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

Season 7 Commentary: 7×04 Date Night

I think a picture can say more than a thousand words here.

The Technicalities

Written by David Hoselton & Tracy Taylor
Directed by Allison Liddi Brown
Original airdate 26 Mar 2024

Patient Cases

Patient #1 – Cameron Howard

Treating physicians: Dr. Shaun Murphy, Dr. Asher Wolke, Dominick Hubank

Diagnosis: Shoulder impaled by a rebar with internal bleeding, early onset Alzheimer’s that was later corrected to jugular vein compression

Patient #2 – Nathan Speed

Treating physicians: Dr. Alex Park, Dr. Jordan Allen, Dr. Jared Kalu, Charlene Lukaitis

Diagnosis: Acute sickle cell anaemia crisis first suspected being a drug overdose, vestibular schwannomas (benign tumours near the brainstem)

The Episode Plots In A Nutshell

The Episode Plots In A Nutshell

Shaun, Lea & Steve

Shaun and Lea’s lives and routines are governed by the demands of a 24/7 job of caring for a young baby. They lack time for each other and, well, sex. In an attempt to countersteer their alienation, they decide to go out on a date, ending up missing their baby and aborting date night early because the karaoke bar outing doesn’t hold the thrill anymore it once did. What a big surprise that having children changes everything, including relationship dynamics.

Alex & Morgan

See Shaun and Lea, basically, except instead of date night they are trying to have undisturbed sex all over the hospital. What a big surprise that having children changes everything, including relationship dynamics.

Asher & Jerome

Jerome attends a nursing course in Australia and Asher gets lonely and jealous, convinced that Jerome will cheat on him with some hot gay nurse who is at the same event. This fear and insecurity is facilitated by the fact that Jerome doesn’t turn up for the arranged video call, but once they do get to speak, it turns out Jerome was just jet-lagged, the hot nurse is a cringey dumbass and Asher is cute as hell in his oversized hoodie.

Okay, but why the hell would they fly a nurse to a course in Australia? Even a prestigious hospital like St. Bon’s wouldn’t foot that bill. I mean, yeah, plot device so they could use the jet lag as an excuse. Realistically, total BS.

Jared & Jordan

It’s not like we didn’t see this one coming, but here we are with Jared and Jordan doing the love/hate thing, now that Danny is out of the picture. While Jordan is being courted by their patient, who also happens to be a choir acquaintance who’s asked her out on a date before, Jordan needs to figure out her feelings for the guy and those she didn’t think she had for Jared. And thus the dating game begins.

Charlie & Dom

Shaun is still fed up with Charlie and shirks her off to Park to mentor, meanwhile asking to have Dom assigned to his case instead. The only noteworthy thing we learn about them in this episode is that despite Shaun’s epic rebuff last episode, Charlie is self-assured and confident in her future as a surgeon and Shaun is obviously wrong about her. Dom’s haemophobia isn’t featured in this episode beyond some off-hand stuff at the beginning.

The Hospital Presidency

a.k.a. Lim’s lack of work-life balance. Because Lim’s mother shows up out of the blue – how convenient that Clay is currently away on some kind of whatever-it-was medical rotation thing. We knew nothing about Lim’s mom before this episode, and it seems that there’s some good-old parent-daughter friction in the mix because Lim’s mother is quick to judge and quick to tell her daughter how to live her life.

With Lim not exactly thrilled that her mother turned up uninvited only to patronise her, she’s all too happy to hand her over into the eager company of Glassman to take her on a shopping tour so that Lim can attend the board meeting she’d prefer to go to.

Glassman and Mrs. Lim seem to hit it off and there’s some flirting happening, which may or may not develop into something more in future episodes.

The Patient Cases

First we have a middle-aged couple with a pregnant woman who is full time carer for her husband diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. The husband comes in with a rebar piercing his shoulder that needs immediate surgery. Not willing to hand her husband over into a care facility, the wife decides she wants to terminate the pregnancy so she can take care of her husband full time because she wouldn’t be able to do so and take raise a newborn on her own.

