Recap/Review

‘Saving Hope’ S3 Ep 9 recap: Life is a highway

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It truly takes some major team work to save a patient in this episode. (Photo credit: CTV)

“Saving Hope” delivered another episode which has left Hopefuls with some mixed emotions. In “The Other Side of Midnight” something pretty epic happens with Charlie’s supernatural gift when the spirit he helps ends up remembering their interaction in limbo after she wakes up in her body. This is big, people! Unfortunately, this revelation takes a backseat to the drama of Alex and Joel’s repetitive roller coaster ride of a relationship, which will presumably be altered by that not-so-surprising ending.

Apologies in advance, Hopefuls. You’ll be hearing the brutal truth on how this show is beginning to let some viewers down by catering more heavily to the “Grey’s Anatomy” soap opera fluff, rather than giving the unique supernatural aspect of this drama it’s fair due.

Charlie’s Game-Changer

Charlie’s connection to the supernatural is what sets this show apart from other medical dramas, so we really need to talk about what happened with Astrid. It’s Charlie’s day off from the hospital, but that doesn’t mean he gets a break from ghost doctoring. What seems like innocent flirting and stock tips at the hotel café turns out to be a very important metaphysical experience for Charlie.

Astrid hits on Charlie all afternoon and invites him up to her room. He politely declines, but she gives him her room number just in case. When Charlie wants to put Astrid’s expenses on his tab, he discovers that he had been talking to her spirit all along. Whoa! “Saving Hope” even had us fooled with this one. Seriously, some of us were starting to wonder about the purpose of this flirtation. Luckily, it ends up being a game-changer.

Once Charlie realizes she’s a ghost, he rushes up to her room. He grabs the key from a nearby maid and bursts in to find Astrid bleeding out on the bathroom floor. He rushes her to Hope Zion and tells them that she seems to have suffered a miscarriage. Dr. Katz immediately gets to work on her.

Poor Astrid ends up losing her baby because her placenta detached from her uterus. There was nothing she could have done. Charlie stays by her side as she waits for her husband to arrive. She wonders how Charlie came to her rescue. He says he heard her call for help. Astrid looks puzzled by this. He assures her that she will overcome this heartbreaking obstacle in her life. Then she asks if he ended up buying the stock she advised him about. Charlie is stunned. Astrid says she must’ve had a dream because she feels like they’ve met before. Oh. My. God. She remembers! This is a major development. Something similar happened once before, but that case was a little more special than this one because that patient believed in the supernatural. After Astrid, there may be hope for Alex.

Astrid wonders why people go through their worst experiences in life all alone and Charlie comfortingly tells her that she is not alone. Does that count as his subtle confirmation that Astrid’s experience was more than just a dream?

This has been a jarring experience for Charlie. Although, it is great to know that someone like Astrid can remember her time in limbo, Charlie is worried about what happened because he didn’t realize he spent the whole afternoon speaking with a spirit. This concerns him so much that he reaches out to Gavin’s replacement, Dr. Dey. Sadly, Gavin didn’t leave any forwarding information behind when he took off. (Too bad. We miss you, Gavin!) Charlie is so desperate for help that he settles for Dey. On the plus side, this doc has a special interest in hallucinations.

Charlie wonders why someone would have a hard time telling hallucinations apart from reality. Dey explains that hallucinations are a way for the brain to talk to itself. If Charlie couldn’t tell the difference between what was real and what wasn’t, then it is a sign of an unfurling. Dey asks if there have been any major changes in Charlie’s life lately. Ha! That’s an understatement. Between Alex’s heartbreakingly conscious uncoupling with him and Dawn’s desire to be his baby mama, Charlie has been thrust about in an emotional whirlwind.

It took Gavin a little while to adjust to Charlie’s unique situation, but Dr. Dey seems to be catching on without passing too much judgment on Charlie right off the bat. It will be interesting to see what kind of assistance he will offer Charlie. Would Dey even dare to believe the truth? Will he make Charlie a case study? Most importantly, can he help Charlie cope with all the chaos that comes along with balancing his ghost doctoring cases with the rest of his life?

We will just have to wait and see how Charlie’s sessions with Dr. Dey work out. We are also eager to see if Charlie’s other limbo patients begin to remember their metaphysical experiences. Especially Alex. Maybe her memory will start coming back to her if she gets over her infatuation with Joel.

On again, off again

Some Hopefuls, particularly Chalex fans, have grown tired of Alex and Joel’s predictable relationship pattern. Alex and Joel’s lovers’ quarrel is only exacerbated by their disagreement over how to treat their patient.

