As TNT's dynamic new series opens, Christina Hawthorne, chief nursing officer for Richmond Trinity Hospital, races to work to try to prevent a suicide attempt by David, an end-stage cancer patient and best friend to her husband.
We open on a darkened bedroom. The woman we will soon come to know (and love?) as Christina Hawthorne, R.N. clicks on a light. She begins talking to someone named Michael who she blames for her insomnia. It's been exactly a year since she's had this problem. Her phone rings. It's David who is in distress of some kind. She tells him to stay where he is and that she'll be there in ten minutes. She motors through the streets of Richmond, VA and comes to a stop at Richmond Trinity Hospital and calls David and tells him to stay in his room. A homeless woman named Isabelle tries to waylay her but Hawthorne is undeterred in her mission. A security guard tries to stop her because she has no ID. He's new. She skirts him and runs up the stairs. She reaches the roof where David, a patient is standing at the edge. She tries to talk him down. (He's D.B. Woodside!) He has cancer and wants to end it all. He jumps. She runs back down the stairs and bumps up against the guard again.
They wheel the now even-more-screwed up David into the ER. He has a DNR. The doctor says he's going to save him anyway. They revive him against her, and his, wishes. The police arrive and arrest her for breaching security and assaulting the guard. She struggles and we cut to the credits.
A doctor named Thomas Wakefield, played by Michael Vartan, works on David and his watchful students wonder why he's trying to save a suicide. It's enough that he's there, says Wakefield. Another doctor arrives, he's named Howard and according to Wakefield he's the best.
Wakefield and Hawthorne walk and talk. He thinks she should've called him since David was his patient and he wouldn't have jumped if he'd been there. She says David was her husband Michael's friend and she wanted to help him on the anniversary of Michael's death. Wakefield is chagrined. She says she's fine and thanks him for helping with the police. He says he's late for rounds. She says he always is and wonders why his patients like him so much. He pulls out a lollipop and says he gives them candy. He tells her to go home. She says this is home.
A male patient is grunting and moaning. A blond nurse was bathing him? He's a corporal and she thanks him for his service.
Hawthorne, who is chief of nursing, is explaining to a group of nurses in a conference room that the incident from this morning is being dealt with. She gets a status report that no one died this morning. She admonishes them for letting patients walking around unsurpervised. There were three complaints about verbal abuse by doctors. Hawthorne promises to bring up the issues at a meeting this afternoon. The blond nurse who was, um, helping the corporal apologizes for coming in late. The status report giver is looking for volunteers for the nurse's auxiliary Japanese tea ceremony. Hawthorne and another nurse sign up.
That other nurse walks out with Hawthorne and tells her she was supposed to take the day off to observe Michael's memory. Hawthorne says there's been a change of plans. She apparently sent her daughter Camille to school. The nurse, who is named Bobbie, wants her to grieve. Hawthorne sends her on her way so she won't have to scream at her. Bobbie says she doesn't have to since Dr. Mizaki is working. Hawthorne says to page her the minute he goes ballistic so she can handle him for her.
The blond nurse goes back to the corporal followed by an admiring male nurse named Ray. The corporal isn't excited to be switching to a male nurse. He likes the nurse from his dreams, who had wonderful hands. Ray says he'll be back to give the corporal his sponge bath and he'll look for his doctor, Dr. Marshall.
He asks the nurse at the station if Dr. Marshall is around. She harrumphs about a 9 o'clock tee time. Ray is worried about the corporal's blood sugar level. The two worry that it's too high (or low?) and will send him into shock.
A paramedic is asking Bobbie out and she turns him down saying she's damaged goods. He leaves. Hawthorne arrives to be told Isabelle is acting nutty and won't listen to anyone but her. Isabelle returns and wants Hawthorne to look at something on her cart. It's a baby. She calls him Moses. Hawthorne tries to take him. Isabelle tells her to get away. Hawhthorne says it's a newborn and pleads with her to let her take him. She tries but Isabelle whacks her again. Then she lets her take the baby inside the ER. Isabelle then yells to the paramedic that Hawthorne stole her baby.
