There’s a reason why I try to avoid spoilers like the plague, and it always sucks balls when I get spoiled anyway because people forget I don’t like knowing ahead of time what’s to come. That said, I ended up actually liking the episode a lot more than I thought. I have mixed feelings for sure, but there’s a lot of good things to denote.
Written by Garrett Lerner & Adam Scott Weissman
Directed by Mike Listo
Original airdate 28 Nov 2022
Patient #1 – Gena Cooper
Marcus Andrews, Isabel Barnes (Andrews’ ex-wife)
Sextuplet pregnancy with complications
- Gena and her husband Jack had trouble conceiving so Dr. Barnes prescribed clomiphene, an infertility drug to induce ovulation. The drug worked a little too well, Gena became pregnant with six babies after just one round of treatment.
- Two of the babies require immediate surgical intervention, Gena needs to undergo a Caesarean right away to deliver the babies if they want to give them all a chance to live.
- All of the babies will be under two pounds at birth, which means they will all need extra care and attention so that their lungs can mature in the NICU enough. A team of surgeons is assembled to make sure they do what they can to save them all.
Patient #2 – Baby A (Abigail)
Asher Wolke, Jerome Martel
Premature birth, no other complications
- Apgar score 7, girl.
- Apgar score improves quickly and Abigail starts crying, she is the first to be taken to her parents to see her.
- As they keep monitoring the baby, her O2 saturation falls and she becomes bradycardic. Jerome starts singing ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ to her and her condition improves – she forgot to breathe.
Patient #3 – Baby B (Byron)
Premature birth, no other complications
- Apgar score 5, boy, shared a placenta and is identical twins with baby C.
- Andrews orders for Baby B and Baby C to be bedded together.
- O2 saturation is increasing as they wait, they take him off the vent eventually.
- He starts crying at the same time as his brother who’s lying next to him.
Patient #4 – Baby C (Christopher)
Premature birth, total anomalous pulmonary venous return
- Apgar score 4, boy.
- Ordered to be bedded together with his identical twin.
- In the NICU Baby C becomes cyanotic (low blood oxygen), tachypnoeic (rapid breathing) and retracting (breathing difficulties). Park also diagnoses a systolic heart murmur.
- They order an echocardiogram, a chest x-ray, BNP and C (brain natriuretic peptide and C-type natriuretic peptide blood tests) to confirm congestive heart failure.
- The chest x-ray reveals a snowman sign, which indicates pulmonary drainage issues. Park and Morgan postulate it will most likely be TAPVR (a cardiac birth defect). They book an OR for a surgical fix.
- O2 saturation improves after the surgery. Andrews orders an endoscopic exam to rule out vocal cord palsy from the TAPVR.
- We can only assume the scoping didn’t find anything wrong since he starts crying at the same time as his brother who’s lying next to him.
Patient #5 – Baby D (Derek)
Shaun Murphy, Daniel Perez
Premature birth, unknown condition requiring bone marrow transfusion, oesophageal fistula
- Apgar score 6, boy.
- Shaun diagnoses nevus simplex (a type of capillary malformation) and meconium-stained amniotic fluid (meconium is the first stool a baby passes). They order labs to see if that’s something to worry about.
- Shaun and Danny aspirate a bone marrow sample for microscopic analysis.
- The baby will need a bone marrow transfusion, the father is a match so Shaun extracts bone marrow from him that they transfuse.
- Danny can’t place the NG tube into the stomach and the baby starts drooling which indicates a tracheoesophageal fistula that has to be operated on.
- During the surgery, Danny misses to mobilise the oesophagus before isolating the fistula which increases the risk for complications. Shaun takes over.
- After the surgery, they wait to see if the baby will improve and he starts crying soon thereafter, indicating he will be okay.
Patient #6 – Baby E (EJ – Erin Jordan)
Aaron Glassman, Jordan Allen
Premature birth with spina bifida, patent ductus arteriosus
- Apgar score 6, girl.
- Went to the OR after delivery for spina bifida surgery.
- During surgery, oxygenation decreases but the baby can’t be placed on its back due to the spina bifida surgery to treat her lungs. It is unlikely she will survive.
