Whoa! It’s a good thing ION Television airs back-to-back ‘Saving Hope’ episodes because this two-parter was an intense nail-biter. Some of this season’s major storylines reach pivotal turning points in “Shattered” and “Emotional Rescue.” When a bomb detonates during a charity marathon, it sends shockwaves through the lives of Hope Zion doctors and patients. Take a deep breath and keep those tissues handy as we rehash the horror, heroism, and heartbreak.
Let’s start on a positive note. Although we’ve been happy Charlie found a supernaturally inclined buddy to chat with, we’re also worried that having a new lady friend could put a strain on his relationship with Alex. This episode puts those reservations to rest. Alex gives Charlie the greenlight to confide in his new “girl-friend,” Kristine. Still, she double checks her theory with Jeremy because he’s a dude and Charlie’s old buddy.
He scares her at first, saying that men only befriend women because they want something more than friendship. However, if Charlie is the hypothetical guy Alex is talking about, then he’s an exception to the rule and can be trusted. Phew! (Dr. Bishop keeps giving me more and more reasons to like him. What a cutie!) Sadly, Charlie’s blossoming friendship isn’t going smoothly.
Kristine’s casual coffee and conversation invite turns into an ambush. Charlie arrives to find a surprise guest Cora, another doctor who happens to see ghosts. Kristine met her online and apparently shared some of Charlie’s private matters with her. You can’t blame Charlie for being defensive in this situation. He is a very private person and it took a lot for him to confide in Gavin and Alex, let alone explain his experience to a total stranger. Charlie forgot his cell in the car and wants to retrieve it, but they don’t let him leave. What’s so pressing that he can’t be without his phone for an hour? Charlie says his infant son. (Good answer, Daddio!) Sigh, if only he knew how the earth was shattering back at Hope Zion, but we’ll get to that soon enough.
Kristine is worried because they are witnessing changes in limbo and Cora seems more experienced in these supernatural matters. She describes the case of the soulmates drawn to each other in death (in “Waiting on a Friend”). It was as creepy as it was touching. How is that even possible? Cora asks if there’ve been any other frightening encounters. It’s obvious she already knows, so Charlie explains how Crenshaw crossed the line and followed him home. Cora warns that they have a reason to be afraid. Gulp!
Cora had a spirit attack her at home and she shows them the burn scars on her arm to prove it. Uh-oh! Darker spirits will attach to their negative energy and attack. Charlie thought of his ability as a gift, but what kind of gift would threaten his family? All he’s done so far is try to help people. He’s upset and gets up to leave. Kristine reaches out and grabs his arm to stop him. Suddenly, they both have visions of Alex, Baby Luke, and tuxedo clad Charlie walking into the ocean. Wait…WHAT?!
Is this a premonition? Are these the same visions Alex saw last season? ChAlex, Baby Luke, the beach…it is all hauntingly familiar, yet brand new. Now Charlie is upset and unsettled. (Yeah, we’re freaking out here too!) Kristine is also rattled. What did she see? She felt a connection when they touched. What does it mean? Good question! Too bad we’ll have to wait to learn the answer. Charlie sees all of the missed messages on his phone and tells Kristine he has to go to the hospital. Are you hyperventilating, yet? Yup, me too. Ok, remember to take deep breathes. Moving on to the chaos at Hope Zion…
Maggie and Shahir are participating in a charity marathon when a bomb explodes in the middle of their run. The sight is jarring. It hits so close to home. Eerily, this episode was scheduled to air on CTV the week of the Paris bombing last year, so the episode was postponed. No matter how much time passes, the horrors on screen take us back to the real life tragedies we witnessed in Paris, Orlando, Boston, and all of the other similar attacks we can recount in recent history. We watch these episodes with especially heavy hearts because the narrative reflects reality. We find ourselves even more invested in these patients’ lives and imagine how so many of those victims and their families must have felt. We still keep them all in our prayers. With that said, we’ll try to find a bit of escape in ‘Saving Hope’s’ story.
