Forever Recap: Fountain of Youth
“Forever” Season 1 Episode 3 “Fountain of Youth” aired on Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014, at 10:00 p.m. on ABC. In this episode, Dr. Henry Morgan (Ioan Gruffudd) and Detective Jo Martinez (Alana De La Garza) discovered that a wellness clinic selling a modern-day fountain of youth drug called Aterna was actually fatal. Meanwhile, Lucas Wahl (Joel David Moore), Henry’s assistant, became worried when several bodies that he had stored went missing. However, they soon discover that the two cases are linked in a very unexpected way. Read on to learn more about this story.
The episode began with Abe (Judd Hirsch) staring wistfully at a young kid on a skateboard and told his roommate Dr. Henry Morgan (Ioan Gruffudd) that he was thinking of trying it out as he was “pretty dextrous” during his youth. However, Henry only replied that he recalled that Abe had several visits to the dentist when he was trying to learn how to ride a bike.
While Abe was thinking about the vigor of youth, Henry informed him that he had made a discovery about his own condition, that based on a chart he made which chronicled his various “awakenings,” he discovered that sometimes, he stayed dead longer than before. Abe then asked him if would really want to die once he had figured out how he could finally die. To this, Henry told him that all he wanted was to grow old and gracefully and to experience the “cycle of life.”
The scene then changed to downtown Chinaman, where a 60-year-old man chased down a thief who had taken his briefcase. Surprisingly, he was very spry for his age and was successful in tackling the thief. However, when he tried to punch the thief, the old man died and ended up in the New York City Morgue, where Henry and his assistant, Lucas Wahl (Joel David Moore), examined his remains.
Detective Jo Martinez (Alana De La Garza), who often worked with Henry on cases, entered the morgue as she had managed to collect the briefcase from the thief. Henry told her that it was a homicide, but the thief did not do it. Upon close examination of the body, they had discovered that the deceased, Mr. Bill Sales “had the body of a thirty-year-old,” as it was robust and ripped, even if he was sixty-seven years old. Another strange occurrence was Mr. Sales brain, as it looked like a brain of a 100-year-old, as it seemed as if he was suffering from several neurological disorders all at the same time. However, what had killed the man was a white substance that was found in his system — a white shake that smelled like “bile with a hint of artificial vanilla.”
After talking to Mr. Sales’ son, they were granted permission to open his briefcase. Inside was a picture of his late wife; a card that had the words “Youth, Vitality, Vigor” on it, with an ouroboros sign on it and seven grand.
In order to understand what Mr. Sales was doing in Chinatown the night before, Detective Martinez and Henry retraced his steps to a particular corner near where he was mugged. Upon arriving there, they spotted a well-dressed woman in high heels, who stuck out of the crowd. They followed her to a door, which had no marks on it except the ouroboros sign.
Inside, they were greeted a plasma television screen that welcomed them to Aterna and presented the main doctor and owner of the wellness clinic, Dr. Frederick Gardner. Dr. Gardner explained that Aterna, their main product, was a high-end supplement that completely revolutionized the science of aging. Most of their clientele, who were mainly the elderly, drank the expensive Aterna to gain more vigor. Because of this, they are able to feel and become young again. However, Dr. Gardner refused to give the detective a sample without a warrant, so she asked him for his card instead. While the detective was inside Gardner’s office, Henry flirted a little bit with the woman they had seen outside and caused her bag to fall, enabling him to steal one of her Aterna packets. Meanwhile, the detective was able to secure Gardner’s fingerprints from the card he had given her. While they were at the clinic, the pair also noticed that Gardner had had undergone drastic plastic surgery, as he had made his jawline shorter and made his nose longer.
Because of the wellness clinic, Henry was reminded of the time in 1906 when he and his assistant James had passed by a cart promoting a clinic that promised cures through new fangled technology and science, such as electrotherapy. However, Henry was skeptical about all of it.
Back in the present day, Henry spent his night trying to figure out what Aterna was made out of. After telling Abe what it was, Abe was tempted to take some of it but held off when he learned that someone had died, and it seemed like the drug had poked holes into the poor man’s brain. So far, all Henry learned that it was made out of vitamins, minerals, some hormones and another substance that he could not seem to identify that well.
The next day, Lucas started to become nervous when he realized that some of the bodies in their freezer had gone missing.
The Martinez then informed Henry that she had discovered that Dr. Frederick Gardner was in reality Mr. Harold Price. He had no medical background or experience but had opened up a wellness clinic in Miami two years ago. However, it had closed down as two of his patients mysteriously disappeared. She then succeeded in getting the Aterna clinic shut down, but they would have to pick him up at the Hamptons, where he was partying with people and some of his patients.
While looking for Dr. Gardner at his house, Henry paid the detective a compliment by telling her that she was attractive in scientific standards.
