The Big 100! The Good Doctor celebrated the 100th episode this week, and that’s an amazing milestone to reach! After all the teasing how special it was gonna be, I’m not sure it lived up to the hype, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Written by David Hoselton & David Renaud
Directed by David Shore
Original airdate 21 Nov 2022
Patient #1 – Edna Hamilton
Alex Park, Aaron Glassman
Ventricular fibrillation, later also a malignant tumour invading several internal organs
- 90-year-old Edna is brought to the ER with v-fib exacerbated by the heat.
- She goes into cardiac arrest and Park fractures several ribs performing CPR.
- The chest CT reveals a tumour that runs from her right lung to her belly.
- Park recommends against surgery due to Edna’s age, but Edna calls for a second opinion. The second opinion is Dr. Glassman, who tells Park that it’s Edna’s choice, and so they are obligated to perform the surgery.
- When they operate on Edna, Park finds that he won’t be able to resect the tumour without sacrificing the kidney. He suggests closing Edna up and let her live out her last months as best as she can, but Glassman says they should remove the kidney.
- Park challenges this, it will reduce Edna’s quality of life, but Glassman makes a stand for Edna and the fact that she will still enjoy the rest of her life despite the dialysis and other complications. They mutually agree to remove the kidney.
- Edna makes it through the surgery and seems to be recovering well by the end of the episode.
Patient #2 – Brooks Mosey
Shaun Murphy, Danica Powell
Dehydration resulting in unstable angina due to an anatomical arterial anomaly
- Brooks collapsed during his daily 60-mile bike ride due to dehydration and is given IV fluids.
- When Brooks’ blood pressure drops critically, Shaun and Danica have to find the cause of the condition.
- Shaun suggests it’s a structural issue causing cardiac ischaemia, and they discuss several potential causes, including coronary vasospasm or vasovagal response to dehydration. Shaun orders a coronary angiogram.
- The angio reveals that Brooks’ coronary artery is coming off the pulmonary artery, not the aorta. That’s a very rare occurrence and will need to be fixed surgically in a very complicated surgery. It’s also raised the stakes since Brooks could drop dead any minute.
- Shaun and Danica discuss potential options, but there are no useful imaging techniques that can help devise a clear surgical plan, so Shaun suggests opening Brooks up and then decide how to proceed.
- Brooks’s unstable angina worsens and they need to operate right away. During the surgery, they find that the coronary artery is too short to implant directly onto the aorta. Shaun and Danica try to brainstorm ideas, but they are not getting very far until Danni mentions a homograft which makes Shaun think of another method that might work – a modified Takeuchi procedure.
- Just as they are about to cross-clamp the aorta, the power goes out and they have no more electricity. Without electrocautery, the Takeuchi procedure would be too risky, but then Danni mentions a technique that was used during the Civil War. Shaun doesn’t like that approach, but he, in turn, accesses his own surgical history brain archive and suggests they use old school cauterization with flame-heated metal.
- The seat-of-the-pants surgery goes well, and Danni and Shaun share relieved smiles when the power comes back on and Brooks makes it out alive, and his post-OP EKG is perfect.
Patient #3 – May
Jordan Allen, Daniel Perez
Heat stroke induced fatal internal organ failure
- May is admitted to the ER with a core temperature of 106 in critical condition.
- Cooling blankets and other cooling equipment don’t help, blood pressure drops drastically, the heat is damaging May’s internal organs.
- Labs and imaging reveal that the heat has caused permanent and severe damage to May’s heart and lungs. She will die in a matter of hours.
- May divulges that she has regrets about never going to Paris with her husband who succumbed to cancer a year ago and she delayed their last trip until it was too late.
- Danny suggests ECMO (external blood oxygenation) and CRRT (continuous renal replacement therapy) to keep May alive until they find suitable organs to transplant, but Jordan shoots that down immediately since May can’t even tolerate anti-coagulation treatment and surely wouldn’t make it through multiple transplant surgeries.
- All they can do is watch May die slowly, but Jordan helps grant May one last wish by having her experience a virtual reality walk through Paris with a set of VR glasses that she enjoys very much.
Patient #4 – Arthur Abbott
Morgan Reznick, Asher Wolke
None that we know of, although it’s implied he may have Alzheimer’s or dementia
- 100-year-old Art (who’s apparently “one spry son of a bitch”) gets an honourable mention since he goes AWOL from his ER bed and Morgan and Asher go on a drive cruising the neighbourhood in search of an aimlessly wandering and potentially overheating very senior citizen.
- They do find an elderly, somewhat confused man in a bathrobe ambling along a street whom they drive to the hospital.
- As it turns out, this isn’t actually Arthur Abbott, whom Jerome had in the meantime found elsewhere, so then the mystery needs to be solved who Asher and Morgan have abducted off the street.
- Their John Doe is revealed as Samuel McIntyre, grandfather to Kyle McIntyre, Attorney at Law, who will come to pick Sam up forthwith. Morgan and Asher are afraid that Sam will subsequently sue them for taking his grandfather to the hospital without his consent, but it doesn’t quite end that way.
- Kyle is glad that Morgan and Asher rescued his grandfather from the oppressive heat and may have saved his life.
Shaun & Danica
There’s a heat wave rolling into San Jose today, and by 7 am, Shaun is fully prepared to brave the day despite the challenging weather conditions. He’s got a rechargeable cooling vest, a neck fan, a personal hydration pack and a cooling hoodie, all of which he proudly presents to Lea who only just got up. He says it’s an investment in their future since they will be needing this many more times. Oh yeah. Global warming, here it is.
Shaun has one of the Shauniest confessions of love for Lea, which goes, “If you need to, you can borrow my hoodie.” And off to the hospital he is.
I’m pretty sure that the pervading thought that went through Lea’s head during all of this was, “Shaun, you are such a dork, but I love you very much.” 😀
As the surgical team is preparing for the day ahead, Shaun assigns Dr. Powell to be his Number One for the day. While Danica tries to be jovial, Shaun’s mood sours considerably when he sees Dr. Lim there at the coffee bar and learns that Danica actively advised Lim against going through with Shaun’s suggested spinal adjustment surgery.
This throws Shaun quite a bit. Danica is a first year resident, she has no right giving opposing medical advice when he’s the attending with seniority and has much more surgical experience than her. Danica counters that with the fact that she has much more physical disability experience than Shaun. And that, in fact, is true and something that Shaun doesn’t have any arguments to counter with.
