‘Saving Hope’ S3 Ep 11 & 12 recap: Heart of the matter

Paternal ambiguity makes this love triangle even more awkward. (Photo credit: CTV via Twitter)

Wow, Hopefuls, we have a lot to discuss after “Saving Hope’s” whirlwind two hour return event. In both episodes, “The Parent Trap” and “Hearts of Glass,” Alex opens up about her pregnancy and admits to the baby’s paternal ambiguity. Sticking with the theme of motherhood, Alex deals with two different situations which open her eyes to the bond between a mother and her child. On the personal front, Alex gets mixed up in the middle of Dana’s troubles with Molly, who receives a wake-up call after overdosing on heroine. At Hope Zion, Alex becomes involved with Dawn’s ongoing case with two patients waiting for a heart transplant. Layla is a loving foster mom who is about to happily adopt Giselle, a twelve year old sweetheart that has not left her side. Layla’s primary concern is to be around to care for her new daughter. The other heart patient, Eliot, is a bitter litigator suing the hospital and making a fuss over every little thing. Which one of them will end up getting a new heart? Do we have the right to judge who deserves to be saved and whose life is worth risking? We’ll soon find out.

Right off the bat we get clarification on Joel’s crazy cliffhanger. Zach has bailed him out of jail, but he isn’t back to work just yet. We hang on for the first hour and get more details on Joel in the second half, but at least we know he didn’t get stuck in prison. Moving onto the drama at hand.

Dana’s daughter, Molly, calls Alex when she gets busted by the cops for under-aged drinking. Molly views Alex as her cool and understanding aunt, but she is still loaded with attitude. Alex is about to call Dana when she appears at her door. Dana used an app to track Molly. Once Dana arrives, Alex watches an epic mother-daughter unraveling. Very harsh things are said, probably the worst of it is when Molly tells Dana not to play the cancer card too soon. Ouch! Dana tries setting Molly straight, Molly lashes out some more, then goes to bathroom to barf, while Dana eases her own nerves with chardonnay. Alex passes on a drink, tells Dana that Molly has a right to feel intimidated by her and goes to check on the kid.

Alex returns after taking turns puking with Molly. She’s surprised Dana hasn’t noticed by now and shares the news about her pregnancy. Alex even asks Dana to be her child’s godmother, despite the spectacle she’s witnessing. She feels overwhelmed, but she’s really happy about having a baby and is assured that she has phenomenal and supportive friends who will be around to help her. Aww. Dana has really opened up to Alex and shown her vulnerabilities, if only she would do the same with Molly.

To sum things up with Molly: The girl has issues. She’s getting high in front of her mother and constantly causing her to worry. She admits to Alex that she feels like her life doesn’t matter. Her mother could die and she could have the same kind of cancer and die young too, so she might as well live it up while she can. Alex tries comforting Molly and assures her that Dana only has her best interest at heart and is acting out of love. Then she lets Molly get some rest.

Alex and Dana check on her a while later and shockingly discover that Molly has overdosed on heroine. In that moment, Dana loses all sensibility as a doctor and goes into panicking, helpless mama mode, so Alex takes charge. They take her to Hope Zion and Zach is able to save her. Once things have calmed down, Dana and Molly have a much needed chat.

Dana apologizes for being so blind to Molly’s needs when she was sick. Molly admits that it is tough to live up to the standards Dana has set. But despite all the fights, misunderstandings, and resentments, they both love each other. Dana can’t lose Molly and lovingly tells her she needs to go to rehab. It’s non-negotiable, just like her love for Molly. Thankfully Dana and Molly are finally communicating. Hopefully this scare and rehab will help Molly heal and move on in the right direction.

Later, Dana tells Alex that she will be a great mom. She warns her that the worry will never end, but being a mother is the best thing ever. Dana would be honored to be the baby’s godmother. Aww. At the episode’s end, Alex tells Charlie that she’s pregnant and he’s so happy for her. The world could use a little more of Alex. So sweet! Then she calls Joel and leaves a message saying they need to talk. Yeah, this is going to get super awkward!