- Her lungs are filling with fluid and she’s going into heart failure.
- Jordan suggests she and Glassman use a technique called hypnagogia that can help with creating breakthrough solutions since there’s nothing else they can do other than watch and wait.
- Just after he drifts off to sleep and then Jordan wakes him, Glassman has the idea to go through the groin and check that way if she has patent ductus arteriosus (oh hello, callback to Alma’s baby from season 5).
- Glassman and Jordan get consent to fix the defect with a Piccolo Occluder. They gain access through the umbilical vessels since the baby still can’t be placed on her back and the baby makes it.
Patient #7 – Baby F (Francesca)
Audrey Lim, Danica Powell
Premature birth with airway cyst and diaphragmatic hernia
- Baby F has a mass in her airway that’s causing narrowing of the trachea.
- The mass is also causing the lungs to be underdeveloped and there’s a high risk of heart failure.
- Baby F is partially delivered so the placenta can still deliver oxygen to the baby while Lim performs the laparoscopic surgery to remove the tracheal cyst.
- The cyst is decompressed quickly and Baby F can be delivered, it’s a girl, Apgar score 5.
- Lim decreases her meds and takes her off the vent, she starts breathing on her own.
- As they want to feed the baby colostrum, her O2 saturation plummets but they find no airway obstruction.
- Lim’s date Clay, the paediatrician, suggest it may be a diaphragmatic hernia which causes her organs to protrude into her chest and impair lung function.
- The diagnosis is confirmed and fixed surgically, the baby recovers.
Shaun & Lea’s Journey
Shaun and Lea are getting ready for work in the morning, and Lea is happy because she’s finished her last round of anticoagulants after her miscarriage a year ago and is now putting up a print-out of her menstrual cycle on their fridge door. She has an OB-GYN appointment later that day to confirm everything is in order, maybe they can start trying to conceive again.
Shaun is a little sceptical, it’s only been a year, but Lea tells him to send good vibes into the universe so that good things come back. Her enthusiasm is contagious, because Shaun is all for making a baby with his wife, eager to immediately get on it, seeing how he has 23 minutes before needs to leave for work.
Lea checks with him if maybe they want to save his swimmy guys until she ovulates, but recent research indicates frequent ejaculation improves sperm motility. And they’re off for a practice run!
Did you notice that the ovulation calendar print-out Lea puts up has a consistency error? Day 4 and Day 5 are mentioned twice. Might explain why sometimes the in-episode timing seems fucky. They have Shaun and Lea caught in a time loop. Suddenly that explains it. But seriously, whichever prop person made this, there’s something to be said for proof-reading…
Case in point, probably, because in this scene it’s mentioned that Lea lost the baby a year ago, which seems… odd. This happened in episode 4×16, so almost two seasons ago, and we’ve only ever been made to believe that a full season is one year of in-episode time. So how does that work? Fucky timing strikes again.
Quite apt and timely that the big medical case that Shaun (and all his surgical colleagues) are working on is the delivery of sextuplets who are all preemies and need close care and intensive monitoring after birth. Shaun, together with Danny, is being assigned to Baby D (later called Derek). When the baby is being delivered and handed to him, he takes a long moment just holding the baby before they can take him to the NICU.
And is it really a surprise? He and Lea lost a baby that wasn’t all that much younger than this tiny human he now holds in his hands, and then there was Alma’s baby several months prior who died after an emergency C-section that Shaun was largely involved in and that sent him into a huge meltdown afterwards. There’s lots of emotional baggage where preemies are concerned, and it must hit close to home.
When Shaun teaches Danny how to perform the spinal fluid sampling on a newborn, he tells Danny that he needs to be more decisive and aggressive as a surgeon, also mentioning that Shaun has to leave for a few hours because he’s accompanying Lea to their OB-GYN appointment (not sure why this takes a few hours, seems like they’re just doing an ultrasound right there at St. Bon’s, seeing how Shaun is in his blue scrubs for it, but okay).
