This week’s episode, “Start Me Up,” introduces “Saving Hope’s” newbies, exposes some interesting secrets and chronicles the pros and cons of taking that scary first step toward something new. Time was nearly equally distributed between our favorites at Hope Zion and we were able to dig a little deeper into Dawn and Shahir’s shrouded personal lives, which was a delight. For the first time since Joel’s death, it looks like Zach actually made a real connection with someone instead of going through the motions at work and hooking-up with the girls on staff in an attempt to mask the pain. Maggie takes a leap of faith and learns that her friends have her back. Alex struggles to find a balance between motherhood and work. She desperately tries making it home in time to catch Baby Luke’s first steps and ends up learning a valuable lesson while mentoring her eager-to-learn Junior Resident, Cassie Williams (Kim Shaw). Lastly, Charlie learns some disturbing details about Amy’s death and questions Crenshaw’s innocence.
A chipper Dawn calls a meeting of her top-docs and hands outs applications for Hope Zion’s coveted Fellowship which provides a grant that will fund a two-year study for whatever the winner chooses to pursue. They have until the end of the day to turn it in. Although Maggie plans on leaving for Cleveland, Dawn & Co. still encourage her to submit an application. Hmmm, feels like foreshadowing, no? Maggie is too preoccupied with the move and dismisses the fellowship. Even Alex admits that she would have submitted her form months ago, but Baby Luke has taken priority over all else. She knew it would be torn between both loves, but on this day in particular, Alex really wants to be home for her baby.
Baby Luke is on the cusp of taking his first steps. Charlie literally has to carry Alex out of the apartment because she doesn’t want to leave Baby Luke’s side. She steers Charlie back to give their little one a kiss before they begrudgingly head out. Adorable! Their nanny keeps her cell on hand to capture the moment if it should happen while they’re away. Alex has had many reasons to be distracted at work before, but this one takes the cake. She can’t even hide her sense of urgency from her patients. Alex just wants to get through the work day and make it home in time. Alex’s patient, Ralph Lively, calls her out on it and his case ends up teaching her a valuable lesson.
When Maggie gets stuck with babysitting Hope Z’s three new Junior Residents, she pawns one off on Alex. Dr. Reid quickly quizzes them in the doctors’ lounge and takes the winner, Cassie, along. She doesn’t want anything slowing her down, especially not a needy and clueless newbie. Alex gives Cassie a huge opportunity to scrub in and assist with the removal of Ralph’s gall bladder. Hopefully, there will be no indication that his cancer has returned.
Right before the surgery, Charlie tells Alex that Baby Luke took his first steps and shows her the video. Alex is heartbroken that she missed this huge moment. She can’t even hug Charlie because she just scrubbed up for the surgery. Your heart really breaks for Alex. She tries pulling it together, but can’t help the tears from falling. Beautiful, moving work from Erica Durance in this episode. Cassie asks if and why she is crying. Alex tells Cassie to stay focused on her work. It is time for Cassie’s big first step as doctor After all, she’s there to assist, not just observe.
Cassie nicks the bile duct, freaks out at how badly she messed up and scurries out of the O.R. Alex stabilizes Ralph and follows Cassie. Alex gives her a much needed pep talk. Everyone is nervous their first time in surgery and all doctors have made those kinds of mistakes, but you can never bale on your patient. Alex sends Cassie back in to finish what she started. By the end of the day, Cassie overhears about Baby Luke and sweetly comforts Alex. Dr. Reid may have missed Luke’s first steps, but she was there for Cassie’s and the young resident is deeply appreciative. Aww. Good for Cassie, that’s exactly what Alex needed to hear.
Once Ralph is out of surgery and cancer free, Alex explains why she was so hasty. He’s the father of four girls and understands. When he was diagnosed with cancer he worried about all the big milestones he’d miss. He assures Alex that Baby Luke’s first steps are just the beginning and she’ll have a lifetime of happy memories to make and cherish with him. This episode is just punching us in the feels. There is so much sweetness, that Even Zach ends up being a softy.
Hope Zion’s long-time custodian, Angelo Ferraro (Joe Pingue), has shattered his elbow with wear and tear. Zach and Charlie treat the stubborn intellectual who insists on sticking with his physically demanding when he is clearly capable of achieving so much more. Angelo is a lawyer in the making and he keeps showing off his knowledge with philosophical allusions. Charlie warns him that his new elbow will be busted in a couple of years if he sticks with this line of work, he’ll end up losing his arm. Still, Angelo acts like he can’t do anything else.
