This episode, for lack of a better word, was perfectly balanced. I’m a big fan of story consistency, where one episode will have little snippets or story lines from the episode before it. The Good Doctor is amazing for it, and sometimes you need to go back to see how long the writers have been putting in the little details. They are also amazing writers because they keep developing their characters over time, and we get to watch them grow, both as doctors, and as people. This episode was facing the truth they have been denying themselves.
This week, we see how Claire is dealing with the previous episode’s final scene, the loss of her patient because of an accident on her part. Well, the lack of dealing with it. Glassman asks, but she tries to play it off like she is fine. He sees through her, and makes her visit a counselor. It is common practice, though Claire seems reluctant. But, as we see through the episode, her hands are shaking and she seems hesitant.
We meet Liam, an autistic young man who gets off the bus at the wrong stop, and ends up hitting his head. Luckily, Shaun is able to calm him down, and begins to stitch up his head. His parents seem shocked that anyone with autism is even working at the hospital, and a doctor at that. But Shaun takes it in his stride. Yet, Claire notices that Shaun asks her to preform a gallbladder study, and is reluctant to treat Liam. It comes out Liam is the first autistic person he has ever met. Claire asks if he was excited, or happy, and Shaun responded, “Why would I be happy to meet someone with autism?”
We see Jared and an older patient named Glenn, whose pacemaker has malfunctioned. After a failed escape and the patient collapsing in the garage, we learn that Glenn purposely caused his pacemaker to fail so he could die. Jared sits with him, waiting for the man to pass out, and we learn that Jared, though he is from a rich family, was abandoned to fend for himself at the age of 18, something he has resented, but never mentioned. Previously, we saw him do a large donation to another hospital to garner help for his patient, but we learned how calling in that help must be painful, since they abandoned him at one point in his life.
Hop over to Claire, who is meeting with a physiatrist, and talking about what happened. After a while, the other woman explains that even though she has no reason to not pass Claire’s evaluation, it seems Claire is just bottling up the whole situation, and not really dealing with it. “Talk to someone, even if it isn’t me. It will help, I promise.” Still, Claire returns, just in time to watch Dr. Melendez dealing with his own truth.
While she was gone, Liam was deteriorating in health. Melendez explains to the parents the best way to save their child is to do surgery. The parents consent, but with only one request – Shaun does not help at all. Melendez hesitates, and goes for a walk, where he meets Glassman. Glassman breaks it down simply – if Shaun hasn’t earned his place on the team, accept it, and do the surgery without Shaun. Otherwise, transport the patent to the next hospital. Dr. Melendez returns to the parents, and says, “Shaun has overcome many obstacles, some thrown at him unfairly, and he is a part of my team.” The parents refuse, and he begins to prep a transfer when Liam asks for Shaun to perform the surgery.
Things go well, and Liam makes it to see the next day. Shaun receives an apology from the family, and says, “I understand. You love Liam. Your love drove your decision. My family did not love me.” And let me tell you, I wished Dr. Melendez mentioned something or looked up quickly, but Shaun just exits, leaving everything very awkward in the room.
Back to Jared, we see him help take his patient off the temp pacemaker, and sit with Glenn as he drifts away. It is tough to watch the scene without getting a little emotional, and it hits hard as Jared realizes sometimes, you cannot save everyone. He prepares to leave, and runs into Claire, and after a bit, both begin to talk about their lost patients. We even see Claire lay her head on Jared’s arm, stroking the shipping flames for the fans.
Each week, I expect to feel let down by an episode, or scene, but each week, The Good Doctor shows what it means to create an amazing plot, character development, and a constant storyline. I look forward to each episode, and cannot wait until next week. As always, stay shiny!
Lets get medical!
Lets talk gallstones. As a kid, I thought they formed much like a pearl in a clam – a small mineral gets coated over and over again because the organism cannot digest the mineral, and soon creates a small stone. Instead, it is a collection of hardened bile, and happens quite often. It can be painful, especially passing them, but surgery is rarely needed.
Sadly, Liam doesn’t have that, with so much scar tissue in the biliary tract, which connects the gallbladder to the liver and intestine. See, bile is the product used to break down many things, and when you throw up, you sometimes will throw up a yellow secretion, which is bile. It can be quite acidic if not mixed with anything, like food or water.
The doctors realize his bowels are close to perforating, which means a hole will form in the intestines, and will let food, and other waste into the body. Now, it might not sound bad, but it is extremely deadly. Waste is leaving your body for 2 reasons – it is a byproduct that cannot be digested, or it is a bit toxic in the form of bacteria, and your body is trying to get rid of it. If it gets into your body, your body will try to fight it, often leading to septic shock as your cells cannot break down the bacteria, and they can float around. The bile might even damage other organs.
One disorder that you might of heard of is appendicitis, which is the inflammation of the appendix. As a young adult, about 14 or 15, my body started showing similar signs to this illness, sore stomach, fever, throwing up. It was great, I think. After 4 hours, my cognitive process hit the fan. I got admitted to the hospital, and remember talking with my mom, blinking, and continuing, only to be told I passed out for an hour. Luckily, my appendix was fine, and by the next day, I was completely normal, if not a bit weak. Even now, I do not know what happened. But I was curious as to why my mother was so concerned, as a trip to the doctors only happened once a year, as she was a trained nurse and covered most things. And I found out about a ruptured appendix and what could happen.
Well, thank you for reading my take on the illnesses and disorders discussing in the episode. As always, stay shiny, and I will see you next week!