Race car driver, Nate Stewart, is rushed into the ER after a nearly fatal crash. He’s had a long history of crashes, but he always heals up and gets behind the wheel as soon as he can. When he comes in with mangled legs and internal bleeding, Joel and Alex take opposing views on how to treat him.

Alex sees Nate’s ex-wife, little girl, and young girlfriend. She takes a “better safe, than sorry” stance on treating Nate. She thinks it would be wiser to amputate his feet and save his life instead of risking it just so he can race again. Joel understands Nate’s mind-set and insists on saving his feet and his life. Joel, Alex and Shahir tag team in a marathon operation as they work individually on Nate’s various life-threatening injuries. Joel even gets upset at Alex when she takes too long with her part of the surgery because it is jeopardizing the recovery of Nate’s feet.

This operation drastically highlights the differences in Alex and Joel’s personalities and priorities in life. Joel is a thrill-seeker, always in search of the next best thing. Alex is pragmatic, cautious and aware of other people’s feelings and needs. He’s eager to save Nate’s feet, no matter what the cost may be. Alex is concerned with preparing his family with the worst case scenario and she’s thinking about all the challenges Nate will face. Saving his feet will cause chronic pain and call for grueling rehab. She’s thinking of what’s best for the patient and she fears Joel is not.

Joel lucks out in this case only because Nate’s wife and girlfriend understand that his life’s passion is racing. Joel feels vindicated when Nate wakes up and asks when he’ll be able to race again. He doesn’t even care what risks where taken in saving his feet and how much pain and work it will take to possibly race again. He only cares about hitting the tracks.

As if the case isn’t bad enough, Alex also learns about Joel’s extracurricular activities. He never conveyed all the dangers he faced while working in Selena’s clinic. After Selena keeps calling, Alex confronts Joel and asks for the truth. He tells her about the kiss, but remains defensive about it. Selena misunderstood and what started as an innocent thank you turned into a kiss. And Selena is just the tip of the iceberg. Alex walks in on a conversation in the doctors lounge where Maggie is going down Joel’s long list of conquests, including Dana, which Alex didn’t know about. We can already see the writing on the wall.

By the end of this turbulent and revealing day, Alex breaks up with Joel. Sure they are crazy about each other, but they also drive each other crazy. Joel will never change. He will always be chasing something new and different. Alex is aware that their relationship pattern is on a constant loop and she can’t go through this all over again. They will never work together, so it is better to call it off now.

DUH! They’ve had this conversation before. Not to be harsh, but it is getting old. Alex is too smart for Joel’s playboy antics. He desperately wanted Alex when he knew he couldn’t have her. He enjoyed the chase. Now that they’re together, he’s back to flirting with other women again. Come on! At least Alex calls the time-of-death on their relationship this time instead of dragging this train-wreck out for much longer. Now for the real kicker.

The episode ends with Alex being pregnant. Erica Durance is pregnant in real life, so we could see this coming. At the beginning of the season we thought that Charlie had a chance of being the father, but given the amount of time that has passed since Charlie and Alex have been together, it is more likely that Joel is Alex’s baby daddy. Again, annoying! Alex wanted to start a family with Charlie and he was more than happy to be a father. Does Joel look like he’s prepared for daddy duty? Nope! On the other hand, maybe becoming a father could straighten Joel out for good. If he wants to be in the baby’s life, then he’d have to commit. Now that would be a huge step for a wanderer like Joel.

What do you think Hopefuls? Could there be a chance that Charlie is the father of Alex’s baby? Are you surprised/relieved/happy Joel and Alex broke up? Do you think there is still a chance Charlie and Alex could get back together if she’s pregnant with Joel’s child?

What did you make of “Saving Hope’s” secondary storylines? Dr. Katz is surprisingly on a fast-paced arranged engagement and claims that kissing Maggie meant nothing. Katz says she wants to get married, but she isn’t really acting like it. So, what’s her deal?

What was your takeaway from Dana’s case with crazy, self-mutilating Megan? That was really weird and creepy. Dana shouldn’t blame herself for missing the signs.

We also see that Zach and Melanda are still hooking-up. Don’t these two deserve a little more than a little afterthought teaser? Zach and Melanda could use more screen time. We’ve gradually learned more about Zach’s life and we’d love to see more of Benjamin Ayers’ hilarious and colorful character. How about Melanda? We have a lot more we could learn about her. They really should enrich her character more this season.

How do you feel about the way this season has been unfolding so far? Do you wish there was more focus on the supernatural? Are the ER and OR scenes getting grosser with each episode?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

This article was originally published on Examiner.com on December 17, 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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