The roller coaster ride continues, Hopefuls. After two heart-pounding episodes that left us hanging, we are presented with an annoying, yet expected enigma. In “Awakenings,” Alex struggles to heal physically, emotionally, and psychologically as she deals with the aftermath of her shocking attack and strenuous heart surgery. Charlie and Joel are still vying for Alex’s affections as they try to jog her memory. The bickering surgeons are forced to work together on a troubling E.R. case, which causes them to clash professionally and personally. Meanwhile, Maggie is having a bona-fide melt-down and her colleagues suggest some interesting coping mechanisms to help her through this tough time.
The good news is that Alex is awake and her coma was very short-lived. The bad news is that she has, as Gavin puts it, post-op retrograde amnesia which is common and temporary. The weird thing is that Alex understands the fancy medical jargon coming out of Gavin’s mouth, but she has no recollection of the people surrounding around her. She knows Charlie is the worried guy who keeps checking in on her. Gavin explains that she was engaged to Charlie, but no one knows if they are still together. Regardless of their technical relationship status, it is easy to see how much Charlie loves Alex. On-the-mend Alex quickly learns that everybody in Hope Zion got a big scare when she was attacked and they’re all pulling for her, even Dawn.
Dawn drops in and tells Alex that she needs to start walking ASAP, then she sends her out into the hall with her IV attached. A kind bystander, Marisol, sees Alex slowly walking against the walls and sympathizes. Marisol just went through heart surgery and recovery, now she just wants to be discharged. When Alex suddenly drops to the floor, Marisol rushes to her side to help. Eventually they settle Alex back into bed and Charlie pays her another visit.
Earlier Charlie saw Ian’s ghost lingering around Alex, so he’s extra worried about how she is doing. We know Alex has amnesia, but we are hoping that she is still feels drawn to Charlie. Even if her brain can’t remember what happened, surely her heart would flutter a bit in his presence…Right?
Nope! Alex is feeling overwhelmed, frustrated and smothered. Everyone is pushing her to get better and remember. She wants to focus on healing and asks Charlie to give her some space. Poor Charlie! They made so much progress during her time in limbo and now this. It’s just heartbreaking and annoying.
After a bit of rest, Jackson takes Alex on a wheel chair tour through Hope Zion and fills her in on all the hospital gossip: Melanda is hooking-up with Zach, Maggie and Gavin broke-up, Dr. Tom Reycraft is still a mystery to everyone. During her tour, she sees Marisol who says that Dawn won’t discharge her. You can’t help but wonder if Alex’s brain is already going into doctor mode to try to help Marisol, even if it is just subconsciously. Then Jackson leaves Alex’s side for a moment and Ian suddenly reappears. He nearly places his hand on her shoulder and she immediately weakens. Charlie sees this and jumps to her side. Once again Alex insists on having some space and shoos him away. Ok, we get it, but seriously, he’s only trying help. Poor Charlie. Alex may not feel like Charlie’s company, but she’s happy to open up to someone else.
Joel sits with Alex for a while and she feels more at ease around him. He says he will help her remember by playing a game. He will tell her two truths and one lie. If she’s right about the lie, he’ll write down everything she needs to know about herself. Joel mentions three shared experiences: the time they were quarantined and saved a bunch of lives, the time they were attacked in the gas station and she transferred her blood to a wounded woman, and the time they came in third place in a dance competition during medical school. She guesses the gas station, but he lied about the dance competition. Alex is a bad dancer, so they lost embarrassingly. By the way Joel is talking, she can tell they used to be a couple, but he says they aren’t anymore. Joel still writes down everything she needs to know and it only takes a second to jot down. As he leaves, Alex says with a smile, “I like you, don’t I?” Jalex fans are rejoicing, meanwhile, Chalex fans are growing more frustrated…dammit, poor Charlie.
Alex sees Marisol again when she finally gets discharged from the hospital. Marisol complains of neck pain as she’s signing the papers and suddenly collapses. Alex’s instincts take over. She rips her IV out, drops to her knees, gives Marisol CPR and starts calling out instructions to nearby nurses and doctors. The second Alex goes back into doctor mode, her memory returns in a flood of flashbacks. Phew! That’s the good news. But of course, this wouldn’t be “Saving Hope” if there’s wasn’t a catch.
Now that Alex is back, she shares a nice moment with Dawn. She remembers everything and thanks Dawn for saving her life. Dawn kindly replies, “Welcome back Dr. Reid.” Aww. Girl bonding. So sweet.
Charlie is on his way to talk with Alex when he sees Ian. They go into the room next door and Ian delivers the bad news. Ian is in limbo because he wants to make sure Alex is alright. Charlie says she is, so he can go on into the big bright white light. But Ian says that Alex is not alright. Alex left something behind. Ugh! We were so close. Now there’s another mystery to solve and it is unnerving. While Charlie is worrying about Alex, she goes to see what Joel had written down.
