The Good Doctor: Season 2, Episode 15 “Risk and Reward” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

Jackson Han (Daniel Dae Kim) talking to Shaun.
Jackson Han (Daniel Dae Kim)
88.15% (3)

A new chief of surgery comes about, and his style disrupts Shaun’s life as much as a talkative guy when Dr. Glassman gets chemotherapy.


Network
ABC
Director(s) Freddie Highmore
Writer(s) Liz Friedman, David Renaud
Air Date 2/18/2019
Introduced This Episode
Jackson Han Daniel Dae Kim
Larry Joe Adler

Identity: Shaun, Larry, Dr. Glassman

Larry (Joe Adler) smiling at Dr. Glassman.
Larry (Joe Adler)

Being that cancer has stripped Dr. Glassman of so much, naturally, he doesn’t want to own his diagnosis or feel like it owns him. Making this very talkative young man, Larry, who is getting chemo next to him, a pain in the behind. Not just because he is so positive, and pushes the idea of community, not even because he is pushy, but the problem with him is that he makes Dr. Glassman feel wrong about the way he handles cancel. Due to that, to some surprise, Dr. Glassman confides in Shaun.

In doing so, he questions how Shaun deals with being autistic, especially due to the new chief of medicine. Shaun’s response conveys he wishes he wasn’t the only one, with the weight of being an example on his shoulders, but being autistic is part of his identity. So while it comes with a few negatives, it is part of who he is and, considering his savant syndrome, why he is able to do what he does.

You Can’t Put The Tumor Back: Dr. Melendez, Dr. Han

We’re introduced to the new Chief of Surgery, and his name is Dr. Han. He is well paid, recommended, and pretty much jumps right in. This rubs some the wrong way since he not only is challenging to residents but staff as well. Take Dr. Melendez. Generally, he doesn’t do preventive medicine procedures, but with a rich patient coming in, he is forced to change his routine.

Why you may ask? Well, Dr. Han seems to be the type who doesn’t like people good at just one thing and they ignore the rest. Also, he realizes that rich patients usually help offset costs for poor patients, so Dr. Melendez is expected to do as told – which he does. He even finds a tumor and ultimately learns, when it comes to making decisions, you can’t always ponder and be patient. Sometimes you have to take action, deal with the consequences and move on. After all, you can’t usually undo what you did.

This Isn’t The Best Line of Work For You: Dr. Han, Shaun

Han (Daniel Dae Kim) conveying to Shaun he will get a transfer to the Pathology department.
Han (Daniel Dae Kim)

Whenever someone new comes to the hospital, Shaun always ends up on their radar – Dr. Han is no different. The problem is with him, there is no Dr. Glassman to prep Dr. Han and Dr. Han may recognizing the hospital is about learning, but he also takes into account the patients aren’t guinea pigs. So, after Shaun is a bit too honest with a mother whose baby could die, wheels start turning. Especially when Shaun’s savant syndrome kicks in and saves the child.

This leads to Dr. Han deciding pathology would be a better place for Shaun since it has less patient interaction but could utilize Shaun’s savant syndrome. As you can imagine, Shaun doesn’t like this change but, like Dr. Melendez, it seems he may not have a choice. Also, if he pushes back too much, he may go from changing departments to being out of a job.

Highlights

A New Department

While, realistically, Shaun isn’t likely to be in a new department and we rarely see anyone in surgery again, a change of environment might be good. For one, most of the surgical staff’s storylines have become a bit stale. So even if we’re given a break, it could make Shaun being transferred back quite nice.

Also, considering how big the hospital is, it would be nice to meet some of the other staff members. Especially since the show has increasingly pulled back this being all about Shaun little by little. So getting to know some nurses by name, and them being around enough for it to stick, that’d be cool. Heck, seeing the people who run the lab again, who have been absent all season, could help this show transfer into an ensemble and maybe make it so Highmore could get to direct and write more, without maybe getting overwhelmed?

The Identity Conversation

Dr. Glassman talking to Shaun.

As Shaun has experienced countless times, being someone with autism, even with savant syndrome and being high-functioning, it leads to difficulties. The kind which attracts being discriminated against and people making things hard, on top of Shaun’s own attempts at trying to be comfortable while making others comfortable. Yet, despite the challenges being autistic presents, Shaun owns it.

There is something really beautiful about that since there is a universality to it. For many, be it race, sexuality, gender, among other things, you are faced sometimes with setting precedents in the situation you’re in. For Shaun, it is showing people with autism can be doctors, can be in the medical field, and are capable of adapting. Yes, it requires effort, but they are capable of it, and while being this one thing makes things difficult, it is part of who they are. Rejecting it isn’t really helpful because they can’t feasibly change it. It’s either they own it or let it own them.

