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'Saving Hope' Recap Episode 1.03: Blindness

I’m beginning to think this is going to be one of those shows that just gets better and better every week. I feel like I’m saying this a lot, but, as good as last week’s episode was, I liked this one even more. Some of the more minor characters were given more screen time this week (anyone else find Nurse Jackson as awesome as I did?), and the medical issues were equally as interesting. If you need to catch up, check out last week’s recap here. Now, let’s jump right in!

The Condensed Version:

Alex tries coma-arousal therapy to wake Charlie, but realizes she is unsuccessful when Shahir retests him to find no change in his comatic status. Meanwhile, Alex and Maggie end up with a Münchausen syndrome patient but, per Gavin’s recommendations, they are forced to cater to his whim. Charlie has to help a deceased patient who has unfinished business with his brother – who has to undergo a risky surgical procedure done by Joel. Fortunately he’s successful. Alex struggles dealing with Charlie’s unchanged status, some of the staff realize Maggie and Joel hooked up when the two are caught acting strangely, and Gavin unsuccessfully asks Maggie on a date.

The Extended Version:

Medical Problem #1

Dr. Alex Reid (Erica Durance) and Maggie Lin (Julia Taylor-Ross) find themselves treating Benjamin Munk (Zachary Bennett), who turns out to be a patient with psychological problems. He comes in complaining of abdominal pain, with a story of how he was planning to propose to his girlfriend over the weekend. Alex and Maggie check him for colon cancer, realize that he has a perfectly healthy colon, which is at odds with his blood work. Alex assures Benjamin they’ll figure out what’s wrong with him so that he can go propose to his girlfriend, but can’t seem to solve the problem. She happens to walk by a bulletin board with a photo of the employee of the month – who happens to have the same name as Benjamin’s supposed girlfriend. She realizes that he is, as Dr. Murphy puts it, “a frequent flier” – meaning he fakes problems or inflicts injuries on himself so that he can be hospitalized, also known as Münchausen syndrome.

Medical Problem #2

Brothers Isaac (Shamier Anderson) and Johnny Wolfe (Dewshane Williams) are wheeled into the ER after falling from a roof. Isaac is rushed straight into the OR to attempt to repair his various injuries. Unfortunately, he doesn’t make it. However, due to some unresolved business with his brother – it turns out, they fell off the roof fighting over Johnny’s wife, after Isaac confessed he was in love with her – he is unable to move on. Charlie and Isaac spend this episode discussing the reasoning behind his inability to move on, which is eventually worked through.

Meanwhile, Johnny suffers sever injury to his leg, which resulted in some bone loss. Dr. Goran (Daniel Gillies) convinces Dr. Kinney (Wendy Crewson) to allow him to perform a risky procedure that, if successful, would allow Johnny to be fitted with a prosthetic leg. Of course, once he gets the okay from her, Joel gets worried about his ability to do the procedure, as the procedure is generally not performed on patients as old as Johnny – who is 24. Fortunately, he is successful, and Johnny’s ankle is attached to his upper leg, creating a knee-cap or something for the prosthetic to be attached [I can’t pretend to understand all of the medical things that are discussed on this show – but I’ll buy it.  In general, I really enjoyed this storyline – and actually became unexpectedly drawn in by these two brothers. Their reconciliation scene – though Johnny couln’t see Isaac, I still say it was a reconciliation on both sides – really got me, and I loved the actors (and writers) and music selection (Oceanship’s “Hotblack”)  for it.]

The Hope-Zion Hosptial Drama

Last week’s episode left us on a bit of a cliffhanger as Dr. Charlie Harris (Michael Shanks) twitched while in his comatic state. Of course, we were left wondering if this was a sign that he was going to show some improvement. [Not that we were expecting too much as there’s still so much more storyline to explore with Charlie as a spirit. It wouldn’t really make sense for the writers to wake him only three episodes in.]  At any rate, this episode opens with Alex giving in and trying the coma-arousal therapy. Just as she’s shirtless and sitting on top of Charlie, Nurse Jackson (Joseph Pierre) walks in and catches her in the act of… whatever it is she was doing. After a quick, awkward conversation, she takes off to go do some work while Jackson takes care of Charlie.

Later on, she convinces a busy Dr. Shahir Hazma (Huse Madhavji) to do another Glasgow test on Charlie – only to learn that his status is unchanged, meaning he is not improving though she had convinced herself otherwise. [I love Shahir’s dry, awkward manner. He is so obviously uncomfortable with Alex, even though he does try to help her out by doing what she asked. I am definintely looking forward to seeing how he handles his relationship with Nurse Victor Reis (Salvatore Antonio) – whenever the network decides to let it stay in the final cut.]

We also get to see the aftermath of Joel and Maggie’s hook-up from last week’s episode. In their first scene, we learn that they clearly had a long night, as they head into a nearby cafe together for “brekkie,” and are essentially busted by Dr. Gavin Murphy (Kristopher Turner). They try to act cool, but Gavin can tell something’s up, and he looks none too happy about that fact as he watches them walk off to eat together. [No denying it now, Gavin clearly has some feelings for Maggie – as was confirmed in HRC’s interview with Kristopher Turner – which you can read here.] Kind of surprising how poorly Joel handles that if Alex’s accusations are true – he should be used to handling those situations with a bit more finesse. No complaints, though, because it was entertaining to watch.

