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

Season 6 Recap: 6×17 Second Chances and Past Regrets

Ah geez. Way to drop another bomb on us. Or, well, mightily hint at it in those last few seconds. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, there’s much more to uncover before we get to that part. Let’s get into it.

The Technicalities

Written by Tracy Taylor & Jeff Qiu
Directed by Mina Shum
Original airdate 20 Mar 2023

Patient Cases

Patient #1: Yara Fields

Treating physicians:
Shaun Murphy, Jordan Allen, Jared Kalu

Fractured humerus with compartment syndrome, subsequent diagnosis of hypothalamic hamartoma

Case notes:

  • Yara is admitted to the ER with a large bruise on her upper arm and a humerus fracture from an accident in school, Jordan also diagnoses compartment syndrome which requires immediate surgery
  • Yara has Tourette syndrome that presents with motor tics in the head and neck area and random laughs
  • They take Yara into surgery to decompress the compartment syndrome and stabilise the humerus fracture, Yara should be fine to go back to school in a few days
  • Yara suffers a seizure post-op, Shaun orders a brain MRI
  • Because of an unfavourable choice of sedative, the MRI shows too much motion degradation and can’t be interpreted correctly, it needs to be redone
  • The second MRI reveals that Yara’s Tourette’s was a misdiagnosis, the tics are actually gelastic seizures from a hypothalamic hamartoma, a benign growth on the hypothalamus
  • Shaun suggests gamma knife radiosurgery to stop the tumour from growing but which wouldn’t necessarily reduce seizure frequency
  • Jared offers up complete resection as an alternative that is likely to make the seizures disappear but Shaun insists it’s too risky
  • Yara’s mother decides on the gamma knife procedure against Yara’s wishes
  • Jared researches an alternative resection technique that has a lower risk profile, but Shaun rejects the idea
  • Yara’s mother changes her mind after talking to her daughter and they decide on the tumour resection after all
  • When Yara wakes up after the resection surgery, she is fully alert, no memory loss and the seizures and tics are gone, Yara should make a full recovery

Patient #2: Carter Wilson

Treating physicians:
Alex Park, Asher Wolke

Heart block and arrhythmia with ventricular inversion

Case notes:

  • Carter, a young boy, presents at the ER with dizziness and vomiting
  • Carter’s heart rate is low, they run an echocardiogram and electrophysiology study
  • Fluoroscopy reveals that Carter has inverted ventricles which is causing his heart issues
  • Park suggests to surgically place a pacemaker to treat the heart block and arrhythmia, Asher suggests they should also treat the underlying issue of the anatomical defect as it could lead to heart failure when Carter gets older
  • Lim recommends double switch reconstruction to redirect blood flow to the right ventricle which Carter’s grandmother/legal guardian agrees to after some deliberation
  • After the surgery, Carter first seems to be recovering well, then his oxygen saturation and his blood pressure drop
  • A cardiac echo reveals that the reconstructed atria caused a clot in his heart, another surgery is needed to remove the clot and repair the conduit
  • Alternatively, the clot could be dissolved with a catheter and medication but there’s a risk new clots could form in the future; the surgical repair is a lot more invasive but will likely provide a better long-term outcome
  • Carter’s mother manages to convince her mother (Carter’s legal guardian) that the surgery is the best option, so Carter goes into surgery again
  • Carter wakes up from the surgery and seems to be recovering just fine

Shaun’s (and Jared’s) Journey

Look at Shaun being a sweet husband, he made Lea blueberry pancakes for breakfast. Possibly the only thing he knows well enough to master without a recipe… She, in turn, presents him with a cauliflower with a smiley face on it (with the help of olives and asparagus) so we can learn that she’s now 36 weeks along and the Peanut would now be more aptly called the Cauliflower.

I wonder if this was not just for the viewer’s benefit but also for Shaun’s since conceptualisation isn’t always his strong suit and the cauliflower presented something tangible he could relate to. Which of course he took way too literally, remarking their baby wouldn’t be as bumpy.

Ominously, Shaun states how happy he is that everything in their life is going so well right now, and Lea can only agree. Which we know only means they’ll fuck that up big time in some way, because that’s the rule of TGD episode writing: When Shaun is happy and openly states that he is, that’s a sure-fire way to tell us it won’t last. But I’m getting ahead of myself here.