But it was also a good thing for Shaun to bring up since it gave us an opportunity to see Dr. Glassman talk to Shaun in a way he rarely does. During most of their conversations, Dr. Glassman challenges Shaun to think critically or hone on his social knowledge. In this situation, you get the rare opportunity of Dr. Glassman looking to Shaun for insight, to help him understand, and perhaps see Shaun beyond their almost father/ son relationship. Something Shaun may not notice but was quite a highlight to me.

On The Fence

Larry Could Get Annoying Quick

While Larry can likely be adjusted by talking more about the life he is missing, if he is going to step into Dr. Glassman’s life and be an annoying sidekick, I hope he brings something good. Right now, his energy and pep, it’s annoying. It’s Shaun annoying, without the charm, backstory, and the story we’ve experienced thus far. But, considering chemo is something that’s been mentioned for awhile, but hasn’t been happening, they have to fill out the cast of characters for that now don’t they?

Dr. Han

Right now, I’m hoping like Morgan, who kind of reverted back to her old ways this episode, Dr. Han is the type who grows on you. Him coming in like a hurricane left me feeling a bit uneasy, but one of the obstacles he side steps, compared to Morgan, is nothing seems personal. Even moving Shaun to a different department seems to be about keeping Shaun and his skills but taking note of what he has and can do vs. pushing his limits.

After all, in the long run, the people who are getting tested on for him to do so are patients. People in life or death situations and Shaun has, repeatedly, been a bit too blunt, unfiltered, and that has caused complaints. The last thing Dr. Han would want is a lawsuit against Shaun which attracts negative attention and then having some weird Jared situation where he has a troublemaker he can’t fire. For in trying to fire Shaun, you can bet a rights advocacy group could and would get involved.

Follow Wherever I Look on Twitter, Like us on Facebook and Subscribe to the YouTube Channel.


Check Out Other TV Recaps


Season/ EpisodeSynopsis
Season 2, Episode 18 “Trampoline”The unexpected happens for Shaun in a multitude of ways, including him taking the kind of leap we’ve been waiting for a long time.
Season 2, Episode 17 “Breakdown”

Shaun tries to assert himself with Dr. Han as he feels largely unsupported. As that happens, Dr. Lim and Melendez contemplate coming out.

Director(s) Mike Listo
Writer(s) Thomas L. Moran, Lloyd Gilyard, Jr.
Air Date 3/4/2019
Introduced This Episode
Laura Joy Osmanski
  • Brown Noser: Claire, Morgan, Dr. Park
  • When You Really Love Someone: Laura, Dr. Lin, Dr. Melendez, Shaun
  • Why Does No One Understand Me?: Shaun, Lea, Claire, Dr. Han
Season 2, Episode 16 “Believe”Everyone is forced to be an advocate in some form, but the big challenge for many is being an advocate for themselves.
Director(s) Alrick Riley
Writer(s) Sal Calleros, Karen Struck
Air Date 2/25/2019
Introduced This Episode
Clarence Spencer Garrett
Dr. Carly Lever Jasika Nicole

  • Do You Believe In Miracles: Claire, Morgan, Dr. Melendez
  • I’m Still Here: Carly, Shaun, Debbie, Dr. Glassman
  • Are We Not Communicating?: Dr, Han, Shaun
Season 2, Episode 15 “Risk and Reward”A new chief of surgery comes about, and his style disrupts Shaun’s life as much as a talkative guy when Dr. Glassman gets chemotherapy.
Season 2, Episode 14 “Faces”Guilt and regrets are prominent themes and emotions in “Faces” as old, and new, faces enter the characters’ lives.
Season 2/ Episode 13 “XIN”
Director(s) David Straiton
Writer(s) Brian Shin
Air Date 1/28/2019
Introduced This Episode
Grace Vedette Lim
Sunny Emily Kuroda
Teresa Sheena Chou
Javi Alex Plank
Lana Vered Blonstein

Shaun finds himself confronted with the idea of being alone as he works with a patient who has autism, and a relationship, as well as Lea and Dr. Glassman asking for space.
Season 2/ Episode 12 “Aftermath”
Director(s) Dawn Wilkinson
Writer(s) Thomas L. Moran
Air Date 1/21/2019
Introduced This Episode
Governor’s Representative Cheryl White
Jake Andres Joseph
Carmel Garfield Wilson
Mia Jennifer Birmingham Lee

While a lot of people heal old wounds, even find loved ones, some are left as lonely as they were when we first met them.

