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Review: Explosive Saving Hope season finale kills off character

When I figured Alex would have to make her final choice between Charlie and Joel, I never imagined it would come the way it did during the Saving Hope season finale.

Spoiler warning: turn back now if you haven’t seen Wednesday’s game-changing episode.

Sure, it was a given that Alex would end up going into labour at the same time she was writing her surgical boards, as the two most important events in one person’s life usually happen at the exact same time on television. And sure, it was clear something terrible was going to happen given the ominous white horse Charlie kept seeing all around the hospital. But Joel essentially self-sacrificing himself for Zach and getting blown up by the bomb post-surgery? Certainly didn’t see that one happening.

It was predictable, but I’ll admit that it was funny seeing Alex tell herself she’d be able to get through the surgical boards before delivering her baby. There’s absolutely no way I could write any test, let alone an oral surgical board exam, knowing I was inches away from popping a baby out. Erica Durance certainly sold the labour scenes extremely well, but no more so when she screamed at Maggie not to break her baby during the actual delivery. Also deserving serious props was Maggie for ditching the test with one to go to deliver her BFF’s baby.

After missing out on what sounded like a really cool surgical experience to Joel, Charlie wasn’t really up to anything too exciting at the hospital. Instead, what was so intriguing was how he kept seeing the white horse running around the halls, something I wasn’t sure had significance for an earlier episode or not. He had said he hadn’t been sleeping well and that he had a bad feeling, so I wasn’t sure if the horse vision had shown up before another bad incident or if Charlie was just a big equestrian fan. But when Charlie did declare his bad feeling I was on high alert for each of the characters.

Obviously, the birth of Alex’s baby could’ve easily been one where Charlie’s bad feeling came from. And for a few minutes it did look like there was a life-threatening complication. But when the birth of Luke went smoothly, I knew it was going to be either Zach or Joel’s life in danger. For some reason I pegged Zach as the one who’d end up hurt somehow, even going so far as to suspect he’d be in a car accident when Joel tricked him into leaving the dangerous surgical procedure to remove the bomb from the middle of the resident base bomb expert (how ironic, as they said). And the surgery generally seemed to be going ridiculously well, given how difficult it was to get the thing out from the bones of the soldier. Right up until Joel had the bomb in his hands I figured everything would be OK, although I did wonder why no one was on hand to either defuse or get rid of the bomb immediately after it was pulled from the soldier’s abdomen.

But then the horse appeared, and suddenly it all made sense. I jumped a mile when the bomb went off and needed a minute to comprehend that the show had actually just killed off such a serious main character—one of which was about to propose to Alex, nonetheless.

As much as I’ve absolutely loved the presence of Daniel Gillies throughout the show’s run, this past season has certainly made me feel like Joel and Alex were meant to be best friends more than lovers. Meanwhile, it was clear Alex’s heart still belonged to Charlie, particularly so at the very end of the season. So in the end if someone had to die, I think it was the right choice to have it be the sweet and beautiful Joel, whose death will certainly shake up everyone’s emotions at the hospital—none more than Zach.

How will Zach cope with survivor’s guilt? And will baby Luke end up being Joel’s after all? Those are two questions we’ll be taking with us until Saving Hope returns for another season.

Notes:

  • Anyone else hope Dawn and the two-finger guitar player start hooking up? Just me? OK.
  • Team Shalex t-shirts forever.
  • I wish we could be given a full list of the paternity pool and whom everyone was betting on.
  • How is Team Joel doing? Remember, you’re all in this together.

Thoughts? Let us know through the comments below or via @tv_eh.

Samantha Sobolewski

Samantha Sobolewski

For just over two years, Samantha Sobolewski was a television critic for TV Guide Canada, where she interviewed the likes of Sophia Bush, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Kevin Smith, Liam Cunningham and many others. You can find her in her final year at Ryerson's School of Journalism, freelancing, watching The West Wing or on Twitter @samsobolewski
Samantha Sobolewski

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7 thoughts on “Review: Explosive Saving Hope season finale kills off character”

  1. I am in shock still. I wonder why they killed him off? Was he just too run down being one of the leads on two different shows? At least I will still see him on The Originals. I really hope the baby is Charlie’s. I wonder if they will do the paternity test? Probably stretch it out a few episodes at least.

  2. I don’t actually watch this show, but I caught the last 10 mins last night and was curious to know if Erica Durance was pregnant in real life. I haven’t really seen her in anything since “Smallville”, but it looked like she’s carrying some extra baby weight in her face.

  3. Joel was the only reason I watched the show. I actually don’t have any interest in watching Alex and Charlie. Season 3 was my favourite – loved Joel and Alex together. I found them more exciting. Oh well.

  4. I knew halfway through the bomb was going to go off. I was dreading it and hoping they saved Joel. So sad. I love that actor but I knew he was in that other show and needed to cut way back on Saving Hope. I was wondering why he was on so much this season and now I know. What a heartbreaking ending.

  5. I’m hoping Season 4 brings us back to the main thrust of Season 1…the deep and enduring love that Charlie and Alex had that would bring him out of a coma and back into the real world….and the Supernatural aspect twinned with the medical drama…

    Joel was never my favourite character and I came for Michael Shanks and his brilliant acting…I’m hoping he continues to grow from strength to strength in Season 4 and I will support him wholeheartedly…

    I’m also looking forward to much more Zac and Dawn…After Michael Shanks I think Benjamin Ayres and Michelle Nolden are the best actors in the show…

  6. I totally called this episode… the minute that I saw the situation with the soldier, I told my b/f that Joel is going to get killed and Charlie is going to get the girl… I totally believe that the baby is Joel’s too. Charlie will do the right thing and bring the baby up as his own… Joel also asks Charlie to take care of them both at the end, so I’m thinking that it might be Joel’s… but then again, Joel only kissed Alex and didn’t seem to pay too much attention to the baby… so who knows?? haha!! Even though I knew what was going to happen, it still shocked the hell out of me, and I feel so sad for Joel!

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