Claire Distancing Herself From Jared
Honestly, I was never here for the Jared and Claire relationship for it did little to nothing for Claire and with Antonia Thomas, arguably, having a rather high profile, her being a ladder for Shuku Modu to climb up on bothered me. Luckily, their relationship got downplayed and downgraded to the same style of Jessica and Dr. Melendez. However, rather than her suffering because the relationship wasn’t made a big deal, she flourished.
Both as a doctor, and in terms of her dealings with Shaun, she was made into this brilliant layered character. One who came from virtually nothing, without much in the way of support, to this doctor who has shown themselves as consistently reliable, even though she accidentally killed someone, and surely a fan favorite. Also, her storylines are only second to Shaun’s. For whether we are talking about sexism; some of the patients she deals with, including a neo-nazi; or her dealing with sexual harassment, a lot it put on Thomas’ shoulders. But she shows how her past experience in series prepped her to dominate this role.
I have never hated the concept of guest stars so much in my life. For just the way the stories of the various patients, whether it is Evan or Bobby, who was in the season finale, to the woman who was a burn victim, are crafted, it is hard to not get mad we don’t get follow-ups. They are given such rich stories, paired with talented actors who honestly put our main cast on their toes sometimes. Like the aforementioned Bobby played by Manny Jacinto. In my mind, next time the Emmys have a “Best Guest Actor” nomination, his name belongs on it. For while he presented the same sort of, happy go lucky, character you can see him play in The Good Place, he wasn’t presented as a here today and gone tomorrow character.
Like many of them, you could see his impact being long term. Which is why I love how the patients are crafted on this show. While the majority are just there to expose different parts of the main cast, perhaps challenge them, there isn’t a single one you wouldn’t want to see return. Hopefully not because of a new issue, but simply to just hang out, catch us up, and let us relish in the actors, and writers, talents.
A Look Into Modern Medicine & Running A Hospital
It was very interesting to see what goes into keeping a hospital running. Whether it is doing certain things for wealthy donors, the technology behind doing surgeries, 3D printed body parts, or else the legal aspect, though not a big part of the first half, also likely not to be a big part of the second, it was interesting to get some insight into that.
Sexism In The Workplace
As noted, one of Claire’s major storylines dealt with sexual harassment, but sexism, in general, is littered throughout the first half. Some of it isn’t so much an HR issue like Claire getting too familiar with Dr. Lim and questioning her authority openly – something she’d sure as hell not do to Dr. Melendez. However, something also nice about the show is that it shows there are levels to it. You got small stuff like Dr. Lim being disrespected, Claire not being given credit by Dr. Melendez for an idea, then, of course, there is Claire and Dr. Coyle.
With the news of assault and harassment being a headline nearly daily, that storyline had such importance. For it really did cover, in a multitude of ways, why women don’t come forward – even if it wasn’t a case of rape. Since, in the long run, they’ll suffer almost as much, if not more, than the accuser. Think about it, the investigation will mean multiple people getting involved, all of which who either have to act as witnesses or people who determine whether the victim is telling the truth, exaggerating, or something in between.
I mean, look at Jared. When Claire said she was uncomfortable, he brushed it off. Yet, when it became a big deal, then he believed her. But, it goes deeper than simply not feeling like your truth is valid. There are also the repercussions for speaking out. As shown, a lot of the major players in the hospital are men and that would mean, if Dr. Coyle was found guilty of misconduct, it puts the rest of the doctors on notice. Which could be a problem in terms of mentorship.
Not because Dr. Lim isn’t a valuable asset, but when it comes to Dr. Andrews, among others, those are the decision makers who might be uncomfortable getting too close to Claire now. If only because they may think giving her a hug, complimenting her, or anything which sounds too friendly, could be taken the wrong way. Thus, not their career could be on the line, as well as Claire maybe presenting a threat to their personal life.
Which, I know, sounds paranoid and the thought should be, “If you aren’t doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about.” However, talking about where the line is doesn’t happen in the workplace and office politics, as shown throughout the many battles the doctors have, is what determines not just who stays or goes, but who gets fulfilling assignments. So weigh your options. You could report a doctor who has been with the hospital for years, seems rather beloved, and deal with all the nonsense that will follow reporting him, or just hope pushing him away, staying out of his line of sight, and avoiding him, could remedy the situation. That is assuming he isn’t an outright rapist who doesn’t corner you and assault you.
Terrible ultimatum isn’t it?
The Trauma & Difficulties of Being a Doctor
When you hear about being a doctor, especially as a kid as one of the careers to look into, what is never talked about is the trauma involved. On a regular basis, your diagnosis, you performing even the most standard procedure, even you hesitating to gather your thoughts, that could mean life or death. Then, on top of that, there are all the legal issues involved. Your failure could cost the hospital thousands if not millions. Meaning people could lose their jobs, not just you, but a multitude of people.
On top of that, what is never factored in there is you working with people who, in your personal opinion, deserve to die. Yeah, they are sick or injured, but they are a nazi. Oh, no one deserves to be shot, but you are a terrorist (there wasn’t a terrorist in the season, that is just an example). And having to put personal feelings aside and treat that patient like any other one, imagine how difficult that is. Especially if you are a woman dealing with a chauvinist or a person of color dealing with a racist – if not both!
Making the fact the show has a therapist, or psychologist, on hand with Dr. Mohan very interesting. Especially, again, with Claire’s storyline dealing with a mistake that leaves her very shakey. To the point of wondering, how devastating would it be that you made it through medical school and after experiencing your first death, you realize a lot of those years, if not all, were for nothing? You can’t do it anymore.
As the hospital’s legal counsel, naturally Jessica popping up for every last case would have been ridiculous – hence her being Dr. Meledndez’s fiancé. However, even with her being his future spouse and someone close to Dr. Glassman, in a sort of Shaun way, didn’t help this character much. Which isn’t to say it is the acting more so just the utter lack of compelling development. Most of the time, Jessica is just around, maybe gives her opinion on something, but isn’t really an impactful character. Even meeting her dad was sort of hunch worthy.
Especially since, at that point, you figured she was so close to Dr. Glassman, and his daughter, because the man wasn’t around. So learning he likely was, it didn’t mean anything. Just like what seemingly was supposed to be a cliffhanger dealing with her and Dr. Melendez’s future, as a couple, being in question.
How Sheleted Was Shaun?
Alright, with Atypical I could slightly understand Sam being how he is since he was younger. However, Shaun? Come on now. Considering how Dr. Glassman is, you’d think he would have long been in the type of therapy to have him be normalized to a lot of situations and know how to work with them. Much less, he went through college.
Now, you could argue he mostly studied then went home but there comes the topic of group projects and presentations. Which could have very well ended up like how we saw Jared act in the beginning of the season, where others took Shaun’s ideas and that was that. However, it takes a good couple of years to finish college and med school so you’re telling me there wasn’t one Lea, Claire, or even a Steve, Bobby, or Evan type who decided to talk to and hang out with Shaun? Really?
No Follow Up On Patients
Realistically, I’m not expecting, with each episode having at least 2 – 3 sets of patients, each one returning to say hi, give thanks, or show up with new issues. However, I can’t let go Shaun not trying to stay connected to Evan. Granted, it would probably seem creepy, but being that Evan looking like Steve wasn’t his imagination, Dr. Glassman confirmed it, it seemed weird he didn’t at least try to stay in the kid’s life. Even if just to keep Steve as some sort of crutch.
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