A page dedicated to the Shaun/Lea Pairing of ABC’s "The Good Doctor"

Season 6 Recap: 6×15 Old Friends

How sweet and wholesome was this episode? The whole time I felt like Shaun, giddily bobbing up and down outside Lim’s office when Jared was hired. ALL the Shaun love, and old friends returning didn’t just make Shaun happy.

The Technicalities

Written by Adam Scott Weissman
Directed by Mike Listo
Original airdate 06 Mar 2023

Patient Cases

Patient #1 – Sonja Baylor

Treating physicians:
Morgan Reznick, Jordan Allen

Premature rupture of the amniotic membranes and resulting chorioamnionitis

Case notes:

  • Sonja is one of Morgan’s clinical trial patients, approx. 22 weeks pregnant and presents at a routine study visit with slight amniotic fluid discharge
  • A Fern test confirms Sonja has a premature rupture of the membranes (PPROM)
  • The recommended course of action is to terminate the pregnancy to pre-empt likely infection, alternative course of treatment is in-patient management and antibiotics, but this is more risky and children have a high probability of cerebral palsy, neurological abnormalities or intellectual disability
  • Sonja and her husband have tried to conceive for five years and had two first trimester miscarriages in the past, Sonja is adamant she wants to try everything to keep the baby
  • As they keep monitoring her, Sonja develops a uterine infection, which they treat with antibiotics
  • Even though termination of the pregnancy is now becoming more pressing because the infection is putting both the baby and Sonja at risk, Sonja refuses to agree to that option, seeing how her daughter is not viable to survive outside the womb
  • Labs confirm that Sonja has chorioamnionitis (infection of the placenta and amniotic fluid), Lim suggests adding gentamicin which is likely to damage the baby’s kidneys
  • Sonja’s fever keeps rising to the point where her oxygen saturation is becoming too low and she has to be sedated and intubated, Sonja still refuses termination
  • Jordan manages to convince Sonja to save herself by going through the termination, Sonja insists that Jordan do the procedure herself
  • Sonja’s pregnancy is terminated and Sonja makes it out alive with her husband by her side

Patient #2 – Roland Barnes

Treating physicians:
Shaun Murphy, Asher Wolke, Jared Kalu

Blunt force trauma sternal and rib injuries, subsequent diagnosis of neurocysticercosis

Case notes:

  • Roland is admitted to St. Bonaventure with deep chest wall lacerations, multiple rib fractures and hemopneumothorax after being attacked by a tiger
  • A CT scan reveals a depressed and dislocated sternum, manubrium and rib fractures, but the bones are too fragmented for standard sternal reconstruction
  • Shaun devises surgical plan to completely rebuild the sternum and anterior chest wall with donor bone and titanium plates
  • During the surgery, Roland’s blood pressure drops and cardiac output tanks, they suspect a cardiac contusion that wasn’t visible in the CT images
  • Shaun orders a balloon pump to be inserted to help the heart circulate more blood
  • After the surgery, Roland seems to do well, Shaun remarks he should make a full recovery
  • Roland suffers a seizure when Shaun is checking on him after Roland confessed her just had sex with his secret lover
  • Heart tests indicate that the seizure wasn’t related to heart trauma, they run an EEG
  • The EEG doesn’t show any significant abnormalities either, but Jared remarks that Roland exhibited behavioural changes, a possible symptom of neurocysticercosis (a tapeworm cyst with larvae in the brain)
  • Shaun suggests to remove the cyst with stereotactic navigation and hydrodissection, which is what they do
  • The surgery goes well and Roland recovers

Patient #3 – Joe Stewart

Treating physicians:
Alex Park, Daniel Perez

Inoperable leiomyosarcoma, later corrected to operable gastric stromal tumour and liver lesion

Case notes:

  • Joe comes to St. Bonaventure and asks to be seen by Dr. Alex Park
  • Park recognises Joe right away, he is the man whom his wife cheated on him with
  • Joe presents with what has been diagnosed by his doctors as inoperable leiomyosarcoma with major vascular involvement
  • Danny orders a CT and a PET scan to confirm the diagnosis
  • The scan reveals it’s unlikely for the tumour to be a leiomyosarcoma since it has barely progressed over the last six months
  • They perform a biopsy, which reveals Joe has a stromal tumour in his stomach and a small lesion on his liver, the surgical team can remove both
  • The surgery goes well, they had clean margins and were able to fully remove all the tumours with no additional metastasis
  • After waking up from the surgery, Park tells Joe his prognosis is excellent

Shaun’s Journey (feat. Jared K)

Shaun and Asher are called down to the ER by Andrews for a Code Gold, meaning some V.I.P. who needs special treatment. The very important person turns out to be a green tech billionaire by the name of Roland Barnes, which doesn’t impress Shaun very much. What does impress Shaun, however, is that Barnes’ concierge doctor turns out to be one Lamborghini-driving Jared Kalu, formerly fellow first year resident at St. Bonaventure Hospital.

It’s super cute how happy Shaun is to see Jared again, particularly since Jared made it a point to bring his boss to this particular hospital just because of Shaun’s medical genius.

Jared and Asher seem to make fast friends, and Asher peppers Jared with questions. I’m sure Asher is intrigued by anyone whom Shaun considers a good friend and is visibly and positively excited about reuniting with. Through this, we learn a little bit about Jared’s life during the time he was away from San Jose.

Jared completed his second year of residency at Denver Memorial, then he met Roland at a fundraiser hosted by Jared’s parents. Roland’s wife collapsed from an allergic reaction to nutmeg and Jared treated her on the scene and helped her win at a silent auction. Roland hired him as his personal physician that night.

Shaun questions why Roland needs to a concierge doctor at all, and, no, it’s not because he often gets attacked by wild animals. Jared explains Roland has chronic sciatica, and for the more recreational stuff like vaccinations for frequent travel, Botox injections, cholesterol scrips and medical advice for friends and family.