Later, Maggie is equally subtle with Alex Reid, as she attempts to casually grill her about Joel, their dating history, and any other information Alex can possibly give her about him. Naturally suspicious, Alex later confronts Joel about it, warning him to be careful, to which he responds that he’s just trying to have some fun. However, as Alex informs him, just because he’s having fun, doesn’t mean that Maggie sees it that way. [I’m predicting some major Maggie-Joel drama as time goes on. I have a feeling it’s going to get interesting.] Of course, we can’t forget Gavin’s feelings, too. He makes a minor attempt to ask her out – which is basically ignored by Maggie. I couldn’t help but feel bad for him – but as long as Maggie has eyes for hotshot surgeon Joel, adorably nerdy Gavin doesn’t really stand much of a chance. Not at this point, anyway.

Alex discusses the idea of taking some time off work with Dr. Tom Reycraft  (K.C. Collins) – who she asks to take over her position while she is gone, provided Dana gives the okay [as we know he’s after her position, this probably won’t bode well]. He obviously agrees, as it means he’d get to be acting Chief Surgical Resident. Near the end of the episode, Dana calls Alex into her office and accuses her of neglecting her job because of Charlie’s accident [and I know we’re all thinking that she should cut Alex some slack – I mean, her fiancee is in a coma – but, as Dana pointed out, it’s a hospital – and it would be dangerous for Alex to be so distracted while working on patients].

Alex assures Dana that she will concentrate better, and goes off by herself to a random room in the hosptial, where we experience a flashback of Charlie promising Alex that he’s going to marry her. It’s a very poignant scene, as they all have been so far, and we bounce back to the present – and a sobbing Alex [this, like the Wolfe brothers’ storyline, also really got to me – well done, show]. Fortunately, Joel comes to the rescue and helps make her see that her reaction is normal. He seems to do a pretty good job comforting her, and she goes off to sit with coma-Charlie, while spirit-Charlie is once again alone, as Isaac Wolfe finally moves on.

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Final thoughts:

Again with the lens flares – now I can officially say that I barely notice them. Every once in a while one will really catch my attention, but they’ve either scaled back or my eyes have adjusted enough to focus on the rest of the scene. Of course, another possibility (which I’m thinking is most likely) is that I’m noticing them less because I’m more drawn into the story – so I’m not noticing as much of the extraneous details. Maybe it’s a combination of the three – I don’t know. Regardless, I’m starting to be more accepting of these quirky little lens flares.

Last week I discussed the question of how long the writers are going to keep Charlie in a coma. As we saw this week, it doesn’t seem to be lifting anytime soon. Of course, Michael Shanks sort of confirmed that in a tweet this week where he mentioned they were filming outdoors – and he felt it was too hot to be wearing a tux. Since they’re almost done filming this season’s episodes, we know for sure he’s not going to be out of that coma for a while. I know some viewers are unhappy with that part of the show, but I’m definitely a fan of this supernatural aspect of Saving Hope.

That said, if the show wants to last a while, I don’t think that having Charlie in a coma indefinitely will work. So, perhaps once the show is on firmer ground, the writers will phase out that supernatural part and just focus on making it a more general medical drama. I suppose there’s always the option of waking Charlie up and letting us see how the experience changed him and the rest of the Hope-Zion staff. Possibly a season finale cliffhanger? [Provided the show makes it to a second season, that is – though I’m hoping we don’t get attached to these characters just to have the show cancelled’.]

It was great getting to see more of the other characters this episode – particularly Nurse Jackson, who has kind of won me over already. He seems like a pretty fun character, though I’m sure he probably won’t be more than just a background character interspersed for some comedic relief. Maybe next week Shahir will get more of a showcase – he seemed so prominent in the pilot, so it’s strange that so much of his “work” is still being done off-screen. Maybe the writers are waiting until they have more time to establish his character’s personality?

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In the meantime, check out next week’s trailer and synopsis:

1.04 “The Fight” Synopsis: Sluggish due to a lack of sleep, Alex works the night shift in the ER and crosses paths with a hardfisted hockey star with health issues. Elsewhere, Charlie encounters a suburban ne’er-do-well facing the toughest battle of his life.

Author:

Hello! I’m Brittany, currently surviving as a graduate student. I am highly opinionated, but seldom a “shipper”. I love the entertainment industry – books, television, movies, music – and enjoy engaging conversations on it all. Currently, my favorite TV shows include: How I Met Your Mother, Awkward, Switched at Birth, Jersey Shore, and New Girl. Find me on Twitter at @ItEntertainsMe!


Written by Brittany

An occasional writer with a serious entertainment addiction and a Netflix solution. Currently watching: The Fosters, Arrow, Gilmore Girls, Outlander, and Shameless.

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