Our hearts are heavy after the rattling events in “All Our Yesterdays.” A supernatural storm is brewing, Hopefuls. Suspense, sadness and uncertainty is in the air as some of Hope Zion’s finest reach a crossroads. They face great personal and professional obstacles, but they don’t have to do it alone. Brace yourselves, things are about to get intense.
A Link to the Living
Charlie has a solid handle on ghost whispering, but as we’ve seen before, there are occasional curve balls thrown his way. This time he’s dealing with Blake, a spirit who refuses to move on. He keeps pestering Charlie and wants to hang out in limbo for a while, even though he is dead and there is no life left for him on earth. When Charlie tries shooing him away, Blake threatens to follow him home. Uh-oh. Not again…
Things escalate quickly from there on. A John Doe is rushed into the ER after jumping in front of a subway. He is brought in with a notebook full of names, including Charlie Harris. When Manny shows Charlie the book, he recognizes another name: Randall Crane aka The Great Randall. Dana remembers him as the guy who put crazy ideas in Alex’s head while Charlie was in a coma, but we know he plays a much more significant role in their lives.
Randall’s spirit appears and he has a very important message for Charlie. Changes abound in the supernatural realm and it is permeating into tangible reality. Randall was able to shake the ghosts for a time, but as he puts it: “The spirits couldn’t quit me.” They gradually re-entered his life until everything suddenly dialed up to 11. “It controls you,” he ominously reveals. Soon he was at odds with his daughter again and his life started falling apart.
Randall got desperate. He warns Charlie, “When you find out you can’t shake it, that’s how it starts. This is how it ends.” Randall jumped to escape the spirits. He felt there was no other way to get rid of them. This is making me really nervous for Charlie!
Charlie finds Randall and Blake seated in his office. They’re chatting away when he steps in. Blake still wants to find a way to stick around, despite being “life challenged.” Even Randall admits he’s a new shade of bananas and spells nothing but trouble. Charlie doesn’t deny it. Blake is cause for worry.
Again, Randall warns that he’ll end up in the same position. He wants Charlie to tell his estranged daughter that he loves her, if he doesn’t make it. Seems like Randall isn’t fighting to live, probably because he doesn’t feel like he has much to live for. He urges Charlie to tie himself to the living because he can’t do this alone. He should really hold onto Alex, he’s going to need her now more than ever before.
Charlie and Cassie operate on Randall. Throughout the day, she reached out to him for chief-to-chief chat. She wants to be taken seriously by her peers, but is having a tough time making them listen. In the middle of the surgery, Charlie makes it official and appoints Cassie as permanent Chief Resident because she earned it. Suddenly, Randall’s spirit distracts Charlie…something is coming for him. What?!
Randall spends his final moments in the spirit world thanking his friend and telling him to find a link to the living. Before vanishing he says, “I’ll see you on the other side.” Cassie continues doing CPR, but Charlie knows there’s no hope left for Randall.
He is rightfully rattled by his friend’s death. What does this mean for Charlie? Will spirits start crossing the line again? Will he tell Alex about this? This is an especially troubling time for ChAlex. They are really going to need each other. Their family is what keeps them grounded and knowing a little one is on the way should bring them even closer together.
Ready for another heartbreak? Me neither, but here we go…
Alex and her mom, Martha go back to her farm house. (Between the name, the farm house setting and the fence-side heart-to-heart, this all gave me many ‘Smallville’ flashbacks and goosebumps!) Alex just wants to spend time with her mom and take care of her. Martha has other ideas. She’s invited Nick, a realtor and Alex’s high school classmate. She plans on selling the family farm, but this is the first time Alex is hearing about it. But wait, there’s more…
Martha declares: “I want to die here. I don’t want to wait and I want you to help me.” Whoa! Poor Alex. She’s blind-sided by so much all at once. Before she has a chance to process, Nick is at the door. The harder Alex tries shooing Nick away, the harder Martha tries selling the house. She dismisses Alex’s behavior as being dramatic and keeps chatting away with Nick.
She needed a change after her husband passed, so she moved to this farm. Now her kids are out of the picture and she’s all alone, so it’s time for a new adventure. Martha says she’s planning a trip to the Greek islands…Yeah, via the River Styx. Sigh, I really wish Alex had someone by her side for all of this. What an overwhelming experience. As Martha incoherently rambles she has a seizure and Nick finally leaves.
Moments later, Alex is mothering her. Martha needs full time care, but she won’t hear it. She says she misses little Luke and is afraid she’s going to forget it all. Alex tries keeping her focused on the here and now. She wants to spend time with her mom. Plus, doesn’t Martha want to see her sons, Doug and Jasper, and spend more time with little Luke?
Martha is not having this conversation. Alex pleads with as a daughter and says she can’t kill her. When Martha storms off into her room and picks up a bottle of pills, Alex reveals she still needs her mom because she’s pregnant. Thankfully, Martha puts pill bottle down.
They have mother-daughter heart-to-heart outside. Martha is the only person she’s told (but she isn’t the only one who knows). And yes, the baby is Charlie’s. Martha’s motherly advice: “Go back to him, you love him.” Yes, please just be ChAlex again! Alex explains how love isn’t enough because she’s cursed. The irony is that Martha felt responsible for the bad luck in their family and knew Alex would be the one who’d escape it.
