Forever Season 1 Review “The Ecstasy of the Agony”

Forever (ABC) Episode 8 The Ecstasy of the Agony (5)

Well, Forever has been picked up for a full season, which means that plenty of people are really digging the show. And while I’ve ragged on it in the past, its greatest sin is that it’s just a dull, standard procedural. The kind that will chase the cultural zeitgeist and make a BDSM-themed episode because, well, it’ll pair nicely with The Fifty Shades of Grey trailer. So it was in “The Ecstasy of the Agony.”

Alright, maybe that was a bit harsh; Forever certainly isn’t the first procedural to see its detectives wander into a sadomasochism-related murder. Plus, the idea of a BDSM therapist is one I can honestly say I’ve never seen before, and the therapist herself was an interesting character that avoided falling into cliché.

And you know, I’ll give the show kudos for trying to give a more balanced view of BDSM culture. Admittedly, I know next to nothing about it, and I don’t know that this show will ever be the kind that’s capable of exploring real issues and subcultures with any skill, but they weren’t just portrayed as freaks into pain. If there are any readers that are part of the culture, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the episode.

Morgan’s flashbacks, meanwhile, continue to be weird additions to the series. Honestly, the main point seems to be to keep reminding us that he is, in fact, immortal, since it barely ever comes up in the present day anymore. Still, would be so hard to craft these scenes in a way that they tie back into the main plot? The first few episodes managed this, but this week’s had themes of lost love and betrayal that only just barely connected to Morgan’s final confrontation with the killer.

I guess the flashback also tied to Abe’s story with his ex-wife, maybe, if you squinted really hard. That said, this was also an arc that didn’t really offer much. Or rather, it offered yet another subplot dedicated to Abe, a character that has new received more development than any of the cops that Morgan works with. Seriously, will we ever get an episode dedicated to Martinez’s backstory?

What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments!