The second in a three-movie premiere month, Prescription for Murder doesn’t quite pack the punch of the last film. It feels kind of like a placeholder, something to tide over excitement from the series’s return while we wait for the explosive end to a case that has been percolating in the background. Our attention is divided between several deaths at Atlanta Memorial Hospital and an old murder that threatens the new district attorney, Paulina (Lauren Holly). Hailey Dean previously tried the multiple episode arc to great success, teasing out the mystery of Hailey’s (Kellie Martin) fiancé’s death from years earlier.
The stakes aren’t quite as high or personal this time around. Nevertheless, Hailey is invested in the outcome of the parole hearing of one Clayton Morrel because of her friendship with Paulina. Long before she was the DA, Paulina sent Clayton, who had murdered his wife, to prison on a lesser charge to guarantee a conviction. The possibility of his release now has everyone on edge, from the victim’s family to Clayton’s new wife. The preview for the upcoming episode looks promising, but I’m not as eager to follow up on this case as I was on the hunt for Will’s killer, which gave everything a more ominous feel.
Anyway, most of the action remains at the hospital, where the death of the recently appointed CEO has everyone on edge. Erica dies from an irregular dose of digoxin, and fingers immediately point to some powerful people. Robert, the acting CEO, looks suspect because was passed over for the job, as does Dr. Chang, Erica’s renowned and arrogant cardiologist, who may have been pushing an aggressive treatment plan. You can’t rule out the nurses either, two of whom look especially shady. Even Meghan (or Meghan 2.0 since she’s no longer played by Alvina August) gets caught up in the scandal. The girlfriend of Hailey’s partner (Viv Leacock), she was seen arguing with Erica just before her death. The case takes an unexpected turn when several more people are found to have died under suspicious circumstances.
There are plenty of interesting twists here, and almost everyone is shifty enough to have committed the crime, whether or not they have a clear motive. For once, an abundance of characters worked in favor of the story instead of just confusing the suspect list. Even if you don’t remember everyone’s names, which I never do, you can at least differentiate between the pharmacist and the CEO’s assistant.
Lightening the mood is Hailey’s relationship with coroner Jonas (Matthew MacCaull). She deserves a low-stress personal life after all what she’s been through. This time around, the biggest challenge they have is dinner with his dad. I don’t think the two are headed down the aisle anytime soon, but I’m fine if the relationship is kept on simmer a while longer.
Highlight for spoilers: Crazy Ivy killed Erica for her lover, Robert (that’s right), who was also having an affair with Erica and who was hesitant to break up with the latter because he “couldn’t find the right time.” Ivy did what every scorned women does and murdered her rival, thus creating the right time. When Brian poured his feeble little heart out to her and admitted that he had performed a mercy killing on another patient, she realized she could frame him. She knocked off a few other people, which indeed led the police to Brian. Thinking that all was well for her and Robert now, she was surprised to learn that the bastard wanted to break up.
Dir: Michael Robinson
Writer: Michelle Ricci
Cast: Kellie Martin, Viv Leacock, Matthew MacCaull, Lucia Walters, Lauren Holly
Time: 83 min
Country: United States
Network: Hallmark Movies and Mysteries