To be fair, “Forever” medical examiner Henry Morgan (Ioan Gruffudd) does die, but he always comes back — always in water and naked. Which could be a concern for some, but Morgan takes it all in stride and seeks to try to live some sort of normal life. This can be a challenge, as he knows all the people around him in every moment will one day leave him. Is this tragic or romantic? It seems to be a bit of both.
Morgan is determined to figure out the mystery of why he can never die and has been doing so for the better part of two centuries. His first death occurred a couple hundred years in the past when he was shot while protecting a slave on board a ship. So now Morgan considers himself as sort of a student of death, journaling his deaths and rating the pain each time.
In Monday’s (Sept. 22) premiere — the show moves to its regular home on ABC Tuesday — Morgan gets a call from a stranger who knows his secret. He’s bothered by this, but life must go on. So what does life consist of for Morgan in the present? His work as an NYC medical examiner keeps him quite busy and his relationship with his co-worker Lucas (Joel David Moore) is filled with comedy. Morgan wins over a recently widowed detective (Alana de la Garza) and the two team up to solve the city’s mysterious murders. When not at work, he is enjoying spending time with his mentor and friend Abe (Judd Hirsch). The older gentleman is not only the keeper of Morgan’s secret, but shares an additional surprise with his best friend that is altogether heartbreaking and wonderful at the same time.
Gruffudd carries the series well and brings a trustworthy and genuine presence to the role of Henry Morgan. However, after viewing two episodes, it is unclear where the series is going in the long haul. If it can find some consistency in tone and story there is enough mystery to last for many seasons.
“Forever” premieres at 10 p.m. ET/PT Monday on ABC and moves to its regular home at 10 p.m. Tuesdays starting Sept. 23.