In the aftercare of treating the husband’s injury, Shaun realises that it’s not actually Alzheimer’s but compression of his jugular vein that causes the confusion, which is easily fixed and a family saved.

The other patient is a middle-aged male coming in with suspected drug overdose but which Jordan quickly diagnoses as sickle cell anaemia crisis. As his condition deteriorates, they find a benign tumour in his brain that will eventually kill him as it keeps growing.

The patient is reluctant to get it surgically removed because there is a high risk of hearing loss, and music is what he lives for. Jared and Jordan manage to persuade him to take the risk of a less invasive surgery option that Charlie managed to research. The surgery is a success and the patient’s hearing is preserved.

Things to Further Dissect

I think we can keep this relatively short. I hated this episode. I hated pretty much everything about it, and I don’t feel like wanting to delve very deeply into all the nitty gritty.

This is obviously personal opinion and I’m pretty sure there will be fans and viewers who feel very differently, but I thought this was a whole episode in a super short very last season totally squandered. In a full 20-episode season, I could see this as a more viable interlude to just let things burble along, but when we’re already being short-changed for content, it was 40-some minutes of screen time wasted on insignificant and boring trivialities.

The episode moved nothing interesting along, skipped all the stuff that would have been interesting and introduced totally unnecessary plotlines and characters that are going to be annoying baggage they’ll have to devote more screen time to in the last six episodes rather than focus on the things that are already not given enough screen time as it is.

There was zero progression on the Shaun & Charlie storyline. There was almost no progression of Charlie and Dom as new characters that we want to get to know. Instead, we were introduced to Lim’s mother, which came out of nowhere, which added absolutely nothing to ongoing story arcs, and which was wholly uninteresting and shoehorned drama that felt super construed and inorganic.

The Shaun & Lea plot this episode was just as meaningless and stale as the rest of the episode. When did Shaun and Lea become perfect tokens of the stereotypical young couple in their 30’s? How utterly boring. I don’t wanna see that, I’d much rather see them struggling with mixed-neurological relationship challenges. I’d much rather see Shaun, as an autistic father, deal with the trials and tribulations of juggling a baby, a wife and a demanding job. I’d much rather see how his repressed childhood trauma affects this new life situation.

What I don’t want to see is Shaun and Lea facing super basic, generic baby woes that we’ve seen every neurotypical couple on TV face and that are in definite ‘duh’ territory. What I don’t want to see is sassy, unconventional Lea turn into a boring af, mumsy stereotype who has no life or personality outside of her child. What I don’t want to see is Shaun signing notes to his wife with Dr. Shaun Murphy because somehow there was supposed to be an awkward autistic Shaun joke there that fell flat.

I can’t shake the feeling that it feels like badly executed fan service, knowing how much the die-hard Shea fans loudly complained for years and years that they wanted more domestic Shea scenes and more kisses and cuddles and sexitime.

It’s also puzzling and annoying that they chose to over-caricature Lea as the clichéd supermom when she was never that type to begin with. Let’s listen to Daniela’s insights, who is a two-time mother herself:

Sure, having kids is not a walk in the park, but in order to be a good parent, you don’t need to annihilate yourself as a person. Most of the problems come when they grow up. As long as you can constantly check everything they do, that’s the easy part. Why did Lea immediately panic the moment she received Jordan’s call? She jumped the gun so easily. I hated that.

There’s something else I’d like to point out about yesterday’s episode. And it’s how silly it was that both Morgan/Park and Shaun/Lea wanted so badly to have sex and couldn’t. That doesn’t make any sense at all.

When you have an infant, that’s absolutely not an issue. When the baby falls asleep you can do whatever you want. It only becomes a problem when the kid is a toddler, because they start going around the house independently and it’s easy for the parents to risk being caught.

Visiting every single closet in the hospital attempting to have sex when they could have done that in their own bed was simply ridiculous. Sure, they have demanding jobs and they’re often stuck at work. When Shaun was home, in the morning and in the evening, Lea was exhausted, okay. But they could have found a way to spend some more time together and even have sex without all that fussing.

