“The Cleaner” Season 2: Episode 13


Trick Candles

William must help an old friend, who chooses heroin and speed over his wife and two kids, commit to getting clean. Meanwhile PK attempts to wrangle some of the other addicts William has helped recently for a surprise party in honor of William’s seven-year-sober birthday.


Trick Candle is very intense episode and a perfect way to end the season.

I liked to see all those people William and his team have helped and how their lives turned out showing up to celebrate William’s sober birthday. However, it made me sad to learn Sunshine (the homeless woman Akani brought in and tried hard to check her in in recovery in “Does Everybody Have a Drink?”) had died and I felt like crying with Akani about her.

I think this episode drives home the point that one day sober isn’t much further than ten years. Hopefully growth and change are always just one arm length away. William and his team go to great lengths to help others – which is very noble -, but losses are part of the game and those who failed had to be shown along with those who managed to overcome their addiction.

I also think it was a great idea to get PK to involve Melissa and tell her that his staying clean goes almost as much to her credit than his. I hope Melissa being at the surprise party and hearing the testimonies of the people William helped has made her more aware and understanding of his calling and what his job means to him.

It was also touching how a conversation Henry Guare – the old friend William was supposed to help getting clean in Trick Candles – had with his wife prompted William to ask Melissa how she felt about his addiction and what she wanted from him. I almost cried when she told him the only thing she’s ever wanted was for him to lock the doors, close the windows, check on his family and make sure they were safe so that they could sleep.

So I think William and Melissa are very much at a crossroads. Melissa may still be resenting the things William has been involved in and the strain his addiction first and his job then have certainly put on their relatioship and they both know he cannot change so radically as to leave a job that is also a mission to him, but they love each other and they seem to have finally taken the road towards a mutual understanding.

I too shed a few tears at the end of the show when that poor soul in the hotel room didn’t have the spirit anymore to save what is so precious in his life, that is himself  and his family, though I was glad he called someone.

So, what else? I liked it, though it has the bitter taste of a farewell party. There were no cliffhangers and no loose ends, and you get to see the outcome of some of the lives William and his team have touched as well as William’s resolve with his wife…  I hope it’s not, but it looks like this could be the last episode ever of “The Cleaner”.  :( :confused:

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