Last week’s Pilot episode of this show was pretty good – for a pilot. Though some of the characters in focus last week were barely shown this week [and the writers felt a need to not only move focus from them - but then also add more characters to the mix], as far as the pace goes – the second episode was much better. With a clearer grasp on the main characters and the storyline, it is easier to get lost in the moment – and the fast pace – of Saving Hope. If you haven’t yet, definitely check it out. Now, let’s get to it!
The Campbell’s Version:
Chief of Surgery Dr. Harris is still in a coma – and still in the “between” space – but the crew at Hope-Zion Hospital still have jobs to do. Alex is taken aback by the appearance of Charlie’s ex-wife, who arrives equipped with her own ideas on how to handle Charlie’s state – and how to bring him out of it. Meanwhile, Joel and Maggie have to deal with a patient refusing treatment for religious reasons, and Alex tries to help a young boy who unexpectedly codes on her watch. In the “between,” Charlie helps comfort and distract the young boy and tries to pass a message to Alex through him. The sexual tension becomes too much for Maggie and Joel, and they end up in a random room (with a door that doesn’t lock) somewhere in the hosptial. The episode ends with Alex trying to reach Charlie – who’s hand begins to twitch. Tune in next week to see whether that was a fluke – or if he’s going to come out of his coma [scroll to the bottom to watch the trailer for episode 3 "Blindness"].
The Homemade Version:
Medical Problem #1
Alex has a young patient Cal (Jake Goodman) [he did a great job with this role, I must say] who comes into the hospital for stomach problems. He is discharged, but while waiting for his dad to come get him, he codes – and momentarily appears in the “between” with Charlie. Dr. Reid and Dr. Miller (Benjamin Ayres) manage to bring him back. Before they can figure out what is really going on with him, he codes again – this time staying long enough to chat with Charlie. Charlie comforts him and distracts him when Cal gets scared that he is going to die – while also doing a little medical evaluation of his own. The doctors figure out what’s wrong with him – that he has some tumors – and put him through surgery to remove them. Cal sees Charlie one last time, who asks the little boy to pass a message to Alex. When he wakes up, he can’t remember Charlie, but he draws a picture with him and Charlie in it. Dr. Reid sees it, questions Cal about it, and asks to keep the picture for herself. Cal tells her she can have it.
Medical Problem #2
Dr. Joel Goran and resident Maggie Lin have to deal with a female patient Kim with a compound fracture and ruptured spleen. She refuses pain medication and blood transfusions on religious grounds. Maggie gets upset with Joel when he basically tells her that there’s nothing they can do for the patient except make her comfortable until she dies. However, once the woman’s husband really understands that she is going to die unless they can remove her spleen and give her a blood transfusion, he gives Maggie and Joel permission to go ahead with the surgery. Maggie then realizes that Joel knew the husband would give in – and decides she can’t tell if he’s insane – or a genius. [I loved that Saving Hope jumped right into navigating the difficult territory of medicine vs religion. It's a good sign that this show is willing to explore different areas that are sometimes uncomfortable and stressful topics in the medical field.]
The Hope-Zion Hosptial Drama
“Contact” opens on Charlie (Michael Shanks) watching Alex (Erica Durance) as she sleeps in his room at the hospital. [City and Colour's "Weightless" is the background music for this scene - which was an excellent choice. I have decided that I am definitely a fan of the music for this show.] She wakes up, tells him good morning, and goes on about her day. When she’s a little late for surgery, she gets on the new interim Chief of Surgery Dr. Dana Kinney’s (Wendy Crewson) bad side, who tells Alex not to expect preferential treatment from her. Alex tells Dana that, unless she screws up, Dana needs to respect her. Dana responds “then don’t screw up”. [Lines are being drawn here - and as nurse Victor Reis (Salvatore Antonio) implies - Dana is clearly not a favorite around that hospital.]
