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Season 6 Recap: 6×18 A Blip

Here we were, after a two-week cliffhangery wait to eagerly learn about whether Glassman’s fate was sealed, but… what we actually learned wasn’t that. Not a bad episode at all, but having to wait yet another week for that potential punch in the gut was a little frustrating.

The Technicalities

Written by Sam Chanse
Directed by Phillip Rhys Chaudhary
Original airdate 03 Apr 2023

Patient Cases

Patient #1: Daphne Garcia

Treating physicians:
Morgan Reznick, Alex Park, Jordan Allen, Jared Kalu

Dislocated patella, severely enlarged tonsils causing sleep apnoea, renal artery stenosis causing cardiac issues and kidney failure

Case notes:

  • Daphne presents at the clinic with a dislocated patella (kneecap), an MRI shows no associated damage to bones or ligaments
  • Daphne’s daughter mentions that she’s also been complaining about dizziness and swollen ankles, they suspect it may be menopause-related
  • Jordan talks about a multi-ligament reconstruction, assuming that’s their intended approach to treat the recurring patella dislocations
  • Daphne falls asleep during the exam and they notice an apnoeic spell
  • Exam of the tonsils reveal that Daphne has what’s called kissing tonsils – tonsils so  enlarged that they’re touching, which is also causing her severe sleep apnoea
  • The surgical team suggests an immediate tonsillectomy
  • After the surgery, Daphne’s heart rate spikes and she becomes hypoxic (too little oxygen in the blood), Park detects a heart murmur and they suspect right heart failure
  • Daphne is taken to the cath lab where she goes into ventricular tachycardia while they check her blood vessels for possible damage
  • They shock Daphne into sinus rhythm again and need to do further tests to find out what’s wrong with her heart
  • Daphne has a narrowing of the renal arteries which is causing her kidneys to fail – Daphne’s options are a riskier renal artery bypass or life-long dialysis
  • Daphne is afraid of the complications of the surgery and chooses the dialysis
  • They insert a dialysis port which becomes infected, so Daphne has to be treated with antibiotics, but there’s risk of recurrence and sepsis
  • Daphne changes her mind to have the artery bypass, but during the surgery they find a kink in the graft, Jared proposes an alternative surgical plan with works much better
  • The rest of the surgery goes smoothly and post-op labs look good, they expect a full recovery for Daphne

Patient #2: Harper Decrane

Treating physicians:
Audrey Lim, Shaun Murphy, Asher Wolke, Daniel Perez

Tetralogy of Fallot, post-COVID syndrome

Case notes:

  • Harper presents in the ER with shortness of breath and chest pain, Shaun suspects a chest embolism and orders a chest CT angiography and echocardiogram
  • Harper is taking several medications to help with the brain fog from long COVID, her initial infection was eight months ago
  • The tests reveal that Harper has several cardiac issues, including severe narrowing of the pulmonic valve, hypertrophied right ventricle, opening between the lower chambers and an overriding aorta
  • Danny mentions it looks like tetralogy of Fallot (or tet for short), something rarely seen in adults since the malformations usually get diagnosed and corrected in infancy, and untreated survival into adulthood is very rare
  • Harper has an unusual presentation of tet that balanced out her cardiac dysfunction, but damage from COVID disrupted the balance and is causing her current symptoms
  • Two different surgeries are needed to fix the tet malformations
  • During the first surgery, Harper has a tet spell, which means the second surgery will become much riskier
  • It’s now a trade-off between taking medication that will keep Harper’s already reduced brain function at status quo or doing the tet repair
  • Harper initially decides against the tet repair because she doesn’t want to lose more of herself
  • Danny suggests placing a shunt to buy a few months for Harper’s memory issues to stabilise and finish the tet repair later, which Harper agrees to move forward with initially
  • Harper changes her mind the next day to go through with finishing the tet repair
  • During the second surgery, Harper has yet another tet spell and her O2 saturation drops to undetectable levels for a prolonged period of time, causing a high risk of brain damage or more cognitive deficits
  • Harper wakes up from the surgery without further recognisable deficits and they expect her to make a full recovery in terms of her heart issues
  • With time, Harper’s cognitive abilities may return as well, but no one can really say that with any kind of certainty

Shaun’s Journey

After Jared told Shaun the evening before that Dr. Glassman had missed two sutures on his last brain surgery, Shaun is worried that there’s something wrong with Glassman, so he embarks on a journey of reassurance that nothing is amiss.