Asher’s question why Jared left St. Bon’s in the first place was innocent enough, and Jared would have probably given an evasive response, but Shaun blurts out the answer immediately with true Shaun charm. “He was fired for assaulting an attending who harassed Claire and then he sued the hospital.” Accurate, but… Shaun, pls. Asher has heard the stories. “You’re that guy.” Jared is smiling impishly at that, clearly he knows not to hold the brutal honesty against Shaun.

Then the results of the imaging start displaying on the screen, and there’s a definite need for some creative problem solving. Shaun serenely folds his hands and stares off into space, and surely Jared remembers what that’s all about. He smiles knowingly and asks Asher, “He still does this, huh?” Asher looks almost dreamy and confirms, “Mm. Always makes my day.”

Shaun then has his eureka moment and proclaims, “I have an idea!” and Jared points his finger at Shaun and says, “This is why I brought Roland here.”

Aww, you guys. I’m feeling all the Shaun love radiate across the screen, and it’s making my day, too.

They go into the surgery to execute Shaun’s idea, and Jared still seems to be pretty sharp with his surgical stills. What is more surprising, though, is that Andrews is noticeably amiable towards Jared, even offers that he can place the surgical screws. Everyone looks up in surprise. Andrews was super pissed back when Jared sued the hospital, and he only accepted him back because his hand was being forced. Everyone expected Andrews to throw daggers at Jared.

But, you know, Andrews has always been an opportunist at heart. And he certainly sees the opportunity of sweettalking Jared, and by extension his boss for a “small” monetary donation to St. Bonaventure. Of course Shaun speaks the unspoken and actually asks if that’s the reason for Andrews’ unexpected congeniality, but he and Jared master the situation with grace.

One blood pressure tanking OR crisis later (in which Roland’s heart is stabilised), Shaun and Jared banter over their sedated but recovering patient, and Jared admits that this little interlude made him realise how much he misses being in the OR.  Their conversation is interrupted by Dalia, whom Jared introduces as his girlfriend. And of course the encounter goes awkwardly with Shaun blatantly ignoring the offer of a handshake and then mentions he knows Dalia from seeing her in a perfume ad on the bus.

Nice going, Shaun. But I love that Jared just smirks in a “I really missed this” kind of way.

After Shaun bears witness to the aftermath of Roland having sex with Dalia, Shaun calls Jared to his office, because of course he needs to tell Jared the absolute truth. It’s cute that Shaun is aware enough of the emotional implications that he makes sure to ask Jared to sit down, close the door and put a box of tissues in front of him before he broaches the infidelity subject.

I’m so proud, Shaun has learned so much!

In true Shaun fashion, there’s little sugarcoating, and Jared is probably expecting some kind of doomsday message of Roland being braindead or something equally devastating. He lets out a small chuckle when Shaun tells him about Dalia and Roland’s sexual endeavours. That one is easily explained—Dalia isn’t actually Jared’s girlfriend. It’s just a ruse so that Roland’s wife doesn’t get suspicious of Dalia’s frequent presence, and Jared plays along because the job overall is great.

Shaun wants to dig deeper and asks Jared to explain what he loves so much about being a silk-stocking concierge physician. In Shaun’s mind, that job very much squanders Jared’s potential, but Jared says he was miserable as a surgical resident, and Roland saw something in him and made him feel appreciated. Now Shaun is sitting here, very bluntly indicating to Jared that he’s basically still a failure. Shaun, unaware of his affront until Jared tells him, certainly regrets that he may have implied that, but at the core of it, Shaun may very well be right.

Little side excursion here, because I’m not fully comfortable with the implication that everyone always needs to fulfil their true potential in order to be happy in a job. Sometimes people are very capable of doing a lot more than their job requires, but they may not actually want the extra responsibility or stress or upper management politics that come with climbing the career ladder. I very much advocate for people choosing contentedness over career if they feel that serves them best. Although obviously in Jared’s case, he wasn’t truly happy with where he was, which Shaun helped spell out for him.

As they keep treating Roland, Jared notices something rather curious that he takes to Shaun. Roland tends to be selfish and possessive, but he was absolutely fine with Dalia going to the city to meet with friends. Jared thinks that’s a significant behavioural change, so he and Shaun start brainstorming what the cause might be. They throw ideas back and forth and soon land on a brain cyst diagnosis, mutually triumphing at the end. Shaun doesn’t fail to remark that this very much shows Jared isn’t a failure.

Shaun is being super sweet and a really good friend when he nudges Andrews in the OR to let Jared do the closing on Roland’s brain surgery. Andrews is happy to oblige, and of course Shaun had total ulterior motive next to wanting to do a nice thing for his friend. He wants Jared to lick more blood, which he does, and so Shaun plants the idea with Andrews to hire Jared back as a resident, seeing how he’s a capable surgeon and would be a great addition to their team.

Andrews seems to be open to the idea but reminds everyone that the Chief of Surgery ultimately makes the hiring decisions for their team. Jared soon finds himself speaking to Lim, making a great case about how much he’s learned and grown emotionally and professionally over the last few years working with Roland.

Lim admits she’s impressed, and it carries weight that Shaun is supportive of wanting Jared on their team. Thing is, though, Lim doesn’t currently have any openings for third year residents. She does, however, have a spot for a first year resident. (Remember Danica’s premature departure?) Jared thinks about it for a moment, then gladly accepts.

Shaun is being cute again when he’s watching the conversation through the windows from his office and then bobbing excitedly up and down when Jared visible accepts the job offer. Aw yis! Shaun has his friend back, and a new student he knows he will like whom he can teach and mentor.

