Spoiler Alert: Review contains references to a character death.
Saving Hope finished its third season with an episode that was a race against time. A pregnant Alex (Erica Durance) went into labour while taking her boards, while Joel (Daniel Gillies), and Zach (Benjamin Ayres) were in the field with an army sergeant who had an unexploded mortar shell sticking out of him.
I could go on with the gory details about how Joel drilled into the sergeant’s pelvis in order to get the weapon out. Or about how he lied to Zach to get him out of the way in the end. I could even talk about Charlie (Michael Shanks) and how he had to amputate a guy’s frostbitten fingers. Or even write a bit about how Maggie (Julia Taylor Ross) was Alex’s hero delivering her baby in the ambulance.
For me the episode boiled down to Joel. Specifically what happened in the final few moments after he took the unexploded weapon out of the guy. He gingerly sidestepped away from his patient, and out the door. “We’ll come to you,” one solider shouted at him. The weapon exploded before anyone could move.
My jaw dropped after that happened. I kept thinking: “Oh no they didn’t kill him; they wouldn’t kill him.” Even as the final scenes between Alex and Charlie played out I wondered if it still might be a mind trick; half-hoped there was a final twist to it. But then Joel walked into the room, and only Charlie could see him. That was when I finally started dealing with it. Joel was dead, and season 3 was over.
Saving Hope Musings:
- Baby Luke’s dad: I think it’s going to be Joel. There would be more drama, and story to be played out, and as Gillies says himself it would make Charlie more heroic if he looked after another man’s child.
- As much as I loved Joel, his death might have been necessary for the show’s evolution. Saving Hope has always been about the medical cases, and what they could teach each character about life. The presence of the love triangle has taken the show away from that.