Hawthorne and two other nurses examine the baby. He has a fever and they're having trouble finding a vein. Hawthorne sticks the IV in his scalp. She rolls the baby and discovers he has spina bifida. Dr. Cadbury arrives and says it's time to get baby Moses up to the NICU. As they go she runs off to check on Isabelle who is talking to a social worker. She wants the baby back. Hawthorne tries to calm her and pulls the social worker aside asking to keep the police and CFPS out of it. The social worker doesn't want to jeopardize her job. Hawthorne says she does it all the time and it's easy once you get in the habit. The social worker gives her a minute to help Isabelle get a jump.
Ray calls Dr. Marshall on the golf course and can't reach him. He and the other nurse continue to question Dr. Marshall's insulin order level. Dr. Marshall calls back all mad about a nurse questioning his orders. Ray goes to administer the order. (He claims he could've gone to med school in Paraguay.)
Hawthorne gets a call from her daughter Camille's school and says she'll be right there.
Ray administers the insulin, still tentative.
Hawthorne arrives to find her daughter chained to a vending machine that the school is taking away blathering on about "unalienable rights." Hawthorne tries to explain that this has been a tough day. Camille points out that yes, one year ago today her mother let her father die. Hawthorne doesn't care for this and tells them to take Camille away, suspend her indefinitely, and hell yeah, throw in some detention. Camille protests it's not fair. The principal agrees saying "it's high school."
Ray is at the station when an alarm code goes off in the corporal's room. What he feared is happening.
Back at the hospital Hawthorne rushes to the corporal's room where a defibrillator does the job. She asks Ray what happened. He says Dr. Marshall messed up. She asks how it got it by him. He admits it didn't and he called Marshall. She asks the nurse at the station to cover for Ray. She barters for Thanksgiving off and a half-day at Christmas.
An Asian doctor is trying to talk to the nice nurse from earlier. Turns out this is Mizaki, who gets mad when people can't understand him. Bobbie comes to rescue the nice nurse, Kelly. Hawthorne wants to go after Mizaki. Kelly cries and wonders if she'll cry ever day. They say she probably will.
Hawthorne is apparently magical. She walks by a custodian who complains about a new stinky disinfectant and she promises to try and get the "good stuff" back. She takes off when she hears her name called. The custodian wonders why she always runs from this lady. She mouths "mother-in-law" as Joanna Cassidy, aka Amanda Hawthorne, rounds the corner. She's in the hospital for a board meeting. She claims to still be in mourning and can't believe it's been a year since "my son" passed, but she remembers it like it was yesterday. She calls it sudden. Hawthorne says considering the pain he was in that was a blessing. Mom's not so sure. She reminds her about the memorial dinner this evening. Hawthorne says she's not going. Amanda didn't expect her to attend but wants Camille there. Hawthorne says she will be. She also reminds her that, per their agreement, she gets to have Michael's ashes for a year starting tomorrow. She wonders if she should pick them up or if Hawthorne will send them. She says she can't be expected to give Michael's ashes to Fed Ex. Momma H says they're more reliable than Hawthorne. Hawthorne makes her exit saying a patient needs her unreliable attention.
Dr. Marshall finally shows up, she's played by Anne Ramsay. She and Ray argue about the order over the corporal's still unconscious body: she calls Ray stupid for waiting to give it and threatens to write him up. He mouths off back at her while another nurse drags him out.
Wakefield and Hawthorne contend with the corporal's father. They point fingers: nurse gave too much insulin, nurse was following doctor's orders, everyone will be disciplined. The dad says they can point fingers all day but he's filing a lawsuit and transferring his son out of the hospital tomorrow. He didn't hold his breath through his son's two tours of duty to put up with this BS.
Hawthorne and Ray walk and talk. She tells him he should've followed his instincts like she taught him. He says he followed protocol. She wants him to stick with her and pray that the corporal bounces back. She reads him the riot act.