Shaun also readily shares with Danny that Lea miscarried at 22 weeks last year, which prompts Danny to ask Shaun outright if that’s why he took a moment when Baby D was handed to him. Shaun simply says, “Yes,” and moves on. Danny likes to think Shaun will make a great father, but Shaun says he’s not qualified to make that prediction. I like how Danny just smiles at that, he’s certainly cool with Shaun’s rather blunt manner.
Lea’s OB-GYN appointment doesn’t really go as they’d hoped. When Dr. Winkler is performing an ultrasound of Lea’s uterus, it shows scar tissue from her foetoscopic surgery and her D&C, and it’s not encouraging. Shaun remarks that it looks like Asherman’s syndrome, which is basically formation of intra-uterine scar tissue that causes the uterine walls to stick together.
The surgical solution to this is removing the adhesions through hysteroscopy, which may increase the chance of being able to conceive, but there’s a not exactly insignificant chance that Lea could never carry children of her own. Winkler recommends to continue birth control and wait another year and then re-evaluate.
The hits just keep coming, and you know it’s bad when Shaun reaches out to reassuringly touch Lea’s shoulder. Tears form in her eyes, because that was definitely not what they were expecting to hear.
When Shaun gets back to the hospital, Danny asks him how the appointment went. Shaun’s predictably taciturn and just says, “Not well.” When Danny asks him if he’s okay, he simply says no, but his demeanour speaks volumes, and I think Danny sees that, too. They’re quickly distracted by Baby D’s medical condition that requires emergency surgery.
As they perform the laparoscopic surgery, Danny takes Shaun’s advice to heart to be more decisive and aggressive, but unfortunately it’s the wrong thing to do so since he isolates the fistula a little too eagerly and misses vital steps that will now increase the risk for complications. Shaun gets pretty upset and takes over the surgery, knowing he is partly responsible for the situation. Probably a lesson for both Shaun and Danny to try and communicate better in the future.
To catch a break from monitoring Baby D, Shaun has dinner with Lea in her office that night. The atmosphere is tangibly gloomy, there’s few words spoken between them. Shaun remembers their conversation from earlier that morning and tries to lighten the mood a little by stating that the chance for live birth after treatment for Asherman’s is 67% and that their chances for conception aren’t that bad.
He wants to keep sending good vibes into the universe so that good things come back, and Lea appreciates the gesture, but she’s not receptive to positive vibes right now. She’s just really sad. With a sigh, Shaun says, “I know.” Sweet, wonderful Shaunie. Always trying to have a positive outlook, but of course life isn’t always made for that and tends to throw you real curveballs sometimes.
I’m sure lots of fans were hoping that Shaun would go and hug Lea or comfort her in some way in this scene, but I think it served as a great and very palpable reminder that Shaun’s ASD sometimes gets in the way of these things. I’m sure that’s not always easy for Lea, but after all these years with Shaun, she would know that this comes with being married to and sharing her life with him.
Baby D makes it through the night and has his crying breakthrough just after 4 am with both Shaun and Danny being right there. Shaun takes the tiny baby into his hands and tells Danny he should feel bad, but not too bad. I do hope that Shaun remembers all those times he fucked up as a resident but it still turned out okay in the end.
When Shaun and Lea get home after the long ordeal with the preemies, Shaun hangs his jacket by the door. Lea goes to get something from the fridge. Her eyes land on the ovulation calendar on the door, and she steps back, taking in the reminder of the bad news they were given.
‘Boys Don’t Cry’ plays in the background as Lea breaks into tears. Shaun immediately steps closer and pulls the printout off the door, then draws Lea close. She puts her arms around him and they hold each other as she cries into his chest for a baby they want so badly but may never have.
This is a surprise for Marcus, his ex-wife Isabel Barnes turns up at the hospital and presents a case to him. Apparently he’s ignored all her previous messages about it, so she chose the last remaining route: Drop by in person.
In her profession as OB-GYN, she has a patient with sextuplets in the later stages of pregnancy, and delivery of the babies is now getting more urgent because at least two of them require immediate surgical intervention if they hope to survive. Isabel hopes that Marcus is willing to take on the case and try to save all the babies and the mother.
