Saving Hope “The Law of Contagion” Review

Saving Hope (NBC) The Law of Contagion Episode 11

Hello everyone! The regular reviewer for Saving Hope is unable to write the review this week, so I am filling in for him. Some of you may recognize me from the comments I have written in response to previous reviews of this show, and others might know that I usually write a weekly TV Chat article. This week I am trying my hand at writing reviews.

Before I begin, I want to alert viewers that the next episode of Saving Hope will be on Saturday, September 1, at 9 pm EDT, 8 pm CDT. Yes, the show is being moved to Saturday for the last two episodes of season 1.

As background on me, I have watched this show from the beginning. I also happen to be a huge fan of Michael Shanks, and his presence is what brought me to the show. I do work hard to be totally objective, and as you will see, have no problem pointing out what I feel are shortcomings of the show.

This week’s episode focused on two main stories interwoven with a couple of minor threads.

The first major story is related to Charlie. After he started breathing on his own, they have now been rethinking his treatment and why he is not waking up. So, this week, the chief neurosurgeon, Dr. Hamza, decides to try transcranial magnetic stimulation to see if it will help Charlie, and possibly awaken him.

Shift to our spirit Charlie, and it does seem to be having an effect. Spirit Charlie is taken outside the hospital but is now bleeding from a cut on his forehead – the site of the electrode on coma Charlie. Spirit Charlie begins to worry that not only is it not working, but that it is doing damage. He then ends up at the scene of a car crash which he realizes is the car crash that killed his parents when he was 6, and he declares it a vision since he states he was not present at the time of the accident.

In the meantime, for the second major story, the hospital is dealing with a very serious issue – a possible contagion brought in by a patient. When a patient presents with serious abdominal pain, then dies on the operating table, no one is sure why. The discovery that he had traveled from a city where an outbreak of a SARS like virus was recently reported makes it clear not only why he died, but also how potentially serious the problem they are facing has become. The problem is that the hospital administrator resists locking down the hospital for fear of bad publicity.

Eventually they do take action and put the hospital on lockdown after a third patient comes down with symptoms. This then ties in with the minor threads going on: the spat between Victor and Dr. Hamza, the patient Drs. Goran and Lin operated on who is very superstitious, the continuing drama of Dr. Lin and Dr. Goran after Dr. Goran’s one night stand with Dr. Kinny last week, the pining love of Dr. Murphy for Dr. Lin and the drama of Dr. Goran and Dr. Reid’s past love life all play out as people are put into isolation and either forced together or forced to be separated.

When next we see Spirit Charlie, he is in the backseat of his parent’s car, as a full grown adult, where his mom tells him to go to sleep. We then experience the car crash due to his father’s aggressive driving. This causes a startling event – Charlie moves, and opens his eyes! Of course, no one notices yet since one of the other patients in the ICU is crashing.

After more angst over who is sick, who will live and who will die, the infectious disease specialist declares the crisis over and the infection to not be airborne. The hospital comes off lockdown and people can finally be with their loved ones.

We then get the big reveal when Alex notices that Charlie has moved – Charlie apparently was in the car when his parents died – he had just blocked the memory. But, Alex is now so much more certain Charlie will be ok since he moved.

I found the Charlie story line to be compelling because we found out more background about him and his past life. We know from a past episode that he has abandonment issues, and we are now getting a clearer picture of exactly what might have caused them beyond his parents dying. The circumstances appear to be more important than previously revealed. I am still not completely clear why that would cause him to not want to wake up, but maybe that will be revealed in future episodes.

The biggest problem I had with this episode was the treatment of the contagion. I know this series is set in Canada, but where was the CDC equivalent? The second patient – the one who contracted the disease from the guy who died on the operating table – is put in “isolation” and yet the room just has a regular door. I am no expert in infectious diseases, but since it was not until the end that they knew it was not an airborne virus, why were they not more aggressive about using a real *isolation* room for him? Can anyone imagine this happening and not having a response similar to the one we saw in ET? And, I’m not even sure what to say about the creepy infectious disease specialist that is on the case. He was disappointed “this was not the one.” Okay, backing away slowly now.

I guess I get the concept of the hospital administrator worrying about bad publicity if they announce such a serious situation, but in the world we live in, where we have seen the effects of a SARS outbreak and how quickly it spreads, I want to think that hospitals listen more to doctors than administrators when it comes to these types of medical decisions! The fact that the administrator was able to decide to “keep the doors open” and totally overrule the doctors seemed a little dumb. Add to that the fact that two cases were not enough to go on lockdown, but three were, and I just had a hard time believing.

What did you think of this episode of Saving Hope? Please let me know in the comments section below!