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.
Episode Information: Episode 18 “Trampoline”
|Writer(s)||David Shore, David Hoselton, Mark Rozeman|
|Introduced This Episode|
Love Is A Beautiful Thing: Ida, Morgan, Dr. Park
An 87-year-old patient named Ida takes Morgan and Dr. Park to task. Not just by keeping them on their toes, in regards to her pressing them about their personal life, but also her being their patient. All of which doesn’t move either lead character to think about future or past relationships seriously, but with it being revealed Ida has no one, maybe in season 3 we may see more romantic advancement when it comes to these two. Especially Morgan after losing the last guy who asked her out.
Lying To Protect Yourself: Shaun, Claire, Zack
With being fired comes Shaun being in a bar at 10AM, missing an interview set up for him, and just trying to understand his emotions. Something he, unfortunately, tries to do with a drunk who really isn’t in a talking mood, leading to him getting his ass kicked. An act which, honestly, he may have wanted to happen.
Why? Well, taking note of Shaun’s past, it could be because he felt he deserved it. If not because he doesn’t understand mental pain, so he pursued physical pain. Something tangible. But, even if he wanted to feel hurt physically, it doesn’t mean he wanted Zack to be. But, unfortunately, with being fired means he had a limited ability to say or do anything at the hospital. In fact, because of the injuries Zack caused, Shaun ended up a patient at the hospital just when he realized what was wrong with Zack.
Luckily though, with being around Shaun long enough, empathizing with him, Claire struggles at first but eventually is able to pick up where Shaun left off. An important note for what comes later.
You Gotta Be Bold Sometimes: Debbie, Dr. Glassman, Dr. Andrews, Dr. Han, Shaun, Claire, Dr. Lim, Dr. Melendez, Carly, Lea
With being cancer free, Dr. Glassman presses Debbie even more and taking note of her criticism in the last episode, he proposes – twice. The first time is in a bit of a manic state, so he gets rejected. However, the second time around he has an impassioned speech, and while he doesn’t get on one knee, he says all the right things to let Debbie know this isn’t a fluke or a lonely old man talking – Dr. Glassman is serious. Leading her to say yes.
But, he isn’t alone in professing his love. With HR approval, Dr. Lim and Dr. Melendez come out publicly – making out in front of everyone. However, whether or not their relationship can withstand a shocking decision by Dr. Andrews is a whole other story. Said decision? Well, Dr. Andrews doesn’t feel right about Dr. Han firing Shaun. Yes, Shaun was out of line, irrational, and likely deserved to be reprimanded, but fired? That was a bit much. However, with Dr. Han being chief of surgery comes the question of whether Dr. Andrews is going to let him handle his staff or not? This becomes a real issue and even leads to a board meeting to decide Shaun’s fate.
One which, rather than have a vote, Dr. Andrews just fires Dr. Han for he realizes Shaun is more valuable than Dr. Han. Take, for example, Claire putting herself in Shaun’s shoes and that leading her to make a miraculous diagnosis. But the kicker later on is that we learn Dr. Lim will take Dr. Han’s place. Leading to a bit of conflict since now Dr. Melendez’s boss is his girlfriend, but neither one seemed to like the idea of passing up the opportunity because of their relationship.
Leading to one last thing: Before Shaun learns the good news, he was in a short coma. One which stemmed from him lying about his diagnosis. However, before that, Claire was trying to help him navigate being fired and asked him what he wanted – outside of work. One of the things mentioned is to become a father, but with him not knowing how to fall in love, that is a major obstacle.
Thus leading to us being set up. First, we’re led to believe Lea is going to have the unfortunate opportunity to turn down Shaun, who is high from getting his job back. Following that, we’re led to think maybe he may ask out Claire, since she is the only other women he has really spoken to on a consistent basis. However, SHOCKER, he asks out Carly. He uses the techniques Claire taught him to ask out Carly, and SHE SAYS YES! Leaving us to realize that trauma that girl caused when Shaun was a teenager, he may have broken the spell!