Season 2/ Episode 11 “Quarantine (Part 2)”

More people die, and there are moments in which the winter premiere of The Good Doctor will have you shed tears.

Season 2/ Episode 10 “Quarantine” [Mid-Season Finale]

The mid-season finale is all about building anticipation as people die left and right and you wonder, will a main cast member be written off?

Director(s) Mike Listo
Writer(s) Liz Friedman, Lloyd Gilyard, Jr.
Air Date 12/3/2018
Introduced This Episode
Tyler Dan Byrd
Kellan Ricky He

Season 2/ Episode 9 “Empathy”

Dr. Andrews finally decides who will be chief of surgery as the residents deal with emotionally, and morally, challenging patients.

Director(s) Joanna Kerns
Writer(s) Karen Struck
Air Date 11/26/2018

Season 2/ Episode 8 “Stories”

Dr. Andrews pops his head back in to address a Claire situation and Dr. Park’s past continues to be danced around. Also, it is revealed Morgan has friends.

Director(s) Michael Patrick Jann
Writer(s) Sal Calleros
Air Date 11/19/2018

Season 2/ Episode 6 “Two-Ply (or Not Two-Ply)

The value of emotional intelligence plays a big part not just for patients, but the personal lives of doctors.

Director(s) Tara Nicole Weyr
Writer(s) Simran Baidwan
Air Date 11/5/2018
Introduced This Episode
Riley Caitlin Carmichael
Jas Supinder Wraich

Featuring: Dr. Glassman, Debbie, Lea, Shaun, Morgan, Riley, Jas, Claire, Dr. Park, Dr. Lim, Dr. Melendez, Shaun

Season 2/ Episode 7 “Hubert”

As we learn Claire does have a life outside of the hospital, two brothers trigger Shaun’s memories of not just Steve but his father.

Director(s) Marisol Adler
Writer(s) David Renaud
Air Date 11/12/2018
Introduced This Episode
Kayla Rachel Boston
Dash John Patrick Amedori
Santiago Hemky Madera
Armando Gonzalo Menendez

Featuring: Dr. Glassman, Lea, Shaun, Armando, Santiago, Morgan, Kayla, Dash, Claire, Dr. Melendez

Season 2/ Episode 5 "Carrots"

Present and future relationships are being established and tested as people take leaps or push some out of their comfort zone.


Director(s) Sharat Raju
Writer(s) Liz Friedman
Air Date 10/29/2018

Featuring: Shaun, Lea, Dr. Lim, Dr. Park, Dr. Glassman, Debbie, Dr. Blaize, Claire, and Dr. Melendez

Season 2/ Episode 4 “Tough Titmouse”

Everyone’s baggage becomes an issue and while some unpack and deal with it, others barely unpack and just try to not let it hold them back.

Season 2/ Episode 2 “Middle Ground”

With Lea back, combined with Dr. Glassman’s diagnosis, and Dr. Melendez deciding to test Shaun’s bedside manner, something is bound to give.

Season 2/ Episode 3 “36 Hours”

Things get a bit heated as Claire and Nurse Flores become assertive and the men in power positions not only question their judgement but say borderline offensive things.

Season 2/ Episode 1 “Hello”

Dr. Andrews first task as president is yearly reviews. Which, for many, the criticism helps both their professional and personal lives.

Season 1/ Episode 1 “Burnt Food”

Not since Anne (also known as Anne with an E on Netflix) has a show grabbed ahold of me like The Good Doctor may also do to you.

Season 1/ Episode 2 “Mount Rushmore”

Despite Dr. Melendez still neglecting Shaun, Steve's influence continues to make Shaun the best doctor he can be.

Season 1/ Episode 3 “Oliver”

While we are left with the lesson that you can’t win them all, there is a rebuttal in there about still, at the very least, trying.

Season 1/ Episode 4 “Pipes”

As Dr. Andrews takes more to Shaun, Dr. Melendez finds himself part of another procedure with legal repercussions.

Season 1/ Episode 5 “Point Three Percent”

There is a child who looks like Steve in the hospital. As you can imagine, that means you need to prepare your tissues.

Season 1/ Episode 6 “Not Fake”

What begins as an episode showing our favorite residents rise to the occasion leaves them all with hard lessons to learn.

Season 1/ Episode 7 “22 Steps”

In another tear-inducing episode, Shaun encounters an autistic person with an ideal family and his peers deal with grieving over patients.

Season 1/ Episode 8 “Apple”

Admitting you are wrong & dealing with guilt are the focus of the episode. And not just within everyone’s professional life

Season 1/ Episode 9 “Intangibles”

With a mistake which could lead to a lawsuit and another a child’s death, it seems more people might be visiting Dr. Mohan – alongside Jessica.

