‘Saving Hope’ was on fire again Tuesday night with another gripping episode. In “All Things Must Pass” we see another side of Hope Zion, one that focuses on the doctors’ mistakes. This installment beautifully narrates the unfortunate case of Travis Bain, a handsome and healthy fireman who unforeseeably dies under Hope Zion’s care. What caused his death? Did one of the doctors make a mistake? If so, who is to blame? Those are some of the questions that drive this spellbinding episode.
The Curious Case of Mr. May
The story brilliantly unfolds as the narrative weaves between Hope Zion’s morbidity and morality meeting and flashbacks to yesterday’s events with Travis as Alex recalls them before her peers.
Travis is part of a charity event and firemen calendar promoting Hope Zion’s annual blood drive. The hunky 31-year old depicts the perfect image of health when he walks into Hope Zion at 11 a.m. After signing a copy of Shahir’s calendar (turns out he’s a shameless fan of Travis a.k.a. Mr. May, which makes for a very entertaining and adorable moment) he joins the rest of the firemen doing crunches as part of the exhibit in the lobby. While Alex chats with Travis’ wife, Clare, he suddenly gets a stomach ache mid crunch. Alex takes him in as a patient to see what could be causing his pain. After giving us some more excuses to fawn over Travis’ ridiculously fit physique, Alex discovers a cyst. She consults Dr. Tom Reycraft and they decide to do a procedure to test the cyst. While Alex and Tom make plans for Travis, we discover that this is a big day for Maggie.
Today is Mr. Lin’s funeral and Maggie is being super stoic about it. Gavin keeps on trying to connect with her, offering her love, support and a shoulder to cry on, but she keeps pushing him away. She doesn’t want him to go to the funeral and meet her family. He finally surrenders to her wishes, but begs her to at least eat something. She brushes Gavin off and goes back to work. Maggie goes to check on Travis, quickly glances at his chart and begins to biopsy his cyst. As the giant needle punctures his abs, Alex walks in and stops Maggie from causing any more damage.
Alex relays all of the information we just witnessed ourselves and she tells Dawn that she takes full responsibility for Maggie’s mistake. Dawn criticizes their lack of communication and deems their behavior as “unacceptable,” especially Maggie’s. Dawn mocks Alex, Tom and Maggie, calling them “the three amigos.” Despite her insults, she admits that a leaky cyst didn’t kill Travis, so Dawn asks them to move onto the surgery where Maggie “sort of” assisted Tom and Alex.
Alex is surprised to see Maggie assist in the operating room so soon after her father’s funeral. Nevertheless, Maggie gets straight to work and holds open Travis’ abs while Tom and Alex remove gross parasitic balls from his innards. Suddenly, Maggie collapses and some of the parasites spill into Travis’ body. Alex and Tom dab the internal area with alcohol soaked towels to kill the parasites and prevent the infection from spreading.
Footage of the surgery shows a bloody towel. If a vessel was nicked during Maggie’s collapse and alcohol entered the bloodstream, then that could have caused a heart attack and killed Travis. With light of this new evidence, Maggie and Alex both feel at fault for his death. The doctors break for lunch and we begin to learn even more about the previous day’s events.
Alex cries on Charlie’s shoulder, saying that this is all her fault. When Charlie tries to comfort her, she asks him not to make excuses for her mistakes. What Alex dreads most now is telling Travis’ wife what really happened because she still doesn’t know her husband’s cause of death. Meanwhile, Maggie takes ownership for her unprofessional behavior.
Maggie visits Joel and confesses that she had a drink after the funeral to toast her father’s death.
Maggie orders a scotch at the bar when Alex’s brother, Luke, starts hounding her with questions. Luke relates to Maggie and reveals more information than we’d expect him to share with a complete stranger. Luke is a recovering alcoholic. He got drunk whenever his family needed him and he rejected normalcy at all costs. Now he is giving Maggie a little wake-up call by asking her why she chooses to mourn her father alone in a bar with a couple of scotches instead of being with her loved ones. Maggie dismisses his commentary, saying that she isn’t alone (thanks to him) and she only drank one of the two scotches she ordered.
Joel is absolutely furious with Maggie and suspends her for returning to work after having a drink. He snaps at her, “Get the hell out of here!” What will happen to Maggie now? How long will her suspension last? Will she have the same standing when she returns? We’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, Alex stumbles upon a new clue in Travis’ case.
Alex tries to break the news to Clare when she discovers an interesting fact that Tom left out at the M & M. Tom told Clare not to go through with an autopsy to see what caused Travis’ death. Alex decides not to tell Clare the whole truth just yet and she goes to confront Tom.
Alex tells Tom that his behavior looks like “ass covering.” Tom says it is only because weeping women are his kryptonite and he didn’t have the heart to encourage a new widow to go through with something so painful. (Who else had a ‘Smallville’ flashback when Tom mentioned kryptonite? Ah, memories. Ok, moving on…) Alex doesn’t buy it and says they are performing an autopsy on Travis now, so they will know the truth soon enough. Then they head back to the meeting.