The one downside to that development, however, is that Roland—back to his old, arrogant, egocentric self—is much less inclined to donate any money to St. Bonaventure. He goes to see Andrews personally and rips the big fat cheque up in front of Andrews’ eyes. “This is what happens when you poach my employees.” Oh darn.

Later that night, they invite Jared over to their apartment to celebrate. Jared is pouring them what’s likely luxuriously and shockingly expensive TequilaOne could argue Tequila isn’t usually consumed on the rocks and this is more likely to be Scotch, but I hear it can be an option. over perfectly square designer ice cubes, and a mummy mocktail with fresh rosemary for Lea. They toast to reuniting with old friends (episode title drop, everyone) and to Jared fulfilling his potential… as Shaun’s new first-year resident.

They are being interrupted by a knock on the door, suspecting it might be Dr. Glassman. However, it’s very much not Dr. Glassman. It’s a process server handing Shaun a folder with the words, “You’ve just been served. You’re being sued for malpractice.”

Dun dun dunnnn. Cue next week’s episode crossover and backdoor pilot of The Good Lawyer

Lea’s Journey

It’s finally time for Lea to give up her normal jeans and surrender to wearing maternity clothes, seeing how her belly is now large enough to not accommodate anything regular size anymore. She’s definitely not happy about it.

She’s even unhappier when Shaun makes the point that they have to buy a minivan since the Striped Tomato has no infant safety features. Ah, geez. Lea really doesn’t want to switch to a Mum-Mobile! What Lea is much happier about, however, are the amazing Greek yogurt pancakes Shaun made for them.

Shaun didn’t get the hint that Lea was less than thrilled to even think about switching from her cool personalised vintage car to a mumsy minivan, but Shaun wouldn’t be Shaun if he didn’t insist on not delaying the conversation any longer than lunch break.

So there they are with Shaun safety-inspecting the Striped Tomato, listing out every single reason why it’s not child-safe and why they need to invest in a new car, stat. Lea doesn’t actually disagree with what Shaun is saying, but this is the car she got from her beloved grandfather, that she lovingly restored with her brother, that she drove to shows at the Fillmore, that she and Shaun took their first road trip in. She can’t sell it.

Even though Shaun is struggling with the concept of having an emotional attachment to a car, he’s fine with not selling the Striped Tomato, as long as Lea never puts the Peanut in it. Lea will have to surrender to the minivan before long, and she knows it.

I’m wondering if this is taking place on a weekend, because Lea doesn’t seem to be at work, and neither is Glassman – they’re both out furniture shopping to get Glassman’s new apartment properly set up. Glassman wants to take the first sofa they try out (such a dude thing to do) despite Lea’s urging to try out a few more before he takes his final pick.

It sparks a conversation about the minivan and motherhood. Lea confesses that she really hates the idea of transitioning from cool, trendy, independent woman into 30-something mum in a practical car with a baby seat in the back and spit-up on her shirt. She loves that she and Shaun will have a baby, but she really despises seeing herself as the stereotypical mum type, doing the things that parenthood will inevitably require.

But, you know, Lea, there’s still things you can choose about what kind of parent you wanna be. You can be both a responsible and a cool, modern parent. I have friends I’d totally put in that category.

And while I love that Lea doesn’t wanna be a stereotypical playground mum, they certainly missed the mark of showing us more convincingly and consistently that Lea hates becoming a more settled 30-something married woman. If she cared more about being cool and trendy, she wouldn’t be wearing those god-awful grandma pyjamas or dusky pink woollen pullovers. She would still be donning distressed jeans, tie-dye t-shirts and colourful striped sweaters. You know, just sayin’.

Back home that night, Lea is looking at minivan options on her laptop when she hears loud noises from the hallway and goes to investigate. She watches as a row of red plastic seats is being carried into Glassman’s apartment, and he proudly proclaims they are authentic Candlestick Park stadium seats. They are indeed very cool, and Glassman thanks Lea for the inspiration. And she better get her coat, because she’s next.

What then must have transpired is Glassman loading Lea into his car and driving to a few dealerships to find them a car that is both cool and family-safe. The result of this is being presented to Shaun shortly thereafter when they escort him out to the parking garage with his hands over his eyes and then reveal the big surprise.

And a surprise it is! Lea and Glassy bought a brand new and super cool Mustang Mach-E in a sleek metallic red, fully adorned with white Striped Tomato stripes on the sides and spiffy aluminium rims. Shaun is elated. That car is definitely perfect both for the Peanut and for Lea, and we get a few super cute oh yehs out of Shaun. Together the trio excitedly take this rocket ship for a ride with Lea at the wheel.

I wonder if they’re gonna call it The Rocket. Gotta say I love it, too. Totally a Lea car, and something I could see myself wanting to drive if I had home options to charge and maintain an e-car. My dark grey metallic Volvo V40 can’t quite compete in terms of coolness, but oh well.

Park’s Journey

Alex’s medical case drags along a whole lot of emotional baggage, because the patient who has explicitly asked to see him is none other than his old rival Joe—the guy whom his wife Mia cheated on him with all those years ago.

Joe has come to St. Bon’s because he’s been diagnosed with inoperable cancer, and it’s not so much medical treatment that he seeks, it’s Alex’s forgiveness. Alex is less than inclined to grant him that wish. The wounds are still there and now wide open, despite his marriage being no longer intact. Or maybe because of that.

It’s a strange dynamic, because Alex is super pissed and he wants nothing to do with Joe, but Joe actually admires Alex. He has always been persistent, he’s a great fighter in sports, and he fought so hard to keep his marriage with Mia alive. Joe has genuine regrets and he wants to apologise for the pain he’s caused. Alex listens, but there is little forgiveness to be given where he’s concerned.

