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Review: Instinct takes over on Saving Hope

You’ve gotta give it up to Saving Hope for keeping Alex’s post-surgery amnesia condensed to one episode. Although a part of me wouldn’t have minded seeing a post-surgery Alex draw her own, fresh conclusions about her feelings for Charlie and Joel, it’s far too often the amnesia trope is introduced and dragged out to an excruciating, mind-numbing length.

In fact, pretty much everything about “Awakenings” was moving at a timely pace, all thanks to a condo explosion as the case-of-the-week that put Hope Zion on high alert. While the doctors were all busy trying to treat patients, Alex was able to do her own thing when it came to her injury and her memory loss, getting the space she needed from an overbearing Charlie. My heart certainly went out to Alex, bombarded by the pressure to remember from colleagues and loved ones when she needed to simply concentrate on her own health. But while she suffered through the majority of the episode, I was pleasantly surprised to see her instinct while helping another patient be what ultimately brought her memories back.

Her memories may have come back by the end of the episode, but we viewers pulling for Alex and Joel were certainly treated to a few heartwarming scenes while they were still gone. The condo explosion forced Charlie and Joel to channel their pissing contest over Alex through competing over ways to perform surgery on a couple of burn victims fused together (serious props to the makeup department for THAT messy looking ordeal). And while Charlie was awarded the surgery by Dawn in the end, it gave Joel a moment to check in with Alex while Charlie was busy, ending in a cute exchange that made Alex smile for the first time since waking up.

Speaking of the burn victims, I found myself particularly invested in the storyline of the duo as we learned more about their relationship as the episode went on. I had to give it up to how calm and sweet Marshall (Republic of Doyle’s Mark O’Brien) was to Anna (Cristina Rosato) even before we knew they had romantic feelings for one another, telling the doctors to peel her out of the binding before him even though he was the one suffering from paralysis. Way to take one for the girl you love, man. By the time Charlie found the box with the ring and we heard the whole story of the couple I couldn’t help hoping the two got a happy ending. Is it too much for the writers to give me a check-in on the couple later on?!

“Awakenings” also gave us a bit of development on Maggie, still suffering physically and emotionally from the miscarriage. As much as I loved Zach’s fake laughing technique to try and help her get her emotions in order, I couldn’t help but feel a little annoyance that Maggie kept her patient on edge about the mystery ailment they found while treating him from the condo incident. Her suffering was sad, but making someone else think they’re about to be told they’re dying is so not cool. That is, until we found out he wasn’t dying, but suffering from, well, a leftover from his “recreational activities.” In all seriousness, I’m glad she was able to write her feelings down to try and deal with her loss and emotions. No more crying in the ER, yeah?

So Alex may be back, and we’re not quite sure where she stands in the love department, but now the big mystery we’ve been delivered is the question of what exactly Alex “left behind” and what that will mean going forward, the mystery I’m assuming will be dragged out rather than the amnesia. Nothing’s ever easy at Hope Zion, is it?

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