The Good Doctor: Season 2, Episode 17 “Breakdown” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

Shaun standing outside in the rain.
73.23% (2)

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

Episode Information: Episode 17 “Breakdown”

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

With there being three years left in Shaun’s residency, and it being clear he is struggling in pathology, Claire wants to do something. However, Dr. Park is iffy about that and Morgan? She is back to her old ways. She figures the strongest will survive and Shaun’s downfall is good for them. Leading to whatever she and Claire built previously seemingly going to the wayside a bit.

When You Really Love Someone: Laura, Dr. Lin, Dr. Melendez, Shaun

Laura (Joy Osmanski) noting Dr. Lim doesn't know love for she doesn't allow herself to be vulnerable enough to experience it.
Laura (Joy Osmanski)

Dr. Lin’s friend Laura comes in with her baby who exhibits symptoms of being shaken. Now, of course, Dr. Lin dares not think her friend is capable. However, with no one helping Laura raise her child, there seems to be no other thing to explain the trauma the baby went through. However, Shaun finds an alternative which keeps Laura from losing her baby, if not going to jail.

Leading to Dr. Lin and Laura having an honest conversation. One which deals with the fact Dr. Lin doesn’t like being vulnerable and is unable to be optimistic about people – at least in her personal life. So, taking note of her friend’s critique, she decides to, with Dr. Melendez, reveal to Dr. Andrews that they are dating rather than sneak around.

Why Does No One Understand Me?: Shaun, Lea, Claire, Dr. Han

Shaun is at the end of his rope. While there are those around him who passively support him, no one is really going to bat for him and Lea? She tries to present the silver lining, and that just frustrates Shaun. So, he instead presents his case to Dr. Han after saving two patients, one being Laura’s baby and the other a major surgery for the hospital.

Dr. Han rejecting Shaun's request to go back to Surgery.

Yet, despite the accomplishments, Dr. Han maintains his decision and Shaun flips out. He does so to the point Dr. Han threatens to not only call security but fire Shaun. An action we aren’t 100% sure he does or not, firing Shaun that is, but we do see him have a breakdown in the locker room. One Claire walks in on and seems to want to help, but she doesn’t know how. While she is able to connect with Shaun unlike many others, she doesn’t know how to help when he is at a tipping point like this. So she just gathers his stuff and sits next to him. Hoping that would be good enough.

Other Noteworthy Facts & Moments

  • Glassman seems to be cancer free and without a tumor after 11 months of treatment.
  • Shaun, Dr. Lim, and Dr. Melendez are cleared by the medical board thanks to Dr. Han.

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

You always expect the worse in people, for that’s all you see in yourself.
– Lara



Shaun’s Breakdown

Shaun having a breakdown.

Highlighting Shaun’s breakdown is complicated. Part of the reason it is a highlight is because Shaun is dealing with an obstacle an impassioned speech can’t change. He is dealing with someone who isn’t going to bend just because he has autism and perhaps can’t be won over by his talents. In a way, it feels important for Shaun since it pushes him to grow out of his comfort zone.

Also, it means that, for once, he has to adapt rather than people adapt to him. Which is hard to watch, Shaun’s dreams and promise to Steve getting broken, but it is also necessary. This whole pathology course is necessary for it coerces Shaun out of the bubble Dr. Glassman likely has had him in for years. It preps him for what may happen after the hospital for even though there are three years left of residency, who knows where Shaun could end up after? There isn’t a guarantee he’ll get hired or that another hospital would quickly snatch him up. Especially if he has a “My way or the highway” type of mindset. So, one can only hope that alongside working on his communication skills, this pushes Shaun’s adaptability. Otherwise, all of Dr. Glassman’s sacrifices and years of medical school for Shaun might be for naught.

On The Fence

Dr. Han Blackmailing the Board

It’s not the act of Dr. Han blackmailing the board which is the issue for me, it is that he got away with it and it effectively shut down that storyline in a snap. Thus making the events of the “Quarantine” episodes seem neutered and simply to feign the stakes being raised but no real consequences coming out of the two-part episode.

Why Do We Not See Most Of These Friends More Than Once?

Claire has friends we never see, Morgan has friends we never see, Dr. Melendez has a sister we never see, and now Dr. Lim joins this group. I get there is only but so much time each episode, but it would be nice for these characters to not pop in for one episode and then their names never mentioned again.

Dr. Melendez and Lim Coming Out

Dr. Lim and Melendez making out.

I’m starting to believe writing compelling and butterfly inducing relationships is just not a strong point of The Good Doctor’s writing staff. When it comes to Dr. Melendez and Lim, their relationship remains one half giving them both something to do besides mentor and the other half pushing for some kind of growth for each character. But, while you get the purpose of these two being together, it doesn’t compensate for how dry their relationship is no matter how many times they kiss or spend quality time together.

To put it simply, their relationship, in terms of writing and interaction, seems to be out of convenience more so than passion.

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