Paramedics enter with a patient who has been stabbed and pukes blood on Bobbie. Her husband chases in after her with a knife trying to finish her off and stabs Bobbie in the leg instead. The cute paramedic is horrified. He pulls out the knife and asks if he can put something on her wound. Not unless he has spackle she says with a smile, knocking her hand against her apparently prosthetic leg. He says he'll bring some over on the way to her place tonight.
Hawthorne gets the skinny from Bobbie and says she can't believe she was arrested for busting in to help a patient but security let a man with a knife in. Bobbie tells her to write a memo. Hawthorne says she already did. Bobbie says she's going on a date with Nick the paramedic since he saw the leg and didn't run. Hawthorne is happy for her. She says she could cancel so Hawthorne doesn't have to be alone tonight. Hawthorne tells her not to be silly. Bobbie tells her to do something special for Camille's sake.
Hawthorne heads up to the NICU and sees Isabel lurking. She gives Hawthorne a dollar to give to Moses for his future. The police show up and Hawthorne gets mad at the social worker. But not as mad as Isabel gets at her yelling at her that she promised she wouldn't call the police. Then she collapses. Hawthorne realizes that she's hemmorhaging and is, in fact, the baby's mother. She kicks her self for missing it.
She scurries in late to her executive committee meeting and gets a withering stare from Dr. Marshall. She and Marshall start to get into it about Corporal Sharp. Marshall stalks off.
Camille is waiting for her, she wants a ride to the memorial and wonders what hospital emergency will prevent this. She wonders how the hospital runs without her. She and Hawthorne banter testily but, you know, with love about their late dad/husband. Camille says she's sleeping over at Grandma's so she won't be alone. Hawthorne gives her money for a cab and asks her not to spend it on pot. Camille says pretty girls don't have to buy pot. She tells her mother she loves her.
Hawthorne goes to visit Isabel, now medicated and in restraints, to apologize. Isabel accepts saying it's not like Hawthorne knocked her up. Isabel apologizes for saying she hated Hawthorne, she doesn't. Hawthorne appreciates this.
The shifts are changing and people we've met- the nurse from the station, Kelly, Wakefield- are departing the hospital. Hawthorne visits Moses and tapes the dollar bill to his incubator. The blond nurse returns. Ray tells her he nearly killed the corporal. She says he's not hers, he's America's. She apparently has a thing for wounded soldiers. Ray tries to figure out if he somehow became a wounded soldier if she'd do him. She says maybe.
Hawthorne goes to visit David who is all kinds of messed up but surprisingly sanguine about it. He says he was ready to die when he was standing on the edge but then right before he blacked out from the fall he thought "I want to live." She tells him to get some sleep. He tells her again that he wants to live. She smiles a little.
Nick the paramedic shows up at Bobbie's. He brings a tin of wood filler. She laughs and walks away and we see her prosthetic. He says she looks beautiful. She says she was worried that her earrings might clash with her leg.
Hawthorne sits on her front porch talking to Michael's ashes. She says sending him to his mother seems like cruel and unusual punishment. She says she needs to have a piece of him in her universe so she scoops out a few bits of ashes and puts them in a Japanese lantern/hot air balloon and lets them fly away. As she watches it she cries and says "time heals...never."
|Season 1, Episode 1|
|Air date||June 16, 2009|
|Written by||John Masius|
|Directed by||Mikael Salomon|
|Jada Pinkett Smith||...||Christina Hawthorne|
|David Julian Hirsh||...||Ray Stein|
|Christina Moore||...||Candy Sullivan|
|Suleka Mathew||...||Bobbie Jackson|
|Hannah Hodson||...||Camille Hawthorne|
|Michael Vartan||...||Dr. Tom Wakefield|
|Vanessa Lengies||...||Kelly Epson|
|Adam Garcia||...||Nick Mancini|
|Aisha Hinds||...||Isabel Walsh|
|Eric Ladin||...||Corporal Sharp|
|Steve Rankin||...||Mr. Sharp|
|Jillian Armenante||...||Cheryl Brooks|
|Anne Ramsay||...||Dr. Brenda Marshall|
|Eli Goodman||...||Dr. Alan Spitzer|
|Rebecca Field||...||Susan Winters|
This episode aired June 16,2009