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Forever Knight: Close Call

"They made me forget and that's all I remember."

Bear with me. This episode is (if such things can be measured) the best clip show ever.

Back in the good ol' days, a TV show had to produce so many episodes on a certain budget, and by the end of the season the coffers often ran dry. What do you do when you're contractually obligated to make forty-three minutes of television but you don't have any money? You gather some clips from previous episodes and craft a simple narrative around them so they can be told in flashbacks. Voila!

This is often done by coming up with some way for characters to sit around and reminisce. "Remember that time we went to Disneyland?" *Cuts to Disneyland scene from beginning of episode.* "And that time dad won a motorcycle is a trip to the hospital we'll never forget!" *Fades to frantic scene at the emergency room.*

But with a little creativity, a clip show can be fun, and you simply won't find one as well made as this.

Because, frankly, it's about time Detective Don Schanke picked up on his partner's weird habits. The clues are all there, and once he's not susceptible to Nick's mojo, his tired and frustrated brain starts to doggedly put the pieces together.

More importantly, this episode actually does a great job of showing us the trauma involved in police work. Schanke is a great cop with an iron fortitude, but no one just plugs a guy and walks away. He needs time to process the weight of taking a life, and he's hurting himself by ignoring that need. When you've got a lot of feelings tying up your brain, take time to undo the knots before you're too stuck to move on.


Sticking to season two's creative use of flashbacks, this time it's Schanke's memories. Sure, we've seen them before. This is a clip show, after all. But it's still fun watching him realize what's been going on.

Little Bites:

-Schanke is always right: This week, he very nearly unravels the whole show.

-Vampire Lore: Schanke's memories are still there. Maybe. It's almost like hypnotism merely suppresses them. Under the right circumstances, those memories might pop up.

-Also, hypnotism is something vampires do differently. Nick's usually not very good at it. Janette is better, and she's practically seducing everyone she hypnotizes, which has to help. But La Croix is easily the best. He barely seems to be trying. He just gives Don a few kind words, and suddenly he's wiping the detective's brain like it's a floppy drive. He asks, "What has changed in you, to make these things so suddenly apparent," and Don opens up like a water hose on full blast.

-Familiar Faces: The motorcycle cop is played by Christiana Cox, who portrayed Joan of Arc the previous episode, "For I Have Sinned." She's also the lead in Blood Ties, a vampire show with plenty of parallels to Forever Knight.

-La Croix's best line in the series might be hidden in this clip show. "Such a shame... to waste people."

-At the start of this season we learned that Nick uses blood as an ingredient in his paint. La Croix informs us that Raphael taught him that.

-It's fun when Nick's worlds collide, and it's easy to forget how rarely that happens. This is the first time Schanke has met La Croix, even though he's been complaining about The Nightcrawler's radio show, and La Croix has been lurking around the edges of every episode.

-When La Croix says that Nick also doesn't like to kill people, I can hear a bit of pride in La Croix's voice. Like I said before, Nick is having an effect on his vampire father. Despite his opposition to Nick's journey, La Croix is proud of his son.

-Apparently, Nick has keys to The Raven. Janette clearly doesn't mind if he lets himself in.

-One of the books Schanke gathers for his research is The Denied, from the episode "Stranger than Fiction."

-It's really fun when Janette opens the door to The Raven and she's acting hungover and angry. It's strange to see the room empty. This seems like a part of the story, of course a nightclub is empty in the morning, but the reason it's empty is because paying extras to dance around in the background is very expensive. It's much cheaper to film an empty set with almost no lights on.

Final Analysis: It seems strange to give a clip show a good rating, but as a writer I have to appreciate the creativity behind this episode. The writers did everything in their power to give us something entertaining even though they had very little to work with. Five out of five Nigel Bennett headshots.

Adam D. Jones is a writer, historian, and undefeated cat wrestler. He's also something of a vampire hunter himself, having recently squirted his kitten with water after she bit him on the hand. He's tough but fair.


  1. "-It's really fun when Janette opens the door to The Raven and she's acting hungover and angry."
    My favourite look for her LOL. Also loved the scene where the hypnotism gets screw-y between her and Schanke and the close-up of her big-cat eyes visibly react in confusion.
    And yeah the clip show nature is easily forgivable when this wasn't just a standard 22 but *26* episode order for a season!
    There's something I can't really describe but really enjoyed about the Schanke-LaCroix scene. Something about LaCroix just sitting there patiently handling Schanke's suspicions, lol... handling it masterfully. It was almost wholesome to see Nick and Jeannette react to the successful burying.

    1. The acting in that scene is incredible. When shows let actors carry a scene without much dialog, some great TV can be the result. It's an accident, but this episode allows for a lot of that. There's a reason some people actually name this as their favorite of the series, which is completely unheard of when talking about a clip show.


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