Morgan talks to Alex about it, and he questions whether he should be trying to actually forgive Joe, but Morgan doubts Alex can do it. He’s not known for being capable of letting things go. It took him forever to forgive Mia, and he’s still holding many of Morgan’s choices against her, even though she changed her mind about them later.

Alex and Danny find out that Joe isn’t actually dying. His inoperable tumour was misdiagnosed and he has an operable tumour that is relatively easily treatable. While Joe is relieved, it’s not the elated reception from him they’ve been expecting. First and foremost, he came to the hospital for forgiveness and less for the medical treatment.

That gives Alex some pause, but all the pent-up anger at Joe is still there, which Alex realises isn’t healthy to hold on to when during a martial arts sparring match he punches his sparring partner’s face bloody.

After Joe’s surgery with the outcome that he’s now cancer-free and not dying, Alex finally finds that he might be at peace with accepting that Joe truly has regrets. Maybe it’s time to finally let go, so he turns around in the doorway and tells Joe that he forgives him. Joe is immediately relieved, like a weight dropped off his shoulders, and Alex tears up as well. A very cathartic moment for both of them, and hopefully a chapter in Alex’s book closed.

Morgan & Jordan’s Journey

Morgan’s pregnancy test comes back negative once again, and it’s an even worse feeling when she sees the waiting area of her trial centre filled with pregnant women for a study that’s presumably aimed at treating something to do with pregnancy.

One of her study patients, Sonja, has a complication with her pregnancy that has nothing to do with the study, and the complication is likely to worsen to the point where it may become life-threatening for both her and the baby. Sonja telling Morgan she’s named her unborn daughter Esther after the Book of Esther in the bible shows us that Sonja’s beliefs are deeply tied to religion.

Morgan wants to strongly recommend termination of the pregnancy to pre-empt likely fatal infections since the baby is too young to be able to survive outside the womb, but Sonja and her husband have already had several miscarriages and they’ve wanted to become pregnant for so long. Morgan can certainly empathise with that, but the safety of the mother is just as important as that of the child.

She and Jordan take the case to Lim since the right course of treatment is tricky at this stage. Morgan makes a strong case for termination. Even in the unlikely event that Sonja doesn’t develop any infections, the child has a high risk of having cerebral palsy or other lasting deficits. Jordan, on the other hand, makes a case for letting the parents make an informed decision since the pregnancy is heavily wanted.

The parents listen to Morgan and Jordan explaining the options, and the husband thinks they should terminate, but Sonja is wavering. She looks to Jordan and asks what she would do. Well aware that Jordan’s answer will be the guidance that Sonja will follow, Jordan hesitates, not sure what to say. In the end she responds that she would pray on it.

That answer is too vague for Sonja, so she presses Jordan for a better answer, and Jordan tells her she thinks that if this were her child, she would try to save the baby. Unsurprisingly, Sonja then decides she wants to fight for their baby.

Sonja develops the infection they all feared, and she still refuses to terminate, even though her own life is now definitely at risk too. If they wait for two more weeks until the baby has a chance to survive outside the uterus, Sonja will very likely die from the infection. Sonja holds steadfast that Queen Esther was willing to die for her family, so she is willing to die for her child.

As the infection progresses, treating Sonja becomes more difficult. The most effective antibiotic will damage the baby’s kidneys, and Morgan hopes that will buy them more time to convince Sonja to terminate the pregnancy. It’s now a question whether Sonja’s decision is considered suicide or an act of admirable sacrifice.

Lim cuts in that objectivity is a myth, especially on this subject. Everyone in the room has their own emotional baggage. Morgan is a childless mother currently on IVF to get pregnant, trying very hard to have a child of her own. Jordan was pregnant in the past and chose to terminate, a decision she now has mixed feelings about. A little surprisingly, we learn that Lim got pregnant in med school despite being on birth control. She also chose abortion because she wasn’t ready for having a child at the time. She, however, is at peace with it now.

Sonja’s lungs start failing, and before they sedate her to intubate, she makes her husband promise that he won’t let the physicians terminate the pregnancy despite the fact that both Sonja and Esther will very likely die within the next 48 hours if they do nothing.

Jordan has an idea how they might still save Sonja’s life. She brings Sonja out of the sedation and tells her the story of her own abortion at 18, and that she believes God has forgiven her. She also believes God picked Sonja for motherhood, that she and her husband still have another chance. She implores Sonja to save herself, and Sonja finally signs the consent form to terminate the pregnancy, but asks Jordan to perform the procedure.

Jordan has some history here as well. In her first year, she refused to abort a pregnancy because of her religious beliefs, but she agrees to do this one for Sonja, her husband and for Esther. Little Esther is baptised right there at St. Bon’s before she goes to her eternal resting place.

Kind of a weird choice to cut back and forth in time between the baptism and the abortion. I thought that was confusing and not particularly conducive to the storytelling. Like, seriously, what was that supposed to accomplish?

As Sonja recovers, Morgan expresses her condolences when Sonja’s husband joins them. He pulls up his sleeve and reveals a beautiful tattoo of Esther’s tiny footprint underneath a rainbow with the name Esther. He wants to carry Esther with him every day. Sonja hopes that someday, they can tell her brothers and sisters all about her.

Lim, Jordan and Morgan sit down together later that night to share pizza and drinks, toasting to their differences. Morgan’s phone reminds her that she needs another IVF injection, but rather than letting her go do it alone in a hospital bathroom, Lim insists she’s a doctor and Morgan should let her do it right there. The ice is broken, how can Morgan say no?

Things to Further Dissect

Remember Alex Krycek?

Before I get into any of the juicy stuff, let me just say: Nicholas Lea! As an avid X-Files fan back in the day, I had a little whoop moment to see one of The X-Files’ nastiest villains on The Good Doctor.

Gimme all the Shaun love!

