Saving Hope Review: Break On Through To The Other Side

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Three words for you about tonight's Saving Hope: Shirtless. Daniel. Gillies.

It might've been a clunky hook-up, but I can't say I minded that things got a little steamy for Dr. Goran on "Contact."

Alex Attempt To Save a Boy

Overall, there was a balance to tonight's episode. For everything I liked about it, there was something I didn't enjoy.

For starters, Charlie moved his hand when Alex played the song from the night they first said "I love you." I'm glad that he showed progress, as it gives viewers hope that he won't be in a coma for the entire series. That would get tiresome after a while.

But I didn't appreciate that the idea to play the track for him was delivered by his incredibly creepy ex-wife. Seriously. The rubbing on his chest and all Alex did was ask her to stop? There should've been a girl-fight complete with hair pulling. Show some emotion, Alex!

Introducing his ex-wife right now seemed unnecessary unless the idea is to paint Alex as cold, calculated and methodical instead of warm, caring and emotional. If that was the goal, they succeeded. While part of me likes that she only breaks down when she's alone, or when she's alone with Charlie, there's another part of me that wants to see her lose it because that's what's normal.

I certainly don't mind that Goran got some action! But I do mind that it was with Maggie.

There's nothing about this pairing, specifically the fact that she pursued him, that makes him seem like a womanizer, so that puts us right back where we were on the pilot when it didn't seem likely that he was a huge jerk surgeon. It was also out of character to have him attempt to sidestep Maggie's advances. For that matter, it seems out of character to have her be so forward. Last week she seemed like the timid, eager to please med student and this week she's a woman on the prowl.

I just feel like these characters either aren't well written or haven't been very well fleshed out for any of them to really fit yet.

And is it just me or is this the least medical medical drama on television?

Yes, setting the broken leg without painkillers was gruesome. The actress playing that guest role sold that. She screamed and I cringed. But the scenes with medical emergencies don't feel like emergencies. The language feels stilted, like the actors aren't comfortable with it, and no one seems to be in a hurry. The set feels like a set and not like a real hospital. It's too clean or too bright. Too something. And I'd be remiss not to mention the blue haze. Maybe I've just watched too many episodes of ER and House and my perception of medical dramas is skewed.

If it's not supposed to be a true medical drama and just happens to be a drama set in a hospital, then I like the idea of Charlie coming out of his coma and still being able to see those who are caught in-between. I don't know that that's the direction the show would take, but I like the supernatural element. If Charlie comes out of his coma and that element is lost, I think the show will lose some of its appeal.

The thing that stood out most, however, and which somewhat redeemed the episode, had to be Charlie's closing monologue:

Charlie: Basic human contact is bigger than any idea. It takes you outside yourself. It's more comforting than words. Without it, we'd die. Sometimes, it's not enough. And sometimes it's enough for now. Contact grounds you. It brings you back. | permalink

That line brought the disjointed pieces of the episode together. The little boy helped Charlie make contact with Alex, even if her thoughts were dismissed by the nurse. Because of the boy's drawing, she played the song despite the fact that she dismissed the idea when his ex-wife presented it. Because of the song, he moved his hand.

Human contact made the husband decide to save his wife's life despite the fact that doing so meant they broke with their religious ideology. And, well, Goran and Maggie made contact, too. (Check out the rest of the Saving Hope quotes on the quotes page!)

Since it's only the second episode, I'm inclined to be kind to this fledgling drama. It definitely has promise and potential. But right now, I feel like it's struggling a little. I'm saving hope that it will come together soon.
What did you think of "Contact"? What do you think of Saving Hope so far?


Editor Rating: 2.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (86 Votes)

Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.


By the way if you didn’t understand I was talking about the blue lines.


Come on Goobers Its obvious this show is an experiment and they are using cheep defective media they bought for next to nothing so they wouldn’t go bust when it gets canceled. Then they let you boob tube fools come up with an idea of what it is to cover their cheep asses.


I really like this series. If you know anything about hospitals and doctors you would know that they are trained from day one to insulate themselves against showing emotion while on the job or in the hospital. It can literally cost them their career. So that Alex doesn't throw a fit and deck the ex-wife is very true to life. Now if she were to see her outside the professional setting is another thing but could still cause professional repercussions.


I am enjoying it from a different perspective - that of someone who has lost her husband, who is still very much around me in spirit. In this regard I feel it had something very different to offer than the other hospital dramas of which there are a few. I am hoping it will stick; and I am curious what direction they are going to go if Charlie does not come out of his coma; because so far the others who have died have moved on after a brief interlude still in the physical world. I would hope that they can show that spirit can still be with us. From where I sit anyway.


I agree that the blue light lines are annoying... It would look a lot better without these lines!

Miranda wicker

Regarding Goran, it's not that he CAN'T be a womanizer, or isn't. It's that so far, the character just doesn't FEEL that way. Sure, he cut in line to get coffee. (Kind of small potatoes on the scale of jerk moves, if you ask me.) But the scene with the patient and the blood doesn't scream self-absorbed and narcissistic. It screams "well, if this patient wants to die, that's her choice, but I'm going to have this available just in case." It's MORE narcissistic of him to save the guy's arm because he thought saving it was the better choice than the blood transfusion, but even that feels less like a jerk-move and more like he wanted to save his patients. I guess the bottom line is that TO ME he just doesn't seem like a jerk yet. Maybe we all see him differently and that's okay.

Miranda wicker

@Wendy--you raise interesting points, particularly as it concerns Alex and her processing of Charlie's condition. I still think she was TOO nice in the scenes with the ex-wife, and one can be slightly bristled and still listen to new ideas. Regarding the set, yes, it's designed to appear to be a neat and orderly hospital. Maybe it's the lighting or the background noise, but something I can't quite articulate feels like I'm watching a scene be filmed as a mockery of a medical drama. Like scenes on medical shows when a doctor goes to a movie set to consult on a film and we see the actors overdoing their lines on a soundstage. I just think the cast hasn't settled into the role yet, nor have the kinks been worked out with how the show is supposed to look.


I keep thinking that they are going to let Charlie die--because having Alex go to his bedside, at least once an episode, is going to get tedious. If they let him die, he will still be floating around the hospital as a ghost, so we will still have him as part of the cast. That scenario also frees up Alex to try to move on; to examine her feelings for Charlie, for Goran, etc. Also--Maggie--ANNOYING as hell. She needs to go.


Just watched the episode on Hulu last night. It's funny reading the opinions that Goran can't be a womanizer because he's a nice guy and a decent doctor who shows a little bit of caring for his patients. Cheaters can seems like great people. Why else would anybody get into a relationship with them in order to be cheated on? You don't think people date cheaters going in thinking they're cheaters do you? Nope. They date them because of the good qualities they see. Maybe that character has changed since when he was cheating on Alex, but maybe he hasn't. He barely objected to the woman coming on to him even though he knew that it was wrong to have sex while at work with someone who (it seems) he holds authority over. That's all it takes to be a cheater, knowing you shouldn't hook up with someone but doing it anyway.


If this show is supposed to have a supernatural element, then it is a combination of Grey's Anatomy with a side serving of Ghost Whisperer and Medium. This show is definitely growing on me. I am surprised that NBC went in this direction. They canceled Medium.

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Saving Hope Season 1 Episode 2 Quotes

Charlie's ex wife: I see you doing all this nursemaid stuff for him, but what are you doing for him as his wife.
Alex: I'm his fiancee.

This is what I love about you, Alex. You face things. You walk towards trouble. You look it right in the eye. And when you have to, you fight.