The title of this week’s Saving Hope episode, “Blindness” was a little misleading. I assumed the episode would feature a blind patient, but instead, it was a metaphor for characters and patients missing things that were right in front of their faces, either by choice or circumstance. I knew I enjoyed this show, but I don’t think I realized how much I was enjoying it until tonight when I was just as captivated by the guest stars and their characters as I was by Erica Durance and Daniel Gillies, who are both very high on my favorites’ list.
After witnessing Charlie moving his fingers last week, Alex started the episode determined to do whatever it took to wake him up, including giving coma arousal therapy a try. As Charlie watched from the sidelines in his tux, Alex sprayed her perfume around his bed, stripped off her shirt and lifted his hands to her body. Charlie was groaning and telling her that she was killing him as he said that whoever invented this therapy was “an evil, evil genius.” But the male nurse who walked in made it very awkward for Alex, who felt ridiculous.
Joel and Maggie were having their own awkward moments when they ran into Gavin at the coffee shop. Trying to hide that they spent the night together, they stumbled over their words and made flimsy excuses. But Gavin was just grateful to have a ride to work since he’d sat in cheese on the bus the day before. Alex asks Joel if he got laid when she hears him quoting Shakespeare and he tells her that he doesn’t kiss and tell. She retorts that he barely even kisses (ouch!). Joel asked her about Charlie moving and pointed out that it doesn’t necessarily mean he was going to wake up today. Alex was not happy with that and stormed off.
She found Maggie with their first patient of the day, Benjamin Monk. He was on his knees practice proposing to Maggie. He was having some abdominal problems and he mentioned that his dad was a surgeon and he knew Charlie. He has scars from multiple surgeries and again, they threw around some medical jargon that I’m not going to pretend to understand. But Maggie’s initial diagnosis was anemia. She’s getting ready to discharge him when he tells her that he’s dizzy and then falls out of his chair.
Meanwhile, two brothers, Isaac and Johnny, are brought into the ER. The two are roofers and they fell 30 feet and are in bad shape. Isaac needs immediate surgery. He’s got issues with broken ribs, liver damage, lots of bleeding…and that’s as much medical terminology as I’ve got for this one. Alex and Joel operate on him as Charlie watches and his voiceover gives an analogy about some cartoon he read once where the kid was holding on as much as he could, but sometimes, it’s not enough. Isaac was bleeding out and Alex told them to call time of death.
Isaac ends up with Charlie and has a lot of questions. Charlie explains that he’s in a coma and Isaac is dead. He says that when people die, they disappear and Isaac wants to know why he’s still there. Charlie doesn’t have an answer for that. Joel goes to see Johnny, who had a really gross leg injury and Joel wants to perform some kind of surgery where he replaces his knee with his ankle and then adds a prosthetic. Johnny isn’t really listening as Joel goes over his options and basically tells him that he doesn’t care.
Maggie and Alex are examining Benjamin, who is complaining of cramping. Alex wants to know if he has a history of cancer in his family. He was adopted so he doesn’t know, but then he tells them that his birth mother had colon cancer. He’s scared and Alex tells him about Charlie being in a coma. At first, I was confused by her weird bedside manner, but I understood her point when she talked about Charlie moving and how the human body is amazing and they’ll find out what’s wrong and fix it. Benjamin seemed happy with that.
Joel asks Dana (Charlie’s temporary replacement) if he can do a procedure on Johnny that is normally done on children. She says no because the risk of infection is too great and he might lose the limb. Joel thinks she’s worried about litigation and she admits that she is, but she says that he’s only worried about his reputation. Joel points out that she’s in charge now and she should bet on her winners and his triumph will be her glory. Of course she caves because who could say no to Joel?
Maggie is fishing for information on Joel from Alex while they’re performing Benjamin’s colonoscopy. Alex isn’t really forthcoming and she’s confused when she sees that Benjamin’s colon is clean. She goes off in search of Gavin and brings him to see Benjamin and asks to see the back of his knees. He has needle tracks there from steroids. It turned out that he’d made himself bleed, and then he drank the blood to mess with the test. (Um, gross). Alex is angry and wants to throw him out of the hospital, but he swallowed a safety pin and now it was piercing his bowel so he needed surgery.
