Some big things happened in “Saving Hope’s” latest installment, “Beasts of Burden,” but we have to start with the best part of this episode. Alex is on board with Charlie’s gift and she wants to be involved in that part of his life. What a relief! It was one of the major questions on all of our minds and thankfully the writers didn’t toy with our emotions by dragging it out. We just couldn’t wait to celebrate that wonderful revelation and we’ll discuss it more in a bit. This hour was full of changes and transitions for Hope Zion’s finest. Alex finds herself butting heads with a revered senior surgeon and earning respect from Curtis. Maggie struggles to make a life-changing decision while trying to convince her alcoholic patient to turn her life around. And Charlie receives a little supernatural assist when Crenshaw’s ghost helps him out with a stubborn and proud patient. Everyone carries a burden, but some are heavier than others.
First up is Alex. Dawn gives her the rare and coveted chance to work with renowned surgeon, Dr. Clara Levine (Kate Lynch). They’ll be treating Cynthia, a 37 year old patient who was kicked by a horse and needs her spleen removed. We learn that Clara trained Dawn, so she took notice when her former student spoke very highly of Alex. Speaking of Dawn, she’s very chipper all of a sudden. What’s going on in her life? Has she become a foster mom? Has she found love? Something is up and the writers haven’t given us any clues yet this season. Hopefully we’ll see what it’s all about sometime soon. Whatever the reason, Michelle Nolden and Erica Durance are so fun to watch when they play off of each other. The dancing scene was adorable. We need to see more of happy Dawn. Unfortunately, Alex isn’t in such a celebratory mood after working with Clara.
Curtis is invited to observe the surgery, which ends up being a good thing because he witnesses Clara’s mistake in the OR. Clara may have decades of experience under her belt, but laparoscopic procedures are new and the young docs have mastered them. When Alex alerts Clara to possible mistake, the senior surgeon shrugs it off, dismisses Alex’s concerns, and tells Curtis to finish up. Whoa! Not cool, lady. At least hear Alex out. After the surgery, Curtis cautions Alex to apologize because you don’t want to offend a senior surgeon.
Cynthia begins having post-op issues as result of Clara’s short-sightedness. Alex apologizes to Clara, but she also brings Cynthia’s situation to light. Again, Clara is dismissive, claiming that anything could cause those post-op problems. When Alex questions Clara’s reasoning, the senior surgeon is appalled. She would have never questioned her superiors. Times have changed, so get with the program. Alex’s duty is to save lives, not suck up to her superiors.
As expected, Cynthia starts bleeding out and is rushed back into the O.R. Curtis and Alex are forced to open her up and repair the damage Clara caused when she carelessly nicked the poor woman’s splenic artery. Clara storms into the OR and she is livid. She starts letting Alex have it in the middle of this life-or-death operation. Suddenly Dr. Sharp, the anesthesiologist, cuts her off and snaps, “Alex is trying to save her life!” Go Sharp! Clara runs out of the OR outraged and a little bit with her tail between her legs. Once she’s gone, Alex says she’ll take full responsibility for fighting the powers that be. Curtis cheekily quips, “Easy, Spartacus.” He’s got her back and Alex isn’t in this alone. Clara messed up, plain and simple.
Curtis sends the paperwork over to Dawn and she has to have an awkward chat with her mentor. It is time for Clara to step away before she makes a mistake that can’t be fixed. Dawn throws together a super last second retirement party. Before Clara leaves, she has a candid chat with Alex. Things seem to have come a long way for women in the workplace, but Clara devoted her entire life to her career because she couldn’t afford to step away for a second. Now she sees Alex balancing it all, work, family life, etc. Clara gives her a heads-up because no matter how much better things may have gotten, Alex will always have to prove herself when compared to her male colleagues.
Clara has a point, but this episode also proved that Alex gained more respect from her male colleagues. Curtis supported her, which was surprising because last week it seemed like he’d have a chip on his shoulder and view her competition. Even Sharp spoke out to defend his friend. Alex has reached a whole new level this season. Last season ended with this superwoman going into labor during her boards, if she can get through that, then she’s capable of anything. Clara shouldn’t be raining on her parade just yet. Unless this is some sort of foreshadowing. Is Alex going to have bigger professional obstacles to overcome this season? Will Curtis and Alex be pitted against each other in the near future? Or will this sort of teamwork only make them more supportive of one another?
While Alex was holding her own against Clara, Maggie was grappling with a tough decision. It seems Dr. Katz transfered to Cleveland and now they want to bring Maggie aboard as well. She has until the end of the day to decide if she wants to leave Hope Zion. She picks the brains of her friends and co-workers. Alex says that Maggie has nothing keeping her in town, so she should follow her dream and climb the medical ladder. This would be a great opportunity for her. Zach teases at first saying that it only takes two days to get over a friend that’s left. That’s a little harsh, even for a smart-aleck, but he eventually comes around. Zach admits that if she left, he’d miss her like hell. Awww. There’s the Zach we love to see. As Maggie weighs the pros and cons of moving to Cleveland, she tries to help a challenging patient.
Natalie stumbles into the ER all banged up and with a bad case of withdrawals. After a tox-screen, Maggie learns that her ad-exec patient isn’t just an alcoholic, but she’s a pill-popper too. She desperately tries to convince Natalie to enter a rehab program, especially since she has nothing left to lose. After a little digging, Maggie discovers that she’s been recently fired and has no family. This is a wake-up call, but Natalie doesn’t answer it. She leaves the hospital and Maggie can’t do anything about it.
