Widdershins MaskThis summer I’ve been catching up on a lot of watching/re-watching TV shows and movies that’ve slipped under my radar.

Audio-visual entertainment is a convalescent’s best friend sometimes.

One of my favourite TV shows of a couple of years ago was ‘Unforgettable’.  Which, in brief, was about a woman cop who remembers everything. It had a great ensemble cast, interesting character and plot arcs, and was generally a good way to spend an hour.

Then it was cancelled after a single season.

Fast forward a year wherein I’ve learned it’s just been un-cancelled, re-vamped and back on the air. I snuggle up to my computer and prepare to indulge.

I’m enjoying catching up with “the new adventures of …” until last Sunday’s episode. (ep 205)


An Afghanistan (I think it was) veteran’s PTSD is triggered and he relives the incident that set him off by kidnapping a florist, who happens to be Afghani, straps a bomb to him, and threatens to explode it. The woman cop (Carrie) talks him down. Carrie is a very empathic lass and understands the veteran’s pain. We see this as she looks feelingly after him as he’s led away by the SWAT blokes.

And that’s pretty much where the episode finishes.

What really had me staring at my screen in disbelief was that the poor bugger with the bomb strapped to his chest was barely referenced in that entire scene and at no point did he get any compassionate/understanding words or even a quick glance from our empathic lady cop. The last we saw him, he was still kneeling with his hands on his head, surrounded by cops carrying lots of big guns. (while Carrie looked ‘feelingly after the poor veteran’)

I know the main episode (apart from the regular cast) arc was about the veteran, but, for whatever reasons, the writers, director, etc, chose not to show anything of the effect having a bomb strapped to his chest had on this guy.

Curious, no?


“If you read a lot of books you are considered well read. But if you watch a lot of TV, you are not considered well viewed”Lily Tomlin. Actress, writer, producer.



8 comments on “Unforgettable

  1. Joan Y. Edwards says:

    Dear Widdershins,
    Watching your favorite shows can be very healing. See if you can find funny ones. Laughter heals? I think the guy with a bomb strapped to him does deserve attention.

    Wishing you wellness.
    Never Give Up
    Joan Y. Edwards


  2. Erin says:

    My guess is that the “why” is related to both time — only so much to sandwich the arcs in — and focus. The writers, for whatever reason, wanted to call attention to the non-visible wounds veterans carry and whether through oversight or deliberate choice ignored the other half of the story. Why choice? Because if they showed enough for the audience to empathize with the trauma he’d inflicted upon the poor florist, that might undercut the sympathy they felt for the veteran.


    • Widdershins says:

      I agree with your conclusion. I can’t help thinking though, that taking a few seconds to show something of that trauma would’ve made it clearer just how far-reaching the consequences of PTSD are. I like to think audiences could cope with a tad more sophistication.

      If this were a real life situation, I think of what the florist’s responses to his experience could be, and I wonder if the cycle is ever going to be broken. Humanity has such a wondrous capacity for great heights, and terrible depths, of behaviour.


      • Erin says:

        I agree with you on both counts: audiences can handle more complexity, and in real life, the ripples will keep spreading. Sadly, the TV executives tend to think complexity is a death knell. *sigh*

        Have you watched Eureka?


        • Widdershins says:

          Yep, these are the ij’its who cancelled ‘Bomb Girls’ up here, just as it was GROWING its audience. *double sigh*

          Eureka – no, and after checking it out on Wikipedia, it’s now on my TBW list … it looks interesting!


  3. jannatwrites says:

    I love it when I find a good TV show! Doesn’t happen often, though 🙂

    I feel like Erin described the reasons for not delving into the florist’s side well. Or quite simply, the agenda could’ve been to play emotions to garner sympathetic support of veterans. I don’t know where I would get that idea though, because politics and charities don’t play people at all…


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