Forever Recap: The Pugilist Break

By Kitin Miranda | 2 years ago
Forever Recap: The Pugilist Break

"Forever" Season 1 Episode 5 "The Pugilist Break" aired last Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014, at 10:00 p.m. on ABC. In this episode, what seemed like an accidental death by overdose turned into a homicide in the name of progress in the blink of an eye. Meanwhile, Dr. Henry Morgan’s (Ioan Gruffudd) flashbacks led to a similar experience he had in the name of progress at the exact same building where they found their victim, where he tried to help a young boy whose father died of typhus. Read on to learn more about this episode.

The episode began with a man named Raoul (Juan-Pablo Veza), who was practicing his boxing at a recreation center. He was then greeted by a young boy he mentored, who asked him if everything was okay. Raoul then left the center. Three days later, a body was discovered at an old building by a couple who was being shown around by a real estate agent in Alphabet City.


Meanwhile, Dr. Henry Morgan (Ioan Gruffudd) glared daggers at a customer of Abe’s (Judd Hirsch), who wanted to buy his old credenza and “distress” it. He then told her off, saying that the credenza was not for sale, as it deserved an owner who did not want to destroy it. After the irate customer left, with Abe chasing after her, Detective Jo Martinez (Alana de la Garza) came in as they had a new, not-so-fresh body.

As they walked along Alphabet City, Henry told Jo that she should have seen the area in the 1880s. He then recalled that around 20 or more people had died there due to a heatwave. He then had a flashback to that neighborhood in the 1880s and told the audience that “every generation would like to think that they improve things.” However, he noticed that “some things never change” and that “history repeats itself,” and he, among all the people in the world, knew that very well.

As Jo and Henry went up the steps into the old tenement building, he noticed a young African American boy, the same boy at the beginning of the episode, with a ball in his hand. Upstairs, he was greeted by Detective Hanson (Donnie Keshawarz), who informed them that the body was decomposing. Judging by the needle in his arm, the victim was a dead junkie. Upon examining the body, Henry informed them that the man had been dead for three days and that he had been moved, as he had recently stepped on some granulated rubber, but there were no footprints in the room.

At the morgue, he confirmed that head trauma was the cause of death and found it curious that whoever injected him missed the vein, where you would normally stick it in. This meant that the needle was injected after the victim, Raoul Lopez, had died, making it a murder. However, as they could not get the laboratory to rush his toxicology report, he and his assistant, Lucas Wahl (Joel David Moore), went back to the old building in the middle of the night to look for a discarded heroin bag. However, they both realized that since the rats in the building had eaten some parts of Raoul, if they caught some of the rats, they would be able to identify the particular kind of heroin that was used, which would help them look for the dealer and then the seller. Henry then left Lucas to go rat hunting on his own, while he went around the building and stepped out.

He then reminisced about the same tenement building, where he had been treating poor immigrants as they were sick of typhus. He asked the unsympathetic landlord who the dead man was. He was told that he was some immigrant. However, a little boy appeared and told him that the dead man, his father, was named Jacob.

In the present, Henry decided to buy some heroin from a nearby drug dealer, who also informed him that Raoul had not been using since he went out from prison and moved in with his girlfriend. Afterwards, as he had been caught buying heroin, he had to explain to Lieutenant Reece (Lorraine Toussaint) that he had bought it for research purposes, and the nest of rats, which Lucas said had tested positive for heroin was also for research as well.

The next day, Raoul’s fiancée identified him and confirmed what the drug dealer had said. Ever since he went out of prison, he had been working at the recreation center, mentoring kids so that they would not make the same mistakes he did. However, on the night he had gone missing, he had been arguing with someone on the phone.

Lucas then informed Henry that they could not trace to whom the heroin in the rats had belonged to and revealed that he had been in the laboratory the entire night as he had performed surgery on one of the rats who did not look well. The rat had eaten Raoul’s lottery ticket and a ring shaped like a boxing glove. Raoul’s X-rays also revealed that he recently had a Pugilist Break from hitting someone.

Later on, Jo and Henry went to recreation center, where they talked to Fabian North (Cornelius Smith, Jr.) , who also worked there. He claimed that he had last seen Raoul the night he died when he locked up the recreation center for the night, as he had the keys. Henry noticed that Fabian had a small cut above his eye, like he had been hit by a ring. Fabian told them that the only enemy Raoul had was Tommy Delgros, a real estate developer who wanted to destroy the recreation center. Henry tried to talk to the boy he had seen earlier. However, he just left.


