Everything about Saving Hope, eh?

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Review: Saving Hope kisses today goodbye

Although it’s easy to bring religion into a hospital show, given the constant talk of life and death, not many series are able to handle the topic we’re supposedly not supposed to talk about with respect and grace for all parties (that’s religious AND agnostic). Perhaps it’s because such bigger picture discussions are embedded in the moral fabric of Saving Hope, but this show seems to handle the issue in a way that’s more creative than cloying.

Such was certainly the case with “Joel 2:31,” the fall finale (or at least last episode for quite some time) of Saving Hope’s third season. Although religion was touched upon via the title, as well as two major characters, directly, it wasn’t made to be the ultimate issue of the episode, but more a gateway to discussions and revelations of sorts.

First and foremost, we saw Elisa, a young woman hoping to be a minister, go through the motions of trying to reconcile her beliefs about life and her, well, beliefs, alongside the current reality. While she felt she shouldn’t be pregnant–morally and physically–considering that she was still a virgin despite being a newlywed, she had doctors telling her she most definitely was. Then, she had to deal with believing that what was inside her wasn’t actually a baby, but a “monster” of some sort (nice twist that the religious “good girl” wasn’t lying about her sexuality, right?).

Elisa (a very engaged Kendra Leigh Timmons of Wingin’ It fame) was not actually pregnant, but in fact, had bizarre tumour called a teratoma (don’t look it up, man), which made her act irrationally. Thus, the belief there was a monstrosity of sorts inside of her (how Rosemary’s Baby of her) and later, the lack of remembering she just got married. The most horrifying moment, though, was when Alex, Joel and Co. cracked open her insides and found this entity, which looked like the strangely organized remains of a overly-grown fetus. A part of me thought about Andrea Martin in My Big Fat Greek Wedding talking about the twin that lived in her neck lump during that scene and wanted to laugh. But most of me was just totally grossed out and worried that the food baby I amassed earlier had nothing to do with all the fajitas I had.

But I digress! Saving Hope is really starting to get the Strange Case of the Week formula down pat, finding interesting ways to wrap intriguing disorders or diseases around bigger issues like, as mentioned before, religion. This tumour living in this girl, for example, served as a perfect statement on the fears we carry around with us–about ourselves, about others, about our beliefs, about others’ beliefs in us–until they eat away at our insides. In a way, Alex is suffering a similar fate to Elisa, holding her insecurities about her feelings for Joel in her belly even as there are signs–literal signs saying “Joel 2:31″!–telling her to act on them. And that other patient featured this week, the girl with the “internal decapitation” (that’s a thing and it’s terrifying), was carrying around her grief and guilt left over from the death of her twin, and as a result, nearly forcing herself to cross over to the so-called other side prematurely.

The good news is, all of our ladies made the moves they needed to make to keep, well, moving.  Say what you want to say about Joel and Alex as endgame, but man, that final moment, with them clearly wrapped up in the heat of pre-passion smoochies, was super hot thanks to Durance and Gilles’ game faces and exactly what–I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it’s true–the doctor ordered. After one too many fake-outs, it’s time for some make-outs, even if they aren’t between the two on your chosen “team” (sorry, Charlie and Alex fans!) Everyone deserves a little somethin’ somethin’ at the end of a heavy day–hey, there was talk of the apocalypse!–like this one. But this group is especially deserving, since it looks like everyone’s future is looking grim come the second half of the season.

Judging by the preview shown at the end of the episode, we’re going to see more trouble ahead for Alex and her hand, but also we’re going to see poor Shahir suffer a possible heart attack during surgery. Say what?

Just when we were starting to regain our hope for Hope after Gavin’s departure, another key part of Hope Zion’s mass of excellent side characters is at risk of being forcibly removed. Here’s hoping that guy that looked like Jesus is working some magic right now, even if it just means maintaining his beard so he can bring us some needed comic relief in the near future.

More Hope-ful thoughts:

  • “Eat cheese and rob a bank” are your two Last Days activities, Alex? Atta girl.
  • Where does one get that sexy top–bra? tank?–that Erica Durance was wearing in that last scene? Asking for a friend…
  • Zach too was carrying around some baggage, but not about his love life or religion, but his connection with his son. Kudos to Benjamin Ayres for pulling off both cynical (with aforementioned Jesus man) and sentimental (with Zach’s son) in such a short period of time.
  • More Maggie and Joel comedic interaction, please!

 

Saving Hope continues Thursdays on CTV.