And let’s talk about exhaustion. Sure, having a little baby is hard work, but it’s not like mining! They’re trying to stress the point that having a kid changes your life forever. Sure, that’s true, but come on, this is way too much! This is becoming a caricature of real life.

The Jared & Jordan thing… After their blink-and-you’ll-miss-it flirt last season, I wasn’t sure how much chemistry they’d have for me. Turns out it’s zero. I will say, though, I love Bria and Chuku in their roles. In my opinion, the writing this season isn’t doing them justice.

The medical cases were so run-of-the-mill cookie cutter and felt pointless. Kudos to Freddie that he gave it his all with the absolute sadness he had written all over his face at the tragedy unfolding with the early-onset Alzheimer’s case. The whole episode I was waiting if they were going to do anything with that. They didn’t.

I’ve saved this for last, because this is so absolutely frustrating to write about, but did we really have to shove a Glassman romance in there? Really?! So unnecessary and superfluous. Lim’s out-of-the-blue mom, of all people? We have so many interesting, rich characters to explore that are already there. I don’t understand the need to add more characters to the mix when the existing ones are already being underused. It doesn’t help that I find the actress who plays Mrs. Lim entirely unlikeable. To say I’m not a fan is a colossal understatement.

And as if all of this wasn’t already bad enough, they had to deliver the final stab right where it hurt the most. This is the by far the most infuriating thing about this episode. The one that makes me so mad that I have an urge in my chest to scream and punch something, the one that would make me actually throw things at the television if I had less self-control. What I mean is the scene where Mrs. Lim asks Glassman if he has kids, and he only mentions his fucking daughter.

I AM ALL CAPS MAD THAT SHAUN DID NOT GET MENTIONED! Like, srsly, WHAT THE FUCK?!?! After all these years, after all that has happened, after getting Shaun through med school and his residency, after giving Shaun his heirloom rings, after being given grandfather status, after having his grandson named after him, he cannot even mention Shaun as a boy he raised and who is, for all intents and purposes, his son? This makes me so irrationally furious, and if this wasn’t the last season and I wanted to see it through, honestly, I think I’d give up on the show right here.

Is there some kind of weird and misguided thinking that they wanna drag this whole fatherhood confession out until they can (maybe) end it on a meaningful bang? After all this time, and after everything that has already happened in the last few years with Shaun and Glassman, it makes absolutely no sense that Glassman is not ready to admit or verbalise this yet. Actually, it should have already happened last season.

If I had to take a wild guess, they’re doing this so that something big can happen in the finale where Glassman finally acknowledges his father status. I hope it’s not gonna be some super corny thing where tragedy strikes and Glassman dies and his last dying words are some kind of fatherhood affirming statement before he passes away to have Shaun sail off into true, parent-less independence that some people apparently think needs to be the ultimate goal for Shaun to come full circle.

If this actually happens, it will be the worst imaginable ending. I would hate it with a passion. The way that season 7 is going so far, I wouldn’t be surprised if we were actually headed that way.

Also, like, what was the point of rushing the Shaun and Glassman reconciliation when now they’re not actually doing anything with their dynamic? They didn’t even have Glassman babysitting Steve, it had to be Jordan because of course – plot device! There needed to be that scene for Jared to have a reason to drop by with food.

I used to love this show, and season 6 was so strong, which makes it even more disappointing that they’re floundering so badly right now. If this is the path on which season 7 is going to continue, I don’t have high hopes that I’m going to like the note on which they’ll end the show. I really want to try and keep an open mind, but this episode makes that incredibly hard, so I’m trying to steel myself for more disappointment. Oof.

Side Note: At least now it’s been canon-confirmed that Maddie was 19 when she died. That makes her eight years older than Shaun.

Best Shaun Muffin Face


  1. Staggered Desires

    It was definitely disappointing.

    • TeeJay

      I know, right? And I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who feels that way.

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