The basic structural pattern for episodes of Forever Knight is tripartite. Typically, there is a police plot (which is usually the main or A plot), there is a flashback to the past of some character in the series (usually Nick Knight), and there is some personal subplot, often involving Nick's partner, but sometimes involving the vampire community or Natalie's attempts to find a cure for vampirism.
Three Plots with a Common ThemeEdit
In many episodes, there is some thematic connection between the three plots. One of the clearest examples of this is "Partners of the Month".
The police plot involves the murder of a prominent businessman in his study at home, either by his wife or his mistress. The flashback involves Nick's romantic relationship with Janette in the Renaissance, and describes how the two of them broke up. The personal subplot involves a quarrel between Nick's partner, Don Schanke, and his wife Myra, which leads Schanke to walk out on his wife and move in with Nick, uninvited.
Although the three plots are not directly related to one another, they share the thematic connection of failed romance. This ties the story together.
Two of the Plots are RelatedEdit
In some of the episodes, two of these plots are related to one another. This results in a more cohesive story structure.
- In "Father's Day", for example, the modern day police plot involves an attempt by the heir of a Mafia family to escape his family heritage. In the flashback, Nick pays the patriarch of the same family (years earlier, in his youth) to smuggle him across the Atlantic in an attempt to elude LaCroix. The two plots are directly connected, not only by the presence of Don Constantine in both eras, but by the fact that, because Constantine betrayed Nick and told LaCroix his destination, LaCroix owes him a favour that leads to the dénouement. However, the personal subplot is related only thematically: it involves Don Schanke trying to help his daughter with a school assignment on the nature of fatherhood.
- In "Fatal Mistake", it is the police plot that is distinct: Captain Stonetree shoots a suspect fleeing a corner store robbery, and then has to prove that there was a gun at the scene in order to justify the use of his own weapon. Meanwhile, although he is supposed to be working the case, Nick is obsessed by glimpses of a woman he believes to be dead. The flashback shows us how he seduced and drained a barmaid in the seventeenth century. Now, or so he believes, he is seeing her ghost. In fact, she was brought across by LaCroix; and, blaming Nick for attacking her, she is hunting him for revenge.
- Finally, "Dead Issue" is an example of an episode in which the police and personal plots are connected but the flashback is only thematically related. A man may have been killed by the wife of a police inspector known to Captain Stonetree. While Nick is trying to find out what actually happened, Stonetree is inclined to accept the Fioris' story at face value. Only gradually does he realize that the inspector is using his position as an old friend to influence the investigation. The flashback has an obvious connection with Lynn Fiori's tale of defending herself against a rapist: Nick remembers an artist's model who blamed herself for being raped by the painter for whom she was sitting. But there is another thematic connection of betrayed trust that ties to the personal plot involving Stonetree.
Tying two of the plots together usually has the effect of increasing the emotional intensity of the episode.
All Three Parts EntwineEdit
There are also a handful of stories in which all three plots are entwined. For example, "Baby, Baby" combines the story of how Nick brought across Serena in the 1920s, with his bemused reaction when she reappears in the present day, deeply resenting his turning her into a vampire. But, unlike "Fatal Mistake", which has a similar connection between the past and personal plots, "Baby, Baby" combines these with the police plot: Serena is on her own quest for a cure, and believes that vampire folklore indicates that this is possible if she has a baby; but the man she needs to impregnate her is the murder suspect, and she has to break him out of jail in order to complete the ritual.
In some episodes, such as "Partners of the Month", the tripartite story structure is transparent. However, even in the most apparently integrated episodes, such as "Baby, Baby", it is still possible to analyse the story structure to discern the outline of three underlying plots.