The Good Doctor Season 2 Episode 9
The Good Doctor takes a look at empathy this week—does a doctor need to have empathy, and does everyone deserve it?
License to Drive
You remember that last week Shaun gave Dr. Glassman a test to see if he is losing his memory and the results were a resounding yes. So this episode opens with Shaun demanding that Glassy hand over his drivers license. After all, if he’s losing his memory, he really does not need to be driving. Glassman puts up a fight, but Shaun sticks to his guns and threatens to report him to the DMV. Glassman is really angry with Shaun, but he hands over his drivers license.
Shaun, on the other hand, is practicing his driving again in the old Starsky and Hutch car. After some crazy mishaps, Lea helps Shaun find a way to think about driving in the same way that he thinks about surgery, and now he’s got this.
Park and Shaun’s patient is a juvie named Billie who has been beat up. He also has a dent in his forehead, put there by his father and a baseball bat, and he gets bullied because of it. Park has empathy for the boy (and maybe some guilt, too, as Lim later points out, because as a cop previously he’d sent a lot of boys to juvie), he wants to fix his forehead, too. But Shaun says no, it’s preexisting, they can’t do it, which kind of surprised me. This didn’t sound like Shaun to me.
Park points out that a good doctor needs to have empathy. Shaun worries that he doesn’t have empathy and that means he’s not a good doctor, but during surgery to repair Billy’s stomach which has pushed up into his diaphragm, Shaun suggests putting a breast implant in the dent in his forehead to fill it in. After a scare in the OR, the surgery is a success and the boy is all fixed up. Shaun thinks his idea was a mistake because it almost cost the boy his life, but Park points out that he was suicidal, and that Shaun saved his life. Honestly, guys, I always thought that Shaun had empathy, he seemed to connect with a lot of the patients emotionally.
So, while a juvie who came from an abusive home and gets beat up definitely gets my empathy, I can’t say the same for Claire and Reznick’s patient. I’m not gonna lie, this was not one of my favorite stories. I’m used to The Good Doctor tackling tough subjects, it’s one of the reasons I love this show, but I wasn’t crazy about this one.
George initially comes in with symptoms of a stroke, brought on by a medication he’s on. They first believe he’s taking the medication because he’s trying to transition, but he says he needs it to control his sexual urges. After investigating, Claire finds out that he’s on the medication because he’s a pedophile and it’s supposed to stop his urges, but it’s too late, he’s left the hospital.
He returns later, though, after he tries to castrate himself. Yikes. He admits to being a pedophile, but says the he has never acted on his urges. His sister has children and he can’t be around her if he can’t take this medicine. He wants them to finish the job he started and castrate him, which will supposedly fix him. Morgan is all for it, but Claire wants him to have a psych evaluation and get a referral. They try to repair the damage he did, but he refuses treatment, and screams in agony until he later passes out.
They take him to OR, and are going to do the operation, but there’s a complication and they can’t do it. Claire later tells George that he can have a psych evaluation and get a referral for the surgery and then they can do it. Which makes me wonder, how did he get the medication he was on that initially brought him in, if he wasn’t already seeing someone? George leaves again, and when Claire and Reznick rush outside to try and stop him, he steps out into the path of a bus, killing himself.
The story ends when Claire and Reznick sit down together, shocked, and Reznick says she isn’t so sure the world is a worse place than it was before. I have to agree, Reznick. I’m sorry, but if the question that The Good Doctor was posing is, should we have empathy for a pedophile? It’s a no from me.
Meet the New (Old) Chief of Surgery
After dangling that carrot for weeks, and following Melendez and Lim around this whole episode, Andrews gathers everyone to announce the new Chief of Surgery—and surprise, surprise, he isn’t choosing Melendez or Lim either one, he’s decided to retain the position himself. Not fair, Andrews, not fair at all.
This episode ends with Shaun and Lea picking Glassy up for his radiation appointment. He takes the back seat nervously as Shaun takes the wheel and heads out—in reverse. You got this, Shaun!
The Good Doctor returns December 3rd for its Winter Finale! Don’t miss it, 10/9 C, on ABC.