We’ve grown accustomed to ‘Saving Hope’s’ emotional narratives, but “Change of Heart” delivered an extra hard punch in the feels. We see how tragedy can bring families together, strengthen sibling bonds, and open the door for new loves. Between Erin and Vicky’s particularly heartbreaking case and Martha’s sentimental send-off, I was bawling by episode’s end. Have those tissues handy, Hopefuls, this is a heavy one.
Alex is having a rough day and could really use some sibling support on the day of Martha’s memorial service. It used to be that the Reids could do whatever they wanted as long as they have each other. Sadly, they’ve drifted apart over the years. Her brother Jasper is off in Napal, so he’s definitely won’t make the meorial. However, there is still hope for Doug. Charlie and Shahir go on a mini-road trip to track him down and bring him back for the service.
During the car ride, Shahir asks if ChAlex is back on. It’s still complicated, but they’ll always be a family because of Luke. Yeah, Charlie and Alex really need to get back together ASAP. I love how all of their friends are invested in their relationship the same way fans are. Talk about #RelationshipGoals, right?
Again we see how well Charlie knows Alex and her family. He fills Shahir, explaining that Doug is a bit troubled because he had to become man of the house overnight after his died died when he was only 12. The Reid family is full of rocky relationships, so he may not come along easily. Shahir is ready to drug Doug if need be. Haha! Oh wait, he’s not joking…He always travels with his medical go-pack on hand, just in case. Shahir is full of surprises! Charlie hopes it won’t have to come to that, but I guess it’s good to know they’ll be prepared. As expected, his kit comes in handy.
They find Doug and he’s totally trashed. On the bright side, it’s easy to put him in the car without a fight. On the down side, Charlie’s arm still hurts and lifting a drunk grown man doesn’t help the pain. Luckily Shahir offers to write him a prescription for it. Doug sobers up in the back seat with the help of a saline drip. (I’ve got to start traveling with doctors. They’re very handy.) While Doug comes to, Shahir and Charlie resume the conversation they started earlier.
On the way to Doug’s, Shahir told Charlie that he wants to reduce his work hours because he plans on adopting a baby with Jonathan. Of course, Charlie is more than happy to accommodate. (I can just see Shahir and ChAlex’s babies being besties. So cute!) Now he reveals that his parents don’t approve of the adoption. Doug doesn’t see why they’d be upset. He says their kid would be lucky not to have a mom. Whoa. Harsh commentary considering the fact that his mother just died.
Charlie tells Doug that Alex deserves a proper conversation with him. It seems like he’s been MIA from her life for quite a while. But Doug isn’t done gripping just yet. He warns Shahir, “If things go south with your family, make sure your kid knows it’s not their fault.” Doug still harbors a heavy grudge against Martha. Alex is hurting too, but you don’t see her wallowing and using her crappy childhood as an excuse. Instead, she persevered and fought for the life she has made for herself. Doug should take note and have her back. She really needs him now. You always need your loved ones the most in times of great hardship and sorrow. Let’s hope he steps up for Alex.
A Sister’s Love
While Charlie and Shahir retrieve Doug, Alex tackles a heartbreaking case. She helps two young sisters, Erin and Vicky, who are willing to sacrifice themselves for one another. Mr. and Mrs. Avery bring their daughters to Hope Zion because Erin has poly-cystic kidney disease and needs a transplant. Her little sister is a match and is happy to donate her kidney. However, Alex is hesitant because Vicky was tested and identified as a match while she was in utero. She brings in Sara Clemmins, a member of the ethics committee, to make sure the parents didn’t have Vicky for the sole purpose of being an organ donor.
Sara and Alex speak with Vicky privately to see if she truly wants to donate her kidney or if she’s being pressured by her parents. They share their family stories and easily relate to one another. When Vicky’s nose starts to run she says she just gets emotional over her sister. She knows what she’s in for, she’s ready, willing and able. Vicky even prepared a statement saying how much she loves Erin and how badly she wants her sister to have a normal life. She asks Alex what it feels like to save a life. Alex admits it feels awesome. She bets it would feel even better if she was saving her brother’s life. That’s all Vicky wants, to save her sister’s life. Awwww! What a sweetheart. These girls are really astonishing.
Vicky excuses herself to go to the bathroom. Sara believes that she is capable of making the decision to donate. When Vicky takes a bit too long, Alex checks in on her. She’s on the floor, burning up and throwing up. Instead of worrying about herself, Vicky asks Alex not to tell her parents because she’s supposed to be “the strong one.” Sigh…My heart literally hurts.
Vicky has caught a virus. Her parents feel horrible that they didn’t notice she was unwell. They assure Alex, they always wanted a second child and didn’t have her just to save Erin. While treating Vicky, Dev discovers that the virus has spread to her heart. Oh no!
