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

Season 7 Commentary: 7×05 Who At Peace

Well, it’s clearly not me who is at peace with where they’re trying to go this season. Or rather the fact that they don’t seem to be going anywhere this season except along that road that leads to annoying and alienating as many fans as possible.

The Technicalities

Written by Peter Blake & Adam Scott Weissman
Directed by Dinh Thai
Original airdate 02 Apr 2024

Patient Cases

Patient #1 – Scott

Treating physicians: Dr. Alex Park, Dr. Asher Wolke

Diagnosis: Fractured and dislocated hip after a fall

Patient #2 – Lucy

Treating physicians: Dr. Shaun Murphy, Dr. Jared Kalu, Charlene Lukaitis

Diagnosis: Cholecystitis and advanced non-alcoholic fatty liver disease as a result of morbid obesity

Patient #3 – Ronit Silver

Treating physicians: Dr. Alex Park, Dr. Asher Wolke

Diagnosis: Stage 3 ovarian cancer with infiltrated hepatic and diaphragmatic metastasis

The Episode Plots In A Nutshell

The Episode Plots In A Nutshell

Shaun, Lea & Steve

Seems like Shaun is pushing Lea into trying out the Ferber Method or some other kind of sleep training with Steve, and it’s not really working well for them. Lea hates not being able to comfort her crying baby, while Shaun is convinced it’ll have long term benefit if they just push through it. So now we have a cranky, crying baby, a cranky and sleep-deprived Shaun and a cranky and sleep-deprived and annoyed at her husband Lea.

Asher & Jerome

Asher and Jerome are at odds again because of Asher’s categorical rejection of certain religious notions – marriage being one of them. Asher thinks marriage is just an unnecessary ceremonial ritual that is irrelevant when two people love each other, which Jerome doesn’t agree with, especially since he was ready to pop the question.

Their medical case and a few conversations with a more liberal rabbi make Asher reconsider. On the way to a romantic dinner with Jerome that would have led to a proposal either way, Asher drops the rabbi off at his church. They catch two young men in the act of antisemitic vandalism, and when Asher intervenes, he becomes a new and more tangible target. We see hate crime at its worst when Asher is assaulted for being a homosexual jew, left bleeding out on the ground at the same as Jerome tragically sits in the restaurant, admiring the ring he got for Asher to ask for his hand in marriage.

Charlie & Dom

Charlie keeps clashing with Shaun and vice versa. Shaun tells Lim and Glassman that he can’t work with her and refuses to teach her, but he is being told that, since St. Bonaventure is a teaching hospital, Shaun has no choice, so he’s given the advice to try the praise-criticism-sandwich method.

It works passably for a little while, but Shaun soon becomes frustrated with Charlie’s continued verbal interruptions, to the point where he throws her out of the OR (again) for not having prepared the right equipment and continually disrupting his ability to concentrate. With Charlie not being the kind of person to just buckle under, she files an official complaint against Shaun.

Dom is not featured in this episode.

The Hospital Co-Presidency

The Glassman/Mrs. Lim (apparently she’s called Eileen) shopping tour has definitely led to more, and with more we mean sex (which, by the way, both Aaron and Eileen confirm is great). Nothing wrong with that, but definitely awkward for Audrey when her co-president sleeps with her mother.

We also learn that Audrey has certain misconceptions about her mother, who was always a homemaker and never seemed to have any aspirations of her own. This may have led to Audrey being as driven as she is, not wanting to become her unambitious, dull mother who always lived in the shadow of her husband.

However, perhaps Audrey has never bothered to look past the cover of the book, because there is more to read on the pages – such as Eileen having recently studied and learned Spanish, as well as salsa dancing and honing her crossword puzzle skills.

Another important piece of information is that Audrey and Clay broke up. Audrey wasn’t ready to commit to marriage, so she started avoiding him and he eventually took a job in Chicago. And as much as Audrey loves her job, she has to admit that sometimes she feels lonely.

The Patient Cases

Scott and Ronit come in together after Scott injures his hip in a fall. Due to their age difference, everyone immediately assumes Ronit is his daughter, but they’re actually engaged to get married. Scott is treated for his hip injury, and as he recovers, Ronit gets nauseous and then collapses.

When they do imaging, they find that Ronit has stage 3 ovarian cancer that has started to metastasise and has become untreatable. She has approximately three months to live. Since Scott isn’t Jewish and they want to have a Jewish marriage, he would have to covert to Judaism, which Asher helps make possible on short notice right there in the hospital where they then hold a wedding ceremony.