I think the fact why I loved this episode so much is that we got a whole lot of Shaun love all over the place, and some of it felt super profound. Shaun’s ASD is so often used for cheap chuckles or for making him an obnoxious little pain in the arse. It’s rare when we see people actually appreciating Shaun for the commendable sides of him rather than raise eyebrows at his social awkwardness.

It was high time adorable Shaun muffin was being given Shaun muffin love, and I’m here for all of it! And yeah, maybe they were milking the stereotypical aww, cute cow here, but I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m all-in for the aw, cute when it means we can see Shaun being loved and appreciated for being an autistic weirdo.

What I also loved was that Roland was being specifically admitted to St. Bon’s solely because of Shaun. Always heart-warming to see him getting recognition for his diagnostic and medical problem-solving genius and that he was being requested specifically as a surgeon. Go Shaun! It was so cute how happy he was about Jared being there, and Jared having asked for him. I don’t think we’ve seen Shaun smile as much in one episode as in this one. Happy!Shaun is my jam.

I think I mentioned it before, but I also wanna single out how much the episode showed us Shaun’s growth from being a naïve, bumbling first-year pup to more seasoned and confident attending. It was outlined particularly in the emotional maturity Shaun demonstrated, how attentive he was of Jared’s feelings. When he was about to tell Jared about the presumed cheating, he asked Jared to sit down, closed the door to give them more privacy and preventatively put a box of tissues there for Jared to use. Season 1 Shaun would have been oblivious to all of that and just blundered into the conversation without any of that preparation.

It also showed in how disconcerted Shaun was when Jared told him he’d made him feel like a failure, and then later made sure to point out to Jared that he very much wasn’t. Super proud of Shaun here.

Hello, Jared

And how wonderful is it to have Jared back? Honestly, I’m super happy with this development, although I’ve also seen a few online comments where the reception wasn’t quite so enthusiastic, saying after what Jared had done, he should not have been allowed back into St. Bonaventure so easily. I, for one, am excited that we’ll see more Kalu for the remainder of the season, maybe even beyond if we dare hope for season 7.

Regarding Jared, let’s quickly remind ourselves what actually happened in season 1. In episode 1×10 Sacrifice, Claire is being sexually harassed by a more senior colleague of hers, Dr. Coyle, who touches her inappropriately and makes lewd remarks and salacious insinuations. Claire confides in Jared about it, and when Claire is reluctant to report it officially, Jared shoves Coyle into a locker, grabs him by the lapels and threatens more violence if Coyle doesn’t leave Claire alone.

Claire eventually reports the incident to Andrews, and then goes to Jared to vehemently tell him that she doesn’t need him to handle her matters for her and that she isn’t a damsel in distress who needs saving. Jared then informs Claire that Andrews just fired him for physically assaulting an employee. In the wake of this, Claire and Jared force Coyle’s hand to ask Andrews to reinstate Jared, which Andrews declines.

Jared then sues St. Bonaventure and he is being given a settlement offer, but Jared decides he won’t settle for anything less than reinstatement. Jared gets his lawyer to make a case for ethnic discrimination, and this actually gets him reinstated. Andrews, however, is pretty pissed that Jared misrepresented racism for something it’s not. He doesn’t want Jared at the hospital but has no choice but to rehire him.

Jared stays for the rest of the first year but applies for the residency program at Denver Memorial, a position he is eventually offered with the help of a good word from Morgan’s former mentor. Jared has his last day in San Jose in episode 2×01 Hello, the episode that was written by Freddie Highmore himself, and I had forgotten how emotional it was and how attached Shaun had become to Jared by the time he was leaving.

On Jared’s last day, he and Shaun are assigned to a mobile clinic to provide medical care to the homeless and they meet Harry, a patient at a homeless camp whom Shaun suspects has schizophrenia. They treat him for an abscess on his gums but Jared then suspects he has bacterial meningitis and admits Harry to the hospital for further tests against Andrews’ explicit wishes.

They run some tests, and the labs come back negative, so Harry is discharged. There’s a scene surrounding this where Shaun and Jared sit in the pathology waiting area after the labs come back negative, and a much younger and much more naïve Shaun tells Jared, “Don’t worry, Jared. You’re young. There’s still time to fulfil your potential somewhere else. I think one day you’re going to be very happy.” Jared refers to this exact exchange when he talks to Shaun in his office in Old Friends.

Shaun has one of his genius diagnostic eureka moments, and Harry is eventually diagnosed with a mental state altering brain tumour, not lastly because Jared pushed for getting Harry admitted back to the hospital despite Andrews’ instructions.

Shaun and Jared had a number of really important bonding moments in this episode, for instance when they realise their victory of having made the right call to bring back Harry back for a brain scan and the beautiful farewell scene in the hospital hallway where they both tear up a little bit.

Jared really stuck up for Shaun in Hello, knew how to play to Shaun’s strengths and even helped him come out of what was dangerously close to sliding into a full-fledged meltdown. Jared was also instrumental in making Shaun understand that Dr. Glassman needed emotional support more than medical advice in the wake of his cancer diagnosis. And Jared verbalised to Shaun just how much he appreciated and admired him. They say their farewells by mutually thanking each other, and of course it’s one of those abrupt Shaun goodbyes where he just walks away, but all the subtle emotion played beautifully on his face before he turned and left.

The both of them might have had a bit of a rockier relationship early on, but during their first year of residency, they developed a mutual respect for each other, something that surely stuck with Shaun all these years, and that has him giddy and joyful at the prospect of spending more time with Jared to reconnect, even if it’s just for a short time.

All the sweeter that Shaun played an active role in getting Jared rehired, not lastly by nudging him back into donning surgical gowns and encouraging everyone to make Jared lick (metaphorical) surgery blood, giving him more than a gentle push to resume his surgical residency. Shaun’s cute up-and-down bobbing at seeing Lim offering Jared a job was the sweetest thing ever, and it still makes me smile as I’m writing this. I’m always happy when Shaun is happy.