Maggie is close to the blast and gets knocked back. She comes to and quickly rushes to pregnant Shelby’s side. When they get to the ER, Zach checks Maggie. She claims to be fine and he says he’ll check on her hourly to be sure. Maggie’s priority is helping Shelby. Her husband, Adam, soon arrives. He’s called their OBGYN Dr. Katz (Well that should be an interesting reunion!) As Maggie removes the shrapnel from Shelby’s leg, she starts vaginally bleeding. Imaging results will take a while and they need to deliver her baby ASAP, so they prep her for surgery and her leg takes a temporary back seat.
Meanwhile, tensions are rising in the hospital. A young cop died in the blast, so the police are getting in the doctors’ way by questioning victims. They think it may have been an act of terror, but they’re still working on it. The hospital is overwhelmed by the amount of patient and they are running short on blood. The hospital staff donates their blood. Bishop is a rare O negative, so he pulls an Alex and directly transfuses his blood into their young patient. (Like I said earlier, this guy is a keeper!). Suddenly, Detective Lozio barges into the OR and snaps a photo of their patient. In a bitter twist, their patient turns out to be the bomber!
A police guard stands watch outside of the OR and Alex has to defend herself to the cops. Doctors are doing their job. It’s not like they’re happy giving preferential treatment to the bomber. His insides are torn up, so he became a top priority…John Doe or bomber, the doctors have to save his life. Then Bishop adds, they’ll “save his life so he can pay for what he did.” He’s assisting Alex like a boss, comforting her about Charlie, keeping the cops in check…he really is an all-around good guy who tries to be there for others. As they operate, things start getting out of hand in the lobby.
Cassie is having a rough go. Maggie handed her a severed arm she recovered from the bombing site and told her to keep on it on ice in case they identify who it belongs too. Well, anybody would be shaken by that. But then she makes a pretty big boo-boo. Adam overhears her telling Asha that Alex has been operating on the bomber. That lands her in Zach’s doghouse. Adam leads a charge of angry victims and loved ones to Alex’s OR. Even Shelby is upset when she realizes what’s going on
In the OR, Bishop tells the chatty Detective to keep quiet while they operate and when the mob arrives at their doors, Dawn steps in to do some damage control. This is where you have to give Dawn credit. (Michelle Nolden is brilliant this season!) At the start of the day, she sees her rapist ex, Lane, smooching Asha. Ewww!!! Dawn gives her a friendly heads-up, warning the young doctor to steer clear of the scumbag. Asha insulting snaps back and regurgitates whatever BS Lane has been feeding her. Gross! Despite all of this, Dawn steps up and whips Hope Zion into shape like a pro.
Dawn tells the mob that this is a hospital, not a court of law. They can register a formal complaint against the hospital, but they have to stay out of the doctors’ way so they can do their job. Bravo, Dawn! Then she has to stand by skeevy Lane’s side to address the press. They praise Hope Z’s incredible team of doctors and emphasize the importance of character, which Lance so clearly lacks. Oh, he is insufferably infuriating! Once they step away from the press, he acts like Dawn is the crazy one with issues. He apologizes for the awkwardness of dating Asha. As if Dawn is acting like a jealous ex-girlfriend when he sure as hell knows she’s really a rape victim. Ick!
Lane proves to be the worst time and again this season. But now he’s crossed a major line. Dawn sees bruises on Asha’s back in the locker room and confronts her about Lane. Is he hurting her? Asha deflects and goes out to help Zach in the E.R. Zach praises the staff and supports Dawn, saying she is a fearless leader they can all get behind. He warns them to look for each other in the midst of all the chaos and tension.
Professionally and personally, Dawn is really leading by example. After seeing what Lane is doing to Asha, she decides to take a stand against his violence. She tells the Detective that once the dust has settled, she’d like to speak with him about a sexual assault. She doesn’t have any details for him at this time, but he kindly gives Dawn his card and says she can call him 24/7, even if it is just for an informal chat. Good on Dawn and Detective Lazio! In the meantime, both cops and doctors are trying to do their jobs.
Once the word got out, Det. Lazio was worried someone would try to kill the bomber and he didn’t want Alex to get caught in the crossfire. (Okay, so the Detective is officially growing on us too.) Alex’s patient is positively identified as the bomber. He was caught on CCTV planting the bomb, so the cops handcuff him to the bed when he’s out of surgery. Looks like Bishop is right and justice will be served. We continue discovering how this young man’s horrific actions has destroyed so many lives.
