Are you still drying up those tears, Hopefuls? “Saving Hope” has been dishing out some major tearjerkers as this season nears its end. Truths are revealed and lives are changed as the doctors of Hope Zion learn more about themselves as they strive to save lives. Love and marriage are the two big themes in “A Simple Plan.” Love causes people to do some crazy things, but it also draws people closer together.
Zach and Maggie work on a heartbreaking case, which stirs up Zach’s surprisingly sad past. Mike and Colette come to the ER on their way to great camping trip. They are heading out to see the Northern Lights. Colette is worried about her husband’s symptoms and wants Zach to provide him with some meds. What she doesn’t realize is that Mike already knows the cause of the problem. He is dying of stage four lung cancer and he doesn’t want Colette to know. He planned to go on this trip and enjoy whatever little time he has with the love of his life. Zach warns Mike that his last days are going to be brutal and Colette should be able to brace herself for the harsh reality they are about to face. He feels it is selfish and unfair to rob her of the truth. Mike isn’t protecting her, instead he is causing her more pain. Zach urges Mike to tell her the truth, but he won’t change his mind. As the day progresses, Mike’s condition worsens and Colette keeps asking questions. Zach finds it very difficult to keep this secret from Colette.
Zach cannot tell her the truth, but he allows her to follow him to Mike’s room where Maggie is draining out his lungs. Colette is shocked and Maggie can’t believe Zach betrayed their patient’s confidentiality. Nonetheless, Mike is forced to tell Colette the whole truth. Mike decided to forgo treatment. He doesn’t want chemo. Colette is devastated. They planned on growing old together, surely he can beat cancer. When she realizes that he doesn’t have much time left, she steps out of the room. Zach follows her and tries putting her at ease. He explains how the cancer had spread before they discovered it. Mike’s survival rate low, so Zach understands why he has forgone treatment.
Mike develops a clot in his lungs and needs to be treated immediately. In the OR, Mike says they’ve been married for 20 years. They had just hit the sweet spot of their marriage and he promised never to leave her. Sigh. There go the waterworks. Thanks for making us weep like babies, “Saving Hope.”
Maggie doesn’t understand why Zach broke protocol. She’s upset with him, so he explains his reasoning and opens up to her. Zach was 17 years old when his father died from lung cancer. He had been sick for a while, but his parents decided not tell Zach the truth. Zach regrets the last days he spent with father. Since he didn’t know the truth, he fought with his dad, slept in, went out with friends, and acted like his dad would always be around. If he knew his father was going to die within a year, he would’ve spent that time differently. He fears he was out of line with Colette, but he didn’t want her to live with the same regrets.
Zach to talks Colette and says that Mike doesn’t have much time. She already feels guilty for bitching at him. Maggie comforts her saying she at least gets to say goodbye, not everyone has that chance. Colette starts crying. She wants to scream, but needs to be peaceful for him. Zach warmly tells Colette, “He wanted his last days with you to be happy.” Then with Melanda’s help, Zach makes Mike’s dying wish come true. Since they can’t go to the Northern Light, Zach brings the lights to them.
Well done, “Saving Hope.” We are drowning in a pool of tears. Goosebumps! And bravo, Benjamin Ayers. What a moving and beautiful performance. For the wise-ass of the ER, Zach has so much heart and such a heartbreaking past. It is always a treat to learn more about him and see Ayers shine in this role.
Okay, let’s take a little break from sobbing and focus on a couple of other stories. Charlie and Alex work together on an interesting case, while Joel tries making his patient’s dream wedding come true.
Travis says he injured his leg by jumping off a bridge to escape from muggers. His life is complicated to say the least. He has an ankle monitor and is set to go to jail and serve a three year sentence soon. He’ll be leaving his pregnant girlfriend behind. When Travis tries making a crippled run for it, he falls and other injuries surface. The convict finally comes clean and tells ChAlex the truth. He was trying to smuggle cocaine to make some extra cash before going to prison. Now some of that cocaine is seeping into in entrails. Alex operates and successfully removes the cocaine.
