Saving Hope moved online this week and the episode, “Ride Hard or Go Home”, was one of the best ones yet. Alex pushed Shahir to perform a ‘Hail Mary’ procedure as a last ditch effort to wake Charlie up, Joel questioned his confidence as a surgeon, Gavin stepped outside the lines and impressed Maggie in the process and Charlie struggled as more memories from his childhood resurfaced.
Even though Charlie moved last week, there was still no change in his condition. Shahir wasn’t very optimistic, but Alex insisted he try to shock Charlie’s brain into waking up. It basically involved sending electrical currents right into his brain and it was a dangerous procedure that ran the risk of leaving him brain dead. After she interrupted one too many times, Shahir suggested Alex leave the operating room and promised he would page her if there was any change to Charlie’s condition.
Alex and Joel had another one of their awkward confrontations in the elevator. Joel insisted there was something between them (chemistry) and Alex asked if he wanted her to just leave her comatose fiancé and run away with him. Joel said that wasn’t what he wanted and Alex was pretty much done with the conversation after that. Joel was already having a bad day since Dana had told him about the hospital reaching a settlement in the lawsuit with the guy whose arm Joel had decided against cutting off. His new patient Stacey was a jockey, who had been injured a lot in her career and her latest was a fracture to her pelvis. Joel told her that she had two choices, the safer one that would require a six month recovery period or a risky surgery. She wanted the surgery because she couldn’t be off work for six months. Joel seemed a little hesitant, but he agreed to do it.
Gavin was in a therapy session with an elderly couple, Roy and Esther (first time ever the show was good with repeating the patients’ names) and Roy was suffering from Alzheimer’s and Esther was constantly getting frustrated with his memory lapses. Since Roy didn’t pass his psychological exam, he was getting his driver’s license revoked. Gavin’s boss ended the session and Gavin wanted to help the wife more, but the other doctor told him they didn’t have time. He slipped Esther his cell phone number and Maggie pointed out that was against the rules. Gavin told her that he just wanted to help any way he could.
Joel performed the surgery on Stacey and once again, he seemed to be hesitating in the operating room. The surgery was even trickier than he thought since Stacey had so much scar tissue inside of her and then there was a problem and Joel accidentally nicked one of her arteries and he had to call Alex to help him fix the bleed. They did their best, but the patient ended up paralyzed. Dana was not happy and Joel stepped up and took the blame, insisting it was his fault since he’d nicked the artery. Alex tried to smooth things over and pointed out that those things happen, but Dana told Joel that from now on, he had to clear all of his surgeries with her first. Joel wasn’t happy, but agreed. He told Alex that working there has ruined his confidence and he’s not really sure it’s the place for him. Alex pointed out that all surgeons go through stuff like that and he’d be fine.
Esther called Gavin and told him that Roy was freaking out and tearing the house apart, searching for his car keys and insisting that he had to go to work. Gavin promised to be right there, even though he was on duty, and Maggie wanted to tag along too. When they got there, Gavin explained to Esther that the best thing she could do was to go along with Roy’s memory lapses and try and calm him down instead of getting angry with him. Gavin helped her with the technique and things were going well until Roy had another episode and didn’t recognize Esther. She got mad and he shoved her, causing her to fall down and break her hip. Gavin called for an ambulance and when they got to the hospital, he had to admit Roy since he couldn’t be left alone.
Gavin’s boss was not happy with all the rules that Gavin broke and reprimanded him. Gavin explained to Esther that Roy needed round the clock care and she couldn’t provide that. Esther was upset and Gavin arranged for her bed to be moved into Roy’s observation room. Maggie was impressed with Gavin’s actions and all of his rule breaking and Gavin grabbed her and told her that it was time for them to get started on their 60 years of happiness and he kissed her. This time she didn’t push him away. (This episode did the impossible: it actually made me like Maggie. I was happy when Maggie and Gavin kissed. What is life?).
Joel went back to Dana’s office and told her that he was not going to let her dictate his surgeries. He said that she either needed to let him do his job or she needed to fire him. Dana told him that she wasn’t going to do either one of those things so Joel quit on the spot and walked away (Again, I need to gripe about the fact that Joel is a different character every week. Can you imagine the Joel from the pilot, who came in with his hand in a guy’s chest and smirked at Alex, being this confused about who he is as a surgeon? Neither can I.).
Shahir called Alex back into the operating room because he didn’t know what to make of Charlie’s brain activity. He said it wasn’t like anything he’d ever seen before. Meanwhile, Charlie was reliving a visit to a doctor as a child after the accident. His aunt and uncle were fighting because Charlie had stopped talking and the uncle didn’t want to deal with a kid who was mute. The aunt wanted to take care of her nephew, but her husband pointed out that he’d have to get a second job and they didn’t have the money for that and he didn’t want Charlie because he was weird Poor Charlie). The scene switched and Charlie was standing on the road next to a crashed car. A cop named Jimmy arrived and tried to convince Charlie that he was tired and needed to rest and shouldn’t go back into the world since it was a bad place.
Charlie seemed torn, but then he started calling out for Alex. The cop reached for him and tried to pull him back, but Charlie started running. The street turned back into the barn where he’d been hiding from his aunt and uncle and then it turned into the hospital and he was in the operating room. Suddenly, Charlie’s eyes opened and he called out for Alex.
It was a pretty cool ending and an unexpected one. I was hoping that Charlie would wake up before the end of the season, but I was surprised they didn’t wait for the season finale and do a cliffhanger. The previews for next week show Charlie dealing with physical therapy and Alex wanting to get married right away. I’m curious to see how their relationship is going to be different now and I’m still wondering how and why Charlie’s childhood flashbacks play into the story.
The season finale of Saving Hope should be available online Friday, Sept. 14 on NBC.com or Hulu.com.