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‘Saving Hope’ Season 5 premiere review: Star-crossed

Ep 1 ChAlex beginning

“You’re all I’ve ever wanted.”

Alas, Hopefuls, ‘Saving Hope’ has returned for its final season and begins by breaking our hearts once more. “Dr. Dustiny” is one helluva way to kick things off. Actually, this episode aptly captures the overarching tone of the series because it was gripping, moving, hilarious, heartwarming, surprising and devastating (sometimes all at once!). If we go through such a roller coaster of emotions in the first episode, imagine how we’re going to feel throughout the course of this bittersweet season. Have those hankies ready, we’re jumping right in!

We pick-up moments after the shocking Season 4 finale. Alex frantically searches for Charlie in the aftermath of Tom Crenshaw’s (Travis Milne) shooting. When she finds him, we’re relieved to see he was only shot through the arm. He assures her that Crenshaw was shot and killed on sight.

Well, he may be dead, but there is no way he’s gone for good…right? If he awoke from his coma with a vengeance, I don’t even want to think about the Hell he’ll raise as a full-fledged ghost in the afterlife. I’m keeping my guard up on this one because I doubt his story is over that easy.

Charlie takes Alex’s hand and tells her the romantic plans he made for her special night, including a rose-petal covered suite at the Fairmont. Awww! He wanted to do this right, but he just can’t wait another second. He proposes to Alex on the spot, declaring his undying love for her: “You’re all I’ve ever wanted.” Swoon. Hurry up and get married before some other horrible thing happens! Oh wait, they can’t because their night of celebration turned into a work emergency. Doctors took an oath to “do no harm,” so they’re never off the clock.

Saving Grace 

Ep 1 Grace and ChAlexA confused waiter stumbles into Charlie and Alex, then collapses. Her name is Grace (Masa Lizdek) and she’s been shot. Alex plugs the gushing bullet hole in her stomach with her finger like a fearless badass and rushes her to Hope Zion.

Who needs a superhero when you’ve got Erica Durance? I still miss her as Lois Lane on ‘Smallville’ and now I’m going to miss Alex too. She is just so great and she’s been a total powerhouse on this show. Actor, producer, pregnancies…she demonstrates girl power in every sense.

In the ambulance,  Grace starts giggling and tries to explain why getting shot is so funny. She seems delirious and needs oxygen, so Alex just puts the mask back on and tells her to relax.

Grace’s mom Ruth (Alison Brooks) meets Alex at the hospital and we Ep 1 Alex and Ruthgain a better understanding of what’s going on. This is the second time Grace has been shot. This first time was on February 7, 2014…the same night of ChAlex’s accident. That can’t be a coincidence. Ruth and Grace recently reconnected around the time of the first shooting. We learn that Grace was adopted and sought her birth mother out years later. They’ve had their issues over the years, but their relationship was going strong again. Ruth believes bad things are happening to Grace whenever they grow closer. It’s like the two of them are cursed.

Uh-oh. Cursed?! This makes me nervous. At the end of last season when Alex feared Charlie was going to die, she thought it was her fault. It was a revelation to us, but this whole time Alex felt like she’s been cursed. Everyone she loves dies: her father, her brother, and Charlie has been on the brink so many times. Ruth’s argument may just make sense to Alex and that really worries me.

Alex hears Ruth out and tells her all of that curse mumbo-jumbo is nonsense. Our pragmatic surgeon insists, “Luck’s not in charge here. I am.” That’s right. Go Alex!

Also, Ruth requested a priest to speak with and have on hand to read Grace her Ep 1 Newbielast rites, just in case the worst happens. When Alex goes to the chapel to get the priest, she finds newcomer, Dr. Emmanuel Palmer (Jarod Joseph), kneeling in prayer. He almost became a priest, but he dropped out of the seminary. He has no problem chatting with Ruth in her time of need. I already like this guy! 

Ruth wants to leave when complications arise during Grace’s surgery. She believes in the curse and fears her presence will end up killing Grace this time. Alex catches her in the lobby and convinces Ruth not to go. Grace’s life is not dictated by some curse. She is in good hands. Alex knows Grace would like to have her mother there. So Ruth returns to her daughter’s side.

