This review contains spoilers.
1.16 Memories Of Murder
When The Ecstasy Of Agony first introduced Iona ‘Molly’ Payne (Hilarie Burton) it marked a previous high point for the series. Because at the time it very effectively railroaded the show off a predictable track towards Henry and Jo becoming partners. While Forever has slipped back towards that on occasion, Memories Of Murder, and the return of Molly really scuppered some of those possibilities, and also entirely altered what appeared to be the future focal point of the whole show.
But before I get into that, there’s a mystery to unravel about a women found dead as if she’d time travelled from the seventies, and how that links into fading memories of the past. That was at best so-so, mostly because of the writer’s insistence of using the ‘early character’ trick. This is the one where you’re introduced to the murderer very early in proceedings, and then entirely ignore that person until the late reveal.
We’ve all seen enough shows to realise that if you’ve paid a line-speaking actress to work a scene, and then you don’t see her again throughout, then you did that for a reason. It works better when you meet someone without realising that you’ve ‘met’ them, and why.
What makes it more interesting is that they used the involvement of an obsessive as a means to rotate Molly’s character back in, thankfully.
But what really shocked me to a degree was how passive Jo was to Henry’s very obvious interest in Molly, as if she didn’t really care. Given that they’ve spent the past fifteen episodes slowly forming this relationship, in this instalment that went entirely on hold, like they’d only just met. OK, there was some warmth between them, but she wasn’t remotely bothered he might head off somewhere else, in fact she encouraged him.
That seemed a little odd, but less so than the new scenes with Abigail, and how they entirely altered where I thought Forever was ultimately going. Early on in these reviews I concluded that something about what ultimately happened to Abigail was going to be a big reveal, possibly in the season finale. I said this because they moved from their wartime meeting to the sixties, where Abe went off to Vietnam very slowly. It was like they were building to some cataclysmic event in the seventies possibly, where she’s be killed by assailants unknown (Adam?).
But this story complete blew that apart, because we’re taken to 1982, where Abigail is getting sensitive about their now very apparent age differences. This infers, though doesn’t guarantee, that she probably died of old age. That would be reworking the plot of Highlander, with Adam to come along at some point and tell him a secret about Abigail that he didn’t know.
If that’s the case, I’m not sure how I feel about it, really. I’d assumed that the death of Abigail was the focal point that the show was moving towards, and Henry’s acceptance of that being his breakthrough, but that now seems totally in doubt.
I was also rather concerned that having jumped through these hoops, including bringing Molly back, by the end there seemed an unnatural haste to put everything back where it was before, and not make her an ongoing part of his life. And, while we’re on the subject, who in their right mind would think that dumping someone lying in a hospital bed having just survived attempted murder was a good idea?
All this adds up to a major change for me, because where I understood this show might take us isn’t where it is heading now. That’s good in that shows shouldn’t be so predictable (like this can be), and yet it is a little unnerving. I think Forever now has a major twist to throw in the final stories, that will probably alter some assumptions we’ve all made about events so far. It’s exciting, but it I hope it doesn’t ruin what’s been an increasingly enjoyable show.
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