During Dana’s drama, Charlie was busy with a wild case. He was treating an MMA fighter, Tammy, who was persistent and resistant. Her arm is in bad shape and Charlie needs to operate. During the surgery, her spirit appears. She can’t lose her arm, but something is terribly wrong and the surgery takes a turn. When he asks if she’s used steroids, she tries ghost slapping and doesn’t answer. So Charlie approaches Tammy’s rival, Kara, and their trainer. The trainer has written Tammy off and is sick of her stupid gimmick where she collapses after every fight. It seems like a gag, but Tammy’s ghost admits she is out for real. Charlie adds up all the symptoms and realizes that Tammy has lupus. She has been taking prednisone steroids to treat it. Charlie is able to successfully complete the operation and save Tammy’s arm. Afterwards, Kara admits she always looked up to Tammy and wants to train with her. Kara and Tammy become friends and leave their bitchy trainer behind. Chalk it up to another great ghost save by Charlie.

Now for the longer story arc that took center stage for both episodes. Dawn has been treating Eliot and Layla. Both are in need of heart transplants. Both patients are very different. Eliot is a self-serving litigator. His ten day stay has not resolved any of his health problems, so he is suing Dawn and Hope Zion. Now they have to be on their best behavior and coddle him. He may drop the suit if Dawn finds his mother’s pillows, which went missing in the hospital and if he sees an improvement in his treatment. The only sweetness we see in Eliot is when Layla’s foster daughter, Giselle, kindly tosses him a yogurt. After spending so much time as neighbors, it seems like they’ve gotten to know each other a bit. Which makes what Eliot ends up doing even worse.

Throughout both episodes, Layla appears to be in worse shape than Eliot. In the first episode, Dawn implants a device that will help Layla’s heart beat and buy her some time until a heart becomes available. Layla explains how she gave up her child when she was sixteen and Giselle is her second chance at motherhood. It took a long time for that little girl to warm up to her and now that they’re finally about to become a family, Layla doesn’t want to leave Giselle all alone in the world. Way to tug on our heart-strings, “Saving Hope”. Giselle is so attached that she has been secretly sleeping in a closet for the past couple of days, which explains where Eliot’s pillows went. Dawn finds Giselle and sets the girl up in her office, exhibiting her softer, more maternal side. After seeing all of this, we are really pulling for Layla and Giselle. The stakes are super high entering the second episode.

“Hearts of Glass” opens with Dawn saving Eliot who is still pressing his lawsuit. After Eliot stabilizes, Dr. Rocca has a bureaucratic conversation with Dawn about caring for their troublesome patient. Alex is familiar with his case, so Dawn asks her to handle Eliot with kid gloves and prevent any possible new grievances. One look at Alex and Eliot already tries taking advantage of his situation by asking her to give him a sponge bath. Come on, man! That’s just rude and gross. For shame!

Suddenly a heart becomes available. Eliot’s recent issues pushes Layla to the top of the transplant list. Alex tells her the news and Layla puts on a brave face before telling Giselle. She still has her fears, but is relieved to know this transplant will give her the opportunity to be around for Giselle. Once Giselle hears the news, she’s so happy and excited that she tells Eliot. He says he’s happy for them and then makes an ominous phone call. Crap, you know that can’t be good.

Dawn has Layla all prepped for the big five hour operation. Everything is set when she’s suddenly stopped. Eliot contacted his lawyer and he demands to get that heart. It seems that Dawn was supposed to run another test on Eliot to make sure he was cleared for the transplant, but she did not. Dr. Rocca admits he doesn’t like Eliot anymore than she does, but it doesn’t mean she can slack on her duty. Eliot’s infection is gone and it is Dawn’s fault for not double checking before deciding to give the heart to Layla. Technically Eliot still deserves priority over Layla, even though she’s all ready to go for the transplant.

They pull Layla out of the operation and Giselle gives Eliot a piece of her mind. She is furious at him for doing this to them and says she hopes he dies. Harsh, but you really can’t blame the kid. He could’ve hung in there and waited for another heart, especially when he knew about Layla and Giselle’s unique situation.

Dawn, Alex and Larouche begrudgingly perform the heart transplant on Eliot. Lana, one of the struggling members of Alex’s study group, is sitting in on the operation to gain more experience before their big board exam. She quips from the peanut gallery, saying she’s surprised there’s a heart in there to replace. Dawn places a towel over Lana’s face and slaps her. Whoa! That is NOT okay. Everyone is stunned. Eventually Dawn apologizes and admits she feels the same, but it doesn’t really make a difference. While they continue working on Eliot, Layla’s condition worsens.

