This episode addressed the possibility of what could happen if Charlie never wakes up from his coma: “out of sight – out of mind”. Guest star Shawn Doyle played Scott Cockburn – a patient at Hope-Z who’s been in a coma for over 20 years. Of course, Scott brings up a lot of painful concepts for Charlie – such as the possibility of Alex moving on, or the possibility of Charlie never waking up, leaving him stuck there for decades until he finally dies. Meanwhile, Dr. Kinney and Dr. Goran organize a team to re-attach a man’s hands, and Dr. Kinney is reluctant to allow Alex to participate. Dr. Goran is a big advocate for Alex, and after Dana sees Alex making a good diagnosis, she finally agrees. After the major surgery, the gang goes over to Alex and Charlie’s place to celebrate, and Alex gets upset when she realizes she forgot about Charlie for a few seconds.
The Extended Version:
Medical Problem #1
The major medical issue this week focuses on a complicated surgery involving re-attaching a man’s hands. Because of time constraints, they have to re-attach both hands at the same time. While Dr. Reid re-attaches her hand successfully, Dr. Tom Reycraft (KC Collins) messes up when he accidentally closes off one of the veins. Dr. Reid catches the error, and Dr. Kinney (Wendy Crewson) rewards her by letting her fix his mistake and finish up the surgery – much to Reycraft’s dismay. Fortunately, once they figure out the problem, the hand re-attachment is successful, which – as it’s the first time any hospital in their area has done one successfully – is cause for celebration in Hope-Z.
Medical Problem #2
A homeless man (Billy Otis) wanders into Hope-Zion after having been beaten by several teenagers. Once Dr. Tolliver (Glenda Braganza) fixes him up, she summons Maggie (Julia Taylor-Ross) for a consult so that she can drain an abscess on his arm. Of course, while examining him, Maggie discovers a few symptoms that make her concerned that Dr. Tolliver’s diagnosis of pneumonia may not be the only problem. Unfortunately, when she seeks out Dr. Tolliver to discuss her findings, she is quickly shot down. She shares her concerns with Gavin (Kristopher Turner), who found the homeless man, but he is unable to help her, and suggests that she just speak with Dr. Tolliver again. Unfortunately, the homeless man starts to code before she can discuss it further, but thanks to some quick thinking on her part, Maggie manages to save his life. Dr. Tolliver grudgingly admits that Maggie was right in her diagnosis, and congratulates her for saving the man’s life.
“Out of Sight” opens with the gang back in the lecture hall – reminiscent of the Pilot episode – though with a much less flirtatious vibe than the first time we were here as Dr. Kinney presides over the meeting instead of Charlie. Dr. Kinney preps the Hope-Z staff for the upcoming double hand re-attachment surgery, and informs them of the plan – which includes organizing two teams – one of which is to be led by her, and the other by Dr. Joel Goran. Dr. Alex Reid (Erica Durance) accidentally falls asleep (while Charlie tries to get her to see him again, to no avail). Dr. Kinney calls Alex out on her inability to stay awake, then tells her to go home and get some rest. Of course, Alex goes, and we discover that it’s the first time she’s been home since the accident, and she has a difficult time relaxing when she gets there because of how much everything reminds her of Charlie.
Maggie, eager to be part of the surgery, begs Joel (using her “charms”) to make sure that she is on one of the surgical teams. Joel promises to do what he can, but this causes some drama between the two when Joel ends up having to spend all of his time convincing Dr. Kinney to let Alex come back and help, against Kinney’s better judgement. He points out that Alex’s experience and talent is crucial for the success of the surgery, and eventually Kinney acquiesces. Unfortunately for Maggie, this meant that Joel did not have the time to talk to Dr. Kinney on Maggie’s behalf, so Maggie got left out of the surgery.
Meanwhile, Charlie (Michael Shanks) encounters Scott Cockburn, a patient who has been in a coma for 27 years, eight months, and sixteen days (“but who’s counting?”). Scott forces Charlie to deal with the idea that he may never actually wake up to be with Alex, a point that is driven home when he hears Scott’s story about his own life – how Scott’s wife divorced him 2 months after he went into the coma and never came back to visit him. Scott tries to act like he is happy with his situation, but we can tell that he’s more bothered by it than he’s letting on.
Later, in celebration of the successful hand re-attachment surgery, Dr. Kinney invites the majority of the Hope-Zion Hospital staff over to Charlie and Alex’s place for some Chinese and cocktails. During the course of the evening, we get to see them interact with each other, crack jokes (albeit, somewhat lame, medical ones), and shed some tears. Of course, the cutest scene this week had to be the interactions between Nurse Victor Reis (Salvatore Antonio) and Dr. Shahir Hamza (Huse Madhavji). Unsurprisingly, we learn that Shahir has a major repulsion when it comes to germs and bacteria, so he is thoroughly grossed out when Victor drops some Chinese food on the ground and still eats it (five second rule!). Victor takes that a step further and kisses Shahir afterwards, causing Shahir distress because of the germs he might have picked up.
The Hope-Z crew [and the rest of us] finds this exchange funny, but then the atmosphere quickly goes from comedic to awkward as Alex bursts into tears, then leaves the room. Joel goes to find out what caused the outburst, and Alex admits that she realized she was having so much fun she forgot about Charlie. Naturally, this causes her a great deal of guilt.Of course, back at Hope-Z, Charlie is facing a similar situation with Scott. Scott’s ex-wife shows up when his body contracts pneumonia to make the decision to not resuscitate him should he code. Scott thinks his ex-wife’s callousness meant that she never loved him. However, just as he dies, he learns that she did love him – and never stopped loving him – but that she just had to move on and live her life.
The overall lesson in this episode was interesting, and I commend Saving Hope for addressing that topic. It draws attention to a painful truth, that even when those we love are gone, or even just in a coma, life doesn’t stop – as much as you sometimes wish it would. One of the things I love about this show is their fearlessness in covering topics that may be uncomfortable for viewers to see.
-I am really antsy to find out what is wrong with Maggie Lin. I know from the hints that she’s going to have some kind of issue – and one that will put her and Gavin together – but I can’t quite figure out what it is. However, I do know that she is starting to get on my nerves a little, which I’m sure is probably the point, as we watch her slowly edge into obnoxious entitlement with Joel.
-The group interaction sequences have quickly become my favorite scenes in the episodes. I love getting to see the staff interact with one another when they’re all together like that. It’s during these scenes that we get the best glimpses into their distinct personalities as well as their relationships with each other, which is always great.
-I’m curious as to what Alex has been doing for the last month if she just now went home for the first time since the accident. Her clothes have got to smell as bad as Charlie’s tux is starting to – unless she’s been pilfering scrubs and toothbrushes from the hospital stockpile. I wonder if they just take that out of her paycheck?
-Once again, we’re dealing with poor marketing on NBC’s part. I really just don’t understand why NBC refuses to promote this show, and I especially can’t understand why they are not showing trailers for next week’s episode. They are clearly spending all their time promoting the “end of the world” show that’s premiering in the Fall, which is frustrating. If this show wants a chance to survive for a second season here in the US, NBC really needs to step up their game. (Unless, of course, they don’t want the show to make it to a second season – in which case, I don’t get why they picked it up in the first place.)
Of course, don’t forget to check out next week’s episode’s trailer and synopsis, airing on Thursday, July 12th at 9/8pm. Next week’s episode looks like it’s going to be interesting. I wonder if the hypnotist will be successful?
1.06 “The Great Randall” Synopsis: A seriously injured man under hypnosis can’t recall his identity, so a hypnotist is summoned to help. While at the hospital, the hypnotist tries to psychically unite Alex with Charlie.