Unforgettable was a TV series featuring Poppy Montgomery as Carrie Wells, a policewoman who can remember everything she's experienced in her life, except the details of her sister's death. Initially only got one season (2011-2012), but CBSUn-Canceled the show for a summer run starting August 2013 to stop it from moving to TNT or Lifetime; it run for two shorter runs before being axed in October 2014.As the series starts, Carrie, a former homicide detective with the Syracuse, New York police department, is living in New York City making her money by using her talent to break the bank at underground casinos. When her neighbor downstairs is stabbed to death, however, she encounters her former supervisor and lover Al Burns (Dylan Walsh), now a lieutenant with the NYPD and the investigating detective. She assists in solving this first murder and Al recruits her into his unit afterwards.After the 2013 retool Carrie and Al move to the Major Crimes unit, helmed by Captain Eliot Delson.The show has now finished its third season and final season. Spoilers for seasons one and two may not be hidden below.
Anchored Ship: There are still strong residual feelings between Carrie and Al, but they're both so committed to their jobs and solving the murder of Carrie's sister that nothing will happen. They also remember how their previous relationship went sour, and that they regret things that happened. Even Al's girlfriend is fairly trusting of them.
Averted as of the season finale, plus Al's comments about having "been kicked out".
Carrie's Photographic Memory makes her an excellent investigator but also means that she will never be able to forget any details of the grisly crimes she comes across. She also has issues with personal relationships since she cannot really "forgive and forget" when a relationship goes sour on her.
We also learn that there were five other people like Carrie, and that a memory researcher deduced a common factor between all of them was a tendency to risk-taking. He concluded that the release of adrenaline interferes with memory formation and that's why they seek these thrills. Not all of them have great lives either.
One person committed suicide since the study.
Another has become a thrill-seeking flimflammer who peddles all kinds of products of dubious usefulness.
The oldest of them has become an alcoholic.
Yet another moved away to become a Buddhist monk.
The last (except for Carrie herself) is an accountant who seems to have it all together, but who has a Troubled Past and has turned to murder as the ultimate memory-erasing thrill.
Broken Bird: Carrie. She's cursed to remember every day in its entirety, yet her mother has Alzheimer's and doesn't even recognize her most of the time. The one day she can't remember is the day her sister was murdered and she was there.
Brought Down to Normal: In "DOA" Carrie is poisoned with a nerve agent that interferes with her memory even as it's slowly killing her.
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: In "Cashing Out" it turns out Eliot knew all along about Carrie's underground casino habit (even Al didn't know she was still visiting them) and let it slide on account of she's a damn good detective. He does, however, warn her to be discreet, since if word got out it would only hurt the Major Crimes squad.
By-the-Book Cop: Al, though that kind of goes out the window in "With Honor" when his ex-partner is accused of being dirty. Ditto this inversion for Carrie, who normally can be trusted to follow procedure, when Al is accused of murder.
The Casanova: Al has a lot of exes (one of the show's Running Gags is Carrie finding out about them and acting jealous), though he seems to have only dated one woman at a time.
Call Back: The images Eliot shows Carrie of herself at several underground casinos in "Cashing Out" are actually stills from the series pilot.
Cutting the Knot: Lampshaded. Faced with an anarchist hacker who likes to reference Greek Mythology and is about to wreck the financial system from his computer, Carrie asks him if he's heard of the Gordian knot. He answers with the trope namer, and she demonstrates by shooting his laptop.
Nina and Saunders have a double-act thing going. The real stealth snarker of the gang is Al, though.
Dr. Webster's getting in on the act, though it's understandable. She's played by JaneCurtin.
Dude, She's A Lesbian: In "Cashing Out" Al starts to insinuate a possible affair angle between a slain zoning commissioner and his lovely assistant, but then Carrie sees a wedding photo of the assistant and shuts him down because the spouse is female.
Fair Cop: Carrie and Nina, for the guys. Al for the ladies.
Insistent Terminology: Carrie always tells people to call her Carrie, and introduces herself as such, rather than "Detective Wells".
The Missus and the Ex: In a fun subversion, our heroine Carrie is the Ex, and Temporary Love Interest Elaine is the Missus. Luckily for Al, they get along. However, Elaine later breaks up with Al because he's still half in love with Carrie.
