HAWTHORNE “Hidden Truths” Review

Secrets are revealed and Tom and Christina finally have it out on the jam-packed “Hidden Truths” episode of HAWTHORNE. Donna (guest star Debi Mazar), an old friend of Christina’s, is hospitalized with encephalitis caused by herpes (a condition she neglected to tell her fiancé about) she contracted from a rape, learns her insurance company won’t pay , leading to Christina battling the insurance company and debating with Erin about whether the pre-existing condition is herpes or rape. Erin solves the problem by getting insurance to pay because Tom is upset by it, which of course upsets Christina. Kelly reveals she’s gay and Erin makes her feelings for Tom known.

The Tom-Christina confrontation does not disappoint. “It’s about you: selfish, narcissistic, controlling basket case.” Preach it, Tom! Christina is trapped by her own fears and by fully expecting the worst can’t hope for the best and even helps that worst (Tom and Erin) come about. I still think Tom was wrong to propose when and how he did, but Christina’s insistence on having everything her way and giving Tom as little as possible in order to protect herself is brutally unfair–to Tom and to herself.

Bobbie and Steve flirt adorably as he tries to guess how she lost her leg, but their real bonding comes over the hardest luck family ever: The Adamses from the “Road Narrows” episode, where Grandma accidentally ran over Paul, Tom, and a few others. Ben Adams has been hiding cancer while his wife has been hiding lawsuits filed against her mother for the accident because neither wants the other to worry even more about money. Heartbreaking, and there’s no resolution, so I think we’ll see them again. On the bright side, Steve and Bobbie end up having sex, so maybe their good luck can rub off on the poor family.

Kelly treats an injured girl whose bigger problem is that she’s a gay high school student with unsupportive parents. Kelly empathizes because she’s been there, done that, but the parents want her fired for validating their daughter`s feelings. Christina will have none of that and Kelly manages to gently nudge the parents toward loving their daughter a bit better. All of these scenes are sweetly understated, full of grace and humor. We even get Nancy Drew and My So-Called Life shout outs, and how brave is that girl when she takes a deep breath and says her Jordan Catalano is named Rachel?

Last but not least, while Christina can’t bring herself to speak to Marcus (poor, off his game Marcus), she finds the right words to say to Camille. Their “Your body is a temple. Respect it because that’s what women do” conversation is one of their best scenes yet, even when Christina projects some of her fears. Marcus also says the right things in his apology and heartfelt plea to Christina, and I think she listens.

HawthoRNe has been frustrating me lately, but this episode is excellent. There’s real emotion instead of melodrama, forward plot progress and character development, nice touches of humor (“I’m not getting in the middle of this–I`m already down one leg.”), and no Candy.

What did you think of “Hidden Truths?” Were you Team Tom or Team Christina during the smack down? Sound off in the comments.

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