The Good Doctor: Season 2, Episode 16 “Believe” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

Shaun telling Dr. Han he should become a surgical resident again.
Shaun: Dr. Han, you need to make me a surgical resident again.
64.39% (1)

Everyone is forced to be an advocate in some form, but the big challenge for many is being an advocate for themselves.


Network
ABC
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

While working on a religious leader, religious beliefs come up. Dr. Melendez notes he was raised Catholic, and was Lutheran for a short period. Morgan doesn’t go into specifics, but clearly she is faithful and Claire? Well, despite her demeanor, she isn’t religious. In fact, she is a bit antagonistic when it comes to religion.

Why? Well, take note of Claire’s life. While she doesn’t give specifics then and there, you can note her relationship with her mom, the situation with her dad, and the fact she is generally a good person yet she struggles. Her friend was sick, she is alone most of the time and who knows how long it has been since someone asked her out. Plus, she sees kids with cancer, people who are horrible living for years and getting physically better and all that is disheartening.

Yet, she still knows her bible and notes that losing her religious beliefs was a tragic loss. One she still has yet to recover from.

I’m Still Here: Carly, Shaun, Debbie, Dr. Glassman

Dr. Glassman, who just started chemo it seemed, has now finished and the first thing he does is check on Debbie. Someone who, in time, makes it clear that she is not someone who just wants a good time and then to suffer alone. While she isn’t looking to walk down the aisle, she does want a real relationship. Something Glassman is struggling with the idea of for with a brush with death, he doesn’t want to take life seriously.

Dr. Carly Lever (Jasika Nicole) dealing with Shaun.
Dr. Carly Lever (Jasika Nicole)

Switching over to Shaun, he gets to see Carly again, the woman in Pathology we haven’t seen since season 1. You may remember her as a possible love interest and someone Shaun saw fairly often before the pathology department was no longer useful on the show. That is until Shaun needed a jolt in his storyline! Which this kind of does by showing how good Shaun is at pathology and that he could enjoy it. But, there remains the fact Shaun doesn’t like passing things off once he solved an issue or found one. He likes to handle things from start to finish and pathology doesn’t allow that.

Are We Not Communicating?: Dr, Han, Shaun

Throughout the episode we see multiple people try to advocate for Shaun. All of this is nice, but with Dr. Han not for people putting loyalty before patients, or the hospital, their pleads only strengthen his resolve. Yet, it is Shaun who puts the nail in the coffin. With him speaking up for himself after finding a miraculous cause of a patient’s sickness, Dr. Han feels sure that Shaun is where he belongs.

Leaving us to wonder, is there anything Shaun could do, besides quit, to become a surgeon again?

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Have we seen Dr. Glassman’s ex-wife at all in the series? It has been some time since we had a flashback and it seems like a good time to remind everyone of a few things.
    1. How Dr. Glassman ended up single, beyond his daughter dying and what led Shaun to choose surgery over the various other fields in medicine?
  2. How much time has passed since Dr. Glassman started chemo? Did it seem like a snap just because we only saw him in the chair a few times?
  3. Considering Shaun asked Dr. Glassman to speak for him, is Shaun not used to standing up for himself? At least when it matters?
  4. How likely is it that Dr. Han could be trying to find a means for Shaun to quit, or create a pattern so he can fire Shaun without the ire of a discrimination lawsuit?

Highlights

Let’s Talk About Religion

Morgan confronting Claire about lying.
Morgan: You lied when you said you never went to church.

Religion is a bit of a weird thing. Speak on it too much and a show potentially cannibalizes its audience and becomes a niche. However, completely avoid it and then it makes the rare moment it is spoken of seem like a big deal. Case in point, despite three patients a week, we don’t hear a whole lot of talk about God, or the many other names that are used. Making Clarence seem like an anomaly. Never mind the doctors joining into the conversation.