Lucy is a 14-year-old obese teenager who comes in with abdominal pain. Shaun diagnoses a gall bladder infection—the gall bladder has to be removed. During the surgery, they find that Lucy also has advanced fatty liver disease and will need a liver transplant if she doesn’t keep her weight in check.

In order to help her achieve weight loss, they suggest gastric sleeve surgery. Lucy and her mother aren’t sure about the surgery and initially decline after hearing all the risks, but Charlie eventually convinces them to go for it.

Things to Further Dissect

Boy, where do I even start? There aren’t enough words to express how mad, sad and disappointed I am.

The season started off more or less fine, although the season premiere wasn’t as strong as others from previous seasons. But ever since then, the quality has steadily declined. I thought last week’s episode had to be a low point, and I will say that I liked this week’s episode a tad batter, but only marginally so. In other words, it was still bad.

I really don’t know what they’re trying to do here. It feels like when they plotted this season, the writers were just throwing story hook spaghetti strings at the wall to see what would stick. The end result comes across as aimless and disjointed without clear direction.

It’s like the writers tried to think of what the largest possible amount of fans might like, and then they cut those keywords out of a tabloid magazine with the intent to glue them together into a cohesive art piece. Problem is that the result isn’t an artistic and expressive collage, it reads more like a badly enunciated ransom letter with an acrid solvent smell that leaves a sinking feeling in your stomach when you read it.

The continuing Shaun vs. Charlie feud isn’t coming as a surprise, but man, so many missed opportunities here. There was so much potential to make this into a gripping and emotional plot, to have Shaun struggle with his family history and emotional childhood trauma. To have them dig deeper into Shaun’s own experiences, especially regarding his struggles as a resident when he was running into Melendez and Han sized walls. With all the build-up from two episodes ago, it totally fizzled out, so instead we got Shaun broken-recording how much he hates being interrupted, and him running out of “bread”. (Granted, the sandwich analogy was mildly amusing.)

What a wide-open opportunity when Charlie recounted her experience with her school aide, to delve into how Shaun didn’t have any of that, to have him reflect on his own life and juxtapose it against all the opportunities Charlie has been and is being given, even in some small way acknowledge Shaun’s own personal journey and how different it was from Charlie’s. And yet… nothing. They did nothing at all with that.

I will admit that the twist at the end with Charlie filing a complaint against Shaun was an unexpected turn of events, but by now I don’t have high hopes that they’re gonna let that develop in any kind of meaningful and poignant way.

What’s incredibly disappointing to hear is that there’s a considerable amount of hate towards Charlie being posted across the different social media channels and platforms. It’s disheartening how much the internet has become a stage for unfiltered animosity, aggression and complaints, and how little empathy and respect there is for people who are different, who are flawed and who behave in unexpected ways.

A medical drama, by definition, needs to have drama. Drama tends to come from flaws and from conflict. And guess what, every human being has flaws. Why are TV characters not allowed to have them? Why are so many viewers averse to conflict or unable to put themselves in the shoes of these characters and see situations from different viewpoints?

Sometimes people need to remember that not everything they see, be it on television or on their algorithm-curated social media timelines, is made specifically for them. At times, your social media timeline will show you things you don’t like or you may not be interested in. So scroll past it or hide it. You don’t need to leave antagonistic comments on everything negative or irrelevant you are being exposed to. Just keep in mind that, even if you don’t like that thing you saw, someone else will.

Anyway, I digress. Let’s talk about the sleep training. That story hook was stupid and totally unrealistic in so many ways. First of all, how old is Steve at this point? One month? Two maximum, right? Sleep training like that isn’t recommended for babies under four months of age.

Starting this process too young can have negative consequences. There are reports that sleep training in babies under 6 months can result in in increased crying, premature weaning, worsened maternal anxiety, and increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) if the baby sleeps in a separate room. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it is recommended to share a room with your baby for at least six months to reduce the risk of SIDS. Daniela aptly asked the question: Wouldn’t Shaun know that?

Daniela also mentioned that the sleep training storyline didn’t make sense in many other ways. Babies usually cry because they are upset. It doesn’t have to be something that’s immediately concerning, sometimes they may just want attention or human contact. Shaun’s theory that a one or two months old baby would have the cognitive and logic ability to cry with the intention of manipulating their parents is bogus, and Shaun would be the first person to know that.