They finally found Dr. Gardner with his European girlfriend. He then later on confessed that he was indeed Harold Price, but the deaths of the two patients in Miami was not his fault. As Harold had no medical background, they asked him who had made Aterna. He then agreed to talk to them but asked if he could get dressed first, as he was going around in boxer and in a robe. However, while he was changing, he was murdered. He was stabbed near the chest area with a disposable scalpel, whose tip they had found embedded in his wound. Because of this, Henry concluded that they were looking for someone with a medical background.
At the morgue, Henry discovered that both Dr. Gardner and Bill Sales suffered from the same neurological degenerative disorder. It seemed as if whatever they were infected with was eating away their brains. As Henry was a skeptic, and a man of science, he continued to investigate what the cause of the mysterious illness was.
This in turn reminded him of a time in 1906, when he was surprised to find his friend and assistant, James, in the wellness clinic that promoted new found pseudo sciences as cures for those who were sick. There, Henry discovered that James had tuberculosis, for which there was no cure at that time, and that James was just trying his best to get better. He also told Henry that they were still “men of science, until science fails them.”
Henry then rushed to Detective Martinez and compared the unknown illness with tuberculosis back in the day. He told her that it took many years to finally figure out that it could be transmitted by drinking infected cow’s milk. He then made the suggestion that the Aterna itself was already infected to begin with. They would not have noticed it in the toxicology screen if it was infected with pryons. Pryons are tiny bits of protein that, when ingested, causes numerous bizarre neurological conditions, which is what they saw in Bill Sales and in Dr. Gardner. However, the bad thing was that people are only infected by pryons if they eat infected tissue with pryons, and pryons usually reside in the brain. Aterna was actually made out of people’s infected brains. Now, the priority changed to finding out where those brains had come from.
They then paid a visit to Lucas, as Henry had noticed that that Lucas was worried about the missing bodies. This was very not like Lucas as he does not misplace things. They then discovered that in the past year, around twelve bodies had gone missing from the morgue. Henry then asked Lucas to tell them everything that had happened starting with the first missing John Doe. Lucas then recalled that he had a coffee cup in his hand and that he was eating a donut — one that came from a very special bakery near Brighton Beach. Henry then asked him where he got the donut, as Lucas doesn’t really eat donuts. He then recalled that the person who gave him the donut was their EMS, Anton Vann. Henry then realized that Anton had given Lucas a donut each time he stole a body to distract him.
Thankfully, they were able to apprehend him and his vehicle, which had a body in it, with its brains taken out. They also discovered that he was a Ukranian chemist and that his kit was missing a disposable scalpel, making him the murderer of Dr. Gardner. However, thanks to a medical question posed by Henry, they discovered that Anton did not have enough knowledge to be able to extract those pituitary glands from the bodies. However, they were interrupted when one of the police officers gave them the list of the clinic’s patients. Seeing a name on the list, Henry panicked and rushed back home to Abe.
Once there, he confronted Abe and asked him if he ever drank Aterna, as his name was on the list. Abe then revealed that he had not drank Aterna as he is “a doctor’s son, and would never believe” in those things. He went to get a consultation as he was worried — worried that no one would be able to help take care of Henry when he was gone. Abe then mentioned that he had asked so many questions about the product. They had asked their pretty chemist to answer his questions.
Henry then brought Abe to the precinct to talk to a sketch artist to put together a picture of the chemist. After running facial recognition, they found out that the chemist, Sasha Savchenko, was Dr. Gardner’s girlfriend, and was Anton Vann’s sister.
Meanwhile, Anton told his sister to sell the drugs and to use the money from the sale to get out of the city.
However, Abe, who had gone to the subway, saw her. Despite Henry’s warnings and misgivings, decided to follow her. He followed her up to the 34th station, where Henry and Detective Martinez caught up with him.
Henry found her near the edge of the platform. She wanted to destroy the drug, as she could not believe what it had done. She revealed that Gardner had threatened her to create the drug for him. She also revealed that they had used cheaper variants of hormones and vitamins, as they could not push through with using stem cells, as that was too expensive. In the end, she tried to kill herself by falling onto the railway tracks, but Henry grabbed her just in time.
Afterwards, he remembered that he tried his utmost best to cure James of his tuberculosis. However, James told him to stop and that he should have stopped looking for a cure years ago. He then asked Henry to bring him outside so that he could drink in the beauty of the world around him.
Henry then realized that as he was immortal, there were some times when he forgot how beautiful everything was and how exciting life is. He then advised Detective Martinez and told her to enjoy life. However, she refused to as the only person she enjoyed life and eating meals with was gone.
Back at home, despite his misgivings, Henry decided to help Abe out in trying to skateboard, and Abe was able to manage to do it successfully.
And that’s it for the recap on “Forever” Season 1 Episode 3 “Fountain of Youth.” For more news and updates and recaps on “Forever” and other television shows, keep following Movie News Guide (MNG).
Catch “Forever” every Tuesday at 10:00 p.m. on ABC.
Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/vagueonthehow