He starts with quizzing Glassman about all kinds of possible symptoms—memory function, nutrition, sauna usage… Glassman asks what’s with the 20 Questions, and Shaun tells him they need to find out if there’s a pattern. Glassman isn’t as enthusiastic about the idea and reassures Shaun that his error was just “a blip”, that he’s fine and Shaun should leave it alone.

Of course Shaun is not one to leave anything alone that has manifested in his brain as an important problem to be solved, so he goes into hyperfocusing overdrive. His new mission is now to examine all the evidence to either confirm or deny that there are any patterns.

The way he goes about that is by printing out six months’ worth of Glassman’s OP reports (couldn’t review them electronically, Shaun?), half of which he sends to the printer in Lea’s office. Graciously, he provides her with a new ream of printer paper, and new toner has also already been ordered. As usual, Shaun has thought of everything.

The near 500 print-outs end up all over Shaun and Alex’s office floor and furniture in neat stacks, sorted by whatever Shaun’s system is. Shaun cautions Alex not to disturb the documents, explaining he’s trying to determine if Glassman’s surgical error was an anomaly or part of a pattern. He’s in the meantime identified three more errors Glassman made in the last four months, but nothing that suggests a pattern. Alex asserts that then maybe there isn’t one.

I love that Shaun was fairly quickly able to detect that Park was actually being sarcastic when he remarked that Glassman must be really pleased that Shaun is devoting so much attention to Glassman’s surgical blip. He has learned a lot!

It’s Shaun’s patient Harper who sends him on the right path when she mentions that her executive function now has significant deficits. And suddenly it clicks. All of Glassman’s minor errors could be tied to a beginning loss of executive function.

And that’s not good, because it indicates what could be a massive catastrophe. It could be that Glassman’s brain cancer is back, more specifically a recurrent glioma in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Glassman’s scan from six months ago was completely clear, Glassman isn’t worried.

But Shaun still is, now more than ever. He wants Glassman to have another MRI right now to rule out cancer. Which Glassman isn’t particularly open to. He insists the errors are because he’s doing more complex surgeries than most other surgeons in this hospital, so discussion over, Shaun.

When Jared invites everyone out for a private karaoke session and no one actually turns up other than Shaun, Lea and Jordan, Shaun uses the aborted party to quiz his colleagues on whether they may have observed any executive function symptoms during Glassman’s surgeries.

Did you see how easily Shaun yielded to Lea’s request of playing the “pregnant lady card” (which she had to translate for him, seeing how he didn’t get the metaphoric implication). Lea was like, “I wanna go,” and Shaun immediately went, “Okay,” and packed up his files. Wow. There was a time when he would have argued that he had to finish his research. So proud of you, Shaunie.

It must have been a very short night for Shaun because he woke up at 3:30 and then started reviewing more of Glassman’s surgery videos. He’s assembled everything in a large plastic box and is strangely happy that the evidence for a recurring glioma is very compelling.

The fact that Shaun brewed coffee at 3:30 am that wasn’t supposed to be for Lea seems to suggest that Shaun actually drank it himself. Which is weird since it has been previously established that Shaun doesn’t like the way that caffeine makes him feel and we’ve never seen him drinking coffee before ever. It was an unwritten rule that Shaun doesn’t like coffee, so now suddenly he drinks plain old filter coffee to stay awake? Yeah, sorry, I don’t buy that.

Shaun makes the mistake of just putting the files on Glassman’s desk with a note that says:

Glassman, of course, does nothing of the sort and forthwith returns the files to Shaun with his own note to tell him he didn’t look at the evidence and does not intend to. Shaun thinks that he needs a new strategy to make Glassman see the light, so his new approach is to speak to Glassman in person to go through the files with him. He really needs to see this new evidence, Shaun is convinced that it will sway his opinion.

