All posts by 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

Review: Saving Hope heads into the woods

If you’re a regular Saving Hope viewer, you’re a little more than well aware of Alex’s terrible track record as a walking, breathing beacon of bad luck. So after checking out those severely ominous previews, it certainly looked like her streak of misfortune would only continue with Wednesday’s all-new episode, as a very pregnant Alex stumbled upon a trapped boy deep in the woods. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s to never trust a trailer—a lesson hammered home through “Narrow Margin.”

Like all classic horror movies, the episode certainly set us up to be prepared for the life of Alex’s baby to be in potential jeopardy. Not only did it seem like every resident at Hope Zion suddenly feel the need to remind Alex to take it easy for the sake of her baby, Alex then decided to take a hike all by her lonesome on a trail with no cell reception. (How the heck is a girl supposed to update her Instagram account like that?!)

After stumbling upon the body of a teenager, Sam, trapped under a tree, I was convinced Alex would somehow try and lift the massive piece of wood from on top of him in some she-Hulk style manoeuvre. Instead, and to my utmost surprise, Alex was able to keep a level head, coming up with the brilliant plan to use Sam’s EpiPen in small doses to help keep him alert. Not only did she save the boy, but her own baby was never in any danger AND we found out that she’s having a boy, which was probably all for the best considering how often it feels like some part of Alex’s life is in peril. Sometimes the duller conclusion to a storyline is the best conclusion.

While Alex was doing her thing (most likely with Taylor Swift’s “Are We Out of the Woods Yet?” lyrics streaming in her mind), her two potential baby daddies were once again acting civil to one another in the pursuit of a medical miracle. I’ve enjoyed the past two weeks of the duo putting their paternity power struggle on the back burner in order to do their jobs in a civil manner. What I didn’t really enjoy, however, was the storyline that accompanied their patient, Sue (or Soo? I’m not sure), someone Joel had seen at the clinic. While treating her, Charlie connected to the spirit of Sue, who told the tragic tale of her untimely death while travelling with Sue on a boat from Cambodia. The kicker? Sue had to eat her sister in order to keep from starving. Certainly didn’t see that twist coming. Although it was nice to see the two remove a (disgusting) tumour from Sue’s mouth, the storyline really glided over Charlie’s pursuit of Sue’s now-grown son in order to help put her sister’s spirit to rest.  One minute he was tasked with what sounded like the impossible, the next her son was by his mom’s bed.

What actually ended up being my favourite storyline of the night involved Zach and a stripper named Champagne (Continuum and Slings & Arrows star Melanie Merkosky) with a mystery diagnosis Zach was determined to figure out. The two had really great chemistry together—that vodka scene made me chuckle—as Zach finally figured out she’d been poisoned with anti-freeze by a crazy ex-boyfriend. Even more so, she helped distract Zach from stressing about whether he had prostate cancer (does it feel like Saving Hope always drops storyline bombs in the most subtle way to anyone else?).  Luckily, Zach is cancer free and won’t be going anywhere—except maybe straight to a Magic Mike audition with that strip scene through the hospital.

In more good news, looks like Joel won’t be going to prison, which leaves him still in the running for dad duty when Alex finally pops. Even more so, the scene gave us a chance to see Charlie, winner of the nicest guy on the planet award, sit down and help Joel come to terms with the fact that he may be innocent, but he still killed a man. This whole baby situation has really helped grow both characters and I’m all for it continuing.


  • A little concerned about Champagne’s question about why Zach couldn’t take a shot of vodka with her. I guess she forgot he’s, you know, a doctor in the middle of the workplace.
  • Shahir stepping up for Alex at the end was such a sweet moment between the two.
  • I don’t know what kind of paintball Melinda is playing but I’m starting to doubt it’s not the same kind I play with my friends …
  • Hearing doctors discuss swapping patients with one another so they can do things like go to the gym and work out really freaks me out. You’re passing my foot surgery around for leg day?!

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

What did you think of the episode? Drop us a comment below!


Review: Saving Hope divides the heart

After that tense midseason finale, it certainly was a bit of a slower paced beginning that ultimately built up momentum during Wednesday’s two-hour premiere of Saving Hope. Minus the spreading news of Alex’s pregnancy and Molly’s drug overdose, the first hour was more of a primer for the emotional fallout of the battle for a heart transplant and the reaction to Alex getting knocked up. But more on that plot point later.

