Alex fights to maintain control of her emotions. Goran fights his own ego. Charlie fights to live. Every character on this show is fighting some sort of battle. As we get to know them, that's what makes this show work.
Alex is clearly on the verge of losing herself, so to prevent that, she's thrown herself into her work at the hospital. Instead of taking time off to focus 100% on Charlie, she just keeps picking up shifts to avoid dealing with her personal life as much as she possibly can.
It's unclear as to whether or not she's even left Hope-Zion in the three weeks since Charlie entered his coma, but I wouldn't be surprised to learn that she's been practically living there as a way of avoiding the fact that her life is so radically different from the way she envisioned it.
Her all-business, all-the-time attitude fits her role as a surgeon, but I find that the moments when I like Alex best are the moments when she's near tears. When she sees in her patient her own life, or what could be her life, reflected. The hockey player's story tonight was fitting and her speech to him was apt. He'd been given a second chance and he was willing to throw it all away while she'd give virtually anything to have that second chance with Charlie.
Speaking of the patients, since this is after all a medical drama, I've got a minor rant wrapped in a Joel Goran-shaped bow. Yes, there was a stabbing and two opposing groups camped out in the emergency waiting room. But that shooting came completely out of left field and served solely as a vehicle through which Joel could have a moment of enlightenment. The same could've been accomplished by having a gunshot victim brought to the emergency room as a result of a drive-by shooting and wouldn't have wasted the high drama of a gunman in the hospital in the fourth episode. Something like that is best saved for, well, not the fourth episode of a brand new drama where we're still getting to know the characters and don't need the addition of a crazed gunman in the ER to draw us in.
Joel, however, showed a whole lot of arrogance tonight leading up to that scene in the operating room. He basically told the ER doctor that he didn't care to hear an opinion different from his own. He convinced the wife that the riskier procedure was the best procedure. Finally, just like last week, we're seeing shades of the cocky surgeon he's rumored to be. He fought for the tougher surgery tonight because, just like last week, this was the surgery that made him look better.
When it came right down to it, just like in the pilot, he made a different choice. In this case, a safer choice, partially because of Alex's speech to him in the lounge, but a different choice nonetheless. He seemed to be unable to bear the possibility of losing this woman's life in light of her husband's pleas to keep her alive no matter what. Thus tying all three of tonight's arcs together into a cohesive storyline. (To read what Alex said to change Goran's mind, check out the Saving Hope quotes page.)
It was nice to get a little history on some of the other characters tonight as well.
Shahir is gay and in a relationship and has a bit of social anxiety. Large groups make him nervous. Judging by the way he delivered the bad news to the hockey player, small groups make him nervous too.
Maggie definitely doesn't seem like the same girl from the first episode. I like this one much better. Though I don't like that they seem to be setting up a love triangle between she, Joel, and Gavin.
Gavin, oh Gavin. "Lame and inhibited," as he put it. If he's ever going to get the girl, he's going to have to be bold and go for it.
And if Charlie's ever going to wake up, tonight's in-between scenes showed us that he's going to have to go for it, too. Again, just like in the previous episodes, these scenes with Charlie and the ghost-of-the-week make the show into something special. Eddie, the stabbing victim caught momentarily in between life and death, fought to live. He got angry with himself and seemed to force himself to wake up. Charlie has been trained to be so pragmatic as a surgeon that the idea of fighting to live is foreign to him. But it's not so foreign that he won't try it now that he has no other options.
Overall, tonight's episode was my favorite so far. Each week keeps progressing in terms of the show's quality and the stories we're given and I like what I'm seeing.
What about you? What did you think of "The Fight"?
Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.