When Shaun mentions looking forward to working with Jared as his new resident, Lea suggests Shaun should be a little more cautionary where his professional relationship with Jared is concerned. Being you friend’s boss can be majorly awkward, and Shaun’s seems a little too sure that he and Jared have nothing to worry about.

I dig the visual cut they made here with the aerial view transition from Shaun and Lea’s apartment to the hospital car park where Jared is rocking up in his pink-purple Lambo, speakers blasting.  Jordan remarks that he’s being a bit pompous with that $700 Tom Ford polo shirt. Asher isn’t in favour of it either, Jared will have a hard time impressing anyone here when flashing the wealthy card.

Shaun is also briefed by Andrews who makes sure to implore on Shaun that he can’t give Jared special treatment. Shaun wasn’t planning on operating on a favouritism principle with Jared, and Andrews drives the point home that he won’t take kindly to seeing Shaun treating Jared favourably over the other residents. This can only go wrong, because these things always tend to give Shaun the wrong idea and lead to him totally overshooting the goal.

Shaun tells Andrews that he doesn’t always call people by their professional titles at work, sometimes he calls Dr. Allen Jordan. Is that true, though? Have we ever heard Shaun call Jordan Jordan at work? He’s always super formal.

Jared’s first day back starts with a case of a teenager with Tourette syndrome and a broken bone in her upper arm. He’s working with Shaun and Jordan on this one, and he’s also warmly welcomed by Morgan’s snark when they run into each other in the supply room.  “The prodigal resident returns…” Indeed so.

During his first surgery, Jared hits his first snag. He forgot one of the tools they need and Shaun chides him for not properly preparing Shaun’s very specific setup. Jordan makes an off-hand comment about being BFFs with the boss, and Shaun immediately bristles, no doubt Andrews’ words ringing in his ears. He very clearly states that he treats every resident the same. Which I think we know is not true, but Shaun probably tries.

Jared is hellbent on trying to prove himself, so he thinks he can get on Shaun’s good side by using a different sedative on their patient for the MRI and by cutting the imaging time in half. Jordan tries to protest, but Jared is convinced that it will impress Shaun.

We saw this coming from a mile away, because it very much doesn’t impress Shaun. The MRI is unusable because of too much motion degradation and Jordan has to repeat it. Shaun orders Jared to stay in his office so they can speak privately, and he tells Jared the same thing that Jordan tried to before: He cannot take shortcuts. And he cannot expect special treatment because they’re BFFs.

Jared never expected special treatment, but he’s offended that Shaun seems to think he’s little more than a rookie. The issue here isn’t just the special treatment, it’s also that Andrews will judge not only Jared for his performance but Shaun along with him. That’s an important piece of information for Jared, who is promptly ordered by Shaun to catch up on their latest protocols and to practice some more.

There’s a bit of a told-you-so moment to come between Jared and Jordan. There may be some resentment there from her, since Jared never had to struggle with money, was able to sail through med school with no financial worries, got kicked out of his residency and yet landed on his feet by taking care of a billionaire.

And not only that. When he got tired of that, he was welcomed back into prestigious St. Bonaventure with open arms in his fancy car with his old tricks. But Jared is far from being a real surgeon—he still has a lot to learn. Which he should acknowledge and be a little more humble.

Jared can appreciate that, but his side of the coin isn’t always as easy as it looks. He wants people to appreciate him for who he is as a person not for his wealth. Which is why he wants to prove so badly that he belongs here.

Yet, somehow the more Jared tries, the deeper he sinks on Shaun’s appreciation list. Jared makes the unfortunate error of pitching a high risk surgery to their brain tumour patient – a surgery that Shaun isn’t in favour of because it’s too risky. And while the resection surgery Jared proposed would solve all of their patient’s issues, Shaun very much insists it isn’t the best option, so the mother agrees with the safter approach.

When Shaun goes to share his woes with Lea, her hopes of a joint lunch with her husband are crushed when it becomes apparent that Shaun’s intentions are focused more on how to solve his mentoring problems than getting a bite to eat. He finds it hard to work with Jared without making it appear as if he’s giving him special treatment. You know, just like Lea had suggested that morning, which Shaun said wouldn’t be an issue…

And it’s Lea who provides a solution to Shaun for his conundrum, because maybe Jared just needs certain rules to follow so that it’s clear what’s expected on both sides. And so it shall be done, and Shaun is off to write up a set of rules while Lea is left all by her lonesome with a protein bar.