Marcus is reluctant at first, but quickly decides it wouldn’t be fair to the mother to turn her away. They start devising a plan how to deliver the babies in rapid succession with their best team of nurses and surgeons.
First thing I thought when I saw this scene was, “Wait a minute, did they recast Andrews’ wife?” And yes, they did. Probably because of availability of the original actress.
The sextuplet case ends up a true success. The mother and all six children make it through the first day and it looks like they will all make it and go home with their parents. That’s wonderful news, and Isabel makes sure she thanks Marcus for taking on the case. She also apologises to him for giving up on them and for cheating on him.
Andrews concedes that perhaps he also didn’t do his part and didn’t pay enough attention. Could the both of them perhaps find their way back to each other, like the parents Gena and Jack did? Who knows if they will reconnect, but there seems to be an open door now.
Audrey is tasked with the trickiest part of the sextuplet delivery, she and Danni are assigned the baby with the tracheal cyst that needs to be removed while the baby is still half in utero. In the midst of all this, she is being asked out by Clay, our paediatrician wheelchair basketball captain we met last week.
Audrey isn’t sure she wants to start dating again, but Danni encourages her that she should get back in the game, and she assures Audrey that, as opposed to random parking garage guy Curtis, it’s definitely a real date.
Turns out Clay knows how to win a woman’s heart, because he turns up at the hospital with a good selection of take-out that he presents to Audrey. They small talk a little about movies and baseball, but Audrey’s mind is with Baby F. Clay can see it, and he asks her to walk him through the case, maybe he can help.
When they can’t figure out why the baby has trouble breathing, Clay actually makes a smart suggestion that she and Danni hadn’t considered yet, and it turns out he was right. And Clay confirms that this is definitely a date, because cause he was hoping he would get to kiss her. And kiss, they do. Danni later confesses to Audrey that she texted Clay to bring her dinner, but Audrey doesn’t seem to mind so much. She’s actually thankful for the gentle push and invites Danni to scrub in on the surgery later.
Alex & Morgan’s Journey
Much to their dismay, Alex and Morgan are assigned the identical twins whom Andrews orders to be bedded together. Neither of them are thrilled that they’ll be spending an extended period of time having to interact with each other, which Alex wants to confine to medically necessary conversation only.
He sees her scrolling through the sperm donor database and asks if she’s on Tinder. Morgan actually tells him she’s trying to decide on a sperm donor, and maybe on a whim he offers to help with that. Because why look for a stranger when she can have someone she knows very well?
Morgan considers the offer, but she declines. It would hurt too much to see Alex every time she looks at her kid. Alex later admits that it would hurt him too, to have a kid with Morgan and not being a part of their lives.
It’s a strange thing, they are still very attached to each other, but not attached enough to make a partnership work. However, they finally get to a point where they’re not spitting in each other’s faces anymore, and Morgan invites him to breakfast so he can help her decide on an Alex-approved sperm donor later.
Asher & Jerome’s Journey
As Asher and Jerome get to work together on Baby A, the topic of kids comes up. Jerome has three siblings and always imagined having a big family. Asher has seven siblings, which is the reason why he doesn’t want kids of his own. And that’s probably something that they need to talk about.
When Baby A has a bit of a breathing crisis, the both of them try to figure out what the issue is, and Jerome remembers something about preemies that he counters by starting to sing to the little girl. He gives a gentle rendition of ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ with Asher looking on in wonderment. Amazingly, it works and Baby A breathes again, and I think Asher comes to a realisation right there, too.
Jerome shares that he had a Goth mom who sang ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ to him as a lullaby. It humiliated Jerome when she picked him up from school, blasting Joy Division, but she was a good mom. Asher’s father humiliated his kids too by singing way too loudly in shul, and Asher thinks that it’ll be fun to embarrass their kids someday – far, far in the future. It elicits a chuckle and a happy smile from Jerome.
As they’re about to head home, Asher waits for Jerome in the locker room and gently sings ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ to him. Another declaration of love and commitment and that these two are definitely meant to be tother and have a family.