Yet, in a way, it seemed overdue. At least in terms of acting as a means to restart Claire’s prominence on the show. After all, we never did get an exact reason she lost faith. As noted above, there are many reasons one can fathom, but that last straw is anyone’s guess. So there is something to develop with her character.

Debbie Noting She Isn’t Just For The Good Times

Thankfully, romance has been downplayed as of late no matter if the two people were a couple, there was a crush or something unrequited happening. Yet, there was something about Debbie telling Dr. Glassman she can’t just be there for the good times but needs to be trusted for the bad which hit home. Maybe it is because no character seems ready and willing for tough conversations. Dr. Glassman avoided the conversation of dealing with cancer a long time. Shaun is still avoiding talking to Lea about his feelings, Dr. Lim and Dr. Melendez are still picking and choosing how to handle things, and I’m sure there are other examples.

So with Debbie lighting the match that most are just in it for a good time, it should be interesting to see that reverberate through the show. Since, if there is one thing characters of her level provide, it is foreshadowing of what’s to come.

Low Point

So, Pathology Seems Like A Bust

While I’m glad to see Carly, it seems nothing worth noting is going to happen in pathology. She isn’t going to pick up on the chemistry she had with Shaun, he doesn’t seem like he’ll feel that torn between the departments, or anything which doesn’t make this look like a punishment. As well as make Dr. Han seem like an ass.

On The Fence

Dr. Han’s Logic

Dr. Han threatening Shaun.
Dr. Han: Do you understand, or am I gonna be forced to fire you?

I’m a bit torn when it comes to Dr. Han. On the one hand, you recognize his worries are valid. Shaun may be a wonderful surgeon but there could come the moment he says the wrong thing to the wrong patient and could cause a lawsuit. If not, because of his wonderful medical discoveries, him being assigned a major donor and insulting them. Also, there is the issue of little things like a buzzing noise or music in the operating room throwing him off. Things that won’t always be in his control whether he is hired full time or not.

Yet, like most of the cast, fans perhaps too, I feel the need to question if this is a bit much. Not just because I like Shaun, but this hospital has a focus on training and teaching residents. It has been said a handful of times and while I’d hate to be a doctor’s guinea pig, how can they get better unless they do trial and error?

Which perhaps is the heart of Dr. Han’s issue – at what point should it be accepted Shaun won’t improve to the point of matching the other doctors? What has to happen before they realize Shaun may only seem to be getting better because everyone is accommodating him? If not, as Morgan said previously, holding him to a different standard because he is a savant?