Is it just me, or did it seem like they cut some dialogue from this scene in the editing room, which made it kinda choppy and illogical? Lea goes from “He’s your friend and he knows you expect a lot of him” to “No one can follow the rules if they don’t know what they are.” So how are we suddenly following up a remark about expectations with a remark about rules? It seems like there was supposed to be some kind of transition here with maybe a bit more Shaun dialogue that they cut for timing reasons. The scene still worked, but it seemed oddly disjointed to me.

Shaun then presents his list of 15-ish boundaries and rules to Jared to study and internalise. Jared also has something for Shaun to look at: a new proposal for the resection surgery that has a risk profile much closer to the radiation therapy Shaun suggested.

Shaun pretty much immediately rebuts the surgery idea, and Jared is confused. He thought Shaun would welcome the initiative he’s taken and the outside-the-box thinking approach that Shaun himself often employs. But no, Shaun doesn’t want that. He wants his own ideas to be used and isn’t very fond of residents who think they can challenge that he may not have already found the best option himself. Jared needs to respect that Shaun is his attending – number 6 on the list.

Jared tries to make a point that their patient’s emotional wellbeing might be more relevant than the medical aspect, which has Shaun pull out the mic drop argument. Number 10: At work, follow my instructions precisely. If you cannot comply, you will be out of the program. Jared’s response can only be the slightest of eyebrow raises, and then Shaun is off, leaving Jared to ponder that.

The next person Shaun goes to with his woes is Dr. Glassman. a) He wants him to scrub in on the tumour resection the mother and daughter now want, and b) he’s still irked that Jared even suggested it. Glassman is actually with Jared on this and says resection seems like a good idea. Not what Shaun wanted to hear.

Glassman probes a little further and asks if Shaun plans to let Jared scrub in, seeing how it was his idea, and Shaun says yes, but he’ll be on suction. Glassman reminds Shaun that that’s an insult, but Shaun thinks Jared needs to eat some of the humble pie and learn that he’s not to overstep in the future. After all, he’s made Shaun’s job very difficult.

That sounds more than just vaguely familiar to Glassman, so he asks Shaun to sit down. It’s time for Shaun himself to eat a little if that humble pie, because Glassman reminds him that, when Shaun was a resident, he did things completely his own way—he still does, he rubbed everyone the wrong way, and he made everyone’s job more difficult, especially Glassman’s. Shaun was a pain in the ass, and what Glassman is saying that Shaun is being a bit of a hypocrite.

But the amazing thing was that everyone cut Shaun some slack and gave him the space to learn, gave themselves the space to learn from Shaun, and that resulted in Shaun actually turning himself into an asset. So the lesson for Shaun here is: Give Jared the chance to learn and grow into an asset, even if he overstepped and is a bit of a nuisance. Shaun pulls one of his peeved puppy dog faces and says he’ll take it into consideration.

And because Shaun is Shaun, and because he values the parental guidance, he lets Jared do more than suction when they do the surgery. Jared gets to close while Shaun takes the specimen to the lab and Glassman supervises.

Somewhat obvious (at least to me) is that Shaun’s “I’ll take the specimen to the lab” decision was very writer-fabricated. Surgeons don’t take samples to the lab. In real life, that’s done by nurses or techs or someone way down the food chain. But of course there had to be a reason for Shaun to be away from the OR while Glassman closed the wound (and apparently made an obvious error while doing so that Shaun would find out about from Jared later).

A bit of a shame that Shaun isn’t even there when their patient later wakes up from the surgery and finds that her tumour-induced symptoms seem to be gone and the surgery was proven to be a success and perhaps the right option after all.

Jared has one more important thing to do. He stops by Andrews’ office to ask him not to judge Shaun’s performance by his work. Andrews cuts in that Shaun is part of the reason why Jared is back at St. Bon’s in the first place, but Jared wants to stand on his own and it wouldn’t be fair to drag Shaun down with him if he didn’t make the cut. Andrews is appreciative of the notion but says he’ll be watching.

Jared goes to see Shaun in his office afterwards, catches him as Shaun is reading a medical journal. Jared wants to say good night and wants to thank Shaun for not going easy on him, even if they’re friends. Shaun of course still likes Jared as a friend, and he wants to continue being both Jared’s friend and his boss—with boundaries.

