Spoiler alert! The following article contains spoilers from season 3 of The Good Doctor. Read on only if you are current with the episode titled Fractured.
The Good Doctor returned from its midseason hiatus with yet another emotionally gripping episode. Monday’s midseason premiere titled Fractured picked right back up where the series left off in December. Dr. Shaun Murphy was mid-meltdown after a confrontation with his dying estranged father. As Shaun’s self-destructive behavior escalated, Lea was there to comfort him. As it turns out, she spent the night in his hotel room, consoling, comforting, and holding him; all aspects of affection which Shaun struggles to receive from his girlfriend, Carly. The next morning in a conversation with Dr. Glassman, Shaun realizes that things with Lea feel different than things with Carly, but he’s not sure what that means or what he wants.
Shaun and Carly and Lea:
Upon returning to San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital, two critical patients arrive; Shaun and Dr. Morgan Reznick are challenged with a mother with a very clearly broken leg. She refuses to accept pain killers claiming they’ve made her sick in the past. Much to Morgan’s shock, the patient claims the injury hurts less than childbirth! Ouch!! Quite the opposite situation, Dr. Claire Brown and Dr. Alex Park take on a young man with a super bloated and tender belly. At first, he refuses care, stating that he’s unemployed, but Claire convinces him to take meds and stay in the hospital long enough to ensure they are working.
It’s not long before Shaun and Carly reunite, however, it’s not a happy reunion. Shaun is delivering samples for his patient’s test to the pathology lab, where he meets Carly, who is left wondering why she’s being ghosted by her boyfriend. For the entire duration of his trip back home, Shaun completely ignored her messages and didn’t reach out to her once. Carly is visibly frustrated but remains compassionate towards Shaun, reiterating that she understands his challenges with interpreting emotions. Shaun, however, is uncomfortable with their conversation. He demands that she take his test samples before rushing away from the confrontation.
Shaun makes his way to the MRI room to meet up with Morgan, who is more than ready to give him an earful about what she thinks he should do. She tells him, “Carly is smart, pretty, and the fact that she’s willing to deal with all of your stuff means you should be thanking whatever God you pray to that you ever met her.” She then tells Shaun that Lea is a flake. Long story short, Morgan is totally Team Sharly and tries to convince Shaun that breaking up with Carly for Lea would be a big mistake.
Shaun and Carly eventually run into each other again. This time, the pair is alone in an elevator. Carly uses this as an opportunity to further press Shaun about what’s going on between them as well as what’s going on between him and Lea. At first, Shaun isn’t responding, but eventually, he blurts out, “It’s different. I like you, Carly. When I’m around you, I want to be impressive to you. I don’t feel like I have to impress Lea as I do you.” (Cue my sobbing)
Shaun’s dilemma isn’t getting any easier. Who’s right for him? Carly or Lea? While he’s mentally weighing their pros and cons, he asks an unlikely person for advice; Dr. Andrews. Dr. Andrews speaks quite lovingly of his wife, Isabelle, and tells Shaun that he knew she was the one because of a feeling in the pit of his stomach; nerves, his heart beating faster when he saw her, etc. This conversation leads to Shaun physically monitoring his pulse, first around Lea. Hit heart rate stays steady. Bummer, Shea fans.
Sharly fans, here’s some good news. Shaun finds Carly in the cafeteria, where he begins to read her what seems to be all of the “pros” he came up with for why he likes her. Carly tells Shaun that while it’s great, he wants to impress her, that means absolutely nothing if he can’t just talk to her. It’s here where Shaun finally opens up and tells Carly about how Lea was able to comfort him and hold him. Carly is quite upset by this, knowing that she has waited for so long for him to be comfortable with her. Carly needs some space and storms off.
Shaun is visibly upset and goes to Dr. Glassman for advice. He’s in full-blown panic mode, and it’s at this point where Freddie Highmore and Richard Schiff deliver yet another award-worthy scene. Check it out below:
“I could not be more proud of you.” #TheGoodDoctor pic.twitter.com/yUqH6b6Qzy
— The Good Doctor (@GoodDoctorABC) January 14, 2020
Unfortunately for Shaun and Morgan’s patient Kerry (played by Milauna Jemai Jackson), her injury requires surgery, and surgery typically requires medications. Kerry revealed earlier that she is a recovering drug addict and refuses to receive any medications, details which her family does not know. As such, Shaun and Morgan approach Dr. Andrews with their dilemma. How can they perform surgery without anesthesia and medication and maintain doctor/patient confidentiality? Dr. Andrews challenges them to find a different surgical approach to repairing the injury. Ultimately, Kerry reveals her drug addition to her husband and expresses her concern that she’s not strong enough not to relapse. Kerry reaches full Superwoman status when she undergoes a painful and grueling procedure without assistance from drugs.
Park and Claire seek Dr. Melendez’s help after learning their patient’s, Luca (played by Moisés Arias), bloated belly is due to illegally smuggling drugs. Luca’s stomach is bursting with drug-filled balloons causing significant issues within his body. Park wants to get the cops involved, something which Claire promised the patient they wouldn’t do. Claire empathizes with Luca recalling her struggles growing up with her mother and their tight financial situation. Claire convinces Park to give Luca a break. They will need to keep whatever “medical waste” is extracted from his body, but promise to discharge him before the pathology report comes back revealing the substance and thus prompting them to contact the police. Ultimately, it was all a lie. Someone faked a seizure while someone broke into the storage locker in pathology. The only item taken was Luca’s specimen, and conveniently, Luca is also missing. After giving a fake name and fake address, there’s no way to track him down. Claire is devastated by this, but Melendez offers some comfort. He says, “There are worst qualities in this world than trying to see the best in people. If you’re a good person, every now and again, you’re going to feel like an idiot. I’m still grateful that I work with you.”
At the end of the day, Shaun finds Carly outside the hospital. The two discuss how they first met, and how, at that moment, Shaun’s honesty was what attracted Carly to him. She tells him she wants to be with him but doesn’t see how that’s possible while he’s still living with Lea. Carly gets up to leave to give Shaun some time to think. He grabs her hand (SQUEEEEE!) to stop her from leaving. In the most shocking moment of the entire episode, Shaun agrees that it’s time for him and Lea to part ways. He then, be still my heart, tells Carly that he loves her. The two embrace as the episode comes to an end.
Will Shaun and Lea go their separate ways to save his relationship with Carly? Will Shaun and Carly’s relationship survive their next challenge: working together at St. Bonaventure?
What did you think about the midseason premiere of ABC’s The Good Doctor? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
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