Recap/Review

‘Saving Hope’ S2 finale recap: Shot through the heart

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Can you believe what just happened?! (Photo credit: CTV)

Are you speechless, Hopefuls? Have you wrapped your brain around ‘Saving Hope’s’ shocking Season 2 finale? Did you see that twist coming? How do you feel about the epic cliffhanger?

After I picked my jaw up off of the floor, I felt really excited about where things have left off. I believe this fascinating turn of events will open the door for great opportunities next season. The creative powers that be have some big decisions to make in the months ahead because Alex and Charlie’s love story can grow in very different directions depending on what the creators choose to do. But I’m getting ahead of myself, let’s revisit the life-changing events that took place in “Broken Hearts” before looking into the future.

The second half of this season started and ended with two of the best episodes. Hope Zion’s doctors were put to the test professionally and personally. “Broken Hearts” is an incredibly engaging episode that sustained a wonderful balance between heart-breaking drama and endearing comedy.

Conflict Resolution

We all knew there would be repercussions for Charlie’s fists of fury. The good news is that the punch did not cost Charlie his job. The bad news is that Dawn forces Charlie to attend an anger management session with other Hope Zion doctors.

Charlie attends a conflict resolution session moderated by Gavin. Surprisingly, Charlie walks in to see Victor batting away at a pillow with a tennis racket. We’ve seen Victor’s snarky side-comments, but I never thought he had that much pent up frustration. Victor gets an emergency page and leaves early, so Charlie is the next one up.

Shahir sits back and watches as Gavin tries to encourage Charlie to open up about what happened. Gavin role plays as Joel in hopes of eliciting a response from Charlie. This scene was awesome on so many levels. Christopher Turner does a solid and hilarious impersonation of Joel and Shahir. It was great to see how Shahir’s presence broke some of the tension in the room. Huse Madhavji has been a delight to watch this season. Madhavji has created a fascinating character that breaks down stereotypes and I really love seeing Shahir’s growth. Once again, we see Shahir making an extra effort to be a better doctor and person. Shahir doesn’t need conflict resolution, he’s just there to watch and learn.

Although Charlie scoffs at the process, he does admit that he felt better after punching Joel. He also says that Joel insulted Alex and deserved to be punched. After briefly losing his cool and breaking the tennis racket during their conversation, Charlie settles down and actually opens up to Gavin when they are finally alone.

Charlie misses Alex and fears he has lost her for good. In a tender, vulnerable and brutally sincere moment Charlie tears up as he explains how the thought of losing Alex makes him more sad than mad. Gavin appreciates Charlie’s honesty and signs the release form.

Michael Shanks delivered such a beautiful performance in this scene. He has kept Charlie very real throughout the course of this series. I’ve really enjoyed Turner and Shanks’ scenes together, but this is probably one of my favorites. They have a great comedic chemistry that is so fun to watch. Even during their lighter scenes together, we never forget that the stakes are always high for Charlie. He risked a lot by being honest with Gavin. I’m glad that Gavin has been able to become a real confidante for Charlie in the midst of his troubles. It will be interesting to see how their newfound friendship and doctor/patient relationship evolves next season.

The Great Randall Returns

Peter Keleghan reprises his role as the quirky medium who has been in on Charlie’s secret from the start. Randall went to Mexico for some alternative cancer therapy and wound up with magnets in his stomach which have caused a severe hernia.

After removing the magnets, Alex wants to operate on Randall in order to prevent sepsis. A heavily medicated Randall mistakes Alex for his daughter. Alex knows that his cancer is only getting worse and decides to call his estranged daughter, Leslie. Despite their tumultuous past, Alex believes Leslie should have the chance to say goodbye to her father before it too late.

Before his surgery, Randall tells Alex that her chakras have muddied since the last time he saw her. He says her spirit is dying and she should give Charlie another chance even if he says he can see ghosts.

During the operation, Alex and Maggie discover a mass in Randall’s colon. He had been misdiagnosed. Randall has colon cancer instead of pancreatic cancer, which means he can still make it. Hopefully this means we’ll see more of him next season.

After the surgery Alex tells Leslie that her father has more time and she should be the bigger man by giving him another chance. By the time Alex and Maggie go to tell Randall the good news, we see that father and daughter have begun to make amends. Randall is relieved and Leslie admit that she had forgotten the good parts of Randall over the years.

Later Randall asks to see Charlie and they have a candid conversation. Randall does Charlie a favor and removes his curse. Although Charlie has not been seeing ghosts since taking medication, he still feels cursed. Randall wants Charlie to let go of that burdensome feeling and move on with his life. Randall lifts the curse and tells Charlie that things can still be okay. Charlie is free. Or so we think…

The Sleepwalking Actuary

Joel’s patient, Ian, is an actuary, which means he determines probabilities. He also has developed a sleepwalking problem. After Joel operated on his ankle, Ian has been sleepwalking all over the place. As his condition worsens, he begins to leave a trail of breadcrumbs behind.

In something straight out of ‘A Beautiful Mind,’ Ian writes complex equations throughout the hospital. Joel follows the trail of “nerd graffiti” and finds his patient wreaking havoc on his injured ankle. When Joel operates on the ankle again to fix the damage Ian has unintentionally caused, he discovers that the post-op sedative caused Ian’s sleepwalking.

Joel approaches Shahir about Ian’s peculiar case. Ian is strangely acting out his dreams. Shahir believes some sort of stress or trauma could be a factor in Ian’s behavior. It turns out that Ian has experienced a lot of sadness in his life. First his son died, then his wife left him and now he’s lost his job. Ian’s equations work out the probabilities for all of those traumatic events.

