overnights

Forever Recap: There’s No Plan

Forever

June
Season 1 Episode 2
Editor’s Rating *****

Forever

June
Season 1 Episode 2
Editor’s Rating *****
Photo: Colleen Hayes/Amazon Prime Video

We start the second episode of Forever with June in an electronics shop, and we learn very quickly that Oscar’s accident in the last episode was fatal. Now, June’s reeling from the loss. After trying to convey what, specifically, she needs to get her internet running again to an employee (a young woman named Karly), June breaks down in tears, and Karly makes it her business to console her. We learn that June thought Oscar’s death would be easier to get over by now, but it isn’t. She’s still reeling. When it’s time for Karly to clock out, she asks if June wouldn’t like to speak to her assistant manager.

And, in this way, the episode belongs to June. We learn that a year has passed since Oscar’s death on the ski slopes. The change she’d been looking for in the last episode finally came, but hardly in the way that she’d wanted or expected it to. At work, June’s co-workers treat her like the Lady Whose Husband Died. She’s having trouble navigating the chores Oscar used to handle. And when June’s friend Sharon drops by the house to console her, she finds her in a mess of discount wine and bedsheets on the sofa — they both agree, a little reluctantly, that what June needs to do is put herself out there. A year might be hardly enough time to grieve, but Sharon insists that, unless she starts some sort of motion, June will remain stuck in her stupor.

And June, sort of reluctantly, agrees with that assessment. So Sharon takes it upon herself to bring her to what she believes can be a bastion of community and healing: the black church. We see shots of choirs singing and clapping. Everyone is moving in tandem. Sharon is very much into the service, and June, a little gradually, begins to see that she could be, too (aside from her refrain of “Peace be with you” to everyone and everything). It isn’t until the service has ended, and June is introduced to a reverend by Sharon, which leads to a less than ideal interaction once June (inadvertently!) kisses the reverend on his lips, that the afternoon’s bubble pops. June and Sharon argue over the “point” of religion, which June calls “bullshit.” She says there’s no God, and no plan. And that’s enough for Sharon to leave June stranded in the parking lot, telling her that what she can do is download Lyft.

A little later, after June’s had some time to think about it, she makes her way over to Sharon’s house. With a gift in tow (a silly T-shirt), she apologizes, and Sharon immediately accepts. They come to terms with the fact that something has to change. And June takes the reins of her life into her own hands (sort of): She even applies for a new gig. But before the interview, after an unsavory chat with a fellow interviewee, June bails on the interview. Back at home, she slips a little further into her grief.

But the next day, back at her old job, June finds the office in a commotion: Folks around the office are emptying their desks, and carrying their shit out in boxes. It isn’t long before June finds herself escorted into another office, where she learns that a significant chunk of the folks she worked with were caught embezzling money from the company (or were at least “in on it”). As it turns out, there’s a recently vacant position (the one that June had been about to interview for) that’s opened. By merit of not embezzling money, June is now one of the few folks qualified to take it. And when she asks to take some time to think about it, she learns that the decision has to be made immediately — so, for the first time in a long time, and the second time in two episodes, June takes a step toward change in her life.

And it isn’t that bad! She’s going to Honolulu, with expenses paid by the company! She and Sharon buy a dress for the trip — discounted once her friend mentions Oscar’s death — and, once June’s made it on the plane, about to take off, she allows herself the indulgence of a glass of wine, and she tosses a peanut in her mouth, and she silently, instantly, begins to choke; it becomes clear that changing her entire life might not be so easy after all.

But the next time June opens her eyes, she’s lying in a field of grass. And Oscar’s standing right above her! And it shouldn’t take long for the viewer to realize what they’re seeing, but when June asks for confirmation, Oscar tells her jubilantly, confidently, that she’s dead.

Forever Recap: There’s No Plan