Shaun mentions there that people with a spinal cord injury often have trouble regulating body temperature, which is an actual fact. A severed spinal cord means that signals from certain parts of the body can no longer be transmitted to the brain, which can result in not adequately counteracting heat or cold through bodily responses. This can result in either overheating or overcooling, so spinal cord injury patients need to pay extra attention to the temperature of their environment and counteract potential regulation shortcomings with external help like heating or cooling gear or clothes.
Now thoroughly vexed by Danni’s maladroit and uncalled for behaviour, there’s definite antipathy towards her that he acts on. Danni can’t find a vein in their patient’s arm and wants an intraosseous line to be placed instead (infusion directly into the bone marrow). Shaun berates her that she didn’t properly try for an iv line and sends her to change a catheter bag on another patient because clearly Shaun is a lot better suited to handle this by himself.
His patient Brooks is privy to all this and later challenges Shaun on why he doesn’t like Danica. Brooks plants the idea in Shaun’s head that sometimes the best employees are annoying, and that it’s not always a bad thing when someone challenges your ideas and decisions. Shaun clearly isn’t very open to the idea of it being a good thing when you’re the attending being challenged by a first year resident.
After Brooks crashes, Shaun needs to work with Danica to find the cause of the destabilisation. Danni throws a few ideas into the ring, but Shaun pretty much immediately shuts them down without even hearing her out, then sends her away to set up an angiogram. Lea is witness to this and watches it with a worried expression.
She does try to talk to Shaun about it, asks what is up with ‘Mr. Grumpy’. Shaun seems to be struggling with trying to figure out why Danni annoys him so much, and Lea’s well-meant questions don’t really get him anywhere other than, “She’s… contrary.” Lea valiantly tries to get Shaun to see the similarities between Danni and himself, but there isn’t much room for self-reflection on Shaun’s part here. They don’t get to finish that particular conversation when the power goes out.
Must be tricky for Lea to see Shaun struggle with this but not wanting to interject yourself too much into Shaun’s business. We know that Shaun doesn’t want Lea to solve his problems for him, and after what happened about a year ago, Lea sure doesn’t want to patronise Shaun by giving unsolicited advice or steering him in any one direction, but she must be itching to want to challenge his somewhat rigid thinking a little and open up avenues that might help balance the rocking boat. Props to her for not pushing the issue and letting Shaun try to figure it out himself.
Shaun takes it up with Danni himself during their angiogram, and of course there is no sugar-coating to speak of. “We need to talk about why I don’t like you,” is Shaun’s conversation opener. That mirror that Danni is to Shaun keeps being blatantly ignored on his part, and it’s ironic how he outlines with many examples how she’s so annoyingly stubborn and intractable. We should insert Lea’s question here again whether perhaps that sounds like someone we know. Stubborn and intractable are essentially Shaun’s middle names.
Kudos to Danni for not taking any of Shaun’s shit and actually deflecting his shots and standing her ground. Clearly, she’s figured out that Shaun doesn’t have a problem with brutal honesty because she calls him a jackass right to his face. And Shaun takes it in stride, although… if looks could kill. Their patient’s anatomical defect interrupts that conversation before they can finish it. Seems to be a theme here of unfinished conversations.
Shaun and Danni clash again when they try to brainstorm solutions for the complicated surgery they now need to perform to save their patient’s life. Shaun, again, shoots down every idea Danni throws into the mix, until Shaun snaps that she should stop interrupting him and that he doesn’t want to teach her because she acts like she knows more than Shaun does. He’s convinced she won’t change, and figuring out why he doesn’t like Danni won’t help anything. He goes as far as taking her off his case.
Ouch. Can we rewind to season 5 where Andrews took Shaun off a case because he yelled at the patient’s father? Can we rewind to how dejected and disappointed Shaun was about it? Shaun, have you totally forgotten how that felt? It’s a little infuriating that Shaun’s journey to become a good mentor and boss is littered with so many blunders and affronts. Probably these are lessons that he needs to learn, but I think a lot of us keep hoping he wouldn’t have to be so inept at some of this. Because very often he isn’t when he makes an effort. Danni was right. Shaun as newly minted attending is kind of a jackass. And I don’t like him that way because we know he can do better than that.
It’s actually their patient who forces Shaun’s hand, insisting that Danica be assigned back to the case because he wants her there to challenge each and every decision Shaun makes. Not because he thinks Shaun is incapable, but because he wants the best possible outcome, and sometimes approaches and ways of thinking have to be challenged to be improved.
Shaun goes to Daddy Glassy with his predicament because he really doesn’t want to work with Danni. And Daddy’s advice is to look for common ground and then go from there. Now Shaun has a new mission to embark on.
It’s kinda cute how the card trick story immediately piques Shaun’s attention. He even makes rare, prolonged eye contact when Daddy Glassy regales Shaun with an old story from his pre-Shaun family life. Shaun’s definitely interested in the fact that Dad used to be “Amazing Aaron”.
The next chance Shaun gets, he tries to connect with Danni to find said common ground. Does she watch The Weather Channel? Nope. Does she like pancakes? Nope. Okay, then what is there? Seems they’re at an impasse—she and Shaun have zero common ground and he still doesn’t like her.
We do learn, however, that Shaun likes The Weather Channel because he finds using science as a predictive tool very reassuring. That tracks with what he told Alma back in season 5, that he finds comfort in the predictability and reliability of science.
Shaun and Danni do get to bond over the actual heart surgery, but not before there is more rebuttal and harsh words. Shaun is still unwilling to listen to any of Danni’s ideas, but she, again, stands her ground and tells Shaun very bluntly no, she won’t stop talking. It’s his responsibility to teach her, even if he doesn’t like her—which, by the way, she is fine with—but he better damn well get over it and grow the hell up.
She also pushes it right in Shaun’s face what he should have concluded on his own – that their common ground is that they’re both outcasts of sorts for diverging from the norm, that they’ve been stared at and bullied and resented for being different. Not quite sure that sinks in, because Shaun’s mind is suddenly fully focused on the medicine and no longer the interpersonal issues and they continue with the surgery, using an approach that he only thought of because of something Danni had said previously.
