‘Saving Hope’ S3 Ep 5 recap: If you love something, set it free

What did you think of this bittersweet episode? (Photo cred: CTV via Twitter) 

Although we are still feeling the sting of Gavin’s absence, “Saving Hope” delivered another wonderful and emotional episode. “Breaking Away” tugged on the heartstrings and managed to make us laugh. The central patient-of-the-week storyline about Will (Dylan Harman), a young man with Down Syndrome, undergoing great risk to save his mother’s life was beautiful and intensely moving. Meanwhile, Zach’s snake-bite victim provides a few laughs and sets up a series of events that culminate in a surprising twist.

Maggie has moved in with Alex and she’s super perky about it, which feels kind of strange for Maggie. She refers to Alex as “roomie” and is happily caring for Dawn’s pet guinea pig while she’s away at a conference. Even Alex is surprised by how chipper Maggie is and she really can’t stand being called “roomie.” Yeah, can’t blame her there.

Alex bumps into Charlie when she gets to the hospital and she’s candid about her feelings on Maggie, but acts like all is still well. Charlie hands Alex his key to her place. As their hands touch, Alex has a flashback to a day she spent with him on the beach. Charlie draws a heart in the sand and for a moment we hope those feelings of love come flooding back to Alex, but they don’t. She takes the key and moves on with her day.

This is interesting, Hopefuls. Alex regained her memories, but it’s like her emotional memories are still catching up with her. If she continues having these flashbacks, will she fall back in love with Charlie? Chalex fans are keeping their fingers crossed! Although, we aren’t sure how long Charlie is willing to wait for Alex to come around. More on that later.

Where there’s a Will, there’s a way

Katie (Nora McLellan) and Will’s story may be one of “Saving Hope’s” most moving cases and it brings an important issue to light. Katie took Will driving in the parking lot and he accidently crashed the car. Alex checks Will for internal bleeding and he turns out to be fine. Unfortunately, his mother is in real jeopardy.

While Joel works on Katie, her spirit appears in front of Charlie. Will is frightened and worried about his mother. Katie starts singing to her son, Charlie picks up on her cue and sings to Will, putting him at ease. Will quickly concludes that Charlie is able to speak with his mother and hugs him. Aww! He asks Charlie to tell her that he is sorry.

This moment alone is incredible. Charlie does this all the time and he is met with nothing but obliviousness and denial. Somehow Will instinctively feels what is going on and it is beautiful. He doesn’t ask questions, he simply trusts Charlie. Even better, Katie quickly puts Charlie to use.

She cannot die because Will still needs her. The more serious things get with Katie’s condition, the worse Will begins to feel. Katie tells Charlie that Will is afraid and she instructs him to hug her son because hugs make him feel better. As Charlie hugs Will, he sweetly says this is from his mom. Goosebumps!

Katie humorously snaps at Charlie, “From now on just do what I tell you.” You’ve got to love her spunky spirit. She sees how guilty Will feels about the accident and claims it is her fault. She made him too nervous and he slipped up and hit the gas instead of the break. While her spirit is bossing Charlie around, Alex is working on Katie’s body and discovers that she needs a new liver to survive. Alex is worried about how she’s going to break the news to Will.

Joel says he has a cousin with Down Syndrome, so he can help Alex explain the situation to Will. Well, Joel is just full of surprises and he springs another one during their conversation with Will. Katie needs a transplant today. Alex explains how waiting for a transplant works and Will feels bad that someone else has to die for his mom to be saved. Then Joel steps in and says Will could be a match and donate part of his liver to Katie.

Alex can’t believe Joel just blurted that out to Will without consulting her first. Will jumps at the chance to save his mom’s life. Joel reasons with Alex saying Katie likely won’t survive without Will’s help. Katie immediately tells Charlie that she doesn’t want Will to do it, he has to protect her son. Luckily, the administration is already looking out for Will.

Dawn agrees to hold a small tribunal to rule on Will’s competency to make such a huge decision. If Will passes the capacity exam, they can go through with the transplant. Gavin’s replacement, Dr. Dey, meets with Will for an assessment. Not going to lie, in this episode, Dey is acting like a total jerk. Yes Alex, we all miss Gavin.

Dey doesn’t think Will is competent because he has a child-like mental and emotional capacity. Joel and Alex understand, but disagree. Will deserves more credit than Dey is giving him. Dey gets all high and mighty. He says the experience he gained while working in prison has made him an expert in judging people’s capabilities. Okay, we really need to have Gavin back because this guy is just a douche. Gavin would’ve been so sweet with Will. Boo!

