HAWTHORNE “Afterglow” Review

HawthoRNe (TNT)

Themes of redemption and moving on run through the heavy-handed “Afterglow” episode of HAWTHORNE. Calvin Jenkins, a murderer who became an inspirational musician while on death row, needs a complicated life-saving surgery nine months before his execution but faces difficulty in getting it at James River despite Christina’s best efforts. It’s the day after Paul’s death and Christina has no idea how to respond to Tom’s impromptu marriage proposal while Tom seeks help for his damaged elbow but gets little reassurance, though he does get some TLC from Erin. Isabel is back and needs money from Bobbie while Candy needs lessons in how to be less annoying. Camille and Marcus heat up their relationship while Christina risks straining hers with Camille when she lies about how she spent the previous night.

Sigh. I like Hawthorne the least when it deals with a controversial issue because it gets too preachy, and tonight was no exception. When Calvin asked Christina during their first meeting why his ankle itched, she immediately replied it could be karma. Unprofessional, much? Then we hear about the young man who was so inspired by Calvin’s music and a speech he gave that he is now going to attend Julliard, the violent protestors outside, and the surgeon whose life was threatened and who then has Christina telling him that not operating is akin to murder. Finally, the daughter of Calvin’s murder victim, a woman whom Calvin stabbed 17 times, tells her story because a cop didn’t like being lectured by Christina. It was just so much soap box blather on both sides of the issue: all black and white with no gray. When Grey’s Anatomy handles the death penalty and medical ethics with more subtlety than you do, you’re not having a good night.

If this were Survivor, I would so vote Candy off the island. Thank goodness for Dr. Marshall (Anne Ramsay, who should be a series regular) being a fresh breath of sarcastic air. “Commando Barbie,” indeed. If only Dr. Marshall hadn’t later told Ray she can’t compete with Candy. Ray said the right things, but that was just wrong. Loved Kelly outing their relationship, though. I was hoping Isabel wouldn’t find the new hospital, but it gave Bobbie something to do and Bobbie’s face when she saw Isabel’s crib/holy grail was heartbreaking.

The only sadder thing on Hawthorne than an insecure Dr. Marshall is a clingy Tom, and Tom’s repeated proposals were unsettling. How many actual dates have they been on? It’s not a Porsche—you don’t need to go from zero to eighty in two seconds. Tom needs to sleep and deal with his injury and Paul’s death, not jump into marriage. I’m not sure what Christina’s final answer will mean for them, though. Is her no just the latest obstacle or could it actually move them forward? I’m not sure which I want at this point. I do know I want a less preachy episode next week. Hopefully we’ll get it.