Before they can even start, the backup generator finally gives up the ghost and the OR is bathed in darkness, with Shaun and Danni in dire need to improvise a lot more than they initially thought. And finally there’s the level of collaboration they need – Danni mentioning an old Civil War technique that Shaun initially rejects but then reconsiders and improves with his own surgical history knowledge. When the power finally comes back on, Shaun and Danni share a relieved smile that they managed to save their patient through eventual good teamwork.
When Danni later tells Shaun that their patient’s EKG looks normal, Shaun takes that in for a moment, plus the fact that Danni must have changed her hand lotion. He makes an effort to recall their common ground and shares a surgical history fact with her. They exchange a bit of surgical history geekery and Danni recommends the surgical history museum in Chicago before she leaves.
Lea asks him what happened that he’s suddenly engaging in jovial banter with Danica, and Shaun’s response is, “She changed her hand lotion.” If we translate that piece of Shaun speak, it made him realise that apparently Danica can change after all. Good for you, Shaun, that it got you to rethink your own behaviour. Still, I think we haven’t seen the last of Shaun and Danni butting heads.
Lea & The Servers
Things in St. Bonaventure’s IT department become a little more precarious with this heat wave rolling through and the hospital’s air conditioning system being put to the test. Lea’s attention is quickly drawn to the server room, knowing full well that if their servers start failing, the hospital’s operational capacities will be severely compromised.
Lea gives her best to keep the server room’s temperature down, improvising ice cube cooling fan contraptions, but despite her best efforts, the temps keep rising until the servers start failing one by one. She goes to Andrews to ask him to shut down to the top two floors to conserve energy, but Andrews isn’t in favour since it would compromise patient care.
Getting dangerously close to a complete shutdown, Lea starts making some calls, and she finds a solar energy company who can provide a battery truck, but it will be direct current power, which the hospital’s system can’t handle. There may be a chance to make it compatible by using MRI machine inverters, so Lea needs to figure out together with someone from engineering how to make that work.
And it seems like they do manage to make it work, but not before there’s a total blackout for a period of time. The power conversion does eventually work and the hospital’s power springs back to life with relieved reactions all around. The solar power truck has averted total crisis, and Lea gets a, “Nice job,” acknowledgement from Andrews for it when they’re back to 80% capacity. Well done, indeed.
Lim & Danica
Like everyone else, Audrey is struggling with the temperatures of the heatwave, and as Shaun mentioned, she probably has to take extra care to regulate her temperature. When she runs into Danica, the latter mentions that the A/C at the Army Vets’ gym is still working and she invites Audrey to join their wheelchair basketball game later that day.
Audrey isn’t quite sure she’s ready to play sports in a wheelchair and declines, but Danni is quite insistent. She drops by Audrey’s office after Shaun takes her off their case and reiterate the idea, particularly since the failing hospital A/C is not making it easier to get any work done and Andrews has now put the hospital and the ER on full divert status.
Maybe the V.A. gym doesn’t sound like such a bad idea after all, particularly since Danica makes the point that Audrey should stop seeing herself as a recovering paraplegic who needs physical therapy but instead as a healthy, capable woman who can enjoy life as it comes.
Not that much later, Audrey is in a sports wheelchair, clad in an orange vest by the side of the basketball field. She’s being courted right away by both Danica and the opposing basketball team’s captain Clay – they both want Audrey on their team for her long arms. Audrey is reluctant, she’s not sure she’s ready to do this, but she’s also kinda itching to get in the game, isn’t she?
Audrey takes the plunge and gets out on the field, and the teams sure get into it. Competition to win that game is fierce, and there’s lot of zeal and wheelchair banging. Audrey seems to be a natural and gets to score that perfect shot that goes in the hoop just a few seconds before she’s tackled by Clay and both their wheelchairs topple over. Lying there on the court, they share an, “Ow,” and a smile. Yep, pretty good game.
Quick mention, in case it wasn’t already kinda obvious, Michael Patrick Thornton who plays Clay is a real life wheelchair user. He was left paralysed after a spinal stroke in 2003 and has been a great advocate for accurate disability representation on television since. It’s such a wonderful thing that The Good Doctor goes the extra mile to cast actors for roles that truly represent the disability. Sure, there have been people on social media who complain that the show is too woke, but there’s many more of us who really appreciate and acknowledge the efforts of inclusivity and diversity and the fact that they try to portray disability as an organic part of life and not as a thing that’s to be pitied or belittled or pointed a finger at.
After the game on the way back to St. Bonaventure, Danni and Audrey run into Clay again. He’s wearing green scrubs and it turns out he’s actually a paediatrician. Audrey pretends that she didn’t enjoy the basketball game, but we all know she did, and Clay knows it, too. She must have liked being treated like a normal person and not with that “patronizing politeness accorded to the helpless, vulnerable invalid.” He invites her back to play same time next week. And maybe there’s a few early sparks flying there, too.
After the whole power outage crisis at St. Bon’s has been resolved, Danni approaches Audrey and pitches another idea to her: tennis. Danni plays every Saturday and she’s happy to take Audrey along. Audrey is definitely ready to entertain the notion of graduating from PT to other actual sports.
Park & Glassman
We’ve got a more unusual physician pairing here, which came to pass when Park’s patient asked for a second opinion, and the second opinion happened to be Dr. Glassman. Park’s patient Edna, at 90 years old, insists on a risky major surgery that Park is advising against.
Glassman talks to Edna and concludes that she’s fully capable of making this decision, so he tells Park they will go ahead with the surgery. Park reluctantly agrees, of course, but during the surgery he finds that they can’t extract the tumour without also removing Edna’s kidney, which will significantly reduce her quality of life. Park pushes to abort the surgery and give Edna a few good months to live, but Glassman pushes back.
The reason why Park is so reluctant is rooted in personal experience. His grandfather had pancreatic cancer and his grandmother insisted on surgery. It took the opportunity from them to see his grandfather have a few good months in palliative care and instead he got three years of pain and misery from complications of his surgery.
It sure explains where Park is coming from, but Glassman has another angle. Sometimes life is hard, and the pain of loss can be acute and blinding and you don’t know how to go on. But then you find a reason, or a reason finds you. You know, like how Shaun found Glassman, and it gave him a reason to want to get out of the black hole of grief over losing his daughter.
What Glassman is trying to say here is that despite the hardships of the complications tied to the surgical outcome, Edna will still have enough reasons to live for—like enjoying the time she can spend with her family, or her beloved butterscotch pudding.
