Tag Archives: samantha sobolewski

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.

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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.


Review: Saving Hope tackles competence and consent

You knew it would be a Saving Hope that hit you straight in the feels as soon as the adorable Will was introduced to viewers on Thursday. The man with Down syndrome and his ability to give consent was the real focus of the evening, with the doctors split on whether or not to allow him to be an organ donor for his mother. To make matters even more complicated, Charlie was left acting as the mediator between the in-limbo mother, Will and the living.

It was emotional enough seeing Will react to the accident, his guilt over the car crash spilling all over the place as Charlie was left trying to hold him together. But it was even more emotional seeing his mother, Katie, argue with Charlie that it was “non-negotiable” she survive to continue taking care of her son (which is SUCH a mom thing to say). Of course, being the only one to communicate between Will and his mom in the spirit world meant Charlie was wrangled by the mother to help ease the son, something that could’ve become much messier had Charlie tried to tell the tribunal board it was too dangerous for Will to be an organ donor and ultimately prevented him from going through with the surgery. In the end I’m glad the situation didn’t wind up more complicated than that, and Charlie was able to help the three get through the trauma, acting as a rock for poor Will. If only Katie could remember all that Charlie did for them after waking up.

Speaking of the tribunal board, I thought it was really interesting seeing the storyline focus on whether Will was capable of giving consent for the surgery or not, especially since oftentimes actual legalities are left far away from medical dramas. Props to the Saving Hope writers on that one.

Although the storyline felt a little overacted at times, the best part of the episode was undoubtedly Will’s speech to the tribunal board, listing off all the things he participates in and has accomplished to prove his competence and give consent in donating a piece of his liver. Will’s desire to be more independent was inspiring and sweet, and by the end of the episode it felt almost catharctic to see each character come around and understand how much Will can contribute to society and do on his own.

The lighter side of the night surprisingly revolved around pets … or at least, a pet and a snake let loose throughout the hospital.  The snake was equal parts fun as it was disgusting (unsanitary much?!) and led to some hilarious moments delivered by Zach, who is rightfully afraid of the reptiles. I actually laughed out loud at his terrified statement about the “snake that causes eyes to bleed” roaming the hospital halls, and giggled every time Dawn mentioned the hazardous waste “code brown” every time it was announced.

The final thing that needs to be mentioned about the episode was that kiss between the overly emotional Dawn and Charlie, with Dawn mourning the loss of her guinea pig and Charlie mourning the loss of Alex. I enjoyed how at ease Alex and Charlie seemed to be with each interaction they had, even though it was clearly eating him up inside, so it made sense that by the end he’d be looking for some sort of emotional release. I’m not sure if their connection is going to be something concrete or not in the future, but at the end of the day you can’t really blame two lost people when they find one another.

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