Sadly, the worst comes to pass. The damage is irreparable and thEp 1 Em and Ruthe doctors are
unable to save Grace. Ruth is inconsolable. This proves her belief in being cursed. If only she had left, Grace would’ve survived. This is so heartbreaking and upsetting.

Sometimes curses feel real. People go through periods of great difficulty in life and feel like something is out to get them. Ill can be wished upon someone and negative energy permeates one’s life at times. However, the curse/negativity/what-have-you is only fed by fear and doubt. When life is at its worst, that is when one needs to cling to faith and loved ones the hardest. Call it what you will…bad luck, a curse, cruel fate…but no matter what obstacles arise, we should not give up on faith, hope and love.

Ruth had nothing to do with what happened to Grace. She was there to support her daughter during the darkest times in her life. Both shared the same reaction and laughed at this tragic coincidence. They offered each other love, support and forgiveness in their time of need.How can that be seen as a curse?

How do you feel about Ruth’s superstitious mentality? Was she right to stay by Grace’s side? Do you think the outcome would’ve been different if she left?

Let’s inject some levity into this recap before we get into the gritty stuff. My heart can’t handle too much sorrow all at once.

My Doctor, the Shahir-o

Dana and Cassie treat Dustin “Dr. Dustiny” Meyer (Kevin McGarry), a male stripper who dresses up as a sexy doctor. He fell during a performance and busted his butt implant. (Yes, I did laugh out loud.) The swelling will have to come down before Dana can surgically correct the implant. Much to his chagrin, Dana says he’ll need to go home and take it easy for a few days before she fixes his problem.

Dr. Dustiny has quite a unique affect on people. Dana is dismissive of his superficial injury. She also doesn’t understand the appeal of strip clubs, which I can totally understand. (Honestly, when I think of strippers, I instantly picture the classic SNL chippendales audition sketch.  Anyway…) Cassie can’t help but blush at the sight of his scantily clad tight bod and Shahir keeps coyly passing by with a little pep in his step and twinkle in his eye.

Cassie is about to let Dustin sign-out when she notices some symptoms indicative of leaking brain fluid. He did hit his head when he fell, so she checks with Dana. They run tests and go to Shahir for a consult.

Cassie’s hunch was right and Shahir will need to operate on Dr. Dustiny. He Ep 1 Shahir-ogets all nervous and insists that he cannot. Turns out Shahir frequented the strip club after he broke up with Victor and Dr. Dustiny was one of his favorites there. For obvious reasons. He claims to be too close to him to so the surgery. To which I and Dana simultaneously reply, “You operated on Charlie! It doesn’t get more personal than that.” Cassie urges him to be Dr. Dustiny’s “Shahir-o”…hilarious!

I have to give “Saving Hope” credit because they give a laughable and seemingly superficial character some depth. Dr. Dustiny enjoys entertaining Dr Sexypeople and cheering them up. He enjoys his work and wants to get back on the stage as soon as he can. Well, that’s sweet. He certainly makes Shahir happy.

After the surgery goes off with out a hitch, we see Dr. Sexy flirting with Shahir. I wonder if anything will come out of this encounter…is it possible that Shahir has found a new boyfriend?

I love what Huse Madhavji has done with role. We’ve seen so much growth in Shahir since Season 1 and Madhavji seems to have a lot of fun with this character. I hope we get to learn more of Shahir’s secrets.

Fun times and laughs aside, this ended up being a huge turning point for Dana. She feels terrible that Cassie caught something that she overlooked. She should have been more thorough, instead, she just didn’t take her patient seriously because his ailment was cosmetic. When she apologizes, Cassie cuts her some slack, saying she’s been through a lot and battling cancer is no small feat. Still, Dana knows this isn’t right.