The note simply says, “YOU ARE A DOCTOR.” Guess that is all Alex ever needed to know how to come back. Given the way things left off with Alex, Joel thinks he has a chance to swoop in and win her heart. He comes walking down the hall with a super girlie colorful stuffed unicorn and a bunch of star shaped silver balloons. As he approaches her door, he sees Charlie by her side. Joel turns around, hands the gifts to a stranger and sulks off. Sorry, buddy. But he shouldn’t despair, Joel isn’t totally out of the running.
Charlie has a heart to heart with Alex. She remembers that he can see things, so he tells her how they were able to communicate during her time in limbo. They were more together than they had been in a long time. Sadly, she doesn’t remember any of it. She only remembers their life together before the coma. The look on her face almost indicates that she isn’t too thrilled with the life they shared. Alex says she’s tired and would like to talk about their relationship later. Charlie understands. He kisses her forehead, looks deeply into her eyes and sweetly says “I love you.” (It is so good, you’ve got to GIF it.) Alex doesn’t say anything back and Charlie leaves to gives her the space she needs.
Well, we assumed that she wasn’t going to remember her ghost interaction with Charlie. That’s the part we braced ourselves for. But is that the only part she left behind? It seems too obvious. Plus, other people who have interacted with Charlie and returned to life don’t remember their time in limbo, so it wouldn’t be a shocking twist. Even in this moment, with all of her memories of life with Charlie, Alex doesn’t seem to feel the love she had for him while in limbo. Post-coma Alex doesn’t look like she wants to stay in a relationship with Charlie, let alone start a family with him. Maybe she just needs time to adjust. But, sadly, things are looking too great for Charlie at the moment, which is so heartbreaking considering all the progress they made during Alex’s time in limbo.
Is it possible that the love, hopes, dreams, and future plans she wanted with Charlie were all left behind? Is post-coma Alex having a change of heart? Will she want take a break to figure things out before getting back together with Charlie? Will she want Joel over Charlie?
This episode left some us feeling bummed out because there was so much progress being made with Alex and Charlie and now there is so much uncertainty. What do you think, Hopefuls? Any ideas on what Alex left behind? How do you feel about Alex’s different interactions with Charlie and Joel? Do you think she still loves Charlie?
Stuck on You
Charlie and Joel are not hiding their feelings anymore. This love triangle has become more than just an elephant in the room. During their elevator ride together, Joel urges Charlie not to rush Alex. Charlie is quick to snap back, saying that he hadn’t thought of that genius idea. Oh yeah, you could cut the tension with a knife.
Yes it is bad, immature, unprofessional, etc. but it is so fun to watch. Whether it is verbal or physical, a Michael Shanks and Daniel Gillies joust is always entertaining. Joel and Charlie’s personal lives are dictating their professional behavior. They always had different philosophies in medicine and in love, but now they aren’t even trying to restrain their true feelings. When a condo explodes, Charlie and Joel are forced to work together on a unique case.
Marshall (an electrician) and Anna (an architect) are fused together from the explosion. What looks like wall insulation has melted on top of Marshall and has adhered him to Anna like crazy glue. Yeah, it’s gross. Just the thought of their skin being stuck to each other like that is terrifying. This petrified pair is laying there, while Charlie and Joel argue over how they should be un-stuck.
Charlie wants to start with a solvent and Joel is ready to jump straight to the saw. Luckily, Dana (we missed Wendy Crewson!) chimes in as the tie-breaker and sides with Charlie. They should start with the solvent, if that doesn’t work, they can work their way up to the severity of a saw.
Marshall and Anna are troopers. They are stuck in a horrifying situation that keeps getting worse. They are both worrying about other people they need to get in contact with (Marshall’s sister and Anna’s boyfriend.) They’ve been working together and are getting along surprising well for two acquaintances trapped in a life threatening situation.
Dana and Joel start with the solvent, but it is taking too long. They bring in the saw and Marshall starts feeling worse pain, plus he pees on Anna because he has lost control of his bladder. He may have a spinal cord injury, so they have to operate. Anna freaks out and wants to be detached first because she can’t handle this anymore. Marshall wants the doctors to help her first, even though Marshall is now unable to feel his hands and fears he might end up a quadriplegic. He’s being super nice and comforting to her, especially since they both are acting like they aren’t familiar with each other. We’re really hoping things end well for them.
Dawn calls Charlie and Joel into her office to discuss their surgical plans. Again, Charlie and Joel are in disagreement. More verbal jousting! Joel says he is a more flexible surgeon. Charlie teases, “I didn’t realize this was yoga.” Hilarious stuff. Joel then comes out with it a drops a truth bomb. He thinks he’s a better surgeon than Charlie. Boom! Joel’s all like: Drop the mic. I’m the man. In your face, mate.