And I already said this in my last episode commentary, but I wish they would focus more on mixed neurological relationship challenges or autistic parenting struggles, but yet again we’re being given some regular child raising issue that had zero connection to anything else going on this season and had zero connection to Shaun’s own journey or to Shaun and Lea as a couple. Just another piece of story hook spaghetti that happened to stick to the wall, I guess.

What’s also maddening and disappointing is that they are continuing to depict Lea as a naïve and clueless spouse appendage to Shaun who’s just there to justify the occasional cute baby scene and to dole out uncharacteristically useless and unprofessional advice. Last season they had her idiotically supporting Shaun’s idea of firing Danica without even knowing Danica. This time around they have her encouraging Shaun to totally ignore Charlie.

Lea should know Shaun better than to expect that kind of advice to be helpful in this particular situation. He is supposed to be a teacher and mentor, and we’re talking about medicine—Shaun’s  special interest and field of hyperfocus. Asking Shaun to just ignore his student because he finds her difficult to deal with and because, as a student, she can do little harm is just beyond dumb.

What’s also saddening to see is how even the most interesting dynamics of the show are losing their magic. The Shaun and Glassman connection would always draw the fans’ attention. Freddie and Richard used to be able to just be in a room together and convey and elicit emotions without the need for words. Now Glassman and Shaun’s relationship is reduced to being purely professional, and there’s no more spark there. It’s depressing to even have to say that. It’s like we’re watching a ghost of the show we once knew and loved.

Speaking of Glassman, the Eileen romance is still unnecessary baggage and adds very little to the ten episodes we’ll have to contend with to sail us into the show’s final sunset. It’s a shame that the waters we’re sailing in are smelly and polluted, and the swell of the waves is giving us sea sickness.

Which brings me to the biggie at the end of the episode – Asher’s demise. Yes, I know that we’re supposed to be left hanging as to whether he’s gonna make it or not. And normally, as the most spoilerphobe viewer ever, I would want to be left hanging. However, I made an exception this time around and actually sought to find out about Asher’s fate, knowing it would bring me absolutely not joy to wait a week to find out in real time. So yeah, I know Asher dies.

In an interview with the episode’s writer Adam Scott Weissman, it came to light that Noah Galvin asked for Asher to be killed off to be able to pursue other projects. One of his wishes was to give his character a meaningful exit.

Which, okay, is fair enough and puts Asher’s death into perspective. Seems a bit puzzling that it had to happen at this stage and that he couldn’t just wait until the series wrapped a few weeks later, so all we can do is accept whatever led to this decision and try to move on.

Personally, like many other fans, I’m not happy with the creative decision. Killing Asher at this point in time seems so pointless. What annoys me most, however, is that the explanation that Weissman gave to justify Asher’s death is pretty much exactly the cookie cutter media explanation that David Shore doled out when they killed Melendez in season 3: That they wanted to show people that life doesn’t always have happy endings and that tragedy can strike unexpectedly at any moment. Corny much?

Following Noah’s request, they gave Asher’s death meaning by showing the audience the horrible effects of senseless, unnecessary hate crime and violence. The fact that they chose homophobia and particularly antisemitism as a motive for Asher’s death is of course timely and apt, and knowing how strongly David Shore feels about the conflict in Israel.

I do agree that it’s important that current political and societal issues are being showcased in a way to reach viewers and make them stop and think. It’s certainly not the worst choice they could have made, and it certainly has a certain amount of shock value to create high impact drama. The timing of it is just less than ideal, with just five episodes to wrap up the aftermath, plus a whole show with a huge ensemble cast and a bunch of important other characters that are being squeezed in on top.

I know I’m not the only fan by a long shot who’s frustrated with the season 7 developments. Other people are voicing their unhappiness with how aimless this season is, with how it’s lacking the spark and charm it once held, and of course their unhappiness with Asher’s death and how it came totally out of left field. Knowing that Asher’s exit was actually Noah’s choice and not something the writers randomly decided just to amp up the drama makes it a little less jarring, but not any less frustrating.

With everything being so disjointed this season, I’m getting to the point where I kinda wish the show was already over without them messing it up any worse than it already is. Is that too much to hope for? I don’t know. You tell me.

Best Shaun Muffin Face


  1. Staggered Desires

    This should come with warning about the spoiler 😩.

    I agree with most of what you’ve said though. This season is a huge let down. I can’t believe we’re halfway through already. It’s sad to see Leah just not having any agency at all. Seems like she’s doing everything Shaun wants her to do when it comes to parenting. And seeing them in the hospital together for the advice chats makes me wonder who is running the IT department while she’s out. Will she be back? And why couldn’t she figure out how to disable the annoying alarms that Shaun set if she is a tech wiz who single handedly saved the hospital from a ransom attack?

