Forever's promos are like performance art at this point. While this episode technically had to do with changing jazz history, it was mostly about parents being awful at connecting with their kids.
This week's case is all about a jazz composition called "6 A.M." and the murder that accompany it. Ostensibly the reason for the whole kerfluffle is the authorship of that famous piece and the rights/money that come with proving ownership. However, since the show completely ignores copyright law, in every respect, I'm going to do the same.
Otherwise, I'll twist myself into knots. I actually got halfway through re-reading texts about the 1976 Copyright Act and the changes it brought before remembering that this is Forever, and if the writers don't care neither do I.
Copyright and money is actually a red herring this week. In typical Forever style, the obvious motive that we chase for 45 minutes is actually completely wrong. In this case, Henry didn't so much realize they missed a clue as stole evidence and tampered with it, but that's pretty much just what he does. With impunity.
The victim this week is Izzy, who dies in his car after going to a jazz club and saying that he'll be back because he's going to be rich. We see him strangled, so the fact that Henry later proves that the car fire didn't kill him isn't nearly as effective as it could be.
The death of Izzy is good luck for Henry, who desperately wants to get out of Abe's shop and his — shudder — jazz music. He literally says he's not into all that newfangled music, that it's all "just noise," and he isn't going to "put my thing down, flip it and reverse it." Which is hilarious on so many levels I forgive that he somehow absorbed that phrase but can't tell the difference between jazz instrumentals and Missy Elliott. Henry, as always, is less of an immortal and more of a time-traveler. Although, at least in this episode he's aware of other musical genres and doesn't like them, as opposed to being befuddled by a common modern device's existence. (Like later, when he asks if Neil Young is a poet.)
Anyway, Henry gets to the scene of the crime and there's an exchange I love so much that I actually bothered to learn Jo's partner's name for it. He's Hanson.
Jo: Five to one, [Henry]'ll say he was murdered.
Henry: This man was murdered!
Hanson: No fair, he always says that.
This is true. According to Henry, no one just dies in New York. They're all murdered. Do not tell my mother.
We go through the usual suspects: The club owner Izzy owed money to didn't kill him, but he did keep the instrument case Izzy's musician father had given him for collateral. Which means that the evidence the car fire was meant to destroy still exists.
Also not the murderer: The studio head who got rich off of stealing music. The game-changing piece that he and others stole from Izzy's dad, Pepper, (who now busks at the 125th Street station in Harlem) has a master tape that could prove that Pepper wrote the famous song "6 A.M." Unfortunately, the tape's old and can't be played anymore.
So Henry, being Henry and with no regard for anyone or anything, takes the ruined tape to Abe who, it turns out, knows how to fix the thing. You bake them, apparently. He's so lucky it worked, because everyone back at the station is horrified by what he's done. Although, to my mind, they should be angrier. And maybe sit Henry down for a series of lectures on chain of custody and evidence.
The tape proves that Pepper wrote the song for his daughter, who was born at 6 A.M. And on the tape is the musician credited with playing it, "Doughboy." Luckily, Henry had found a cufflink in Izzy's car with "DB" on it. A cufflink both Pepper and the record exec recognized. Pepper goes to avenge his son, Henry stops him without dying. YAY FOR HENRY.
The son of Doughboy, who killed Izzy to preserve his father's legacy and not for money or copyright or anything else, admits to everything. Which is convenient, because, wow, is the evidence all fucked up. Henry. So the tape goes to Pepper's daughter so she can hear him say he wrote the song for her, even if he wasn't a great father later on.
The flashback this week was directly related to both jazz and the theme of fathers not connecting with their children. While Pepper's daughter is the one who can't understand her father and her brother the one whose adoration lead to his death, in Henry and Abe we see that Henry has been a traditional old man forever. (Pun not intended.)
When Abe was a kid, Henry had him learning piano. Abe, like so many children, wasn't a huge fan of practicing the classical music. But a jazz musician neighbor comes in to get Abe into music through the "feel" of it, rather than the intense practice work of the pieces he has written down in front of him.
Above: The Put Out Face of Henry
Henry is put out by all this. Henry has two emotions: excited about death and put out by the modern world. The musician — who has a combative relationship with his ... wife? I think? He leaves her and Abe to take a gig playing in Paris, so the point's kind of moot — connects with Abe in a way that Henry doesn't. So Henry can barely contain his happiness when he leaves. He also ignores the guy's advice about supporting Abe's interests. Right up until 2014, when he asks Abe to teach him. So they reverse places and the student becomes the teacher.
In Lucas news: He was a film major who made what I'm certain were porn/horror movies in college. He asks if anyone wants to see his films. My roommate found it creepy in a "Come up and see my etchings" kind of way. I found it horrifying in a "come to my amateur improv group's next show!" kind of way. Sound off on which side of debate you come down on in the comments.
Also, he and Henry have a math geek out in calculating the time of death that's very cute. But the line of the night is when Henry plays murderer to Lucas' Izzy. Henry fake chokes Lucas, who says, "Squeeze harder, I work method." Best. Line. Of. The. Night. Of any of last night's shows. I watched a bunch of them, and nothing made me happier than this single line.