The next scene has Dr. Joel Goran (Daniel Gillies) out for a morning jog, before running into Hope-Zion, jumping in front of everyone in line to get coffee before rushing off. [Gillies' first appearance in the Pilot - flying in on a gurney to the O.R. - and his second - flying into the hospital all sweaty from a workout. So far, he's getting the best intros, I think.] Third-year surgical resident Maggie Lin (Julia Taylor-Ross) attempts to take him down for his lack of etiquette, but he basically blows her off and gets on with his day. It’s at this point that Maggie confesses to Dr. Gavin Murphy (Kristopher Turner) that she’s crushing on Joel. In typical girl fashion, she thinks she’s being shy, until Gavin assures her that she is, in fact, being rude to him. [I love that. I think that's actually a very common reaction both girls and guys have towards people they're attracted to - and it's hilarious to watch. Also interesting: is it just me or is Gavin staring at Maggie in a longing sort of way? Perhaps there is something there....]
Charlie starts to have some hearing problems – in that all he can hear is [some really awesome] music. He goes to investigate, and discovers that his ex-wife Dawn Bell (Michelle Nolden) is trying coma arousal therapy on him – which involves stimulating the senses. Alex walks in and, seeing what Dawn is doing, gets upset that she didn’t ask his neurosurgeon Dr. Shahir Hazma (Huse Madhavji) before trying a new treatment. Dawn gets angry with Alex because she isn’t trying everything she can to help him. [I know it's intentional - but I really don't like Dawn's character. I get that she's worried about Charlie - but she's obviously also a little bit of a control freak - and overbearing.]
Dr. Reid goes to consult with Shahir, seeking comfort and to get confirmation that they’re doing everything they can to wake Charlie. Shahir assures Alex that they are – but isn’t much of a comfort to her [he is very obviously feeling awkward and uncomfortable as he just sticks to facts and legalities], though he does suggest she do something about Dawn lest she try to take over as Charlie’s legal decision-maker.
Meanwhile, Joel confronts Maggie about his perceptions on her feelings for him. She tells Joel that she doens’t have a crush on him, but that she’d “do him”. At first, Joel is reluctant, but eventually caves under Maggie’s insistence. [Also - loving that this show didn't drag that out forever. Maggie admits her crush, has it acknowledged by Joel and acted upon all in one episode. You have to hand it to the writers, this is just one more thing they're doing right on this show - keeping up the pace. I know that some viewers are probably upset by this hook-up - particularly those fighting for a Joel + Alex pairing, but keep in mind that - as of right now - it's just a hook-up. (And I loved it.)]
While they’re off in a random hospital room working out their sexual tension, Alex is sitting with Charlie after having seen Cal’s drawing. Clearly, what Dawn said to her is weighing on her mind. She decides to play some music for Charlie – the song that was playing the first time Charlie told her he loved her. We are treated to a flashback of that scene – which involved them driving around the countryside lost – and are brought back to the present when Charlie’s hand twitches. The “between world” Charlie starts to look hopeful, seeing his coma-self twitch. Alex gets excited that he moved – and that’s where the episode ends. We’ll have to wait until next week to see if his twitch actually means anything.
I didn’t comment on the lens flares throughout this time, but I’m not sure if there are any less than there were in the Pilot. However, either I’ve gotten used to them, or I understand their meaning more and am less bothered by them [I'm thinking it has more to do with acknowledging the presence of people in the between world. They seem to be more prominent in Charlie's scenes or when the characters are talking about Charlie.]. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when it’s still distracting – and somewhat annoying when it makes the screen too bright – but it’s not as much so as it was in the Pilot.
As for Charlie’s “twitch” – as part of this show’s premise is this supernatural element – I really doubt Charlie is going to wake up that quickly – though I could be wrong. However, I just don’t think they’ve finished exploring that aspect yet – I think there’s still more story to be found there.
I can’t wait to see the repercussions of Maggie and Joel’s hook-up, especially given that she admitted to Gavin that she had a crush on him, but then denied it to Joel later. I have a feeling that there’s going to be some tension there. Then again, maybe not.
This show has such a huge cast – there are so many different characters – so I’m sure it’s hard to balance character storylines with the hospital events and dealing with Charlie’s coma. I thought it was weird that some of the characters in main focus in the pilot seemed to take a backseat on this episode so that they could introduce still more characters. I can’t wait until we get into more of some of the (currently) background characters’ stories. But I guess that will just come in time.
In the meantime, check out next week’s trailer and synopsis:
1.03 “Blindness” Synopsis: Alex’s hopes are raised after Charlie moves his hand. Meanwhile, Alex helps a patient who already endured multiple surgeries; and Charlie mentors a man killed in a roofing accident.