HAWTHORNE “Final Curtain” Review

HawthoRNe (TNT)

Two cases show potential futures for Christina on the “Final Curtain” episode of HAWTHORNE and she does her best to ensure the loneliest possibility comes true. The former Chief of Medicine, Dr. Arkin, returns to James River to die and old friend Gail helps him. A pregnant Afghan woman needs surgery but no one speaks Arabic and the husband has specific demands, so it takes trial, error, and finally a translator to get that done. Meanwhile Tom moves up his surgery and needs panic-stricken, MIA Christina to go with him but settles for Erin instead, shocking exactly no one, and Christina ends a very bad day by catching Camille and Marcus after they had obviously had sex. Oh, and in an effort to make Candy remotely relevant, she’s pregnant.

After Tom informs an already woozy Christina he needs her to drive him to his surgery, she collapses with what seems to be a full-blown panic attack, which of course means she can’t help him. Other patients, yes, but not Tom. It’s ages before she even looks for him. This parallels much too perfectly with Dr. Arkin, who wants to die at the hospital because that’s his home and family and he’s alienated everyone else, especially the very bitter son Bobbie brings in.

Christina is insanely frustrating this episode. She tells Camille that loving someone is being terrified of losing him and even more terrified of having him, and I think that’s supposed to make me sympathetic, but her callousness is simply too much to take. In the episode’s other parallel case, the Afghan husband insists he be the last person his wife sees before she’s put under anesthesia and the first person she sees when she wakes up so she knows she’s not alone in the darkness. Tom wanted Christina to be that for him, but instead Christina ignores him and then must watch as Tom opens his eyes to see Erin, not her. Choices have consequences, Christina.

Ray has four lines, all either to or about Candy, who replaces her fear and ambivalence over her pregnancy to joy over keeping her baby in the blink of an eye. Brenda plays (relatively) nice with Candy but still makes me laugh, and Bobbie has nice scenes with Gail, who is stunningly warm with her mentor, Dr. Arkin. I’m impressed by the implied euthanasia. It’s handled subtly and surprisingly well. Well done, Hawthorne.

Christina is obviously headed for dark times where chickens come home to roost. She all but blows off Camille who wants answers about love, so I have to laugh at her shrieking shock at half-naked Marcus and Camille. Tom isn’t going to wait around for Christina any longer and I think even Bobbie is losing patience. As much as I wanted to slap Christina upside the head this episode, I’m really looking forward to the aftermath because I think she will finally have to deal with her issues or risk becoming Dr. Arkin, only she might not have a Gail, leaving her all alone in the darkness.

What did you think of “Final Curtain?” Am I being too hard on Christina? Let me know in the comments.

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