There was, however, an overabundance of terrible personalities plaguing the halls of Hope Zion during the first hour, “The Parent Trap.” First there was Tammy, the MMA fighter so aggressive and defensive it was nearly impossible for Charlie to do his job. Naturally, Charlie was able to thaw her frosty exterior (with a little help from his ghostly capabilities) to find out that Tammy’s medical problems were rooted to her secret lupus diagnosis. But despite my dislike of her character, I really appreciated that Tammy’s spirit wasn’t a huge part of the episode and it simply helped Charlie solve her medical mystery before bringing her back to the land of the living. The spirits are a huge part of Saving Hope but it’s nice when they aren’t constantly in Charlie’s way, as was the case for both “The Parent Trap” and the second hour’s episode, “Hearts of Glass.”

Also bringing down the good vibes of the hospital was Elliot Stout, a litigation-friendly Bay Street bulldog (so not in the Kyle Lowry way) who believed he was entitled to a donor heart over sweet foster mother, Leila, pulling an ethical and legal card the hospital couldn’t ignore to get it. No surprise why we never saw anyone visiting the guy during his lengthy stay. It was an especially brutal storyline since we’d already become well acquainted with Leila and her relationship with foster-daughter Giselle throughout the two episodes, so to see him steal Leila’s heart and watch the soon-to-be-mother die hours later was just terrible.

Taking the situation hardest of course was Dawn, who forged an interesting relationship with Giselle while the girl watched over her future mother. Dawn’s brash attitude sometimes doesn’t sit well with me, but seeing her offer the girl small comforts was a solid reflection of the good within her character I sometimes can’t see. And seeing Leila cross over to the other side when Dawn gave Giselle a hug of comfort was another touching moment for her character.

Then there was the return of Molly, Dana’s seriously troubled daughter (who reminds me way too much of Modern Family’s Sarah Hyland for some reason). Not only does Molly not know what the Find My Phone app is (perhaps she was thinking of Find My Friends, which is a little more upfront with its creepiness), she basically forced Alex into a weird position as the middleman in her fight with her mother. Luckily it worked out for the best to have Alex there, what with Dana’s inability to function as a doctor when Molly overdosed, and the mother-daughter pair were finally able to somewhat have an honest conversation about her dangerous habit.

Undoubtedly the biggest splash of the night was Alex’s casual admission to Dawn that she was indeed pregnant, something that made me do a double take to ensure I’d heard right. Of course with everything going on between Alex, Charlie and Joel (out on bail and still miraculously allowed to work at the hospital) the pregnancy wrench and who’s the daddy mystery just makes things 10 times more awkward between the three. But hey, Dana’s going to be a great godmother!

Although the two were at each other’s throats a bit about the paternity mystery, they were able to band together in order to work on a patient (played by Degrassi grad Adam Ruggiero). The two always have a remarkable capability to put their work before their intertwined personal lives, but until Alex gives the go-ahead for that paternity test, things are only going to get more tense between the three from here.

So who do you think is the real father? Place your bets with Zach now, or let us know in the comments.


  • I can’t believe how calm Charlie was reacting to the news of Alex’s pregnancy. His nice guy status is only reaffirmed through instances like this.
  • As Maggie mentioned, the thought of someone making hot dogs in a coffee pot is both disgusting and intriguing to me.
  • Grade Your M.D. made me chuckle only because of how often I’ve used Rate My Professor to look up my teachers. And yes, the hotness rating is a real thing.
  • Best line of the night goes to Charlie: “Joel?! Kills a guy and he’s still employee of the month.”

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


Review: Saving Hope hits midseason with head trauma

Looking back through history, there have been many quintessential movie and television openings that have been shocking, whether it was for the gore value, something popping out at you, or an all-out unexpected scene throwing you off before things could begin. Falling right into the almighty gore factor was Wednesday’s dramatic episode opening of Saving Hope, where we watched Robert, a depressed man, try and committ suicide … using a power drill. In the middle of the hospital lobby. If that doesn’t set the mood for an episode, I don’t know what does.

It certainly was an interesting midseason finale with the incorporation of Thor MacLeod (Hamilton’s own Currie Graham)–one of the greatest TV names of all time–into the Hope Zion mix, as someone who claimed to have experienced the same out-of-body experiences of being in a coma as both Alex and Charlie. It helped trigger some of Alex’s own memories and seemed to open her up for the first time to the moments we know she shared with Charlie during her coma, which I really liked.

That being said, MacLeod himself was a total tool as he took command of the operating room saying things like, “I’d hate to leave my patient, but I’d love to buy you a latte.” It also killed me that Alex initially seemed to be so into MacLeod because he finally had some answers she was looking for. If only she knew Charlie could give her much better answers, all without having to share airspace with MacLeod’s ego. Thankfully Alex’s vision cleared on MacLeod and his experimental faulty implants in his pursuit for another near-death experience. Consequently, it seemed to actually open Alex up to telling Charlie about what she remembered, which feels like the right progression for their characters.