Her heart will continue to get weaker until it can’t pump on its own. The good news is they can implant a device that helps her remain healthy, so her heart could heal on its own. If it doesn’t, then she’ll need a transplant. Mr. and Mrs. Avery just want them to save their baby girl. I can’t even imagine how horrified they feel right now with both of their little ones in such a desperate situation. Dawn immediately gets her in the OR. Dev covers for Alex, but Cassie pushes him aside to assist with the surgery, since everyone disregarded her super organized schedule.
Alex is already feeling overwhelmed when Charlie and Shahir return to Hope Zion with Doug. Their reunion is even more jarring than what I expected. Doug sees the support Alex has from her friends and tells her, “You’ve got a lot of good guys in your corner.” She’d like to have Doug in her corner too. He lashes out at “Saint Alex” for always being the perfect one who is there to take care of everyone. He then accuses Alex of letting Martha die. WOW. He is crossing all sorts of lines at turbo speed. Alex confronts him right back: “You’re never there.” Doug rebuts, “So why change now?” Poor Alex doesn’t have time for this now and returns to Vicky’s operation.
While the team works on Vicky, her spirit appears to Charlie. She wants to find Erin, so Charlie guides her. Shahir is now caring for Erin since she suddenly suffered a stroke. This family can’t catch a break! After Alex checks on Vicky’s status, she goes to see Shahir and Erin.
Alex sees Charlie and can tell he’s in the middle of ghost whispering. We rarely see her reach out to him and openly accept his gift like this. I’d like to see them work together like this more often. Perhaps she’s beginning to come around and will be more open to the supernatural in the future. She’s knows it isn’t a good sign that he’s talking to Vicky, but is relieved that he hasn’t seen Erin yet. He comforts Alex and will do what he can to help the girls.
Oh crap! We spoke too soon. Erin has joined Vicky in limbo and the spirit sisters are very happy to see each other. They hug and start playing around with a sense of freedom and peace they’ve never had the luxury of feeling before. Charlie tries convincing the girls to get back in their bodies, but they’re enjoying being kids for a change and want to jump in the elevator instead. Charlie isn’t giving up. He makes an appealing argument: “Think about the long lives you’ll have together…But you’ve gotta be alive.”
Erin’s body starts coding and her spirit feels like she’s floating for real. She doesn’t feel dead, actually, she doesn’t feel anything. Charlie realizes it’s because the ventilator is breathing for her because her body is brain dead. Oh no! Vicky tells her that it’s okay. Now they can stay like this forever. The sentiment is sweet, but this is not good at all.
Charlie says Vicky still has a chance and needs her big sister. Erin’s heart can save her life. It’s time to step up. Erin makes a compassionate plea,”Live your life for you…Go on the rides in Wonderland…It’s the last thing I’ll ever ask of you.” These girls are devastating me. You can hear my heart breaking.
Charlie updates Alex on his ghost whispering session with the girls. Alex agrees with his idea. By giving Erin’s heart to Vicky, the girls will stay together forever. The girls’ spirits overlook the surgery. Erin kisses Vicky as they tightly hug each other. (I’m going through another box of tissues just writing this. ‘Saving Hope’ has gutted me.) Our hearts break for Mr. and Mrs. Avery. The only consolation is that they were still able to save one of their babies. Still, this is horrifying. Alex gives Charlie a thumbs up and the girls’ spirits disappear.
Excuse me while I clean up the puddle of tears in front of my keyboard.
Alex gets a call from the venue for the memorial. They double-booked, so she can’t have it there as planned. As she hangs up, Doug enters the locker room. He apologizes for being “an ass.” Then he surprisingly owns up to all the attitude and shade he’s thrown her way. He resents Alex for rising above it all and he’s mad because he thought he’d have a chance to patch things up with Martha when she reached out to him. Well, at least he’s here now. He wants to come to memorial. Alex explains why she’s calling it off, but he says not to. “When the Reid’s want to party nothing can stop us,” he quips. He’ll haven’t it handled within the hour. It’s nice to see Doug step-up and be there for his sis. It’ll be interesting to see what solution he finds to this dilemma, but we’ll get to that in a moment.
Lost and Found
Maggie is having a bit of a crazy day herself. She’s been avoiding Sydney because she’s still processing their conversation about having a relationship. Zach tries being a good and helpful friend, so he clears the room when Sydney appears. Charlie reinstated her and she’s working at Hope Zion again. She’s obviously serious about sticking around and giving this relationship a proper go. But her feelings are hurt because Maggie has yet to reply and is essentially “ghosting” her (pun intended). Can’t blame Sydney for being hurt. Hopefully, Maggie won’t let her down.
