By now, we’ve come to realize that “Saving Hope” writers have fun toying with our emotions. They build us up only to turn around and bring us down. After Monday’s stellar Season 3 premiere, Thursday (Sept. 25) night’s follow-up was bittersweet. We laughed, sighed, squeed and cried. Then came the sucker-punch twist at the very end, which has left Hopefuls in knots until things get resolved. “Kiss Me Goodbye” showcases more great work as “Saving Hope” continues a kick-ass start to this heart-pounding season.
“Kiss Me Goodbye” opens with Charlie and ghost Alex having a good time playing strip poker by her bedside. It is all fun and games until Shahir catches Charlie with his shirt off. A nearly blushing Shahir says that there is nothing wrong with Alex’s brain and with Charlie’s bi-ceps for that matter. (hehe) Shahir figures Charlie is just trying some of the coma arousal therapy Alex used on him back in Season 1. At least Alex had some privacy when she started stripping in the hospital. Charlie just up ended with another co-worker crushing on him, which is hilarious. Enjoy the laughs while you can Hopefuls because this episode gets really heavy.
New doc’s on the block
“Kiss Me Goodbye” introduces two of Hope Zion’s new doctors. Dr. Sydney Katz (Stacey Farber) replaces the pill-popping Dr. Kalfas as Maggie’s straight-shooter OB-GYN boss. She makes a great first impression and really pulls viewers in. When Maggie is surprised by how young her new boss looks, Dr. Katz is quickly reassures us that her youthful appearance should not overshadow her advanced skill-set. She playfully warns Maggie about her Israeli disposition and she makes it clear that she takes her job very seriously. When CTV’s press statement called Dr. Katz “a take-no-prisoners medical prodigy and Orthodox Jewish Doogie Howser,” they were spot on.
The second newbie is Dr. Rian Larouche (Danso Gordon), a resident who is eager to prove himself to Joel. Larouche walks into Hope Zion ready to work hard, learn as much as possible and evolve as a doctor. We don’t get to know him as well as Dr. Katz in this episode, but so far, he seems like a good addition to the team.
Once again this week, Zach brings Joel a case from the E.R. Roy is an addict with a really bad leg infection, which means we get to see more gross stuff. Joel operates on Roy’s leg. He removes the hardware, cleans the wound and manages to save a severely damaged leg that could have easily been amputated if a doctor chose to play it safe and easy. Lucky for Roy, Joel is a surgical rock star who never shies away from taking a risk in the O.R.
After the operation, Joel comforts Roy, saying, “No one is dying today.” cough foreshadowing cough Joel then tells Roy that he has to quit using drugs or else the treatment delivered to his body through a central line will cause an overdose and instantly kill him. Roy promises he will not contact his dealer again and won’t do drugs.
Unfortunately, Joel gets a page shortly thereafter saying that Roy’s dealer has showed up at the hospital. Joel chases him away and then has another chat with Roy. He recognizes the St. Jude pendant hanging around Joel’s neck and explains how his mother ran Sunday school, so he’s familiar with the Bible, saints, etc. As he starts scratching his side, Joel takes a look and realizes Roy’s infection has spread, so they have to go back to the O.R.
Before wheeling Roy into surgery, Joel suggests that he should speak with his mother. Roy is too nervous and has Joel speak with her instead. When Joel hands the phone back over to Roy, he paints a nicer picture of his life for his mother. He says Joel is his mentor and he has been trying to help people get off of drugs. After he hangs up, Joel says hopefully he can make that story a reality after this operation. A very appreciative Roy thanks Joel and assures his doc, “You’re great.”
Sadly, things don’t end well for Roy. He dies on the operating table, leaving Joel crushed. After losing Roy, he refuses to lose Alex too.
In the Name of the Father
Dr. Katz and Maggie tackle a heartbreaking case. Laura and David are having a regular check-up with Dr. Katz. Maggie struggles to find the baby’s heartbeat and gives the parents a scare, but Dr. Katz finds it quickly and puts them at ease. Laura complains about having headaches, but other than that she’s been ok.
During the elevator ride down, Laura suddenly faints in the presence of David, Maggie and ghost Alex. After some tests, they learn that Laura had an aneurism and now she’s lapsed into a coma, which makes it seem like she has had another aneurism before. While Laura is in a coma, we learn a little more about Dr. Katz’s views as a physician.
Maggie and Dr. Katz are grateful that baby is still doing well and has not been affected by Laura’s trauma. Maggie attributes it to luck, but Katz disagrees. She believes in God and medicine, not luck.