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Season/ EpisodeSynopsisDirector, Writer, and Introduced ActorsTopics & Focused Characters
Season 2, Episode 8 “Disruptions” [Summer Finale]In an emotional, or dramatic, finale, if not both, Callie has had enough, Mariana makes things worse at work, and our favorite queer relationships might be in trouble.
Director(s) Peter Paige
Writer(s) Joanna Johnson
Air Date 8/6/2019
Introduced This Episode
Kendra Azita Ghanizada
Sariya Presilah Nunez
  • Things Have Just Become Too Complicated:Lindsay, Alice, Joey, Elijah, Gael
  • You Said Too Much While Saying Very Little:Amanda, Evan, Mariana, Kendra, Davia, Dennis, Jennifer, Jeff, Sariya, Teresa, Marcus, Callie
  • Needing A Change: Malika, Issac, Judge Wilson, Callie, Mariana, Gael, Jamie
Season 2, Episode 6 “Twenty-Fine”It’s Malika’s birthday and tensions between people who live at The Coterie and their partners nearly throw off the vibe she was aiming for.
Director(s) Chandra Wilson
Writer(s) Joanna Johnson, Ashly Perez
Air Date 7/23/2019
  • Love Is In The Air: Malika, Isaac, Davia, Dennis
  • I Just Want You More Confident: Joey, Alice, Raj, Mariana, Gael, Elijah
  • Sisters Fight Sometimes: Mariana, Raj, Jamie, Callie
Season 2, Episode 7 “In The Middle”While nearly everyone is given a grand opportunity, so comes the question of what they are willing to sacrifice? Be it professional relationships or personal.
Director(s) Jay Chandrasekhar
Writer(s) Nicole Paulhus
Air Date 7/30/2019
Introduced This Episode
Amanda Allison Paige
  • Does He Or Doesn’t He Alice?: Alice, Dennis, Jeff, Davia
  • Under Pressure: Mariana, Evan, Gael, Elijah
  • Who Needs A Comfort Zone?: Callie, Mariana, Davia, Teresa, Marcus, Malika, Isaac, Gael, Jamie
Season 2, Episode 5 “Happy Heckling”As Evan reveals his intentions, things blow up at Speckulate. Also, Callie is once again struggling with her dating and life choices.
Director(s) Erica Dunton
Writer(s) Adam Starks
Air Date 7/16/2019
Introduced This Episode
Lindsay Rhea Butcher
  • An Up And Coming Talent: Alice, Joey, Lindsay
  • I’m Not Who You Think I Am: Elijah, Gael, Callie, Marcus, Jamie, Alice
  • Something Beyond Co-Workers: Mariana, Alex, Raj, Evan, Josh
Season 2, Episode 4 "Unfiltered"Despite Callie starting a new job, old habits die hard. Also, Davia’s mom, Bonnie, comes to town and reminds us of another reason Davia doesn’t want to go home.
Director(s) Laura Nisbet Peters
Writer(s) Resheida Brady
Air Date 7/9/2019
Introduced This Episode
Bonnie Reagan Pasternak
Gina Rachel Rosenbloom
Marcus Juan Antonio
Teresa Lisandra Tena
  • Pay The Cost To Be A Boss: Gina, Raj, Mariana, Evan
  • Pulling A Callie: Callie, Joseph, Isaac, Malika, Marcus, Teresa
  • Mommie Dearest: Davia, Dennis, Bonnie
Season 2, Episode 3 “Doble Quince”Jazmin decides to have a Doble Quince, and despite it being her party, nearly everyone else’s minds are on other things.
Director(s) Bradley Bredeweg
Writer(s) Joanna Johnson, Ashly Perez
Air Date 7/2/2019
  • A Lady Is Allowed Her Secrets: Malika, Dom, Isaac, Joseph
  • You Can’t Have A Relationship Without Honest Conversations: Joey, Alice, Raj, Mariana, Evan
  • Sometimes Progress Doesn’t Come Soon Enough: Gael, Elijah, Jazmin, Jamie, Callie
Season 2, Episode 1 “Percussions” [Season Premiere]The verdict of the Jamal Thompson case is delivered, Mariana deals with how her personal and professional life has changed, and Alice prepares her next chapter.
