The Good Doctor Episode 7:
After a brief hiatus, The Good Doctor came back with a bang, November 13th on ABC.
The episode starts off with Shaun window shopping for television sets. He still wants his tv, and we’re hoping maybe he will finally get it.
Shaun’s story this week starts when a young boy, Liam, arrives at St. Bonaventure Hospital with a head laceration. The boy is extremely agitated and the doctors are trying to restrain him. Shaun sees this and he immediately knows the boy is autistic. “You’re scaring him,” Shaun says.
The parents arrive and want to take Liam home, but Shaun notices that his skin is jaundiced, and finds that something is wrong. They need to do an MRI to find out what’s going on, but how to get Liam to stay calm while they do the MRI is the question.
Shaun tries to talk Liam through the procedure. He calms him by talking about how many steps there are between certain points in the hospital, and it works at first. But something goes wrong, and Liam panics. The MRI is abandoned.
Shaun eventually discovers the root of Liam’s illness (literally), kava root. The parents have been giving it to Liam and it has caused major scarring in his bowels. The parents are grateful for Shaun’s diagnosis, but they refuse to allow Shaun to take part in their son’s surgery.
Dr. Melendez comes to Shaun’s defense. Yes, you read that right: Dr. Melendez. He tells the parents that he has complete confidence in Shaun as a surgeon. The parents still refuse, and are about to take their son elsewhere for surgery, when Liam suddenly tells them he wants Dr. Shaun Murphy.
All that settled, the surgery is on and finally, Dr. Melendez allows Shaun to make his first incision. The surgery is a success and Shaun gets an apology from the parents.
What really struck me in this story line was that Shaun had to come face to face with autism and how he himself could have been, if he didn’t have the savant aspect of his autism. I think when Shaun declared to Claire that he didn’t like Liam, it wasn’t really Liam he didn’t like, it was seeing the autism so vividly that he didn’t like. Very powerful storytelling.
Dr. Kalu has really been tugging on my heartstrings lately. This week his patient is an older man who has a heart attack when his pacemaker goes bad. Jared tells him they’re going to put in a new pacemaker, and the man tells Dr. Kalu, who he calls 28 (because Jared is 28 years old) he doesn’t want it. He wants to die. His wife is gone, he has no one, and he doesn’t want to live anymore.
Jared can’t accept this, and insists that the man needs the pacemaker. So the patient disappears. Dr. Kalu finds him in the basement and since the patient refuses to go back to his room, he decides to stay right there with him.
The amazing Dr. Kalu listens while the patient tells him about how he was married for 20 years and his wife died (later, the man admits that she didn’t die, she left him). Jared shares his own story, of how his wealthy parents mostly ignored him, sent him off to private schools, and then moved away without even telling him. Finally, the patient tells Dr. Kalu he’ll have the surgery.
But I love how this show always turns things around. We’re thinking, “Yay, Dr. Kalu convinced him to have the surgery, he’s gonna be okay. “ But no, the patient still wants to die, and after he escapes again, Dr. Kalu agrees to give him his wish. He has the patient sign a DNR, and in a super emotional scene, Jared holds his hand as he dies, a tear slipping down Dr. Kalu’s face.
A Strong Woman
Dr. Claire Browne is going through a crisis of her own. Remember the woman who died in episode 6 as a result of a mistake Claire made? Claire is having a tough time dealing with it, but she doesn’t want to admit it. When she’s questioned about how she’s feeling, Claire declares that she’s fine, but a grief counselor sees through her. She tells Claire that she is a strong woman, but she needs to find someone to talk to about the incident. Claire later takes that advice when Jared asks her if she needs to talk.
All through the episode, Dr. Glassman has been concerned about Shaun wanting to buy a television. He keeps trying to stress to Shaun that he has to budget and pay his bills. Later, Jessica reminds Dr. Glassman that it was him who fought for them to give Shaun a chance because he knew he could learn, but now maybe he’s not giving him that chance.
The episode ends with Dr. Glassman and Shaun in an electronics store, all cozy in a couple of recliners, with a bucket of popcorn, watching the game on a wall of televisions. They’re both relaxed and happy, and it was really nice to see them having fun. Finally, Shaun is going to get his television.
My favorite quote in Episode 7:
You shouldn’t feel bad. You did what you thought was best for Liam. You love Liam. I didn’t have that from my parents. It also means I didn’t have to take kava root, so I didn’t get hypereosinophilic gastroenteritis. ~ Dr. Shaun Murphy
What are your thoughts on Episode 7? How did you feel about Shaun’s interactions with Liam? And what about Dr. Kalu, do you think he made the right choice to let his patient die on his own terms?
The Good Doctor returns November 20th, 10/9C, on ABC. Bates Motel fans will be thrilled to know that Episode 8 was directed by Nestor Carbonell, AKA Sheriff Romero.