger Rees, were the first time Henry ever considered being truthful about his plight to anyone since his ill fated revelation to his rather shrewish wife. Belief quite literally sets Henry free.
Elsewhere, Judd is again immensely funny and endearing in his conviction that some local reprobate delinquent has stolen his Tang horse! Henry's reaction to his asking him to investigate is wonderfully patronising and fatherly .. And Abe's sarcasm at being brushed off is at once petulant and snarky, I love the dynamic between these two very much and it adds a dimension to the show that few others have. The revelation of what actually did happen to the "too Shiny equine" is a delight and serves to remind us all that it never is best to read a book by it's cover.
Joel David Moore as Lucas again is a comedic foil , but this episode was really about Jo and the way her grief draws from Henry and Mike some truly nuanced performances that were at once heartbreaking and heartwarming. These three central performances made this show one of my absolute favourites from the season so far.
The performances of Donnie Keshawarz and Alana De La Garza are phenomenal here. Hanson's accidental foot in mouth episode and his immediate and absolute contrition are proof of the respect he feels for his partner, his awkward attempts to be a shoulder to lean on are sweetly played. The scene where he asks HENRY to back off from the case is also deftly written and played honestly by both Donnie and Ioan . These two men obviously care so deeply for their friend and would do anything to protect her. This love is reflected in the way Jo shields Mike in the shoot out earlier in the show.
Their concern for Jo in the final showdown with the bad guy is also wonderful to behold. Both Ioan and Donnie have extremely expressive faces and eyes that mirror their souls in the purest sense. The casting of these central male roles is so important for the show to feel real and I have only praise for them as they continue to develop them.
Alana De La Garza is given much to play with in this episode, playing it resilient and tough to hide her inner turmoil, her assertion that she can cope is obviously belayed by her reactions and it is this reaction so familiar to us all when we are aiming to hide our truest feelings that makes her performance resonate so.. I am fine, never means fine.
It is those moments when Jo is unguarded, whilst watching the footage of her husband and the reactions that the men in her life have to those exposed emotions ;which prove this cast to be truly masters of their craft. Jo's grief will break your heart and Mike and Henry's friendship will rekindle your faith in humanity.
ABC Forever returns to Canadian and U.S. Screens with New episodes in two weeks.
If you enjoy the show, please let ABC know by sending them a letter or using Social Media to spread the word.. We can only tell them how much the show means to us by actually telling them..