This review contains spoilers.
1.21 The Night In Question
As penultimate episodes go, this one wasn’t half bad. What it initially avoided was pushing set-ups for the season (and show, probably) finale, but instead went about unravelling a workman-like mystery. That the murder they’re investigating is a thirty year old one, and relates to the disappearance of Henry’s aged wife was a bonus of sorts.
Building on the previous episode’s revelation, Henry tracks down the hospital that Abigail worked in after she left, and finds that she disappeared from there and the property that she’d rented to live in. There was something slightly odd about this pursuit, because given that she was sixty five in 1985, the chance that she’d still be alive now seems at best unlikely. So it’s more a matter of finding out how she died, depressingly.
But before we actually get to that hunt, Lucas (Joel David Moore) has one of his best character moments yet when being overtly interrogated by Jo about where Henry has gone. Over the season Lucas has developed modestly, and the interplay between him and Jo, and later between him and Henry, is really entertaining. That hints that maybe more should have been made of him, rather than almost exclusively making him a nerdy foil for the autopsy scenes.
Meanwhile Henry and Abe take a road trip, leading to them to dig up the property of a remarkably affable lady, after providing very little justification whatsoever. Luckily they find a body, but the clever twist is that confounding expectations, it isn’t Abigail’s. This leads them on a convoluted trail that leads them back to the hospital, and the fateful Night in Question. Through complicit Judges, murdering Sheriffs and even the involvement of Adam, this turns out to be probably the best case to be solved by Henry so far.
However, it wasn’t all smooth running, and towards the end it managed to get itself in a muddle. Things start to go slightly awry when Jo incredibly receives a cell phone call underground, though at least she admits that she doesn’t have good reception. Then immediately after that Henry finds the bloody Sheriff’s shirt, that he’s left there for thirty years for someone to find. (I’m nitpicking here, but it makes little sense that he was already the Sheriff all those years ago when he was only in his early twenties. Surely he’d be a deputy?)
But those are minor problems compared with events surrounding the death of Belinda, where according to his version, the Sheriff waits outside the house where Abigail lived for her to leave, so he could go back into the house and kill Belinda once she’d gone. But he’d have no idea that she’d leave, and if someone else hadn’t turned up she wouldn’t have. And where did he leave the police car so that nobody noticed it?
It didn’t help that they explained the death of Belinda before the dark-haired man drove away with Abigail, and these events took place in the opposite chronological order so when Abigail left, Belinda was still alive. Any resolution is entirely reliant on two major witnesses providing a complete admission of their part in these events, and with both having so much at stake, that seems unrealistic.
They do, however, reveal Adam’s involvement, and eventually the location of Abigail’s body, and the nature of her demise. Quite what Abigail thought Adam would do to Henry, given that he can’t die, seems hazy, but it was enough to make her kill herself to protect him. It’s a fate that seems designed to motivate other characters even if it seems inherently weak from a logic perspective.
While I liked the eventual conclusion, the journey there was bumpy in places. It also sealed the fate of various plot elements of the show, because in the final 42 minutes there can’t be room to do them justice or even make a cursory stab at them.
Chief of these is the relationship between Jo and Henry, which now can’t really go anywhere with him being generally obsessed with his late wife. Having spent some considerable time developing that sub-plot it’s now doomed to never bear any fruit, or even flower. That hints that perhaps the hold-out of her knowing his secret might also never be resolved, as this along with their romance was destined for a second season that we’re very unlikely to see.
But I’m undermining the conclusion before we’ve actually got there, regrettably.
The final story will focus on guns and daggers that may or may not kill otherwise immortal people, and is tantalisingly entitled The Last Death of Henry Morgan.
It’s a two-week wait for this, so let’s all hope it is worth the anticipation.
Read Billy’s review of the previous episode, Best Foot Forward, here.
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