As Edna is recovering with her family by her side, Glassman and Park stand outside her room and Glassman offers a round of said butterscotch pudding to congratulate each other on a job well done and another life saved.
Jordan & Daniel
Danny is assigned to May’s case together with Jordan, accompanying May’s journey to a quick, unexpected death on the day she was admitted. We learn that he’s a pretty sensitive guy and struggling with the emotional toil of sometimes unavoidable fatal outcomes of their patients.
Danny is the one who starts to break the news to May that she will die within a matter of hours, but he can’t quite bring himself to say it. Jordan steps in and says, “You’re dying, May. Very soon, in a matter of hours.”
Watching a patient slowly deteriorate and die is definitely not easy, and it’s hitting Danny hard. He spends a bit of time with May, especially since she doesn’t seem to have anyone else, with her husband having passed away a year ago. It’s Jordan who comes through and suggests the virtual reality glasses so that May can at least enjoy a little taste of Paris before she dies.
Danny clearly admires Jordan, and there’s definitely attraction there – attraction that he’s afraid to act on, so he holds back. He tells Jordan that she’s an amazing person, but then he walks away. It’s somehow heartbreaking, but I think we’ll be seeing some more of those layers peeled away as his story progresses. And maybe—just maybe—we’ll see him take the plunge with Jordan eventually. I’m here for it when it happens.
Asher & Morgan
When a blackout hits a senior residence nearby and their population ends up in the St. Bon’s ER, Morgan gets stuck with a whole slew of non-surgical cases. She gets help from Asher, and while they treat the elderly in need, they also talk about how frustrating it must be for Morgan to be taking laps around the dating pool without much coming of it.
They bond further as they take an impromptu cruise around the neighbourhood in Morgan’s car to find and pick up 100-year-old birthday boy Arthur who got away and is apparently roaming outside in the heat. Morgan shares that her childhood dreams included owning two horses, an Olympic medal in archery and touring with NSYNC. Of course none of these things actually happened.
The more attainable goals were being a surgeon, getting married and having kids. The surgeon goal is already off the table, the other two are sliding more and more out of reach. Morgan feels like there a huge hole in her life, and she’s not happy.
The whole time, Asher assumes she wants a boyfriend, but Morgan discloses that having a partner is actually not what she’s yearning for the most right now. She wants a child. That’s perhaps a bit of a surprise for Asher, but not an insurmountable one. We already know she harvested her eggs about a year ago, so I daresay this is now going to send Morgan on her own quest to try and proceed with a pregnancy.
Things to Further Dissect
The Big 100
A hundred episodes is a big milestone, especially in this day and age. And the cast and crew and ABC wanted to acknowledge that, of course. For all the lack of promotion and attention given to the show of late, there sure was a lot of publicity around the 100 episodes celebration. There must be at least five different online media print interviews floating around with different cast and crew members, plus a whole bunch of press junket video interviews Freddie did with different media outlets and a morning show thing or two.
What’s a little puzzling, at least to me, is why the episode was hyped so much as being super special and everyone working together on one big thing, when it wasn’t much of that at all. Sure, it was a solid and enjoyable episode, but to me there was nothing particularly special or outstanding about it. In the grand scheme of things, it was the usual formula with a few patient cases and different smaller teams working separately on them. Where was the big “we’re all working together” piece? Or did I misinterpret something?
What did stand out, however, was that they did some more unusual team-ups in this episode with tag-teams that we hadn’t necessarily seen in that way before. We had Asher paired up with Morgan, out on a wild goose chase to find a wandering patient in the streets of San Jose.
We had Park and Glassman team up, which gave us some great character insights particularly on Glassman’s part. The case of Edna provided a great opportunity for Glassman to reflect on some of his own experiences, particularly the pain of his daughter’s death and how Shaun was perhaps somewhat accidentally instrumental in helping him find a way out of the depths of grief, how Shaun gave him purpose again and brought love back into his life.
The really beautiful and heart-warming aspect of this is that now Park knows both sides of that coin. He’s listened to Shaun telling that story to his patient and his brother just one episode prior. Now he’s heard Glassman say how important a milestone it was that the two of them found each other. Park is an important connecting point in Shaun’s life now, and I hope we’ll see that come to fruition in some way in the future.
Also uncommon was the Lea and Andrews collaboration, not something we see very often and definitely an interesting dynamic to explore. And it was nice to see Lea being given a bigger plot again, although I would question the realism of her being the sole IT problem-solver in the whole hospital during a crisis like this.
And while we’re questioning realism, is it just me, or does it seem odd to have a 109 °F heatwave rolling through San Jose in November? Just last episode, we were celebrating Halloween, remember? Oh well, let’s chalk it up to global warming and freak weather occurrences, right?
As pairings go, the Shaun-Danni team wasn’t as unusual, but certainly fertile ground for their issues to be addressed and worked through. The Jordan and Danny teamwork wasn’t as unusual either, but provided more fodder for their potentially slow-burn blossoming eventual romance. And then of course there was the Lim and Danni bonding over lost mobility, which I hope we see more of in the future.
If you rewind to some of my late season 5 recaps or the season 5 overall summary post, I made the complaint there several times that with this huge ensemble cast, episodes tend to get overcrowded and cluttered with just… too much stuff. This episode felt like that again. They were trying to focus on everyone all at once, trying to give everyone a little piece of the episode 100 cake. We certainly can’t blame them, but I think it was part of why the episode didn’t feel all that super special.
In the grand scheme of things, it was probably good that David Shore was directing, because he’s very masterful at teasing out what will resonate with the audience. Daniela said that it looked like they really wanted to make it a choral episode, which considering the size of the main cast isn’t an easy task to begin with and didn’t necessarily work out beautifully, but all things considered, Shore managed to keep it consistent.
Somewhat ironic in all this is that ABC created their own royal mess when they postponed this big milestone achievement episode yet another week on Nov 14 on incredibly short notice, to be replaced with a politician interview that TGD fans were less than enthusiastic about. This led to the episode being leaked and made available on illegal streaming platforms several days before it officially aired on ABC (more on that below).
Some may call that poetic justice, seeing how it was supposed to be the big, special episode. Many fans were super fed up with the spontaneous and unexpected three week break after the massive promotion machine build-up, and there was probably a bit of quiet rejoicing that those who knew where to look were able to watch the episode early.