After seeing Natalie give up on an opportunity to better her life, Maggie takes a glance around the ER. She sees Zach smooching his new girlfriend, even though he was browsing through Tinder earlier, and she kind of sighs. Then she calls Cleveland and takes the job. Is Maggie really leaving? Can her mind be changed? If Zach showed more interest in her, would she be inclined to stay? If so, then it would be better for Maggie to leave?
Throughout the course of this series, Maggie keeps falling for the guy she’s working with. All the hook-ups with Joel, her tragically hot-mess of a relationship with Gavin, and then the tryst she with Katz last season. Maggie needs to be on her own and figure out life for herself. It would be sad to see her go, but she needs to step-up and take control of her life. She keeps floating through it, drifting from one lover to the next. What do you think, Hopefuls?
Lastly, we have Charlie, multi-tasking his crazy cases. As a surgeon, he’s dealing with Dean Powell, a patient who has undergone seven operations in an attempt to save his leg, which was crushed by a forklift. Ouch! It is not a pretty sight. Shahir runs a test and concludes that nerves are still severely damaged in Dean’s leg. He and Charlie are concerned that Dean is abusing pain pills. After grave deliberation, both doctors believe it would be best for Dean to amputate the leg because the pain will never go away and the leg will never function properly. Dean refuses to have an amputation and wants a new doctor. Poor Charlie. He really made a good case too. Dean’s wife seemed to be much more understanding. Dean needs to get rid of the thing that’s holding him back. It’s his leg or his life. Plus, prosthetics have come a long way. Charlie gives the couple some time to think and finds himself quickly preoccupied with his supernatural case.
Right off the bat, Charlie lays down the law and asserts that his home is always off limits. Crenshaw admits he was wrong and promises never to do it again, but argues that he’s desperate. Nobody would want to be on the receiving end of Charlie’s glare. If looks could kill. Michael Shanks nailed it. Ghost or not, that’ll make you tremble. Do not mess with Charlie or his family. Later, Crenshaw appears in Charlie’s crowded elevator, lurking in the corner like a “giant tangerine.” Hilarious! We don’t get enough of Charlie’s awkward ghost whispering moments. Please give us more!
Crenshaw has a proposal, he can help Charlie with his patient. Maybe if he can earn Charlie’s trust, the gifted doc will be inclined to help clear his name. The convict also explains why he is innocent. His wife, Amy, killed herself. He didn’t murder her. She had been suicidal for a while. Crenshaw was mess after she died, but he didn’t want to appear weak. He hid his pain and looked guilty instead. Wow. If this story is true, then you really do feel for this guy.
Crenshaw’s plan works. He confirms his theory and explains how Dean is just too proud to be honest with his wife. He’s in terrible pain and just needs to come clean. By episode’s end, Dean comes around and is on board for the amputation. He and his wife check out new prosthetics and can look forward to a brighter future. Since Crenshaw pulls through, Charlie agrees to help him out.
Charlie pulls Amy’s x-rays and sees how the medical examiner could have been wrong. Amy tried killing herself two years before her death. When the ME saw her broken hyoid, he assumed it indicated a pattern of abuse, not multiple suicide attempts. Crenshaw’s story gets sadder by the minute. This is awful. Crenshaw loved his wife. They kept her troubles a secret and now he’s paying the price for it. He thanks Charlie for listening and giving him a chance. Charlie gives Crenshaw a little hope, saying there may be a case for appeal. After hearing Crenshaw’s sorrowful tale, we certainly hope so. The problem now is that Crenshaw is in a coma. How is Charlie supposed to help him out if the world thinks he’s unconscious? Do they have to wait for him to wake up? That would only prolong his appeal process? Charlie is on the right track, but this is not an easy endeavor. Charlie has the weight of the world on his shoulders and it shows.
Alex realizes that Charlie has been off since seeing Crenshaw in Baby Luke’s room the night before. He never even went to bed. Awww. Charlie was standing guard making sure the ghost didn’t hurt his family. While Alex begins questioning Charlie, we hold our breath. Is history going to repeat itself? Is Charlie going to make some lame excuse? Is Alex going to get all weird on him for being closed off? Nope! Instead, Alex plainly asks if this is a ghost thing. Hallelujah!
ChAlex is on the same page. She knows about his gift and she isn’t worried about it anymore. She remembers her time in limbo, she believes in him and she wants to be aware of that part of his life. There are no more secrets. The three of them are a family now. They share the good stuff and the bad. This is awesome! The funny thing is that Charlie’s the one having trouble adjusting to it. He still feels weird talking about it and he doesn’t want to freak her out with it. Well you can’t blame him. If he blurted out that a convict’s ghost was in their baby’s room, Alex would have a right to be unnerved. Still, this is a wonderful development for their relationship and the show in general. Maybe Alex and Charlie can work together to help clear Crenshaw’s name. She already showed concern for him during the operation and showed a willingness to listen to his story. What would happen if Charlie filled her in on what Crenshaw said? Would she eagerly champion his cause?
What did you think of the episode, Hopefuls? Are you thrilled to see ChAlex talking about the ghost stuff? Do you believe Maggie will leave? Do you think Crenshaw is innocent? Why do you think Dawn is so happy? What were your favorite moments? Share your thoughts below!
U.S. Hopefuls, catch new episodes of ‘Saving Hope’ Season 4 every Tuesday (re-reuns air on Fridays) at 11/10C on ION Television.