We were so close Hopefuls! “Saving Hope” loves to tease. Alex is in the midst of a highly-anticipated epiphany. This is the moment we’ve been pining for: Alex is beginning to remember her time in limbo with Charlie. Hazzah!!!! Of course, just as Charlie and Alex are about to make some epic progress, Joel’s crazy plot-twist throws a wild curveball, which causes an infuriating interruption and leaves viewers with a couple of cliffhangers.
In “Days of Heaven,” renowned brain surgeon, Thor MacLeod (Currie Graham), has come to Hope Zion to publicize his book, “Near, Near Life,” which chronicles his supernatural near death experience. This triggers Alex’s memories in limbo and she begins to realize that Charlie may have been telling the truth all along. While Alex and Charlie are on the brink of bonding, Joel drifts farther away. He takes a break from Hope Zion and offers his services to Selena (in more ways than one). Selena and Joel’s entanglement results in surprise ending that we never saw coming.
How Far Is Heaven
Alex is mesmerized by Thor’s lecture. His experience resonates with Alex and she begins having flashbacks of her out of body experience in the OR as Charlie & Co. fought to save her life. After Alex has her book signed, Thor’s patient, Robert, approaches. He asks if Heaven is real. Thor says it is. Robert is pleased. He says he wants to go there now. That sounds ominous!
We expect to see a gun coming out of his bag, but Robert grabs a drill instead. He begins drilling a hole in his head. What?!? Why does “Saving Hope” feel the need to dramatically up the gross factor this season? Sure it emphasizes Robert’s disturbing desperation, but still. Ewww. They rush Robert into the ER and Thor quickly becomes possessive of his patient.
Robert has a lot of issues and Thor has taken some unique liberties with his treatment. Robert suffers from major depression, chronic insomnia, and suicidal fantasies. Thor treated him by implanting a DBS in his brain. Shahir is skeptical of Thor’s medical practice and only wants to do what is best for Robert. Thor keeps butting in and disagreeing with the treatment, so Alex comes up with a compromising solution.
While Robert is being prepared for surgery, Thor reaches out to Charlie and Alex separately. He wants to talk to them about their near death experiences. Charlie wants nothing to do with Thor, claiming the only thing they’ve ever had in common was Dawn. Ouch! Looks like Dana was right, Thor really gets around. Alex doesn’t shut him down as quickly, but she remains more focused on helping Robert.
During Robert’s operation, Thor keeps speaking to him and tells the OR team to be careful about what they say because Robert can still hear them. Again, Alex remembers seeing and hearing her OR team. While Shahir argues with Thor during the surgery, Charlie receives a surprise during his own operation.
Robert’s spirit distressingly appears to Charlie and says he can’t find Heaven. There are no angels, no white light, and he is still exhausted. Robert hasn’t slept at all because he is still waiting for his wife, Ellen, to return. She has been gone a year and he’s been reeling ever since. Suddenly Robert spaces out, so Charlie tries to get to the bottom of Robert’s problem.
There is something fishy about Thor. He remains very territorial and defensive when it comes to Robert. Ultimately, the doctors go against Thor’s wishes and run some tests on Robert, which confirms their worst fears. Thor intentionally misplaced the DBS in Robert’s brain so that he could gather more data for his research. The incorrect placement of the DBS has been causing seizures, which is why Robert hasn’t been able to get any sleep. It also explains why Robert can’t recall how or why his wife left. Once Charlie’s suspicions are confirmed, he explains the situation to Robert.
Charlie went through this procedure once to help him remember his past, so he asks Robert what he remembers from the night his wife left. She said she’d be back in an hour, but she never returned. He searched all night, thinking that she might be cheating. He returned home to find the cops waiting for him. She was hit by a drunk driver and died, but Robert can’t remember it. Charlie assures him that if Robert can remember what happened, he will be able to let her go and move on with his life. Robert still wants to see her and apologize. But none of this is his fault. Charlie comfortingly says, “She didn’t abandon you. She was taken from you.” So heartbreakingly true.
