Forever- First Look (TV Review)

An explosive subway collision throws medical examiner Dr. Henry Morgan (Ioan Gruffud) into the path of New York City’s finest, Detective Jo Martinez (Alana de la Garza). They’re out to figure out who caused the subway crash, but there’s one very different thing about this case: it’s wrapped around Morgan’s apparent immortality and the two hundred years of experience that lends to his examination of the clues.

For the most part, you have a serial where a British guy helps an American cop solve cases; if that happens to remind you of ABC’s Elementary, well, you can’t be faulted for that. But the show airing tonight (and moving regularly to Tuesdays tomorrow), shows a less irascible Brit in Morgan’s character, and the nuances between Morgan and Martinez are different. Gruffudd’s performance gives the show gravitas, and moves us to see a man who cares about answering big questions- and caring for others. Ultimately, it’s more about an exploration of life, loss, and eternity than it is about the actual cases.

I’ve seen a lot of pain, a lot of death, a lot of suffering. But I’ve also seen a lot of life, a lot of beauty, a lot of wonder.– Morgan

You might not be able to die, you haven’t lived for a very long time.–Abe

Every show needs a Wilson (Home Improvement) and Forever’s is Judd Hirsch as Abe. When the heat gets turned up in the overarching storyline, as someone knows Morgan’s secret, he wants to flee. Abe tells him that maybe, just maybe, figuring out what it means to really be human would give his life meaning, even as he’s watched loved ones come and go.

That’s the thing about all of our lives, even if ours are shorter than Morgan’s: we fear dying instead of living forever, but we still get caught up in that fear instead of actually figuring out how to live well. But Morgan’s sadness is tied up in the loss of a woman from a long time ago…

You were made like this for a reason, but it wasn’t for me— Abigail

Morgan still hasn’t figured out his purpose and it’s that search for meaning that makes him want more for life. Sure, he ends up helping the city out, and saving a bunch of people, but as he struggles with his own loss (while counseling others in the midst of their own loss), he tries to find a way forward. This is ultimately about dying and living, loving and grieving, and while there’s a police procedural going on here… there’s so much more.



About Jacob Sahms

I'm searching for hope in the midst of the storms, raising a family, pastoring a church, writing on faith and film, rooting for the Red Sox, and sleeping occasionally. Find me at,, and the brand new
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