The third episode was the charm for Saving Hope.
Last week, I lamented the fact that Saving Hope didn't feel settled. Here, "Blindness" gave us characters who seemed emotional and human, as well as compelling sub-stories, and I, for one, couldn't be happier.
I'm starting tonight with the technical aspect, just to get it out of the way.
Finally, this series is starting to feel medical. I wrote about the set and lighting as a barrier to that last Thursday. Tonight, it felt like scenes were taking place in a real hospital instead of on a sound stage somewhere. There's still that annoying blue light streaking through everything, but the set felt a little more gritty. The scenes were darker, which added depth both visually and emotionally. It's like the cast and crew realized they're sticking around for a while and decided to unpack and settle in.
I know it must be tough to spout so much technical and medical jargon, but tonight it felt like the medical dialogue flowed a little more smoothly. In short, we're getting there.
Now, on to the characters... One of my chief complaints for the first two episodes has been that some of the characters didn't seem to fit into the roles they were designed to fill. Tonight, I finally started to see shades of the cocky, God-complexed surgeon Joel Goran is supposed to be. He waltzed into the interim Chief of Surgery's office and smooth-talked his way into a risky operation and, after being accused of trying to showboat, almost made it seem like it was her idea for him to perform the new surgery instead of taking a more traditional, less risky approach. (Check out our Saving Hope quotes page where you can rank quotes and submit your own!)
But even in that, there's still a level of altruism to his character that is sometimes quite out of character. He's noble in his approach to surgery, taking the oath to "first do no harm" to heart. He wants the best quality of life possible for his patients instead of just the path of least resistance. It's hard to reconcile him as both a surgeon who deeply, genuinely cares about his patients and one who thinks he's never wrong.
I'm still not sold on his supposed bad-boy reputation. His response to Alex's challenge regarding his fling with Maggie made it seem like at worst this is a case of reckless behavior but certainly not womanizing. However, he certainly used his manliness with Dr. Kinney.
Maybe my giant Daniel Gillies crush is just clouding my judgment as far as that's concerned and future episodes will reveal what, exactly, he did to earn this reputation. If it means he takes his shirt off again, I'm all for seeing those flashbacks.
Alex finally had moments of emotional crisis regarding Charlie and his coma. She wanted to take time off to spend with him and has to balance her love of him with her love of her chosen career. She was, and perhaps still is, hopeful about his recovery but was at the same time shocked to be told by a patient that she's living in denial. She had a breakdown when she was told he'd made no improvement and seemed to listen to Goran when he told her to keep believing.
All of that humanized her and made her feel real, as did the flashback scene with she and Charlie. She relies on science. He's an optimist. Both of them are having their identities shaken a bit right now. Both of them are learning the meaning of patience.
So far, the character who's selling the ability to relate best is Charlie, perhaps because he's figuring this out along with us. He's not sure how things work in this place he's found himself and neither are we. He seemed hurt to learn that his new friend couldn't stay and his hope that he'll wake up started to waiver. He just wants to be seen and the only people who can see him keep leaving. Charlie's scenes were the best of the show tonight. They gave a glimpse of what this show could be if he doesn't wake up.
The supernatural aspect of this show continues to be one of my favorite things about it. It's what sets Saving Hope apart from other medical dramas on television right now. While it may not last forever, it's working well for right now.
What did you think of "Blindness?" Were you happy to see Alex show some emotion?
Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.