'Saving Hope' Episode 1.07: Consenting Adults

This was an interesting episode with a more uplifting message than last week. However, the message – love and acceptance – was still just as philosophical, which is one of the great things about this show. Without further ado, let’s get into the re-cap (or you can just scroll down to the end for the week’s discussion points).

Condensed Version:

Joel performs surgery on a man big on body modification whose self-implanted horns are infected. Alex has a patient who has an adverse reaction to anesthesia and almost dies. Fortunately, Alex manages to figure out the deeper problem in time to save her life – though not before the patient gets a kiss from Charlie in the “between”. Charlie’s ex-wife is back – and stirs up trouble quizzing everyone about Charlie’s likelihood for making a recovery. We spend the episode trying to figure out exactly what she’s up to – only to discover at the end that she is planning to petition for Charlie to be listed as DNR. We have to wait until next week to see if she’s successful.

Extended Version:

 Medical Problem #1

Karn (Billy MacLellan), a man who self-modifies his body [tattoos, piercings, and – in this case – horns], comes into the ER claiming that his is feeling ill because his horns are infected. Dr. Miller (Benjamin Ayres) turns him over to Maggie, who suspects he may need more than medication to solve his problem – so she seeks out Joel. After a quick look, Joel and Maggie pronounce that he is likely suffering from an infection that could progress through his skull to his brain.

The man becomes irate and defensive when Dr. Goran (Daniel Gillies) suggests that he may have to remove the horns in order to eliminate the infection. Even faced with the possibility of death, Karn adamantly refuses to allow Dr. Goran to remove the horns. Thinking the man might be a difficult patient, and that he’s probably crazy, Dr. Goran tells Maggie (Julia Taylor-Ross) to summon for a psychiatric consult. However, after a few minutes talking to Karn, Dr. Murphy (Kristopher Turner) ascertains that he is not crazy, just with a preference for body modification – which he uses to tell his own story about his body and life. When Dr. Miller discharges him without Joel’s consent, Joel chases Karn out to the parking lot only to

Medical Problem #2

Meanwhile, Dr. Reid finds herself in some hot water when a standard medical procedure goes awry. Sandhya (Gia Sandhu), initially coming in for a routine tumor removal that should have had her in and out of the hospital within a matter of hours, has a rare reaction to the anesthesia, which causes her to lose consiousness. Naturally, she ends up with Charlie, hanging out in the “between”. This was an interesting storyline because, whereas the patients who end up here generally are upset and desperate to come back, Sandhya states that she is actually pretty okay with the idea that she won’t ever wake up.

She opens up to Charlie about her life, and they discuss life philosophies about love and religious beliefs (Sandhya is Hindu). She confesses that she is not in love with her fiance – that it was an arranged marriage – and that she wants to have a chance to fall in love. By the time Alex figures out why she won’t wake up – and fixes it – Sandhya is ready for it, and somehow wrangles a kiss out of Charlie. [Yes, you read that right.] Of course, she also asked him to take off his tux, but he refused. The kiss wasn’t really romantic in nature, just more of an “in-the-moment” thing stemming from their discussion and mutual understanding.

The Hope-Z Drama

Remember Charlie’s ex-wife Dawn Bell (Michelle Nolden) from the second episode “Contact”? Well, she has returned to Hope-Zion in this week’s episode to check up on Charlie and see if he has made any progress. Like her first appearance, she throws us off balance with her invasive questions and sketchy motives. She casually strolls into Hope-Z and drills several of the staff, quickly getting on everyone’s bad side. Dawn seeks out Shahir Hamza (Huse Madhavji) and badgers him with questions, essentially trying to get him to say that he does not expect Charlie will ever wake from his coma. Shahir really stood his ground, though, and refused to give her what she wanted – probably more out of respect for Alex than out of any belief that Charlie will actually wake up. [Regardless of the reasons, it was nice to see.]

Meanwhile, for a little comedic relief in the episode, Charlie’s coma arousal therapist Ashley – who supposedly came “highly recommended” – arrives to give Charlie a massage. Expecting Ashley to be a girl, Alex – and Charlie – are surprised when Ashley shows up, and is definitely not a female. He immediately pulls out his guitar and begins to play a song, to ” “. He is seen throughout the episode singing and dancing with his guitar, before Melanda demands he be thrown out when he is caught touching patients who are not Charlie Harris. Before you get the wrong idea, it was not that type of inappropriate touching. He was just trying to help her out with his non-traditional healing style.

In treating Karn, we see that Joel is a bit judgmental. Fortunately, we also get to see him grow a little from that experience. Initially, he simply sees Karn as a crazy individual – who basically deserves to be treated like an outcast. However, later, he stands up for Karn when some strangers on the street harass him for being different. By the end of the episode, we can see that Joel has a little more respect for Karn, and a bit more patience and understanding for the way he lives his life. That said, he still advises against self-implanting the horns again – which is completely understandable, and sort of a necessary statement from a doctor.

Alex confronts Dawn, trying to figure out her deal. Dawn informs Alex that – because she feels Alex is too close to Charlie to make the right decisions – she is going to petition for Charlie to be listed as DNR. This basically means that if he codes, they would not try and resuscitate him. Naturally, Alex is opposed to this plan – after all, she still has hope that he will make a full recovery. We are left with that bombshell, and the knowledge that there will be a hearing next episode to determine who gets to be Charlie’s decision-maker. So, until next week!


Final Thoughts:

-First of all, I would like to acknowledge the amazing make-up department for Saving Hope. I have a new appreciation for what they do after learning what actor Billy MacLellan (who played Karn) actually looks like. I had no idea watching the episode that it was all prosthetics and make-up. Well done.

– I am interested to see how things work out next week as far as the hearing for Charlie goes. I think it would be an interesting plot twist for Dawn to win that. I don’t really think that Charlie will die simply because I’m sure the writers wouldn’t kill him off without having him come back to life to finish up his story – show whether he remembers his time, and how much he and Alex change from the experience. For that reason, I think it would be great for Dawn to win the fight – as much as I don’t like her – just because I would like to see that drama play out. However, I have a feeling that Alex will win – just because the show seems to shy away from some of the riskier twists.

-I can’t help but wonder if the Charlie/Sandhya kiss was orchestrated to make viewers feel more accepting of a Joel/Alex hook-up of some kind. I can see the writers taking the show in that direction at some point (even if it’s not necessarily this season), and this seemed like a good way to casually test the waters for how people would react to that possibility – of Charlie and Alex not being together. Of course, Charlie’s kiss seemed more out of camaraderie and understanding than any sort of underlying attraction – which would not be the case with Alex and Joel, since they were a couple at one point – but there has to have been some reason for it, and that’s the best reason that came to mind.


Between the surgery, legalities, and “between” interactions, next week’s episode looks to be an intense one. Personally, I’m hoping for a Dawn and Alex showdown that ends with Alex punching Dawn in the face – but maybe that’s just me.

1.08 “Heartsick” Synopsis: With Charlie’s life hanging in the balance, Alex and Dawn go head-to-head over who gets to be his legal decision maker – but are forced to put personal matters aside when they scrub into a heart transplant surgery together. Meanwhile, Charlie is in no mood to talk to the heart donor – a deceased prisoner.

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