Before the Olympics, we left the show with Charlie being taken off life support. Questions about whether he will survive, whether he will wake up, and whether he will slowly fade away are all prominent in my mind, but there was other hospital and personal drama afoot. In the last episode, Joel dealt with a man devastated about his past. Being unable to stop the man from killing himself, Joel is in an emotional upheaval, leading him to tell Alex that he still loves her. Unfortunately, this was definitely the wrong time to tell her, leaving him to go out and chat up some girl and then get in a fight with the boyfriend, breaking his fist. As a doctor/surgeon, will this leave him incapacitated for the next few episodes? What of his relationship with Maggie? In Maggie’s life, as she is uncertain of her relationship with Joel, Gavin breaks the news that he likes her by suddenly kissing her. Is their friendship ruined? Will she realize that she actually likes him?
With so much stuff happening, this is sure to be an interesting first episode back, so let’s take a look after the jump…
First Medical Case:
The main patient of the episode brings back memories for Alex of when she started at Hope-Zion. A woman named Bea came into the hospital with flu-like symptoms before being unable to breathe. Alex is left flustered as Charlie comes in and brushes her off while helping the patient. While Charlie, Dawn, and Mack are discussing things to do about the tumor they found, Alex focuses on the initial problem causing her inability to breathe—draining the fluid—which also allows them to test the tumor. When Charlie agrees this is the best option, he brings her into surgery for her first time.
Bea is back for her yearly checkup after four years in remission from Hodgkins lymphoma. Charlie and Mack’s wanderings in the hospital lead them to discover she was misdiagnosed and has a brain tumor instead. As she is about to leave the hospital, Charlie tries to command her to go back in and see Alex because something is wrong. Bea suddenly stops and goes back up to see Alex, leaving Charlie and Mack dumbfounded. After fetching flowers for Charlie and calling them shoes to Alex, Alex realizes the problem of a misdiagnoses in Bea’s case and calls Shahir in for assistance. I can’t help but feel sorry for this poor woman. After battling cancer and thinking she won, planning a year-long trip with her boyfriend, and prospering in her life, she discovers everything has to be put on hold for more cancer treatment of a different kind.
Second Medical Case:
A woman who has been paralyzed from the waist down for two years, since a traumatic incident where her husband died, has another traumatic incident where she is suddenly able to move her legs again. With Joel’s broken hand, he comes in as the consult on the case, and he doesn’t believe the woman’s miraculous recovery. Almost every episode results in Joel gaining or losing faith. While in the last episode he lost faith, when his patient committed suicide, this time, he appears to gain faith when he confronts the woman and her emotions about losing her husband. As he helps her stand and walk and he tries to support her, such a wonderful smile fills his face. Although it’s obvious that many awful, bad things have happened in his life, I would love to see some good happen now.
We start the episode with Alex taking Charlie off the ventilator. As he wanders the hospital, he discovers Mack is still hanging around after having died months earlier. Mack initially expects he is there to help Charlie pass on, but he ends up getting help in the process from Charlie instead. As Charlie is off the ventilator throughout the episode, Alex stays by his side, trying to get appeals through the courts. When her appeal fails but Charlie is still breathing steadily on his own for over twenty-four hours, she calls Dawn in to explain that his DNR needs to be ended, as he clearly still wants to live on. Thankfully, Dawn agrees, and the Charlie death drama appears to be finished for a few episodes, although there looks to be new things happening next week.
Gavin is sweet and caring for Maggie until she breaks it to him that she’s seeing somebody else and their kiss was a mistake. “I love you, you love me, but we’re not in love with each other” is definitely a bad way to explain your feelings for each other when you know he likes you. Maggie’s complete brushoff of her friendship with Gavin sucks. Did she really need to chuck the entire relationship? Later, Maggie talks with Alex about her relationship with Charlie, and Maggie realizes that she still wants to be friends with Gavin. Unfortunately, Gavin decides that he can’t just be friends with her, and instead, he tries to make a bad situation better by continuing his friendships with other people in the hospital as Maggie looks on.
When Alex walks into the break room to get coffee and she runs into Joel, it was so awkward. Alex just wanted to pretend Joel didn’t say anything, but it was obvious she remembered, and Joel looked as though he wanted to discuss it/apologize for it. With only a tiny clip of their relationship this week, I don’t really know what to make of it.
More of My Thoughts:
Are my favourite friendships of the show ruined or at least having problems? Joel and Alex seem really awkward and out of sorts in this episode, and Gavin and Maggie are having it even worse. Either Maggie is trying to make them be just friends, or Gavin is saying he can’t just be her friend… I really hope she realizes that she likes him as more than a friend in the next few episodes or he finds somebody who makes him happy.
So many of these episodes connect the body and the spirit. This episode, Charlie “commanded” Bea to go back and speak to Alex, and she immediately went up to Alex afterward. Many explanations for these sorts of occurrences are there: maybe she did hear Charlie in some small way, or perhaps she was planning on going back anyway. This show asks those questions about what you believe in. Although I feel they lead to one direction, the writers do leave it open enough for many interpretations of these spiritual moments.
Check out the preview for next week’s episode, “A New Beginning,” airing on August 23rd.
– A woman who died during surgery starts pestering Charlie about why he is still in a coma.
This seems to be an interesting breakthrough in Charlie’s case. I feel like we’ve known he doesn’t want to wake up for the past few weeks, but maybe this episode will push him to discover why and how to overcome it.
What did you think of the episode?