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An immortal man, who has found himself invested in being a medical examiner, seems to have found himself become the favorite ME of one detective.
Review (with Spoilers)
With star Ioan Gruffard not being seen, by me anyway, since 2007 when he was in The Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, honestly, the premise was more fascinating than him being in it. Though quite honestly, seeing Lorraine Toussaint, also known as Vee in Orange is the New Black being cast, that is perhaps the real reason I wanted to check this show out. However, the idea of following a 200-year-old man, who is immortal, who takes on criminal cases, I must admit did seem like a nice little remix of the overdone cop genre. So to figure out if this is worth your time, look below.
Characters & Story
When we meet Dr. Henry Morgan (Ioan Gruffudd), he is flirting with a Russian Cellist who dies with him in a subway crash. Then, next thing we see, Henry awakens in a river somewhere, with us not knowing at all how he ended up there, and then the story begins. We learn that Henry has been a doctor for 200+ years and somehow, possibly due to his locket, he has become immortal. However, being that Henry isn’t the luckiest of fellow, during those 200 some odd years he has been murdered, experimented on, and died seemingly enough times to be able to decipher how someone else may have died based on him remembering the feeling or using his keen observation skills.
Something which comes of use in the pilot’s case of a man seemingly having a heart attack and crashing an MTA train. Thus leading to Henry being brought in by Detective Martinez (Alana de la Garza), and worrying his sole confidant Abe (Judd Hirsch). But with Henry not being the culprit, but a 3rd party, and then someone who also is immortal being after him, we are presented with a show which will have one long arcing mystery, and likely will have episodic mysteries/cases in between. Featuring Henry and his assistant Lucas (Joe David Moore), Detective Martinez who maybe become a love interest, and Abe who is not only Henry’s sole confidant, and friend, but like a son to him.
I honestly did not expect to like this show as much as I did. For while a good portion of ABC’s sci-fi dramas I like, especially the more odd ones like Pushing Daisies, I have never been big into shows dealing with cops, outside of Elementary which has the Sherlock Holmes spin to make it interesting. However, with Henry having a tad bit of charm, owning his oddness, and with the type of flashbacks which draw you into his character, I find myself wanting to see more and more of his story. After all, he has lived 200 years and it seems his immortality started around the slave trade. So between how he ended up in America; his life through the world wars; learning more about Abigail (Mackenzie Mauzy); seeing his and Abe’s relationship, which got me teary eyed; and then him settling in New York, there is a slew of stories available, as well as the ones he is surely going to have with Detective Martinez, which can be gone over.
Though I must add, also part of his appeal is his observation skills. From him noticing small things with the Russian cellist to being able to pick up on multiple things when he first met Detective Martinez, I found his ability to pick up on little details to really be appealing. I can’t explain why exactly, but I think it is because it makes him out to be a personable type of guy who, for his own safety, has to keep people at arm’s length, yet at the same time seems to have this innate ability to find ways to make people want to get close to him.
As of the pilot, the only issue I have with the show is I don’t feel it is explained how exactly he became immortal and why he ends up in a river when he revives. And the reason this bugs me is because he speaks about living in foreign lands and it makes you wonder if he just magically disappears and revives in the closest river, or maybe something else altogether? Also, a part of me wishes Lorraine Toussaint was in the pilot and would have had the prominent role de la Garza has. But that is more something I personally want than something which makes this pilot bad.
Overall: Worth Watching
I’m definitely following this series to the end and I hope you will join me on the adventure. For with Toussaint, I guess in the 2nd episode, joining the show, and Henry coming off as a highly likable character, I think ABC may have something here. The question is, though: will they be able to keep things interesting with this unknown villain who is talking to Henry? For while I would be fine if said person didn’t exist, their inclusion does lead to this villain needing to be interesting. Especially in light of Henry being immortal and seemingly not that afraid of death. Meaning, this villain needs to be more than willing to take away the few things Henry cares about to have any sort of appeal.