On this week's episode, a New York neighborhood has always been a place where the disadvantaged have died because of the greedy and where children are placed in danger because their protectors die. This was not a happy episode.
Because this is Forever, there is not a murder in New York City that Henry cannot connect to something he's already gone through. The victim is Raul, who was killed by a blow to the head. It was made to look like a heroin overdose, but the real cause was ... a corrupt land deal! The culprit is named Delroy, who is bribing people in a neighborhood to sell him their buildings. Raul was a former junkie who got clean and became a community leader, volunteering at the local rec center, and who wasn't okay with Delroy's plan.
In the 1800s, the Raul analogue is an immigrant who dies of Typhus. The Delroy analogue is his uncaring tenement landlord. In the present, there's a kid who Raul mentored at the rec center, who was also present when he died. In the past, there's the immigrant son, left alone with his father's body for days. In the present, the kid has a gun pointed at him. In the past, the immigrant child is thrown onto the streets.
In the present, the kid lives but the lieutenant of Delroy's dies before he can give evidence against Delroy. In the past, Henry is killed by the landlord and his goons for interfering and, while Henry gets his undead shit together, the orphan dies, too.
So, yeah. I guess the kid's alive and Delroy might be halted for now, but that's only a little bit of progress from Henry's 1800's flashback. There everyone died and the culprit got off. Now, only the father figures and the narcs die.
In case you were on the fence on this theme, Henry literally says to Jo that she should have seen how bad it was back when. Also, a little bit more on Jo, who has been very undeveloped: She grew up in a bad neighborhood with a criminal father.
Hold On to the Past
So, apparently Henry's been holding on to everything he's ever owned, and it's all sitting in Abe's antique shop. So, he's kept this stuff forever and is now okay with putting it up for sale? Except not, because he overhears a woman's plan to strip and re-pain one of his credenzas in "shabby chic," and refuses to sell it to her.
And later, Abe sells Henry's old doctor's bag to a podiatrist. Which, it turns out, was a gift from the orphan, whose dead father was a leatherworker. So Abe has to go get it back.
Which, okay, I see the import of the bag. What was so important about the credenza? And if these things are so important, why does he leave them in an antique shop, where a clueless Abe can sell them? Does Henry need to sell them because he's always been a pure of heart doctor who only served the poor and never saved any money, the way every other immortal in fiction has thought to do?
Also, wasn't the theme of one of the previous episodes living in the moment and not dwelling on the past? So why is Henry's packrat tendencies suddenly okay?
I think we saw Henry's first death in the pilot (killed by slavers when he went to treat slaves), so we can assume he's always been a do-gooder with absolutely no self-preservation instinct. Not being able to die has likely made this worse.
The Obligatory Lucas Adventure We Were Denied the Joy of Watching
Henry's an awful boss, and he's so lucky Lucas is such a dweeb that he's okay with that. Henry decides that figuring out what heroin was pumped into Raul's system to make his death look like an overdose is best done by getting heroin from the local dealer and getting a heroin sample from the rats that gnawed on Raul.
And Henry, being a genial idiot, goes up to the drug dealer all "Hey ho, my good man, I, who am not a cop, but am also certainly not at all acting naturally, would very much like to purchase some of what I believe the young people of America call 'heroin.' How might one go about doing such a thing?" He is immediately arrested.
Props to Lieutenant Reece for instantly identifying that plan as the dumbest thing she's ever heard, only to have to see Lucas show up with a cage full of stoned-off-their-tails rats. Then, as she points out, Henry's heroin buying plan is only the second stupidest thing she's heard.
I am heartbroken that we missed Lucas chasing after all those rats. He didn't seem that upset by it. In fact, Lucas seemed to empathize with the rats. He was okay with catching so many (not knowing which one was the Raul-eating one) so that they "wouldn't be alone." He also was sensitive to the pain of one of the rats, performing emergency surgery on it and finding clues.
I hope Lucas and his pet rats are a running thread in this show. Also, I much prefer the tale of Lucas, King of the M.E.s and the Rats to most things we actually see on the show. But now I'm worried actually seeing all his adventures would ruin the mystique. Maybe just more Lucas generally would fix this problem for me.