This review contains spoilers.
1.13 Diamonds Are Forever
(Incidentally, this episode makes no allusions or references to the 1971 Bond movie of the same name, starring Sean Connery.)
It seems somewhat incredible that it has taken thirteen episodes to actually get a Jo-centric story, which is what Diamonds Are Forever sets out to provide. I’d be misleading you to say that I wasn’t disappointed about what it contained, which really didn’t do what one might reasonably expect.
Given that Jo Martinez is the episode’s focus, do we know anything more about her at the end than we did at the start? The shadow hanging over her regarding her husband’s death isn’t news, and during the proceedings she doesn’t progress significantly in dealing with it. That’s at best a missed opportunity, and at worst makes her out as somewhat stuck in a rut. We know Henry is the key, so the show desperately needs to get on with explaining how.
What we did learn is that Mike Hanson (Donnie Keshawarz) has a major soft spot for Jo, even though he’s married and has children. It seems unlikely this will actually ever progress to anything in the future, despite his very obvious interest.
What also seemed strange was that given the chance to progress Jo’s character, most of the show was actually spent solving the crime, with brief interludes to her coping with evidence previously touched by her late husband.
Thankfully the rest wasn’t totally without merit.
For some time now there’s been a parallel story running that explains what happened to Henry after discovering his immortality. Previously he’d been incarcerated for claiming the power, and in this story we find him sharing a cell with Catholic Priest. They rather brushed over how he switched from being in Bedlam to a jail, something made me initially wonder if his companion just thought he was a priest.
This character is played with some finesse by Brit actor Roger Rees, who has an amazing film and TV resume that includes Cheers, The West Wing and Elementary. The only problem with these scenes is that it appeared to jump to a conclusion that Henry could only make now, that being the original resurrection wasn’t a unique event.
Unless I’ve missed something at this point he’d only died and come back once. So it was something of a jump to assume that it would happen again, even if this was the most obvious means to get out of the cell. And, surely, if they’d both made a mistake, then the Priest was committing a mortal sin, by helping Henry’s act of suicide? An ecumenical conundrum at their very best.
As enjoyable as these historical reveals are, the one we’re not given is what happened to his last wife Abigail, which presumably contains some critical plot information. That’s been held back, probably for the season finale.
Each Forever episode needs an Abe sub-plot, if only to provide justification for the wonderful Judd Hirsh. The one this week wasn’t great, but it did throw a nice twist in at the end where he calls the cops on a young antiquities expert. I’m not sure if the character of the young man with an eye for fakes will appear again, but it might enhance the Abe plots if he was.
Overall, I really wish that the writers had a clearer idea of what they wanted to do with Jo, because based on this they have very little. Other than them setting up a life-changing event that involves Henry, there seems an awkwardness about this that isn’t evident elsewhere.
Forever is still enjoyable, mostly because of the excellent work of Ioan Gruffudd, but it needs to work this out soon, because characters with unresolved problems with no resolution in sight can become tedious rapidly.
Normally I like to end my reviews with a quick reference to the next show, and what might happen then. Except at this time I don’t even have an air date for episode 14, never mind a synopsis. Hopefully it won’t be long, as this show desperately needs some momentum injecting.
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