Lea, however, advocates that maybe it’s time to let this go. Glassman clearly doesn’t want to hear this right now, and if Shaun keeps pushing, he’ll do more harm than good.

What Lea also does is that she makes Shaun see a whole other angle that he was totally oblivious to before. She suggests to Shaun that his motivation to push so hard for this isn’t actually rational and data-driven, it’s absolutely emotionally motivated. They’re about to have a baby, Shaun is about to become a father, and he’s worried about family – family that includes his son’s grandfather, whom he wants to be able to see his son grow up.

The realisation gives Shaun pause, and he thinks about this—enough that it prompts another visit to Glassman’s office. This time it’s not the energetic bounce of hyperfocus that has him rushing there to get a point across. His steps are deliberate and hesitant, because now this has become so much bigger and so much more important.

Shaun shares Lea’s thoughts with Glassman, and the latter confirms yet again that he’s fine, that he’s not concerned about cancer recurrence, and that he’s thankful for Shaun’s consideration of wanting to let it go.

But Shaun isn’t done, and he’s ready to take a big leap of faith, because he must have realised that all of this isn’t so much about Dr. Glassman as it is about their family and their bond. Shaun is brave enough to admit that he’s scared, and that has Glassman’s immediate attention, because it’s a rare occasion for Shaun to be talking about his feelings.

Shaun has tears in his eyes when he repeats his request for Glassman to do the MRI, but this time it’s a heartfelt appeal in a gentle and teary voice. Shaun underlines the plea with a rationale that the data and the evidence are sound, but that’s not the most important part of this anymore. “It would be hard to lose my father just as I am about to become one,” he admits in a shaky voice with a tear running down his cheek. “Do the scan for me.”

How can Glassman say no to that? Knowing now what it means to Shaun, of course he’ll do the scan. Shaun lets out a breath of momentary relief, and the fact that he goes to lean against the desk next to Glassman, close enough to touch, tells us how much he loves this man who came into his life during a time of crisis and has guided and loved him ever since.

The episode fades out on an ominous reciting of Ada Limón’s poem “Instructions on Not Giving Up” and leaves us hanging yet another week before we find out if there’s anything to the cancer theory or not.

[…] It’s the greening of the trees
that really gets to me. When all the shock of white
and taffy, the world’s baubles and trinkets, leave
the pavement strewn with the confetti of aftermath,
the leaves come. Patient, plodding, a green skin
growing over whatever winter did to us, a return
to the strange idea of continuous living despite
the mess of us, the hurt, the empty. Fine then,
I’ll take it, the tree seems to say, a new slick leaf
unfurling like a fist to an open palm, I’ll take it all.

Ada Limón  (Instructions on Not Giving up)

Jared and Jordan’s Journey

Jared is still struggling with trying to fit in, with proving that he belongs at St. Bonaventure and its surgical residency team. He gives himself a little pep talk at his locker to convince himself, believing in the power of self-motivation and self-affirmation.

He may just be trying a little too hard when he’s revealing his little surprise he’s been working on, sending out invites to “Star karaoke until ??” to the whole team. Morgan interrupts with a snarky comment and an assignment of both Jordan and Jared to her patella dislocation case. The two are not exactly thrilled to be working together after their little territory fight in the last few days.

Jared also knows he has something to make up for, so Jared does what he knows best, he tries to buy himself into the good graces of people and delivers a choice of four different coffee beverages to Jordan as she’s doing chart work. Jordan seem to be a simple gal and chooses the latte.

They have a discussion about their patient and her daughter, it appears that elderly and visibly overweight Daphne has struggled for many years with what they now know are the detrimental effects of prolonged sleep apnoea, and her daughter has been in supportive control of most of her everyday life. Now that the daughter is about to move to Europe for a new job, Daphne will have to fend for herself.

Jordan thinks it shouldn’t be a daughter’s job to handhold their parents or to give up their own life when the parents should be perfectly capable of it themselves. Jordan was one of six growing up, the only girl among her siblings. Her parents worked a lot, so she was basically second mom since kindergarten. She knows what it’s like to miss out on a lot of things when you have to take care of someone else.