He invites Jared to sit down and talks about the additional rule that isn’t on the list because it’s a rule for Shaun. Whenever he addresses Jared in professional mode, he will call him Dr. Kalu, but when they’re in friend mode, he will call him Jared.

To demonstrate, Shaun wants to take Jared out for drinks to celebrate his first day back but also wants to tell Dr. Kalu that he has to work on his suturing technique because he should have used ten rather than eight sutures to avoid the small bleed the patient had. Jared appreciates the guidance, but he mentions that it was actually Dr. Glassman who closed the galea and skin. So it was Dr. Glassman who skipped two sutures? That seems unusual to Shaun, and the ominous music that the episode fades out on tells us that this can only be an ill omen and will likely mean something is not gonna bode well for Glassman in future episodes to come.

Asher’s Journey

So apparently Jerome asked Asher for a “talk”, which wasn’t quite the happy occasion that maybe Jordan and Asher were expecting. Asher is in a foul mood and doesn’t wanna talk about whatever he and Jerome were discussing the night before.

This theme carries on throughout the day, and Asher’s aura must be red-hot with angry ‘don’t dare touch or speak to me’ energy. There’s a conversation over a heart anomaly test of whether it’s right or wrong to withhold information from your loved ones, and Park can’t help but raise his eyebrows at the passive-aggressiveness between Asher and Jerome here. Clearly, there’s trouble in paradise between the two.

There’s opportunity to actually share and address the underlying issue when Jerome and Asher meet again in the surgeon’s lounge. Lim and Park are all too happy to give relationship advice on how not to manage your relationship, seeing how they’re both divorcees.

If I interpreted this right, it seems Lim’s marriage went bust because her husband was secretly in contact with an ex. Interesting little detail there.

Their current frosty air is based on the fact that Jerome lied to Asher, or rather lied by omission. Jerome defends himself by saying he was afraid of how Asher would react. Jerome then lays it out in the open. He’s what’s called poz undetectable – HIV positive with an undetectable viral load, meaning he can’t transmit the virus. And he didn’t tell Asher that until the other night.

Jerome and Lim have an honest conversation about it later. Jerome had no duty to disclose since he can’t transmit the virus, which is met with relief from Jerome. Lim also offers the notion that Jerome may need to give Asher some time to digest the news. It isn’t necessarily about the pure knowledge of transmission risk, there’s also the underlying feelings that come with news like that. Jerome has had years to process his status. Asher only just learned about it.

 Jerome makes another attempt at making things right, he finds Asher in the cafeteria during his lunch break. He apologises again and explains that after he got his diagnosis, he tried to be open about it, but he got rejected over and over, and he spent so much time alone that when he met Asher and fell in love, he was afraid he’d be rejected again. And then more time passed, and it became harder and harder to make the admission because he didn’t want to lose Asher.

Jerome made sure they always used protection and encouraged Asher to stay on HIV prophylaxis so he’d be safe, but the safety isn’t the issue here. It’s the fact that Jerome made that decision for Asher and not with him. He took Asher’s choice away, and it’s also insulting that Jerome didn’t trust Asher enough to think he may accept Jerome despite the HIV diagnosis. So how well do they really know each other?

Asher comes to seek out Jerome the next evening and apologises for being such a jerk. He’s ready to appreciate that Jerome opened up to him and he should have trusted Jerome that they could figure it out together. Asher takes Jerome’s hand and makes a big admission himself: He’s never been in love before Jerome.

And apparently now it’s confession time, because Jerome once ran over a racoon and didn’t stop to check because he was late to a baseball game. And he loves a pumpkin spice latte, even though it’s basic. Okay, not Asher’s thing. What Asher has to confess, however, is that he bought cufflinks for Shaun and Lea’s wedding that were supposed to be a present for Jerome but Asher liked them so much that he kept them.

Jerome gives Asher a long look, then tells him he loves him. Maybe it’s the first time he’s said it out loud, it kinda sounds like it is. Asher leans in, and they share a long, loving kiss.

Okay, but…how long have they been together? Over a year, right? They’ve never said, “I love you” in all that time? Or was I reading the vibe wrong here? Regardless, I’m happy they’re still going strong. Jasher ftw!