Of course while MacLeod was parading around the hospital, Charlie was the one actually dealing with poor Robert in his coma and helping him come to terms with both the death of his wife and the true cause of his mental breakdown (nice one, MacLeod). Robert and Charlie’s interactions were quite possibly one of my favourite Charlie’s ever had with a patient, perhaps because he wasn’t cryptically asking Charlie to help him do something but instead just needed Charlie to help talk him through his repressed memory of his wife’s death.

In other storylines, Dana’s daughter, Molly, also began working at the hospital, a move you knew would result in some sort of trouble from the minute Dana began praising her daughter to her colleagues. So when the pill bottle of oxy went missing it was mindless to point the finger Molly’s direction as the thief, rightfully as Maggie did. Of course it seemed Dana is clearly in denial about who her daughter really is (gutsy enough to pop a pill right outside the hospital moments before meeting her mom), so I’m curious to see what ultimately makes Dana realize who Molly is–a real piece of work. But shout out to Molly’s reference to Toronto’s own Gracie’s!

Also not so surprising was that hot and steamy Joel and Selena hook-up while at the clinic, where Joel’s clearly been hiding out. Their entire segments were spent showing him stepping in as a white knight for Selena by trying to help save the clinic and treat her broken bones, and the two had a blatant attraction to one another. It also wasn’t so surprising when Selena’s crazy husband, Brad, whom we all knew was the one that broken her arm, attacked Joel in the parking lot. But I won’t deny yelping in surprise when Joel’s self-defense ended with Brad’s head meeting a concrete block, followed by more yelling in anguish as the Hope Zion team couldn’t resuscitate him. I can’t even imagine how murder–defensive or not–is going to weigh on Joel’s conscience in future episodes, let alone how this will affect his reputation and relationships at the hospital. We’ll expectedly find out when Saving Hope returns for a two-hour event on Jan. 7, 2015.

What did you think of the midseason finale? Sound off through the comments below!


Set Visit: Lost Girl cast gears up to say goodbye

Through many emotional deaths, a few showrunner changes, and one Doccubus later, it’s certainly been a wild ride for the fans of and actors on Showcase’s Lost Girl. The hit series has ridden a successful ratings wave—all fuelled by a devoted fan base—headed by the multiple creative hands of M.A. Lovretta, Peter Mohan, Jeremy Boxen, Grant Rosenberg, Emily Andras, and finally Michael Grassi, the showrunner most recently tasked with Lost Girl‘s fifth and final season.

If you’re feeling like the past four years of Lost Girl have flown by, you’re not alone. TV, Eh? had the chance to visit the show’s Toronto set, and although it hadn’t officially been announced that the show was ending at the time, stars Anna Silk (Bo), Kris Holden-Ried (Dyson) and Zoie Palmer (Lauren) still reflected on making it to the big five season mark–a not so easy feat for any television series.

“It’s weird because I feel like we started yesterday, and it feels like it’s become so engrained in our lives that it’s been here forever now too,” said Palmer.

“When you’re in it things are happening so fast that you actually lose sense of time,” added Holden-Ried. “But now that we’re coming towards the end of Season 5 as far as filming goes, we’re getting emotional about it. You know, you can really feel the sense of being involved in something special and there’s a lot of love in the air.”

The lovefest kicks off on Sunday with the two-part series premiere, virtually a “direct carry over” from Season 4’s jarring end that saw the death of Hale (K.C. Collins) and the speculative passing of fan favourite Kenzi (Ksenia Solo), according to Holden-Ried. Although the cast kept mum on any specific details about the new season, Silk said to expect more scenes with the core group together, as well as the theme of family to encompass her own character’s storyline.

“For Bo in particular, her actual roots will really come into play this season. And that’s been something she’s been searching for since she was a lost girl way back when,” she said, adding that the theme will include answers about Bo’s father. As for relationships, Palmer said to expect the series to explore the dynamic between Lauren and Bo, one of the show’s biggest romantic supporters by fans, as well as the dynamic with Bo and Dyson.

“It’s still tense and there’s still a huge connection between the two of them, as there is between her and Dyson,” Palmer said. “There’ll definitely be an exploration of that throughout the season as well.”

Holden-Ried also touched upon the recently-announced guest roles played by Eric Roberts (Suits, The Dark Knight) and Noam Jenkins (Rookie Blue, Longmire).