A man comes into the ER in search of his daughter, Lily. Cassie notices the ring on his finger and recognizes how it matches the ring on the severed arm. Having a photo to work with, Cassie finds Lily in the morgue and she breaks down into tears. Man this episode really hurts! Sadly, things are about to get even more alarming.
Maggie and Dev are all set to operate on Shelby, when they notice her leg is in trouble again. Maggie quickly rushes out to get some supplies to treat the leg when she suddenly has head ache and shockingly passes out all alone in the lab. Oh-no! Alex, Bishop and Dev operate on Shelby and assume that Maggie must be delayed helping another patient. Wait for it….
Charlie rushes into Hope Zion, gung-ho and ready to help. He sees Maggie and soon realizes that she’s in limbo. Gasp! That is a killer cliffhanger. Thankfully we don’t have to wait a week to find out what happens next.
Maggie’s ear is bleeding and Charlie is called into Alex’s OR for a consult. He finds out that Maggie is in the lab, tells Jackson to send a code team after him and rushes to her side. Poor Zach is all torn up about clearing Maggie. Charlie assures him that he didn’t do anything wrong. He couldn’t have known. Alex sees Maggie and is rightfully distraught. She tells Charlie that she saved the guy who did this to her. Sigh.
Shahir enters in business mode. Charlie is taken aback by his lack of bedside manner and sensitivity towards Maggie’s state. Shahir loves her too, he just has a different way of showing it. He needs to stay focused so that he can save his friend. Awww. This whole sequence is like a bunch of mini-punches right in the feels!
Maggie’s spirit shows Charlie her bloody hands. She’s worried about Shelby and feels terrible for abandoning her patient. She feels weird, not sick. So Charlie puts on his Ghost Doctor hat and asks what she needs. Maggie just wants to be with her patient, who appears to be in bad shape.
Bishop goes to Alex to show her how bad Shelby’s leg has gotten and catches her crying over Maggie. He keeps her head in the game by asking for help operating on Shelby. After all, Maggie would want the best for her patient and Alex has the vascular experience they need to operate on the infected dead tissue in her leg.
Upon closer examination, they realize it would be better to amputate. Alex tells Adam, who now has Dr. Katz by his side, the troubling news. He doesn’t want Shelby to lose her leg. Alex explains that she’ll die if they don’t amputate. She gives him time to think about it and Katz uses it to do a lot of convincing.
Elsewhere, Cassie informs Zach about Lily and her father, Grant. Zach says she needs to finish what she started and tell Grant the truth. It is a heartbreaking sight and Grant’s grief leads to desperation. He grabs a scalpel and sets out to kill the bomber. We’re on the edge of our seats…again.
Cassie follows and stops him. As she pleads with him and says how this will ruin his life, Alex steps in and tries diffusing the situation. Holding the scalpel, he says how Lily was a big hearted person. Both women assure Grant that his daughter would not want him to do this. He doesn’t know how he can live without her and shockingly slits his wrist. Oh my…I don’t know how much more pain we can handle, “Saving Hope”!
Well, here’s something that is sort of good news: Dawn tells Det. Lazio about the rape. She says it was violent, non-consensual, and happened a month ago with a man she was involved with. He warns her that a “he said, she said” scenario makes things tough. He’ll pursue whatever course of action she wants and tells her to let him know when she’s ready. Dawn just needs to work something out first.
Dawn gives Ashsa a heads-up that she plans to press charges against Lane. Asha does not want to come forward and will not back-up Dawn’s claims. Wow, what a piece of work. Asha should be smarter than this, but she’s been brainwashed by Lane. He’s told her that Dawn steps on people to climb the ladder. This is going to get ugly. Let’s hope Asha makes the right decision before it’s too late.
Turning our attention back to Shelby. The new mama is fine with losing her leg because Baby Rosie is more important to her than anything else. She just wants to see her baby before the surgery, which not a problem. Charlie says they’ll go over everything before the operation.
Alex sees Charlie moments after the altercation with Grant. She’s rattled and worried about Maggie. She wants Charlie to tell Maggie that she has to live. Alex probably sees Charlie’s gift as a major perk in this episode. She couldn’t handle all the lies they need to tell to keep his secret, but she did see how it helps him save lives. In this case, she finds comfort in Charlie acting as her messenger and hopes he can convince Maggie to hold on.