It is fascinating to see how faith plays an increasingly stronger role on “Saving Hope.” Each season presents new challenges and in all of these terrible circumstances, pragmatists find their faith in different places. Dr. Katz is upfront with her beliefs and it is refreshing to see a less skeptical doctor who has faith. It would be interesting to see what she would think about Charlie’s gift. Between Joel’s St. Jude’s pendant, Katz’s faith, and Alex’s experience in limbo, the tides may be turning in Charlie’s favor. It is something to keep in mind during the course of this season. Moving on…
David is having a hard time dealing with his wife’s condition. He gets so mad, he punches the door and fractures his hand. During this time Alex has been with Laura’s ghost. Strangely, Laura’s ghost can’t see Alex’s spirit, but she can sense Alex’s comforting vibes. Alex tells Charlie he has to help Laura and he promises he will after he takes care of David’s hand.
David flat out tells Charlie that he blames the baby because everything was fine before he came along. His life has turned into a nightmare ever since Laura got pregnant. Well that nightmare is about to get much worse.
Laura codes and they pronounce her as brain-dead. This is truly awful, even the doctors are having trouble remaining neutral in this case. Shahir tells David that his wife is technically dead now, but the baby is still alive. If David chooses to pull the plug on his wife, then his son will also die. Unintentionally, Shahir kind of coldly emphasizes all the death in this situation, so the others step in to shed a little more positive light on the matter. David and Laura’s baby can live, if David keeps her alive for another 10 weeks. As the options are laid out before him, Laura’s ghost makes eye contact with Charlie.
Gavin offers to simply listen to David as he grapples with this huge decision. David has spent half of his life in therapy because he suffers from anxiety. As Gavin lends an ear, David admits, “She made all the decisions, I just made dinner.” So Laura continues that behavior in death by reaching out to Charlie.
In a candid conversation with Laura, Charlie reveals that he would like to have kids someday. Awww! Yes, many of us are smiling as brightly as Alex right now. Why does it need to take a coma to bring these two love-birds closer together? Charlie assures Laura that David will make the right decision. He seems like a family man, so he’ll make the right call. Except that he doesn’t.
David says they should pull the plug on Laura. The doctors urge him to take more time. He doesn’t have to rush into this decision, but he won’t hear it. Dr. Katz makes the loudest plea for him to reconsider, but it is out of their hands. Elsewhere, Alex may be closer to getting back to her life.
Charlie holds Alex’s hand and reassures her, sweetly saying “I’m here.” They take her off of the ventilator and Alex starts breathing on her own. Now it is just a matter of time. Charlie tells her, “Keep breathing, Baby.” Suddenly Laura’s spirit appears and asks for Charlie’s help. David made the wrong decision and Charlie is her only hope to change his mind. Alex tells him to do his ghost doctor thing and help Laura. He gently kisses her hand and heads out.
Laura guides Charlie as he speaks with David. He can’t mention his psychic ability because David is a skeptic, so he speaks in the abstract, going off of “hunches.” Bottom line: David is afraid of being a deadbeat dad like his father was. He knows his mother is on her way to the hospital and she will change his mind, so he’s in a hurry to pull the plug. Laura has Charlie tug on David’s heartstrings by taking him back to the night they found out they were having a boy. David celebrated by “drinking for three.” Then he wrote a poem for his baby boy. Laura caresses David’s back, willing him to recite what he wrote:
“Son, I’ll always love you I won’t pretend to be any different than I am Son, you are my son I’ll always love you.”
You are killing us, “Saving Hope” writers. David still refuses to budge. Everything is set up in Laura’s hospital room. As they prepare to pull the plug Laura loving tells David, “It’s ok. I’ll always love you.” Then she addresses her baby, “Son, I’ll always love you.”
Now that is unconditional love. A sob-fest…But wait, there’s hope. David changes his mind. He thought about what Charlie said and this is not what Laura would have wanted. Or what he wants. Thank God! Knowing that her son will live and that David will be happy to be his father, Laura’s spirit feels free to leave and she moves on. When David’s mother eventually arrives, she gives him the kind of comforting hug only a mama can give her child. Again, tears!
It’s in his kiss
Here we go, Hopefuls. Time to get down to the big central storyline. This coma has brought Alex and Charlie closer together. She’s despairing in limbo and Charlie offers her the kind of guidance and comfort he didn’t have during his journey into the great unknown. Alex has a newfound respect for the magical way in which Charlie helps so many people with his ghost doctoring.
After she starts breathing on her own, Alex wonders what would happen if she doesn’t wake-up. They joke about solving ghost crimes and Charlie would finally have her all to himself. Alex even admits that she is happy to have had this special time with him.
After seeing what happened with Laura, she asks Charlie why they were waiting to start a family. Alex tells Charlie he will make an amazing father, he says she’ll be the yummiest mommy. Then Alex blurts out, “Let’s have a baby when I wake up.” Yay!!! It looks they’ll be working Erica Durance’s pregnancy into the show. Or maybe not…
While Chalex are making beautiful baby plans for their blissful future, Joel realizes what Charlie said was right. Charlie isn’t standing in the way, rather, Joel hasn’t been permitting himself to see Alex. After losing Roy, Joel doesn’t want to waste any more time and he visits Alex.