Luckily, Charlie joins the hearing to lend Will some support. Will immediately hugs Charlie and then states his case. Will understands the consequences. He knows he can die and that scares him, but losing his mom scares him even more. Bravo, Will! This is heart-melting stuff. Katie is concerned, but Charlie assures, “Will’s got this covered.” Will passes with flying colors and can give his consent. Dey still notes his objection. Yeah, Dey may not last too long in Hope Zion and he sure as hell doesn’t come close to Gavin Murphy.

Before going into surgery Will says he’s scared and he’s used to his mom being with him at doctor’s appointments. He’s such a brave sweetheart. Once this operation is over he’ll be with his mom again soon. Until then, Charlie and proud Mama watch over the surgery from the viewing room. Katie critically judges Alex and Joel as they work, then she explains her distain for doctors. No one (OBGYN, pediatrician, cardiologist, etc.) believed in Will except her. That is heartbreaking and sadly very common. So many doctors give up on patients when the going gets tough. Fortunately, Charlie & Co are different. Charlie sweetly replies, “I’ll believe in him now.” Sigh.

Charlie really does go above and beyond for his patients. His gift is a blessing and a real life-saver. This situation is different from his other cases too because he didn’t do anything to help Katie with her physical condition. This supernatural experience was all about the heart. Charlie gave Will the support he needed when his mother couldn’t be there for him. It is very touching and well done.

While operating on Will, another doctor noticed Alex’s behavior with Joel and cautions her. Before the surgery Alex’s hand was acting up again, Joel kissed her on the cheek and said she’ll be fine. He’s really upped his flirting game since the break-up. The doc tells Alex to be careful with her heart. After all, she’s still healing and wouldn’t want to rush into anything. That is a valid observation and something that Alex should really take into consideration. Even though the O.R. may not be the best place to discuss her love life.

Side-note: It kind of felt like this doctor was speaking on Victor’s behalf. His departure was never addressed, which is disappointing. But he totally would’ve commented on Alex’s love-life in the middle of a surgery, so it looks like his quips will come through other doctors from now on. Still, we can’t help but wonder what happened to Victor. Especially since the season picked-up from where we left off. They could’ve thrown a line in there explaining things. How do you feel about it, Hopefuls?

Katie continues to worry about her son. When they think she might have spinal damage, her first concern is that she doesn’t want to be a burden to her boy. Will’s trying to be more independent and she doesn’t want him to be stuck with caring for her. Although he’d be more than happy to take care of his mom, especially after all she has done for him. She admits that it is hard to let go. Charlie admits that letting go isn’t easy, but sometimes it is the only way.

The transplant is a success, so Alex wakes Katie up. Before she departs from limbo, she tells Charlie that if you love something you must set it free and if it is meant to be, it will come back. Will Alex return to Charlie now that he has set her free? We’ll have to wait it out and see.

Charlie takes Will to see Katie and he tells her that Charlie was able to talk with her while she was sleeping. Of course, Katie doesn’t remember. Poor Charlie, he never gets any appreciation afterwards, but at least Will knew how much he helped this time. Alex checks in and says Katie will have a follow-up appointment and need therapy, but other than that she’s happy to see Katie and Will doing so well.

Joel pops in and asks if Alex still wants a ride home. He’s rubbing it in Charlie’s face. Not cool, mate. Alex heads out with Joel and Charlie is left behind.

At least things end well for Will and Katie. When we see them at episode’s end, Will is singing to his mom: “Everybody happy…nobody sad.” Unfortunately, everybody is not happy in Hope Zion.

Snakes are Evil

Zach’s patient, Colin (Drew Nelson), has been bitten by a poisonous snake and newbie, Rian Larouche, is helping out. Charlie asks Jackson to bring over some anti-venom. Unfortunately, this isn’t your typical snake bite. Colin’s eyes bleed, he has an allergic reaction and goes into shock. To make matters worse, the snake escapes from its cage and is slithering around the hospital.

Zach hates snakes because they are evil. The Bible can back him up on this. He issues a code brown warning for hazardous spills. While he’s freaking out over the roaming snake that is capable of making eyes bleed, Jackson keeps calm. He has a pet snake and really likes the slippery critters. His knowledge comes in handy, especially when he does some digging on Colin’s phone.

While searching for next of kin, Jackson discovers that Colin is a snake smuggler. He also learns that Colin has an ex-wife, so he contacts her. Sadly, she makes it to Hope Zion too late. The blood transfusion wasn’t enough to save Colin’s life. She finds it ironic that she broke up with him because of his obsession with snakes and that’s what killed him in the end.

Colin has moved on, but he left a mess behind. Nothing good can come from a snake being loose in a hospital. And you know things really aren’t going to end well when Dawn instructs Maggie to put on Vallenween’s sweater in the middle of Code Brown.