On the surface, this episode may have seemed more or less like your regular multiple patient case routine, but if you dig a little deeper, there are several layers to uncover that may or may not be a bit of foreshadowing.
Yes, fans have said these things about events or dialogues in season 5 that then never came to fruition, so obviously this needs to be taken with a grain of salt, but here’s some food for thought anyway.
This being episode 100, one of the more obvious easter eggs was obviously the whole “Art is turning 100 today” side-story and the celebratory 100th birthday cake that we were shown twice. That last shot was pretty cleverly done, I’ll give them that.
What the episode also did was disperse a number of breadcrumbs that may or may not indicate future character arcs. One of the more apparent ones probably Morgan mentioning wanting a child. That, paired with her egg harvesting from season 5, seems to indicate that we’ll see Morgan going for single-mom parenthood in the not too far future.
Also somewhat obvious were the sparks that started flying between Lim and Clay, the wheelchair-bound paediatrician who tackled her during the basketball game. After the disaster non-date with random parking garage guy (Curtis), it seems a pretty slam dunk that we’ll see something more romantic growing out of this one.
We’ve also had lots of mentions of grandparents and great-grandparents and grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Glassman specifically mentioned Maddie and his dysfunctional ex-family in front of Shaun. We’ve already been teased by Freddie Highmore with the knowledge that Shaun and Lea are going to discuss perhaps trying for a pregnancy again, and I think we’d all enjoy seeing Glassy becoming grumpy but soft-hearted granddad. So an actual Shaun and Lea pregnancy will probably not be too far off.
Then we’ve also had the mention of the lawyer whom Morgan and Asher were almost sure was going to sue them for abducting Art-who-wasn’t-Art. That might have been a little bit of a clandestine teaser for The Good Lawyer. (Not in the sense that the guy is gonna be on the show, just the fact that a lawyer got a prominent mention.)
Can we have some quick appreciation for Dorky!Shaun. Dorky!Shaun is the best. Lea apparently thinks so, too. Thumbs up for awkward but loveable Dorky!Shaun.
Shaun & Danni – Fire and Ice
What they’re doing with Shaun and Danni this episode is actually super interesting if you peel back the layers a little and dig deeper. Autism consultant Melissa Reiner talked about this in her episode insights as well, elaborating on how Shaun, after he learns that Danni was instrumental in Lim’s decision to say no to the spinal adjustment surgery, he now feels subconscious antipathy and resentment towards Danni. This bleeds into their professional relationship, but he has trouble connecting those dots because he always operates on the idea of rationality, and it’s hard for him to link the emotional undercurrent to his actions and subconscious reactions.
There’s more beyond the obvious here of Shaun not liking Danni because she’s wilful and obstinate. We now have a much deeper level of hurt and blame manifesting in Shaun where he subconsciously blames Danni for ruining his chance to make things right with Lim. His solution to having been ostracised by Lim was the spinal adjustment surgery, which Lim mainly said no to because Danni assertively discouraged it. And so a subconscious and automatic antipathy is born that his ASD won’t quite let him analyse and understand, at least not without maybe a little bit of help.
What Melissa Reiner talked about specifically was the almond-scented hand lotion, which is a much more tangible explanation for Shaun to latch on to as to why he doesn’t like Danni. The hand lotion is something that makes sense to Shaun, that is real and quantifiable. And that’s also why he refers to the hand lotion at the end of the episode as the (in his mind) main reason why he suddenly cast aside some of his antipathy and decided to engage in conversation about surgical history facts.
As for Danni, lots of people seem to find her contrariness and disregard for authority grating and out of place. I’ve seen a few comments online where people were getting annoyed with her, and worse. You know, I get it. No one likes the headstrong troublemaker in a team. As for me personally, I think it’s refreshing, and really interesting that they’re holding Danni up as a mirror in front of Shaun—oblivious to it as he is.
First of all, I actually love that Danni is so feisty and won’t take any shit from anyone. Yes, in some instances it was borderline rude, perhaps even disrespectful when she inserted herself unasked into Lim’s personal life choices. But I do like that she openly challenges Shaun and that she doesn’t bow down when he’s being unreasonably stroppy.
The interesting thing here is that Shaun has a blind spot in terms of seeing the similarities between him and Danni. Shaun is often very convinced that he is right, that his way of seeing and doing things is the only correct one. He will defend his opinion in front of anyone, irrespective or hierarchy, will challenge ideas that he’s convinced are not the right path forward or good decisions to make.
On multiple occasions, even as a junior resident, he has butted heads with his superiors and questioned their decisions and was sometimes convinced he knew more or knew it better than people with many more years of experience under their belt. And here we are, with Shaun’s ASD hampering his ability to make that connection himself, to see the parallels, to realise that, in some way, Danica is actually a version of himself. Lea was valiantly trying to get Shaun there, and I liked that she didn’t drive the point home with a sledgehammer when Shaun was connecting B and C rather than A and B.
Of course part of Shaun’s reactions were natural and perhaps even overarchingly human. The fact that he instantly rebutted all of Danni’s ideas may have seemed aggravating and stubborn, but it’s only natural that we tend to not want to hear out people whom we don’t like, who antagonise us, no matter if intentionally or unintentionally. That also goes for neurotypical individuals.
In his mentor-ly fashion, it was Glassman who got Shaun out of the rut he was stuck in, suggesting Shaun find common ground with Danni. Another interesting aspect was also that Shaun totally glossed over the one thing they very obviously do have in common—a dysfunctional body part that singles them out from the crowd and has people look at them differently, sometimes subject them to bullying and resentment. It had to be Danni who pointed that out to him, but I think it was great that they also managed to find more common ground in the form of an interest in historic facts and knowledge about medicine.
Andreas (an avid fan who is autistic himself) has posted very insightful comments on Reddit that I’d like to cite because I agree a 100%.
It’s quite obvious by now that Powell is designed to be a neurotypical foil to Shaun in so many ways. They share some important core traits. Lea in fact tried to make that point to Shaun when she said that being contrary sounds like someone they both know… She meant Shaun of course, but as often, Shaun struggled with the irony in typical ASD-fashion.
Yet, some variations in their respective biographies also fostered important differences in their life experiences, influencing their behavior. Powell’s service in an active war zone for example might explain her heightened need to stand her ground and fight ferociously when she sees the need.
