I won’t say that I hated this week’s episode of Saving Hope, “The Great Randall,” but I certainly didn’t love it or even like it all that much. Mostly, I just sat there wondering what happened to the show I loved when the season started six weeks ago. I feel like this show has all the right elements to be a great show and it was for awhile, but now it just seems like it’s constantly missing the mark.
The episode started with Alex thinking that she might be pregnant, but she decided to put off taking the test. A patient was brought into the ER after a car accident and he had a piece of construction debris sticking out of his chest. As Zach and Alex treated him, he seemed completely unfazed by his condition and he insisted that he was feeling no pain. But when they asked him what his name was, he couldn’t tell them. They brought him into the OR and Joel joined them. As he and Alex went over all the things that were medically wrong with him, the patient, who they referred to as Mr. Happy, decided that he would help them out by pulling the rod out of his chest. It wasn’t the best idea and the surgeons had to work together to save his life.
After the surgery, Mr. Happy was still upbeat and feeling no pain, despite the trauma of surgery. But this was a problem because it made it impossible for the doctors to know how he was really doing. Charlie’s voiceover explained that doctors considered pain the fifth vital sign; the one you want to stop. Alex and Joel went through his belongings that were recovered from the crash and found a business card for someone called, The Great Randall, who turned out to be a hypnotist. Alex asked Gavin to see if he could break the hypnosis the patient was under, but Gavin wasn’t able to so Alex called the Great Randall and asked him to help.
Let’s just say that he was not the nicest guy. Randall undid the hypnosis and Mr. Happy told them his name was Chester and suddenly he was in a lot of pain. Chester told Alex that he’d been in pain for the past five years and doctors didn’t believe his medical condition was real because they couldn’t find the source of the problem. Randall was ready to leave since he’d done his part, but then he asked Alex if there was compensation for helping. She was not amused and told him to consider it his good deed for the day. He told her there was a great sadness about her. When he got into the elevator, Charlie was waiting for him and asked why he could see him. Randall asked if he was dead and Charlie said not exactly and then Randall stopped the elevator and ran away from him.
It turned out this wasn’t the first time he’d seen a “dead” person and he was not about to go back to the mental hospital. But Charlie played the pregnancy card and he asked him to talk to Alex and just let her know that he was okay with being a dad if she was pregnant. Alex wasn’t really buying Randall’s claim that Charlie was there beside her, but Randall repeated Charlie’s comment about how he’d bought her the necklace she was wearing for her birthday. Alex told Charlie she needed him to wake up. Charlie got very emotional and said all sorts of sweet things (Michael Shanks is so good), but Randall refused to convey any of them. He wanted Alex to pay him. She assumed the whole thing was a scam and ran off and poor Charlie was heartbroken. Way to be an ass, Randall.
Alex focused on trying to figure out what was wrong with Chester. He had developed a new symptom, where he broke out in blisters from being in the sun. One of the nurses made a vampire joke (I couldn’t believe they wasted an opportunity to have Daniel Gillies in this scene, but it’s remedied later). Chester explained to Alex that he’d lost his job and his girlfriend because of his condition and he was tired of it. Alex promised she would find the answer. She assumed it was lupus (it’s never lupus) and more people were making vampire jokes, someone even suggesting a stake through the heart would solve the problem. Thankfully (for my amusement), Joel was in that scene and the cold stare he gave the man would have made Elijah proud (if you don’t watch The Vampire Diaries, Elijah is a 1,000-year-old vampire played by Gillies).
But the vampire comments sparked something in Alex and she asked Joel to go to the lab with her because she had an idea. Alex thought Chester might have Porphyria, more commonly known as the vampire disease. Joel was skeptical, but Alex pointed out that if Chester’s urine turned bright pink under black lights, she would be right. (Aside from getting Joel to say ‘vampire’, he really wasn’t needed in this scene, but I thought it was perfect). Alex was right and she told Chester that she could give him meds that would help him, but he’d still have the disease for the rest of his life. Charlie’s voiceover posed the question, “If you can name it, but you can’t change it, is it really better to know?”
The other patient being focused on in the episode was a woman named Heather. She had a neck injury and claimed her mother pushed her down the stairs. But she was actually suffering from delusions. Heather freaked out and Gavin tried to calm her down, but the doctors had to sedate her to keep her from disturbing the other patients. Gavin talked to her when she woke up and like Chester, she just wanted to be normal. He helped her with her neck (the problem was a symptom of one of the drugs she was taking) and he offered to treat her and change her drug program. She seemed happy with that and her mother was cautious since they’d been down that road before, but Heather promised to keep her appointments and make it work. (Gavin is pretty awesome even if his role is limited).
Maggie broke up with Joel because she wanted more, but he told her that they’d agreed they were just having fun. She wanted to shake hands and be friends, but he wasn’t happy with the agreement. Joel talked to Alex about it and she told him that he wasn’t a jerk, he was just a chicken. (Seriously, Gillies and Erica Durance have awesome chemistry. I need more scenes with them together). Alex pointed out that he was capable of giving Maggie more so then Joel went to Maggie and told her that he wanted to be her boyfriend (I don’t want to talk about it).
Alex finally took the pregnancy test and it was negative. Charlie seemed disappointed and the flashback showed them talking about having kids and Alex wanting to put her career first. Charlie wanted a bunch of kids and he joked about naming them all Charlie. This episode brought back Charlie’s voiceover at the end of the episode, which I’ve really missed the last two weeks.
“There’s a difference between pain and suffering. Pain is in the body, suffering is in the mind and it feels infinite. So maybe the key is to feel your pain and learn from it. And someday your suffering might disappear.”
I’m not sure what needs to be done to fix the show. I think Charlie should have more to do; his role has seemed a lot smaller these last few episodes. Alex still seems a little too together even though she has broken down a few times. Joel seems like a different character every episode. Honestly, I miss the cocky, rockstar surgeon from the pilot. Gavin should have more to do as well and Maggie should have less. But that’s just my opinion.
What do you think? Are you enjoying the show or do you think there needs to be some changes at Hope Zion? Feel free to sound off in the comments below and let us know what you think.