The Good Doctor 2×17 Review: “Breakdown”

The Good Doctor has a way of making their titles, i.e. “Breakdown”, hit the nail on the head for what’s going on with their characters. Shaun, especially, as he finally hits the wall on being excluded, and loses his job.

Frankly, I know a lot happened in this episode, including Glassman getting BIG news, and the resolve of the quarantine, but it’s hard for me to take my attention away from how this story has played out so fast with Shaun and Dr. Han. This episode broke down to the heart of some of our main characters, altering lives in the process. When it comes to Shaun, his career, I’m afraid, is never going to be the same again.

Claire, Melendez, and Lim all have their differences as doctors, but the one thing I know they can agree on is Shaun’s capability as a surgeon. He has faced quite a few challenges up to this point, and despite all the obstacles in his way he’s managed to overcome them. He might have needed help to get over that brick wall, but frankly I doubt there’s a surgeon out there who thinks they can do everything in their job alone.

It’s difficult to reconcile Han being the kind of doctor who’s willing to hire a P.I. to make a board back off of taking away the licenses of any doctor under his charge, and still refuse to budge on letting Shaun learn through experience, because of the mistakes he might make.

This hour featured a case of a man who was facing down a risky surgery to remove a literal 200 pound tumor, that was sucking the life out of him. Despite every mind at hand, including Han’s, when it came down to it, Shaun was the one they knew could figure out what they needed to do to get this tumor out, and save the patient.

The fact that everyone around him was telling him the positives of being in Pathology, and yet they still had no qualms of dragging him right back into his old stomping grounds for his skills. I can’t blame the surgery team, but it really just proves the point of why Han’s decision WAS A BAD ONE. I mean, come on, writers, why are you doing this to Shaun?

My frustrations aside, Freddie Highmore’s performance is no less than brilliantly heartbreaking, between losing it at Han, and when Claire is sitting there with him in the locker room packing his stuff away.

The emotional juxtaposition between him losing his job, and Glassman getting the news he’s cancer free (!!!), can be summed one in one word for me — “Damn!” I couldn’t decide whether to be more happy for Glassman, or wanting to scream at Han for Shaun. Writing choices on when to keep, and drop story-lines are frustrating as hell, but this show knows how to make you feel for their characters.

Which begs the question, now that Glassman is healthy, Lim & Melendez let out their secret, and Shaun’s fired, what in God’s name is going to happen in next week’s season finale?

You better believe I won’t miss it.

The Good Doctor airs Mondays at 10/9c on ABC.

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