‘The Good Doctor’ 2×12 Review: ‘Aftermath’

“Aftermath” is a cooling-off episode after the crucible of “Quarantine.” Things are changing. It will take a little time to determine just where they will settle, but we’re already seeing new relationships and potential upheavals.

The Relationships

Shaun & Lea: Aaron still doesn’t quite trust Lea. He keeps trying to figure out why Shaun seems to be her only friend. His concern gives the lie to his claim that he’s only Shaun’s friend and mentor. By the end of the episode, Aaron’s on board with the idea of them being together romantically– but Lea isn’t. She’s sticking to the “just friends” agreement. And Shaun is not happy about it. The last shot of him staring at a beer bottle is heartbreaking.

Lim & Melendez: Plenty of soap opera tropes to be had here. Lim’s near-death experience makes Melendez realize how important she is to him. She claims  she liked him better as a competitor, then admits holding back because of her previous failed marriage. And then, even though they decide to give things a try, they still want to keep it a secret. We’ve seen all this sort of thing before, but I like the characters together, so I don’t mind retreading a familiar path.

Park & Mia: Crisis can mean a reconnection. That’s what’s happening with Dr. Park and his ex-wife, to the apparent delight of their son. Again, the story was a little predictable, with arguments and reconciliation. But the chemistry between the characters more than makes up for any predictability.

Morgan & Claire: The non-romantic relationship was the most surprising one. About as surprising as Morgan inviting Claire for mimosas in the first place. After a year of considering Claire the enemy, Morgan has reached out for support to deal with the trauma of the quarantine. And then Morgan ends up helping Claire with a problem with her mother. It’s nice to see the show dump the “women must be enemies” trope. It’s also great to see Morgan’s development.

Is A Shakeup Ahead For St. Bonaventure?

So much for slow-moving bureaucracies. The state Department of Public Health is quick to arrive at St. Bonaventure to examine everything that happened during the quarantine. Dr. Andrews defends his team, and his own decision to remain as Chief of Surgery as well as being hospital president. But Andrews’ double role seems to be more of a problem for the hospital administration. The state has bigger concerns: During the quarantine, Lim illegally dosed a patient with Haldol, Melendez violated a DNR, and Shaun went briefly catatonic. The three of them could get their licenses suspended as a result.

Dr. Andrews is getting an object lesson in “be careful what you wish for.” I’d almost feel sorry for him, if I didn’t remember how he politicked his way into the hospital presidency. Along with the way he played all of his staff surgeons before deciding to hold on to the chief’s job. The other doctors should watch out. Who knows who Andrews will throw under the ambulance to save himself?

Other Notes

  • I really liked the bookending of this episode. It opens with everyone going through their morning routine, and ends with their evening activities.
  • I also liked how they handled some very emotional scenes, with music as the only sound over the action of different scenes of arguments.The action said more than words ever could.
  • What the heck do they actually DO at Lea’s workplace? Besides graze on a buffet with too many choices and ride around a go-kart track?

The Good Doctor airs Monday nights at 10/9 Central.

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