HOME: “Charley’s Way” is a powerful episode with pinpoint accuracy about hospice experiences and captivating camera work. As such, it represents the transformative experience an inpatient hospice can provide to families and patients. “Charley’s Way” has a strong Christian, biblical worldview. Scripture is read and prayer is central. The final moment is the episode is tastefully rendered, but sensitive viewers may find such scenes difficult to watch. Therefore, MOVIEGUIDE® recommends caution with younger children.
Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
very strongly biblical, and consistent with a Christian worldview; occasional Bible reading and informal, spontaneous prayer by patients and staff, usually using phrases from the prayers of the Psalms Swear words:
No foul language Violence:
Little to no violence with slightly labored breathing moments in a dying phase and one dies, but peacefully, in bed Sex:
No sex or sexual immorality Nudity:
No nudity Alcohol consumption:
No alcohol use and abuse Smoking and/or drug use and abuse:
No smoking or drugs; Miscellaneous immorality:
Extremely light dysfunctional portraits of hospice patients and family members experiencing elements of the grieving process such as denial, guilt, anger, depression, and bargaining.
“Charley’s Way” follows the facility’s head nurse, Charley Copeland. It starts from her jog to work at the aptly named Sunset House to the start of her shift as she interacts with colleagues. From there, it portrays the relationships and deaths of the episode’s focus family and ends with Charley talking to God on a deck during a literal sunset. The credits reveal that the series’ creator, writer, executive producer and director, Dan Merchant, lost his father a year prior to production, showing just how accurate and true to life the series is intended to be.
Between footage of Charley running to hospice, “Charley’s Way” begins with a video interview with Charley, seen from the perspective of the director’s full professional screen display, before editing. Charley has received an award for ‘Hospice Nurse of the Year’ and a local TV news crew is filming an interview with her. Charley isn’t having it though, as she insists, “It’s not about me.” Her comment plays out throughout the rest of the episode as the theme the episode calls “Charley’s Way”. Viewers quickly see this happen when Charley changes the interview from her to one about the reporter’s recently deceased parent. If that wasn’t enough, once the interview is over and no one is looking, Charley throws the prize trophy into a nearby trash can.
The workday then begins with the nurse’s report, with the previous shift informing the incoming shift first, and the episode introduces other members of the care team. To Charley’s dismay, perky Janey Richards is late on her first day at her new job. An orientation is in order; However, Charley shows Janey around, introduces her to patients, and then gives her the assignments she will complete.
A new patient arrives with a family member, and the trajectory of the episode then moves on to this family and the different thoughts and feelings they have about this approaching death. Charley tells the patient, Tyler Cobb, a famous college in his hometown and professional football player, that “there is still work to be done”, for which she will coach each family member in their grieving processes and relationships. More inserted scenes from Charley’s morning drive to work give the viewer hints about the start of different days and other ways Charley coaches the family toward a healthy acceptance of “death, not as the end of life, but rather as a part of life.” life’. .”
The moment of death in the episode is tastefully portrayed. A holy moment is then held in an exit corridor turned shrine, with staff and family saying goodbye, sitting around the covered body just before it is driven to the funeral vehicle. In the final scene, Charley sits alone on an outdoor patio (at a secret location) watching the sunset as she talks to God about her experiences in the episode, asking the questions that remain for her, and affirming God’s goodness, strength, and grace. Included in this prayer time is another twist of this first episode, which is a close personal friend of Charley’s who has come to the hospice unannounced to ask Charley to be her caretaker at the hospice. This presents Charley with a professional and personal dilemma that makes her uneasy. Episode 101 ends with this storyline not fully resolved, apparently pending further treatment later in subsequent episodes.
HOME: Episode 101: “Charley’s Way” presents an incredibly well-written drama that captures the powerfully transformative experience an inpatient hospice can provide. Personal experience seems to have been the formative impetus for the entire series. The closing credits feature a name and vital stats that commemorate a parent of Dan Merchant, the creator, writer, executive producer and director of the opening episode. The acting is certainly up to the task, delivering moments that not only captivate the viewer’s attention, but heart and soul. The cinematography is captivating whether it’s outdoor on-location scenes or intimate conversations indoors. While the hospice scenes appear to be filmed on set, they never distract from the story. Nor do they detract from the episode’s attempt to urge viewers to embrace death as part of our journey to meet our Maker on the way to our eternal home.
HOME: “Charley’s Way” has a strong Christian, biblical worldview. Scripture is read. Also, prayer is depicted throughout the episode. For example, before entering a patient’s room, Charley appears to pray a prayer for the Holy Spirit to assist her in the next moments of interaction with the patient and their family. Charley’s impromptu prayers at sunset are addressed to God and contain many references to the Old Testament scriptures, such as references to “in the shadow of your wings” from Psalm 36:7, to “the apple of your eye” from Psalm 17:8, and to “you have blessed me” in Genesis 30:27.
“Charley’s Way” shows the hospice staff pursuing peace, joy and reconciliation as they lead the patient to their true home with God. Many emotions are expressed about life, death and dying in the episode. For example, “Charley’s Way” contains a number of scenes that sensitive viewers may find difficult to view. Therefore, MOVIEGUIDE® recommends caution with younger children.