Things to Further Dissect

Mentor and Mentee Dynamic

When it became obvious that Jared was going to be rehired as first year resident, I had been wondering how the dynamic with Shaun as his boss would work, and I’m glad that they spent a whole episode arc on that. I had a feeling there would be bumps in the road, and it wouldn’t be as smooth sailing as Shaun had imagined or suspected.

Some of the later seasons, particularly season 4 was spent on Shaun being eased into a mentoring role, and we’d already seen him struggle with it back then when he was mentoring the junior residents (Jordan, Asher and Olivia).

Shaun’s ASD brings with it that he often sees things very black and white, that there is only right or wrong and very little grey zone. And of course Shaun is usually the one who’s convinced that he’s right and everyone else is wrong. It was only natural that this would come up with Jared at some point, and we see it being showcased here very nicely.

What was also beautiful was that Glassman made it a point to sit Shaun down (literally!) to tell him he was being—albeit unconsciously—a hypocrite. I’m still trying to decide whether Shaun was true to himself when Jared brought him the idea of the modified tumour resection that was lower risk and more doable. Was it out of character for Shaun to dismiss that immediately just for the sake of wanting to disagree? Wouldn’t Shaun be all about the medicine and the science? And if Jared had a scientific, research-supported better method, wouldn’t Shaun at least look at it?

Yet, I’m glad that he came around and opened himself up to the idea of accommodating Jared’s ideas, or at least listening to them. Let’s see how long that lasts.

What I also noted was that Jared seemed incredibly chill with Shaun being a total jerk to him on a professional level. Sure, Jared seems to have a decent EQ, and he already knows Shaun and knows not to take the rebuttal personally. But still, Shaun was pretty out of line with some of what he said to Jared. I’m not sure I’d have been that chill in that situation.

Bougie Kalu

It’s interesting that the reception of Jared’s return among the online fans has been somewhat mixed. A good number of people love that he’s back, but there has also been negative feedback of people not liking him and thinking he’s way too arrogant, too full of himself and way too… well, bougie.

Jordan had a good point that it’d probably do him well to be a little less flashy with the wealth, and that it’s not the best look when you come into work as first year resident in a Lamborghini and a $700 polo shirt. He might not be making himself a lot of friends that way.

Of course Jared also has to learn the lesson of not overestimating his knowledge and his skills. He hasn’t been an active surgeon for, what? Three years? His argument towards Shaun of having been a doctor just as long as Shaun has might be true, but he’s been away from surgery longer than he has been an actively practicing surgeon, and I very much doubt he kept up with all the advances of the medicine and the science in that field.  So Jordan was definitely right that he needs to learn to be more humble.

One notion at play here, naturally, was that Jared felt he had something to prove. Possibly in some way to himself, but more to Shaun and his peers and superiors, which made it even more awkward. It would behove Jared to scale back on the presumptuousness and just listen and learn. Which I think Shaun and Jordan and the others will hopefully keep teaching him, so I have hopes that Jared will find his place.

Melissa Reiner’s episode insights this time around spoke to how Shaun would make a distinction between personal and professional interaction with Jared, and how that translated to their last scene where Shaun explains that he’ll refer to Jared by his first name in friend mode and by Dr. Kalu in professional mode. Which, to me, seemed kinda… duh? Isn’t that what Shaun has been doing all along with everyone? I mean, he mostly addresses his colleagues with Dr. LastName anyway, right? I’ve never heard him call Lim Audrey or Park Alex.

Past Regrets that lead to Second Chances

I was initially thinking the episode title was mostly relating to Jared, and while Jared may have regrets about how he was initially fired from St. Bon’s, the title actually ended up relating more to the medical cases and Asher and Jerome’s story arc.

It’s a bit of a shame that the patient story with the boy and the two mothers didn’t resonate with me at all. While the guardianship topic was mildly interesting, the conversations between mother and daughter felt forced, and the resolution of the conflict came totally out of the blue. It was like the younger mother reiterated something she had said before à la, “I’m really sorry I gave up my son, but I knew it was the best for him to leave him with you,” and then the older mother suddenly decided, okay, yeah, that sounds more legit because this is the second time she’s said it, I’ll forgive her.

