Forever Episode Review: “The Ecstasy of Agony”

by StevenHelmer

A review of the season 1 episode that first aired November 12, 2014.

Synopsis: A corporate executive is found murdered shortly after attending a dominatrix therapy session. The woman carrying out the session immediately becomes the prime suspect. However, Henry (Ioan Gruffudd) doesn’t believe she is the killer and begins looking for clues pointing to another suspect, something that ultimately once again puts him in danger.

Guest Stars

A Well-Executed Episode

I wasn’t really sure what to think of this particular episode when I first saw the description of it. While it sounded somewhat interesting, it also sounded a bit like something a show would do if it were desperate for ratings. However, as it turns out, it was actually pretty decent.

Burton is fantastic as the dominatrix Iona Payne. My wife and I are familiar with Burton from her frequent appearances on the show “White Collar” and she brought the same sexiness and energy to her character in this episode. I especially loved how she could, at times, match Henry’s mental abilities, especially when she correctly identified the victim’s real cause of death (without even seeing the body).

And, while the whole dominatrix therapy concept seemed to be a bit much, the show writers did a great job explaining it in a way that made it seem a bit more normal than it first appeared and less like a desperate cry for more ratings. By the time this episode was over with, I admittedly found myself liking the idea of Henry dating someone like that.

The secondary story involving Abe (Judd Hirsch) and his ex-wife (Seymour) was actually more interesting than I thought it would be. While the episode went out of its way to tell us, via flashbacks, why Henry is so reluctant to share his secret with people, I actually thought this part was a bit more intriguing because, in many ways, Henry’s secret has also kept Abe from finding happiness too. I can’t help but wonder if his two divorces (both to Seymour’s character) were related to him trying to keep people from finding out about Henry’s immortality. It’s definitely keeping him from finding real happiness, as was shown when he once again had to say goodbye to a woman he obviously still has feelings for.

This was a somewhat unexpected episode but, overall, I thought it was a good one. It had an intriguing case that required the show to step outside its comfort zone a bit. But, at the same time, the writers did a great job keeping things focused on the important aspects of Henry’s case. I definitely enjoyed watching this.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 01/14/2016, StevenHelmer
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