Season 1/ Episode 10 “Sacrifice”

Shaun finally seems to succumb to the pressure he is under but not because of the work. Rather, it is because of Dr. Glassman.

Season 1 (First Half)

The first half of ABC's The Good Doctor is a consistently tear-inducing saga with very few issues to name.

Season 1/ Episode 11 “Islands: Part One”

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

Season 1/ Episode 12 “Islands: Part 2”

Jessica finally is given some oomph and, for the first time, we experience patients for more than one episode.

Season 1/ Episode 13 “Seven Reasons”

As Shaun, almost annoyingly, points out the obvious and shows his own bias, Claire decides to pursue Dr. Coyle being properly punished

Season 1/ Episode 14 “She”

A new resident seemingly will act as some sort of villain for the show and alongside her introduction is that of what trans youth go through. Especially in terms of medical issues.

Season 1/ Episode 15 “Heartfelt”

Shaun gains invaluable lessons from Morgan, unexpected kindness from Dr. Andrews, and poor Claire experiences a moment she didn’t see coming.

Season 1/ Episode 16 “Pain”

2nd chances at happiness are a big thing this episode. Especially in regards to Shaun’s friend Kenny and the arrival of Claire’s mom. But, of course, not everyone deserves a 2nd shot.

Season 1/ Episode 17 “Smile”

The upside of a situation is what everyone is trying to find but, as you can figure out, not everyone can end the episode happy. Much less satisfied.

Season 1/ Episode 18 “More”

Setting aside the life or death situation of Dr. Glassman, Shaun creates a problem that may give him and Dr. Glassman something bigger to worry about.

Season 1

The Good Doctor starts strong but as you get used to the tear-jerking patients and moments of the hospital staff, you begin to see flaws which can use some patching up.

How Would You Rate This?

Negative Mixed Positive

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter

* indicates required
Email Format

7 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you! It took a little bit to setup, and still needs some kinks worked on, but I thought it was a good move.

    On the topic of the medical board review, I think they have sort of played down how important and life changing that could be. Especially for Shaun for it isn’t like he hasn’t had incidents before what happened in quarantine. There was the mistake he caused in the season 1 finale, and while he has been a great surgeon, as you’ve said, unfortunately it only takes a few notable mistakes and a person can lose their license.

    So I’m thinking, as you said, Dr. Han could be thinking that putting Shaun in Pathology could keep his nose clean before maybe returning to surgery. For, all things considered, while Shaun’s bedside manner doesn’t rub some people the right way, there have been occasions when people appreciated him being blunt and straight forward.

    • I agree that they have downplayed the medical board review and how important it is. To me it seems to have become an afterthought. Maybe after a couple of episodes with the main story line being about Dr. Han sending Shaun to Pathology, the medical board review will come to the forefront again. Or maybe Dr. Han’s motivation for putting Shaun in Pathology will be because of the medical board review (but I think it is purely because of his lack of social skills due to his autism).

  2. First, let me say how much I like the new design of this website!! It’s so much brighter and more streamlined, thus making it easier to read! Very nice!!!

    I forgot about that medical board’s upcoming review. Good point! So now I doubt Dr. Andrew’s would take a chance and overrule Dr. Han’s decision about Shaun. And Shaun probably should be out of the way in pathology until after the review.

  3. Let’s remember though, Shaun, like Dr. Lim and Dr. Melendez, is being reviewed by the medical board. So imagine a patient making a complain during this time. It would pretty much kill the case for him.

  4. Oops! Sorry about that previous partial post!

    I’ll start with Dr. Glassman. Simply put, instead of watching “The Adventures of Glassy and Larry”, I’d much rather watch Dr. Andrews and Allegra have a much longer conversation that includes something about each of their personal lives. Of course this will never happen, but a girl can dream! Btw, LMFAO at “It’s Shaun annoying, without the charm, backstory….”

    While I enjoyed watching Claire be The Patient Whisperer again, I agree with you that, for the most part, putting Shaun in a new department for an episode or two would be a nice change of pace.

    But I disagree with you that Dr. Han moving Shaun to Pathology seemed o.k. (I think that’s what you were saying. My apologies if I misinterpreted it.) There are doctors whose bedside manners are horrific (I had one when I had heart surgery a few years ago), but nobody thinks they shouldn’t be surgeons. Shaun has saved so many lives in the operating room, so taking him out of there is a mistake that I hope Dr. Andrews overrules.

Questions, Comments, or Opposing Opinion?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.