Though, while the ex-soldier Powell isn’t easily intimidated by formal ranks and authority, we also saw this episode that she originally had hoped to find a kindred soul in Shaun:
“I’m fine with you not liking me, but that doesn’t mean you get to disregard my ideas. And I would’ve thought that you’d understand exactly what it’s like to be treated as the other. You want to find common ground? That’s our common ground.”
I read this as follows: while Powell now is at peace with being an amputee, it has been a struggle to reach this point and she had to endure a fair share of prejudice and belittling on her way, as echoed in the seen after the basketball game.
She rightfully expected that Shaun had made similar experiences. Yet, Shaun – by the nature of his kind of disability – is way to self-absorbed (“don’t like her because of the almond smell”), to make that connection.
Savannah Welch really does a great job with her character dissecting Shaun’s weaknesses and hypocrisy – for years so many have accommodated for his idiosyncrasies, but Powell really bursts that comfy bubble in every interaction with him.
No wonder, so many fans hate her. The character is meant to irritate the protagonist. But… that doesn’t mean she hasn’t a valid point. Shaun is self-centered, overly confident in his own abilities and has a lot to master in the social realm. In other words, he easily gets on other’s nerves and takes it for granted that they suck it up because of his ASD – but he overreacts quickly when somebody gets on his nerves (as in having a different opinion or a hand lotion’s smell he does not like) … well, get your act together buddy! You’re an attending now. Time to grow up.
It’s also great what Welch can add to Lim’s storyline. The well-filmed basketball scene was a powerful contrast to Lim’s struggles in previous episodes and should inject the character with new energy to go forward, wheelchair included. Although I doubt that stubborn Shaun will rest his plea for the surgery for long. This ain’t over yet.
Just like Andreas, I don’t think we’ll have seen the end of the Murphy vs. Powell friction journey. I’m sure there’s gonna be many more instances in the future where they’ll clash more or less violently. I think it’s pretty clear that they won’t become friends beyond professional courtesy. And that’s fine, not every person you work with needs to become your best friend. However, let’s hope that Shaun won’t let his personal dislike get in the way of teaching her.
Shaun & Lim
Not a lot of room in this episode to deal with some of the more overarching season plots, although Shaun couldn’t help mentioning that Lim’s decision to say no to the spinal adjustment surgery was foolish. If I were to hazard a guess, I’d say this was inserted to remind the viewers that we haven’t seen or heard the last of this, that in some way it’s gonna rear its ugly head – either in Lim deciding pro-surgery after all sometime in the future, or some other thing happening along the way that will force Shaun to truly face the repercussions of the night of his wedding.
I’ve been wavering back and forth on whether The Good Lawyer lawsuit story surrounding Shaun is going to be Lim-related or not, and I’m still undecided at this point. Here’s another wild idea, though: What if Lim decides to do the surgery, something goes wrong, and then she ends up suing Shaun? Probably not all that likely, but who knows?
There were a number of interviews (both print and video) with different cast and crew members leading up to episode 100, and I’d like to single out a few things from them that I found noteworthy.
First and foremost, I want to highlight that there’s several instances where the emotional fallout of the initial Lim surgery were stressed. There’s much talk about how Shaun deals with it (or isn’t dealing with it) and a mention of the fact that so far none of it has been addressed in a way that it’s resolved anything. These are clear indications that we haven’t seen the last of the repercussions of the paralysis-inducing surgery yet, and this will come back to haunt Shaun in a way that will be impactful and probably dramatic. Maybe in the winter finale?
Can you share any teasers about what we can expect from the rest of season six?
HIGHMORE: What’s been exciting for me this year is Shaun getting his promotion. It felt like a little reset, having Shaun overseeing people and being a boss. Being in this position of authority feels very meaningful and funny to me because of how he’s learning those ropes. It has been fun to play.
FRIEDMAN: There’s some great drama in how Shaun, Lim and Glassman deal with the fallout of the surgery that Shaun performed on Lim. It creates real emotional complications they have to find their way out of.
SHORE: It’s always interesting to watch Shaun deal with emotional complications in his unique way.
HIGHMORE: This year, with Shaun now married, it’s the very beginning of a whole new life. It raises even bigger questions. Similarly, I think it will require a bit of a readjustment with Shaun and Dr. Glassman because, until this point, Dr. Glassman has certainly been the most important person in [Shaun’s] life. Now the center of his world has shifted toward Lea. So what does that relationship now become between Shaun and Dr. Glassman with this new life structure?
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
The Good Doctor Season 6 started out with a lot of excitement. What do you love and appreciate about all these twists and turns?
Liz Friedman: Oh, I love that we were able to do a story with a big personal impact for our characters, and then give it some real fallout that is playing out over the first seven1 episodes or so of the season. We’re really dealing with the repercussions of the attack and Lim’s injury, Shaun’s role in the surgery, and how other people align around that.
To be able to deliver a real adrenaline jolt and a thrill ride, and then do some emotional repercussions that come out of that, it’s a great mix of two things that I love in storytelling. One is action-packed cliffhangers, and then the other is people grappling with such difficult emotions.
Let’s talk about Season 6 and Dr. Lim and Dr. Glassman’s anger at Dr. Shaun Murphy. Are they being too hard on him?
Liz Friedman: Well, Dr. Glassman’s surgery also might have saved her life, and probably would have avoided this. It might have. It should be a debate, and I think that also to ask somebody who’s ended up in a wheelchair not to be upset about being in a wheelchair is a tough position. This is the right discussion to have about this.
I think we all feel mixed about anger toward Dr. Murphy because he is our hero in the series. We want him to come out on top.
Liz Friedman: Right. I think that hopefully, you will enjoy the storyline as it plays out. But I think it’s very interesting to me when people have opposing feelings and they’re strongly held. It’s a deep enough wound or deep enough point of pride, in Shaun’s case of, “I did the right thing,” that they can’t make even a baby step toward what concession could you make that would allow this person to feel better about this situation? And everybody’s really in their corners, not talking and not sorting it out.
What else can you tease about The Good Doctor moving forward? You’ve got a lot of relationships going on here.
Liz Friedman: I hope the people will enjoy this journey that we’re taking Shaun, Lea, Dr. Lim and Dr. Glassman on in terms of the aftermath of the attack and the surgery. Both in the physical sense and the emotional sense. Morgan’s going to embark on a new quest of her own. I think that’s some stuff there.
Talk about Shaun’s personality, like preferring to put his office in a storage closet rather than deal with sharing an office with Dr. Park.
