This week’s episode of Saving Hope, “Out of Sight” was definitely an improvement over last week’s installment, but it was still nowhere near as good as the show’s first three episodes. It’s a little disconcerting that the show seems to be getting choppier as it goes on as opposed to finding its groove.
One of my biggest issues with the show is that I can’t seem to remember the characters’ names from week to week. I’m not talking about the main ones like Alex, Charlie and Joel or even Gavin and Maggie. But some of the other doctors and nurses have been in just as many episodes and each week, I find myself going to IMDB and looking up their names. I’m not saying the show needs to hit us over the head with them, but would it really be so difficult to have the doctors introduce themselves to the patients? It took me four episodes to finally learn Shahir’s name and as Charlie’s neurosurgeon, he’s kind of a big deal on the show.
I have the same issues with the patients’ names. Sometimes, they’re only mentioned once, but half the episode revolves around finding a cure to that person’s medical problem. In this week’s episode, Joel and Dana (the temporary chief of surgery) are prepping two teams to do a double hand transplant. I didn’t catch the patient’s name when he was first admitted and it was never mentioned again so from now on, we’ll just refer to him as the hand patient. His surgery was risky and high profile and Joel wanted Alex to be a part of it. But Dana had sent her home because Alex fell asleep in the meeting. It turns out Dana is gunning to get rid of Alex after all and this was part of her plan.
This was also the first time Alex had gone home since Charlie’s accident, five weeks earlier. She found dead plants and a note from Charlie asking her if she’d found his cufflinks. Alex tried to sleep, but she was too upset and was relieved when Joel showed up. He told her that she needed to pick herself up and do better. Alex admitted that Dana scared her and Joel encouraged her to show her why Charlie made her chief resident in the first place. (Have I mentioned these two have fantastic chemistry)? Alex went back to the hospital with Joel and was ready to scrub in on the surgery.
Maggie also wanted to scrub in on the surgery and tried to seduce Joel into it. (My contempt for Maggie continues to grow each week. She’s just annoying). But apparently, Joel was less upset about kissing her in public because they shared a few kisses in the hallway. But then when she showed up for the surgery, he told her that he forgot to ask Dana because he’d been too busy helping Alex. (Yes, I did grin smugly at my TV at that point). Maggie ended up helping with another patient, a homeless man, who she nicknamed Mr. Darcy since she didn’t like referring to him as John Doe.
Dr. Tolliver (who I mistakenly thought was a nurse in a different episode) was treating him after he was beaten and left for dead by a group of teenagers. She noticed that his stomach was distended (which I totally called before she did so my medical license is coming any day now, I’m sure), but when she told Dr. Tolliver about it, she more or less ignored her and said it was nothing because his blood pressure was fine. Of course it wasn’t and Maggie got to save the day by (grossly) slicing open his stomach. (I may or may not have been too busy screaming how gross it was to catch what it meant so maybe the medical license isn’t coming). Dr. Tolliver told Maggie that she did a good job, but she said that everyone makes mistakes and graveyards are filled with their mistakes. Basically, she was telling Maggie to lose the swollen head.
Back to the hand patient, there were like 10 surgeons in the room and Alex was attaching one hand and Dr. Reycraft (he’s been in other episodes too, but please don’t ask for examples) was attaching the other. His hand failed and Joel was mad, but Alex looked at it and found the problem. Dana insisted that she be the one to fix it and Reycraft was not happy even though Alex said nice things to him to try and calm him down. The surgery was successful and Dana invited everyone over to Alex’s apartment to have dinner and celebrate with Chinese food and beer. Alex told Joel she needed to go home and clean.
Meanwhile, Charlie has a fellow coma patient, Scott, roaming the hospital with him this week. Scott has been in a coma for 27 years and he’s pretty okay with it. He likes to spy on nurses and have fun. Charlie is not really amused by him and at first, I wasn’t either. I was thinking they were wasting Charlie again on a patient that was just annoying, but then something really sad happened. Scott’s wife showed up and even though the Scott with Charlie looked like he was in his 40s, the one in the bed was old and gray. So was his wife, or ex-wife, who was there with her current husband. Scott was dying and she made the decision not to revive him again. Scott told Charlie that the people left behind always forget about them. He explained that the last time he saw his wife was in 1987 and she divorced him two months later. (Ouch).
But then after Scott was disconnected from the machines, his (ex) wife sat by his bedside and told him that she never stopped loving him and it was so sad. Scott whispered in her ear that she doesn’t have to cry anymore and then he was gone and she seemed to be at peace. Charlie was watching the whole thing and didn’t seem to know what to think.
The surgeons were enjoying their food and success at Alex’s. Everyone was laughing and having a good time. Poor Shahir was being mocked because he didn’t want to share his food (nothing wrong with that) and then his boyfriend (another name I do not know) ate food off the floor and then kissed him, grossing out Shahir, but making everyone else laugh. Alex laughed until she literally started crying and had to leave the room. Joel followed her and asked if she was okay and she told him that she’d forgotten Charlie for a moment when she’d been laughing and it made her feel free.
Charlie is surprised when Alex returns to the hospital that night. She tells him that she had a party and she saw what her life would be like without him and that it could go on. Then there was a flashback to Alex and Charlie having coffee in bed and him teasing her about how unorganized she is. Alex gives him cufflinks and he points out that the initials on them are not his. She explains that they’re her dad’s and Charlie is touched and promises to wear them next time they go somewhere nice. He also tells her to keep them somewhere safe since she’s always losing stuff. It’s a really cute scene (they have so much chemistry too) and then it’s back to the present and Alex tells Charlie that she won’t let her life go on without him, she will never forget him and she will never let him go. He asks her if she promises.
It took nearly a half hour before I was really engaged in this episode. I feel like Saving Hope has all the right ingredients to be an amazing show, but it’s not quite there yet. I feel like they need to find a better balance between the surgeries and the doctors themselves. Once again, NBC didn’t show any previews, so I’m not sure what we’re in for next week. But feel free to sound off below with your thoughts on the episode.