    The fight with Asher was annoying and felt like a regression of his character. A lot of these characters feel lost. I must admit, the Shaun-Glassy dynamic is off too. It’s almost like they got all new writers this season or something. Ugh, thanks for the recap!

    • TeeJay

      Ah, geez, I’m so sorry! I guess I’m guilty of assuming I’m the only person in the world who isn’t watching the episode promos or staying off of TGD related social media. I know it’s too late now, but I’ll add a spoiler thingy and be more careful in the future.

      Who knows if Lea will go back to work, I would assume so. We’ll probably never know. It’s just weird how they made sure to mention last season that she didn’t want to be just another 30-something mom who isn’t cool anymore and only lives for her child, and now she’s become exactly that.

      You’re also totally right about disabling the Bluetooth speaker. Not to mention that that thing would have an off switch somewhere.

      The fight with Asher and Jerome was a repeat of pretty much this exact discussion they already had last season. It’s so annoying. Almost insulting to the regular viewers, like they expect our memory spans are that of a slice of bread or something.

      And this is what’s so massively frustrating. All these episodes have been written by veteran writers who have worked on the show for years, some even from the very beginning. They should know their characters in and out. Why is this happening? I don’t get it.

      • Staggered Desires

        I guess if it was in the preview then it’s fair game. I stream the eps the day after so I don’t get previews. But dang, that’s an even more disappointing plot point.

        I hope we get some semblance of Lea back.

        Their fight felt VERY familiar lol, I was thinking, “wait, I thought we were past this.” Just felt like tension for tension’s sake.

        Yikes, it’s very unfortunate that this is the same writers. Idk, maybe they’re over it. I’m cautiously optimistic that maybe this will all tie together in some meaningful way.

        • TeeJay

          Yes, it’s in the preview that Asher dies. It was also confirmed in that interview with writer A. S. Weissman. I’m in the same boat as you, I can only watch the show a day later and I thankfully don’t get the promos with my episodes.

          Judging from the episode title for next week, I think it’s gonna be an action packed and intense one, so that gives me hope that it’s gonna be more gripping and emotionally charged, plus of course seeing everyone’s reactions to the tragic news about Asher. I really hope I’m right and we’ll get a reprieve from the meaningless and aimless bumbling. It has some potential for good drama, but I’ve said that before and was then let down. I’m willing to be cautiously optimistic too.

          Btw, apparently today was the very last day of filming. Quite sad. I stay away from all the bts stuff because of spoilers, but I’m sure there’s been a good amount of melancholy and tears among cast and crew. It’s bittersweet to think about it.

  2. Christine '

    I’m just going to say it: The hate Charlie is getting is nothing more than ableism and misogyny. She’s not the “right” kind of neurodivergent, since she does back down and the hate and gets is the hate often lobbied at women: She’s annoying, unlikable etc. How many fans have defended Shaun for similar behaviour, even citing his ASD?

    Do you think the season would have been better to end last season? I’m starting to think so. These guys wrote House. They know how to write character deaths. They know how to write a good final season. So, what going on with them?

    Asher 😭

    Sorry for ranting

    • TeeJay

      You’re right that it’s a lot of misogyny and ableism, but some of it also comes from autistic women who are offended that Charlie isn’t like them, or that they are showing negative sides of autism in a strong, young woman. One of them just commented on my very tweet that announced this recap that she hates what Charlie did to Shaun and thinks she’s annoying.

      It seems that these days, people are quick to take sides without an ability or willingness to also see the other person’s viewpoint. Charlie is flawed, but so is Shaun. There’s no fully right or wrong here. And you’re right that’s there’s also a lot of hypocrisy going around. I had so many discussions with autistic people over the summer when the Han meme hit about this very subject. It’s ironic that one of the overarching arguments was that an autistic character could only be realistically portrayed by an autistic actor. And here we have Kayla Cromer, and we’re hearing that she’s also not doing it “right”. It seems like you can’t win either way.

      I was just thinking the other day whether I would have preferred if they’d ended the show on the beautiful notion of Shaun and Lea having a baby and the other storylines that were nicely tied up in last season’s finale (minus the Glassman friction). And from where we stand right now, it would imo have been the better option that felt more complete and cohesive. I’m as stumped as you are as to why this season is such an aimless shitshow. All these writers have been with the show for years. I don’t understand how they’re going so wrong now, we know they can deliver better work. Season 6 was great. This is not.

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