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Forever - The Frustrating Thing About Psychopaths - Review

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Forever, “The Frustrating Thing About Psychopaths,” was written by Sarah Nicole Jones and directed by Zetna Fuentes. Jones also wrote for Longmire and Fuentes’ other credits include Rack and Ruin, Switched at Birth and One Life to Live. Despite a seeming lack of experience, Fuentes does a really good job with the procedural aspects as well as the somewhat horrific elements of this episode. There's one particularly nice shot of all of Henry's (Ioan Gruffudd) instruments laid out, for instance - in addition to the crime scenes.

It was just last episode that I was wondering to myself if they’d dropped the Adam storyline, and then this week, there he is again! He becomes a lot more threatening and creepy in this episode. At first, Henry suspects that Adam is the murderer. Henry is visibly relieved when it turns out that it’s merely a copycat. Of course, by the end of the episode, there is plenty for Henry to worry about and plenty of evidence that Adam is a cold-blooded killer. Particularly troubling is Adam’s expertise in dispatching Henry. Not to mention the cold way in which he walks around him, cataloging his injuries and then standing on his broken back. Adam’s eagerness to see Henry off might be self-interest as he wouldn’t want their secret to get out, but there’s a little too much relish for Henry’s pain and fear in Adam’s actions.

Henry is disturbed by Adam’s level of knowledge about the crime, murder, and anatomy. But what if Adam’s background isn’t so very different from Henry’s? What if his own inability to die also made him fascinated by death. What if Adam also has a medical or even police background? It seems likely that Adam is being established as Adam’s nemesis, but we may also be following false clues.

This week’s case was particularly interesting, with lots of twists and turns. Interesting that they started out with Jack the Ripper with that case being in the news over the summer as new evidence came to light that seemed to make a definitive case for who Jack really was. I loved the opening of the episode with Lucas (Joel David Moore) bemoaning the absence of interesting deaths and then Henry dissing Lucas’ “comics.” Lucas corrects him – they’re graphic novels – and this dovetails nicely with the possibility that it is the author Soul Slasher – Simon Decker (Scott Parkinson) who is the culprit. Decker uses clever sign out names in the library which are also fun clues – Freddie Abeline who was the original inspector on the case and J. Elroy – who wrote the Black Dahlia.

The case then switches to focus on a fan of the novels - Devin Bentley (Mick Hazen). The kid is anti-social enough to fit the bill, but it turns out that the murderer is actually his father - Mark Bentley (Paul Fitzgerald). The only place the episode really hiccupped for me was in providing a convincing reason for it to actually be the father.

There were lots of great scenes in this episode. It was fun watching Henry in the flashbacks work the Jack the Ripper case with the police, and then watch in the present as he becomes a more integral part of the department. Reece (Lorraine Toussaint) really treats him like one of the team. They are his first call when a package arrives oozing blood. Henry tells them that murder is never easy to look at. You don’t see the person’s life – you see the murderer – whether the murderer was angry or just didn’t care at all. It’s interesting that Henry who is so obsessed with death actually focuses on the life that is being overlooked in this instance. Henry also points out that murderers contact the police to show off. Clearly, Bentley went to a lot of trouble to pick a prostitute named Mary Kelly and use the Dorset Street connection and to then leave the black dahlia and nylon clues. It’s curious then, that he didn’t get angry when his son got the attention for the murders.

Once again we see Abe (Judd Hirsch) play a significant role. He’s the one who helps Henry with the phone technology – identifying the phone as a burner. Abe also has the contact with the Frenchman (Rosalind Chao). Clearly, there’s a history here that we’ll hopefully learn more about!

 Jo (Alana De La Garza) also has a brush with death – in this case, taking the life of Bentley. This, of course, contrasts nicely with Adam’s callous view of death. While Jo makes a good show of being ok, Henry sees that she isn’t ok. He tells her, “the day killing a person doesn’t affect you, you’ve got real problems.” I thought De La Garza did a creditable job with the emotional arc of the character in this episode, and I always love a show that lets the woman be the one to come to the rescue and save the day. Gruffudd delivers another terrific performance – particularly as he lies helpless at Adam’s hands and when he realizes that Adam knows about Abe.

It was also interesting that this week we have Henry dying again. I’m glad that they’ve backed off on that gimmick and use it to really good effect here. However, it did strain credibility a bit to have Bentley tell Henry that he would bleed out in minutes and then have Henry save The Frenchman – at least momentarily  - and fall down the stairs to break his back and still not have bled out…  I know, I’m being picky. I’m still very much enjoying this show though! What did you think of the episode? Did you enjoy this week’s mystery? Were you happy to see Adam back? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

About the Author - Lisa Macklem
I do interviews and write articles for the site in addition to reviewing a number of shows, including Supernatural, Arrow, Agents of Shield, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Forever, Defiance, Bitten, Glee, and a few others! Highlights of this past year include covering San Diego Comic Con as press and a set visit to Bitten. When I'm not writing about television shows, I'm often writing about entertainment and media law in my capacity as a legal scholar. I also work in theatre when the opportunity arises. I'm an avid runner and rider, currently training in dressage.

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