Jordan bristles with distaste when Daphne decides she’d rather have dialysis for the rest of her life than accept the risk of surgical complications, even if means that her daughter would have to give up her new job and stay home to help her mother.

And then, that night, Shaun, Lea and Jordan are on their way to “star karaoke” with Jared, but unfortunately when they get there, everyone else has last-minute cancelled. There’s lots of food from the catering Jared had ordered, and his rendition of Wonderwall they interrupted also leaves much to be desired.

Shaun wants to use the opportunity of the low turnout to discuss possible executive function symptoms that Jordan and Jared might have noticed in recent surgeries with Glassman, so no actual karaoke that night. Jordan frustratedly takes a stab at the bubbly while they surrender to catering to Shaun’s personal research fixation.

Shaun and Lea leave early and Jordan is also about to head out, but she gives Jared a bit more well-meant advice: Maybe he should focus on his career as a surgeon before he graduates to party planner. Jared has her sit back down when he divulges this is what he knows, this is how he’s been taught to make friends – by throwing parties and feel like he fits in with the crowd.

With wealthy parents, he moved around a lot as a kid. Different schools, different cities, different countries. He’s never had enough time to get to know people and find his place, and throwing money around is his way of getting people’s validation.

When Jordan and Jared talk to Daphne alone about the dialysis treatment, Jordan finally speaks up and tells her that she doesn’t have to settle for anything, that she can make her own decisions and take accountability for her own life so that her daughter can be freed of the responsibility of taking care of her mother. And that gets through to Daphne, she eventually decides to do the surgery.

Jordan shows Jared the next night where the actually amazing food’s at, which is the tacos van just outside of the hospital. Apparently this van makes life-changing blue corn tortillas, and Jared has to agree when he takes a bite. They’re amazing.

Jordan regrettably ends up with a piece of lettuce on her cheek, and when she can’t quite get it off herself, Jared helps. It leads to a moment of gentle and lingering touch with a spark of chemistry between them – a moment that coincidentally Danny is witness to who just happens to get off shift. And from the looks of it, he’s definitely stricken. Jared and Jordan don’t act on it, and they quickly and awkwardly separate, about to deny that this ever happened.

Andrews’ Journey

We learn that apparently, Andrews and Villanueva have a thing going where they regularly hang out in the cafeteria often enough that they have a preferred table and that Andrews knows Dalisay takes her latte with one Splenda, half sugar in the raw and light almond milk.

Andrews wants to take it to the next level to officially start dating and hands Dalisay an agreement acknowledging a consensual relationship. How romantic, but she signs it anyway. Before they can fix a dinner date, she is whisked away to the ward.

Andrews makes another attempt to nail down that dinner date, suggesting a new Portuguese place on Friday or Saturday, but Dalisay is working a double both days since they lost some staff and there haven’t been any new hires. Andrews tries to reassure her that they have travel nurses coming in that are highly skilled, but that’s not what they need. They need staff nurses.

Andrews asserts that they don’t have the budget for new nursing staff right now, which ticks Dalisay off since Lim just had free rein to hire a new first year surgical resident, didn’t she? Andrews tries to handwave it by saying it was Lim’s department and he had little say in the matter.

Their next cafeteria meet-up is cut pretty short. Dalisay ungracefully declines the latte Andrews got her, and she tells him in no uncertain terms that she doesn’t think dating is a great idea. If he doesn’t value what the nurses do, if he doesn’t treat them like a resource worth investing in, how can he really value her as a person? And not just that. If that’s truly how he thinks of the nurses, then there is only little respect that Dalisay has left for him as a person. She walks away and leaves him standing dumbfounded in the middle of the cafeteria.

Things to Further Dissect

Glassman’s Fate

With an expectation of this being the much awaited resolution to the cliffhanger from two weeks ago as to what was going on with Dr. Glassman, this episode actually resolved nothing at all. It also did nothing to reassure us. If anything, it raised the stakes, and solidified the recurring cancer possibility with a large amount of dread that keeps looming.

We now have tangible evidence that returning brain cancer is the likeliest scenario. Shaun tied all of Glassman’s recent errors to executive function, the last brain scan was half a year ago, and if there’s another tumour growing, it means it grew fast and may just be relatively advanced and possibly fatal.

