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Hawthorne immediately tests "For Better or For Worse"

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Written by : published Wednesday 15th June 2011

Please click here to watch Hawthorne - "For Better or Worse" online.

 

     As the third season of TNT's Hawthorne begins, Christina (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Tom (Michael Vartan) are getting married! Too bad they only have time to quickly say their vows before a neighbor wrecks his car and they have to reush off to the hospital. That all goes fine, but as Christina attempts to go home, she is attacked and badly beaten. Nick (Marc Anthony, now a series regular) vows to track down the man who hurt her, and he does. Tom does everything he can to save Christina's baby, pushing Brenda (Anne Ramsay) to do a bunch of really risky surgeries in the process after Cat (Lauren Velez, Dexter) refuses. But it's to no avail, and as Christina gives birth to a dead baby, Candy (Christina Moore), who has returned, pushes out a live one. Also, Morrisey (Jamnes Morrison) decides that Christina should be permanetly replaced as CNO, and asks Bobbie (Suleka Mathew) to take the job. Bobbie's agreement makes Steve (Adam Rayner) rconsider his planned proposal to her.

 

     Given that Hawthorne begins as a standard procedural, there is no reason to watch the beginning of the series. This episode, however, is excellent, and if it representative of what the show has become, then Hawthorne deserves another chance. The story may be somewhat self contained, but also plays on larger arcs about relationships and pregnancies. There is a real focus on the characters and their various bonds rather than on a case of the week. With the slew of medical series currently on the air, this is the way to distinguish a show from its peers.

     While Smith is perhaps not the best actress around, especially in the scene where she silently pushes out her dead baby, she is surrounded by a number of wonderful actors who will make viewers mostly forget her shortcomings, at least for this episode. Keeping her confined to a hospital bed likely helps. It remains to be seen whether being at the center of such a huge loss, speaking of the baby, will find Smith up to the task or not. Vartan, too, shows the limited range he demonstrates on Alias, but to his credit, it seems more a part of his character, rather than bad acting.

     The contrast between Christina and Candy is nicely played, milking emotional impact out of both births, which happen very differently, but at the same time. Candy choosing to name her baby after Christina also slightly dampens the pure grief that comes with losing a child so early. While much of this episode focuses on death, the new life helps brighten the mood, though not in a stereotypical, cheesy way.

     As for Steve and Bobbie, it's hard not to dwell on whether or not their relationship can weather such a disloyal move by Bobby. Morrissey's decision to choose a new CNO is understandable from a business perspective, though making it a permanent decision seems unduly harsh. Bobbie only accepts to keep the job from someone else. Perhaps she thinks she can give it back to Christina when the time is right, though others would not. Yet, it's easy to see why Steve interprets Bobbie's actions as blatant betrayal against a close friend. Will Steve come around to her way of thinking, or will they be soon splitting up?

     Hawthorne airs Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. ET on TNT.

     If you like my reviews, please follow me on Twitter! Click here for all of my Current Season Reviews.
 
Article first published as TV Review: Hawthorne - "For Better or Worse" on Blogcritics.

About the author JeromeWetzelTV

JeromeWetzelTV

Jerome Wetzel is a huge fan of stories, in both books and television. He writes TV reviews and fiction. He currently posts articles for TheTVKing, Seat42F, and BlogCritics, as well as his own personal blog, as well as writing fiction. His website is www.jeromewetzel.com Follow him on twitter @JeromeWetzelTV

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