The Good Doctor on Monday closed out Season 2 with multiple twists and endless possibilities for (a happier?) Season 3.
Following last week’s breakdown and subsequent firing at the hands of Dr. Han, Shaun skipped out on a job interview and went out to a bar, where he instigated a fight and sustained internal injuries. He ultimately survived and was reinstated as a surgical resident, while Andrews gave Han the boot. As a result, Dr. Lim was promoted to chief of surgery.
Meanwhile, after Claire gave Shaun a few pointers on how to ask a girl out, Shaun put on a suit and went over to Carly’s house, where he asked the pathologist out to dinner. Last but not least, Glassman took a huge leap of faith and asked Debbi to marry him.
Below, showrunner David Shore (who wrote and directed the finale) weighs in on Shaun’s new love interest, Glassman’s surprise engagement and the ripple effects of Han’s dismissal.
TVLINE | Was there any debate over just how much you were willing to put Shaun through before things finally started going his way?
We’ve always been committed to not making things easy for Shaun. It’d be too easy for us to make things easy. We want him to rise above, and we want him to [experience] adversity. That’s part of life… We want to see how he deals with it, and we can be all be inspired by him.
TVLINE | I have to admit, I’m not sure whether it was intended to be a misdirect, but I totally thought Shaun was bringing flowers and chocolates to Claire at the end of the episode, and was genuinely surprised when he knocked on Carly’s door. So I guess my question is, why Carly?
Any one of those three — Carly, Lea, Claire — would have been a legitimate choice, and all three of them are something to explore in the future. The audience loves all three of those characters, but I think for the most part, the audience wants to see Shaun with Lea, and I kind of do, too, but we’ll see where that goes. One of the great things that I’m enjoying with this character is that even the smallest victories, given Shaun’s challenges, are tremendous. So at a certain point, I was going, “Oh, the audience is going to hate me for not having him ask Lea out,” but then I thought just seeing him ask anybody out — and Carly is someone we care about, and somebody who cares about Shaun — is going to be a lovely victory. All [of those romantic pairings] are on the table and continue to be on the table as we go forward.
TVLINE | Back at the apartment, Lea thought Shaun was about to ask her out on a date. When he walked around her and left, I couldn’t get a sense of what she was feeling. How are we supposed to interpret her reaction?
She’s confused. Is she jealous? I don’t know… There’s disappointment, even though I don’t think she was going to say yes… I love Shaun as much as she does, but you’re constantly trying to keep up with what’s going on in that head of his.
TVLINE | I was shocked when Glassman proposed marriage to Debbi. Why was now the right time for him to take this life-altering step?
You know, he kind of says it. He says he’s been through hell, she gave him crap in the previous episode about being unwilling to commit, so we just decided to take it that much further. It’s funny, it’s sort of the opposite of Shaun’s situation, where small steps are huge, so we decided to take a huge step with Glassman. I thought it was a nice bookend to everything he’s been through this year.
TVLINE | It was great seeing Glassman back at the hospital and back on the board. Will he have a larger role at St. Bonaventure next season, now that he’s faced cancer and come out the other side?
Yes, he’s going to be a doctor and he’s going to be on the board again, I think. That’s yet to be determined, for sure, but we definitely want him coming back to medicine.
TVLINE | Han has been fired, but some of his concerns were legitimate. He expressed doubt about Shaun’s ability to take on more responsibilities the further he gets into his residency. Will some of those responsibilities be dealt with in Season 3?
The challenges that he forecast, yes, we are going to have to deal with them… One of the things I loved about Dr. Han was, even though he was superficially the bad guy, he wasn’t completely wrong.
TVLINE | Han revealed to Andrews that he knew someone with autism who died. Was there more to that backstory that was cut for time?
No. We had a huge debate internally about whether we wanted to say more about it, but ultimately we decided that it’s more intriguing, and more consistent with his character, to not just pour his heart out. I think just saying that [he knew someone with autism] said what we needed to say, which is that this was in fact personal.
TVLINE | Lim says that she can’t imagine that Andrews will survive the fallout after firing Han, so I have to ask: Will Andrews (played by original series regular Hill Harper) still be around when we return for Season 3?
We plan on him being a factor in Season 3. And I love the ending that we give him. It’s a complete reversal of what we saw in the pilot, and he’s very much our hero in the episode.
TVLINE | Now that Lim has been offered the chief of surgery position, what does that mean for Lim and Melendez? They seem to be in a really good place, but as they said, it’s not going to be easy once she’s his superior.
That’s exactly right. We were setting up a lot of stuff for Season 3 in this episode, and I think that’s a big one. They had to keep their relationship a secret, and the hospital is going to have concerns about someone sleeping with their boss. How that all shakes out is something we will be exploring, both how it affects their personal relationship and how it affects their working relationship.
TVLINE | Is the hopeful nature of this finale indicative of a less intense start to Season 3?
It’ll be a different kind of intense. We set up an awful lot of stuff here and confronted our doctors with significant new challenges. They’re perhaps not bad challenges — in most cases, they’re good challenges — but we’ve given them a lot to deal with next season.
TVLINE | Something that didn’t get as much attention in the end was Park’s ongoing efforts to put his family back together. Did you purposely hold back on that?
I think it’s more subtle in the final cut than the rest of these storylines, but his patient [throughout the episode] is telling him that he has to be with his family. Is he going to listen to her? What’s he going to do? That’s another one we’re going to be [dealing] with.
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