Shaun Murphy, oh I have missed you. The Good Doctor was back in form with “Hello”, penned by lead Freddie Highmore, and it was like sitting down to have coffee with an old friend. The kind where you start talking, and it’s like no time has passed. I wish I could have said that during hiatus, but really I’m just thankful Fall TV is back just in time to make me cry a bit.
The premiere dives right back into where we left off, introducing new characters and making exits for others as smooth as possible. What’s remarkable about the stories working their way through the premiere is, as separate as they are most of the time — between Shaun and Dr. Glassman and the resident team — somehow they feel intertwined nonetheless. One of the strengths of this show is how real these character connections come through on screen.
Shaun’s determination to be upfront about his mistake has landed him in hot water and he is determinedly avoiding his mentor and friend. Speaking of Dr. Glassman, he is experiencing the unpleasantness of being a patient instead of a doctor, now that he is battling a brain tumor. As a fan of House, seeing Lisa Edelstein back in the role of a physician, as Dr. Blaize, was thrilling — especially after she firmly set Dr. Glassman in the patient seat after calling him out for reinstating her for his medical treatment.
Well, frankly, who can blame a man with a brain tumor like his?
Shaun may not be facing death, but Highmore’s portrayal of his struggle to focus on his job and on his patients were spot on. He’s a man who’s brilliant enough to recognize his condition is something he’ll never be able to cure, but he throws himself heart first with that unique brain of his to help as many people as he can.
After a misdiagnosis and a disappointed speech from Dr. Andrews, who’s struggling with his new role, these Shaun and Jared land on a way to help Harry/Eddie. As much as I didn’t anticipate the story going that way, the two scenes I loved the most was when they honed in on Shaun’s point of view. His sit down with Dr. Glassman, and going to the homeless area with Jared instantly put you on the edge of your seat — experiencing it in the first person on his perspective of the world.
He had no way to fight for his friend, so he fought even harder to save Harry and reunite him with his family. As critical as Dr. Andrews is of him as a doctor, it was important as hell for Jared to stand up for him as a friend. Jared (who I will miss dearly), fought right up until the end of his time there at San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital. I personally wished he’d had a slightly longer goodbye with Claire, but all in all, he found some peace through fighting for a patient alongside Shaun. I don’t think you can ask for more than that, after literally having his new life dangled in front of him to be taken away by the new President, who learned quickly this job is no easy ride.
I’m still not very fond of Dr. Andrews, but he does still know how to take the advice to point out things he wouldn’t have before to Dr. Melendez. Facing a surgery that would affect the fate of the hospital is, I imagine, a bit nerve-wracking. Caution is a double-edged sword in the medical field and — as risky as that procedure was — sometimes you learn literally on your feet what you’re capable of.
Claire is going to become more familiar with this concept as the season goes on. Her bedside manner is exactly the kind of attitude I’ve always loved in a doctor, but she deserves to push one foot forward to stick out, so to speak. Her compassion and skill as a doctor are just two of many strengths I think she has yet to discover with this new attitude, though I’m sure the consequences will be just as fun to deal with, as she has before. Don’t worry, Claire, you got this, and I say that knowing I cried with her during her goodbye to Jared. Why is love so freaking hard?
Because it’s worth all the difficulty that comes with it when we choose it — Shaun chose to walk with his friend on his cancer journey, and another choice pops up in the form of one lady named Lea. Yeah, that’s right, she’s back, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.
- Her time was short, but sweet enough to get the sense that Lisa Edelstein’s Dr. Blaize is no pushover, even with the so-called “manipulative” Dr. Glassman.
- Jared’s simple “no” was so heartbreakingly real, that I wanted to leap through the screen to hug him and Claire simultaneously. I knew the actor was leaving in advance, but for that one golden second, I found myself hoping with Claire that he would stay. I know he’s right that they’ll both be alright, but I wonder if we’ll ever see him pop back in the future.
- Aaron Glassman, the master of paper basketball, and cancer patient who will never be alone on the long path he’s about to walk. His stance of doing this alone was brave, but when Shaun promises to be there with him a single word isn’t needed. He knows Shaun — and I’m crossing my fingers the treatment is successful, because I can’t imagine him not being there.
How about you, fellow Good Doctor fans? Did you enjoy the season two premiere? Are you excited to see Lea back?
The Good Doctor airs Mondays at 10/9c on ABC.