TV Reviews

The Good Doctor Season 2 Episode 9: Empathy Review

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

Synopsis: Dr. Neil Melendez, Dr. Morgan Reznick and Dr. Claire Brown grapple with a patient’s wish to perform an operation that would keep him from acting on his pedophilic urges; Dr. Shaun Murphy learns a lesson in empathy. (TV Guide)

Writer: Karen Struck

Director: Joanna Kerns

Rating: TV-14

Running Time: 41mins

Airs: Mondays at 10pm on CTV (Canada)/ABC (United States)

Murphy learned to empathize and also drive in an episode that ended shockingly for one of this week’s patients.

The episode started with Glassman as he has been doing so much lately, waiting in a waiting room until Murphy arrived to take his drivers license as a result of his latest memory test. Glassman gave it up begrudgingly.

Melendez, Reznick, and Browne had a patient named George who appeared to suffer the effects of a stroke which were being caused by another treatment he was taking for a condition he was trying to hide from the doctors. George was taking medication to keep him from acting on his pedophilic urges. Adamant on taking the medication, the patient left the hospital. Meanwhile, Murphy and Park had a patient with a caved-in forehead and a broken orbital bone as well as a collapsed lung. As the episode title suggested, this would be a test for Murphy who couldn’t see beyond the deformities. This became the topic of a discussion between the doctors who were also taking bets on who Andrews would select as chief of surgery and also had varying opinions on whether having empathy made someone a good doctor.

George came back to the hospital with self-inflicted scrotal lacerations. He pleaded to the doctors to finish the job. There wasn’t much debate about whether or not to amputate when Melendez wanted Reznick and Browne to tend to George’s injury. Meanwhile, Murphy was tuning out Park’s conversation with their patient, noticing that he was having trouble breathing due to a lacerated diaphragm. While performing surgery, Lim agreed with Murphy about repairing their patient’s caved-in forehead was risky and unnecessary on the practicality of it, not because she lacked empathy which she believed to be important.

George was refusing care as any castration would require a psychiatric evaluation. He was afraid of his own thoughts so he refused their treatment and wanted to leave again. Reznick and Browne were getting frustrated by his stubbornness. Meanwhile, Murphy continued to pester Glassman who had lost his independence. Melendez and Lim were taking the pending chief of surgery position seriously and had a friendly competition which got a little tense. Lea was also teaching Murphy how to drive and it did not go well. She then found a workaround by putting driving in terms that Murphy could understand.

Melendez still did not want to sign off on the castration so the only option was to move George somewhere else. He was in so much pain that they now had no choice. However, they found evidence proving they needed to do the opposite to save his life. After the surgery, George was more willing to cooperate with the doctors. Meanwhile, Murphy came around on his patient’s forehead repair since they can do it while repairing his broken orbital bone. They almost lost their patient but they got him back before fixing him. Murphy still thought it was a mistake. He had difficulty coming to terms with the fact that he empathized with someone. George also disappeared before Reznick and Browne found him throwing himself in front of traffic.

Ultimately, Andrews decided to retain his title as chief of surgery. Melendez believed that he and Lim should stand together. Using his newly gained skills, Murphy drove Glassman to his next radiation appointment.

Overall, this was a great episode that had just about everything going for it including a pair of compelling cases with one ending in shocking fashion. The pedophile patient was definitely a case that doesn’t show up too often on medical series though it could’ve gone deeper with it. However, it’s easy to overlook considering everything else that went on here. The chief of surgery subplot was a little underwhelming despite the fun competition between Melendez and Lim. Glassman was unnecessary here but it spawned Murphy driving which was fun to watch. Murphy developing empathy was also compelling to watch. Melendez and Lim were also fun to watch together so here’s to hoping that we get to see more of them in the future. Next week is the midseason finale so it’s kind of anybody’s guess as to what is going to happen.

Score: 9/10

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