“Hello” may be the title of The Good Doctor’s Season 2 premiere. But this episode, written by star Freddie Highmore, is really about how we handle goodbyes.
Highmore’s Dr. Shaun Murphy faces an actual goodbye and a possible one. The first, he can handle. His colleague Jared is leaving San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital for a new job in Colorado.
It’s the possible goodbye that Shaun doesn’t want to face. His mentor and father figure, Aaron, is starting treatment for a tumor. Even though they’d ended last season with optimism that his condition was curable, there is still some doubt – and Shaun is trying to avoid it by not being there for Aaron.
Avoidance is a pretty common tactic for dealing with painful situations. We’ve all done it at one time or another. Jared catches on to what Shaun’s doing pretty quickly, and urges Shaun to reconsider.
Last Call For Jared
“Hello” is Chuku Modu’s final appearance on The Good Doctor. Through most of the episode, we see the best in Jared – how he tries to help Shaun with his communication problems, and how he’s willing to take the heat for a decision that angers a superior.
But then we got his final scene with Claire, and I remember why I’d been so angry with Jared by the end of Season 1. You might recall, he dumped Claire at a formal event – shortly after she’d witnessed a suicide – because she didn’t recall the significance of a song. At the end of “Hello,” Claire finds him outside the hospital and tells him, “I think we made a mistake… I made a mistake. I’d like you to stay.”
Claire, you did not make any mistakes. Jared did. Not that he’s willing to own up to the stupidity of the breakup. “It’s hard, saying goodbye. Doesn’t mean it’s a mistake,” he tells her. “I think you’ll be okay. I’ll be okay. One day we’re both going to be very happy.”
It was a disappointing exit for Jared, who’d shown so much emotional depth in last season’s “22 Steps.” But it’s a new start for Claire, who deserves so much better than she got from him.
Meanwhile, In The Corner Office
There’s been a shakeup in hospital management. Aaron has stepped down as hospital president. Dr. Andrews is in charge, eager to make a mark in new medical advances. The way he pushes Melendez to try a very tricky procedure makes you wonder whether he will push that envelope too far in a future episode.
During all this, Aaron is proving the old wisdom that doctors make terrible patients. He’s testy with his specialist, makes a mess out of a waiting room, and tells Shaun that he needs to take this journey alone. Shaun says he understands, and, “I’m going with you.”
Judging from the previews for the rest of the season, Aaron needs Shaun with him. It’s one of many things to look forward to in Season 2. Some of the other things I’m looking forward to:
- A more assertive Claire Browne
- The continued humanization of Dr. Melendez
- Dr. Resnick getting her comeuppance (it’s gotta happen)
And LEA’S BACK! Can’t wait to see what’s next!
What did you think of the season premiere? Let us know in the comments.
The Good Doctor airs Monday nights at 10 on ABC.