Dana visits Dawn and interrupts a super sweet and slightly frisky Zawn Ep 1 Dawn and Zachmoment. Happy to see these love birds are still in the honeymoon phase. I love them together! Poor Zach heads out to “work” in the ER. (Benjamin Ayres makes me laugh with the most subtle of gesture: a look, a smile, even his slightest mannerisms will make me giggle. They he exits this scene is hilarious. You know exactly what he’s thinking, but it’s too dirty for me to type ;))

Dana has been thinking about it and she can’t do this anymore. For a second we think she wants to quit, but it’s the opposite. Dana needs a greater purpose in life and cosmetic surgery isn’t cutting it for her. She wants to be a trauma surgeon. Wow!

Dawn gives her a reality check. She’ll have to go back to medical school and make rounds as a resident in order to be certified as a trauma surgeon. That is no joke! Is she really up for late nights, exhausting hours, and working with the young-ins? Dana teases Dawn to take it easy with the ageism. It’s not her age, as Ep 1 Dana's decisionmuch as her health that Dawn is worried about. Dana tells the Chief that she is more than up to the challenge, she’s even willing to bet on it. (Oooh, I wonder what they bet on!)  All she needs from Dawn is a bump to the top of the residency line.

Good for Dana! It takes a lot of courage to go after what you want. She knows first hand that life is short and she wants to seize the day. This is almost like the time she ran off to Paris with the professor on a whim. It’ll be rough, but worth it. I looking forward to seeing this new chapter in Dana’s life unfold.

Michelle Nolden and Wendy Crewson are wonderful to watch together. I always appreciated the strong female presence  on ‘Saving Hope’ and these two talented ladies are a huge part of that. Their individual character arcs on this show beautifully demonstrate how complex and kick-ass women can be. Girl power, baby!

What do you think about Dana’s big decision? Is she doing the right thing? Do you think it is brave of her to take this step? Will the strenuous schedule affect her health?

Curses

I love Charlie! Michael Shanks has been killing it throughout the series. He tackles any craziness that is thrown his way. It is always entertaining to see a new side of Charlie and you can tell Shanks enjoys playing with the range he’s given. Once again, we see Charlie put through the ringer in this episode.

Charlie is brought into Hope Zion, hilariously high on morphine. Dawn is on babysitting duty, since Alex is treating Grace. For the first time we see Dawn and Charlie together when they are both at the happiest times in their lives. Despite what they’ve been through, they’ve remained friends and fondly recall the times they shared, like their honeymoon at Niagara Falls. She’s even delighted to learn that he popped the question to Alex, who is surely happy to be wife. Suddenly, Charlie says he can’t feel his hand. Oh no, not again…

Dawn rushes him into surgery with newbie Palmer assisting. Charlie wants more morphine, but he’s maxed out. He’s okay with Dawn bossing him around, but calls Palmer out in a haze: “You are not my friend.” I don’t think anyone can be more adorable and charmingly funny under the influence of pain killers.

In the middle of the operation, Charlie re-enter limbo and chats with Grace’s spirit. We are given another new Ep 1 Charlie and Graceglimpse into this mysterious supernatural realm. She is the first spirit who offers to tie his bow-tie. How sweet! Charlie says there’s no point. It stays untied no matter what. One of the many enigmas of being in limbo. This probably plays into the same reason why Charlie is always wearing the outfit he had on when he first entered limbo. I don’t think we’ll ever get answers to those puzzles, but that doesn’t stop us from thinking about. Do you have any theories?

Complications arise with the wound in his arm. Dawn Ep 1 Alex amputatepages Alex and fears they may need to amputate. There is no way that can happen. I don’t even want to think about how miserable Charlie’s life would be if he couldn’t be a surgeon. He can ghost whisper, but he is not “The Ghost Whisperer.” Alex tells Dawn to do whatever it takes to save his arm because amputation is not an option.

Thankfully, Dawn is able to save his arm and Charlie comes out in one piece. Phew! While Charlie is recovering in his hospital bed, he sees Grace’s spirit and tells Alex to go to her because something is wrong. Alex takes his word for it and realizes the brain tumor did not have an impact on his gift. As we already know, she was too late to save Grace. Unfortunately, Grace’s death and Ruth’s curse theory gets Alex thinking about her own life.

