‘The Good Doctor’ 2×10 Review: ‘Quarantine’

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“Quarantine” is the perfect blend for The Good Doctor’s mid-season finale. It’s an old-fashioned medical procedural, layered with just the right amount of emotional character development and winding up with multiple cliffhangers.

San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital is plunged into a crisis when two patients arrive with a highly contagious and lethal virus. The emergency room is quarantined, and as the doctors struggle to save their patients, new layers of their characters are revealed.

Dr. Morgan Reznick’s Crucible

It wasn’t that long ago that I was wishing Morgan would get her comeuppance for her bitchy, me-first attitude. More recently, I observed that the long-awaited payback wasn’t quite as sweet as I’d thought it would be. In “Quarantine,” the vestiges of the hyper-competitive, out-for-herself Morgan Reznick seemed to melt away, because of a paramedic with a crush. Morgan does what she can for Tyler when he is stricken with the virus, and you can see how much it affects her when he dies.

I could complain that Morgan has taken Claire’s place as the show’s emotional punching bag. Just in this season, she’s seen a patient lose an arm, another patient commit suicide, and now the loss of Tyler. But Morgan’s crises have helped her to grow from a smug character you love to hate, into someone who could indeed be a good doctor.

What remains to be seen is whether, in the back half of the season, the show deals with these multiple traumas. It failed to do so with Claire last season.

Dr. Alex Park’s Family Matters

We finally get to see something beyond the former cop with a mysterious past he regrets. Park’s teenaged son has come to visit. But don’t look for warm father-son moments. Kellen Park is carrying a load of bad attitude toward his father.

Then Kellen, who is asthmatic, is trapped in the ER quarantine. Park is frantic once he realizes it, and if he could tear the walls down, he would.

Up until now, there’s been very little revealed about Park. It’s good to finally see the man, the father, within the cynic.

 

Dr. Shaun Murphy’s Routine Is Shattered

Shaun is a creature of routine. He is learning to deal with unexpected circumstances, but the quarantine presents a whole new challenge for him. The patients are more stressed, the ER doesn’t have all the resources of the rest of the hospital, his schedule is disrupted, and there is a light making a disturbing buzzing noise. All these things combine into an overwhelming situation for Shaun, who ends the episode lying on the floor, catatonic.

And he hasn’t yet learned that Aaron’s tumor has come back.

Kudos to Freddie Highmore for his portrayal in this episode. We see Shaun struggle to hold it together, and how it comes more easily when he is in some kind of control of the situation. It’s only when things are beyond his control that he falls apart.

Doubtless the aftermath of this quarantine will include a review of Shaun’s responses to crises.

The Other Cliffhangers

  • Dr. Lim is among the infected. As the episode closes, we see her passed out on the floor in isolation.
  • Lim had been coaching Morgan through some “field hospital” surgery when she passed out. Now another patient’s life is hanging in the balance.
  • Dr. Melendez violates a “Do Not Resuscitate” order signed by a patient awaiting a bone marrow donation. But the donor is in quarantine. Will Melendez and Claire be in trouble for the violation?
  • As mentioned above, Aaron gets the bad news that his tumor is back.

There’s a lot to be resolved in the next episode, and it will be six weeks before we get those answers. I can’t wait.

The Good Doctor returns to ABC on Monday, January 14th at 10 p.m./9 Central.





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