It is such a heartbreaking moment and you really feel so much sympathy for Ian when you learn about his troubles. That is probably why Joel decides to give Ian a break. Instead of strapping Ian into his bed, Joel decides to keep watch over his patient while he sleeps. To express his appreciation for Joel’s kindness, Ian gives his doctor some hope.

Earlier that day, Ian mapped out the odds of Joel rekindling his romance with Alex and they didn’t look too good. Now Ian tells Joel to forget those odds. If he’s happier with Alex, then he should for it.

With that said, Joel takes a seat and reads a book while keeping an eye on Ian.

Alex’s Broken Heart

This love triangle has left everyone broken hearted, but Alex’s heartbreak ends up being more literal than Joel and Charlie’s. Alex has a heart murmur, so Dawn monitors her heart throughout her work day. She even has no problem with Alex operating on Randall, just as long as she drops the scalpel if she feels like she’s going to die. (Another cold yet caring quip from Dawn. I’m starting to warm up to her, even though she can be a flaming B sometimes. Michelle Nolden does an amazing job of keeping her human.)

When Charlie finds Alex not wearing her heart monitor, he sweetly helps her put it back on. Despite Alex’s best effort to tough it out and down-play the situation, her friends care about her well-being and are keeping close tabs on her. Oddly enough, this health scare coupled with Dawn’s nosiness might save Alex’s life.

At the end of her shift, Alex walks into the doctors’ lounge and finds Ian facing the wall. Unaware of his history, she approaches him from behind and taps him on shoulder. Ian spins around and stabs Alex in the chest with a pair of scissors. Gasp! Thanks for nothing, Joel!

Dawn’s cell phone starts signaling as Alex’s heart rate drastically drops. Dawn calls Alex, but the words just can’t come out of her mouth. Dawn and Maggie start searching the hospital. Although Alex can’t speak, she musters up enough strength to crawl towards the door. She can’t turn the door knob, but she presses the code blue button before passing out. Dawn and Maggie follow the alarming sound and rush Alex into the O.R. They page Charlie and he scrubs in on her surgery.

As Charlie tells Alex that he loves her, she suddenly flat-lines. Charlie pulls out the scissors so he can start chest compressions. Dawn pushes him out of the way and begins operating on Alex.

When Charlie takes a step back, Alex’s spirit shockingly appears. We hold our breath for a moment, wondering if the meds are still suppressing Charlie’s sixth sense. Luckily, Charlie turns his head and sees Alex. As their eyes meet, Alex simply utters, “Charlie?”

WOW. That is one helluva season finale!

I had mixed feelings about this winter season. When Luke died I thought for sure that would have been a catalyst for Charlie and Alex to deal with his supernatural senses as a team. If this was the creators’ endgame all along, I now understand why they did not seize the opportunity that Luke’s death presented. Perhaps Alex would never understand Charlie’s gift unless she experienced it first-hand.

‘Saving Hope’ executive producers and writers, Morwyn Brebner and Adam Pettle spoke with TVGuide Canada about the epic cliffhanger and what we may expect to see next season.

For starters, they always wanted Charlie and Alex to meet in the spirit world. (I personally think this is a brilliant choice, as long as it doesn’t become a repeat of Season 1.) They explain that Charlie’s ability to see Alex came out of a place of love. (Aww.) However, they have not written off Charlie’s ghost whispering skills. TVGuide writes, “Brebner teases “the ghosts won’t be going anywhere” but that anything–Alex taking over for Charlie or ending up in a coma the way he did in Season 1–is a possibility.”

Joel will also play a large part in Season 3, especially since he feels responsible for what happened to Alex (as he should!). Since Joel isn’t going anywhere that means their love triangle will also be in play next season. We may even see how the love triangle affects some of the other characters. We should also expect to see more romance next season (Nurse Jackson and Zach may finally get a little more screen time.)

Unfortunately, we didn’t have chance to see Maggie and Gavin deal with their tragic miscarriage. Brebner and Pettle tease, “It will have a major impact – that’s all we can say!”

Lastly, they assure fans that Season 3 will pick up immediately after the shocking cliffhanger.

Where to go from here

The EP’s will determine where they want Alex and Charlie’s story to go, but here are some options to ponder over the break.

  • Alex could be in a coma and communicate with Charlie from the spirit world.
  • She could die and linger as a ghost, choosing to be with Charlie instead of moving on. If she stays as a ghost, this could turn into ‘A Gifted Man’ situation where she can help Charlie treat patients from beyond. (I don’t think Erica Durance would leave her own show, so moving on isn’t really an option.)
  • Alex could wake up with no memory of her life in limbo (like many of Charlie’s previous patients) and Charlie will be back to square one, which would be excruciating to watch.
  • The most optimistic outcome would be if Alex wakes up possessing that same gift as Charlie. Their relationship would be stronger than ever because they share an extremely unique experience and gift. Assuming that Charlie’s sixth sense hasn’t completely warn off from all of his pill-popping.

Can you think of any other possibilities for Charlie and Alex? What do you hope to see next season? Did you like the twist of Alex being a ghost? Do you think Luke may reappear to speak with Alex in the spirit world? Will Alex feel bad for judging Charlie after she realizes he was telling the truth? Will Charlie tell Gavin that he can see Alex?

Cheers to the cast and crew of ‘Saving Hope’ for their phenomenal work on Season 2.

I am very excited to see what will happen next season. The supernatural element started to slack in the second half of Season 2, so I hope this means we’ll have a lot more ghost adventures in Season 3.

Share your thoughts below and stay tuned for more news!

This article was originally published on Examiner.com on March 9, 201.

UPDATE (Summer 2016): ‘Saving Hope’ now airs on ION Television in the U.S. and still airs on CTV in Canada. Visit ‘Saving Hope’s’ ION TV homepage (HERE) or CTV Homepage (HERE) for details.

 

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