Liz Friedman: Exactly. He needed a quiet place. You know, it’s a part. I think at this point we’re very lucky we have a great writing staff a lot of us have been here for a very long time, and a few writers have been here since the very beginning. It’s really about Shaun’s personality. Some of the elements of which are linked to his autism spectrum disorder and others are not.
Shaun is who he is and he’s on a journey of growth, but also, he doesn’t need to change. He’s an amazing person with a really unique way of looking at things. We’re always looking for ways to challenge him.
What I like about what we’re doing this year with him, is being a boss for the first time while also being a new husband. These are things that are challenging for everybody, whether you are neurodiverse or neurotypical. I think what I really like is that Shaun can ask questions out loud that the rest of us are sometimes too embarrassed or self-conscious to ask.
[…] Freddie has a lot of input and we talk a lot. In fact, the idea of Shaun setting up his own office in some place where he shouldn’t have an office, or that he wouldn’t be given one, was Freddie’s idea. There is a famous Hollywood legend that when Steven Spielberg was starting out he would bluff his way onto the Universal Studios lot with a messenger envelope and when he saw an unused office he just set himself up in there for months. So, that aspect of the episode came out of conversations with Freddie. After each script is ready, we go through it and he asks questions about what we intended. If he has an idea for something, he pitches it to us. It’s a great collaboration.
1 The producers tend to refer to Afterparty and Change of Perspective as season 5 episodes, so the first seven episodes of season 6 likely mean the first nine episodes that aired in the fall/winter of 2022 (so episode seven is actually 6×09 in my nomenclature). It looks like 6×09 will be the winter finale.
What are you exploring thematically in Season 6?
Freddie Highmore: Dr Lim’s (played by Christina Chang) story is going to be incredibly intense, and isn’t something that will be dealt with quickly.
Aside from that intensity, there are discussions of Shaun taking on wider responsibility this season. We will see him getting to be a mentor and since that isn’t his natural arena, communication for him will be a challenge. Having Shaun be a bit more in control is an interesting perspective for the show, but that also means that his mistakes are magnified, and that’s interesting.
In light of so many people being angry at Lim for pushing Shaun away, I also want to highlight that Christina Chang herself said that Lim needs to be allowed to resent Shaun as part of her grieving process. Here you have it from the actress herself that this is a perfectly normal reaction and one that should be respected as part of her own emotional journey following a traumatic incident.
Can you tease for us what you are looking forward to for the rest of the season?
Christina Chang: In the 100th episode, Lim does meet somebody new. I think viewers might be interested in seeing this new character who enters Lim’s life, and see how they affect her.
Talk about insights into Dr. Lim and the emotional and physical aspects of playing somebody not only in a wheelchair but an accomplished surgeon whose life has been turned upside down.
Christina Chang: I would say from Dr. Lim’s perspective everything has shifted. She went from being a physical athlete who would ride motorcycles, go rock climbing and bungee jump—a clear risk-taking adrenaline junkie—to someone who is now she’s bound to this wheelchair. It’s changed her life outside of the hospital, and it’s changed her life in the hospital and the way she conducts surgeries. Obviously, it has altered the way that she feels that she’s being perceived, and that’s getting in her way. She’s navigating completely new terrain.
What was your reaction to Dr. Lim going on the date and being rejected by a guy who she thought had feelings for her?
Christina Chang: That was a really interesting scene to shoot actually, Daniel Dae Kim did a lovely job directing. That particular story was written based on several experiences that a wheelchair user in our writers’ room had. It’s experiencing [something] that he and his friends have experienced—this idea that when you’re in a wheelchair everybody’s nice to you, of course.
But then when it comes down to it, are they seeing you as a person who has a sexual or sensual quality as an adult, somebody that you could date, somebody that you could be in a relationship with?
When this writer first got into his wheelchair due to an accident, I think that was part of his journey. He’s very happily married with children now, but when he first started that was an interesting journey to experience the way others perceived him or did not perceive him.
The audience wants Shaun Murphy to succeed, so Dr. Lim’s justified anger and resentment at him kind of makes them go, “Well, he did save Dr. Lim’s life.”
Christina Chang: I don’t think it was that black and white for some people. I think there were many viewers who weren’t happy with Lim being upset with him. I think it’s such fertile ground to be able to explore that because I think you can be grateful that you’re alive and also be frustrated about the situation. You’re allowed to grieve. Those things are not mutually exclusive.
I think that’s what Lim is doing, as she’s grieving the life she used to have. She doesn’t always have to be right. I think it’s okay for our characters to make mistakes. I don’t necessarily think being frustrated with Shaun is a mistake, either.
[…] How much thought did you give to whether or not Dr. Lim should have the surgery? Who wouldn’t want to walk again and resume most of their life before this, but then do the risks outweigh the potential benefits? And as you’re playing those scenes are you thinking about what if this was me?
I’m different from Lim in several ways and similar in some ways. I think, especially the date that you brought up, that’s what propelled her to consider this. But we’ll see whether she accepts the second surgery in the future or not. It does seem like she would jump at the chance to do it, but also the risks are something that she can’t ignore. I have to say I understand her trepidation. I think wanting to get out of the chair is, of course, super enticing. But does the risk outweigh the reward? I don’t know. I have to say I might be hesitant at first, as well.
Lea, Queen of Servers
It’s nice to have a bit of a more substantial plot for Lea every now and then. And, yes, with a pretty routine-governed office job, it’s hard to find the dramatic high points that will have viewers glued to their seats. A heat-induced server meltdown certainly brings some action with much needed skills in crisis management and creative problem solving. And Lea came through, which Andrews also thankfully acknowledged.
It is realistic, though, that the Head of IT would be the one and only person in the server room, trying to manage and solve the impending operational doom of the hospital that would put hundreds of patients at risk? Hm, I think we all know the answer to that question. Sure, Lea has always been hands-on, and she would definitely want to be where the fires are burning (or rather the processors are overheating), but somehow they always make it look like Lea is the only person working in St. Bonaventure’s IT, solving all its computer related problems herself.
I think there was another missed opportunity here, with the fact that Shaun was doing a lot of his verbal sparring with Danica right there in front of Lea, and it never went beyond Lea giving both of them meaningful looks. I mentioned above that it was a good thing that Lea didn’t insert herself into that situation too much, but it would have been nice to have some follow up on that, seeing how Lea was privy to Shaun dismissing Danni from the case and his previous ‘Mr. Grumpy’ reactions.