The episode title also related to what was going on with Asher and Jerome – regrets about not having told Asher about the HIV and hoping for forgiveness to get a second chance. I thought that the HIV reveal came as a surprise, and I have a feeling the writers kinda spontaneously decided, “oh hey, let’s give Jerome HIV so we can spin conflict around it”.

Ultimately, I guess it made for a good story. It certainly contributed to a number of incensed comments online of people saying that what Jerome did was unforgivable, and in Asher’s stead they would have immediately left Jerome.

Personally, I don’t think it’s that black and white. Things get messy when feelings are involved, and clearly Jerome had regrets, and the two of them still loved each other. What some people were also understandably upset about was that it was written as if Asher had no right to be pissed at Jerome, as if he was overreacting by making this into kind of a big deal. Which it was. That’s a pretty big bomb to drop on your partner, and Asher had every right to feel misled.

There was also criticism online that it was resolved way too quickly and they basically made up in a day about something as big as this. But, you know, if you pay attention, it wasn’t actually a day. It was at least three. So I don’t have as much of a problem with this.

The one thing I would want to question is that Jerome apparently encouraged Asher to keep taking PrEP (HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis) for all this time. They’ve been together for over a year now, right? Wouldn’t Asher have questioned why he was supposed to be taking PrEP for all this time when they were sexually exclusive?

Others have also questioned why Jerome brought this up so late in the game. They had a conversation about children ten episodes ago. That would have been a good time to talk about Jerome’s HIV status. Probably comes back to, “oh hey, let’s give Jerome HIV so we can spin conflict around it”… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Glassman’s Fate

So obviously this is what everyone is talking about – what did Glassman’s error there at the end mean that Jared refers to and that Shaun (and the ominous music) seem to be immediately concerned about? Apparently the promo for the next episode suggests that it may be a much bigger thing than just two missed stitches on a bad day, but we also know promos are often edited in a way that they are actively deceiving to amp up the drama.

Speculations are flying wild that Glassman’s cancer is back, and some people were already hypothesising that the episode title of the finale (The Fog) might refer to brain fog or dementia or something equally distressing. (Personally, I think the latter is a bit of a stretch since vague episode titles like this can mean anything, but okay.)

All of this fills me with a sizeable amount of dread, because they clearly didn’t include Shaun and Lea’s dialogue at the very beginning of the episode about how great everything was going and how happy they were without a reason. That’s indicative of a mighty disruption to their happiness being around the corner, and Glassman dying certainly fits that bill.

Sure, they could just be giving us a bit of a scare that might be (more or less) harmlessly resolved, but after all that has happened in previous seasons, that seems unlikely. They already did the recovery-from-cancer arc in season 2, they won’t be doing that again. They already did the unfounded omg-the-cancer-is-back scare in Quarantine (mid-season 2), it’s improbable they’d be doing that again. So what does that leave? Glassman actually dying?

If we indulge the idea of the possibility of Glassman’s impeding death for a moment, from a dramaturgic standpoint, it makes perfect sense to introduce sudden high-stakes, high-tension drama, because it would absolutely destroy Shaun if Glassman passed away, or if he was being diagnosed with some debilitating thing that meant he couldn’t work anymore and would be slowly meeting his demise.

But from an emotional journey standpoint, that would seem super cruel and like a slap in the face. It took Shaun and Glassman over a decade to get to a point where they could finally admit to each other that they were father and son, and then the beautiful notion of Shaun gifting Glassman a grandchild he never thought he could have. To rip that opportunity away just when things were finally falling into place would be the ultimate gut punch.

That said, I absolutely trust David Shore to pull that stunt. He tends to kick people where it hurts, and we know that the show lives off of the formula that Shaun can’t ever be unconditionally happy or not be faced with some big personal struggle at least once a season.

There’s now clear and present danger and a certain likelihood that if we see Lea giving birth to a healthy little Murphy munchkin, they will take away Glassman’s chance of seeing that boy growing up. If that were to happen, I’d hate it with all my heart and would be forever writing AU fanfics where Glassman lives until a ripe old age and actually sees his grandson make it through high school.

I know the writers don’t generally cater to what the fans want, but my personal wish would be that, at the very least, Glassman should see his grandson be born. I would positively hate a season finale that uses stupid, corny tropes like cancelling out new life with tragic death, by having Shaun and Lea’s son be born at the same time that Glassman dies, and then Shaun and Lea paying homage to all the beloved but dead people in their lives by naming their kid Steve Aaron Murphy as a tribute.

