Buoyed by its splashy Olympic swimming trials lead-in — which drew 6.2 million total viewers and a 1.7 demo rating — NBC’s Saving Hope (3.3 mil/0.7) floated up two tenths in the demo and 22 percent in audience this week.
Now we just have to hope that enough new viewers got hooked to make a difference in the ratings going forward.
This episode had a little more going on than the previous episodes. First, three weeks after the accident, Alex finds pneumonia in Charlie’s lungs, putting his life in even further danger. Refusing to leave the hospital, Alex takes another shift in the ER. A little punk by the name of Eddie comes in with a stab wound, followed by his entourage and the gang that stabbed him. A hockey player who is hiding a concussion for the sake of his career comes in, and tries to leave just when gang one shoots at gang two in the waiting room, hitting the stabber and the spine of an innocent woman. These scenarios domino, and everyone learns when to fight and when not to fight.
As Alex continues to work you can see her struggling to hold onto any shred of hope she can find, but she’s losing the battle. It has been three weeks, and she knows all too well that Charlie’s chances of waking up are getting drastically slimmer. When she discovers Charlie’s pneumonia she bites the head off the nurse (as if she could have prevented it). She storms down to the ER to lose herself in whatever work comes her way. Joel wants to perform a risky surgery on the woman with the bullet in her spine. Mr. Hockey Player has an aneurysm in his brain that can kill him and he still wants to go back to the ice. Alex chews them both out for being so careless with life, and I cheered her on.
Charlie has made me laugh numerous times, but this episode hit the jackpot. I think it’s largely a result of knowing Michael Shanks’ work and having met him a number of times. The look on his face while Eddie is threatening the guy who stabbed him was just priceless! Taking a page out of Eddie’s book, Charlie decides to try threatening his own body to make himself wake up. His first attempt was pretty pathetic, merely muttering, but on his second try he yelled out, “I’m gonna mess you up!” Little things like that just crack me up, no so much because of the context of it as much as what Michael does with it as an actor. This is why I watch this show.
The end of the episode was a bit confusing. Alex is understandably exhausted after pulling a double shift, so she sits down in the break room. As she stares out the door, she sees Charlie looking at her! She says his name and gets up from the couch, but then suddenly Joel is standing where Charlie was. She tries to explain, but Joel clearly thinks this is just her exhaustion talking and helps her lay down. After he leaves, Alex goes back to watching the door as if she’s waiting to see Charlie again before she closes her eyes, but Charlie is sitting at her feet, watching her and smiling. Does he know that she saw him? Or was he not there yet and what Alex saw really was a combination of exhaustion and memories? If Charlie has discovered that he can be seen, maybe when Alex is in just the right state of mind, why doesn’t he keep trying? Will this glimpse of Charlie give Alex the hope she needs keep going?
There is still a lack of cohesion to Saving Hope. You have your main plot with Charlie and Alex, and then you have their co-workers. It’s like two separate clubs because even though Alex is still working with her co-workers, they still can’t be a part of the main plot, namely Charlie’s limbo world. Personally all I care about is the main plot. I want to see Charlie continue to work through this coma and eventually wake up. I want to see Alex continue to grow from this experience. I want to see the two of them work together to understand how it has changed them. Beyond that, I don’t feel attached to the other characters, at least not yet. I could care less whether the relationship between Joel and Maggie works out, though it’s becoming clear that Dr. Gavin Murphy (Kristopher Turner) has a crush on Maggie. Dr. Humza’s birthday party at the bar had no appeal for me. It doesn’t connect to the main plot and it doesn’t seem to tie in with the theme of the episode, which has regularly been named by the episode’s title. The pieces aren’t coming together yet, but the main plot will always keep me coming back for more.
A lot of people haven’t even seen a preview for the next episode. Why? Because NBC did something really stupid and weird. But does that surprise anyone? Instead of showing the preview for “Out of Sight”, they showed a trailer for their new fall series, Revolution. If you saw the uproar on Twitter you know exactly how Saving Hope fans felt about being gypped this way. Saving Hope WILL air this Thursday at 9/8c on NBC, even though they didn’t announce it and the preview cannot be found on their site for the show.