How can you tell a season is drawing to a close? By the references of previous events – and the closure of on-going drama. This episode, as the second-to-last of the season, had both of these tell-tale signs. It is a given that these re-caps contain spoilers, but this one contains more than normal – because we’re getting so close to the end and loose ends are getting tied – so proceed at your own risk.
Gavin has a hard time when he feels that an Alzheimer’s patient and his wife isn’t given enough therapy time – so he takes matters into his own hands – and gets in a great deal of trouble when things go wrong. Joel takes a risk on a surgery with a jockey – at the patient’s request – that causes her to be paralyzed. Maggie finally decides to take a leap with Gavin and give a relationship with him a shot. Dr. Hamza performs some risky brain surgery on Charlie – who finally rejoins the real world.
Medical Problem #1
This week, Joel (Daniel Gillies) operates on Stacey (Kelly Fanson), a jockey – in a risky procedure that ends up leaving the patient paralyzed. Dr. Kinney doesn’t take this news lightly – especially in the wake of the lawsuit with Shawn Price [remember from the Pilot episode] - who, we’re told, finally settled for $50,000. Naturally, this latest mishap pushes both Dana and Joel over the edge – as Dana (Wendy Crewson) tells Joel he now needs approval from her prior to scheduling any surgeries. [If you remember from the beginning of the season, Joel came to Hope-Zion to work with, and learn from, Charlie - which obviously didn't end up working out.] Now, he feels that staying on at Hope-Zion is not good for him as a surgeon, and so decides he needs to leave the hospital to get his freedom back, thus telling Dana that he quits.
Medical Problem #2
Meanwhile, Dr. Gavin Murphy (Kristopher Turner) gets into some serious trouble when he and Maggie (Julia Taylor-Ross) try to help a patient outside of the ethical boundaries set in place at Hope-Zion Hospital. Roy (Paul Soles), a patient struggling with Alzheimer’s, is left in the care of his wife Esther (Dawn Greenhalgh), who – because Gavin gave her his personal cell phone number – summons Gavin to their home when she finds herself unable to calm Roy on her own. Initially, things go well, but when Esther refuses to go along with Roy’s memory loss, Roy gets angry and lashes out at her – accidentally breaking her hip in the process.
Gavin gets in a great deal of trouble with his superior Dr. Druckerberg (Rick Roberts) because he broke several rules doing what he did. Gavin makes it clear that he disagrees with how Dr. Druckerberg handled the situation with Roy and Esther initially – but Druckerberg doesn’t want input from residents, and dismisses Gavin’s arguments. Gavin leaves Druckerberg’s office to go see Esther and tell her that Roy will have to live in a full-time care facility – and ends up breaking more rules when he decides to grant her request to wheel her bed into Roy’s room so they can sleep next to each other one last time.
As relationship-centered as last week’s episode was, this one is that much the opposite – with several characters not even making appearances this week. Although, from the looks of things, Maggie and Gavin are finally going to get the chance to explore a relationship together, the biggest news of this episode is that Charlie finally wakes up! Of course, this occurs in the last few seconds of the episode, so we didn’t get to explore any of that, but never fear: the preview shows we won’t be let down on that account. It looks to be an intense finale.
However, before we get to that, Charlie (Michael Shanks) has to deal with the aftermath of the car accident that took his parents’ life when he was six. Last week introduced the accident – and Charlie’s presence in the car at the time – but this week we also get insight into his behavior back then – which apparently was “weird” for a six-year-old [though understandable after such a traumatic event], which made his uncle not want to keep him. It isn’t addressed whether or not they actually did keep him – though I would have to assume they didn’t, as a big issue keeping him from waking up was his fear of abandonment.
While adult Charlie is exploring all these memories from his childhood, Alex badgers Shahir (Huse Madhavji) into doing a risky procedure deep-brain stimulation to attempt to wake Charlie for good this time. Dr. Hamza begins a long process of stimulating various parts of his brain – to no avail. When it reaches the point of being too dangerous for Charlie to continue reciving the brain stimulation, Dr. Hamza tells Alex that he is going to stop. Here is where Joel does his good deed for the week when, after Alex accepts his decision and gives up, Joel convinces her to keep figihting for Charlie – regardless of the danger [possibly relevant to note that this conversation happens while the two are sitting in the same location as Joel's attempted confession to her a few episodes back].
Fortunately, on the other side, Charlie agrees – and is willing to take the risk to make himself wake up. The episode gets very tense for a few moments as it looks as though Charlie is going to accept death [which comes in the form of Joel's previous patient Jimmy, the cop who committed suicide in "Heartsick"]. Thankfully, at the very end of the episode, Charlie finally does wake up. Tune in next week to see where we’re going to go from here. Last one of the season, you guys! I don’t know if you’re as sad as I am, but I’m already anticipating the next season – and really hoping that a U.S. network is willing to pick up the slack NBC is leaving behind.
-Without giving too much away for those who have yet to see next week’s promotional trailer, suffice it to say that we’re not out of the woods just yet with Charlie and Alex’s situation. As it’s a season finale, it’s a safe bet to say there’s going to be some major change or upheaval that’s going to occur – which has me simultaneously anxious and excited.
-Surely Joel quitting is temporary, just for the finale, and he’ll be back next season….
-Have to say that I am surprised that Tom Reycraft doesn’t have a larger feature in the episodes now that he’s Chief Res – though I suppose it’s more to do with time constraints and lack of storyline for him than anything else. Hey, at least there’s going to be another season!
-Speaking of new seasons, I guess the U.S. is going to have to do some network-hopping (I hope) so that someone will run Saving Hope here in the U.S. I think NBC has made it pretty clear that they’re not going to renew it as they went from giving the last two episodes Saturday night “burner” timeslots to removing them from the line-up completely. It’s definitely a shame – and don’t even get us started on how upset we are about this – but it seems that’s something of a SOP for NBC shows that aren’t organically produced through NBC’s system.
Anyway, don’t miss next week’s episode (U.S. residents can watch it on NBC.com Friday morning) 1.13: “Pink Clouds”. Check out the supertrailer below.