Shaun, the Mentor

We’ve had a few excursions here and there in season 6 where Shaun was shown in his attending mentor role. Some of it went pretty well, some didn’t. Shaun still has a lot to learn, and I’m really curious how Jared will fit into this picture.

Obviously, Shaun loves Jared and has a pretty strong bond with him already—along with Claire, Jared was one of Shaun’s first friends in San Jose (or maybe first friends ever). His bond with Jared is stronger than with Danny, for sure. Jared is also now a first year resident with third year experience, I wonder how this will play into the dynamic. Will Shaun (and the others) let Jared do more than he should as a first-year? Will that create issues with Danny and make him feel more inadequate than he already does? Will Shaun favour Jared over Danny, particularly since Danny still has the probation devil on his shoulder?

Also, what’s Danny’s relationship with Jared gonna be like? Will there be an air of competitiveness? Will Danny have a certain animosity towards Jared because he has one up on Danny? There’s a lot of interesting things to explore here, I hope they play around with that a little.

Bougie Kalu and Episode Sequence Hiccups

There’s been quite a bit of online discussion about whether it was appropriate or not for Lea to call Jared ‘Bougie Kalu’ to his face when they were having drinks.

For those who don’t know what the slang term ‘bougie’ means, I’ve been told both by different online dictionaries and several native English speakers that it’s a term describing either someone actually rich or someone who’s upper middle class pretending to be part of the elite, but with a definite disparaging undertone. It’s a term people use to mock someone who’s either wealthy or trying to appear wealthy and loves to show it off, possibly in an embarrassing or obnoxious way. To borrow what someone on Reddit said, it’s another way of saying “over-the-top”, “ostentatious”, “flashy”, “materialistic” or “showing off”.

What the writers may have forgotten or purposefully ignored is that, according to on-screen canon, Lea has never met Jared before he came back to San Jose. During Shaun’s first year of residency, it’s unlikely that Lea would have visited Shaun at the hospital, seeing how she didn’t work there and her relationship with Shaun wasn’t that intimate. And even if so, a meeting with Jared would likely have been at the level of, “Hi, I’m Shaun’s co-worker, nice to meet you, gotta go.”

We also don’t know when their first meeting was during the events of Old Friends. Shaun might have introduced Jared to Lea at the hospital before Shaun invited him to their home, and we don’t know how that happened and how much they may have already talked then. But with what we were given on-screen, we can assume it wasn’t an intimate conversation.

What we can also assume is that Shaun would have talked to Lea about Jared, probably excited that evening after Jared’s return that his old friend was back, happy-bubbling out some of their history as first-years, telling her about Jared coming from a rich family and how he got fired from St. Bon’s, maybe recounting some of their most memorable moments together. We need to presume Lea has a certain amount of background on Jared when he comes over to their apartment but doesn’t really know him very much in person.

So there she is, toasting to being glad having ‘Bougie Kalu’ back, which upon closer inspection seems inappropriate. Calling someone bougie in combination with their last name and that being accepted as endearing might happen among good friends, because you’re basically saying that person is an affluent snob but you love them anyway.

Sure, the way that line was delivered, it was very clear that Lea didn’t mean it as an insult, and that it was supposed to be an amusing nod to indicate that Jared is frickin’ loaded but they’re not holding it against him. But that doesn’t change the fact that the way it was said, it implied that Lea and Jared already had an established relationship, that they were comfortable around each other enough for her to gently tease him in a way that old friends would. Seeing how Lea and Jared are still barely more than strangers, it was really weird and out of place for Lea to be saying this to him.

Kelli L. made a good point that they were possibly trying to set up the contrast between Jared’s current lifestyle and his forthcoming one as Shaun’s first-year resident. Certainly possible, and I realise that in the grand scheme of things, it’s a super minor thing to even make into a discussion point, but it underlines again that the writers really don’t love paying attention to what happened with characters in the past.

One could also theorise that it may stem from this scene likely having been inserted or amended somewhat spontaneously when ABC (or whoever) decided to switch around the sequence of episodes on relatively short notice.

Old Friends was initially supposed to air after The Good Lawyer, so the order of episode production was originally Hard Heart The Good Lawyer Old Friends, and they switched it around to Hard Heart Old Friends The Good Lawyer. These episodes would have been shot and wrapped before the decision was made to change the airing schedule, so it’s likely they had to either relatively spontaneously add or rewrite this scene to accommodate the “you’ve been served” segue into The Good Lawyer. It may have contributed to there being these weird consistency errors.

Side Note:
Taking the episode sequence switch into account, very likely Hard Heart was originally written and filmed in a way that the last scene in Shaun and Lea’s apartment where Shaun tells Lea about Glassman moving in next door would have ended on Shaun being served the lawsuit papers. Perhaps that’s why that last shot of the appalled expression on Lea’s face seemed so out of place. Maybe that was supposed to be tied to the shock of the unexpected lawsuit. Who knows…

Lea and motherhood

I thought it was really lovely that they gave Lea her own little story arc in this episode and that it was underlined that she doesn’t see herself as the stereotypical mum and is actually pretty turned off by the idea. I think Shaun and Lea will be somewhat unconventional parents anyway, and I totally cannot picture Lea being one of those super-mums who will do all the stereotypical mum things.

However, I think this is a fear that many first time mothers have, that when you have a child, you’ll change and you won’t be the same person anymore. In most cases, that fear is probably unfounded, but I think it’s also true that, especially in the first year or so of motherhood, a lot of your time is spent giving attention to your child and you have to often put yourself and your needs seconds. I’m pretty sure Lea and Shaun will manage just fine in this regard, but it’ll be interesting to (hopefully) see some of it on screen.