Jordan & Glassman
Last episode we saw Park paired with Glassman, this time around it’s Jordan, and it’s nice and refreshing to see Glassy being challenged a little by the young ‘uns to question his ways of doing things. In the OR, the two of them need some time to find their groove, and Glassman can’t believe that Jordan doesn’t know Vin Scully is (he was a famous US sportscaster, mostly covering baseball games).
With Jordan and Glassman coming from totally different viewpoints and cultural beliefs, it’s an interesting dynamic. Jordan thinks the mother is a hero for bringing six babies into the world. Glassman thinks it’s foolhardy and that there’s no such thing as miracles. There’s just medicine, risk and reality.
When the baby they’re looking after is deteriorating to the point where it’s very unlikely he will survive, Glassman’s hope dwindles and he fully expects the baby not to make it, but Jordan holds out hope. While Glassman is ready to give up and go home since nothing else can be done, Jordan suggests they try a more unconventional approach.
Glassman thinks the technique is bogus and a pointless endeavour, but props to him for indulging Jordan to try it anyway after Andrews confirms that it’s better than doing nothing. Interestingly enough, it works, and in a team work effort they find a way to save the baby’s life.
Both are grateful in the end. Jordan thanks Glassman for humouring her crazy idea, and Glassman thanks Jordan for not letting him give up on hope. Sometimes Grumpy Glassy just needs a little gentle encouragement, doesn’t he? And it’s really sweet that Gena and Jack name Baby E EJ, which stands for Erin Jordan.
Things to Further Dissect
The Shea Baby Dilemma
Of course this is now the pervading topic among fans to fret over, but I’m actually not all that disconcerted with this plot development. Yes, of course I’m bummed that there’s a tangible chance Shaun and Lea may never have biological children for Lea to carry. We know that they both really want that, and it’d be sad to see that experience being taken from them, but there’s several aspects about this that I think have great potential, so I’m keeping an open mind.
First of all, they weren’t given a definite no. Lea was diagnosed with something called Asherman’s syndrome, which is basically the forming of scar tissue inside the uterus which can cause malformations, can even make the uterine walls adhere to one another. According to Wikipedia, the vast majority of cases occur after a D&C is performed on a recently pregnant uterus, which explains Lea’s pathophysiology.
Asherman’s syndrome can lead to infertility and other issues, including menstrual and placental anomalies. As also mentioned in the episode, there are ways to try and treat it surgically. Removing adhesions can restore fertility if the adhesions are mild in nature, which is what Shaun was mentioning during the dinner scene in Lea’s office.
Research suggest that in patients under 35, there’s a 66.6% chance for pregnancy after successful removal of adhesions if no new scar tissue forms. (Shaun mentions this, too.) However, pregnancies after intrauterine surgery like this have a markedly increased risk for significant complications, including second trimester pregnancy loss and uterine rupture. Let’s hope that this is not in the stars for them.
So where does that leave us? The obvious route is that they might decide for Lea to try for the hysteroscopy (not to be mixed up with a hysterectomy, which is removing the whole uterus) to see whether that will increase her chances to have a successful pregnancy. And then of course there’s two ways that could go – either the surgery is considered a success and they try for a biological child, or it isn’t, and they will have to give up on the idea of Lea carrying their child.
If the latter is the case, think that both Shaun and Lea will then consider alternative options, the most likely of them being adoption. Surrogacy is also a possibility, but personally I can’t see either Shaun or Lea wishing to go that route. It would actually be a really beautiful thing if they chose to adopt a child, kinda like Shaun paying it forward what happened with him and Glassman, even if they never made it official on paper.
Of course the show has made it very clear that Shaun and Lea both want a biological child, which makes it a real blow that it may not be possible for them to live that dream. Here’s a few aspects to consider, however.
First of all, Shaun has communicated in the past that what’s most important to him is having a child he can love. He loves Lea and he wants to make her happy, so if they can make a child together that he can love, that’s wonderful. But I think he’d be just as fine with adopting a child that they can mutually raise and love. From his own experience, he knows that you can love a father who isn’t your biological maker just as much or more than the person whom you’re genetically linked to.