Sadly, the predictable happens. The wild snake eats up Dawn’s guinea pig, leaving tattered bits of her little red sweater behind as evidence. Dawn is heartbroken when Zach and Jackson break the news to her. Reycraft stumbles upon a teary-eyed Dawn and gives her hug. Hmm, won’t co-workers suspect something from this unusual display? Maybe not since it doesn’t last long. When Reycraft realizes she’s sad over her pet he laughs. Distraught Dawn defensively says, “I loved her.” Then she tells Reycraft to go to hell. Looks like they won’t be hooking up for a while.

Jackson takes the snake home, while Dawn mourns the loss of her beloved Vallenween. Later that evening, Charlie checks on Dawn in the doctors’ napping station. He tells her to stop pushing people away. He tries comforting her and says she has been through worse (i.e. their miscarriage.) Dawn realizes her reaction seems strange. She loses patients and doesn’t flinch. She loses her guinea pig and she’s a wreck. She asks Charlie if that makes her an awful person. He says it just means she’s a pro. Dawn disagrees. She must be an awful person because she’s all alone. Charlie soothingly says he’s here for her. His comforting hug turns into a kiss and things start heating up between the former lovers.

Before Charlie takes it to the next level, Dawn asks if he’s sure he wants to do this. Charlie replies, “Don’t ask” and carries on.

Well this is surprising. Charlie has been so hung up on Alex that we didn’t expect him to do something like this so soon. On the other hand, he made his intentions clear and was brutally rejected. Then he sees the woman he loves leave with a man he can’t stand. Dawn knows what she’s getting into. This rendezvous with Charlie doesn’t make them an instant couple again. Maybe Charlie just needed to get lost in a flurry of emotions and do something to take his mind off of Alex for a short while. How will Alex react if she ever finds out about this? Does she have a right to get mad at Charlie? Sure, she’s going home with Joel, but does she plan on sleeping with him?

Study Group

Maggie and Alex are hosting a surgical ward study group back at the apartment after work. All day there have been jokes about keeping Lazy Lana at bay and Rian has been pestering Alex to get in the group. His knowledge of detailed knots gets him in, he also brags about a karaoke machine in case that helps. This sounds like a set-up for another “Saving Hope” digital series, doesn’t it? Anyway…

Joel walks Alex to her door because he’s a gentleman and what not. They open the door and find Reycraft singing karaoke. The study group decided to start off with some team building. Lazy Lana skips her turn and hands the mic over to Alex. She happily sings along with Joel.

So Alex lets off some steam too. It just isn’t in the way we expected. You can’t help but wonder, if she and Joel came back to an empty apartment, would she have slept with him? Or does she plan on taking things slow since her heart is on the mend?

This was another bittersweet episode, Hopefuls. There is still hope for Charlie and Alex, but will their actions during this strange period of time jeopardize the prospects of a happy reunion later on? Are Alex and Charlie meant to be together? Charlie’s relationship with Dawn failed for a reason. And Alex split up with Joel because of his commitment issues. Would returning to their former flames be a mistake?

Once again, phenomenal work from the cast and guest stars!

On the next “Saving Hope”

Here is CTV’s description for Thursday’s episode (Oct. 23): “Joel 2:31 (a.k.a Apocalypse Now)”

Alex Reid (Erica Durance) is pulled into the ER on one of its busiest nights of the year – and she is about to find out if a full moon really does cause strange things to happen. First up is a chance encounter with Joel Goran (Daniel Gillies) that has Alex questioning if the spark between them is reigniting. When her patient starts exhibiting contradicting symptoms, Alex pulls Joel and Maggie Lin (Julia Taylor Ross) in on the case to help her solve the mystery – and the results are shocking. Meanwhile, Charlie Harris (Michael Shanks) tries to figure out where he wants to stand with his ex-wife Dawn Bell (Michelle Nolden), and is side-tracked when an in‐patient tries to convince him she’s dead. Dr. Jimmy Dey (Mac Fyfe) and Rian (Danso Gordon) assist in the woman’s treatment, and afterward Charlie has a renewed sense of what it means to be alive. Meanwhile, Zach Miller (Benjamin Ayres) gets a surprise visit from his son that leads him to re‐evaluate his actions as a father.

Sounds like more chaos is coming to “Saving Hope.” It will be nice to see a little more of Zach’s family life. Let’s just hope the love triangle turned rectangle drama doesn’t get too annoying.

Share your thoughts in the comments below and stay tuned for more scoop!

“Saving Hope” airs Thursday at 9 p.m. on CTV.

This article was originally published on Examiner.com on October 20, 2014.

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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