Tonight: Saving Hope, The Nature of Things, Doc Zone

Saving Hope, CTV – “Joel 2:31 (a.k.a Apocalypse Now)”
A ‘blood moon’ gives the ER its busiest night of the year and also delivers a medical mystery for Alex (Erica Durance), Maggie (Julia Taylor Ross), and Joel (Daniel Gillies) to solve. Meanwhile, Charlie (Michael Shanks) meets a patient with an unusual link to life and death, and Zach (Benjamin Ayres) gets an unexpected visit at the hospital that has him questioning his abilities as a dad.

The Nature of Things, CBC – “Dreams of the Future”
Is the future already here? Dr. Jennifer Gardy tries out new technology and explores fresh ideas about our relationship with nature.

Doc Zone, CBC – “Weather Gone Wild”
As intense and unpredictable weather becomes the new normal, how can we adapt and survive?

Link: Saving Hope’s Daniel Gillies juggles 2 shows

From Amber Dowling in the Toronto Star:

Saving Hope star Daniel Gillies does double duty
Five years ago, Daniel Gillies had a handful of TV stints and film roles on his resumé, but he hadn’t yet found that breakout hit. Fast forward to today and he’s balancing the vampire life on CW hit The Originals, playing one-third of a salacious love triangle on Canadian original Saving Hope and learning the ropes of fatherhood with wife Rachael Leigh Cook (She’s All That) and their 1-year-old daughter. Continue reading.

Ratings: Week of October 13

From Bill Brioux:

The week in Canada: Oct. 13 – 19
CBC saw it’s top drama, Murdoch Mysteries, pull 1,029,000 on a Thanksgiving Monday. Strange Empire followed at 9 with 312,000. Continue reading.

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Review: Saving Hope tackles competence and consent

You knew it would be a Saving Hope that hit you straight in the feels as soon as the adorable Will was introduced to viewers on Thursday. The man with Down syndrome and his ability to give consent was the real focus of the evening, with the doctors split on whether or not to allow him to be an organ donor for his mother. To make matters even more complicated, Charlie was left acting as the mediator between the in-limbo mother, Will and the living.

It was emotional enough seeing Will react to the accident, his guilt over the car crash spilling all over the place as Charlie was left trying to hold him together. But it was even more emotional seeing his mother, Katie, argue with Charlie that it was “non-negotiable” she survive to continue taking care of her son (which is SUCH a mom thing to say). Of course, being the only one to communicate between Will and his mom in the spirit world meant Charlie was wrangled by the mother to help ease the son, something that could’ve become much messier had Charlie tried to tell the tribunal board it was too dangerous for Will to be an organ donor and ultimately prevented him from going through with the surgery. In the end I’m glad the situation didn’t wind up more complicated than that, and Charlie was able to help the three get through the trauma, acting as a rock for poor Will. If only Katie could remember all that Charlie did for them after waking up.

Speaking of the tribunal board, I thought it was really interesting seeing the storyline focus on whether Will was capable of giving consent for the surgery or not, especially since oftentimes actual legalities are left far away from medical dramas. Props to the Saving Hope writers on that one.

Although the storyline felt a little overacted at times, the best part of the episode was undoubtedly Will’s speech to the tribunal board, listing off all the things he participates in and has accomplished to prove his competence and give consent in donating a piece of his liver. Will’s desire to be more independent was inspiring and sweet, and by the end of the episode it felt almost catharctic to see each character come around and understand how much Will can contribute to society and do on his own.

The lighter side of the night surprisingly revolved around pets … or at least, a pet and a snake let loose throughout the hospital.  The snake was equal parts fun as it was disgusting (unsanitary much?!) and led to some hilarious moments delivered by Zach, who is rightfully afraid of the reptiles. I actually laughed out loud at his terrified statement about the “snake that causes eyes to bleed” roaming the hospital halls, and giggled every time Dawn mentioned the hazardous waste “code brown” every time it was announced.

The final thing that needs to be mentioned about the episode was that kiss between the overly emotional Dawn and Charlie, with Dawn mourning the loss of her guinea pig and Charlie mourning the loss of Alex. I enjoyed how at ease Alex and Charlie seemed to be with each interaction they had, even though it was clearly eating him up inside, so it made sense that by the end he’d be looking for some sort of emotional release. I’m not sure if their connection is going to be something concrete or not in the future, but at the end of the day you can’t really blame two lost people when they find one another.

Saving Hope airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on CTV.