“It’s great. You know, the richer the cast the better the show,” he said. “They both bring a lot of experience and history and poise in their characters.”

As they gear up to say goodbye to the roles they’ve played for the past four years, the three actors did admit a few things they’d like to see from their characters before the series ultimately comes to an end.

“I’d like to see more of Dyson’s past. I really enjoy some of the flashback episodes we’ve done,” Holden-Ried mused. “[Dyson] and Trick have been together since the 1500s, so it would be great to explore some other eras.”

“They’re really covering a lot of bases this season,” added Palmer. “I don’t know, I’m always curious about what Lauren does when she’s not doing science, like when she’s not fixing a Fae or figuring out a cocktail in her lab, I always wonder what she does to chill out. So far we’ve seen her bake, but I feel like I’d like to see what else she does when she’s not baking and creating lab cocktails.”

As for Bo, it seems that the few things Silk was hoping to see have actually made their way into the season, a parting to her character due to a conversation between Silk and Grassi long before filming began.

“I sort of I mentioned a few things, like maybe three or four things, and some of them were kind of light-hearted—not a joke, but just in conversation–and they’ve all been in this season,” Silk said. “I can’t tell you what they are, but it’s really cool that he’s encompassed all these tiny snippets that I wanted or that I saw into the season and built episodes or scenes about it. I feel really grateful to him.”

The season premiere of Lost Girl airs Sunday, Dec. 7, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Showcase.


Review: Saving Hope shakes it out

There seems to come a time (or many times) in a person’s life when they experience complete self-doubt in the workplace. Or, if you’re me in my first year of journalism school, several varying instances of self-doubt, leaving you questioning your performance capabilities in a way that prevents you from living up to your potential.

In Alex’s case during Wednesday’s return of Saving Hope, her shaky nerves seemed to completely and consequently shake her foundation and confidence as a doctor, most inconveniently on the day she was to step in and help Dr. Shahir with a risky procedure. High-risk situations are tough enough to tackle, but once that seed of doubt is planted into your brain, performance levels have nowhere to go but down, which is the direction it looked like it was going to be headed with Alex.

As someone who’s also had family with Alzheimer’s disease, some of the scenes surrounding Shahir and Alex’s case of the week hit particularly close to home, such as Maria’s frustration at not knowing her husband’s name. But what I liked about the case was it also put a bit of a spotlight on Shahir–he was the one leading the surgery rather than Alex, Charlie or Joel–with Alex as more of a secondary component. It’s always a refreshing change whenever another character gets to take charge (and just amusing to see him get over his crush on his patient’s husband) and instead the storyline helped highlight the relationship between Shahir and Alex, which was really sweet.

Not that Alex–and specifically Alex’s nerves–didn’t play an extremely significant part of the storyline. Let’s just say that even if I had the slightest ounce of thought my doctor had focal dystonia, as patient Malcolm had with Alex, I would be out of that hospital room faster than you can even say hand cramp. It did make me chuckle at how defensive she got after hearing Malcolm’s story about the violin player that had to quit after a case of focal dystonia (denial’s been the name of Alex’s game for quite a few episodes now). I’m not quite sure if the Botox shots are going to be a long-term or temporary solution to come up again soon. In the end, Alex’s hand ended up taking a back seat to Shahir and his heart attack in the middle of surgery, still determined to finish the procedure so he wouldn’t let Malcolm down. It was nice to see both Shahir and Alex able to finish the surgery and that Shahir isn’t completely crippled.

In other storylines, I was still severely uncomfortable that Dawn wanted Charlie to have a baby with her AND that she was making sperm donation appointments for him. The only thing that really turned that storyline around for me was the hilarious arrival of the spirit right before Charlie was gearing up to, well, donate sperm (the line, “Am I in hell?” made me choke a little). My amusement only continued as Zach forced Charlie to trade him a fantasy baseball player in order to let Charlie fulfill the spirit’s wishes. Poor Charlie–always helping others. The storyline turned out to be really heartwarming, as he ultimately helped bring the spirit’s children some closure with their father, AND give them a wad of cash he’d left them. As for Dawn and Charlie? I may not want the two to have a baby, but to see Dawn crying in the elevator over her inability to reproduce was a tough pill for any viewer to swallow.


  • Alex: “Shahir, nothing’s hopeless.”
    Shahir: “He’s married. And he’s straight.”
  • I’ve never even thought about the idea of a doctor cutting another one during surgery. So weird!
  • I’m glad Tom ended up doing the right thing with his mentor and reported the Hepatitis C diagnosis. Being let down by someone you respect is one of the worst feelings ever. But I wonder how long his vacation is going to be?

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