Wow, Hopefuls! That was a surprising end to a really good and grossly graphic episode. We knew the soldier’s ghost was going to make Charlie re-evaluate his whole “I see dead people” situation, but I didn’t expect him to come clean to Gavin about the whole thing. It is a risky move to reveal the complete truth to anyone at Hope Zion. I almost feel like a total stranger may serve as a more objective psychiatrist in this situation. Surely by now Charlie realizes that he is not crazy and he doesn’t have any lingering neurological issues as a side effect from his coma. He has seen too much and helped too many spirits (and their loved ones) to still think this is some kind of hallucination. I understand his concern, especially since he is allowing ghosts to influence his medical decisions. I also believe his love for Alex prompted him to do something about it. Charlie and Alex still love each other. Despite this break-up, they belong together and will work things out eventually. Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s rehash the events in Thursday's (Jan. 23) “Wide Awake” before mulling over the future.
This is a loaded episode, professionally and personally for the Hope Zion doctors. Alex gets tricked into a blind date who winds up becoming her new patient. Charlie works with an army corporal who has major unresolved issues as a result of a traumatic event that haunts her (and consequentially Charlie too). Maggie and Gavin’s relationship is put to the test as they both come to terms with the pregnancy.
Alex takes Melanda’s advice and agrees to go out to dinner with Joel and Sonja. In an awkward twist, Sonja brings her dear friend, Seth, as a blind date for Alex. Later, Joel even apologizes to Alex, saying he had no idea Sonja was bringing a friend. Joel has been trying to give his relationship with Sonja another try and he brought Alex to dinner in hopes of proving that they are just friends and Sonja has nothing to worry about. Despite everyone’s personal agenda, the evening does not go as anyone planned.
Seth really likes Alex, so in a totally premature move, he decides to practice safe sex and gets a condom out a machine in the bathroom, just in case everything works out with Alex. Ironically, that well-intentioned decision sealed his fate of not getting lucky with Dr. Reid.
Seth gets his hand gruesomely caught inside the condom machine, so the date quickly transports to the E.R. After they remove the machine, three of Seth’s fingers disgustingly fall out. (Ewww. This episode really tested my threshold for visceral responses to physical trauma.) Alex assures Seth that Joel is the best orthopedic surgeon and will be able to reattach his fingers with no trouble at all.
Before the finger replantation surgery, Alex checks in on Seth and he appears to be having some abdominal issues. While she examines him, he apologizes for seeming presumptive, he just really liked her and wanted to be safe and prepared just in case. Alex understands and tries to shrug off his advances as kindly as possible, then she discovers that he has an aortic aneurism. Alex and Joel will have to perform two surgeries on Seth at the same time.
Unfortunately, a heart murmur along with other health issues prevent Seth from receiving full blown anesthesia. The best they can do is numb his body while he remains fully aware of his surroundings. (Creepy!) Alex and Joel approach Hope Zion’s new interim Chief, Dawn Bell, to get her approval. She knows they have no other option and gives the go ahead by saying that they never had this conversation. Let’s face it, this shows progress for Dawn. So on with the operation.
Once again, we have some great scenes in the O.R. despite how bloody and graphic things get. Alex keeps Seth preoccupied by constantly conversing with him. We learn that Seth was married for twelve years and his wife got over their relationship much faster than he did. Seth runs a successfully business building pools in the summer and rinks in the winter (he even has an embarrassing commercial jingle.) During the conversation we also learn something interesting about Joel. His father cheated on his mother. But Sonja has nothing to worry about. Alex quickly chimes in saying that Joel is one of the most honorable men she knows. Seth admits that Sonja is trying really hard to trust Joel. It is obvious that his relationship with Alex has been a thorn in her side, but hopefully this experience will clear things up for everybody. If Seth understands the situation, then Sonja completely should.
After a close call, Seth’s entire surgery ends up a success. Sonja comes to visit with bagels and continues pushing Alex into a relationship with Seth. However, Joel gets her to back off. Even Seth surrenders to the fact that it isn’t happening.
I have to admit, much like Alex, Seth grew on me throughout the episode. Going into “Wide Awake,” I assumed that Seth would’ve been sleazy. I mean the dude gets his hand stuck in a condom machine half way through dinner. Presumptive much? But he proved himself to be a decent guy. He genuinely liked Alex and apologized for the awkwardness he caused. He also handled her rejection like a gentleman by being understanding and playing it cool. I think Sonja wanted this to work out more than Seth. She probably fears Alex and Joel will rekindle their romance during her break from Charlie. She may have a point, but Joel and Alex have made their platonic feelings for each other very clear. Luckily, Alex also shares her feelings with Charlie.