During the operation, we can’t help but fear for her safety. Sure the chances are slim, but just in case, shouldn’t the pregnant doctor stay away from the harmful cocaine? What if she got nicked and it entered her bloodstream? Luckily, nothing bad happens. After the operation, they have Travis chat with Dr. Dey and he talks some sense into the kid. Travis realizes it is better to play it safe, follow the rules and just serve his sentence instead of taking dangerous risks and adding more time to his sentence. In the end, all Travis really wants is to be with his gal and baby, so it’s time for him to man-up and start thinking of doing what’s best for them all.
Elsewhere, Joel and Shahir have been working with bride-to-be, Brianna. She got into an accident while drunk driving and she lost the use of her legs. Although there is no miracle surgery that can make her walk again, Joel conducts a procedure that may enable her to take a few steps down the aisle. Brianna pushes herself too hard and ends up injuring herself even more. Luckily, Joel is there to catch her when she falls. He wants to pull through for her, so he moves on to Plan B.
Joel assures Brainna’s father that they are not giving her false hope. Shahir and Joel give her a botox injection to stop the leg spasms and have her wear an exoskeleton to help her briefly walk down the aisle with her father’s help. Awww. Brianna’s wedding daze is clearly rubbing off on Joel. As spends more time helping her prepare for wedded bliss and a life full of unconditional love, a little twinkle begins sparkling in Joel’s eyes.
Joel tells Shahir to update Alex’s labor log. Joel wants to be Shahir’s first call when Alex goes into labor. He leaves Hope Zion with an extra pep in his step. Oh dear, is he thinking what we think he’s thinking?!
Meanwhile, Alex wants to talk to Charlie about her birth plan. As he looks at her hand, which is still causing trouble, she has another smooch vision. This time it looks a like a flashback. Could this have been the lead up to the baby’s conception? Squee! He says he’ll meet up with her soon and dashes off to take care of a ghost that’s been haunting him all day.
Alex’s patient died in the ER that morning and he’s been persistently nagging Charlie. He says he knows Alex from somewhere, so Charlie takes care of the ghost’s unfinished business. He browses through the pockets of the ghost’s belongings and everything becomes clear.
The ghost was driving Charlie and Alex to their wedding on the night of that fateful car accident. The cabbie has been hoping to return Alex’s vows to her ever since. He’s been cryptically reciting them to Charlie all day long. The ghost says he has Alex’s future and she had left it behind. Is this the key to unlocking what she left behind in limbo? Alex has been on the cusp of a major breakthrough ever since she realized she was pregnant. Receiving these vows could be what completely restores all the lovey-dovey feelings she had suddenly lost for Charlie. The cabbie insists that Alex needs to have them back and Charlie promises to deliver them to her. Goosebumps!!! This is awesome! There is even more hope for ChAlex now.
But then again, nothing ever goes smoothly on “Saving Hope.” Just as Charlie and Alex are on the brink of a sweet reunion, Joel sets his own plans into motion. Joel picks out an engagement ring for Alex! After spending the day with Brianna, it looks like Joel got a bit of wedding fever. Is he really prepared to take such a big step?
Sorry JAlex fans, but this Hopeful couldn’t stop herself from screaming “Nooo!” at the TV in that moment. All signs are pointing to Alex and Charlie picking up from where they left off and having a beautiful family together. Joel always causes trouble in whatever relationship he’s in. Planning to propose when Alex asked for space and telling Shahir that he wants to be the first call when Alex goes into labor is all very presumptuous of Joel. Alex has made her feelings clear and Joel is acting like he is definitely the baby daddy. So to put it immaturely: Boo!
On the other hand, to be objective, Joel is finally growing up. He wants to put down some roots and create a life with Alex and the baby. BUT Charlie and Alex were already at that point before she even got pregnant. So is Joel doing this because it is what he truly wants? Would he have reached this place on his own if Alex wasn’t pregnant? Will his proposal be conditional: if he’s the dad, then they’ll get married? Or did Joel always want a family life with Alex and he was just too scared to see it through in the past?
This was a fantastic episode full of wonderful performances and it leaves us with more questions. How will Alex react to Joel’s proposal? What will happen when Charlie delivers her vows? How hard is each man willing to fight Alex? What did you think of the episode? How do you feel about Joel’s actions? Share your thoughts below!
“Saving Hope” airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on CTV.
This article was originally published on Examiner.com on February 9, 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.