This week was definitely a good episode, though I think there was another missed opportunity in the plot. The overall theme seemed to be pain, and dealing with different kinds of it. I’d say it was also a fairly sad episode. If you need to catch up on last week’s, do that here. If not, let’s get to it!
The Condensed Version:
In this episode, we deal with a pregnancy scare. Of course, Alex turns out to not be pregnant – which looked to be as disappointing for both of them as it was for me. Joel and Maggie are officially “official”, though it definitely took a little coaxing on Joel’s part, courtesy of Alex. [I love those two's relationship with each other.] Dr. Murphy tries to help a psychotic patient who suffers from delusions, and Alex figures out what’s wrong with a patient who is unable to feel any pain. Charlie tries to reach Alex through a hypnotist, though the hypnotist quickly loses all credibility with Alex when he tries to get her to pay him. Next week, we can look forward to the return of Charlie’s ex-wife Dawn, and the drama that will likely bring.
The Extended Version:
Medical Problem #1
A patient comes into the ER with rebar stuck in his chest. The Hope-Zion doctors are surprised to find he is unable to feel any pain, even after pulling the rebar out of himself. After putting him back together, they find a card for “The Great Randall” in his personal belongings, which Nurse Victor (Salvatore Antonio) recognizes as a well-known hypnotist. After Dr. Murphy tries, and fails, to un-hypnotize the patient, they resort to summoning The Great Randall himself to undo the damage. Unfortunately, once Randall shows up and reverses the hypnosis, Chester (Matt Gordon) reveals that he sought out Randall to eliminate the constant pain that he has been living with for several years. Though several different doctors and hospitals have been unable to determine what was ailing him, through some jokes courtesy of Nurse Jackson (Joseph Pierre), Alex realizes that he has Porphyria – also known as the vampire disease, due to the person’s inability to handle sunlight. [Might I add, watching the Hope-Z crew drop all those "vampire" jokes in front of Daniel Gillies - basically priceless. Props to him for keeping a straight face.]
Medical Problem #2
Heather Day (Joanna Douglas) comes into the ER claiming that her mother threw her down the stairs, injuring her neck. Maggie tries to help her, but soon realizes that she needs to see Dr. Murphy when Heather starts to rhyme randomly. Dr. Murphy realizes that she is suffering from delusions when he sees her throwing things and attacking Dr. Miller (Benjamin Ayres), and they are forced to subdue her. Heather’s mother comes in and talks with Dr. Murphy about Heather’s medications, but claims that Gavin will not be able to help her. Fortunately, Gavin knows the trick to help her neck – which was actually hurting because of the medication she was taking – and thus earns her trust. Heather promises to come back weekly and have “talk therapy” with him to work through some of her delusions.
The Hope-Zion Drama
In the first few minutes of the episode, Alex Reid (Erica Durance) realizes that her period is late, which naturally makes her wonder if she is pregnant. Her best friend Melanda (Glenda Braganza) encourages her to take a test – and remains a solid form of support for her throughout the episode – though Alex is nervous to do so. Alex admits that before the accident she would not have been too excited about being pregnant, but now she would love to be. There isn’t too much focus on the pregnancy issue during the episode, so we’re not really surprised when we learn that she’s not pregnant. [I know I can't be the only one weirdly disappointed that she was not pregnant, even with everything else she's been having to deal with. That would have been a great plot twist.]
However, the pregnancy issue does segue nicely into another Charlie and Alex flashback. In this one, we learn that Charlie was an only child. He admits to being jealous of Alex’s stories about her childhood, growing up with siblings, even if they aren’t always nice stories. He brings up the idea of starting a family with her, but she shoots him down, saying that she just wants to focus on her career right now. However, she does sort of admit that she will probably change her mind and want kids eventually, just not right now. [So far, I find myself enjoying the flashback scenes, which isn't always the case in a TV series. I think the writers are doing pretty well balancing the flashbacks with the current timeline so that it doesn't seem out of place or interrupt the episode's overarching story.]
Meanwhile, Maggie (Julia Taylor-Ross) still has her feelings hurt over Joel’s treatment of her – and finally calls him out on it mid-hookup, which was probably not at the best time. When he tells her, yet again, that he is unable to commit to her, she calls off their arrangement. Joel (Daniel Gillies) is thrown off, and seeks some female advice from Alex. Fortunately, Alex calls him out on his treatment of Maggie, telling him that he can commit to her, but he is just unwilling to try. Thoroughly chastened, Joel goes back to Maggie and offers her a deal: he’ll give it a shot and be her boyfriend. [We'll have to wait and see how long that lasts, as those two seem sort of a strange match. Of course, I'm sure we're also going to get to see Gavin's response to this news, which should be interesting.]
In other news, Charlie finally gets to talk to someone who, not only is alive, but can also see him! The “Great Randall” is a hypnotist that can see spirits that are between life and death, though he is unwilling to help Charlie because he says people often think he is crazy. Eventually, Charlie convinces him to try, which he does. Unfortunately, just as Alex begins to believe Randall, Randall moronically demands to be paid for continuing to act as liaison between Charlie and Alex. This makes Alex assume he’s a fraud, just trying to use her desperation as a way to make some money. Alex storms off, and refuses to believe Randall later on when he tries to make amends. [This part was wholly unsurprising, as it would have been way too easy to have had Alex believe Randall - as much as we wanted her to. If she had believed him, and they were able to communicate, it would have reduced some of the tension surrounding the show, taking some of the mystery and drama out of the situation. Though didn't it just make you hate Randall?]
-I am still really enjoying this show and the direction it’s going. Every week is a new surprise, and an interesting medical plot. That said, something that I feel this show could improve on would be having a more “messy” storyline. In each episode, the medical problems are neatly solved, and the only loose end right now seems to be the question of whether or not Charlie will wake from his coma. I think the show is missing an opportunity to get really gritty. Today, an example of that would have involved them going the route of having Alex actually be pregnant. It could have created a bit of drawn-out drama. I’m also waiting for one of the doctors to mess up – especially Joel, whose ego really should eventually get the better of him. I’m not saying they should have something that results in one of them losing their license or getting sued (especially because I really like the characters and don’t want any of them gone just yet), just something bad happening to a patient from poor judgment.
-I’m beginning to see a bit of a pattern here, with each episode drawing a bit more focus for the individual characters outside of the main two – Alex and Charlie – which is great! This week was a good one for Dr. Murphy, who we got to see use his psychiatric skills a bit more as he handled Heather’s case. [As an aside, if you haven't checked out our interview with Kristopher Turner, who plays Dr. Gavin Murphy, you can do that here.] I think most people will enjoy a show more if they can relate to more than just the core two or three characters on a show, so I love that Saving Hope is putting more emphasis on the peripheral characters as well. As always, Nurse Jackson pulled off his couple of one-liners really well – and he has quickly become one of my favorites as a source of comedy in the midst of the tears and drama.
-Standard statement at this point: again, we’re missing next week’s trailer after the episode. I think we’re all pretty tired of having to resort to YouTube to get a preview for what’s coming up next week – though thankful for CTV actually giving us access to one. Yeah, we’re definitely looking at you here, NBC. Get it together.
Of course, don’t forget to check out next week’s episode’s trailer and synopsis below. It looks like Charlie’s ex-wife Dawn Bell (Michelle Nolden) is back! Also: how about those last few seconds?! I think I’m getting why the episode is called “Consenting Adults”….
1.07 “Consenting Adults” Synopsis: Routine surgery takes a nightmarish course when Alex’s patient falls into a coma. Before long, Charlie connects with the coma patient in the spirit world. Meanwhile, a case turns personal for Alex.