The conflicts fueling June and Oscar’s discord finally begin converging in Forever’s fifth episode. Faced with the news that nothing is ever truly destroyed in this new life (death!), June has to contend with the fact that it’s unlikely anything will ever really change.
All of this comes to a head when June makes an observation about the dishwasher: for years and years, Oscar has been flipping the silverware right-side up. When June asks him why he didn’t just tell her, Oscar gives her a (long) spiel about how, even if he did, he’d probably just end up doing it himself again, or becoming a nag about it, and June chalks this up to his fear of confrontation. Her assessment doesn’t sit well with Oscar, who becomes visibly, truly pissed for the first time in the series. But the dishwasher isn’t what’s bugging him, really. It’s June’s discontentment. What he saw in the last episode’s conclusion was enough to shake him, and it’s looking like he’s beginning to see that he really could lose her.
So Oscar takes off in a huff. And for the time being, Oscar and June are left to their own devices. June heads over to Kase’s place, and they spend the afternoon together screwing around. It’s a good time, and at the end of it, Kase asks if June would like to join her on a trip out of town. But June declines, citing Oscar, who’ll be returning that evening. Her neighbor says she understands. But it doesn’t take much to see that June’s decision, in her boredom, is only temporary.
And in Oscar’s first solo adventure since June’s reappearance in his life/death, he meets up with Mark, who’s run into a high school crush. She’s an older woman (or at least much older than the teen at her time of death). With high-school infatuations being what they are, all of Mark’s brashness leaves him, and he gets cold feet. But, for once, Oscar’s absurdly practical nature works to their benefit, and he encourages the teen to talk to his crush, and they bond over memories and music. When Mark asks the lady if she’d like to hang out with him later, she agrees, and then they do. If nothing else, the moment is a stark reminder that Oscar really does have everyone’s best intentions in mind, sort of, more or less (even if he’s entirely oblivious).
On June’s end, she decides to tag along with Kase after all. They take a long walk out of town, and away from the fountain, and June can feel herself growing pretty weak. They end up at a gas station way out in the middle of nowhere. And the two of them watch as a cashier behaves like a proper misogynist with his customers. Kase tells June that she wanted to show her his behavior before she did what she’s going to do, which is take a little bit of his energy. When she sets her hand on the cashier’s neck, he falls unconscious. And June’s neighbor is refreshed, never mind their distance from the fountain.
So, this is pretty weird! There’s definitely a moral gray line. And Kase insists that the action doesn’t hurt the Currents, but it looks dubious, at best, and June is rightfully suspicious. But when the cashier starts acting like an asshole again, June finds it in herself to follow after her neighbor — and the result parallels the last time she exercised her energy in death: it’s an overwhelming success (of sorts). She knocks the dude entirely out. The cashier’s still breathing (according to Kase), but he certainly isn’t going anywhere. And now that June’s fully recharged, she parades through the parking lot, genuinely happy for the first time in the series.
But the evening comes to a close. June and Kase head back toward town. And, on their way, they’re approached by a man in a suit, who tells that they have another option: they can follow him. He doesn’t tell them where, exactly, that’ll lead. But he describes the location as only for them alone. And while the offer is enough to pique Kase’s interest, June (at least for the moment) isn’t willing to take off. She says, very clearly, that Oscar wouldn’t do that to her. Then, she adds that she’d understand if Kase leaves, but in a moment that feels more resonant than June’s devotion, her neighbor opts to stay with June, instead.
The man tells them that, either way, he’ll still be around. If he ever changes his mind, they can take the same road back. So June and Kase finish their walk home, where Oscar’s been waiting for his wife, and in an attempt to fix the argument they’d begun a little earlier, he mucks up what was left of their amiability.
For the first time in the series, the couple is left with a tangible sense of discord. It’s the heaviest bit in the show so far, and, in a way, Forever’s attempts at humor — loads of which are hit or miss — contribute to that weight. We’ve seen so little palpable anger from either Oscar or June that, now that it’s here, the result is pretty stirring. And what’s even more interesting is the realization that their rift leaves us without a blueprint for how they’ll piece everything back together again.
But now, June has as an ace: at any point in time, she has an out on the backroads. And while Oscar may be entirely unaware, June is certainly weighing the benefits. She’ll have surely made her decision a little sooner than later.