Everything about Saving Hope, eh?

Review: Saving Hope explains the unexplainable

Sometimes when I’m watching Charlie interact with the spirits on Saving Hope, my eyes can’t help but wander to the background. Not because I’m bored by what’s going on, but to see if anyone else is noticing Charlie talking to, well, thin air, while we watch him help guide the spirits to a peaceful place.

That idea was at the forefront of Wednesday’s episode, “Remains of the Day,” as an unexplainable move in surgery made thanks to a spirit’s guidance was brought to the attention of staff at Hope Zion, with Dawn hoping Charlie could explain his miraculous move to his colleagues. Only problem? Charlie couldn’t do that without being hauled off to the psych ward.

Really the whole issue was due to a slightly neurotic, OCD spirit named Elaine, whose panic attack mid-surgery forced Charlie to address her spirit in the close proximity of surgeons like Maggie and Rian. It may have been just shrugged off as typical strange Charlie behaviour if Elaine didn’t begin to stroke out, forcing Charlie to use the spot her spirit was clutching as guidance as to where to perform emergency surgery. It certainly was a reckless move to everyone else–can’t say I wouldn’t be freaking right out knowing my colleague was about to carelessly drill into a patient’s head–that spiraled into a medical learning opportunity thanks to Dawn’s insistance (although I’m pretty sure she just wanted to get to the bottom of Charlie’s craziness once and for all). If it weren’t for Maggie and Rian’s elaborate detective skills (or was it simply their oh so desperate need for Charlie to help them study?), Charlie would be in a much different situation when he ended the episode.

While Dawn was trying to expose Charlie’s mysterious ways, she was also attempting to juggle the return of Giselle to the hospital and the bond the two forged during their short time together. I’ve loved seeing Giselle go head-to-head with Dawn, since she’s one of the few characters who seems game for keeping up with Dawn’s bitter attitude all the time. It did feel like we were being hit over the head with the notion that Dawn would at least contemplate adopting Giselle herself, and although I was initially a little miffed she chose her work over the girl, it was probably for the best that Giselle is just staying with Dawn for a week-long trial period rather than anything permenant.

The other main storyline was certainly emotional, as Joel and Alex tried to figure out what exactly was wrong with a caring high school teacher. After years of terrible teachers, I think the storyline touched me so much knowing how much an engaged and invested teacher can shape a young person’s life and how much the dedicated English teacher was trying to give his students. When we finally heard the teacher had an uncurable disease my heart went out to the guy, and I found that doing the play in the hospital was a really sweet way to wrap up his sad story.

Something about what the English teacher said jogged Alex’s memory of her father, causing her hand to cramp up again. It was good of Alex to look into her father once and for all (although it felt like the whole thing was really breezed right over) but the most groundbreaking part of the scene was seeing Alex’s vision of her baby and Charlie playing together. Could Team Charlie be closer to edging out Team Joel in the baby game?


  • “You see wonton, I see chaos.” I feel bad calling her insane because OCD isn’t something you can control, but Elaine was a lot.
  • That whole three-way vibe between Maggie, Sydney and James makes me very uncomfortable.

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

Thoughts? Drop us a line below or @tv_eh.

Ratings: Canadian series rock the top 30 for January 12-18

In the Numeris ratings for January 12-18, Canadian scripted series earned five of the top 30 spots, including both episodes of Schitt’s Creek‘s double-header premiere:

  • # 14: Book of Negroes – 1.607 million
  • #16: Schitt’s Creek – 1.581 million
  • #17: Schitt’s Creek – 1.554
  • #19: Murdoch Mysteries – 1.387
  • #20: Saving Hope – 1.384

Tonight: Young Drunk Punk, Dragons’ Den, Book of Negroes, Clara’s Big Ride, Saving Hope

Young Drunk Punk, City – “Working for Cowboy”
Determined to not end up like his father, Ian (Tim Carlson) takes a construction job with Shinky (Atticus Mitchell) but gets more than he bargained for when the boss turns out to be his sister’s scary ex-boyfriend.

Dragons’ Den, CBC
A protective product sparks a Dragon competition and turns heads in the Den; an entrepreneur exposes it all to have the Dragons weigh in; and a couple outlines their eco-friendly solution to a monthly problem. Plus, accomplished Canadian athletes hope the Dragons will join their team.

The Book Of Negroes, CBC – Part 4 of 6
After British defeat, Aminata registers Black Loyalists in The Book Of Negroes for an escape to freedom in Nova Scotia.

Clara’s Big Ride, CTV
Premiering in primetime on CTV during Bell Let’s Talk Day (Jan. 28), the original one-hour Bell Media documentary CLARA’S BIG RIDE chronicles an unprecedented 11,000 km bicycle journey across Canada by six-time Olympic medallist and Bell Let’s Talk spokesperson Clara Hughes. Throughout the journey, Hughes spreads a hopeful message designed to break the silence surrounding mental illness and helps create a stigma-free Canada. Directed by multi-award winning filmmaker Larry Weinstein (Thirty-Two Short Films About Glenn Gould, Our Man in Tehran, TSN’s THE 13th MAN), the documentary recounts Hughes’ epic 110-day journey through 105 communities and 235 events in varied and often extreme weather conditions from coast to coast to coast.