Kleptomaniac Hero: Carrie's risk-taker streak gets the better of her in a Running Gag in "New Hundred". A Secret Service agent trying to break up a counterfeiting ring keeps getting out the new super-hard-to-counterfeit $100 bills, and Carrie keeps pocketing the real ones (and a bundle of the fake ones at the denouement, which Al puts his foot down about and tells her to throw on the bonfire with the others).
Mock Millionaire: One Victim of the Week was an abused West Virginia housewife who fled to New York and successfully passed herself off as the heiress to a fictional Texas oil tycoon. She was murdered by her publicist when she tired of living a lie and wanted to come clean.
Manipulative Bastard: "Fred"/Walter Morgan/John Fox, who prefers manipulating unstable people into committing murders to doing them himself.
Myth Arc: For the first season at least, Carrie's quest to identify and arrest her sister's killer. This arc is dropped after the retool without resolution, despite the Sequel Hook in the first season finale.
Carrie: "My name is Carrie Wells. Only a few people in the world have the ability to remember everything. I'm one of them."
Photographic Memory: The core premise of the show is that Carrie never forgets anything she experiences. A lot of emphasis is placed on the fact that she can go over a memory in her mind multiple times and reexamine it for details she missed originally. The ability is portrayed both as a great gift and a curse since she will always perfectly remember the best moments of her life but will also never forget the grisly details of the crimes she investigates.
Carrie doesn't just have photographic memory, but rather, Hyperthymesia, which is an explicit fact per the pilot. The difference between the hyperthymesia and photographic memory is that hyperthymesia tends to go "one step further": in addition to perfect recalling of images, senses including scents, sounds, taste, and the like, as well as events and conversations, are recalled with ease, whereas photographic memory is more often than not entirely visual. This is demonstrated in several episodes when Carrie can recall odors and muffled gun shots that allowed her to determine where they were shot from at the crime scene. As of now, a mere twenty cases of hyperthymesia are confirmed to exist.
Put on a Bus: As of season 2, the Queens detective contingent Nina, Mike and Roe. It looks like they've basically been replaced by ex-FBI Agent Cherie Murray and in-house Major Crimes liaison and computer tech Jay.
Reasonable Authority Figure: Eliot. It turns out he's actually known about Carrie's sideline as moonlighting gambler and hasn't fired her because she's that good at her job.
Retool: Due to being canceled, then Un-Canceled a season and a half later, season 2 and on have completely different sets and replaced most of the supporting cast, and have dropped Carrie's Myth Arc in favor of a straight Body of the Week format.
Ripped from the Headlines: The storyline about the hotel maid that killed the businessman who allegedly raped her is similar to the Dominique Strauss-Kahn rape allegations.
Seamless Spontaneous Lie: A murder suspect, while being interrogated by the cops, realizes that they have discovered that the murder scene was staged, so he has to come up with a new story to distract the detectives. He uses the "take names from the bulletin board" technique to tell a believable story and the detectives spend a fair chunk of time chasing this red herring.
To 2 Broke Girls when the Victim of the Week was a very poor girl posing as a very rich girl who was cut off from her family. Unlike the girls on 2BG, the victim's main problem was that she had no friends: her rich boyfriend panicked and fled when she revealed the truth; her real friend had to pose as her enemy and couldn't comfort her; her ex-husband was abusive and blackmailing her; and her manager wouldn't let her leave the "act".
To Die Hard implicitly in "Omega Hour" when a building is taken over by terrorists demanding an impossible ransom, and then explicitly when Jay mentions "Hans Gruber".
Sticky Fingers: Carrie has a tendency to swipe money if she can get a chance.
Tank Top Tomboy: Among Carrie's Cowboy Cop tendencies is that she almost invariably turns up at crime scenes in a tank top and slacks, weather permitting. By contrast the female detectives in the supporting cast (Nina in season one, Murray post-retool) wear pantsuits.
Your Cheating Heart: Subverted in "Throwing Shade". Eliot suspects his wife was having an affair with the Body of the Week, an old, old friend of his, because their movements line up for months on end. The relationship turns out to be close, but completely platonic—he was a shoulder to cry on but not a lover.