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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.

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Review: Advantages and accidents on MasterChef Canada

If you had the chance to save a competitor in MasterChef Canada, would you save a friend, a weak chef or a strong chef? That was the task left to Jon to contemplate after he emerged as champion of the first Mystery Box Challenge.

If it was me, I’d be saving weaker chefs I felt I could take down later in the contest. Home cooks that looked like they’d break under the pressure of group challenges, would stress out over little things or be totally disorganized. So I wasn’t shocked at all when Jon—after kicking butt with his cream cheese tarts—picked Jennifer as one of the three chefs he’d save from elimination. I was a little shocked that Jon chose David as his first save, though. I’m guessing it’s because they’ve become fast friends, but David has proven himself to be a skilled competitor and that move may come back to haunt Jon.

Speaking of decisions coming back to haunt them, I wonder how Kevin felt after basically saving Andrew from elimination this week? Andrew badly overcooked his pork chop in the Mystery Box and asked for another chunk of meat. Kevin gave him his, and Andrew not only got kudos for that plate but went on to land the top dish of the night with his crispy ginger beef. Andrew will be one of two captains when MasterChef Canada moves to Toronto’s docklands to prepare food for Cirque du Soleil in two week’s time.

Also nabbing a captain’s spot was Line, who was able to turn the one stir fry she tried years ago into a winning plate. The girl needs to lay off the shocked look on her face, though, she knows what she’s doing.

At the other end of the scale were Debbie, Kyle and Kwasi. Debbie cut herself early on Sunday night and never recovered, Kyle’s huge chunks of vegetables doomed him, especially when Alvin made a point of telling him that, and Kwasi’s veggie stir fry wasn’t up to snuff. In the end it was Debbie and Kyle who were shown the door.

Notes and quotes

  • There are still some chefs that haven’t gotten the spotlight at all, like Cody, Christopher and Kristen
  • Is it just me, or does the exterior to MasterChef look a lot like the exterior for Hell’s Kitchen?
  • Lifehack! I forgot you can sharpen a knife using the bottom of a ceramic bowl.
  • “Kevin?!” You couldn’t fake the surprise reaction when Kevin heard his name called out.
  • Michael Bonacini once cooked a chicken with the gizzards still in the plastic bag inside of it? There is hope for us all.

MasterChef Canada airs Sundays at 7 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.

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Review: A mother’s touch on Saving Hope

Mother’s Day seems to have come early for the Saving Hope crew.

Wednesday’s all-new episode, “Fearless,” put matriarchs front and centre in the action (as moms rightfully deserve to be), as some end-of-pregnancy thoughts made Alex ponder the type of mother she’ll be and the poor relationship with her own mother, one she hadn’t even shared the pregnancy news with.

Of course, whenever Alex has something going on in her life, there always seems to be a medical storyline that coincides with it. Cue the world’s most rude mother. Theresa (if I caught her name right) was a real piece-of-work, bitter about the way her life and two daughters (who seemed perfectly normal on all fronts) turned out. It only took Theresa’s comment about throwing Alex down a flight of stairs to terminate her pregnancy for me to quickly realize no one would be able to reason with her all night, which was quickly proven the case. Yet, somehow, her two daughters were able to put their mother’s baggage aside and stay by her side throughout her hospital stay, which included trying to command nurses to take her to the operating room and nearly dying after surgery.

If Theresa’s daughters were able to put aside the angst with their own mother, Alex could try with hers, right? Wrong, although I wish we could’ve actually heard the conversation the two had rather than just see Alex crying over it. Despite being shut out from the actual conversation, at least we were given some context to the rocky relationship the duo share through Alex’s conversations with Joel and Dana, which only reiterated the support system Alex has with her hospital friends.

Speaking of Joel, let’s be thankful he didn’t go through with his seriously dumb plan to pop the question to Alex. However, it seems everyone in the hospital now knows his intentions (not the smartest idea carrying the ring in your scrubs, buddy), which means sooner rather than later that news will probably travel to Charlie. Other than nearly making the biggest mistake of his life, Joel helped save the life of a young hockey player named Hayden involved in a car accident. Joel did a great thing for the boy, but I really didn’t agree with his decision to listen to Hayden’s girlfriend and lie to his face that his best friend, Shawn, had also died in the accident.

Naturally the sprit of the best friend was what Charlie was dealing with predominantly, although Shawn seemed like a really cool dude–minus the texting and driving offense. And Shawn was able to appeal to Charlie’s good nature and help convince Joel and Shahir they could repair Hayden’s back so he wouldn’t be paralyzed. (Has Charlie ever really said no to a ghost’s request before? Can Charlie say no to anyone?)

The most intriguing storyline of the night, however, came when Sydney’s fiancé, Herschel, checked himself in to the hospital, believing he was dying. First of all, I forgot Sydney even had a fiancé, what with her fling with Maggie. The two had zero chemistry together, which was another obvious sign that Sydney shouldn’t have been marrying him. Luckily, Sydney came to her senses and came clean to Herschel that she was gay, and although I don’t blame him for being upset with her, there was no better thing for her to do for herself. And hey, maybe Hershel was just upset that he just had a tapeworm pulled out of his nose.

Will Sydney and Maggie become a thing? Will Alex make a final choice between Joel and Charlie? Will the gang pass their medical boards? The season finale is almost upon us, so expect these questions and more to be addressed as Alex gets set to head into labour.

Notes:

  • That tapeworm might have been the worst thing I’ve ever seen on this show.
  • Alex: “These are the most beautiful flower cupcakes.” Maggie: “Actually these are vaginas.”
  • If Herschel didn’t realize his fiancée had the hots for another lady from the amount of personal information Sydney shared with him about Maggie, he needs to open his eyes a little bit.
  • Congrats to star Erica Durance for giving birth on Tuesday!