That beautiful last scene between Shaun and Glassman was sandwiched between lines from Ada Limón’s poem “Instructions on Not Giving Up”, which is the perfect metaphor for several themes we can directly apply to Shaun and Glassman and their history.

One interpretation is that the poem speaks to the fleeting beauty of spring, of beautiful blossoms shooting out of the trees after a long and cold winter to light up the few months of spring with the splendour of colourful blossoms. But before you know it, springtime will be over, withered petals lining the ground, blossoms making way for green leaves to sprout and carry the trees over into the next winter.

There’s a theme of transience, of the good things in life not necessarily lasting, and an appeal to enjoy the beauty and the good times while they last. There’s also a theme of resilience, of being able to witness and live through the pain of loss and hardships but to keep ploughing on, knowing that life will go on and accepting that there’s suffering but to keep going anyway and give it the best you have.

All of this, it’s a perfect parallel to Shaun and Glassman – both now and in the past. They had all these wonderful years together when they grew and became family, when they got to this beautiful place of acknowledging their parental bond, when things finally fell into a place of mutual love and acceptance. Just like Shaun and Lea said in the previous episode: They were incredibly happy, they are having a baby, they have stable relationships, jobs and friends, everything seemed perfect. And then, suddenly, spring is over and happiness and beauty has to give way to the toils and the circle of life.

If Shaun were indeed to lose his father, it would be one of the biggest hardships in his life he’d have to endure, he’d have to live through the pain and the grief, to eventually find the strength to grow new leaves and to keep living life, leaving an important chapter of his life behind and focus on the new one that will be accompanied by raising their son. Resilience in the face of tragedy.

And, man, as poetic as all of that is, I still hate the idea with a passion. This is the epic gut punch that I was talking about in my previous recap, and I still trust David Shore to absolutely go there and rip Glassman out of Shaun’s and our lives. I guess now the best we can hope for is that it won’t be an immediate thing and that Glassy at least gets to enjoy spending a little bit of time with his grandson. That would be my big wish for season 7. Unless this is still a clever ruse and the cancer scare turns out to be nothing at all… Hm.

That said, it’s been a while that I’ve sung outright praise of the acting duo Highmore and Schiff, and this scene yet again underlined just how good they are. Freddie poured his heart into giving us a vulnerable Shaun brave enough to open up, wearing his emotions on his sleeve like he so often does when it comes to things that matter, and Richard quietly drinking in the important and poignant moment with a Glassman switching from mild annoyance to being deeply emotionally touched at the conversation that was unfolding. These two are such a joy to watch, and if Glassman’s fate will be sealed like I think it will, I will miss this dynamic greatly.

The Shea dynamic is also still going strong, and I love that Shaun and Lea have become such a stereotypical married couple in the best sense of the word. They’re completely comfortable around each other, they know each other’s quirks and habits, and they’re super in tune and respect each other’s opinions.

It’s still wonderful to see that Lea isn’t very pushy or condescending with Shaun, even when he gets a little annoying or hyperfixated. He sent 276 pages of OP reports to her printer? Okay, fine, it’s one of his things he needs to figure out. He gets all wrapped up in solving his Glassman conundrum. Okay, cool, let him review OR videos well through the morning hours before he’s off to work bright ‘n early. He annoys the hell out of Grumpy Glassy with his hyperfixation. Okay, maybe he should be given a (not so) subtle hint that he’s been inadvertently ignoring this massive blind spot that he has.

It’s also beautiful that Shaun always listens to what Lea has to say and fully trusts her, or at the very least will consider what she’s recommending. Sure, he dismissed some of her objections, even interrupted her as she was talking when it wasn’t what he wanted to hear, but he knew to pay attention to the really important things, i.e. Lea suggesting that maybe his motivations were emotional rather than rational and fact-driven.

