If you would like to read my review of the last episode, click here.
Synopsis: Shaun recalls his own past to help an intellectually disabled teenager face separation from his mother; Claire is put between an injured teenage rock climber and her worried parents. (TV Guide)
Writer: David Hoselton
Director: Steven DePaul
Running Time: 41mins
Airs: Mondays at 10pm on CTV (Canada)/ABC (United States)
While an improvement over last week’s episode, this week’s episode of The Good Doctor was still a misfire compared to what we are used from them. The elements are there but these last few episodes have failed to put them all together. In this episode, we got some more Murphy flashbacks that went nowhere as the episode tried to relate them to the relationship of a desperate mother and her intellectually disabled son. A moral issue also arose with Claire which was paralleled with her relationship with her troubled mother. Glassman also got some closure after his daughter’s death. Finally, Murphy wanted desperately to redeem himself to Lea.
The episode started with Murphy and Lea and the redemption trail. Murphy thought that the doughnut would be enough but it was going to take more than a doughnut to fix what was happening. He also thought that they could just be neighbors again, however, that wasn’t going to be the case either. Murphy was given plenty of conflicting advice and he tried all of it.
Everyone who was watching Glassman from afar believed that was psychotic as a result of his brain surgery but he was still tired. He was still hallucinating his dead daughter Maddie (Holly Taylor) and she was going to be there as long as he stayed awake. Glassman and Maddie reminisced about the good and bad times and how Murphy caused a rift in their relationship. Glassman resisted going to sleep just so he and Maddie could finish their conversation. It got heated once the conversation shifted to when Maddie died. He finally came to terms with what happened and then let her go.
Murphy, Melendez, and Park were tending to an intellectually challenged teen with a wood fence picket through his shoulder. Meanwhile, a flashback showed Murphy being dropped off to yet another foster home which would not be the best environment for him. The case here was just as much about the teen as it was about his mother who struggled to take care of her son alone. The only other option seemed to be giving him up to a group home but his mother was hesistant to do so. Sharing his own experience, Melendez told the mother that it was okay for her to give up her son, even though it may be the hardest thing she will ever do.
Browne, Reznick, and Li, were tending to a female free solo climber with a multitude of fractures following a fall during a climb. The climber and her parents argued about the right path to take, in other words, the risky surgery that would allow her to climb again or the less risky surgery that would put an end to her climbing career. To get their way, the parents had their daughter declared mentally incompetent in order for her to get the less risky surgery which would cause a rift between them. Browne was conflicted but this was the same situation she had with her mother. She tried to use this experience to her advantage with the parents and the climber.
After getting the sleep he needed, Murphy was by his side once Glassman woke up. Melendez visited his mentally challenged daughter at a group home. Murphy returned home as Lea was leaving but he convinced her to stay by finally listening to her and asking what happened in Hershey. He cared because she cared. Keep in mind that we didn’t get an answer. While they sang karaoke while Murphy casually dropped the fact that he was going to rent an apartment for the two of them.
Overall, this was a decent episode that improved over last week’s but still suffered from some of the same problems. The Glassman subplot and Richard Schiff’s performance were powerful but what was the point of all of it? Murphy learning from his past mistakes with Lea was compelling to watch. The climber was case was kind of boring while the more compelling case with the mother and son didn’t go far enough. It was nice to see flashbacks again though they didn’t quite make a difference here. Melendez was fleshed out a little bit more but what difference does it make? There’s still plenty of good here so hopefully the following episodes can better put it all together.