Also, how awesome is that new car?! I hope we’ll see it being featured here and there, and see Shaun driving it! Do you think Glassman played sugar daddy a little bit and helped with financing it? That car starts at around $46,000 if you buy it new, their model most likely in the even pricier ranges… I think we need to ignore that the Mustang model they chose is partly electric. I doubt they have charging facilities at home or at the hospital, but who knows.

I’m also happy that the Lea/Glassy antipathy didn’t last past Hard Heart and that the two of them are back to supporting and appreciating each other. I do hope that Lea will see the merit of having Glassy live just across the hall, if she hasn’t already.

The pregnancy termination dilemma

I’m not sure I have much to say on that subject. I’m definitely pro abortion choice, it’s an option every woman should have and a decision every woman should make for herself. I’m also not at all religious, so the idea is alien to me that someone would base their life choices on bible scripture. Which is not to say that it’s right or wrong, it’s just not what I personally live by.

I would have sided with Morgan on this medical case – it was very drastic to basically choose suicide on the faintest glimmer of hope that a higher intervention would make everything turn out okay in the end. Like Lim said, objectivity on these cases is a myth. I think the show handled it very well.

There was some criticism on Reddit (as there usually is with these more controversial topics) that people were tired of the abortion storylines surrounding Jordan or her strong Christian faith getting in the way of treating patients. One person even said that Jordan was showing no growth at all, which I don’t think is true.

I actually think it’s quite the opposite, Jordan has learned since being a first year resident that her personal opinions can positively or negatively influence patient decisions and that she needs to be careful in that area. She also convinced Sonja in the end to terminate and performed the procedure herself, which I certainly believe shows growth, even though the situation was different than the season 4 episode where Jordan flat-out refused to do it for religious reasons.


That was a big topic in this episode across the different episode arcs, even if it maybe wasn’t so directly evident. Alex had his arc with Joe, exploring whether he was willing and could let go of one of the biggest betrayals in his life, and he ultimately found it in himself to get to the place where he was ready to do it.

Forgiveness was also a topic touched on in Sonja’s arc – God forgiving a woman to choose ending the life of an unborn child, the mother forgiving herself to make that choice. And lastly it was carried through the Jared arc as well in the form of Andrews forgiving Jared for previous missteps, accepting him back as a member of the staff. A very wholesome episode that we came out of feeling good on (almost) all fronts, impending lawsuit notwithstanding.

Pregnant women and clinical studies

My clinical research BS alarm was triggered in this episode a little bit. If we look at the scene where Morgan’s pregnant study patient Sonja tells her about doing well on the study medication, Morgan looks once at the patient chart and then tells Sonja that she is on the placebo and not on the actual medication. Yeah, that’s not how it works in real life.

The vast majority of placebo-controlled clinical trials are double-blind, meaning that neither the study team at the study centre nor the patient know what medication the patient is on. If the study doctor knew what medication the patient was getting, it would be likely to cause bias and could lead to skewed study results.

There are mechanisms in place how to unblind a patient in the case of an emergency to find out what medication the patient is on, which would have been indicated here for sure. This procedure usually happens via an automated phone call system or an online portal. Emergency-unblinded patients are pretty much always withdrawn from the study after unblinding.

So in any kind of realistic scenario, Morgan would not have been able to just look at the patient’s chart and say what medication she was on. Of course I get why it was written that way: They didn’t want to spend extra time on Morgan having to go through extra steps in order to unblind the patient. They could have, however, just not mentioned it in that scene and inserted some dialogue in the next scene with Sonja to say that Morgan unblinded her in the meantime and she was on placebo to rule out a connection to the study drug.

Just generally, it’s pretty unusual to even run studies on pregnant women. The bulk of clinical studies have pregnancy as an exclusion criterion and require following strict contraceptive guidelines. If a patient becomes pregnant, she will usually immediately have to stop treatment with the study drug and discontinue the study, with the pregnancy then being followed up closely (with the mother’s permission) to ensure the study treatment had no harmful effect on the child. You really don’t want women to become pregnant on a drug where you’re not fully sure yet what it’s gonna do.

That said, it’s not impossible to run studies in pregnant women. I daresay it’s unusual to run a placebo-controlled study with an actual investigational drug in pregnant women. More often what is done is just data collection from women who are on a certain drug anyway and have made that treatment decision outside of a clinical study. I suppose it might make sense if the study was for a drug that was actually treating something related to the pregnancy. Oh well.

Consistency Corner

The Good Doctor has always been screwy with surgery recovery times, but this time they really tried to pull the wool over our eyes. I mean, they get this guy Roland into St. Bon’s with massive chest trauma to the point where vital structures in his ribcage are shattered in a way that they need to resort to donor bone and titanium plates to fix it. They then crack this guy’s chest open and mess around in there with metal plates and screws to reconstruct his sternum and ribs.

Anyone who’s ever had a broken or cracked rib will probably be able to tell you how debilitating and painful a major injury of the ribcage is. Yet, there’s Roland, happily having sex a few hours after the surgery. Uhm, yeah, no. No way. It doesn’t end there. Roland then has brain surgery on top of everything, and I think we’re made to believe that he gets discharged from the hospital day or two later and can walk into Andrews’ office like nothing much has happened. No way, Jose.

Random Bits and Pieces

Did you see that Shaun was piling chocolate chip pancakes onto his plate, together with scrambled eggs and fried bacon. Seriously, Shaun? What is that? Your palate is so weird.

We learn that Lea is 28 weeks pregnant now. With seven more episodes to go, it’s super ambiguous if we will see the birth before the season finale. If they go by one week per episode, we might reach birthing time right around the finale. But they could of course easily jump ahead in time and make that happen earlier.

Can we assume that Glassman is now moving into that apartment building more or less permanently? Him installing stadium seats there seems to indicate that, although of course it’s not like those wouldn’t be removable. I wonder if they’re gonna table that topic for the rest of the season.

