No amount of talking points could prepare Shaun for dinner with Lea’s parents on Monday’s episode of The Good Doctor. No, that “predictable disaster” went exactly as Lea had feared.
For starters, Lea’s mom Pam (Nip/Tuck‘s Julie Warner) essentially asked Shaun if being autistic makes his job more difficult. And because that wasn’t awful enough, her dad, Mike (Riverdale‘s Barclay Hope), went and asked Shaun for his opinion on vaccines — even though there’s no link between autism and vaccines. To alleviate the tension, Dr. Murphy interjected with an anecdote about a terminal patient who needed to have a hemorrhoid surgically removed.
“He only had a few months to live, and nothing would change that, but the surgery did make him more comfortable,” Shaun explained. “I suggest we treat this evening like hemorrhoid surgery.”
The suggestion got a laugh out of Mike, but his and Pam’s issues with Lea’s relationship were not smoothed over. The following afternoon, Lea received a text from Mom, which read, “We need to talk about Shaun.” Her ‘rents didn’t believe their daughter was mature enough for such a “complicated relationship,” but Shaun was determined to prove them wrong. He confronted Pam and Mike at their hotel and defended the relationship.
“You said our relationship has challenges. You’re right,” he said. “Lea and I go through challenges together. It’s what makes us stronger. Lea challenges me to try things, even things I know I won’t like because it is not always better to stop and think; and I make Lea patient because I can be very frustrating. So can the two of you.”
In the end, Lea’s parents sought to make amends for the trouble they’d caused. They stopped by the apartment and invited Shaun and Lea out to dinner.
The episode also touched on Glassman’s feelings about Lea. At a mock dinner Shaun had staged to prepare for Pam and Mike’s arrival, his surrogate dad made clear that he doesn’t dislike Lea, but fears their relationship is moving too fast — which, I gotta say, is quite rich for a man who proposed to his current wife after all of one date.
Later on, Glassman and Lea had a heart to heart at the hospital. He told her she’s smart, she’s funny and she makes Shaun happy — which also means “you can make him very, very sad, and that worries me,” he explained. “Everything Shaun has gone through, all that rejection and pain… The victories all belong to him, but I feel every single high, and every single low. So, I’m sorry, but I’m not going to stop worrying about him, even if he doesn’t need me to.” And with that, the two most important people in Shaun’s life reached an understanding.
Elsewhere this week…
* Lim did her best to push Claire away — at one point, there was actual pushing involved! — as her friend/protégé begged and pleaded with her to get the help she needs. Worried that Lim is on the same sort of destructive path that did her own mother in, Claire went directly to Glassman to address the matter — and not a moment too soon. Lim’s refusal to address her PTSD has clearly begun to take its toll on her work, as evidenced when she confronted the Patient of the Week — teenage gymnast Darya (Nancy Drew‘s Eden Summer Gilmore) — with a life-or-death decision.
* As the team worked on Darya’s father (Life Unexpected‘s Kristoffer Polaha), who was also in need of medical attention, Andrews pushed Olivia to step up her game and show everyone what she’s capable of as a surgeon. In the end, though, Dr. Jackson realized that she’s never going to meet her uncle’s expectations — and she’s OK with that. If he wants to groom one of the surgical residents, it ought to be Olivia.
What did you think of The Good Doctor Season 4, Episode 8: “Parenting”? Drop your thoughts in a comment below.