Saving Hope “A New Beginning” Review

This week was a week of surprises on Saving Hope. With only a few episodes left in the season, I was happy to see Saving Hope take a little time away from the Charlie coma fiasco to focus on a few of their under-served characters. Charlie still figured into the episode, but not nearly as much as we have seen in recent weeks. While that may have been a negative for some, I saw it as a positive thing. It was good to see Daniel Gillies stretch his acting legs a little, and the (interim) Chief of Surgery’s story arc was an admittedly pleasant surprise. I’ll stop short of saying I enjoyed this episode, but I found myself far more caught up in this week’s activities then in previous weeks.

Though Charlie wasn’t the central focus of the episode, we did get some interesting clues regarding his condition. For starters, it seems that no one knows what is wrong with Charlie. His brain is improving, but he’s not waking up. Much like most of the other times he has been on screen, Dr. Hamza has no clue what’s going on. I understand that comas involve complex circumstances, but maybe it’s a good thing to let a doctor show off his smarts on occasion. While Hamza pleaded the fifth regarding Charlie’s condition, Charlie’s exploration of his own mind with the deceased therapist yielded an unexpected result. For a show that has failed to surprise me at any turn, I was surprised by the notion that Charlie’s mind doesn’t want him to wake up. I’m not quite sure that this development makes any sense, but at least it’s something different to talk about. I am sure we will revisit this issue in conjunction with his abandonment issues that were highlighted in the flashback with Alex.

I certainly had mixed feelings about Charlie’s therapy session, but I had nothing but negative feelings about Alex’s patient of the week. We got off to a really bad start when he told Alex that he hurt himself because he dropped a bar on his chest while working on the pec dec. For those of the uninitiated, this is a pec dec. There is no bar that he could have dropped on his chest on that machine. While it may seem like a small mistake, it speaks to a larger issue regarding the laziness of a lot of the writing. How does no one research that? How does no one who looked at a script know what a pec dec is? For crying out loud, I googled “Canada pec dec” just to make sure it wasn’t something different north of the border. It took me twelve seconds. I feel like I have said this several times this year: Good shows don’t make those mistakes.

After that moment, the story just couldn’t recover. Erica Durance did everything she could to elevate the guy’s performance, but he wasn’t having it. He started the story at 100 MPH and didn’t have an extra gear when things got really dramatic. However, I did appreciate the small moment with his partner at the end. It was touching and well-played by the partner. This show has no problem with death and bad things happening, but it’s still good to see them have happier moments in the midst of some crummy situations.

Without a doubt this week’s highlight was the Goran-Kinney road trip. While everyone had to see the inevitable Goran surgical freeze-up coming, what happened after was some of the most fun that the series has had since it started. Even in shows dealing with serious source material, it’s good to let some characters out to have some fun. Goran and Kinney showed up some small town surgeons (that’ll teach them for not working in the Big City!), performed a surgery ripped straight from a rejected Royal Pains script, and had some adrenaline-infused sex. In the end, both parties got what they really needed: Goran got over his mental trauma (still fast arcing, but it wasn’t lightning fast like usual), and Kinney got to be seen by someone as something other than the Ball Breaking Chief of Surgery. I can only hope that the quality of this episode will lead to more solo work for these two. They did really well.

While some may disagree, I really think this episode is as close to the best this show has to offer. That’s not exactly a compliment. What did everyone else think?