Janis Hawk comes out as a lesbian on “FlashForward”


As much as I like the premise of the new ABC drama FlashForward —  a mystery in which a team of FBI agents try to piece together what happened when everyone on earth blacks out for two minutes at the same time — I’ve been a little bored with the show.

Not a good sign when the show is only on its fourth episodes (it took me at least a season and a half to get tired of Lost).

**spoilers for this episode only**

But the show suddenly got interesting again in this week’s episode (“Gimme Some Truth”), when FBI agent Janis Hawk (Christine Woods) had a very romantic date with a chef named Maya (played by Numb3rs star Navi Rawat), in a development the series has been hinting at from the beginning.

It was revealed on the date that Janis is a lesbian who stays closeted on the job because, “I work for the federal government, and they’re not too big on trusting gays with guns.” 

Christine Woods as FBI Agent Janis Hawk

Janis also got gunned down in the street in this episode (don’t worry, she’s still alive), but like any good martial arts-trained lesbian, she kicked the crap out of one of her attackers before she went down.

In Janis’s flashforward (the term she coined to refer to the visions everyone saw when they blacked out of their lives in six months), Janis is pregnant and having an ultrasound. She’s mystified by this vision, because she isn’t currently in a relationship, she doesn’t date men, and she has no current plans to have a baby.

Janis in her flashforward

Janis’s relationship status looked like it might change, however, when she met Maya in her Tae Kwon Do class.

During their first date at one of the fancy restaurants Maya works at, the two women flirted, kissed, and joked about their flashforwards: Maya was on a game show hosted by Angelina Jolie, and Janis was engaged in a threesome with Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin on the International Space Station. I don’t even know what to say about that one, so I’m just going to point out how cute, and romantic, this scene was.

Turns out, Maya’s real flashforward was that she was inexplicably wearing a wedding ring. (Hmmm, I smell a stereotypical lesbian storyline coming on.)

After dinner, Maya spent the night with Janis, and the two had a cute scene together the next morning making breakfast.

Here’s a clip of their morning-after scene — you can also watch it on ABC.com:


Unfortunately, Maya appears to have ruined any chance of a relationship with Janis by starring on Numb3rs awkwardly broaching the subject of Janis’s future pregnancy on their second date at an art gallery showing.

Although Maya expressed support for Janis’s future pregnancy, Janis clearly wasn’t prepared to talk about it, and didn’t appreciate that Maya found out about it by searching the Mosiac website (the FBI-created site designed to aggregate stories about what people saw in their flashforwards).

So Janis bailed on the date, and shortly afterwords, was attacked by the mysterious assassins, for reasons not yet known.

I’m thinking it was karmic payback for walking out on a date with Navi Rawat.

Other than Janis’s inexplicable overreaction to Maya searching of a public database to find out more about Janis, I thought the writers and actors did a good job of portraying both women, the date, and Janis’s sexual orientation. Neither Janis nor Maya appear to have any problem with being gay, except for Janis having to be closeted at work (but she seems to be pretty matter-of-fact about that, too).

The women kissed three times in the episode, which is three more times than Callie and Arizona have kissed  on Grey’s Anatomy this season. I love how ABC is isn’t even trying to hide the fact that lesbian relationships are only useful to them during sweeps periods (or when they’re trying to do damage control).

But at least we got an actual lesbian character out of this, unlike the totally gratuitous lesbian kiss in this week’s episode of Eastwick (ABC). And since ABC has already picked up FlashForward for a full season, Janis should be around for awhile. 

Then again, it’s ABC, so you better enjoy Janis having a love life while you can. This may be the only time we see it.

Are you watching the show? What did you think of the episode? And is Janis an idiot for kicking Maya to the curb?

Watch the full episode on ABC.com

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