TV Reviews

The Good Doctor Season 1 Episode 5: Point Three Percent Review

If you would like to read my review of the last episode, click here.

Synopsis: While in the exam area of St. Bonaventure Hospital, Dr. Shaun Murphy encounters a young patient who looks eerily similar to his deceased brother, Steve. After discovering his parents have hidden his diagnosis from him, Shaun struggles to understand why he doesn’t deserve to hear the truth about his own health. Meanwhile, the team can’t figure out what keeps triggering their patients’ increasingly severe allergic reactions and races to find the cause before the next one kills another patient. (IMDB)

Writer: David Hoselton

Director: Larry Teng

Rating: TV-14

Running Time: 41mins

Over the course of now five episode, this show for the most part has been getting better and better as we learn more about Murphy and how he learns from his past while also seeing him in action. It was because of this that this episode is the best so far.

The episode starts off with a man visiting his father after a six month absence. The father then suffered anaphylactic shock and collapsed. Back at the hospital, Murphy actually arrived on time that day because he took a teleportation device. The team was tasked for a consult for the father’s intense abdominal pain which they believed came from something in his pancreas.

Murphy, however, was more interested in a child named Evan with a broken arm that looked exactly like his dead brother Steve. Murphy decided to work on Evan’s case (I guess he’s allowed to). Evan had a similar personality to Steve. He kept making jokes that Murphy didn’t catch onto right away but he eventually picked up on it. Glassman saw Evan and immediately made the connection to Steve which freaked him out though it didn’t for Murphy.

While performing a CT scan on Evan, Evan made another joke about it not being his first time and Murphy explained to him that he had autism and that it was hard for him to pick up social cues. Evan talked about knowing someone who had autism who was weird but nice though he died. Evan asked Murphy if he knew anyone who died and he mentioned his brother. Evan had other CT scans because his parents had nosophobia which was the irrational fear of contracting a disease. Evan asked him about his life and if he was seeing someone which became a fun exchange. Murphy also found out that he had a brain tumor which could have caused Evan’s clumsiness.

When speaking with Evan’s parents, he told them about the tumor but they already knew that he was sick since he had bone cancer and that he had five more months to live. His parents also told him that Evan didn’t know about his diagnosis and that they didn’t want Murphy to tell him. Murphy asked Glassman for advice. He believed that Evan wanted to know the truth, referencing a flashback to where Steve wanted to know his birthday present, but Glassman wondered if he was projecting Steve onto him. Glassman reminded him that ultimately, it was up to his parents.

Murphy asked Browne to share the results or pretty much lie to Evan and his family. Evan picked up on how Murphy was looking at Browne and wondered if they were romantically involved but Murphy claimed that they were just coworkers. He also called him out on his lying ability and though that he should learn to do it better as it was a real social skill. Evan gave him a lesson which led to Murphy telling him that he had cancer but Evan already knew. He had done research and figured it out on his own.

Evan was okay with dying as long as the dying part didn’t hurt. Murphy believed it was because he thought he’d go to heaven but Evan told him it was because he didn’t. It was easier for him to think that everything was random and that when it was over, it was over. The conversation shifted to Murphy’s love life which definitely helped to ease the tension.

The father had a lesion on his pancreas which could be benign or cancer. While performing a biopsy, another anaphylactic shock was triggered. They found that a popped cyst in his pancreas caused the allergic reaction and that any more popping cysts could kill him so the next step was to give him a MRI to try and find others if there are any. They later learned that the cysts were full of tapeworms and that he had a few in his body, including one in his brain. Luckily for him, Glassman was a famed brain surgeon.

Murphy was combing through Evan’s medical records to try and find something that may have been missed. After hours of searching, he found that Evan could have another condition that was similar but is treatable. He just need to run another test to confirm, however, two earlier biopsies confirmed cancer and the likelihood of both being false positives was point three percent (hence the episode title).

Melendez was against him giving Evan’s parents false hope though Murphy thought it was worth it so he asked Glassman for advice and he told Murphy that he should tell the parents that he was doing something else while running the test. When Murphy was about to perform the test, Evan knew he was lying but he was supportive. However, his parents came in and Murphy had to tell the truth about what he was doing. His parents were angry for giving Evan false hope. Evan then began to cough blood due to a pulmonary embolism.

Because Melendez thought he was too close to the case, he didn’t let Murphy assist in the surgery. Glassman told him that he wouldn’t be in trouble if he was right. They fixed the embolism but also lesions on his ribs that confirmed bone cancer. Evan told his parents that he knew he had cancer for a long time and it was okay. He then told him a lie about all his relatives that he will meet in heaven. Meanwhile, Glassman performed brain surgery on the father. He surrounded the cyst in his brain with saline and it popped out intact.

Murphy may have been wrong and Evan’s parents hated him but Evan didn’t. He asked him for a favor which involved him reading Evan part of To Kill a Mockingbird. Murphy gave Steve the book one year for his birthday and Murphy read the book from the point Steve left it before he died. Evan thought it was a good book.

Overall, this was an excellent episode despite the okay main case but what made it excellent was the case with Murphy and Evan. It became extremely emotional to watch because of Murphy’s relationship with Steve which we got more of via some more flashbacks. He couldn’t save Steve so he thought saving Evan could sort of make up for it. The two were very fun to watch together thanks to some great performances by Freddie Highmore and Dylan Kingwell.

Score: 9.5/10

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2 replies »

  1. Your review was great, I’m an autistic and I would say there is something deep in this series that I can’t exactly figure out what exactly is