The Good Doctor S2 E2
The Good Doctor never backing down from heavy issues—and Dr. Lim is our new hero, in Season 2 Episode 1: Middle Ground.
When to Tell the Truth—And When to Lie
Our Shaun has struggled in the past with not being able to lie, and not really understanding when a lie is better than the truth. It’s hard to find that “middle ground”, but a patient this weeks helps Shaun out.
Paul is a hospital janitor, and Shaun has been keeping count of his belches, a lot of them. He tells Dr. Melendez that he thinks Paul has pancreatic cancer and Melendez suggests he could just as easily have acid reflux, but Shaun points out that Paul is also jaundiced. Melendez agrees to have Paul undergo some tests, but he instructs Shaun not to mention the pancreatic cancer yet—no need in alarming him until they know something. But Shaun being Shaun, he blurts it out. We kinda knew he would.
Paul’s tests reveals that he does indeed have pancreatic cancer and he does not have long to live, but there is a procedure called a “Whipple surgery” that could save him. Paul’s family is brought in to discuss his diagnosis and the options. The whipple surgery is very risky, he could die on the table, and even if he makes it through, recovery and complications later still present huge risks. His family wants him to have the surgery, and Paul takes some time to decide.
Shaun finds him in the chapel and it’s clear that Paul does not want to have the surgery, but he loves his family, and he is going to do it because they want him to do it. He and Shaun have a little talk about truth and lies, and Paul tells Shaun that when the truth can’t help someone, then it’s time to lie.
Paul makes it through the surgery, but he crashes during recovery, and he doesn’t make it. The family is devastated, of course, and his children and wife realize that it’s their fault, that they pushed Paul into having the surgery. And bless his heart, our Shaun has learned the lesson, and in a tearful moment he lies to this hurting family and lifts their burden by saying that Paul told him he wanted the surgery. Well done, Shaun. Well done.
Later, Shaun also learns when to tell the truth. If you recall, Lea came back to town in the last episode. She’s been staying at Shaun’s and he has been avoiding her. So when she finally confronts him, Shaun screams at her, tells her how bad she hurt him when she left, and that he knows she will just hurt him again, so he wants her to leave and go back to Hershey. In that moment, I was so rooting for Shaun. I mean, damn it Lea, you make Shaun fall for you, his first kiss is with you, all the while knowing you’re gonna leave soon, then you drop the news on him, breaking his heart. Now you think you’re just gonna pop back in and everything’s supposed to be okay? No, I’m sorry, Lea, but you don’t get to do that. Not to our Shaun. Okay, rant over.
Dr. Lim is a Badass
When a teenage girl calling herself “Asha” (we later find out her name is Mara) checks into ER wanting a cosmetic surgery called vaginal rejuvenation, Dr. Lim discovers that she has been the victim of a cruel ritual that some cultures still to this day perform on little girls—it hurts me to even say this, but yeah, her genital organs were mutilated when she was two years old. Dr. Lim decides to do the surgery without notifying the parents, even knowing that her ID is fake and she is underage. As long as she “believes” the girl is 18, she isn’t doing anything wrong. When the patient wakes up in recovery, she is in a tremendous amount of pain. Reznick suggests that this means she still has feeling, and that they could reconstruct her clitoris so that this girl could later have a healthy and normal sex life. But when Dr. Andrews gets wind of what Lim has done, he’s not happy. He dangles the Chief of Surgery position over her head, and demands that she call the parents in.
Dr. Lim doesn’t like it, but she calls the parents in. Andrews wasn’t all bad, though, he did get in touch with Children’s Services, who inform the parents that they are stepping in and they won’t be allowed to remove their daughter. The parents say that they didn’t do this to their daughter, it was done to her by relatives, but still, they did not seek medical care for her when it happened, and they feel that it is her “rite of passage”.
Dr. Lim tells them about the reconstrutvie surgery, but they do not want it, they just want their daughter out of pain (yeah, shame you didn’t think of that before). The social worker decides that the decision should be the girl’s—they wake her up and she says to just remove it all so that she’s out of pain. Later, Lim talks to her alone, just to make sure that she’s not being swayed by the presence of her parents. The girl obviously wants the reconstructuve surgery, but she’s afraid to go against her parents, so she says no.
However our gal Dr. Lim isn’t having it, and when she goes into the OR she tells the team to prepare the cheek (this is where they will get tissue to reconstruct the clitoris with). Lim says that Mara gave her permission for the surgery. Reznick and Park know that Lim is lying, but they go along with it. In recovery, the parents are happy that their daughter is out of pain, and the girl realizes that something has happened to her cheek—she knows what Dr. Lim has done and she gives her a big smile, it’s their secret. Oh, Dr. Lim, you are truly a hero.
Dying vs. Living
Poor Dr. Glassman has been struggling with choosing a surgeon for his brain surgery. Nobody is good enough. His oncologists is breathing down his neck to choose someone, and Shaun tries to help. Shaun thinks he’s afraid of dying, but Glassman says it’s not dying that scares him. For Dr. Glassman, dying isn’t the worst thing that could happen—much worse for him would be living impaired after the surgery, if something goes wrong in there. He doesn’t know who he would be if he couldn’t be the person that he is now. Shaun very sweetly says that he would be his friend, but this isn’t enough for Glassman. In the end, he chooses his surgeon and the episode ends as Glassman goes under …. 10 … 9 … 8 … 7 …
Please share your thoughts with me on Episode 2 of the new season … do you agree with Paul, that sometimes it’s better to lie if the truth can’t help someone? And how about Dr. Lim–would you support her decision? I know I would.
The Good Doctor returns October 8th, 10/9 C, on ABC.
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