While they await the autopsy, Shahir asks Tom to present his side of the case. Shahir starts off by asking why Tom wasn’t there when Travis died. Tom went home to sleep and admits he didn’t answer the phone when Alex called. The doctors agree that Tom could’ve helped Alex save Travis if he had only answered her call. As they continue discussing the matter, Tom references something that reminds Alex of a method Tom used during the surgery. While counting the loops of different colored strings they use to stitch Travis up, Tom would always count saying, “Mama said knock you out.” Alex realizes that Tom must have miscounted the loops.
Tom is counting the ends of colored strings left behind from Travis’ suture. Picking one up at a time, each loop corresponding with “Mama said knock you out.” But is Tom completely positive he counted the right amount? Could Alex be right?
The autopsy results reveal that Travis died from sepsis caused by the suture Tom miscounted and left in his system. Technically, Travis’s death is Tom’s fault. Alex tries comforting him, saying she knows how he feels because she blamed herself completely for Travis’ death, up until the results came in. Tom doesn’t want to hear it. He just hangs his head and says, “I killed him.” Alex asks if he wants to go with her to tell Clare what happened to her husband, but Tom doesn’t want to.
Ultimately, Tom has a change of heart and joins Alex. As they ride in the elevator they ponder the gravity of their mistakes and punishment deserved for such a frivolous error. However Alex feels they will have punishment enough. She says, “Our punishment is we get to wake up tomorrow and do it all over again.”
Keep the Faith
The second case-of-the-week centers on a novitiate about to take her orders to become a full-fledged nun. Allison comes to the emergency after an injury that occurred during yoga. While Charlie and Zach examine her severely twisted ankle, she tells them about how the other novitiates all receive signs that they are on the right path. They hear voices or see visions that soothe their worried minds, but Allison hasn’t had any comforting supernatural experience and she is one day away from committing her life to God. Charlie urges her not to place too much importance on those kinds of things. While comforting her, Charlie and Zach snap her ankle back into place, but something goes wrong. Allison becomes breathless and suddenly starts coding. Her spirit appears to Charlie and she tells him she isn’t ready to die. As they wheel her off, Charlie promises that he won’t let anything happen to her before her big day and her spirit thanks him.
It turns out that Allison simply had a latex allergy and they were able to catch it in time. As she thanks Zach and Charlie for their efforts, she remembers seeing Charlie on the other side. She tells him, “You were there with me.” Charlie denies seeing her and shrugs it off as a nun seeing things. Later that day she sees Charlie walk by her room and she calls him over. She walks over to him and says she knows the truth. She did see him. She was outside of her body and he was there with her. She finds it comforting because this experience tells her that she is on the right path. Allison thanks Charlie for saving her and then gently kisses him on the lips, easing that it’s okay because she’s a nun.
After surviving another chaotic day, Alex gets a surprise visit from her brother. Luke begs Alex to crash on her couch for a couple of days. She reluctantly agrees, but asks that he be respectful of their space. He has a bad track record and doesn’t make the best houseguest. Luke appreciatively gives her a tight hug and says he loves her.
As the episode closes, Charlie comes home to find Luke lounging on the couch in his underwear, watching TV and drinking a Perrier. We can’t wait to see how long this situation will last.
Joel and Sonja hit a milestone in their relationship. After spending the night together, Sonja wakes up and shares her chaotic itinerary with Joel. He responds that he also has a busy day ahead of him as well. As the day goes on, Sonja calls Joel and asks him to pick her son Ryan up from soccer. Joel is swamped and can’t find the time to do it, if only it had been another day. Joel tries making it up to her by suggesting the three of them see a movie over the weekend. Sonja says to forget she mentioned it and says she’ll manage something.
Sonja frantically arrives at the soccer field and shockingly discovers Joel there playing her Ryan. Does this mean Joel is ready for a serious relationship? Is he prepared to become Ryan’s father-figure?
What did you think about “All Things Must Pass”? Did you enjoy the new style of storytelling? Were you surprised by the outcome of Travis’ case? What are your thoughts on Alex’s brother, Luke? Can he be trusted?
- Fantastic Flashbacks: This episode’s structure was very well done. The juxtaposition of the past and present beautifully told the story in an engaging new way. It will be interesting to see if ‘Saving hope’ does this again in the future. It was also fascinating to watch the M & M process and see another aspect of the doctors’ professional lives.
- Misguided Maggie: Let’s face it. Maggie has had her issues in the past, but having a drink and going hungry while on the job is a really big screw up. You can’t blame Joel for suspending her. The sad thing is that Gavin is trying to be there for her and she keeps pushing him further away. We get that she didn’t want to subject Gavin to her family (mini-skirt wearing step-mom and all), but that part of being in a relationship. Gavin wants to part of the good and bad times. Will this serve as the wake-up call Maggie needs to turn her life around? Will she every fully commit to Gavin?
- The Story of Luke: Alex’s brother sure is a twist to this season. What’s his deal? Is he going to cause trouble for Charlie and Alex now that he’s living with them? Alex says he can only stay to nights, but it’s not like she will kick him out after day two. How much is Charlie willing to put up with for Alex? Will Luke discover Charlie’s secret?
Share your thoughts below and stay tuned for more news!
This article was originally published on Examiner.com on August 3, 2013.