Saving Hope “Heartsick” Review

Saving Hope (NBC) Heartsick Episode 8 (1)

With Charlie two months into his coma, Saving Hope decided to address the hard questions. Unfortunately, they had to use a horrendous plot device to get us to this place.

The ex-wife storyline has never worked. Charlie never mentions her except to talk about how she doesn’t hold a candle to Alex. She’s essentially been this mystery character who wants to end the life of our tuxedoed friend. Despite the fact that her and Charlie are no longer married, she felt content to come by and get involved in his situation for reasons that were apparently a big secret.

This week, she finally revealed the reasons for her actions: She’s still in love with Charlie. While the entire situation opens the possibility of discussion on how loved ones should people in persistent comas should be handled, I don’t think the show is striving to have that discussion. Instead, she just takes the opposite stance from Alex. Instead of having the struggle being an internal one with Alex, they decided to make the opposing view come from the outside.

Normally, I’m all for using external forces as plot devices, but watching Alex Reid internally struggle with what to do about her fiance in a coma would have been far more interesting. On top of that, it puts all the onus for the conflict on Erica Durance. While I’m not Durance’s biggest fan, she’s A LOT better actress than Michelle Nolden as Charlie’s ex-wife. The scenes between the two of them only got worse as Charlie’s ex-wife revealed herself to be the other side of the same coin. Watching the two of them cry-shout at each other did nothing but make the audience work to try to understand what they were saying. (Sorry, ladies. Only Bane can pull off the barely comprehensible speech effectively.) They both may love Charlie, but that never led to any chemistry onscreen.

In many ways, I’m glad the show decided to do something about Charlie. He had become a sticking point for the show. The science was definitely not in his favor (as pointed out by Charlie’s ex-wife). It had gotten to the point where they couldn’t wake him up without it seeming completely preposterous. The choice of pacing for the show led them to this point. Paced in a completely different way, this show wouldn’t be faced with the trouble of having to kill off Charlie in episode eight. Instead, they decided to pace the show fairly erratically and led us to a place where Charlie has to go. It no longer really mattered the mechanism they used for it, we had to do something about him. You can only do so many scenes of Erica Durance talking to a comatized version of her fiance.

Now, we have to wait and see what the next episode will bring. Unfortunately, both options are problematic. If Charlie passes on, it leaves a show already starved for interesting plot lines without one of the plot lines that passed for interesting. If he’s alive, I’ll pass out from anger. There is no pot of gold at the end of this rainbow. If the goal of this episode was to address every conceivable complaint about the narrative of the show, then it succeeded wonderfully.

*Some quick thoughts:

*The opening scene when the doctors are in mediation discussing Charlie’s status was laughable. Evidence included a photo, “feelings,” and the fact that Alex was “still here.” The lawyers in that scene should be arrested, because they stole money from Alex and the ex-wife.

*I honestly thought Goran was knowingly giving the faking cop drugs just to get him out of his hair. Then, it’s revealed that a fast one was pulled on him. I’m not sure it’s a good idea to make your genius doctor look like an idiot.

*The cop’s suicide: Did Goran flee the scene? How does no one know what happened? How did no one hear anything?

*The scene where Reid comes to Goran after mediation is kind of fascinating to watch. Are the writers trying to say that Alex’s single-minded focus on Charlie has made her selfish and unaware of other’s feelings? I’m not sure that’s what they were going for, but it definitely played that way.

*I’m glad the Psych guy made a move on Dr. Lin. Hopefully, they will get married and move far, far, far away from Hope-Zion Hospital.

What did everyone else think? What do you think should be the resolution to the Charlie storyline?