The Good Doctor: Season 1/ Episode 11 “Islands: Part One” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

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Conjoined twins set up an episode about separating from your past to discover a more fulfilling future.


Network
ABC
Director(s) Bill D’Elia
Writer(s) Thomas L. Moran and William L. Rotko
Air Date 1/8/2018
Catch Up or Follow Along [External]
Characters Introduced
Jenny Emily Hinkler
Katie Elizabeth Hinkler
Dr. Ko Necar Zadegan

Attempt At A Second Chance: Jared, Dr. Coyle, Dr. Andrews, Claire

Dr. Kalu is still around and tries to get Dr. Coyle to understand his position. However, in the long run, it isn’t his problem. At least he thinks it isn’t until Claire threatens to out him by finding every person who would testify – thus forcing his hand. Yet, despite Dr. Coyle and Melendez saying their piece, physically assaulting another member of the staff is physically assaulting another member of the staff. So Dr. Kalu isn’t reinstated but is offered a recommendation.

Road Trip!: Lea, ShaunShaun ready to go on a road trip with Lea

With Shaun hiding out at Lea’s apartment, it has brought the two closer together. Especially as they decide to leave the apartment building and go on a road trip. With that happening, Shaun opens up about his brother’s death as well as Dr. Glassman’s role in his life. Alongside that, Lea opens up about where she is in life and this leads to a lot of milestones for Shaun.

There is him getting to drive a car, first shot of tequila, and first kiss. But, the find times end abruptly when Lea announces she is moving halfway across the country. She is no longer happy making 70k, with the potential to make 90k, talking about the design for autonomous cars. She’d rather, back in Hershey, PA with her brother, work on cars. It might be less money, but it would make her happier.

However, for Shaun, it’s devastating.

Well, You and I Have Come This Far: Claire, Dr. Melendez, Dr. Andrews, Jessica

The Good Doctor - Claire skirting around what her mother may or may not have physically done to her

What begins as just a kidney transplant between conjoined twins evolves into a separation. One which was already planned but had to get speed up after the kidney transplant. Problem is, Katie, the twin on the right, develops some fear about the procedure. After all, she has had her sister beside her the entirety of her life. To suddenly not have that, while freeing in a way, at the same time it is incredibly lonely too.

But, as usual, when it comes to interesting cases, especially one which requires a specialist like Dr. Ko, Dr. Melendez wants to soak up as much knowledge as possible, as does Dr. Andrews. Yet, also as usual, Jessica throws up a red flag as the boys’ ambitions start to trek into a legal area. After all, while their bedside manners aren’t horrible, who really wants to feel pressured into a surgery they don’t want? So, as a nod to how easy it is to talk to Claire, as shown by Dr. Melendez being comfortable enough to talk about the troubles in his relationship with Jessica, he pushes her to approach the young ladies.

What this leads to is Claire following up on what we learned about in episode 8. She notes she grew up in a trailer to a mother who, at the very least, was verbally abusive. Maybe also physically for when talking about having kids with Dr. Melendez, she mentions the possibility of perhaps being drowned. Or rather, her mom attempting to drown her. It isn’t necessarily clear the full details of what her mother did but it does help you understand why Claire connects with people so easily. Being told you are noting for most of your life, it crafts the sort of open wound which can heal in a variety of ways.

For some, like Shaun, that wound can be healed by fear, as Dr. Glassman places inside him, and once that scars over, it becomes their being. Then, of course, there is those like Claire who don’t necessarily proudly show off their wounds but do remember the pain. Not in terms of a wakeup call, per se, but through that pain it allows them to understand other people’s. Perhaps better said, knowing what trauma is helps you connect it to kinds which are both familiar and unfamiliar to you. Since pain is universal. So maybe, just maybe, like with the twins, and Shaun, Claire has always known how to communicate with the anxious, scared, hateful, and even abrasive, because the sole gift her mother probably gave to her is the ability to adapt to those kind of people.

Highlights

You Can’t Open Up Someone’s World Then Abandon Them

Lea telling Shaun he'll never be happy if he constantly lives in fear

Shaun’s mental state is a bit of an interesting thing to observe, especially other people’s influence on it. Steve opened Shaun up to the idea that, despite what his dad may say, he is far more capable of doing things than he believes he can. Yet, Dr. Glassman sort of reversed that. He honed in on Shaun’s savant syndrome, glorifying it, yet be it because of his take on autism or because of what happened to his daughter, anything which could be dangerous to Shaun, he convinced him he is not capable of doing. Such as driving a car. But then Lea undoes all of the chains and binds Dr. Glassman did and then announces she is leaving.

In a way, you have to wonder if that triggered similar emotions in Shaun as when he lost Steve. Granted, Lea isn’t dying but she is moving across the country. Which for Shaun minas well mean dying because he easily can miss a bus stop. So even after the next few months of residency, assuming he got to keep it 1, him getting to Lea would be impossible.

And you know what makes it worse, she didn’t just open him up to the idea of drinking with co-workers and possibly driving someday, but romance. You know, since that girl when he was a kid embarrassed him, Shaun has probably kept his feelings to himself. So for someone to not only call him cute, say they like being around him, but kiss him, but basically make it seem like some kind of Harold & Maude situation where they are just training him for someone else, that’s devastating.

Claire’s Development

You really do have to love Antonia Thomas as Claire and how the writers have crafted her. This sort of quiet but strong young woman who is intelligent in multiple realms, but never so much that she seems like she is put on a pedestal. As if any viewer watching couldn’t become Claire or isn’t already on their way.

I mean, take for instance her abusive home and growing up in a trailer. As noted, the information isn’t anything new, we got a taste of her story, but Thomas getting to tap back into that did wonders for the character. Especially in terms of how just little lines hinting that her mom may have been physically abusive, perhaps tried to kill her, sends shivers down your spine. To the point, you just want to meet her parents, like Shaun, just so you have a person to push all this malice and animosity onto.

And OOOO her threatening Dr. Coyle – well, that was a bit more complicated. It was kind of weird that her reporting him relied solely on whether or not he did something for her. Meanwhile, it seems she was fine with letting him off the hook otherwise? While praise and tears definitely were well deserved, so is the side eye of letting Dr. Coyle stick around just so you could blackmail him for this, and maybe other things later on.

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Things To Note

  1. Previews show him quitting
About Amari Sali 2789 Articles
New Jersey native Amari Sali takes the approach of more so being a media advisor than a critic to sort of fill in the gap left between casual fans of media and those who review productions for a living. Thus being open about bias while still giving enough insight, often with spoilers, to present whether something is worth seeing, buying, renting, streaming, or checking out at all. An avid writer, Amari hopes to eventually switch from talking about other people's productions to fully working on his own. Such a dream is in progress to becoming reality.