Charlie ultimately hears about the date, so Alex lays all the cards out on the table. She was tricked into a blind that she didn’t want to go on. She also admits that for a moment, she tried imagining what a family life with Seth would be like. (Charlie isn’t the only one who felt a sting on that remark.) But she couldn’t see it happen. She loves Charlie and he is the only man she wants to spend her life with. They are meant to be together and they both know it. Charlie agrees and says he doesn’t want to drag Alex through his crap. Once he figures things out, it looks like they can get back together.
What will it take for Charlie to feel like he’s figured it all out? Can they truly be together if he is keeping such a huge secret? Will he try to shut off his connection to the ghost world in order to fully commit himself to Alex? If still helps ghosts on the side, how will he be able share his life with Alex without telling her the truth (or looking plain crazy)?
There are a lot of possibilities here. I’ve been clear with my hopes from the start and they haven’t changed. I’d love to see a ‘Grimm’ or ‘Ghost Whisperer’ (even a little bit of ‘Smallville’) like scenario where the people Charlie loves and trusts most are in on his big secret. They can help him do so much more good in the world if they were to believe him and help him. Alex knows there is more to Charlie than he lets on. Will she need to see the unimaginable for herself in order to believe him? I’m still very anxious to see how this all plays out. I just hope Alex and Charlie have a real chance at happily ever after, even if it takes a while.
I’ve Got You Babe
Gavin and Maggie are having trouble getting along during the early stages of their pregnancy. Gavin worries over everything and is essentially nagging Maggie about how well she is caring for herself. She needs to take her prenatal meds, stop drinking caffeine, plan how she will take her final examine shortly after giving birth to their baby and so on. The more Gavin worries, the more Maggie withdraws.
Maggie treats a young woman named Jenny for the second time in the E.R. Jenny has meningitis and Zach tells Maggie that since she treated Jenny while she was symptomatic, her baby could be at risk. Maggie sees Dr. Kalfas (aka Dr. Sexy) and has him take a blood test to make sure she’s healthy. When Maggie tries telling Gavin about her scare, he starts nit-picking about her pre-natal care again, so she just walks away feeling insulted and frustrated.
Later in the day, Zach talks to Gavin about Maggie assuming he knows the whole story. Gavin approaches Maggie about it and the two have it out. She is tired of Gavin always trying to psychoanalyze her, so he tells her to “shrink” him. Maggie tells Gavin that he has a martyr complex. Gavin accepts her observation and adds that Maggie acts like she’s always alone. He tells her that she isn’t alone anymore. Gavin sweetly says, “I’m your family.” He worries because he cares and she withdraws because she’s afraid. But now they finally seem to be on the same page.
After waiting all day, Maggie goes back to Dr. Kalfas to see if he has the blood test results yet. She finds him zoned out in his exam room. He says he is tired after working double shifts, but she sees a bottle of codeine and realizes that Dr. Sexy isn’t as wonderful as she thought. He never even sent her blood work to the lab. Not cool, dude.
Maggie has Zack draw her blood again to submit it to the lab. Let’s hope the results come back clean. I’m guessing we’ll find out next week.
Maggie and Gavin’s relationship has been up and down from the start. Just when Maggie was finally settling into her relationship with Gavin, she gets pregnant. Maggie has had a strong personality from the start and she’s been laying out the guidelines for their relationship. She does not like being patronized and constantly analyzed by Gavin, even when he’s only trying to help. She is not a damsel in distress who needs saving, nor does she need Gavin to make sacrifices for her sake.
I think she’s always been a little harsh on Gavin. He loves her and dotes on her. Unfortunately in this case his affection comes across as annoying and nagging. Maggie made a good point, pregnancy is not going to make her a different person. But I do think these two need to find a balanced middle ground. There needs to be compromise, especially since they have such different personalities.
What do you think, Hopefuls? Will Maggie and Gavin succeed as a couple? Will this pregnancy bring them closer together?
Charlie has a profound haunting, which influences his medical decisions. Charlie’s patient is Corporal Seymour. She has been home for a year and shattered her ankles in a skydiving accident. Charlie orders a spine CT to make sure she didn’t sustain any other injuries during her fall.
He discovers a piece of shrapnel lodged near her spine and says it needs to be removed immediately. Recovery will take a couple of months. Corp. Seymour will return to Afghanistan in six weeks and she can’t wait to go back, so she wants to speed up her recovery as much as possible. She feels useless at home and it looks like she has been seeking cheap thrills to pass her time, but we soon realize that there is much more than meets the eye.
Corp. Seymour survived a traumatic event and she refuses to talk about it. Gavin visits in hopes of getting her to open up, but it doesn’t work. He tells Charlie that Corp. Seymour has unresolved issues from the war and is haunted by a specific event. He believes the key to unlocking her trauma is to keep listening.