Martha clarifies, “You are not cursed. We make our own destiny.” She shares a sweet story of how she knew about her pregnancy with Alex before taking a test because she was giving her hell from the start. There has always been so much fight in her. Alex knows she got it from her mom, so she urges her to keep fighting for her life. But her encouragement falls on deaf ears. Nothing changes the fact that she’s dying, fast or slow, what’s the difference?
Alex takes a moment to think alone and Martha goes back inside the house. She goes back inside and says she’ll help her die when the time comes. Sadly, she is too late. Martha took the pills. Alex instantly calls for an ambulance. She sobs while trying to revive her mother, crying, “Please don’t leave me.”
Martha left an envelope of sweet mother-daughters photos from the past for Alex. On the back of one image she wrote: “I hope your children will make you half as proud as you’ve made me. You are more than I ever deserved. I’m sorry.”
This is devastating. My heart breaks for Alex. Erica Durance delivers a powerful performance in this episode, she’s been put through the emotional ringer on ‘Saving Hope.’ I’m so glad this show has given its female leads so much meaty material to work with. We’ve seen Alex persevere through an obstacle course of tragedies and set-backs, yet she keeps on fighting, loving and working through the pain.
Alex returns home to Charlie and tearfully asks, “Is she here?” “Yeah,” he replies. Alex cries, “Will you tell her that I love her?” Charlie embraces and assures her, “She knows, Alex…She knows.” Tears flow as they hug with Martha’s spirit watching over them.
Pass the tissues! This episode has done me in.
Let’s have a quick check-in with the rest of the gang, before we go cry into a glass of wine, okay?
Manny grapples with taking a job offer and moving back home. Alex is the only thing holding him back. Manny knows he’s the rebound guy, but he’d regret not giving it a try with her. Luckily, Dana talks some sense into him.
She knows Alex, and Charlie is her long term love. They have a kid together. That pretty much seals the ChAlex deal.
Manny calls Alex. He wants to connect but it’s just not happening. However much they keep trying. Maybe in another life it could’ve worked out between them. He fares her well, “I hope you find whatever makes you happy. Goodbye Alex Reid.”
There wasn’t much of a love triangle to begin with, but still, I’m glad this part of the storyline is over with. We all know ChAlex is the endgame. Dragging this out any longer would’ve spoiled things. Manny wasn’t a bad guy, but he wasn’t the right guy for Alex…For that matter, no one is or ever will be as long as Charlie is around.
Maggie is surprised to find that Sydney Katz has brought her pregnant sister with ovarian cancer, Becca, to Hope Zion to be placed in their cancer study. When she learns the study is over, she still entrusts Becca into Maggie’s care. She treats Becca aggressively, as Sydney encouraged, and also makes a solid judgement call on her own in the OR when she sees how badly the cancer has spread. Maggie successfully removes the cancerous ovary, saving both mother and baby. Phew!
Billy teased Maggie about the electricity in the air and we see those sparks fly by episode’s end. Syndey confesses that she thought about Maggie every day she was in Israel, same goes for Maggie. They kiss and want to find out if their relationship can evolve into something more. Has Maggie finally found her soulmate? Guess we’ll find out soon enough.
It’s really sweet to see so many of our favorites are settling into a steady and fulfilling relationships: Dawn and Zach, Shahir and Jonathon, ChAlex will be back together soon, and now there’s Maggie and Sydney.
Even Dev is giving romance another go with Zach’s former fling, Nurse Cabrera. When he’s dating he girl, he makes her a priority and learns to compromise on things that will make her happy, like salsa dancing. He also helps set his self-sabotaging patient, Wilfred, straight.
Zach remembers when Wilfred first came to Hope Zion six months ago, just after his wife, Priscilla died. Since then, Wilfred has been throwing his life away. His careless drinking and smoking has resulted in heart disease. After 56 blissful years of marriage, he feels like there’s nothing left to live for. Dev scolds him and ask what Priscilla would want him to do. She’d want him to care for her garden, which he’s let wither away. If Wilfred still loves his wife, he should do what she’d want. As Dev says, “You gotta do what you gotta do.”
That’s a fitting motto to conclude with. Whatever the case may be, no matter what obstacles life hurls at you, in the end: “You gotta do what you gotta do.” That’s what keeps us going. Time and again we’ve seen how Hope Zion’s finest are a team of survivors and fighters. They will always do what needs to be done to save a life, whether it is their patients’ or their own.
What did you think of this intense episode? Are you shaken by the haunting events Charlie and Alex experienced? Do think this will bring Charlie and Alex back together and make ChAlex stronger than before? Share your thoughts below!
New episodes of ‘Saving Hope’ air in Canada every Thursday at 9/8C on CTV and on the following Wednesdays at midnight on ION in the U.S.
One thought on “‘Saving Hope’ S5 Ep 9 review: Man of constant sorrow”
Kristine and now Randall…Charlie is losing his supernatural confidants. Those two were pretty much on their own, so Randall makes a strong point that Charlie needs someone to connect him with the living. But do we know for sure if Alex wants to be that person? The ghosts only add to her bad luck fears.
When Manny was introduced in the offseason, his character was described as insightful and philosophical. I thought he might actually be on Charlie’s side and open to supernatural ideas. Bit disappointed that his character really didn’t serve any purpose other than to threaten to shake up relationships. Just glad there wasn’t baby daddy drama again, and not sorry to see him go.
The pieces are coming together for just about every relationship but ChAlex has the furthest to go.