And then that led to Shaun being courageous enough to go to Glassman and let himself be completely open and vulnerable, to admit one of his biggest fears—that he was scared to lose one of the most important people in his life. And Glassman more or less immediately saying yes to the scan after Shaun laid open how afraid he was, that illustrated beautifully just how much the two mean to each other, and how much they love each other. Like I already said, it will be absolutely heartbreaking if they decide to rip that bond irreversibly apart. So let’s see what this week’s episode will bring.

Melissa Reiner’s episode insights for this episode revealed an interesting little twist, because the script initially had Shaun come to Glassman with a purely emotional plea, but Melissa suggested that Shaun would very much double down on the rational facts and the evidence first before he would be talking about the emotional aspects.

The Lim Parallel

One of the things that had me raise my eyebrows in this episode was something that I saw getting some criticism over on Reddit as well: Lim’s little ‘let me share my personal story with you’ moment she had with Harper. That scene didn’t resonate with me at all and had me actually a little annoyed, because it just seemed out of place and out of line.

Sure, I get what they wanted to do. They needed for there to be some motivation for Harper to change her mind about the surgery, but it seemed pretty shoehorned to have Lim compare her situation to Harper’s. Lim’s surgery was all about her (hopefully) regaining the ability to walk again, to reverse the situation that had presented a major struggle in her life. Harper’s surgery was about saving her life, it had little to do with fixing her brain fog.

I mean, yes, I also know the parallel was about accepting who you’ve become as a person after tragedy struck and coming to terms with the fact that you may never go back to the “old self” you once were. That parallel was surely there, but the rest seemed pretty far-fetched to be comparing to each other.

I wish the writers would cut back a little on the constant personal story sharing of the doctors with patients. Not only is it really unrealistic that this would constantly be going on, it’s also out of line. Doctors aren’t supposed to be influencing and swaying patients’ decisions by pushing their own opinions and experiences on them. The show has been doing it so often lately that I’m starting to get annoyed by it.

Self-Righteous Jordan

There’s been quite a bit of backlash about Jordan on social media lately, people complaining that she’s becoming way too self-righteous, pushing her religious beliefs and her ideals on her patients. And as much as it pains me, I’m starting to gravitate towards that camp, too. Not in a hateful, contemptuous way, but I will admit that I am starting to get frustrated with her as well.

I can get behind her advocating for her patients or their unborn children, but when she basically told their patient Daphne that she was being an idiot and she needed to wake the fuck up and get over herself, I thought that was a little too much, especially since we had only just had her do the same borderline out-of-line thing a mere three episodes ago.

As for the maybe-or-maybe-not upcoming little tryst with Jared… I’m not convinced. I don’t really see much chemistry there. I mean, I kinda get the frenemy vibes there. But as a more stable romantic couple? I… don’t know. Would I like seeing Jordan with Danny instead? I don’t know either.

Random Bits and Pieces

It has to be said, I still dig Asher and Jerome. How hilarious was the WWSMD scene? Not only the fact that Shaun is now an actual role model of sorts, but the images of a strip-dancing Jerome, holding out marriage proposal bling was definitely one of the highlights of the episode.

For those who might not be familiar, WWSMD was a reference to the popular abbreviation WWJD – “What would Jesus do?” I actually thought WWJD was an internet thing, but apparently this acronym goes back to the early 1900’s and a book with that subtitle.

A few words on Andrews and Villanueva. This sudden dating thing came a little out of the blue. Sure, there was that scene at the end of 6×08 “Sorry, Not Sorry” when Andrews wanted to take Dalisay out for drinks and Dalisay asked to make it a chicken wings and fries kind of thing instead. It wasn’t quite clear at the time if it was supposed to be a date or not, but I guess we’re to assume they did go out and may have then settled into a routine of meeting up regularly in the cafeteria to socialise.

I thought it was awesome that Dalisay rebuffed Andrews and stood her ground, told him in no uncertain terms that he was being elitist and lacked respect for the nurses. I would have been open to invest in this ship, but I also really loved that Dalisay wasn’t gonna take any of that high-handed shit from him.

I also like that they’re spinning Jared’s struggle further, that we’re diving more deeply into his personal battle of wanting so badly to fit in and be a part of the in-crowd. We can only imagine what his time in Denver and then as concierge doctor has been like – probably mildly interesting professionally but pretty lonely on a personal level. I’m invested in hoping to see Jared finding his place, and I also hope that means Chuku Modu would stay on if we were to get a season 7.