On another related side-note, throughout the first episode I couldn’t help but think how overwhelming Hope Zion would be for Charlie if was there immediately after the explosion. Imagine all of the lost and confused spirits that would be crying out for his attention. I guess since Maggie was the first spirit he saw, she preoccupied his thoughts and kept him from seeing other ghosts stuck in limbo.
What do you think? Should there have been more ghosts haunting the halls of Hope Zion? Are you glad the focus remained on Maggie? Do you think this means Charlie can tune other ghosts out if one spirit is strong enough to keep his full attention?
Maggie keeps tabs on Shelby and gives Charlie notes on the operation. Charlie says Shelby is fine and Maggie should worry about herself instead. What is keeping her limbo? Why isn’t she fighting to come back to life? Everyone else is pulling for Maggie to make a full recovery, but in the end, she is the one who must decide to stay or move on.
Shahir remains impressively focused during her brain surgery. Dev looks on in awe. The rookie is so nervous. How is this not a conflict of interest for Shahir? Being true to character, he admits he’d rather have the ball than leaving her fate in someone else’s hands. Zach, Alex and others watch over them and hope for the best. Zach and Alex even have a guilty-off. Poor things. It’s neither one’s fault, but they’re all torn-up over Maggie.
As fate would have it, karmic justice ends up being served. Alex is called away during Maggie’s surgery because the bomber (who turns out to be a mentally ill engineering student named Michael Shneller) starts coding. Alex takes him off of the ventilator and stays by him, even almost holding his hand as he passes away.
Alex tells Charlie that the bomber wanted to die, so she should have let him do it. We all know that is not the way it works. There is so much heavy-heartedness. We can barely bear it all. We need some good things to start happening. But, it’s about to get more upsetting before getting better.
While Cassie stitches Grant’s wrist, she says she’s not sure if he’ll be arrested for trying to kill the bomber. However, he will need to be assessed by a shrink. He wants to identify Lily’s body and then wonders if she is broken. Ow, now my heart just hurts. Cassie finishes-up and runs out in tears. Bishop follows and comforts her (sort of) with a hug. These two are starting to get a little flirty. Given what we’ve seen, he’s for sure an upgrade from that jerk Curtis. Bishop even helps her clean-up and prep Lily’s body to soften the blow when Grant comes in to say goodbye to his girl. Seriously, I need more tissues!
Back inside, Det. Lazio calls Alex over to meet the bomber’s mom, Clarice Miller. She thanks Alex for helping her son and explains that he wasn’t a monster. He had psychotic episodes and when he switched to new meds, he started hearing voices in his head. She blames herself for not getting him help in time. She says what happened was so wrong and cruel. If Alex felt bad for trying to save the kid’s life, imagine how horrible his mother feels. She definitely feels guilty for all of the tragedy her ill son caused. This is just a tough situation for everyone involved. Nobody will ever know what was going through Michael’s mind when he decided to bomb the marathon, all we know is that he was unwell. Alex walks away teary-eyed and Det. Lazio stays behind with Clarice.
Alex fills Charlie in on what happened and he tells her that she doesn’t have to do the surgery. She still wants in on Shelby’s operation, but she wants to see how Maggie does post-op first. We see Katz is sweetly keeping watch over Maggie. Yup, she really loves Maggie. It wasn’t just a crush. Maybe there’s potential for something more between these two, that is, if Maggie wakes up. Speaking of relationships…
Lane threatens to throw Dawn under the bus if she speaks out against him. He cruely taunts her and depicts the PR nightmare he will paint. Dawn will be seen as someone who wanted to pull the plug on her husband because he left her for a younger woman and abandoned her foster child to advance her career. He knows everyone’s secrets and he’ll use it against her. Dawn is not afraid of him, but he says she should be. Ugh! He is the absolute worst. I can’t stand this guy…which is why I am so proud of Dawn for what she does next.
After seeing Lane’s interaction with Ashsa, Dawn decides to have one last chat with her. Dawn tells Asha she is not safe. She is going forward with the rape accusation and doesn’t care what it costs her. Dawn has Asha’s back, no questions asked. If Asha wants to do her rotation at another hospital, she’ll understand. Bravo, Dawn!
