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Review: Saving Hope checks back in

It’s a credit to Saving Hope’s writers that fans of the series get so invested in the show’s relationships, with things even occasionally getting a bit nasty between Teams Joel and Charlie. Which is why it’s such a shame that Season 3 has rarely allowed viewers to enjoy those couples once they finally happen.

In between watching Dawn do an about-face on a boyfriend twice in seven episodes, having Gavin go on a bender and take off after he and Maggie derailed, and Alex waking up without any sense of her feelings for Charlie, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that things with Joel hit a rocky patch almost as soon as they started. We’ve barely had any screen time with the couple—which has been teased for over two seasons now—before another flashback triggered what I expect is the return of Alex’s feelings for Charlie.

Though to be fair, Charlie’s gracious acceptance of defeat went a long way toward making up for how I felt about him racing off to pick a fight over the issue at the beginning of the season. Seeing that side of Charlie, instead of the angry, jealous one might also have helped remind Alex of the time they were everything to each other before a series of comas, ghosts and other dramatics threw their relationship through the processer. And it’s hard to deny the heat between Selena and Joel, which was back for another round.

But again, after wondering for so long when the other half of the love triangle would get its day (as they always do), it’s a bit disappointing to have all that build up thrown out almost immediately. The payoff, even for fans of the obvious end game of Charlie and Alex, is always so small compared to the build up that it’s going to make it hard to let myself get too invested in the characters’ personal lives should the trend keep up.

Thankfully, for a series that’s making a thing of the three-day work relationship, Wednesday’s “The Heartbreak Kid” did a much better job of picking up the continuity with some returning guests and cases. As a fan of Lexa Doig from her work on Arctic Air, seeing her back as the brash and charismatic Selena was a pleasure and her clinic is proving to be a rich resource for a completely different kind of patient and practice. I’d settle for seeing Joel commit more time to it since it fits well with his character history, but I won’t deny it would be interesting to see the rest of Hope Zion’s doctors start helping out and getting a break from their usual clientele—and I’m wondering if that opening scene was enough to possibly lure Zach to its doors and give Benjamin Ayres something more meaty to chew on.

And even without Lara’s ghost to milk the birth of Ezra Zarb for all its devastating emotional potential, having Joris Jarsky back to show us how David has been holding up since deciding to keep his wife on life support for their son was another welcome return. It’s not often we get to see how Charlie’s patients and their families fare after their otherworldly intervention and this particular case was deserving of a follow up if only to see how far David’s come since from angry, wall-punching person he was when we first met him.

Which also tied neatly into the evolving relationship between Maggie and Katz as they revisited their first case together and Maggie tried to prove she could be the kind of doctor Katz wanted her to be. I feel like just about everyone knows Maggie is ready to move onto the next step and having Katz hold her back suddenly was as frustrating to watch as I’m sure it was for the character. I’m hoping that ending—as unexpected and random as it was—means Katz realized it too and might change her brusque black-and-white emotionless approach (which saw her encouraging David to punch a wall in the first place). As for what else that kiss could mean, I’d read into it but I’m sure they’ll break up soon enough.

Hope-ful moments:

  • Joel: “I guess a guy could pull a knife on me again.”
    Zach: “Again?”
  • “LaRouched” is now a thing.
  • “Hang up, and it’s lady not gentleman.” I was really impressed with how Saving Hope handled the issue of pronouns with Teddy and would love to see more shows be this direct and comfortable with it.
  • “I look like an exploded burrito.” Tatum’s sass, especially with Charlie, was surprisingly fun.
  • That being said, the opening scene of her screaming as they examined her legs was almost too real. I can’t say enough about the effects and make up team on this series.

Saving Hope airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on CTV.

Eleni Armenakis
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Eleni Armenakis

Eleni Armenakis is a die-hard fan of all things Canadian, including television. She spent almost two years as a critic for TV Guide Canada covering some of her favourite CanCon, including Republic of Doyle, Orphan Black and Rookie Blue (plus guilty pleasure Bitten). When not hooked up to the little black box, she can be found freelancing, growing her collection of Canadian music or snacking.
Eleni Armenakis
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One thought on “Review: Saving Hope checks back in”

  1. I agree the rapid relationship changes will drive you crazy…I was just starting to enjoy Charlie and Dawn together when that abruptly ended. But Alex had the same flashback a few episodes ago and it didn’t change anything. Judging from the previews Alex and Joel have a pretty big argument next week, we’ll see if they break things off or try and work through it.

    Battle between Team Joel vs Team Charlie could get even worse, there’s already some heated conversation about Charlie’s talk with Alex at the end of this episode, as some feel Charlie has no right to say anything to her because he slept with Dawn first.

    I think Charlie has been reeling since Alex told him she didn’t love him anymore. He got caught up in emotion when he slept with Dawn and decided to take the ‘I’m going to live, not wallow in self pity’ route. Dawn could see he wasn’t over Alex and broke their relationship off, and since then Charlie has realized the same thing, only to find out Alex has started sleeping with Joel, the same guy who cheated on her and broke her heart.

    Charlie shouldn’t make Alex feel guilty, and I don’t think he was trying to. I think he’s simply confused that Alex could stop loving him altogether and then move on so quickly after their experience while she was in limbo.

    I like it too when they follow up on previous patients and storylines. I’m hoping we see Bea from Season 1 again sometime.

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