A series of avoidable outcomes drive Dr. Shaun Murphy to his breaking point during Monday’s The Good Doctor — the last new episode until spring 2022.
Let us begin with Dr. Glassman. During the fall finale, the hospital’s figurehead president meets with a realtor. He intends to sell his house and move to Montana — that is, until first wife Ilana (played by The Boys‘ Ann Cusack) shows up at his doorstep and asks that he oversee her current husband’s life-threatening case. What is believed to be Lewy Body Dementia is found to be a tumor pressing on her husband’s carotid artery, which in turn mimics symptoms of Lewy Body.
Before Glassman successfully removes said tumor, he and Ilana have a much-needed discussion about the loss of their daughter Maddie — who, as you may recall, was seen only once, as a figment of Glassman’s imagination during his Season 2 cancer battle. Ilana resented Glassman for his relationship with Shaun, thinking he’d gone and “replaced” their dead daughter with Dr. Murphy. She has since come to understand that this was not the case. She also understands that Shaun has played a pivotal role in her ex’s life. After surgery, she encourages Glassman not to move to Montana, and to remain in San Jose to be close to his surrogate son. “He makes you better,” she tells him. And she’s right.
As for Lea, she confronts Shaun and tells him that she changed his patient satisfaction scores. She is truly sorry, but her fiancé refuses to accept her apology.
The Case of the Week, meanwhile, involves a pregnant car accident victim. Circumstances force her to deliver the baby surgically, but a medicine for the preemie turns out to be expired, which is discovered only after it has been administered. Within minutes, the baby is dead, and an irate Dr. Lim confronts Salen about their fatal mistake — a direct result of Ethicure’s penny pinching. Salen tells the chief of surgery that “discretion” is in everyone’s best interest until the hospital has conducted a thorough investigation. That means keeping the cause of death from the baby’s mother, presumably until she has had a chance to consult Ethicure’s in-house attorneys.
In the final scene, a flummoxed Shaun barges into St. Bonaventure’s pharmacy and starts smashing vials of expired medication. Lea runs in and tries to get a handle on the situation, telling Shaun that none of this is his fault, but it’s no use. Shaun is livid — not just about the expired medication, but about his partner’s betrayal and Glassman’s abandonment.
“I cannot trust you! And I cannot marry you!” Shaun wails, crumpling up their wedding venue contract.
By the time Glassman enters the pharmacy, Shaun is hyperventilating. He encourages Shaun to try and catch his breath, which he does just long enough to confront Glassman.
“You are a bad best man and a terrible mentor!” he says. “You said you would never abandon me, but that’s a lie. A lie! That is a lie! Why is everyone lying to me? Why??
“You should have been running the hospital,” Shaun exclaims. “If you had, the baby would not have died!”
Shaun continues to hyperventilate as he sits himself on the ground. Glassman sits down beside him and whispers, “I’m here. I got you.” Shaun accepts his embrace and continues to cry. Lea, meanwhile, picks the crumpled contract up off the ground and stands to the side in total silence.
The Good Doctor Season 5 will resume this spring. Beginning Jan. 24, new drama Promised Land takes over the Mondays-at-10/9c time slot.
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