Later, Dawn tells Det. Lazio that she wants to press charges against Lane. He says that is the second time he’s heard Lane’s name mentioned that day. Yup, Asha stepped forward. She finally saw the light. When she saw how badly Lane wanted to burn Dawn, she realized he would eventually do the same to her too. Okay, so her reasoning seems self-serving, but at least she joined Dawn. Now, it will be two against one. Actually, it’ll probably be much more than that once this comes out. For now, we can be satisfied by the sight of Lane being taken out by the cops. This wicked man will get his comeuppance. As we know, Dawn and Asha aren’t the only ones fighting for themselves.
While Charlie and Alex operate on Shelby, Maggie’s spirit is at a crossroads. This sequence is very well done. Alex knows that Charlie is communicating with Maggie’s spirit, so she plays it cool when he starts making statements that don’t make a lot of sense. He comforts and encourages Maggie with one-liners when she starts opening up to him about her doubts.
Maggie is afraid she won’t be able to do her job. She doesn’t know what she’d do if that’s taken away from her. Her work is her life. Suddenly, her spirit’s ear starts bleeding, so Charlie sends Alex to check on Maggie. Charlie tells her to fight for her life. Maggie feels like there is nothing worth fighting for. Then she realizes that Katz, Alex, Dev, are all by her side. Shahir is on his way, but they need to act fast. Alex drills a hole to relieve pressure and reduce the brain swelling. Shahir supportively watches over Alex as she completes the procedure.
Maggie sees everybody by her side and wonders: Can she really heal herself? You need to know your patient’s history to find the problem and treat it. Maggie doesn’t know who she is, so how is she supposed to fix it? Charlie tells her to wake-up and find out. Maggie awakens with Alex, Charlie, Zach, and Jackson at her bedside. She looks up and her gaze lingers on Charlie. Does she remember her time with him in limbo? We’re not sure, but it would be kind of cool if she did. Charlie could use more support at the hospital and we sure know Alex would like chatting with her BFF about it. We’ll see what happens.
For the time being, we are happy to see that Maggie is fighting for her life and finally focusing on herself. We’ve seen her float around for so long, in her personal life and at work. She has jumped from different relationships/flirtations and cruised through work. This season she decided to advance her career and fight for a rightful and deserved position at Hope Zion. She wants more cases and recognition for her skillset. Now, she’s also going to take her time exploring what she wants from her personal life. Maggie is happy to see Katz and want her to stick around. She’s been on a roller coaster for the past few years, let alone the last day. Maybe this is just the second chance she needs to reboot her life and sets things right for herself.
What do you think about Maggie? Did you worry that she may not have come back? Will she find happiness with Katz? Will Maggie have a successful relationship with Katz?
As the episode closes, we see Grant and Clarice say goodbye to their children in the morgue. Cassie and Bishop share another hug. This event clearly brought them closer together and it’ll be fun to see how their their relationship evolves. Charlie is about to head out with Alex when she says she wants to stay behind with Maggie. He says he loves her and will give Baby Luke kisses on her behalf. Alex sits beside Maggie and smiles for the first time after such a heartbreaking and horrifying day.
Sigh…what a double-episode. “Shattered” and “Emotional Rescue” took us on a heart-pounding journey. Brilliant and moving performances from the whole cast and all of the guest stars. Everybody brought their A-game for these episodes. Just WOW.
What did you think “Hopefuls”? Were you moved by these episodes? Are you surprised that Maggie needed to be encouraged to fight for her life? Did you enjoy her interaction with Charlie in limbo? What about Charlie’s chat with Kristine and Cora? Do you think it was unfair? Would you have done the same thing? Should Charlie be freaking out over the ghosts’ potential power? Do you ‘ship Cassie and Bishop? Do you hope he sticks around Hope Zion?
There’s a lot to discuss, so share your thoughts below or send a shout-out on Twitter (@TalkTVwTiffany).
U.S. Hopefuls, catch new episodes of ‘Saving Hope’ Season 4 every Tuesday (re-reuns air on Fridays) at 11/10C on ION Television.