Charlie and Alex finally have a moment to breathe and talk in the lobby, when the chaos of the day has settled down. He is so happy to see the ring is still on Ep 1 ChAlex endher finger. He will love and cherish her forever. He looks forward to spending their life together. Alex isn’t so sure about that. She thinks she is bad for Charlie and that their relationship is doomed because she’s trouble.

Charlie says there’s a baby boy at home and ring on her finger that prove otherwise. ChAlex is destined to be together. He doesn’t want this curse nonsense to dictate their future. With tears streaming down her cheeks, Alex says she loves him and kisses him. He is “it” for her. He’s “the one.” Phew! She’s staying with him. What a relief…wait..what? No..don’t pull away from him like that. Dammit!

Ep 1 Poor CharlieAlex places the ring in Charlie’s hand. She loves him and always will, but she can’t be with him. It’s just too much. They’ve almost lost each other so many times. They are star-crossed soul-mates who can never be together because whenever their relationship is at it’s strongest, something horrifying and life-threatening happens.

This sucks! Yes, the episode was fantastic. The writing, pacing, acting and patient stories were all top notch. BUT I can’t handle going through this ChAlex dance again. Their relationship has been SO frustrating. Charlie should’ve married Alex that day when she was waiting for him after her recovered from his first coma. Instead, he stood her up, thinking he was protecting her. Now Alex is doing the same thing. Ugh!!!

You know how they say “Crazy is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result”? Yeah, well ChAlex is just crazy at this point because splitting up never does them any good. Bad things happen when they are together or apart.

Does Alex blame herself for Joel’s problems and unforeseen death too? She never seemed too concerned about her curse when she dated him. Then again, she never loved Joel the way she loves Charlie. How can she tell Charlie that he is “it” for her and then walk away from him?

Major kudos to Shanks and Durance because they nail these taxing break-up scenes every time. They seamlessly convey a hurricane of emotions: love, joy, hope,  heartbreak, fear and despair. I just hate ending the season opener with ChAlex in such a devastated state. They better have a happy ending in the series finale or else Hopefuls will freak out.

Enough of my ranting…what did you think of Alex’s decision? Is ChAlex cursed? Are they better together than apart? I’m here as a part of the ChAlex Break-up support group, so lay it on me…

Also, how do you feel about Maggie’s confession to Jackson? She thinks she’s in love with Zach now, but she also can’t be mad at seeing two people she adores be so happy together. Will Maggie ever get a handle on her love life? She always falls for someone she can’t/shouldn’t have…with the exception of Gavin (who I still miss).

How do you feel about Cassie hooking up with Dev at the end of the episode? Is she taking advantage of his affection for her? She kind of seems to be using him after getting all hot and bothered over Dr. Dustiny. Am I misreading her intentions?

Share your thoughts below!

 

7 replies »

  1. I used to really look forward to watching this show every week. This make-up break up thing is getting old between Charlie & Alex! Not as enthusiastic as I used to be. Was looking forward to seeing them together & happy this season, but noooooo…. Drama! Drama!! Drama!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you saving hope j’aime beaucoup votre série Charlie et Alex deux vrais partenaires je vous remercie cordialaminy enormously bisous 😘 21/3/2017 😘😍❤️😘😘❤️😍

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Not going to say too much on the ChAlex front except I knew trouble was coming after Alex made that promise and Charlie got shot. Charlie mentioned to Grace that things hadn’t been great between he and Alex lately. Maybe she had already been keeping her distance and this was too big a step for her to take. I trust the writers’ endgame though, Charlie and Alex just have to work on some more things.

    As for the tux…it could be something really crazy but I think it may just be ‘unfinished business.’ Charlie is still wearing it as a spirit because he hasn’t married Alex. Untied bow tie = unable to tie the proverbial knot.

    Shahir and morphine Charlie killed me. Charlie raving about glass, spirits and nachos was adorable, and I loved his scenes with Dawn as always. Shahir has a boyfriend, Johnathan, who I think we may finally meet this season.

    Rooting for Dana. I’m sure Dawn is too, she just wants Dana to really think this over before starting something like this.

    Great start to the season!

    Liked by 1 person

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