In a strange twist of fate, we see how Zach, Alex, and a patient help bring Maggie and Sydney closer together. Alex provides Maggie with an important task. She’s keeping Martha’s ashes in a shoe box. (Martha’s last gift was a pair of shoes for Luke, hence the box.) Alex entrusts Martha into Maggie’s care. The urn was lost in lost in customs and she hopes it’ll turn up before the end of the day. Unfortunately, Maggie loses the box and enlists Sydney’s help to find it. When they become preoccupied with a new patient, Sydney delegates and sets Billy out on the search.
Maggie and Sydney treat Olivia for Chlamydia. Her situation is a bit complicated. Her fiancé, Justin, just got out of jail and they haven’t slept together yet. She got infected after an impulsive one night stand, which Justin doesn’t know about. They plan on having a family and Olivia is worried because Chlamydia can cause infertility. While they examine Olivia more thoroughly with a sonogram, we see Maggie and Sydney express a difference of opinion.
Sydney thinks she should tell Justin, Maggie disagrees. They find an abscess on her Fallopian tube, which requires minimally invasive surgery. Olivia wants to tell him truth before have the operation. When she does, Justin walks out on her just as she feared he would.
Maggie and Sydney continue arguing. Maggie feels “strangled from the inside” and she’s honestly still processing everything. How can Sydney not feel hurt and insulted by that kind of phrasing? It is interesting how they are learning more about each other as they treat Olivia together. Sadly, Maggie is not looking her best.
Olivia feels terrible. She ruined the best relationship she ever had. Maggie is about to do the same thing if she doesn’t fix things with Sydney soon. Suddenly, Justin returns. They’re best friends and he still wants to get married. Oh good! We needed a happy ending after the other heartbreaking case.
Sydney and Maggie may be having a spat, but they’re still working together to help Alex out. Word arrives that the urn is in town, so they divide and conquer. It’s so frustrating when something is hiding in plain sight and passes you by right under your nose. It rolled right by them on Jackson’s cart! Let’s hope Sydney finds Martha in time.
Rest in Peace
Doug wants the memorial’s new location to be a surprise, so Charlie brings blindfolded Alex over. The guy who owns the pub he was at let him borrow their family party after hearing his sob story. Looks like the Reid family curse finally worked in their favor. The other guys will be there at 10, so they’ll have enough time to celebrate Martha’s life.
It has been an intense day for everyone at Hope Zion and there is something extra sweet about seeing them all come together like a family. Shahir’s boyfriend has been welcomed into the gang with open arms and is there to hear his man out.
Shahir is rattled by Vicky and Erin’s case. He can’t stop thinking about her parents. This adoption is making him feel things he doesn’t want to feel. Shahir has always been so good at staying stoic, even when he operated on Charlie. He fears having a child will make him a worse doctor. Jonathon can’t control how Shahir feels, but can be here for him. Awww.
Will Shahir go through with the adoption? If he does have a child, will he step down as a surgeon? Or will he find a way to be great at both?
Maggie arrives at the memorial with the urn. She’s about to tell Alex that she lost the ashes when Sydney rushes in with shoe box in hand. Phew! Maggie and Sydney take a walk and clear the air.
Maggie wondered what it would be like to actually be together. What if they can’t live up to expectation? Sydney just wants her, not some “tortured epic love affair.” She’s not going anywhere without her. Maybe that’s all Maggie needed to hear to allow herself to fall in love again. It’ll be interesting to see how their love story unfolds as the season continues. But I think Maggie has finally found “the one” for her after a roller coaster of relationships. They aren’t the only ones strengthening their bond.
Alex tells Doug that Luke needs an uncle. He’s good man and she wants her kids to know him. Yup, she let it slip: KIDS! Doug announces that ChAlex is pregnant and everyone happily toasts them. (Did Charlie and Alex discuss the pregnancy or did she think this was shocking news to him now? I couldn’t quite tell.)
They toast Martha and send her off like a Viking in a blaze of glory, courtesy of firework Doug found. Between curse and signs, the Reids seem like a superstitious bunch. Charlie’s gift shouldn’t be far-fetched to them, if you think about it.
Alex says a few moving words about the legacy Martha leaves behind: “She always saw best in people even when she couldn’t see the best in herself. She loved deeply and as best as she could.”
As the episode ends and fireworks ignite, Alex takes Charlie’s hand. Does this mean ChAlex is finally back together for good?! I sure hope so. We don’t have many episodes left in the series and I really want to see Charlie and Alex happily celebrate their relationship. It would be wonderful to see the wedding that’s been five seasons in the making. Right, Hopefuls?
Did this episode break your heart as much as it broke mine? What moments surprised, moved, frustrated, and excited you? Share your thoughts below!