‘The Good Doctor’ 2×17: ‘Breakdown’

Does anyone have a spare helicopter I can use? I need to drop it onto an arrogant doctor.

In “Breakdown,” Shaun finally reaches his breaking point over his exile to Pathology. And if you thought you’d already seen Dr. Han at his worst, think again.

A Medical Machiavelli

I can say one good thing about Dr. Han from this episode. He got the state medical board to drop its investigation into the St Bonaventure staff. (You’ll remember, the investigation was the result of the events of “Quarantine.”)

So Han did something good. But he did it in a sneaky, underhanded way that would be applauded by the author of The Prince, a treatise that could be subtitled “The Ends Justify The Means.” Threatening to hire an investigator to find dirt on the medical board is definitely not How To Win Friends And Influence People. (More on that title later.)

Han still refuses to consider the idea that moving Shaun to Pathology was a mistake. Even after Shaun comes up with an idea that helps the hospital complete a high-profile surgery that would have otherwise failed. Han has made his decision and is inflexible.

Just as bad as Han’s treatment of Shaun is the negative impact he’s having on Morgan. Earlier this season, I wrote about her amazing growth. But in the past two episodes, she’s been backsliding into the scheming manipulator we originally met.

I hope she can reverse that slide. I also hope the medical board comes up with something on Han; he’s got it coming.

Although it would be far more satisfying to drop a helicopter on him.

(And I must again repeat my praise for Daniel Dae Kim in creating this wonderfully hateable character.)

How (Not) To Win Friends And Influence People

Han certainly doesn’t care about Dale Carnegie’s advice on the subject of how to become successful. He only wants to be your friend if it means money or publicity… which leads to money. But Shaun has been turning to Carnegie’s decades-old book, trying to figure out how to win Han over to his point of view. It made me dig up my own copy of How To Win Friends And Influence People.

Carnegie gives advice on how to handle people, become a good conversationalist and win people to your way of thinking. It can be a great help to someone who has difficulty communicating and relating to others. Like Shaun.

But it only works if you follow the advice. And I think Carnegie was never expecting someone to be so closed-off to discussion as Han is.

Shaun has an opportunity to talk with Han after that surgery. Han immediately shoots down any idea of moving Shaun back to surgery. Faced with such immediate resistance, Shaun immediately violates several of Carnegie’s key principles for winning people over to your way of thinking. Chief among them here: Telling the other person they are wrong.

It’s a mistake the entire medical staff has been making. They all try to prove Han has made an error. The only exception is Morgan, who says Han might actually be right. But no one is taking any time to really discuss what’s best. Han has not made a good case for moving Shaun, aside from not liking how Shaun deals with patients. And he’s refused to consider any evidence of Shaun’s value in surgery.

It all ends with Shaun getting fired.

It was the expected response to Shaun’s actions, but it doesn’t make me like Han any better.

Where Do We Go From Here?

There’s only one episode left in the season, and a lot of loose threads to tie up. One already is: Aaron is cancer-free. (HOORAY!)

But what happens to Lim and Melendez now that they’ve told Andrews that they’re dating? Is Morgan going to continue backsliding? Will Han’s threat against the board catch up with him?

And what about Shaun and Lea?

Hopefully we’ll get some answers Monday.

The Good Doctor’s season finale airs Monday, March 11 at 10/9 Central on ABC.

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