I will also say that I really liked the Harper’s patient case, and Redditors agree that this story resonated with people, especially the idea of long COVID symptoms and brain fog (which can also happen with other illnesses and conditions, particularly certain autoimmune disorders).

The only minor gripe I have with this is that, while the show devoted two episodes to the COVID pandemic, they more or less implied that COVID went away after the initial first weeks of immediate crisis and the virus wasn’t a thing anymore.

COVID was never mentioned again since the season 4 premiere, we never saw anyone wearing masks or taking any other kind of precautions. It was as if the whole world had been vaccinated and the COVID-19 virus had been eradicated. And in that sense, it felt a little strange to suddenly have a patient there who got infected eight months ago, thus implying that COVID was still a very real thing.

Consistency Corner

This one’s a fun one for the detail nerds and illustrates very well how prop work plays into shooting these episodes and why I keep asking myself what is really in Shaun’s little grey notebooks. During the scene that Harper (the long COVID patient) is first seen in the ER, she hands Shaun her notebook that’s supposed to have notes in it of her symptoms and the medication she’s been taking.

And some of that is in there, but in the shot where they actually show the pages of the notebook in that initial ER scene, there is also information written on the pages of something that only happens much later in the episode (i.e. her tetralogy of Fallot diagnosis). Plus, Shaun comments, “These [medications] are used to treat ADHD,” when there aren’t any actual medications listed on those pages. See for yourself.

Left page:
Chest pain; I first noticed it Tuesday morning as well as some shortness of breath.
Lim says I have congenital heart condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. It’s almost always diagnosed in infancy. Doctors somehow missed it in your case.

Right page:
You have a rare presentation. The right ventricle obstruction has been balanced by an increased flow into the left ventricle. Damage from COVID disrupted the balance. The virus may have saved your life.
Very few undiagnosed tet patients survive past childhood, a mere 2% make it to forty.
Procedure: First we’ll close the extra vessels that have grown to compensate for your heart defects. Then we will do a four-step […]

What’s funny about these notes is that it’s almost verbatim what the characters are saying to Harper. There’s no way Harper could have jotted it all down that quickly.

Interestingly, in the next shot when Shaun hands the notebook back to her, a page is open that looks different (three rather than two paragraphs of text on the left page).

Sure, this isn’t something that the average viewer would even pay attention to or notice, but it illustrates that the notebook is a prop that was most likely prepared beforehand (probably by someone in the prop department) with all the notes that would be written during the episode and then handed to the actor to use. Another possibility is that they shot this scene after scenes to come later in the episode where those notes were written into the notebook.

There’s another prop inconsistency for the detail nerds that I noticed. One of Glassman’s OP reports is apparently dated March 24, 2022. Shaun said to Lea he was printing OP reports of the last three months in her office (from January to March) and October to December was printing in his and Park’s office. So as per the show’s universe we are in 2022? St. Bonaventure really must have a time machine in the basement that they use at leisure.

I mean, the whole time/space continuum on the show is a mess, particularly this season. From dialogue we know that there were 14½ weeks between 6×01 and 6×02 (Shaun said it explicitly). We also know that Lea found out she was pregnant in 6×09 and is now 36 weeks along (in 6×17/6×18).

In episode 6×05, they were dressed up for Halloween, so that marked end of October. We are to assume that Lea got pregnant in 6×07 when she and Shaun were having sex in the morning, since afterwards they would have likely made extra sure they were using effective contraception because of the Asherman’s syndrome diagnosis. Shaun’s OP report quest in 6×18 suggests it is now April 2023 (same as the timeframe of the original airdate), yet Lea can’t have gotten pregnant before November 2022, so it should really be August 2023 right now.

Another oddity is that Lim said to Harper she was attacked 11 months ago, which very obviously doesn’t add up. In 6×02, when Lim returns to work, Shaun says it’s been 14½ weeks since the attack. So even if there weren’t several weeks between Lim returning to work and Lea getting pregnant, Lim’s initial recovery and Lea’s pregnancy cumulatively already add up to more than 12 months.