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

Thoughts? Hit is up below or via @tv_eh.

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Review: Full circle for Saving Hope

“I’m dying. Please don’t tell my wife.”

Is it a doctor’s job to tell someone their significant other is dying against that patient’s wishes? Where do you draw the line from keeping your personal feelings and professional job from intersecting? Both issues were the highlight of Wednesday’s Saving Hope, with Zach in the middle of a man’s wishes to keep his wife in the dark about Stage 4 lung cancer.

Seeing how happy and in love the couple were–because it takes a real couple to camp in a yert together–it was only a matter of time before one of the two were diagnosed with something terrible. Turned out it was the husband, Mike, who Zach discovered was hiding a pretty bad cancer diagnosis in order to live out his last days as happily as possible. Unfortunately, hiding something like that can be pretty difficult when a guy passes out in the middle of a hospital foyer. The struggle was easy to comprehend, but I still found it ridiculously wrong of Zach to defy Mike’s wishes and bring his wife into his hospital room while Maggie was in the middle of draining his lungs. The move felt cowardly to me, like it was the easy way out of his tough spot, and it didn’t seem like anyone was giving Zach enough flack for the move. After finding out Zach went through a similar situation as a teenager with his dad I understood his decision more, but still didn’t agree with it. But hey, at least he was able to bring the Northern Lights to the couple in that adorable closing scene.

While Zach was hit with the feels, Alex and Charlie were given a patient with the most original storyline of the night. I didn’t understand what the problem with Travis was right away, other than the fact that he was yelling way too much for me to enjoy and was going to jail for some reason. Turned out I didn’t understand what was wrong with him because the issue was internal; he swallowed multiple packs of cocaine to try and smuggle and sell in jail, one of which ended up exploding after he fell. Normally I don’t have a real appreciation for the surgery shots, but seeing Alex pull the little baggies out of Travis’ stomach and seeing one rupture was pretty cool and not something I’ve ever seen on a medical drama before.

While Charlie aided Alex he was also getting to the bottom of his own mystery: the spirit of a guy convinced he knew Alex from somewhere. I really loved how he ended up being the taxi driver who was driving Alex and Charlie in the pilot episode (that’s some bad luck you’ve got there, buddy), but more so I loved that he was holding Alex’s wedding vows in his pocket the whole time–despite how farfetched it is he’s had them chilling in his pocket the whole time.

She’s been hinting it for the past few episodes, but seeing Alex have the flashback to them kissing and with the wedding vows popping back up, it’s more clear than ever that Alex is leaning towards Team Charlie, a team that appears to be just as interested in Alex. But naturally, it also appears that Joel is suddenly feeling much more confident about his feelings for Alex–so much so that he ended the night by buying a ring. For his sake I hope the ring has a return policy, because if he plans on proposing anytime soon I don’t think he’ll like the answer he gets.

Notes:

  • No, you didn’t watch too much eTalk today. That really was Ben Mulroney, possibly making coffee for the first time in his life.
  • Only Shahir would make a birth spreadsheet.
  • The storyline with Joel felt ridiculously overdone, but at least it did have that nice moment between a daughter and father.

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

Thoughts? Hit us up below or via @tv_eh.

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MasterChef Canada raises the bar in Season 2

Michael Bonacini is one of those guys who walks out of a movie sequel and shrugs his shoulders, less than impressed. That didn’t happen at the end of filming Season 2 of MasterChef Canada.

“At the end of Season 2, we all felt that this was an incredible showcase of culinary talent and creativity,” he says. The “we” he’s referring to is, of course, his fellow MasterChef Canada judging partners in crime, Claudio Aprile and Alvin Leung, who return this Sunday night after the Super Bowl wraps up on CTV. (In a late play by the network, MasterChef was called up early to replace Spun Out, which was benched after Dave Foley’s co-star, J.P. Manoux, was charged with voyeurism earlier this week.)

“The three of us would be watching in amazement at what was happening in front of us,” Aprile recalls during filming late last year. “We would say to ourselves, ‘Are the viewers going to believe this?!’ The talent is just phenomenal.”

That talent is showcased early on in Sunday’s return which begins the task of cutting the Top 50 down to a more manageable Top 16 on the way to awarding one home chef the title and $100,000. Sabrina, a 26-year-old office manager from Montreal, skipped her sister’s destination wedding to offer the judges her mushroom ravioli; former CFL Grey Cup champion John grills up a thick steak in a bid to garner a white apron; and 28-year-old Kristal jetted from Gander, Nfld., to deliver her stuffed pork tenderloin to the trio. It doesn’t take long for a few notable finalists to gain attention either. Michael could easily be the villain of Season 2 thanks to his overconfident, cocky attitude while Tammy, a 41-year-old mother of six might be the darling because of her inspiring story of loss and rebirth.

A common theme through Sunday’s instalment are competitors literally putting their lives on hold to compete on MasterChef Canada. Auditioners who quit jobs, held off on advancing their schooling and tales of dreams unfulfilled not only inspired but freaked me out. Quitting a job on the off-chance you might win? That’s bold. And it won’t be easy. Bonacini promises this go-round of episodes boasts tougher, challenges both in-studio and off-site.

“The off-site challenges are huge, outside the degree of difficulty,” he hints. “There are new, creative, big challenges. We had to continue to raise the bar and we did that.”

After all, it is a sequel and it can’t be boring.

MasterChef Canada airs Sunday night immediately following the Super Bowl on CTV. The series resumes its regular Sunday timeslot at 7 p.m. ET beginning Feb. 8.

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