Ride Hard or Go Home

PlayItGrand September 14, 2012 No Comments »
Ride Hard or Go Home

Normally this is where I would share the ratings data for the episode, but since NBC has decided that Saving Hope is not worth airing, there are no ratings. Thankfully NBC’s usual poor decision making will not affect the show’s future in Canada, where it will go on for a second season. It only affects our ability to watch it. . . . Anybody else feel like moving North?

WARNING: Spoilers follow! If you have been able to watch this episode, please feel free to continue!

In ‘Ride Hard or Go Home’, Alex has become convinced that Charlie is perfectly capable of waking up. They just need to apply the right stimulus. Alex pressures Shahir to try a deep brain stimulus procedure, knowing that it’s their last chance to wake Charlie. There will be no other options left. Meanwhile, Joel is second guessing himself as he is asked to perform a risky surgery, and Dana is losing patience with him. Gavin steps up to help an elderly wife whose husband has Alzheimer’s, and winds up in hot water.

It’s been a while since the side story – that being the story of the patient that the episode focuses on – has really intrigued me. Usually I just care about what’s happening to Charlie. This time I was touched by the story of Stacey Harrison (Kelly Fanson), a jockey who was badly injured in a race. It hit me in a personal way because I ride horses. Even though I don’t race, I could identify the sensation that Stacey described to Joel. Horseback riding is like nothing else. To convince Joel to perform a risky surgery that could at best make it possible for her to ride in two months, at worst paralyze her, Stacey tells Joel that riding horses and racing is her life. It’s all she’s ever wanted to be. She asks him what he would do to keep being a doctor, to keep doing what he wants to do more than anything else in the world. What would he risk? By the end of the episode, I think we find out.

This episode entails a whole lot of trust and risk, perfectly suited to the title. Stacey trusts Joel to take the risky route. Alex trusts Shahir to not fry Charlie’s brain and kill him as she pushes Shahir to go farther and take more risk in order to wake Charlie up. Then you have Gavin. Gavin trusts his conscience, and his patients trust him. He takes a huge risk, breaking rules in order to help an elderly couple who are struggling with Alzheimer’s. The result of all this trust? You get one who barely escapes being fired, one who quits, and one who succeeds.

The question has finally been answered! Charlie has finally woken up! The way that Charlie found the path back to the land of a conscious was brilliant, and I cheered him on every step of the way. Now here’s the next question: what’s next? Will he remember all that he has been through? The people that Charlie has met, the ones that survived their stay in Hope Zion, had a vague memory that someone was there helping them and something of what they learned from him, but that’s all they seem to recall. Charlie has been existing on that plane existence for far longer than anyone. He has seen just how much Alex loves him and how far she will go for him. He has seen just how precious life and love are because of the people he met. He has had to face the truth about where he was when his parents died, and then how his aunt and uncle felt about taking him in. Will it stay with him and change him? To me, this seems like the next logical step for the show to take. If that’s not what happens, if Charlie forgets it all, where does that leave the show?

There is one more episode of Saving Hope to go, and we will found out how Charlie’s experience has affected him. Remember, it will not be airing on NBC. You can find it on Hulu, or purchase it from Amazon. If you haven’t already, you should take the time to watch the bonus material on NBC’s site before it’s gone, which could be any time now.

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