The more I think about this, and from what I’ve been told by people who are more in tune with spoilery information, right now we’re all falling for what they were trying to achieve with the misleading promo: Make us think Glassman is dying when he’s actually not.

I could see that maybe in the end it’s just going to be a catalyst for Shaun and Glassman to have a conversation about retirement and Glassman then maybe deciding or starting to think about stepping back from active surgery.

It’s no secret that Richard Schiff has little fondness for hospital shows and only signed on to The Good Doctor because, having a son with autism himself, he was intrigued by getting to play an important role on a show that’s advocating for autism. So maybe the time has come for Richard to scale down or say goodbye to the show, who knows? I’m sure we’ll get to see in the following episodes to come.

And as for those people who were speculating that Richard Schiff was quitting The Good Doctor to play Odin in Amazon Prime’s rendition of God of War, that’s pure conjecture at this point. No casting announcements have been made about that show, and there is nothing that suggests he’s officially attached to it, other than fans saying they want him in it because he did a great job on the video game. Plus, it wouldn’t be the first time he’s working on another project in parallel, next to shooting The Good Doctor.

Random Bits and Pieces

I wanna single out the young actress who played Yara, Shian Tomlinson, because I think she did a really fantastic job. Playing the Tourette-like motor and laughing tics seemed incredibly real and believable. Really fantastic job there.

Favourite Scenes and Lines

  • “Our baby will not be as bumpy.” Oh Shaun. (And I sure hope not!)
  • Morgan and Jared are 🔥. (Not in a sexual chemistry kind of way, I just love them throwing snark back and forth.)
  • Jordan putting Jared gently in his place. I love it when Jordan gets a little sassy, and she certainly did it here without being condescending.
  • The more intimate Asher and Jerome scenes were great. I really dig the two of them.
  • Glassman telling Shaun in no uncertain terms that he’s being a hypocrite. And calling him a pain in the ass at the same time. Go Glassy!
  • Shaun and Jared being buddies. Shaun needs more buddies.

Sorely Missing

Nothing that stood out to me as missing in particular for this episode, but seeing how Lea has now sailed through 8+ months of pregnancy with very little focus on day-to-day pregnant woman life, I do feel like that’s a piece where the writers dropped the ball a little bit.

I get that it’s a tricky subject. The show is first and foremost about Shaun going through life as an autistic surgeon, and not a soap called The Shea Show. Yet, with all these side characters, it feels like they’ve taken a lot of focus away from Shaun’s life with Lea, and the more mundane but also interesting everyday struggles that Shaun might deal with as a married husband with a baby on the way.

I fondly remember back to season 4 and all the Shaun and Lea interactions surrounding the early pregnancy. Sure, I get why they skipped the first trimester during their second pregnancy, but there was very little insight in season 6 into Lea’s pregnancy and how that affected their marriage. We had the short interlude with Lea needing to pee roughly 78 times every night and the somewhat over-caricatured babyproofing thing, and then maternity pants and the mum mobile, but none of that really involved anything relating to Shaun’s ASD or their mutual experience of becoming expecting parents.

Did we truly need to see any of that? No, I guess not. Would it have added anything to existing characters stories or character development arcs? Possibly yes. Just recently I saw a comment from someone who said they dropped the aspect of Shaun’s autism from the show a little too much, and in that sense I think it would have been great to have more glimpses into facets of pregnancy that a mixed-neurological couple might struggle with.

On the other hand, you have the perpetual trickle of fans complaining that the show has become too soapy and it should go back to its earlier, purer form of concentrating on the medicine and not the private lives of the characters. I’m sure these types of fans would very much disagree with the notion of showing more of the advancing pregnancy. Oh well, I guess you can’t please ‘em all.

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 Comment

  1. Jessie

    Hi, found this blog from a post on Reddit. Great recap! Incredibly detailed. Just wanted to say that it was definitely not the first ‘I love you’ for Asher and Jerome. Asher said “I love you too” after they embraced at the end of the season premiere. Also, in this episode, Asher said “how could you have known me and loved me and think I wouldn’t accept this?”, so he already knew Jerome loved him. I think the significance of that ‘I love you”, at the end of the episode was the “I need you to believe that” part. Jerome is asking for Asher’s trust back. It’s a reaffirmation of his commitment.

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