TV Review: Forever Episode 117 “Social Engineering”

Dr. Henry Morgan encounters a hacktivist group. Out of his element in modern technology Henry’s counterfeit records of his past are discovered by one of the hackers. This triggers memories of another time in the distant past when his secret is almost revealed.

This is a pretty good episode that subtly brings up some interesting points. How long can Henry hide in the modern world? In the past he only had to worry about photographs or random film clips. Moving around a lot made it much easier to hide and even if a photo showed up it can be written off as an ancestor that bears an uncanny resemblance. A random twist of genetics. Its not unheard of.

It wouldn’t be a hard secret to hide in a world where information isn’t easy to come across and yet even in that world he often came close to ending up in bad situations. Usually due to his tendency to save people and bring attention to himself. In a world where everything is on the internet how long is he safe? During this lifetime he is ok but when he doesn’t age and people start to notice what will he do?

It won’t be as easy as just moving somewhere else. Unless he moves to a remote village without electricity somewhere he would be easily found on the internet. Even if he changes his name (something he oddly seems to never do) his face could still show up…or even his DNA or fingerprints. At some point his DNA and fingerprints have been put in a database if for no other reason than to eliminate them during investigations on crime scenes he works. What happens when someone finds that 80 years from now and matches it to another doctor that is still practicing…and that only looks around 35 to 40 years old?

In most situations Henry being found out and actually believed to be immortal is a best case scenario. They’re more likely to not believe him and think he is some kind of terrorist who manipulated evidence. If they can’t figure out who or what he is they are even more likely to label him a terrorist and hand him over to the government who would keep him indefinitely. He has already ended up in an asylum in the past. He’s probably ended up in jail multiple times. Government detainment is bound to happen eventually in the age of “the war on terror”. He can escape from these places easily enough by killing himself or having someone else kill him but every time he dies with witnesses and comes back and has to start over it will get harder and harder to stay hidden. Especially without help..

He already knows he will lose Abe eventually. His son is aging and will die. He is soon going to be trapped all alone in a modern changing world that he is not really prepared for. I actually hope they cover that in the show. I like Abe but having him die and Henry suddenly be alone and lost could be an interesting way to take the character. Abe is so often his touchtone to the modern world (and even to the recent past). Henry is smart and far from helpless (he existed before Abe was there to help and even raised Abe as well) but the world is changing much faster than it use to. As this episode shows, Henry can keep up to a degree but without help he will be discovered sooner rather than later. I’d like to see him trying to get by and having to learn technology and the new world without help. I think it would be a good twist for the show and it would push Henry to reach out to more people or to at least one other person….maybe the dominatrix he clearly liked but previously pushed away. Immortality is lonely after all.

Forever comes on Tuesday nights at 10pm on ABC

Quote of the Week

“Everybody deserves their secrets.”
-Liz Chamberlain


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