Saving Hope Review: Free Your Mind

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Saving Hope has been all over the place this season in terms of story-telling, character development and the balance between the medical and the supernatural elements. It is not a series that is a breakout or runaway hit. Some weeks are definitely better than others.

The aptly titled "A New Beginning" is the kind of episode that makes me think this show has a place on television. And there's one reason for that: Daniel Gillies.

Kinney & Joel On The Road

Joel Goran is the character I'm most compelled to watch, despite the uneven writing of his character this season. One minute he's supposed to be a womanizing jerk and the next he's attempting to be a cuddly boyfriend. He's almost always a concerned surgeon, but sometimes he believes he knows best. I can't quite ever figure him out all the way and I think I'm starting to like that about him.

Three episodes ago, he witnessed a patient's suicide and for the past two weeks we've seen him struggle with the emotional toll of that event. First, he dealt with the physical aftermath - his broken hand. Tonight, he dealt with the mental trauma. He asked for a leave of absence to deal with his issues and instead his boss took him on a road trip where he ended up back in the surgical saddle when he most certainly did not expect to be there. And let's not forget the adrenaline-fueled sex from their daring rescue.

In short, Joel's complicated. But all of that complication makes him feel very real.

Another awesome moment from tonight's was Charlie's admission that he doesn't want to wake up. We know his brain is healing itself, but he's still not awake. A therapist in the In-Between helped events from Charlie's past surface that shed light on why he may still be in his coma. Basically, he's afraid of being left alone, so the easy way for his subconcious to deal with his fears is to keep him in a coma. He can't be left by those he loves if he's the one who does the leaving.

He's scared. His parents died unexpectedly when he was young and he's dealt with those feelings of abandonment ever since. That sentiment is sad and real. (To see parts of Charlie's conversations with the therapist, check out the Saving Hope quotes page.)

Alex witnessed her fiance's car crash and subsequent coma and dealt with Charlie's ex-wife feeling him up and it took her three weeks just to cry. Tonight, she handed a patient a diagnosis of breast cancer with a smile on her face and a bounce in her step. It was odd, and I'm not even sure odd is a strong enough word for how wrong that felt.

There's positivity, and then there's positively weird, and almost everything about Alex and how she's dealt with the events of the past three months has been the latter.

Overall, tonight was a good week for Saving Hope. This show has a long way to go if it gets a second season, but there are little glimmers here and there of what a good show this could be and tonight was one of those glimmers.

What did you think of "A New Beginning?" Do you love Daniel Gillies as Joel as much as I do?

Review

Editor Rating: 3.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (39 Votes)

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

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I'm with you Miranda, while the show has been uneven watching Joel has been what keeps me coming back. This week's storyline for Alex was just weird overall - there is no way someone would look that great after gastric bypass - that guy was super lean and fit and had no spare skin to speak of.

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The injured woman's leg might have been saved if they had used shovels to dig her leg out as she was lying on grass!! Where were the firefighters who would have attemped this prior to having her leg cut off?

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The men of this show have been consistently excellent. Gilles and Shanks have really shown there chops, (at least when the material lets them), unfortunately Durance has been fairly hit or miss, in some episodes she's just brilliant, but in others it just feels off.

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Here here, Wendy! A major theme of this show is definitely the “woman power� aspect – in both Alex and Dana. I do have to agree though that Alex’s demeanor was less than compassionate when delivering the cancer news. Grant it, with Charlie’s condition continuing to improve, she has every reason to have that extra bounce in her step, but she seemed a bit cold and callous last night, which really surprised me given the amount of kindness and concern she has demonstrated toward her patients in the past. Also, I didn’t like the way Alex handled the news of her demotion…almost as though she was happy. Color me confused…wasn’t she just fighting to keep her title a few episodes back?!?!? I expected her to be professional and mature about it (which she was), but also angry and/or upset…not happy… Particularly since Dana denied her leave early on when she requested it. I loved that we finally got into Charlie’s psyche a bit to understand what’s holding him back – great reveal, and twist. I personally thought the Dana/Joel hookup was just wrong – potentially thrown in to justify the Alex/Charlie relationship? All in all, the episode was just okay for me. I’m “hopeful� for the last few episodes.

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PART 2: ...odd about Alex's behavior because you're so busy focusing on the men that your observation skills and memory with regards to Alex suffer. As a result, I find it hard to take your reviews seriously. Also, FYI, Joel's writing isn't uneven. He has a reputation because he *tries* to be something, but he doesn't have the guts or perseverance to keep it up, so he relapses so to speak. The unevenness isn't in the writing, it's a purposeful illustration of the character's up and down attempts to change his behavior.

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Your reviews are rubbish. This episode was a stand out for Dr. Kinney yet your review didn't devote one line to her or the overall awesome gender based commentary this episode presented. Instead, your review seems to reflect your preference for focusing on men instead of women. So much so that you actually totally misrepresented Alex's emotional journey on the show just to describe her as odd. You say Alex took three weeks to cry. Really? 1x01 (bit.ly/Np4OWM | bit.ly/Su6gMx - note the wet spot on the bed), 1x02 (bit.ly/SupYJC), 1x03 (bit.ly/NJDpF0 | bit.ly/NJDp7S). Plus, when delivering the breast cancer diagnosis, Alex adopted a serious as well as a matter of fact tone when discussing and dealing with treatment options; your exaggeration is preposterous. You also take time to analyze Joel's and Charlie's psychology, but not Alex's. After all this time you still don't get that her way of coping is to keep busy and mask emotions in bravado. Maybe you keep thinking there's something odd about Alex's behavior because you're so busy focusing on the men that your observation skills and memory with regards to Alex suffer. As a result, I find it hard to take your reviews seriously. Also, FYI, Joel's writing isn't uneven. He has a reputation because he *tries* to be something, but he doesn't have the guts or perseverance to keep it up, so he relapses so to speak. The unevenness isn't in the writing, it's a purposeful illustration of the character's up and down attempts to change his behavior.

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Thank you Miranda Wicker for the positive comments about Saving Hope this week...It should always be on television. This show is my new number one fangirl of the summer,it stands on its own merit.I love it with a firery passion.

Saving Hope Season 1 Episode 10 Quotes

Kendra: Oh, so you've done this before. Interacted with...
Charlie: Coma patients, dead people. A psychic once. He was an ass.

[to Charlie] Every day is one step closer to bringing you back to me.

Alex
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