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'Forever' recap: The fine line between pleasure and pain

Season 1 | Episode 8 | “The Ecstasy of Agony” | Aired Nov 11, 2014

Before we dive in here, let’s just take a moment to celebrate the major development since our last recap: Forever has received a full season order! I’m looking forward to enjoying a full season with all of you.

“The Ecstasy of Agony” is all about how close pleasure is to pain—not just physically, but also in the way that the people who bring us the most pleasure can also be the cause of our pain. Take Richard Gaines (Jason Babinsky), an adult male found dead of apparent asphyxiation. He was last seen alive at the office of his “domination therapist,” Iona Payne (One Tree Hill fans rejoice, it’s Hilarie Burton!). Iona explains that her job is to help relieve her clients’ pain. By inflicting physical pain, she is helping to alleviate their psychological pain—which is worse.

As details of the case emerge, Iona explains that Gaines didn’t die of asphyxiation; rather, he was electrocuted. Henry immediately realizes she is right. It’s not often he makes a mistake and is corrected by a mere mortal (see what I did there?). Henry is clearly impressed with Miss Payne.

After weeks of making Hanson look like a big dummy, he finally has the opportunity to do some good police work. He realizes that there has been a lot of rain and that some evidence may have been washed down the sewer. He convinces Jo to come looking with him and she finds a cattle prod, likely the murder weapon. At the same time, Henry shows up at Iona’s office hoping to get some information about erotic electrocution. She hooks him up to her contraption, but can’t find her electrocuting tool. At that exact moment, Hanson and Martinez show up at Iona’s to arrest her. The cattle prod had her prints all over it.

Iona has an alibi for the time of the murder: she was with a client. But she refuses to reveal the identity of her clients, even if it means jail time. While Iona is in custody, Henry and Jo return to her apartment to search for clues regarding her session after Richard Gaines. They find her appointment book, but all the names are written in code. While in the apartment, Jo tries to call Hanson, but the call is interrupted by interference that makes it impossible to hear. Jo recognizes that kind of interference and realizes that there is a wire tap hidden in Iona’s office.

They are able to trace the bug to a private investigator. They question him and he tells them that he was hired by Richard Gaines’ wife. An interview with Mrs. Gaines reveals that she was jealous of his relationship with Iona and wanted to know exactly what was going on. It was hard to believe it wasn’t sex. Jo asks her where she was the night of the murder and she confesses that she was curious about Iona and made an appointment. This confession gives an alibi to both Mrs. Gaines and Iona, who is now free to go.

Iona sees Henry outside the precinct and makes it clear she has some sexy thoughts about him. As Henry walks away from her toward his bike, a man in a black hoodie drives up in a van and abucts Henry. Abe worries when his father hasn’t returned home (they had a specific date—more on that later), because Henry is always on time. He calls Jo, who finds Henry’s pocket watch near his bike. Jo finds surveillance footage of the abduction and eyes a man with a defining tattoo on his forearm loading Henry into the van. Jo recognizes him as one of Iona’s patients, and they go ask her for more information.

Iona explains that the man who took Henry was a client, Cliff Wadlow (Robert Petkoff), who was having trouble respecting boundaries. In order to deal with his inappropriate behavior, Iona moved him to daytime only. She realizes that Richard Gaines was took Wadlow’s nighttime slot. That’s why he was killed: Wadlow was jealous of his time with Iona. Iona understands what Wadlow is capable of and is very afraid of what might happen to Henry.

Henry is in a torture chamber being whipped and choked until he passes out. When he wakes up, his tormenter starts again. Henry is desperate to just be dead, which might have even been the case had dead really meant dead. Henry attempts to reason with his captor, telling him that he knows what it’s like to be betrayed by the person you trust most. We learn via flashback that after Henry’s original death and rebirth, he returned home to his grieving (first) wife, Nora. Henry tried to explain his immortality, but she thought he was crazy. He wanted to kill himself to prove his secret to her, but she stopped him by saying she believed him. Ultimately, she believed him to be insane, and she had him taken away to an asylum. There it is again—that fine line between love and hurt.

Henry’s tactics do not deter Wadlow, but Martinez and Hanson show up in the nick of time and arrest him. Henry decides to celebrate with the team, much to Lucas’s (pleasant) surprise. Jo saw Henry’s gunshot wound earlier, and he chooses now as the time to tell her how he got it. Baby steps, but the big reveal is coming—I can feel it!

Final Thoughts:

Abe spent this episode rekindling a romance with his ex-wife (2x), Maureen (Jane Seymour). She invites him to go away with her, and he thinks Henry should at least meet her before he decides. Is it really possible that they were married (TWICE!) and she never met Henry? Man, I have about a million background questions.

Forever airs Tuesdays at 10/9C on ABC.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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