Charlie and Isaac are walking around the hospital talking and Charlie offers to show him someone who is about to die. They go to a room where an old man is coding and Isaac asks if he can do something. Charlie tells him to just give him the facts and help him through the fear. Once the man dies, he just starts screaming. Isaac tells him, “don’t panic, it’s okay, you’re dead, bro.” The man screams even more and it’s hilarious. But then he disappears and Isaac doesn’t understand why he got to leave so fast and he’s stuck there. Charlie says something is keeping him there. Isaac wants to know what Charlie needs to do before he wakes up and Charlie seems curious about the same thing.
Before surgery, Joel brings Johnny’s wife to see him and Johnny is not interested in talking to her. He tells her that there’s nothing she can say that Isaac didn’t already tell him. (Hmm…two brothers, one woman…sounds familiar like another Thursday night show I love). Isaac asks Charlie if he ever read a certain bible story and Charlie tells him that he did not. He makes a joke about the book being too big and Isaac asks about his medical textbooks. Charlie tells him that those had pictures. Isaac explains that God killed the brothers for loving the same woman. He tells Charlie that he and Johnny had a fight on the roof and he messed up and he knows it’s his fault. Joel seems a little nervous and Alex gives him a pep talk when he tells her he doesn’t want to screw it up. The gallery is packed with people including Dana as Joel gets ready to begin the surgery.
Later, Alex and Gavin are discussing her Munchausen patient. He says the hospital makes Benjamin feel safe. Alex says she should have seen it. She goes to see Dana to talk about her time off and Dana makes it clear that’s not going to happen. She says what happened to Charlie isn’t fair, but Alex needs to stop being distracted and be a doctor. Dana needs her there with her head in the game. (Seriously, this seemed really cold to me. How does she not give her time off? Doctors must get vacation time, right)? Alex accepts it though and goes to see Benjamin. He points out that she’s living in denial too, thinking Charlie will defy the odds and defy medicine and she keeps believing the lie. Alex looks devastated.
Johnny comes through the surgery fine because Joel is awesome (duh) and his wife comes in as Charlie and Isaac watch. She tells Johnny she knows he hates her and says they don’t have to talk. She tells him that she should have told him and he says he knew, but he didn’t want to see it and he should have fought harder. He blames himself for Isaac’s death. Isaac yells that it’s not true and begs him to stop it and it’s just such a sad scene to watch.
Shahir (the neurologist) tells Alex that Charlie’s numbers have not changed and the movement in his hand was involuntary and it means nothing. Alex goes to an empty room and breaks down, crying as she has a flashback to her and Charlie in bed together after their first date. Charlie proposed and Alex said maybe they should go on a second date first. He says it’s going to happen someday, he’s the yin to her yang, the optimist to her pragmatist. (They’re so cute). Back in the present, Joel finds Alex and asks if she’s okay. She wants to know how she let herself get so emotional. She’s supposed to be objective and form conclusions based on what she can see and touch, not on what she wishes for or hopes is true. Joel points out that she’s not a doctor in this, she’s Charlie’s lifeline and she’s all he’s got. (Aw, Joel’s the best). Alex thanks him for the support.
Charlie has another epic voiceover that is once again, too awesome not to quote in its entirety. “To be seen, that’s all we want from the moment we take our first steps. ‘Look at me, Mom, look at me, Dad.’ Tell me I’m going to be okay. Tell me someone cares about me. Tell me that we’re in this together and that you’re going to get me through it.” As he talks, Johnny holds his brother’s hat to his chest (Yes, I got choked up) and Isaac gets one last goodbye before he tells Charlie that “this is it” and then Charlie is left alone once again.
This show is emotionally powerful and the characters are fantastic, even the not so great ones have potential to be better. Not only is Alex the best, but she has crazy chemistry with Charlie, Joel and Gavin. Maggie didn’t annoy me quite as much in this episode, but I’m still not a fan. I like Dana even less. I’m not sure what her issue is with Alex. The scenes for next week looked intense. There’s a shooter in the hospital and it seems like Alex might see Charlie…or perhaps it’s just a manipulative preview. Either way, I’m already looking forward to it.