I guess at the very least it saved the writers from having to insert another scene where Shaun goes to Lea for advice on how to handle his friction with Danni so that there’d be an explanation how Lea knows to inquire about his change in attitude towards Danni when they’re eating cake at the end.
A bit nerdy, perhaps, but I tried to figure out if Shaun actually ate the cake or not, and it’s hard to tell. It looks like he is somehow moving crumbs from one place to another before Danni approaches him. Did he use the napkin trick, maybe? Shaun seems to like sweet things, though, and the cakes he had as wedding cake options all looked similar to this. Shaun, are you a cake boy? Yes/no?
Morgan as a Mum
So… are we gonna see Morgan become a single mother? It has been teased by Liz Friedman recently, so with her having already harvested her eggs last season, it’s not impossible we’ll be seeing her pick a catalogue sperm dad and then try to carry an artificially fertilised and implanted egg to term. But boy, being a single mum with a demanding full time job on the side is super hard, particularly since she’s not very close with her family and wouldn’t necessarily have unconditional support there.
Asher made a comment to Morgan of, “Come on, you know that you and Park will get together again.” I think a lot of us are also thinking that, but will that really happen? It would sure help her if she decided to go through with a pregnancy. But would Park want to raise a second child that isn’t his? Interesting question.
The Scheduling Mess
A lot of people will have realised that there was a bit of a scheduling mess with this one. Episode 6×05 Growth Opportunities aired on Oct 31, and Hot and Bothered was supposed to air two weeks later on Nov 14. Everyone was advertising Nov 14 as the airdate, until the morning of said day, when people started noticing that the ABC schedule was listing a Mike Pence interview in the TGD time slot and the episode was being confirmed as being pushed out another week. This decision seemed to have been made very short notice on the day, since even some of the cast members were still saying on Nov 14 that the episode was going to air tonight.
At least one streaming platform must not have gotten the memo that the episode wasn’t supposed to be airing until a week later—even Sony Liv themselves aired the first few minutes of the episode on Monday night before they noticed and stopped the broadcast. Leaked full episode videos started appearing on illegal streaming websites and as torrent downloads over the course the week – and fans were catching on, to the point where whole scenes were uploaded to YouTube by overzealous fan accounts.
Looking at the ratings, it seems that they were pretty much on par with the rest of season 6, although they were 0.3 million viewers lower than the previous episode, albeit slightly higher 18-49 demo numbers for this episode over the previous one. But with all the promotion leading up to Hot and Bothered, you’d like to think there was an expectation that it would attract a larger viewership. Perhaps ABC shot themselves in the foot with this whole spontaneous rescheduling and subsequent episode leak screwup.
Favourite Lines and Dialogues
Shaun: “Kevin says it’s going to be 109 degrees today.”
So we’re on a first name basis with the Weather Channel presenters now, Shaun?
Shaun: “If you need to, you can borrow my hoodie.”
Aw, Shaun. Such a sweet show of love to share with your wife.
Danica: “Do I get matching gear? Like a Team Murphy uniform?”
I love Danni’s attempt at humour, and Shaun’s subsequent unintentional disregard of it.
Lea: “What’s with Mr. Grumpy?”
Shaun: “I’m not Mr. Grumpy.”
Extra points for Shaun actually getting right away that the metaphor is meant to be him.
Lea: “How is she annoying?”
Shaun: “She’s… contrary.”
Lea: “Oh. Kind of sounds like someone we know?”
Shaun: “Yes. But I like Morgan.”
Oh dear. That was a hint that Shaun did not understand. And the look that Lea gives Shaun here says le sigh.
Morgan: “He’s all yours, Starsky.”
Poor Asher, chasing after not-Art. I love Morgan’s dry one-liners, though.
Danica: “She who brings the long-armed n00b plays the long-armed n00b.”
Go Danni! I’d want Lim on my team, too.
Glassman: “I work with people I don’t like all the time… Carol.”
Really, Glassy? Now you’re just mean. Poor Carol. What did she ever do to you?
Glassman: “I used to have a magic show. Amazing Aaron’s… Magic Show.”
Don’t we all wanna see Amazing Aaron’s Magic Show? Come on, give us a taste, Aaron. I wonder if the small smile on Shaun’s face here is Shaun or Freddie. Did they fumble over this scene and now Freddie can’t hide the grin? I dunno, I could totally see that. Or else perhaps it was just Shaun actually being amused at learning that his dad used to be a magic trick performer in his earlier years.
Lim: “You’re a doctor.”
Clay: “Pediatrician. I play much better against the kids.”
Our paeds guy has a sense of humour. I like!
Glassman: “Life is hard. Sometimes the pain of loss or whatever is so acute, you don’t know how you’re gonna go on or why. And then you find a reason, or a reason finds you. Someone needs you. You find love, a purpose.”
This was a really beautiful way of Glassman saying that Shaun basically saved his life, that he brought purpose and meaning and love back into it. It’s really sweet and magical.
Danica: “This is San Jose, there is no weather.”
Shaun: “Helsinki has a lot of weather.”
Lol Shaun. It sure does. Could there be a more classic Shaun quote than this?
Shaun: “Very stubborn, and… almonds.”
This line was delivered so on-point that it makes me laugh, even though it wasn’t really meant to be funny. It was very Shaun.
Danica: “I’ve seen you get distracted when something irritates your sensibilities. Never seen that make you a jackass.”
Ooooh, shots fired! Boldly said, Dr. Powell. I love her feistiness.
Asher: “I wonder if Jerome will wait for me. Till we get out of jail.”
Haha. Let’s hope he would.
Danny: “You’re an amazing person.”
That took a lot of guts to say. Dude has a backbone, and I like that.
Not necessarily something that would be vital to the episode, but I would love to have been witness to the conversation that night between Shaun and Lea when he tells her that Danica called him a jackass to his face. I’m sure there are more follow-up conversations to be had with Shaun, but I’m also sure we won’t be seeing them. All right. Headcanon, it is.
Best Shaun Muffin Face
No Spoilers, please!
Quick reminder that I love feedback but try very hard to actively avoid any kind of spoilers for upcoming episodes. Please don’t mention any spoilers in your comments, which includes information from episode promos, stills and other official promo material. Thanks, guys!