Director(s) Peter Paige
Writer(s) Joanna Johnson
Air Date 6/18/2019
Introduced This Episode
Jacob Carter Rush Adkins
  • The Struggle To Move Forward: Dennis, Jacob, Davia, Jeff
  • A Change Gon’ Come: Alice, Joey, Raj, Mariana, Evan
  • Was This The Battle Or Was It The War?:Sandra, Judge Wilson, Malika, Callie, Jamie, Gael
Season 2, Episode 2 "Torn"Drastic moves are made in order to go from surviving to being happy, thriving even, but they naturally come at a cost.
Director(s) Peter Paige
Writer(s) Joanna Johnson
Air Date 6/25/2019
Introduced This Episode
Naomi Denise Dowse
Elijah Denim Richards
Joseph Richard Brooks
  • Case Of The Ex: Davia, Jeff, Elijah, Gael, Callie
  • Moving Past The Pain: Joseph, Dom, Malika, Dennis, Davia
  • A Complicated Future: Callie, Mariana, Evan, Raj, Jamie, Judge Wilson, Naomi, Malika
Season 1, Episode 13 “Vitamin C”Callie facing the camera, after being unable to choose between Gael and Jamie.
Nearly everything comes to a head as Good Trouble ends its first season which thankfully will be followed up by season 2 in June.
Director(s) Joanna Johnson
Writer(s) Joanna Johnson
Air Date 4/2/2019
Introduced This Episode
Viv Riley Go
  • From Another’s Eyes: Viv, Davia, Malika, Dom, Sandra
  • The Truth Will Set You Free And Freedom Is A Dangerous Gift: Mariana, Angela, Josh, Evan, Callie, Sumi, Joey, Meera, Alice, Ben
  • Picking Up The Pieces: Raj, Mariana, Dom, Isaac, Malika, Callie, Jamie, Gael, Davia, Dennis, Alice, Trae, Malika, Jeff
Season 1, Episode 12 “Broken Arted”You may think the title of this episode, “Broken Arted” is about romance but what’ll break your heart is the loss of something, rather someone beyond love.
Director(s) Peter Paige
Writer(s) Megan Lynn, Wade Solomon
Air Date 3/26/2019
Introduced This Episode
Nathan Brandon Barash
  • True Intentions: Raj, Evan, Angela, Mariana, Josh, Malika, Casey
  • A Complicated Relationship: Gael, Bryan, Callie, Jamie, Jasmin, Sumi, Alice, Meera, Joey
  • Goodbye Big Brother?: Mariana, Dennis, Davia, Jeff, Nathan, Jenn
Season 1, Episode 11 “Less Than”Good Trouble dives into varying topics dealing with race from pay gaps, representation, privilege, and also how to be an ally this episode.
Director(s) Bradley Bredeweg
Writer(s) Kimberly Ndombe
Air Date 3/19/2019
  • She’s Still In Love: Alice, Sumi, Meera, Joey
  • In The Minority: Malika, Isaac, Sandra, Mariana, Casey, Evan, Davia, Josh, Angela
  • The Work Drama Continues: Kate, Judge Wilson, Callie, Jamie, Tate
Season 1, Episode 10 “Re-Birthday”What begins as a fun night out, with 0 focus on work, leads to a lot of people addressing current relationships, boundaries, and self-respect.
Director(s) Aprill Winney
Writer(s) Claudia Forestieri, Dan Richter
Air Date 3/12/2019
Introduced This Episode
Brandon David Lambert
  • Communication Issues: Isaac, Malika, Brandon, Dennis, Jamie, Callie, Gael, Bryan
  • Boundary Issues: Sumi, Mariana, Raj, Alice
  • It’s My Party & I’ll Cry If I Want To: Davia, Dennis, Jeff
Season 1, Episode 9 “Willful Blindness”On top of meeting Malika and Alice’s illustrious mothers, and Rebecca’s, someone says goodbye to Good Trouble.
Director(s) Kelli Williams
Writer(s) Lauren Moon
Air Date 3/5/2019
Introduced This Episode
Moe (Malika’s Mom) Karole Foreman
Diane TBD
Trea Lee Chen
Kate Dianne Doan
  • Life In The Closet: Trea, Alice, Joey, Sumi, Meera
