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.Â 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!