Hello and welcome back, my fellow Good Doctor fans! It’s wonderful to be back after a frustrating hiatus, made even more difficult by a cliffhanger winter finale. The Good Doctor was back with a roller-coaster conclusion in “Quarantine Part Two”, to the point I’m pretty sure I stopped breathing a couple times and uttered “bloody hell” at least once.
We picked up right where we left off with Shaun curled up on the floor, Lim sick with the virus and collapsed, Parks’ son having an asthma attack, and Claire & Melendez stuck with their patient, who needed bone marrow from his dad, stuck in quarantine. Needless to say there was a lot to get into, and this hour didn’t disappoint in the slightest. The pace of it moved so quickly that I was afraid I’d get whiplash. But the writers did a damn good job balancing character moments with breakneck medical drama in the story.
What struck me more than anything in the winter premiere, however, was the importance of choice — every single one seemed to matter more than it would normally, and that’s saying something in a medical environment. From Shaun, Morgan, Park and Lim in the quarantine to Melendez, Andrews & Claire outside, and even Glassman and Lea in the waiting room, the struggle of what choice to make felt entirely human and real every single time.
In the quarantine, Shaun banded together with Morgan, who chose to use her experience working with Shaun to calm him down, and get him back up and working. I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t a surprise, but damn if it wasn’t a pleasant one. Park chose to break the rules and get into quarantine to save his son, and do everything possible to help Melendez and Claire. Shaun found a way when it looked like there wouldn’t be any between saving a mother, or her newborn baby.
These and a million other little choices moved the hour along, and it was hard to imagine it aired from 10 to 11pm. This show’s strength has long been rooted in the individual character moments while balancing it with the conflicts that can happen in a medical drama. Add in the full ensemble appearing tonight, even briefly, I’m voting this as one of my favorite episodes of the season.
My personal highlight of the entire episode was Shaun overcoming his anxiety to fight back and take care of his patients, while Morgan ran around solving the mystery of the disease and refusing to let Lim die on the table like her friend did. From the moment he stood up, they worked together as a team, splitting off into who needed them the most, and refusing to give up.
Melendez, clearly worrying over Lim, did the same with Andrews for his patient who desperately needed bone marrow. I mean, seriously, how else would you use linen and janitor’s closets to perform surgery and a laundry chute to move bone marrow? Talk about resourceful. And yet, despite all of this, we still found time to see what makes these characters so compelling to watch.
Shaun finds his guide in doing what he’s driven for; Morgan in figuring out what to do no matter the situation; Park, Andrews and Melendez thinking outside the box; and Lim literally treating herself to stay alive, while admitting she thought she would die there.
On the calm side, Glassman and Lea were having the heart to heart neither of them wanted, between Lea making a point that Shaun is not made of glass, and Glassman calling out Lea’s choice to leave and then just show back up. I get the distinct feeling the latter is going to be confronted sooner rather than later, but at the end of it, there was the slightest shift of change in the air.
Here’s to seeing how it that goes the rest of the season.
- For the record, as happy as I am to see Melendez caring about someone, it feels odd and out of the blue for it to be Lim. You can call me biased, but I’m just not feeling these two. We’ll see if the rest of the season changes my mind, but for now I’m still a Melendaire fan.
- Park’s son went through the gamut of emotions, but after everything he went through — from an asthma attack to helping saving a newborn — he finally got the answer he wanted from his dad. Bravo, Park, for explaining it without telling his son the ugly reason he left in the process.
- I know Glassman has been a doctor for several years, but I sincerely hope he had a better bedside manner with his patients than he does laying down his opinion like it’s the law with Lea.
- I don’t remember the older lady vet from the winter finale, but, boy, am I glad she conveniently showed up here to help a father and son when they both needed it the most.
- Morgan tearing up as she left the hospital — God, rip my heart out, why don’t you. Not a sentence I thought I’d type about her, but give this woman a break please.
The Good Doctor airs Mondays at 10/9c on ABC.