Autism consultant Melissa Reiner talked about Shaun vs. blindfolds in her episode insights this week. She refers to the season 5 episode The Shaun Show (5×16) in which Shaun was seen wearing a blindfold at the end, which she didn’t catch at the time to veto that particular happenstance, believing that Shaun would not be comfortable enough with it. Which then led to Shaun not actually wearing a blindfold when they take him to see the new car but instead has his hands over his eyes.

Say, where did Jared get those perfectly shaped square ice cubes? Shaun and Lea only have a tiny freezer compartment within their fridge. I very much doubt they use the limited space for designer ice cubes. I suppose it’s possible Jared could have spent extra money to purchase those along with the sinfully expensive alcohol and transported them to Shaun and Lea’s home with dry ice. Certainly on brand with the Bougie Kalu moniker.

Setting up The Good Lawyer

Right now my expectation is that it’s mostly gonna be Shaun and Glassman with the The Good Lawyer characters to figure out how to get Shaun out of the malpractice lawsuit—whatever it’ll end up being. I expect the case it’s related to won’t necessarily be anything that’s tied to an existing The Good Doctor episode. I also think it’s unlikely there will be much St. Bonaventure related stuff outside of that. We’ll see tomorrow, I’m stoked, I hope it’s gonna be a good one and that the show will get a full run.

I don’t really have that much to say about the topic, since most of you know I avoid spoilers like the plague. I’ve seen the key art/poster for the episode, and it’s pretty cool. I’m excited to see how this one will play out.

Quick heads up for the next episode recap, though. My real life is currently really busy, and I will not have time next weekend to do much work on writing wordy nerdy TV show recaps. (UPDATE: Weekend plans have changed, so yay!) So very likely the next recap will be a very abbreviated version of what I normally do and/or be fashionably late. I’ll have to see how I can swing that one.

Favourite Scenes and Lines

Did you see Asher not so subtly checking out Jared when he arrived? He is definitely all in with Jared being there!

Jared: “He still does this, huh?”
Asher: “Mh. Always makes my day.”

Shaun: “I have an idea!”
Jared: “This is why I brought Roland here.”

Let me add some unadulterated Freddie Highmore acting gushing, because did you notice how he started when Asher made an unexpectedly loud exclamation in that imaging scan scene? Or when he looks at his watch when Roland asks when he can get out of the hospital. I love his attention to all these details and Shaun idiosyncrasies.

Roland: “Jared says you’re a damn good surgeon.”
Shaun: “Yes, I am a ‘damn good surgeon’.”

Loved the dialogue between Park and Danny when Danny tries to pry from Alex what his relationship with Joe is. “I’ve been watching a lot of Cobra Kai.” Lol

I think I loved pretty much all the Jared and Shaun scenes, but the one in Shaun’s office where he tells Jared about Dalia’s suspected infidelity is probably my favourite.

I equally loved the scene with Lea and Glassman buying furniture. Their dynamic has very much become in-lawsy in the best possible way, and I love that Lea is now also turning to Glassman for personal and parental advice.

Shaun: “Extracting the cyst… and larva.”
Asher: “Awesome! And… I might hurl.”

Shaun happily bobbling up and down when Jared was being hired was the cutest thing ever, and Shaun being happy about the new rocket car was also super cute. And then Shaun inviting Jared over for drinks was also really wholesome. I loved this episode a lot!

Sorely Missing

I already mentioned this above, many people have been wondering how and when Lea and Jared first met. Assuming their first meeting ever was recently and not in season 1, it would have been interesting to see how that came about and what was said. It might have helped with explaining the ‘Bougie Kalu’ thing, too.

Someone on Reddit pointed out that it seemed strange Jared never asked about any of the other people who are no longer there, like Melendez and Claire. I think we can assume he did and Shaun would have told him off-screen. Or he already knew about all of that because he’s been keeping touch with Claire or is following former colleagues’ social media.

At some point, Shaun must have talked to Lim about wanting her to hire Jared since she mentioned Shaun wanted him on their team. I wonder how that conversation went, and I get why it wasn’t part of the episode, but it’s definitely a conversation I wouldn’t have minded witnessing.

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!


  1. Julianna

    I’m very late commenting but, I too loved this episode.

    Jared’s return, Shaun’s cute happy dance on that return, Shaun’s acute questioning Jared and eliciting that Jared wasn’t completely happy…all of it just fit.

    I always love the Glassman/Lea interactions, and these were particularly interesting. Glassy picked up, where Shaun could not, her underlying problem::yes, she wants this baby, but she also wants to be cool!

    Problem:Lea is 28 weeks pregnant. Trust me, she’s LONG outgrown normal sized jeans.

    Not quite problem yet: The Peanut needs a name. He’s way bigger than a peanut now.

    Problem maybe? Seems to be a difference. In name preferences. Shaun objects to Lea’s suggestions on medical terminology grounds and seems to prefer more traditional boy names. Kelly…really, Lea? Addison…nah.

    • TeeJay

      No worries, unlike Janet Stewart, I won’t hold tardiness against you. 🙂 Agree on the Lea/Glassman dynamic being great this season. Kinda doubt Shaun has ever cared about being cool or thought that word was associated with anything surrouding him or his personality. Although I think there are a lot of really cool things to Shaun, like his ability to visualise things.

      I thought the same thing with the maternity jeans: Isn’t she way too far along to start wearing those now?? But okay, creative license strikes again.

      I love that they’re still calling the baby Peanut, even if he’s getting more like a melon now. lol I still kinda hope they won’t be naming the baby Steve, but who knows. He’ll probably be named only after he pops out of the womb (or the C-section, whatever it’ll be – please don’t tell me if that’s already been determined in some way).

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