In an impassioned plea, Joel says he refuses to lose Alex and he tells her, “You belong here.” With tears in his eyes, Joel gives Alex a kiss. Simultaneously, a glowing Alex kisses Charlie in loving celebration of the life she has to look forward to. Suddenly, Alex disappears. Charlie, runs to her room. Joel is leaning over her, making it pretty obvious what he was just doing. Alex wakes up. Woohoo! But she has amnesia. Nooo!
REALLY!?! Dammit “Saving Hope,” we knew you’d throw us a curveball, but this sent us reeling. How annoying! Alex has to remember her time with Charlie because it will change everything in the future. Seriously, who else screamed at the TV?
If you are still shaking your head over it, sound off in the comments below. Consider the comments section as Gavin’s little room, and your keyboard can be the foam bat. Hit away, Hopefuls!
- Sleeping Beauty’s kiss:Wow! Ok. There are two ways to look at this. Charlie vs Joel. Alex made plans to start a family with Charlie, she ghost-smooched him, she had a reason to fight for her life, something more than just her work to get back to. When you are a ghost, something like that is a pretty epic revelation and a huge push toward jumping back into your body. Charlie had to conquer his demons, then he wanted to get back to Alex and start their life together. Now Alex found the same thing, plus a baby! So spirit Alex was being brought back to life by Charlie. Then there’s Joel’s tearful kiss and emotional outpouring of love. We didn’t see a cutaway of Alex’s spirit hearing Joel’s voice, so we can’t really be sure. Did Joel’s kiss wake-up Alex’s body up? They’ve always had kind of a lusty relationship. Or was it just a coincidence that Joel happened to kiss her at the same time she planned to have a baby with Charlie? What do you think, Hopefuls? UPDATE: We have an interesting conversation going in the comments section. Why does Alex’s situation have to be reduced to a Charlie vs Joel scenario? Alex determines her own destiny, so ultimately, she woke herself up. Do you agree/disagree? Share your opinions below!
- Maggie and Gavin: So they’ve split up, but they’re still living in the same apartment. Maggie insists on moving out because she dumped Gavin. He still says he’s in love with her, but it is no use. Maggie isn’t feeling it. Their relationship is over. To prove her point further, she sleeps at the hospital. Well that is just dreary. As Charlie said early in the episode, “The couple you want to make it, never do.”
- Dawn’s 8 a.m. appointment: In another hilarious scene, Charlie has Alex ghost spy on Dawn to see why she won’t take any appointments at 8 a.m. It turns out she’s spending some quality time with her Guinea pig. The one she got from her patient last season. This is sweet on multiple levels. It shows how much heart Dawn really has, despite the fact that she comes off as a bitch most of the time. She’s even singing. Come on, that’s adorable. It makes you wonder how much of Dawn’s tender side Charlie saw.
- Ghost Alex: This has been great the past two episodes. It was interesting to see the difference between her experience in limbo and Charlie’s. Since Charlie experienced it once before and he’s seen other spirits move on, he was able to ease some of Alex’s anxieties. She is freaking out and pessimistic, but Charlie remains positive and hopeful. Although Alex felt close to death, Laura’s ghost could not see Alex’s spirit, which would make us believe that Alex wasn’t as far gone as she feared. Maybe there are varying degrees of ghost life and Charlie can see them all. There was also one little flub: you could see ghost Alex’s reflection in the elevator mirror. Yes it is a minor mishap, but it was still something noticeable.
- On the next “Saving Hope”: It is going to be a bumpy ride, Hopefuls. Things may get worse before they start getting better. Let’s just hope that Alex gets her memory back, including her time in limbo, sooner rather than later. Here CTV’s description for next Thursday’s “Awakenings”:
Alex (Erica Durance) is out of her coma, but struggles with her memory until a crisis at the hospital reminds her of who she truly is. Charlie (Michael Shanks) and Joel (Daniel Gillies) are forced to put their differences aside when a building collapse has them working on two fused-together patients. Plus, the doctors at Hope Zion try giving an over emotional Maggie (Julia Taylor Ross) sage advice.
Be sure to catch online webisodes of “Saving Hope: Psychic Healing” HERE. If you are not in Canada, download Hola! for Google Chrome HERE. It will allow you to view CTV’s video content. (Thanks to Hallie for pointing this app out. It will make international Hopefuls very happy.)
Watch new episodes of “Saving Hope” Thursdays at 9 p.m. on CTV.
This article was originally published on Examiner.com on September 27, 2014.