Forever Season 1 Review “Diamonds Are Forever”

Forever (ABC) Episode 11 Skinny Dipper (19)

After more than half a season of waiting, Forever finally gave Detective Jo Martinez a spotlight, with a connection to her dead husband coming up as part of this week’s investigation. And while “Diamonds Are Forever” didn’t have the most interesting case-of-the-week, the focus on Martinez’s struggle with the death of her husband still offered some strong moments.

So let’s talk about Jo. Up until now, she’s had very little to do on the show other than serve as Morgan’s obligatory cop partner and look like she’s figured out his secret in bad episode promos. Here, we got to see how much her husband’s death has really affected her, more so even than killing a man in the line of duty. She wants to move on, but even just a brief video tape of her husband is enough to have her sinking back in despair. Admittedly, a lot of this isn’t new material, but it was still a chance for us to see a bit more of what this character is going through, and it helps inform her interactions with Morgan and the rest of the team.

And in an additional pleasant surprise, even Hanson got some strong character moments! Though I haven’t talked a lot about Jo’s partner in the past, he’s actually been a likable presence. Sure, in a lot of ways, he’s just your average detective, but that actually lets him be one of the more relatable characters. This episode gave him some real depth, not only in his bumbling attempts to offer Jo a friendly ear, but his desire to protect her and trying to get Morgan to back off the case. He’s just a stand-up guy all around, and somehow he’s turned into my favorite character. It made it all the more frustrating that it was ultimately Morgan she found comfort in, but, hey, they’re the two the show wants us to want to see together.

Of course, given how tangential all of this material was to the actual case, it made it hard to get invested in the whole jewelry store, hit-and-run plot. On the flip side, though, the weakness of the case meant it was great to have the stronger material to get into. It was another incident where a random aside from Abe helped Jo and Morgan figure out the key piece of the case they were missing, and it’s a lazy way to help move the investigation into an endgame. At the very least, we had the reveal of Jo’s old academy buddy being a criminal, familiar a turn though it was.

Also, the flashback material remains as pointless and frustrating as ever. Is it really so hard to have this stuff line up better with its thematic connections to the present? It’s just not satisfying to sit through a bunch of scenes of Morgan talking to a fellow patient for it to build up to him “realizing” he needs to tell Jo to trust him in order to get her out of danger. My outlook on the show has improved as of late, but the flashback material is still in need of a major overhaul.