With Thor’s permission, Shahir repositions Robert’s DBS and the poor guy’s spirit finally gets some much needed rest. Alex chews Thor out for jeopardizing Robert’s health for the sake of his next book. Go Alex! At least they were able to help Robert before Thor caused anymore harm. Luckily, Thor’s crazy antics and penchant for overstepping bounds prompts a breakthrough for Charlie and Alex.
Alex tells Charlie that she remembers seeing him while in limbo. Yay!!! Finally, Charlie and Alex will have the conversation we’ve been anxiously waiting for. This will bring them so much closer together. Unfortunately Joel’s drama brings this huge moment to a halt. Ugh! Once again, Hopefuls must patiently wait to see this conversation resume at a later time.
As for Joel getting into unexpected trouble…
Joel goes AWOL from work at Hope Zion and moonlights at Selena’s clinic. She enters the clinic in a huff. She’s been fighting with the developer and the clinic is about to be evicted. Joel wants to help and says they can get a lawyer to work for them pro-bono. He also insists on treating Selena’s broken wrist. She scoffs at him and wonders why he has such a Messiah complex. All of this angsty squabbling cues up the cliched moment we’ve been expecting since Selena and Joel first met.
Joel “plays doctor” and before you know it, bandaging her wrist turns into a quickie in the clinic. Afterwards, Joel tries to turn it into something more. He suggests a bite to eat or a ride home, but Selena remains matter-of-fact-ish about their tryst. She says it was a good mistake, but a mistake nonetheless. They should just leave it at that.
As Selena hops on her bike and rides away, Brad, the guy who’s been banned from the clinic, drops by again. He starts swinging at Joel. In an act of self-defense, Joel throws a punch that knocks Brad to the ground. Brad hits his head on the concrete parking bumper and starts bleeding out. Joel immediately rushes him to the ER.
Selena is contacted as Brad’s next of kin and makes it to the hospital just in time to learn that her abusive husband died. She explains the situation to Joel and says she even had a restraining order against Brad. She is sorry that Joel got mixed up in all of this. Sadly, Joel has more than a guilty conscience to deal with.
The cops arrive and take Joel into custody. His case doesn’t look good. Joel left the scene, he’s in relationship with the wife, and now Brad is dead. The cops need to take him in. The episode ends with the cops leading Joel out of Hope Zion in handcuffs with all of his colleagues and friends looking on.
Yikes! We certainly didn’t see Joel’s incarceration coming. The affair we expected, even Alex predicted that much when she broke up with Joel. He may not be able to get his love life together, but he doesn’t deserve to go to prison for what happened to Brad. It was an accident that happened out of self-defense. Let’s hope Joel has a good lawyer.
What did you think, Hopefuls? Are you relieved to see that Alex is slowly remembering her time in limbo? Are you happy she is telling Charlie about it as she starts remembering each encounter? Do you think her feelings for Charlie will return once her memories of limbo are restored?
What do you make of Joel’s predicament? Were you disappointed to see him hook-up with Selena like that? Are you shocked that he’s headed to jail? Do you think we’ll see Joel serve some time for assault if not worse?
How do you feel about Dana’s storyline? Is her daughter Molly’s addiction a cry for help? Did Maggie do the right thing by telling Dana about it? Will Dana notice Molly’s drug abuse while they work together at the hospital?
Do you think we will see Thor again? Will he face any consequences for treating Robert so poorly and selfishly? Could Thor offer any helpful information to Alex and Charlie in the future?
Share your thoughts below and stay tuned for more scoop!
“Saving Hope” returns on Wed., Jan. 7 with a special two hour event airing at 9 p.m. on CTV.
Mark your calendars, Hopefuls! “Saving Hope’s” Season 3 finale is scheduled to air on Wed., Feb., 18 at 10 p.m. on CTV.
This article was originally published on Examiner.com on December 26, 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.