Henry had another flashback to the little boy in the tenement building whose father had died. The boy was sick, and he had snuck inside to give him food. In gratitude, the boy gave him a leather doctor’s bag, which was made by his father. However, the landlord, insulted by Henry as he was a trespasser, and he had claimed that the poor conditions to the building, which the landlord called “progress,” was the cause of the deaths and sicknesses of the immigrants, had him beaten up.

As they went around the neighborhood to the nearby warehouse to question the warehouse owner as Raoul had bought the lottery ticket there, Jo revealed that she had grown up in an unsavory neighborhood such as that and that her father was a petty criminal. Jo asked about the fact that Raoul, who wanted to preserve the recreation center, had been trying to convince the nearby establishments not to sell out to Delgros. The warehouse owner told them that he was one of those who had sold out, as he was sick of the neighborhood.

At the construction site, Henry realized that they were pouring in some rubber material in order to create a rubber mat for the playground. They both then realized that the playground site was their crime scene as the area was near the abandoned building, and he could have been killed by a blow on the head from a shovel. He then asked Jo to call Raoul’s number and tore up the rubber material in order to find Raoul’s cell phone.  When they tried to call the last number on the cell phone, it turned out to be Tommy Delgros' number.  

When they interrogated him, Delgros only told them that he got a lot of angry calls every day and that he felt that he was doing the place a favor, in the name of progress, which Henry would not believe.

Back at the antique shop, Henry was distraught at the fact that his old leather doctor’s bag, the same bag the immigrant boy had given him, was sold to a podiatrist by Abe. He then told Abe that one of the worst parts about living a long life was seeing the same mistakes happen over and over again. Jo then cut their conversation short as they had a new suspect — a mob muscle named Lou Spaganelli.

During their stake out on Lou, they witnessed Delgros giving him a package, which he left at the recreation center. Thanks to Jo’s childhood skill set, they were able to pick the lock of the center to get in and found $50,000 in Fabian’s locker. He then confessed that he had been given the money as payment so that he could convince the other establishments in the neighborhood to sell to Delgros and was planning to use the money to run for city council, but he did not kill Raoul. Raoul had found out and had hit him above the eye, but that was it. However, Fabian did call Delgros to let him know that Raoul was going to try his best to make sure that Delgros wouldn’t get the center.  Fabian then agreed to try to get Delgros to confess to Raoul’s murder as he was wired. However, Delgros was careful and only admitted on tape that he bribed Fabian with $50,000.

Henry, noticing the boy again on the sidewalk, remembered that after he was beaten up, he woke up after three days in a hospital. When he rushed back to the tenement, he learned that the little immigrant boy had already died.

Henry asked the boy, who was bouncing a ball off the wall, if he had seen Raoul the night he had died. However, he got scared and cycled away. Henry then realized that the boy had been at the old abandoned building, as the wall had ball imprints, just like the wall he had been hitting, and that he knew who had killed Raoul.

However, as they saw his empty bicycle on the street, the trio split up. Hanson followed Lou’s truck, only to find that he did not have the boy. Jo and Henry then realized that the boy must have been scared of something else. Henry then remembered that Lou had been staring at the boy in front of the warehouse, which was oddly closed for the day. They then managed to find the basement, which Henry had used before to sneak into the old tenement building to treat patients, and rescued the boy, who was being held at gunpoint by the warehouse owner. However, after Henry chased him out to the street, he was hit fatally by the truck, and he died before telling Henry anything. However, Henry concluded that he had been the one who had been ordered to kill Raoul.

Henry felt bad that justice would not have been served properly. Meanwhile, Fabian was arrested for bribery. The recreation center was safe from anyone uprooting it, as the entire incident had caused investors to get scared and backed out. However, it was too late for Delgros to back out on continuing the construction of the playground, which would be named after Raoul.

Afterwards, Henry invited Jo for a delicious dinner with him and Abe. During dessert, Abe revealed that he got back Henry’s doctor’s bag as it was important to him. Intrigued, Jo asked them how they had met. Henry quickly made up a story that his father and Abe were partners in the antique business, and when he had died, he had left Henry half the shop. However, for him, Abe was the closest thing he had to family, and Abe felt the same way.

And that's all for the recap on "Forever" Season 1 Episode 5 "The Pugilist Break." For more news and updates,including spoilers 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