Question(s) Left Unanswered
- How much flack can Dr. Andrews really get for going to bat for Shaun?
- With Dr. Glassman’s cancer gone, will he be an active member of the board or was him showing up solely for the sake of Shaun?
Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs
Whenever people want you to do something they think is wrong, they say it’s reality.
Why Shaun May Have Lied
It still isn’t clear how long of a gap it was between Steve’s death and Dr. Glassman playing a paternal part in Shaun’s life, but we can assume there was a lot of trauma involved. Of which, causing himself to get hurt, and speaking on it, might have been something he used to get punished for. If not, as noted, there is the possibility that with Shaun not understanding his mental pain he wanted it to become physical.
Now, the reason this is a highlight is because it triggered Shaun lying. A response which, for Shaun, is a defensive mechanism and considering how bold and uncouth Shaun can be, the shock of him lying wasn’t lost on me. Especially since, when it comes to other people’s business, he isn’t much for hiding a damn thing. So it should be interesting to see if this gets followed up on and we either see Shaun lie more or dig deeper into his past to help us understand what made this situation something he was willing to lie about. After all, he was already fired, without much reason to think he’d be rehired, so lying to protect what remained of his reputation didn’t make a whole lot of sense.
Shaun Pushing Past His Trauma
While being autistic certainly affects Shaun’s social skills, when it comes to romance, let’s not forget what happened when he was a teenager. As a teenager, shown sometime in season 1, Shaun was led to believe a girl liked him but ended up learning it was a pranked and was massively embarrassed. In my mind, this played a strong role in him being apprehensive with Lea and him being hurt since, while she kissed him and didn’t make a prank out of it, she did leave. Likely drumming up old feelings of rejection he hasn’t dealt with.
However, with Carly, she accepted Shaun’s affection, and we’ll see what comes of it. Now, I will admit him choosing her was a surprise but she does seem to have the best features of Lea and Claire, so maybe that had to do with it? She is understanding and kind like Claire but also has this spark to her like Lea. Mind you, a kind of nerdy one, but let’s not forget Shaun is a nerd when it comes to medicine and someone who treats their work like a detective definitely has a place in Shaun’s heart. That is, if he lets them in and figures a way to make things work without relying on Claire for everything.
This season dropped in the number of flashbacks we got, including those with Steve, so hearing him mentioned, and once again his words guiding and saving Shaun was sweet. Making me wish that kid who looked like Steve wasn’t a one and done character. It would be nice for Shaun to live vicariously every now and then.
On The Fence
Dr. Han’s Exit & Dr. Lim – Chief of Surgery
While I’m sure many are glad Dr. Han is fired, I’m saddened by it since I was hoping he’d evolve as Morgan did. Thus becoming someone who doesn’t baby or placates Shaun and actually challenges him a bit. For while Shaun was likely to be rehired, the question was if there would be circumstances involved which would make it so he was on probation, or what have you. So while it was a full circle moment for Dr. Andrews to go to bat, put his job on the line for Shaun, it also felt like another anti-climatic moment since Shaun didn’t have to work for it. Nevermind him flipping out on Dr. Han, to the point of him feeling the need to call security, shouldn’t have been taken lightly. Jared got let go for being too aggressive so one could only assume Shaun got a pass because, well people actually like Shaun.
Leading to Dr. Lim. Honestly, unless she picks up where Dr. Han left off and sees Shaun for both his flaws and positive attributes, it is going to seem business as usual at the hospital – which would suck. For while I get there is something very empowering about seeing someone like Shaun do what he does, the show consistently erring on things working out for him undercuts the drama. And while I understand he has had a hard enough life already, so has everyone else. So the special treatment as a character and doctor really needs to become less consistent, and they need to let Shaun fail. Be it losing more patients, the medical board coming after him again, or being put on probation. Otherwise, the show is going to suffer in the long run.