  • Identity Issues: Callie, Bryan, Gael, Mariana, Rebecca, Diane, Judge Wilson, Kate
  • A New Kind Of Family: Moe, Dom, Malika, Mariana, Sandra
Season 1, Episode 8 “Byte Club”Rebecca’s past is revealed as she flirts with a future that includes Jesus and Mariana’s Byte Club begins and finds a vital ally of the male staff.
Director(s) Peter Paige
Writer(s) Nicole Paulhus
Air Date 2/26/2019
Introduced This Episode
Tate Zachary Gordon
Angela Heather Mazur
Josh Charlie Bodin
Jesus Noah Centineo
  • When or Where Did I Go Wrong?: Callie, Judge Wilson, Tate
  • Always Be Ready: Dennis, Jesus, Rebecca
  • No Woman Left Behind: Mariana, Casey, Callie, Raj, Rebecca, Angela, Josh, Alex, Ben
Season 1, Episode 7 "Swipe Right"“Swipe Right” is purely about establishing the beginning, possible end, of nearly every characters current or future relationship.
Director(s) Troian Bellisario
Writer(s) Ally Musika
Air Date 2/19/2019
Introduced This Episode
Paul Joe Burke
Isaac Sarunas J. Jackson
Joey Daisy Eagan
Eli Steven Krueger
Lara Alisa Allapach
  • Girls Just Wanna Have Fun: Paul, Isaac, Joey, Eli, Lara, Mariana, Malika, Davia, Alice, Sumi
  • I Can’t Give All, So I Have To Give Nothing: Callie, Gael
Season 1, Episode 6 "Imposter"While the truth helps Callie flourish, Mariana is getting sick and tired of being sick and tired. Also, Jazmin returns and clues us into how difficult her life is.
Director(s) Geoff Haley
Writer(s) Megan Lynn, Wade Solomon
Air Date 2/12/2019
Introduced This Episode
Jennifer Annie Little
  • The Truth Will Set You Free: Judge Wilson, Jamie, Callie, Dennis, Davia, Ben, Jennifer
  • What It’s Like To Be Me: Jazmin, Gael, Callie, Jamie
  • Fight Club: Alex, Raj, Mariana, Casey, Evan
Season 1, Episode 5 "Parental Guidance Suggested"Stef and Lena come to The Coterie and reveal what is going on in their lives, and shine a light on Dennis.
Director(s) Bradley Bredeweg
Writer(s) Joanna Johnson
Air Date 2/5/2019
Introduced This Episode
Dennis Josh Pence
Stef Teri Polo
Lena Sherri Saum
  • Moms Are Coming!: Callie, Gael, Mariana, Malika, Bryan, Davia, Stef, Lena
  • Introducing Dennis: Stef, Dennis
  • The Truth Sets You Free/ Someone Who Understands: Lena, Malika, Callie, Mariana, Gael, Bryan, Ben, Davia
Season 1, Episode 4 “Playing The Game”Mariana and Alice are given the opportunity to stand up for themselves, as Davia and Callie are tasked with a needed shift in an important relationship.
Director(s)Michael Medico
Writer(s)Cristian Martinez
Air Date1/29/2019
Introduced This Episode
LibbyJessica Tuck
JeffChris Sheffield
  • The Boy Back Home: Davia, Jeff, Mariana
  • You Got To Stand Up For Yourself: Mariana, Raj, Casey, Alice, Malika, Sumi, Alex
  • We All Have Our Secrets: Libby, Judge Wilson, Rebecca, Ben, Callie, Malika
Season 1, Episode 3 “Allies”Both Mariana and Callie continue to struggle with office politics as Malika’s activism puts her at odds with her family.
Director(s)Laura Nisbet Peters
Writer(s)Kris Q. Rehl
Air Date1/22/2019
Introduced This Episode
JamieBeau Mirchoff
SandraNicki Micheaux
EvanT.J. Linnard
RajDhruv Uday Singh
SamMax Cutler
JazminHailie Sahar
  • You Make Time For The Things, And People, You Think Are Important: Malika, Sandra, Dom
  • Slowing Down The Train Won’t Mean It Won’t Get To Its Destination: Mariana, Alex, Raj, Sam, Evan, Casey
  • Step Your Game Up: Jamie, Callie, Rebecca, Ben, Judge Wilson, Gael, Bryan, Davia

