In last week’s “Little Piggies,” Charlie told Alex that they needed to talk. Then the previews teased Charlie saying he had a truth he needed to share. Naturally, we were led to believe that Charlie would finally tell Alex his secret in this week’s episode, “Why Waste Time.” After all, the title alone suggests that once you are on the brink of death, you realize what is truly important in life. One of those things is being completely honest and wholly giving yourself to the person you love. So, did Charlie bare all? Read on to find out.
Alex and Charlie are still getting back into the rhythm of life post-coma. Although Alex is in no rush to get married, she thinks they can start making little changes solidifying their long-term relationship. She has noticed Charlie’s sleepless nights and thinks a new bed might help him sleep more smoothly. Plus, it will be something they can share as a couple. Essentially, the bed symbolizes their relationship and their commitment to each other. Actually, after watching “Why Waste Time,” you may have realized that relationships are a key theme throughout the episode.
Whether it is a selfish father dictating his daughter’s life, a blossoming romance between terminally ill teenagers, a polygamous marriage shrouded in lies, or a husband riddled with guilt for not being present enough for his wife, every relationship faces obstacles. In this episode, we find out what happens when a variety of relationships are put to the test.
Joel’s case of Zero-Love
Joel gets a high profile case this week when he visits a tennis star with some serious problems. Rikki is a tennis prodigy who has been stifled by her overbearing manager-father. When Joel says Rikki is in need of a meniscus transplant and recovery would take six months, her father refuses to allow her to miss that many matches in the heart of her stellar season. Despite Joel’s medical opinion, Rikki’s dad chooses not to jeopardize the franchise he established on his daughter’s tennis career and he seeks a second opinion elsewhere.
Later, Joel explains his situation to Charlie and asks if he did the right the thing by letting Rikki go. Charlie is familiar with these types of circumstances and he tells Joel that he would have made Rikki want what he wants. You must admire that response, it is another example showing us why Charlie was such an awesome chief. Anyway, Rikki eventually returns to Joel and is willing to hear him out.
Rikki trusts Joel because he has been the only doctor to address her directly when dealing with her health. Now all he has to do is convince her to go through with the surgery, which he does. When her father finds out, he gets in Joel’s face. Once again, Joel does something that nobody else manages to do and he tells Rikki’s father to back-off. He has been so concerned with Rikki’s status as an industry, that he doesn’t even care that his own child is in pain. Needless to say, some time apart will do this father-daughter business partnership some good.
After Rikki successfully emerges from surgery, she asks Joel to pick a number between 1 and 10. Joel picks three and she makes a donation to Hope Zion hospital, thanking him for all of his help.
We get a chance to see Maggie and Gavin work together as they help a couple of teenagers who have bonded during their rigorous cancer treatment. When Julie suddenly lashes out at Jay after he asks her how she is feeling, Maggie and Gavin investigate to see why a simple question could cause such an abrupt break-up in their budding relationship. In a nicely filmed parallel, Julie and Jay explain their personal deal-breakers to Maggie and Gavin. Julie suffers from an inoperable brain tumor and any discussion of feelings is off limits. Meanwhile, after all of the tests and treatments he has endured, Jay doesn’t like to be touched. Despite their individual deal-breakers, Maggie and Gavin can see how much these kids love each other, so they decide to help their young romance flourish.
In another super sweet ‘Saving Hope’ moment, we see that Maggie and Gavin have hired a string quartet (cutely playing “Call Me Maybe”) and staged a romantic dinner for two in the lobby. Their little stunt works wonders. By the end of the episode, Julie and Jay are all touchy feely and plan on getting married. Given their condition, why waste time? Maggie takes their new outlook on life to heart and tells Gavin that she is ready to move in with him. Echoing Jay’s mantra, she says, “Why waste time.”
This is a surprising new development. Gavin and Maggie’s relationship has taken a back-seat to the more impending issues at hand, so it is nice to have this chance to see exactly where their romance stands. Maggie has evolved quite a bit since last season and it is wonderful to see Gavin finally getting the committed relationship he has desired to have with Maggie for so long.
Charlie’s case gets him Stuck in the Middle with Two
Charlie’s patient, Kevin, seems average at first. He enters the E.R. with his wife, Julia, and a dislocated hip. While trying to fix his hip, Kevin’s leg breaks. After further examination, Charlie discovers that Kevin has leukemia and he will need a bone marrow transplant. He asks if the couple has any kids and Kevin says no. However, when they prepare Kevin for leg surgery, Charlie overhears an intimate phone call full of “I love you-s” between Kevin and a mysterious person. During the surgery, Kevin codes and goes into a coma. Once Charlie sees Kevin’s spirit, we start getting some answers.
Kevin has two wives! He was speaking with Gail and telling his daughters he loves them before the surgery. Charlie tells Kevin’s spirit that his daughters could be a bone marrow match, but Kevin is afraid of Julia’s reaction if she found out about his double life. When Kevin wakes up from his brief coma, he is forced to face his fears.