From the mid-season 4 arc, we know that—like a lot of fathers—Shaun isn’t going to be as connected to the baby inside Lea’s belly as she would be. I believe that, once a baby would become more tangible as an actual human being, like hearing a heartbeat or feeling it moving, he would form important parts of that connection, but again, I don’t think Shaun will care very deeply about that physical aspect or the genetics of the child.
Keeping that in mind, I don’t think that Shaun will value surrogacy over adoption just for the genetic aspect. There’s also a possible genetic component to Shaun’s ASD, so their biological child might have an increased risk of also developing some form of ASD. That’s something to consider in terms of surrogacy, too.
I really don’t know what Lea’s stance on this might be. If she can’t carry a child herself, would it be important to her that it’s her own eggs and Shaun’s sperm that determine whom they love and raise? Knowing Shaun’s story, I think she would also be open to adoption. Which leaves the question: Would they want to actively seek out to adopt a special needs child?
I don’t know what the answer to that might be. They both work full time demanding jobs, and I don’t see either of them wanting to cut back on their hours. Then again, if they find a child that they love and want to care for, that will probably become a secondary concern that they will work out along the way. I don’t wanna make too many predictions around this, because the writers tend to surprise us with unexpected things anyway.
The tropey way to cover adoption would be a storyline similar to what we saw with Andrews in season 5 where he happened across a teenage boy by chance who was living in a foster home and would have been a great candidate for adoption. It could certainly happen that Shaun and Lea make the acquaintance of a child in need that they decide to adopt. Extra points if it’s a child who gets attached to Shaun in some way.
I’m open to all these possibilities. I think we know Shaun will be a great father, no matter what. Interestingly, Danny also remarked on that, even though Shaun told him he doesn’t know him long enough to truly judge on that.
Daniela mentioned something to me that I think is also important to highlight purely in terms of dramatic TV writing. The theme of Shaun wanting to be a good father has been highlighted across the seasons multiple times, most prominently in season 4 when Lea was pregnant. But the thing is, when you have a tiny baby who can’t communicate or rationally understand you, where the everyday tasks of good parenting are mainly feeding, diapering and putting it to sleep, there isn’t much that determines whether you’re a good father or not.
I’m not saying you can’t mess things up at that age, but the true connections with your child are formed along the way when they become old enough to talk and communicate and can appreciate what you’re doing for them.
So if the show decided to go the route of having Lea get pregnant, what parts of parenting a young baby would be truly interesting to showcase beyond the sleep deprivation and the diapering and feeding?
Wouldn’t it be much more fascinating to witness the stages of Shaun and Lea dealing with a talking toddler who is developing their own personality, particularly how Shaun deals with that? Not to mention that shooting a weekly show with babies is challenging (or, you know, lots of baby doll props and remote-controlled silicone baby usage). Those may be a factors more indicative of them going the adoption route, but who knows what the creative team has in mind for Shea…
It’s happening to Shaun, too…
I’d like to highlight this because I think a lot of people are focusing right now on the fact that the news about the uterine complications hit Lea especially hard and are talking about how terrible this is for her. But we mustn’t forget that Shaun is part of that equation, and that he, too, has profound feelings of sorrow and grief.
During the loss of their child in season 4, Shaun was the rock who held Lea up, who gave her unconditional support and whom we only ever saw tear up once. When they received the news about Lea’s Asherman’s syndrome, he looked like he took it in stride, was trying to focus on the positive and didn’t seem too perturbed by all of this.
But please don’t let that fool you into thinking that Shaun doesn’t feel the disappointment or the sorrow or sadness. It’s his ASD that makes it harder for him to externalise and act on those feelings, perhaps even to understand them in the first place. The fact that he didn’t cry or break down when they received the news doesn’t mean that he’s an emotionless robot. Far from it.
Shaun loves Lea to pieces, and of course he could see how hard this was hitting her. She even verbalised that to him to make extra sure he knew how she was feeling. I could be wrong about this, but I think he subconsciously puts his own grief aside so he can be there for her through this difficult time, like he was when they lost their baby. But the fact that you don’t always see Shaun’s inner turmoil doesn’t mean he doesn’t feel deeply.