Season 1/ Episode 1 “DTLA”

Good Trouble is charged with messages of equality mixed in with the relationship (platonic and otherwise) drama fans of its predecessor are used to.

Creator Joanna Johnson, Bradley Bredweg, Peter Paige
Director(s) Jon M. Chu
Writer(s) Joanna Johnson, Bradley Bredweg, Peter Paige
Air Date 1/1/2019
Genre(s) Drama, Young Adult
Good If You Like Progressive TV Programming

Racial & Cultural Diversity

Your Usual 20 Something Drama with Random Sex Partners, Job Anxiety, and Unnecessarily Complicated Relationships

Isn’t For You If You Don’t Like Your TV Programs Being Political
Introduced This Episode
Mariana Cierra Ramirez
Callie Maia Mitchell
Judge Wilson Roger Bart
Casey Chloé Wepper
Rebecca Molly McCook
Ben Ken Kirby
Alice Sherry Cola
Malika Zuri Adele
Gael Tommy Martinez
Davia Emma Hunton

Season 1, Episode 2 “The Coterie”

We got a conversation on bi-sexuality, the backstory of multiple characters and work drama – aka what will probably be the usual from Good Trouble.

Director(s)Peter Paige
Writer(s)Joanna Johnson
Air Date1/15/2019
Introduced This Episode
JudeHayden Byerly
BryanMichael Galante
Dom (Malika’s Brother)J. Mallory McCree
SumiKara Wang
AlexDustin Ingram
  • Let’s Talk About Sex(uality): Jude, Callie, Gael, Bryan, Sumi, Alice
  • The Outsider: Mariana, Alex, Davia
  • I’m Trying Here: Malika, Dom, Callie, Rebecca, Mariana, Ben

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3 COMMENTS

  1. I’ll start with a dumb question – Just curious, but what’s the Review Overview? I’m not sure what it means and if it’s interactive or not. And I don’t know what the 77.8% means either. I do always “Rate This”, which I take to mean your recap, which I always enjoy, so obviously it always gets a “Positive” rating.

    So now on to the recap. It was nice to see Claire get a meaty story line!

    I was wondering about how much time had passed since Dr. Glassman had started chemo, too. He’s finished at the same time Carly is welcoming Shaun to Pathology, which to me implied he had just been switched, and it was his first day working there. So I guess Dr. Glassman’s super-aggressive chemo was super-fast, too!

    I also thought Pathology was a bust. First, I adore Jasika Nicole (she co-starred on one of my all-time favorite shows, Fringe), and I was really hoping Shaun might at least become friends with her so I could see her more often, and she could give Lea a little competition. So much for that. And now the Pathology department is no longer useful on the show (again) – lol!

    As for Dr. Han, I think this is a bit much. First, this is a teaching hospital. Anyone who goes there should know that, and thus should know that residents will be involved in their care. But the experienced doctor is always right there or very close by. I have a heart condition and have been a patient at a “teaching hospital” all my life, and it’s really no big deal. In fact, I find it interesting to see if the residents can answer the doctor’s questions. And while the show isn’t real life, Shaun knows what he’s doing in the operating room where communication skills aren’t essential, he can make sure music isn’t played when he is operating, and he can have a nurse with him or something like that when he’s making his rounds. I just think Dr. Han is giving up on an excellent surgeon!

    • The review overview is a feature for that comes with the theme I’m playing around with. It doesn’t offer the flexibility I’d like though. Plus, I’ve never been much for giving numbers to things, stars, or what have you. Hence the cop out of Negative, Mixed, or Positive for season reviews.

      In a way, maybe Dr. Han’s point is that Shaun isn’t going to be at that hospital forever? In season 1, especially when Morgan was brought on, they pushed the idea only one of them would be hired. So maybe Dr. Han is already making it clear he won’t hire Shaun but still wants him to do well? Especially if Shaun doesn’t find a job in a teaching hospital which has the kind of leniency he might need.

      • It seems like such a long time since the show mentioned not every resident will be hired, I had forgotten about that. But now that you mention it, it does make for an interesting motive for moving Shaun to Pathology. Of course telling Shaun he won’t be hired and have him find a surgical residency elsewhere (kind of like Jared) might have been a better alternative for Shaun, but I don’t see that happening. So with Shaun wanting to be a surgeon and Dr. Han refusing to let him be one, something has to give.

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