Layla’s spirit suddenly appears to Charlie and she’s coding. Dawn and Co. immediately rush over to the adjacent OR and desperately try to save Layla. So we are guessing they totally wrapped up on Eliot at this point, even though they seem like they may have even left him hanging to save Layla. While they frantically work on her, Layla tells Charlie that she cannot move on until she knows Giselle will not be alone. This is so heartbreaking.

Despite their best efforts, they lose Layla. So sad and unfair. Alex offers to tell Giselle the news, but Dawn wants to do it herself. Layla and Charlie look on and see how Giselle is devastated. She lashes out at Dawn, but then something pretty huge happens. Dawn starts crying too and pulls Giselle in for a hug. As they embrace Layla’s spirit vanishes.

Could it be that Giselle has found a new home with Dawn? After all, Dawn really wanted a child and was distraught when she discovered she can’t have a baby. Perhaps this tragedy is a blessing in disguise. Dawn and Giselle don’t have to be alone. It is a sweet sentiment and it would definitely be better for Giselle than going back into the system. What do you think, Hopefuls? Layla’s story has a heartbreakingly sad ending, but elsewhere in the hospital, things are beginning to look up for other patients.

Joel treats a pilot, Donnie, who has undergone a very risky treatment to make himself taller in order to join the air force. He’s been accelerating the treatment to make himself taller faster and has caused extra damage to his legs. When Joel and Charlie see the extent of his injuries in the OR, they decide to remove the hardware, resetting Donnie back to his original height. Joel softens the blow by bringing in his old buddy who happens to be a commercial pilot. Donnie may not be able to fly in the air force, but he still has plenty of other options. You have to give Joel credit for going the extra mile to give Donnie hope. Luckily, Donnie was understanding of the circumstances. Sometimes patients stay in denial and are too afraid to face the truth.

Maggie takes a break from studying for exams to check out Helen in the ER. Helen came in with an injured wrist but she won’t let the doctors examine her. Maggie brings Dr. Dey in for a consult. Helen has a fear of doctors because she’s afraid their diagnosis will be fatal. Dey suggests role playing and it works. Helen allows Maggie to see the cyst on her wrist, but then Maggie uses a bit of trickery to bang it out with her textbook. Yeah, so that happened. The greater takeaway from this arc is Maggie’s behavior with Dr. Dey.

Once again, Maggie makes things uncomfortable. She knows he’s celibate, so she hyper sexualizes everything. Is she trying to replace Gavin with this new shrink? Dey is doing his best to handle her, but Maggie is hellbent on causing trouble. This is not going to end well. Plus, her behavior is super inappropriate in the workplace. This could be sexual harassment because she is coming onto him pretty strong. How do you feel about Maggie’s behavior?

Now for the moment we’ve all been waiting for: Alex’s pregnancy and finding out who the father is. Alex asks Dr. Katz to be her OB/GYN. All is well with her pregnancy and Alex admits she wants to know who the father is, but Katz says there are some risks in taking a paternity test during her pregnancy. For her baby’s safety, Alex decides to wait.

Joel and Charlie are both anxious to find out which one of them is father, but they don’t want to pressure Alex. Given their history, Joel and Charlie are handling this pretty well. There are a few small verbal jabs, but both men want to be there for Alex and want what’s best for the baby. The funny thing is that their twisted love triangle has become water cooler fodder and the staff even has a paternity pool going.

It looks like we will all have to wait it until the baby is born and Alex has the little one tested. Sadly, everything isn’t one hundred percent peachy. Alex randomly falls down. She has a lot to juggle right now and life is only going to get more hectic as time goes on. Dr Katz doesn’t find anything wrong with her, but still, Alex is instructed to take it easy. Judging by the promo for the next episode, it doesn’t seem like Alex is really going to have the chance, even on her day off.

What did you all think of the two-part return? Were you hoping to discover the baby daddy’s identity? How did you feel about Dawn’s behavior during these two episodes? She had drastic highs and lows: she nearly suspended Joel, then let him stay, she slapped a student, but then called off the practice exam after Layla’s tragic passing, and she had a very raw and emotional moment with Giselle that gives us hope for their future. Do you think Dawn might adopt Giselle? What about the way Maggie has been treating Dr. Dey? Is she crossing the line? What does she really want from him? Is this her twisted way of reaching out for some sort of therapy? What did you think about Larouche’s backstory about losing his sister? It was an intense sprinkle of character detail, but it will help us understand where Larouche is coming from in the future.

Share your thoughts below!

“Saving Hope” airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on CTV.

This article was originally published on Examiner.com on January 14, 2015.

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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