Do you remember how he threw himself into Glassman’s arms outside the OR when Lea was undergoing the D&C—how he clung on to Glassman for the support and consolation? Do you remember how hard the death of Alma’s baby was hitting Shaun, how it sent him flying into a violent meltdown in the pharmacy? Do you remember how Shaun hesitated and froze up briefly when Isla asked him why he and Lea didn’t have a baby in The Family?
Now he’s tasked with saving the life of another preemie, and he took a long moment when he was handed Baby D, which even Danny noticed and specifically asked Shaun about later. All of this brings back those memories of their unborn child, and they still hurt. Now hearing that they may never have a biological child undoubtedly leaves a mark on Shaun.
Interesting side note here, I commented on Melissa Reiner’s episode insights video for 6×07 to hear her take on Shaun’s emotional processing, and maybe her response is a little evasive, but she also confirmed that Shaun definitely isn’t an emotionless robot whose negative feelings roll off his back to easily shake them off.
I was wondering about this line and Shaun’s reaction in that scene. His response in that moment felt like a tribute to Shaun’s ASD because I think as neurotypicals you wanna yell at him, “Go hug her!” But this is Shaun, and we should know by now that’s not how his mind and his perception works, right? Can you speak to your take on Shaun’s emotional processing of the whole situation around Lea’s diagnosis? He was such a champion when they lost their baby back in season 4, and now he’s the one holding up a distraught Lea once again, putting his own sorrow aside so he can support the wife that he loves with all of his heart and soul.
I think a lot of people perceive him as being emotionally unaffected or less affected because doesn’t always have those same outward emotional reactions. I’d like to believe he feels just as deeply, he maybe just doesn’t always have access to that or doesn’t truly understand what it is that he’s feeling or what it means when he has those emotions inside of him. Am I interpreting that right? I could imagine this must be hitting Shaun just as hard as Lea…
Regardless of whether or not we have a diagnosis of autism, so many of us struggle to access our true emotional life. Maybe because we shut down to protect ourselves, or maybe simply because we are just processing through. Everyone feels. And while I think it’s true that some people feel more deeply than others, and while I feel that some of us may be challenged in our ability to express our emotional experience in any given moment, we all feel.
The Good Doctor is running on its own incredibly bendable time passage system again. Shaun and Lea lost their baby in episode 4×16, which is almost two seasons ago. How is episode 6×07 supposed to be exactly a year from then when a season usually covers a year of time in their fictional universe?
It’s not the first time this kind of blunder has happened. They constantly warp time to whatever suits their plot points best. There was a pretty big inconsistency around this with the timing mentioned in the episodes before and after last winter break… Sometimes I wish they’d pay more attention to these details, because the fans definitely notice!
I liked what they did with all the pairings in the episode. Morgan and Alex thankfully seem to be burying their hatchet, and who knows if maybe reconciliation isn’t in the stars for them after all. I’d welcome that.
Asher and Jerome are as cute as ever and I totally dig them. Audrey and Clay are awesome, and I really want that to be a thing. Hashtag Clim? Claydrey? Audray? Too bad we don’t know his last name.
Andrews and Isabel, yep, on board with that too, although I gotta say I’m not super invested. We don’t know very much about Isabel, and it’s always kinda weird when they recast people, even if it’s just small recurring roles.
I also love the Lim and Danni camaraderie. I really hope they keep Danni on, she would be a great friend and ally to Audrey. Speaking of friends to Audrey, I was talking to a fellow fan about Danny the other day, and they said that Danny reminds them a little of Claire, when I went, huh. You’re right. He’s kind of the sensitive, touchy-feely guy, isn’t he? I like it.
Favourite Lines and Dialogues
Shaun: “Okay. We are going to make a baby.”
Yes, Shaun, go make a baby!
Lea: “Should we save your swimmy guys until I ovulate?”
Swimmy guys? lol
Glassman: “You can talk, just not like Vin Scully.”
Jordan: “Who’s Vin Scully?”
Glassman: “All right, scrub out. … I’m kidding. Mostly.”