Throughout her treatment, Charlie has seen the ghost of soldier named McCreary, but this case is unlike any other. McCreary has amnesia. He is there reporting for duty, but he has no memory of his name and he doesn’t seem to realize that he’s even dead. Charlie is frustrated. He tells the ghost that he helps them move on by doing something, but McCreary has no unfinished business for Charlie. However, during Corp. Seymour’s surgery, everything starts falling into place.
When Shahir and Charlie look into Seymour’s spine, they discover the fragment of shrapnel is really a piece of human bone. As Charlie removes the bone from her spine, McCreary indicates he has a headache. Holy crap! McCreary exploded and his bone has been lodged inside of Seymour all this time. He says something to Charlie in Latin and Charlie asks Shahir for the translation. McCreary said, “Faithful beyond end.” He believes Corp. Seymour needs his help.
Charlie makes a bold decision and chooses to use McCreary bone to graft Seymour’s spine. Shahir thinks it is a little strange, but agrees with Charlie when he argues that it is unnecessary to graft a piece of Seymour’s bone when there’s a perfectly good one on hand. This is one of the most emotional and moving haunted operations Charlie has ever performed. It seriously gave me chills.
After the surgery, Charlie tells Corp. Seymour about the bone they found and how he formed it into a paste and used it to help heal her. Finally, she reveals what happened during the war.
McCreary usually drove, but on this one trip, he let Seymour take the wheel. Given the politics of war, this was a huge gesture. She says McCreary always was a really nice man and fantastic soldier. Unfortunately, they were in wrong place at the wrong time. A sniper blew his off. It was supposed to be her in the passenger seat, so she has felt guilty ever since. Corp. Seymour figures the least she can do is hold onto his memory. Charlie understands. He says she cannot get over something like that, but she needs to find a better way to live with it. He suggests she see a shrink. She takes his advice and speaks with Gavin.
McCreary can be at peace, knowing that Corp. Seymour will receive the help she needs. Charlie looks at McCreary and says, “At ease.” With that, his spirit moves on.
After this huge experience, Charlie and Alex have a heart to heart about how much they still love each other. They belong together. He doesn’t want to drag her through his crap, but he wants to be with her, so he needs to find a solution. Charlie pays Gavin a visit.
Gavin thinks he’s there about a patient, so he’s really surprised when Charlie starts speaking about himself. He starts off a little vague, saying that he made a medical decision based on a “hunch.” That is justifiable because we’re always told to follow our gut. But this is different. Charlie shockingly blurts out, “I let a ghost convince me how to treat a patient.”
Whoa! I can’t believe Charlie went there. What will Gavin do with this information? Will he try to convince Charlie that it is all in his head? That there is some neurological problem lingering as a side effect of his coma? Or will Gavin really hear Charlie out? Will he try to see if Charlie can actually communicate with the dead?
I’m a little nervous about this, Hopefuls. How do you feel about Charlie going to Gavin with his dilemma? Do you think Gavin will try to “shrink” him out of seeing ghosts? Will Charlie take pills to suppress his sense of spirits? Will Gavin keep this to himself or will he feel the need to report Charlie to their superiors? Can they suspend Charlie for something like this? Once again, we’re left with so many questions!
On the next ‘Saving Hope’
“43 Minutes” airs January 30 at 9 p.m. on CTV.
Writer: Aubrey Nealon
Guest Stars: Georgina Reilly (MURDOCH MYSTERIES), Josh Peace (THE GOOD TIMES ARE KILLING ME)
Alex (Erica Durance) is on her way home to unwind after a long day at work – but all that changes when she witnesses a traumatic accident and is forced to return to work, where the Hope Zion Hospital doctors must work tirelessly against the clock to save a problematic John Doe. Meanwhile, Charlie (Michael Shanks) and Gavin (Kristopher Turner) explore Charlie’s relationship to the Spirit World in a therapy session.
Alex (Erica Durance) is looking forward to a night of relaxation after a stressful week, but as she leaves the hospital she becomes a witness to a near-fatal accident and is forced back into her role as a doctor. The Hope Zion Hospital team arrives on site to take over, but Alex is determined to stay with the Code Team to try and save the John Doe victim’s life. The team rushes him into surgery, but, with time running out, they face a litany of complications. It’s a race against the clock in this real-time episode as Alex and the team refuse to give up on their patient. Meanwhile, Gavin (Kristopher Turner) forces Charlie (Michael Shanks) into a walk-and-talk therapy session in an attempt to explore and understand his relationship to the Spirit World.
View the slideshow for images from “43 Minutes.”
This synopsis makes me feel a little bit better about how Gavin will handle Charlie’s situation. I’m glad he is trying to understand Charlie’s relationship with the spirit world. Maybe Charlie can make a believer out of Gavin and then eventually Alex.
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‘Saving Hope’ airs Thursday’s at 9 p.m. on CTV.