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'Forever' fan recap: Truth or consequences?

Season 1 | Episode 17 | “Social Engineering” | Aired Mar 3, 2015

This episode of Forever had it all, didn’t it? Adorable father-son banter between Henry and Abe? Check. Fascinating new information about Henry’s past? Check. Jo and Henry in an intimate setting, talking in whispers and coming thisclose to the truth? Check. Check. Check.

“Social Engineering” takes a look at the world of the Faceless, a group of “hacktivists”—based on the real-world group Anonymous—who use their technological skills to hack into computer systems to expose corruption and torment those whom they deem guilty of wrongdoing. When Eric Shaw, one of these anonymous hackers, ends up dead, Jo, Henry, and Hanson team up with the cyberterrorism division to try to find the killer.

Unlike other cases, so much of the action here takes place remotely. Thermostats trigger gas leaks. Cell phones control traffic signals. Murderers no longer need to be anywhere near their victims. The cyberterrorism division becomes a key part of the investigation as they work to hunt down the IP address of the computer responsible for setting off the gas in Eric’s apartment.

Irene (Megan Ketch) leads the team from cyberterrorism, which turns out to be convenient because—spoiler alert!—she killed Eric. Unfortunately for her, Dr. Henry Morgan is on the case. So, her attempts to point the finger in another direction aren’t going to be accepted without further analysis. Of course, Henry (and Jo and Mike) ultimately prevail.

This episode asks, Whom can you trust? Henry and Jo spend the entire hour working with Irene, who was covering her tracks right under their noses. Irene herself had made the mistake of trusting Eric when she got involved in a relationship with him. He was only using her, though, in order to gain access to the city codes he needed to hack into citywide networks like the traffic lights and Times Square jumbotrons. All of this stirs memories for Henry (as every case does) about his past.

Henry once put his trust in the wrong person, and it had catastrophic consequences. When he told his first wife, Nora, about his immortality, she called him insane and had him sent to an asylum. But decades later, as we see in tonight’s flashback, a now-old Nora resurfaces after a heroic rescue lands Henry’s face in the paper. She insists she is still his wife, says she made a mistake (although she is horrifyingly unapologetic considering what she put him through), and claims that it was a sign that she found him again. Nora believes that the universe was sending a message that Henry’s gift is too important to keep secret. Henry begs her to keep her mouth shut; she’s already ruined his life once.

But no: Apparently, Nora’s sole purpose for living was to make Henry miserable. She shows up at his hospital again, this time with a gun. She plans to shoot him in order to show everyone Henry’s special gift. But as Nora pulls the trigger, a young nurse jumps in front of Henry because, let’s be honest, Henry Morgan is the kind of guy you take a bullet for. It is another example of a life ruined because of Henry’s secret. It is another burden he has carried on his ancient shoulders for centuries.

Knowing all of this, it’s hard to imagine how Henry was ever able to trust Abigail. What was it about her that allowed Henry to feel safe revealing his secret after everything he had been through? More importantly, what does Jo have to do to win Henry’s trust the way Abigail did?

They may be wearing gas masks, but there is something profoundly intimate about Henry and Jo lying on the bed in Eric’s apartment. Jo doesn’t hold back. She asks the hard questions, chipping away at some of Henry’s thickest layers. Why death, Henry? And he answers her as honestly as he can. Telling her, but not telling her. Their friendship is blossoming, the trust between them solidifying. It’s a beautiful thing.

Throughout this episode various hackers threaten to reveal Henry’s secrets. Though none of them understands exactly what he is trying to hide, it doesn’t take long to discover that his medical records aren’t real and his Social Security number appeared out of nowhere only a few years ago. (How does Henry manage to get all of these documents every time he has to disappear and resurface?)

Ultimately, the episode ends in Henry’s favor as far as the discrepancies in his past are concerned. One of the hackers does him a favor and creates a graduation record for him from Oxford. Henry can breathe a little easier knowing that there is now a documented backup for his life story. (That girl made a remarkably fast recovery from barely alive to doctoring graduation records.)

While Henry was being threatened, his fear of exposure led him to consult the only other living person who knows the truth: Abe. The scenes between Henry and Abe are some of the most enjoyable in the show. Abe always manages to shed some light on Henry’s cases with his astute observations about human nature. This week he pointed out that no matter how committed people are to a cause, they are only human, and there are things (like love) that will trip them up. We also got this gem:

Abe: Speaking of two women, did I ever tell you about the time that I—
Henry: Abraham, please! I am your father.

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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