Mostly, huh? I love Glassman’s dry humour.
Danica: “I didn’t have sex for 17 months after I lost my leg. And then, when I did, I thought, oh yeah, I remember this. It’s awesome.”
I love how Danni plays dating advocate for Lim. Please more of that.
Alex: “Genetics can also determine your sense of humor, your values…”
Morgan: “You want me to have the sperm bank ask them all to write a knock-knock joke and an answer to the trolley problem?”
Morgan – never disappoints with the deadpan quips.
By the way, the trolley problem is an ethical experiment where one is to make a decision whether to stand by, do nothing and let a scenario unravel that will kill several people or make a conscious decision to intervene and knowingly kill one person to save all the others. One such scenario is a train about to collide with several people that you have the chance to reroute to a different track where it will kill only one person instead.
Danny: “Are you okay?”
I love how Freddie can make just one word speak volumes. Which Shaun does right here.
Clay: “This is a real date. I mean, it will be, once we kiss.”
I like his assertiveness. Clay is a welcome addition in my book. Please keep him on.
Shaun: “I’m sending good vibes into the universe so good things come back.”
Aw, sweet Shaun. He always means so well. Yes, he misses the mark a little here, but he gets points for trying.
Glassman: “Okay, when I go to bed tonight, I’ll cuddle with barbell while holding onto a lightbulb. How’s that?”
Always with the cynicism. Glassy, Glassy, Glassy.
Glassman: “Thank you for helping me to not give up on hope.”
I like that he actually said thanks to Jordan. Not all is lost yet for Grumpy Glassy.
Shaun: “You should feel bad, but not too bad.”
Shaun’s way of saying ‘well done’, right?
I kinda hate that we won’t see when Shaun breaks the news to Dr. Glassman that Lea may never be able to conceive. I do hope that we’ll get to see a conversation between them about it, though. While the hysteroscopy is something that Shaun and Lea will have to decide together, I’d like to think that Shaun would at least want to talk to his dad about it. And I’m sure that Aaron will also be saddened, cause he was totally looking forward to becoming Grampa of a sweet little Murphy kid.
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!
This is definitely the baby episode, with the sextuplet delivery at the center. Other baby-related scenarios: Morgan/Park, who seen to be taking baby steps (sorry) to getting back together (?), Asher/Jerome, with Asher tentatively saying he’s open to a baby, and of course, the main concern for fandom, Shea baby.
You’re absolutely right that Shaun definitely feels sorrow, grief, about the miscarriage and now about the possibility that they’d never have a biological child. Shaun was indeed an absolute rock after the miscarriage; he’s doing the same now. But yes, he does have deep feelings even though he doesn’t seem to show them, except to people who know him well (like us!). There’s a professional view that autistic people, far from lacking or incomplete feelings, actually at times feel TOO much. Shaun’s feelings, particularly anger, hurt, (Lea, Glassy), or frustration (Ethicure, Salen), can build up to extreme pressure, resulting in meltdowns. As for grief or sorrow, I think the more taciturn Shaun is, the greater the feeling.
You’re also right about Shaun’s connection with preemies; that slight but genuine smile when he picked up the finally crying Baby D, all the examples you cited. I’d go further; he has a soft spot for babies in general. In Quarantine Pt 2, when he delivered Viola’s baby, that tender look on his face as he held the baby. That had nothing to do with Lea, or the thought of his possible child; he was clearly moved. I think he feels less than Lea about the importance of her carrying a baby; he’d be fine with adoption. He may even prefer it, to avoid possible danger to Lea. But we’ll find out more about her condition and its ramifications, I’m sure.
There’s a reason why this episode was called Boys Don’t Cry; obviously sextuplet related, but also, as you said, because of Shaun holding back his own grief for Lea’s sake.
“I just keep on laughing, hiding the tears in my eyes” — Boys Don’t Cry
I really like Clay (whose last name is Porter, per IMDb), I hope something comes of him and Lim, who BTW, is something of a flirt.
Another favorite line(s):
Jack Hope you’ll be blessed like us.
Shaun: I hope so too. But not as blessed.