Sure, the writers aren’t necessarily paying attention to all these minute timeline details, but shouldn’t there be a consistency person who keeps track of these things?

Favourite Scenes and Lines

  • It was just a little thing, but I love that Shaun and Park’s buddy relationship is still going strong. Park was cool with Shaun littering their office with hundreds of patient files all over the place. This could have gone totally differently if Park wasn’t willing to indulge Shaun’s little hyperfixation escapades.
  • The WWSMD scene was hilarious, and I loved everything about it.
  • My favourite from this episode will unsurprisingly have to be the beautiful scene with Shaun and Glassman at the end of the episode. The most important things have already been said above, so I’ll refrain from more gushing. I totally cried when I watched it.

Sorely Missing

I already mentioned this, but the Andrews and Dalisay dating thing came kinda out of the blue, and others have remarked on it on social media as well. Some people were even asking if they missed an episode where this was introduced. Perhaps it not very sorely missing, but this might have been easier to digest if they’d dropped a hint or two in previous episodes that they were getting more chummy.

And this also isn’t necessarily a sorely missing thing, and I assume it will get resolved in the next episode in one way or another, but I hated that we still don’t know whether Glassman’s cancer has returned or not. I don’t like being strung along like this for several episodes after an obvious cliffhanger ending.

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. Rosana Silva

    I agree with everything you said. But, what impressed me the most about this chapter was that the writers wanted us to believe that Shaun drinks coffee lol. My God, there is no one to convince me of this, I don’t know what the writers have in mind when they do this to us. It’s been almost six years in which we see Shaun drinking milk or juice, never, ever, coffee and besides, he himself has already explained why he doesn’t consume coffee, the writers themselves made a point of narrating and highlighting this. I find these mistakes, no matter how small, to be a pain in the ass. Not to mention the passage of time in the series, very poorly done, truth be told. But still, I love the series! Now let’s talk about Glassy, I think they’re going to make Glassy okay, I don’t know how, but I believe he won’t have cancer or degenerative diseases, maybe that’s just to fill the chapter and freak us out.
    The WWSMD scene was hilarious, I find it really amusing that Asher has this fascination with Shaun’s ability.
    As for Jordan and Jared, I don’t think they are a good match, I prefer Danny, although the writers are stalling so much that I think Danny and Jordan’s chance to be together will pass.

    • TeeJay

      Yeah, I have no idea where the coffee thing was coming from. And Sam Chanse should know, she’s not a newbie writer on the show. OJ and milk seem to be Shaun’s go-tos, but he’d probably also drink a hot cocoa if you set him up with one.

      I honestly don’t know where they’re going with the Glassy thing. Could be nothing, but why then keep insisting on something being wrong after that first initial scare that seemed to be nothing. If they just wanted this for drama, they could have done the cancer scare and leave it at that.

      I hope we’ll know on Monday, I’d hate if they kept dragging this out until the finale.

      You may be right about Danny. I was just thinking last night that they kinda dropped the ball on the whole addiction storyline lately. There just are too many characters on this show, and sometimes I wish they had less so that they could do more with them. (But with less I don’t mean getting rid of Glassman!)

      • Rosana Silva

        Yeah, I think Shaun would accept a hot cocoa hahaha. In this respect, he reminds me of Sheldon from TBBT. Making Shaun drink coffee was what I would call something totally anti Shaun. If there was a situation where Shaun had an evil clone, I would distinguish the real one in just those peculiar things about him lol and because I would know he wouldn’t drink coffee.

        Unfortunately, as it turns out, they are going to take Glassy’s problem to the end. I’m not liking that they are using this ”episode fillers” feature, I find it uncreative, but I won’t complain too much. I just want Glassy to be okay, not fight with Shaun and meet Peanut <3.

        Yes, I believe they missed the opportune time, even if they get together at the end of this season, I already lost interest in them as a couple. You may be right that many characters imply less stories for them, but I believe that if the time was more organized, we could do a lot with the characters. I would have to change the way of doing the script. There are 20 min tv shows that are well organized I think. But anyway, I don’t understand any of that then…lol

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