The Good Doctor continued October 23rd with Episode Five: “Point Three Percent”.
This one was a major tearjerker. When the show started out with another flashback to the bunny scene, I reached for my tissues. Good thing.
The big story this week was really, really big. A young patient checks in who just happens to look exactly like Shaun’s brother. Hmm … me thinks something is fishy here—wait a minute, he looks like Shaun’s brother because it is! Well, not the same character, but the same actor. Dylan Kingwell, who has been doing a fantastic job as Shaun’s brother in the flashbacks, this week played Evan, a young boy with cancer.
Shaun of course notices the resemblance right away, as does Dr. Glassman, who asks Shaun if he sees it. Shaun tries to deny it, but as we’re about to find out, he’s not good at telling lies.
It turns out that Evan’s parents haven’t told him he has cancer, and they request that Dr. Murphy not tell him, either. Shaun asks Claire to help him out, so he doesn’t have to lie to the boy.
But this kid is no dummy, and he eventually pries the truth out of Shaun. However, Evan already knew the truth. He had figured it out, but didn’t tell his parents that he knew.
Shaun can’t accept the idea that Evan is dying, and he pours over Evan’s records, searching for a miracle. At last, he thinks he’s found one! Maybe Evan doesn’t have cancer after all. Maybe it was a false diagnosis. Maybe what he really has is something that is all together curable.
Shaun tells Dr. Melendez his suspicions and that he needs to run a test to prove his theory. When Melendez asks what the chances are that he’s right, Dr. Murphy answers, “Point 3 percent.” Melendez tells him no, to run the test would be to give the parents false hope. But Shaun isn’t taking no for an answer. He goes to Glassman, who tells him to lie about the reason for needing the test.
Shaun tries to lie, but it doesn’t go well. Evan calls him out, and when Shaun admits to it, and tells him the real reason he’s doing another test, a heart breaking flicker of hope flashes across young Evan’s face. And that’s when the parents come in. They are furious with Dr. Murphy, for telling their son about the cancer, and for giving him false hope.
And still I was hoping with all my heart that Shaun would be right. But after Evan starts coughing up blood and is rushed into ER, further proof is found by Melendez—Shaun was wrong. Evan is indeed dying.
The rest of the team is busy with an older man who has tapeworms in his skull (uggh!) and a severed relationship with his son. Dr. Kalu helps the father and son mend their relationship, and Dr. Glassman performs a successful surgery, and all is well in that story line.
The episode ends with Shaun reading to Evan, a passage from To Kill a Mockingbird, a book he had previously given to his brother. Shaun gives the book to Evan, says, “That is all,” and leaves. And I reach for more tissues, because at this point I’m bawling like a baby. I feel like in that moment, Shaun came to terms with his brother’s death. It will still haunt him, but Evan has helped Shaun to accept it, and move on.
My favorite line of this episode:
“Fighting death is what keeps us alive.” ~ Dr. Claire Browne
How did you feel about Episode Five? Do you need to go buy more tissues? I do. And maybe a defibrillator—next week’s episode looks to be off the hook. Will you be watching?
The Good Doctor returns October 30, 10/9 C, on ABC.