The Good Doctor returns from its Olympics hiatus with a new surgical resident, an unusual organ donor, a WTF breakup and a teenaged girl who just wants a hug.
Oh, and with the St. Bonaventure team in formal wear, which is never a bad thing. (I am a sucker for my favorites in formal wear.)
Let’s start with the new guy.
Meet Dr. Park
Will Yun Lee (Hawaii 5-0) joins the team as Dr. Alex Park, another one of Dr. Creepy Coyle’s residents who was reassigned after his transfer. So, for those of you who are counting, that’s now FIVE residents competing for two spaces for next year.
Definitely feeling a Hunger Games vibe here.
Dr. Park is a former cop who’s changed careers, proving that it’s never too late to reinvent yourself. But he hasn’t quite left the badge behind; Park is not at all trusting of that unusual donor I mentioned.
Not that he doesn’t have reason. The guy is a convicted killer, seven times over, as a former hit man. Boris has volunteered to donate a part of his liver to a little boy who will die otherwise. (And let me briefly mention that Park went poking through the kid’s personal belongings when no one was looking. Makes me wonder about his ethics as a cop.)
The show touches briefly on the legality of an organ donation from an inmate (it is legal but discouraged because of concerns about infectious disease), and the ethics of taking such a donation (Dr. Glassman points out that prisons should not become organ farms). Dr. Park’s concerns are less lofty; he thinks Boris is going to try to escape, and he orders a series of precautions that make me wonder if Boris is Hannibal Lecter.
Things do not go smoothly with the donation. First, the boy does not want an organ from a killer. But children are not entitled to dictate their own medical treatment, so Boris and young Eric both go into surgery under restraints.
Not that it matters.
Boris turns out to be allergic to the anesthesia. The surgery cannot proceed. And as Boris is being wheeled out of the hospital, he breaks loose, grabbing a gun… not to escape, but to take his own life, right in front of Dr. Park, Claire and his guards.
With some encouragement from Park, who tells him to do what he has to do.
Claire is of course rattled (and more on that later). But Dr. Park is resentful, saying Boris’ final act makes him a hero, because not only do they harvest that liver the boy needs, but also other organs, to save other lives.
I wonder if Park had thought that far ahead when he essentially told Boris to kill himself?
Breakup out of the blue
Claire has been through a lot this season. She lost a patient for the first time ever and lost confidence as a result. She was sexually harassed by a surgeon (and I’m waiting to see more payout from her tracking down other residents who were also harassed).
And now she’s watched a man kill himself right in front of her.
And no one, no one, thought to suggest attending the hospital fundraiser a few hours later might not be that great an idea? No one thought about getting some crisis counseling set up right away?
Nope. Because we must move on to a tortured plot point in the story of Claire and Jared.
Now, I like these two together. Way back in episode 1 I considered them a little too cliche, but their combination has grown on me. They are taking this big fundraiser as an opportunity to let everyone know the worst-kept secret in the hospital: that they are a couple.
But not for long.
They hit the party, no discussion of anything that has happened that day (Claire, you know better than to conceal your feelings), and then head to the dance floor – where things fall apart, for no better reason than Claire not remembering the significance of a song.
Jared thinks Claire never loved him because she doesn’t recognize the song that had been playing during their first kiss?
Claire has put up with utter bullshit from Jared, from his stealing of an idea to his Neanderthal attempt to “defend her honor” after the Coyle incident. But this is the biggest load of bullshit I’ve ever seen, and it feels so very out of place. Forgetting a song is not on the level of, say, forgetting a birthday or anniversary (and I’ve done that, folks – still married despite it). It doesn’t call for a nuclear option.
And it doesn’t feel in character for Jared.
How about a hug?
While Jared is breaking his connection with Claire, Shaun is learning about making connections, courtesy of a teenaged patient who wants nothing more than to touch and be touched. But she can’t be. Spirit was born with her heart out of place, just barely under the skin of her abdomen. A simple hug could actually kill her. Despite that, Spirit makes connections through a method familiar to most teens: her smartphone.
Spirit’s case serves as a platform to put Shaun into contact – and a bit of conflict – with the cutthroat resident Dr. Resnick. Credit where it’s due, she does come up with an idea to help Spirit finally get all the hugs she wants. But she is really nasty along the way. She likes Shaun – apparently enough to give him sartorial advice – but she does not respect him. Honestly, I wanted to slap her when she said that in surgery, and I got the feeling their attending, Dr. Lim, wanted to do the same.
The one good thing I can say about Resnick was that she did give Shaun some good advice about his tux. Well, I hope it’s good advice. He looked great – but if his electricity gets turned off or he gets evicted because he shouldn’t have spent $2,300 on a tux, I’m gonna have words for that woman.
Of the four-letter variety.
Still, it was nice to see Shaun in the party setting, working hard to overcome his discomfort and actually, surprisingly, getting a little assist in that from Dr. Andrews. I’ve never thought of Andrews as an ally to Shaun, and it might blow up next week.
But then again, we might just see them out on the golf course, too.
Couple of other storylines to touch on. We actually get to see a little more of hospital exec Allegra Aoki, as she first tries to convince a wealthy entrepreneur to speak at the fundraiser, and then asks Andrews for advice on what to do about a “spark” between herself and that exec. Andrews advises her to do nothing, saying people would think she used sex to get a donation, and noting it’s a sexist attitude “but that’s the world we live in.” Aoki seems to be ignoring that advice.
And we see a little more of the seemingly father-daughter relationship between Dr. Glassman and Jessica. They talk a little about how she needs to get past her breakup with Melendez, and a little about Glassman’s own (mostly mysterious to us) past.
What we don’t see is anything of Glassman and Shaun; there’s just a mention by Shaun that he’s not going to Glassman for advice anymore.
There are only a few episodes left in the season, and I do hope we’ll see some more with Shaun and Glassman. And get some answers about Glassman’s past. But the new elements introduced in the past few weeks make me think we might wait until next season for some things.
The Good Doctor airs Mondays at 10/9 Central on ABC.