This review contains spoilers.
1.12 The Wolves Of Deep Brooklyn
I’ve missed Forever. Not for one moment would I claim that this show is as watchable as say Gotham, or as elegantly written as Elementary, but it’s enjoyable all the same.
Episode 12, rather than being a standalone exercise, picks up the pieces from the mid-season finale, where Henry killed someone after being manipulated by Adam. The actual investigation is therefore mostly window dressing for him dealing with that, his return to work, and how that ties in with his relationship with Abe.
The inspiration for the murder is mostly taken from The Wolf Of Wall Street as the title hints, and they convinced William Baldwin to appear as uber-confident stock manipulator Oliver Clausten. His appearance created a dual reaction in this reviewer. After momentarily wishing that they’d got someone better, I then considered the less-gifted Baldwin brothers, and counted our collective blessings. To be fair, William doesn’t get very much screen time to be good or bad, and only one significant piece of dialogue to deliver with reasonable aplomb.
There’s an interesting sub-text about letting offspring be who they must be, whatever the consequences, in the episode that is mostly a vehicle for Judd Hirsch’s Abe having a coming-of-age moment and some previously unmentioned Vietnam war buddies. Hirsch is probably the best thing about Forever, though the main cast is general strong throughout. Lucas (Joel David Moore) has some nice dialogue in an early scene, and seems to be wearing his character much more naturally than he did earlier in the season.
Along with the deducting, Henry’s part in most of this seems to be to put himself in apparent danger only to be saved by Jo. I didn’t really see the logic of why he thought standing in path of a speeding car (twice) would actually help, given that once it had killed him (and he’d disappeared) it would just carry on regardless. That logically didn’t really make sense, unless he thinks ruthless people always lose control of their cars after running someone down. But that’s a minor gripe.
If I had a real irritation it was the end where they played the will-they-won’t-they card, yet again. The relationship between Jo Martinez and Henry Morgan has a natural evolution which the writers seem determined to elongate implausibly, and interrupt with phone calls to a man who doesn’t own a mobile phone. I wish they’d pack this in and move things along, because it reminds me so much of seventies/eighties shows where they would never actually resolve these things.
A bit of anticipation and build-up is fine, but there’s a fine line where the viewer starts to feel their interest is being abused, and justifiably tunes out.Forever has three of these at the moment. Those being: Henry’s true nature being known, Adam’s true nature being known, and Henry’s relationship with Jo. I can stand a couple of these being held out, but probably not all three.
I understand why writers do these things, but honestly I think the show will get more interesting and entertaining not less when Jo is brought inside the immortality loop. I’ve sort of accepted that might not happen until the end of the season, or even only at the point when the show is effectively cancelled, but that doesn’t stop me wanting them to get over that hurdle earlier.
In terms of what episodes we’ve had so far, The Wolves Of Deep Brooklyn wasn’t the worst, but it was far from the best. It served mostly to tidy up things after the carnage of Skinny Dipper, which it did adequately.
The next story I’m reliably told is about Jo’s late husband, which seems entirely designed to make any romantic feelings towards Henry disappear. Though it Jo’s character is certainly overdue for an episode about her, I’d suggest.
It’s good that Forever is back, but they now need to make my fondness for this show worthwhile, by delivering a second half to the season that’s as good as it can be.
Read Billy’s review of the previous episode, Skinny Dipper, here.
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