Charlie tells Kevin he knows the truth, Kevin doesn’t remember his time in limbo so he is surprised that Charlie was able to “put it together.” Ironically, at that exact moment, Gail and Julia meet right in front of Kevin’s room. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, right?
Luckily, one of Kevin’s daughters is a match. But Kevin can’t win them all. Julia wants a divorce and full custody of their several dogs. She hates Kevin, so the dogs shall hate him too.
Could this be a lesson to Charlie that keeping secrets never ends well? We sure hope it is! Unfortunately, Charlie is still keeping mum about his supernatural gift. Meanwhile, Alex grows more worried about Charlie’s well-being because he uncharacteristically zones out and he hasn’t been getting much sleep. But that is not the only concern on Alex’s mind.
Alex’s quest for a niche
Alex feels the pressure to prove herself to others and maintain a necessary position at Hope Zion. She feels she must find a specific niche to remain relevant and in demand. But her case-of-the-week teaches her that sometimes it is better to do it all.
A couple frantically rushes into the emergency room. Alma was attacked in a mugging that went wrong and her husband, Dr. Lazhar, has been treating her until they made it to the hospital. Although the doctor is quite “intense,” Alex empathizes with him. Knowing firsthand what it feels like to be a doctor and a loved one of a patient, she decides to keep Dr. Lazhar in the loop with his wife’s health status. As Alex spends more time with the foreign doctor, she learns more about his past and discovers what she wants to do with her future.
Dr. Lazhar explains that he was a trauma surgeon back in Syria. He believes being a surgeon is about placing focus on the patients. It is more important to care for them as a whole instead of worrying about a silly niche. As Alex takes his advice to heart, Alma suddenly seizes. Alex thinks she may have alcohol withdrawal, but Dr. Lazhar denies it. As they debate his wife’s situation, Alex learns that Dr. Lazhar does not have medical license in Canada. He is simply a limo driver. Nonetheless, he urges Alex to perform a complicated procedure called a Warren Shunt on Alma. Alex shuts him down, saying he already put the hospital at great risk and she is sticking with the safer procedure.
Later, Alex allows Dr. Lazhar to observe the surgery from the viewing room above. When she opens Alma up, she realizes that a Warren Shunt would be the best procedure to do. As things get complicated, she calls Dr. Lazhar down to the O.R. to guide her through the surgery. We see a nice change in Dr. Tom Reycraft here too. He backs up Alex and assists her without giving her any attitude like he did last season. Meanwhile, Victor cheekily applauds her ballsy move in the O.R., saying, “You’re steely and I like it.” We like it too!
After the surgery is successful, Dr. Lazhar explains why he lied. Back in Syria, their son died and he was working instead of supporting his wife. When the government started killing doctors, they fled the country. Now Dr. Lazhar is trying to be a better husband to his wife.
As the episode closes, Alex tells Joel that she chooses trauma as her niche. As the new Chief, Joel supports her decision. Well, that’s one distressing problem down. Now it’s on to Charlie.
Later that night, Charlie and Alex have some fun breaking-in their new bed. When Alex asks if it is helping Charlie sleep better, he prepares her to hear the truth. So we all hold our breath, expecting this to be the moment we’ve been waiting for. Sadly, it is not. Charlie brushes it off as joke, the truth being that he is sleeping better. Alex smiles and kisses him, but when she rolls over, she reveals her true feelings. Alex knows that something is off with Charlie and she is deeply worried about him.
What did you think Hopefuls? Are you frustrated that Charlie still hasn’t told Alex the truth? What do think it would take to make Charlie reveal his secret? How did you feel about this week’s multiple storylines? Did you have a favorite?
- Alex’s niche: Trauma is a great niche for Alex and it will make for very interesting cases as the series continues. It was cool to see how an external influence like Dr. Lazhar helped her make such a huge career-decision. You would think Charlie would’ve had a hand in guiding her career, so this was a welcomed twist.
- Alex’s suspicions: Alex is no fool. She knows something is up. If Charlie doesn’t tell her the truth, she may start thinking the worse. From her perspective, his moments of zoning out when a spirit distracts him could look like a scary post-come symptom indicating some sort of brain damage. It would be cool to see Alex channel her inner Lois Lane and do a little digging to see if she can figure out what is keeping Charlie up at night.
- Relationships: This was a well-crafted episode, which did a great job of following vastly different relationships through parallel storylines. The bottom line was honesty is the key to a successful relationship. There was a form of secrecy in all of the relationship examined in this episode. Whether it was a flat out lie or just a matter of holding back out of fear of what may happen. The patients and doctors’ storylines were seamlessly woven together. Another job well done!
Share your thoughts below and stay tuned for more news!
This article was originally published on Examiner.com on July 14, 2013.