Then you have Charlie. He is the senior surgeon, he’s more experienced, and he has a higher success rate. Dawn tells them that this surgery is not about Alex and they need to put away their measuring tapes. She chooses Charlie to take the lead on the surgery with Tom assisting.
During the operation, we learn this pair’s secret. Since they are both conscious, Marshall tells Anna to forget about the question he asked before the explosion. She tells Charlie he was trying to protect her during the explosion and that’s how they got stuck together. Suddenly Anna starts coding. All of this time Anna has been slowly bleeding out, but they couldn’t see because of Marshall. They need to separate them, so they page Joel.
Joel, Charlie and Tom detach the pair from each other and move Anna to another O.R. While sawing away on Marshall, Joel finds an engagement ring in the wreckage. Marshall and Anna are lovers. Well that explains/changes things!
Afterwards, Charlie returns the ring to Anna. Both are doing well, but she may have a change of heart. She said no before because she was scared. After this, “scared” takes on a whole new meaning. She holds onto the ring, telling Charlie she will take care of it.
Will she change her mind and say “Yes”? If only, we knew. Unfortunately, we’re left hanging with a possible hint. Taking another look at the ring could mean she had a change of heart, right?
Maggie keeps her emotions bottled up inside, so now she is having a full-blown break-down. She is having her first period since she miscarried and her emotions are all over the place. She starts off sobbing, then she breaks into an awkward laugh and then cries some more. Everybody sees that she is a hot mess and they offer different kinds of advice.
Zach and his wife went through a miscarriage, so he reaches out to Maggie. He even offers to give her a hug. In a sensitive and funny moment he tells Maggie that laughing yoga helped them. He even starts laughing to help her jump right into feeling better. Maggie can’t and walks away. (Benjamin Ayers has done a wonderful job of evolving Zach from a stereotypical wise-ass into someone with heart and a complex life outside of the E.R. It is always nice to learn more about him. Hopefully Zach’s life will get a little more screen time this season.)
Maggie has some news to deliver to a patient, Carl. She starts crying and can’t tell him, so we think it is something life-threatening. On the second try she starts laughing. In between her attempts, Gavin sees her struggling in the E.R. and wants to be there for her but she just snaps at him. As the day goes on, she receives more advice from co-workers. Like, Tom who thinks a primal yell would be helpful. But Maggie isn’t interested.
Eventually, Maggie just asks Zach to tell Carl the news. Yeah, you can’t blame Maggie for getting a case of the giggles. Carl has something stuck in his rectum. The kind of something that has a battery. You get the idea. They will sedate him and remove the object. Awkward and ew! Anyway, back to Maggie.
Dr. Katz has a nice chat with Maggie in the lounge. Maggie has been blaming hormones, but Katz points out the fact that there are real human emotions attached to the biology that she has been blaming everything on. She tells Maggie that it is better to feel her emotions rather than fight them. Even if it means staying home from work and crying her eyes out for a week. Maggie has to process the pain. Katz then describes a ritual that has worked for many of her patients. This is the one piece of advice that actually sounds helpful to Maggie, so she gives it a shot.
While sitting in front of a lit candle, Maggie writes down all of her hopes for the baby she lost and all of her fears for her life moving forward, then she places the letter in a box full of baby clothes and keepsakes from her pregnancy. Hopefully this will be the start of Maggie’s much needed healing.
Julia Taylor Ross did such a wonderful job in this episode. She grounded Maggie’s behavior in reality, so it didn’t feel like something that should be taken lightly. She could’ve looked like a laughable, hormonal girl who can’t handle her emotions. But she didn’t. Everyone understood that Maggie is finally grieving. This was a big episode for Maggie because everyone is pulling for her.
So far, Katz is proving to be quite an asset to the Hope Zion team. Stacey Farber is doing a fantastic job. She’s been a great addition to the cast this season and it will be fun to learn more about her colorful character.
Overall, this was a troubling episode that gets under your skin. A lot of things are up in the air. It will be disappointing to see Charlie and Alex grow apart after they’ve come so far as a couple. If she left something behind in limbo, how can she get it back? Will she have to return to limbo? Will it just come back to her after an epiphany? Can spirits help Charlie figure out how to help Alex?
On a last second side-note: What’s up with Dawn and Tom?! How long have they been hooking up? They both have the same kind of demeanor in the O.R., so you could see how their personalities (or maybe just chemistry) could click. On the other hand, how much double dipping is there going to be in Hope Zion? Are they going to cycle through each other until everybody is Eskimo brothers and sisters with each other? Every show has the romantic melodrama, but “Saving Hope” should not water itself down by overdoing this cliché like “Grey’s Anatomy.” What do you all think about the Hope Zion hook-ups?
Share your thoughts in the comments below!
“Saving Hope” airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on CTV.
This article was originally published on Examiner.com on October 4, 2014.