Over time we learn that Angelo used to play poker with Joel, who still owes him a $100 debt. This strikes a chord with Zach and he takes more of an interest in Angelo. Almost like he’s trying to do Joel a solid by helping his old buddy move on to better things in life. Angelo thinks Zach is a rich, entitled jerk. As it turns out, they’re both from the same neck of the woods and had similar upbringings with working class families. Zach and Angelo were both the first in their family to attend university. After bonding a bit, Zach returns to clear Joel’s debt and gives Angelo a check that’s way more than $100. He wants Angelo to pursue his dreams. In return, Angelo invites Zach to their poker game, so he can take some more of his money. Angelo has a captivating presence and his interaction with Zach is fun to watch. Hopefully this will be the beginning of a budding bromance. Now, onto another delightful duo.
Shahir comes to Dawn with a major problem. He was in bed with his boyfriend, Jonathon, when he suddenly had a heart issue. Dawn tells his not to fret and monitors his heart throughout the day. He experiences only one blip while treating Ava, a young woman with a strange facial sensitivity. Shahir and Curtis perform a risky operation that will take care of the nerve issues. During the operation, Shahir embarks on personal line of questioning and asks Curtis about the missing 18 months on his resume. That’s Shahir for you, no nuance and straight to the point. Curtis says this is not the time and they carry on with the surgery.
Later, Ava’s arm spasms and stops when Shahir gives her a water bottle to hold onto. This stressful moment is only blip on Shahir’s monitor. It turns out that she has MS and her condition was masking the symptoms before. She feels like this is a death sentence, but Shahir assures her that it is not. He encourages her to live her life as planned and join her boyfriend in Paris. Perhaps it is time for Shahir to take some of his own advice.
When Dawn asks him exactly what happened at the time of his incident, he admits that Jonathon had just said, “I love you.” The last man Shahir loved was Victor (Aww, we still miss him!) and that relationship ended poorly, so he’s afraid of getting heartbroken again. But you can’t love and be loved without taking a chance. It so happens that a new love is the reason for Dawn’s cheery disposition. Yay! She deserves some romance, love and happiness. Dawn has come such a long way from when we first met her. Even then, once we found out her whole story, we realized that she had her reasons for being so stern and reserved. Love looks good on Dawn so let’s hope it lasts! As for Shahir, he realizes that it is time to take a chance on love again and decides to make amends for his rude behavior. He leaves the fellowship announcement dinner early, so that he can apologize to his beau.
Hope Zion’s finest have gathered to celebrate and see who the fellowship candidates will be. Earlier in the day, Maggie received the disappointing news that funding fell through and she lost her position in Cleveland. Luckily, Alex and Curtis filled out a fellowship application for Maggie even when she told them not to bother. Now, Alex, Maggie and Curtis are all up for this big grant. Nothing like some friendly competition to light a fire under your bum. It’s a little troublesome when Maggie fears this might interfere with their friendship. Let’s hope they keep the rivalry low-key and nobody’s feelings don’t get crushed. Speaking of feeling crushed…you know those missing 18 months when Curtis went off the map? It looks like Cassie is the cause of his sabbatical. Whatever happened between those two must have been really painful. Get ready for some more awkward tension in the O.R.
While everyone is at the banquet, Charlie is busy working on Crenshaw’s case. It’s so weird how the morgue has become Charlie’s ghost whispering office. Creepy, yet befitting. He gets a dummy and examines exactly how Amy appeared to be abused. There were bruises on her chest and her skull was fractured. Uh-oh. This doesn’t look good for Crenshaw’s case. He claims he just gave her CPR and called for help when it didn’t work. Charlie reenacts what kind of force it would have taken to cause such severe physical harm. Crenshaw shook her hard, hitting her head against the floor. He says it was because he was so upset that she drowned herself and was frustrated when she wouldn’t wake-up. Charlie is livid. Crenshaw said it looked bad, but this is so much worse than what we imagined. You can’t blame Charlie for losing faith in him. Crenshaw needs to find proof of his innocence and it is going to take something really big. Being a ghost should help Crenshaw search in places he never considered before. There must be something he can do from the supernatural realm. What if they try reaching out to Amy’s spirit? Has she crossed over? If her husband is innocent, wouldn’t she want to help him? Does Charlie know how to call upon a spirit? He’d take her word for it if she confirms it was suicide. This can turn into a very interesting twist.
How did you feel about this episode, Hopefuls? What were your favorite moments? Did your heart break for Alex? What are your first impressions of the newbies? What do you think happened between Curtis and Cassie? Are you excited to meet Shahir’s new beau? Are you thrilled to see Dawn happily in love? 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.