Saving Hope, CTV – “Remains of the Day”
Dr. Alex Reid (Erica Durance), Dr. Maggie Lin (Julia Taylor Ross), and Dr. Rian Larouche (Danso Gordon) could use a little help studying for their surgical board exams. So when a high school English teacher comes in for treatment, Alex finds herself receiving a few life lessons of her own. Meanwhile, Dr. Joel Goran (Daniel Gillies) is consumed with a patient’s vanishing bones. And a patient, who is very particular with her lists, has Dr. Charlie Harris (Michael Shanks) working through a long list of medical reasons as to why she could be flatlining in the OR. Plus, the future of a teenage girl rests in Dawn’s (Michelle Nolden) hands – and a future she doesn’t know if she’s ready for weighs heavily on her heart.

Review: Saving Hope delves into the past

I’ve always been interested when a background component to a major character gets introduced on a television show, more often than not creating a major shake-up from the norm. For Wednesday’s Saving Hope, that concept involved two different characters, one major and one minor. Joel had to come face to face with the father he resents to his core, while Sydney–who hasn’t gotten much central storyline time so far this season–had to face a crush from the past whose life she meddled with. In the end, both characters ended up uncovering something about themselves that will be sure to shape the show as the season progresses.

Since I haven’t seen every single episode ever made of Saving Hope, I’m not completely aware whether the story of Joel’s father has ever surfaced before. But if his dad has been introduced it didn’t matter much, since viewers were given a lovely little rundown of the fact that Joel’s dad left his mom, that his dad is a little bit of a male cougar and that Joel’s resentment ran deep for the guy. So when his father collapsed and Joel found out his dad had been using his very own body to experiment with stem cell research, I knew it was going to be a moment that either brought the two closer together–as tragedies tend to–or helped Joel realize something deeper in his life. It turned out the latter, as he was finally able to admit to Alex that he was terrified of turning into his father but really wanted to be there for the baby. You could see in Alex’s eyes how much the declaration meant to her, and although the two didn’t seem too lovey-dovey it was a milestone moment.

The other character whose backstory came into play was Sydney, on the scene to help a couple with complicated pregnancy problems and instead had to deal with the wrath of an angry ex. I was surprised at first that Alex and Maggie never pressed Sydney to find out why she and the patient, Marion, had so much beef. But when it was finally revealed at the end of the episode that Sydney basically came out to Marion’s parents on her behalf, my heart went out to the poor, pregnant lady. I won’t judge Sydney for poor decisions at 17, but I still can’t imagine having that taken out of your control and did understand why she’d still be sour grapes knowing Sydney would be the one to deliver her baby. In the end, the two were able to get over their differences (next time someone’s mad at me I’m using the lullaby approach), but further opening up about her past brought Maggie and Sydney together as the two ended up hooking up. It’s certainly been a long time coming, so I’m relieved to see the writers address the sexual tension between the two.

While those two storylines were unfolding, Charlie had his own hospital drama to deal with after a sweet old lady, Iris, came in with some suspicious bone fractures. Elderly abuse isn’t something that’s talked about much, so I was already pretty happy Saving Hope decided to tackle a storyline about it. I was even more content that the storyline instead focused on Iris’ grandson, Cameron, and his mental illness that was going untreated. It made me feel better knowing Cameron had probably thought he’d been helping his grandma the whole time by feeding her his drugs, and that he and his grandma were still there for each other at the end of the episode.

The sweetest side story of the night, however, came as Charlie met the “kinda awesome” spirit of Henry, a little boy who couldn’t find his body anywhere. The kicker? After joking about dying and not knowing, it turned out Henry had died and his organs had helped saved the lives of many other children. I actually almost teared up as Charlie told Henry he “did the most amazing thing anyone can do” by being an organ donor. But not only did viewers take notice of his behaviour around the children who’d received Henry’s organs, but we caught that glimpse of Alex looking onward with a smile on her face. They may not have directly addressed it this episode, but it’s gotta be nice for Alex knowing that whoever’s baby it is, it’ll be in gentle, trying hands.


  • Great directoral work from Rookie Blue‘s Gregory Smith on this one.
  • Anyone else able to spot the Royal York hotel during those scenes with Joel and his dad?

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

Thoughts? Hit us up in the comments below or on Twitter via @tv_eh.

Tonight: Young Drunk Punk, Saving Hope, Dragons’ Den, Book of Negroes

Young Drunk Punk, City – series premiere
Young rebels, Ian (Tim Carlson) and Shinky (Atticus Mitchell) decide that instead of going to college or into the work force like their parents want, they must find their great destiny! But when Ian’s sister Belinda (Allie Macdonald) moves back home after a fight with her boyfriend, Ian becomes determined to restore Belinda’s honour, prove his father wrong, and blow some minds with the power of punk!

Saving Hope, CTV – “Trading Places”
Dr. Alex Reid (Erica Durance) and Dr. Maggie Lin (Julia Taylor Ross) are faced with an intricate procedure to save a woman’s child when she and her partner refuse to be seen by Hope Zion Hospital’s top OB/GYN Dr. Sydney Katz (Stacey Farber). Meanwhile, Dr. Joel Goran’s (Daniel Gillies) father is in town to receive an award for stem‐cell research, but Joel has the feeling he’s hiding something. Plus, Dr. Charlie Harris (Michael Shanks) suspects foul‐play when a boy and his grandmother come in. This episode of SAVING HOPE is directed by Gregory Smith (ROOKIE BLUE).

Dragons’ Den, CBC
A musical entrepreneur tries to strike a chord with the Dragons; an honest storeowner lays it all on the table; and university friends want to team up with the Dragons to ice out big industry players. Plus, business partners think there’s an untapped market for their truly Canadian beverage.

The Book of Negroes, CBC – Part 3
When Revolution breaks out in New York, Aminata seizes her chance and escapes to freedom in the haven of Canvas Town.