The Good Doctor: Season 3, Episode 1 “Disaster” [Season Premiere] – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

We got through Shaun’s date with Carly, that he says is a disaster, as cases Shaun and Morgan work on put things in perspective.

Shaun and Carly outside Carly's apartment.

We got through Shaun’s date with Carly, that he says is a disaster, as cases Shaun and Morgan work on put things in perspective.

Director(s) Mike Listo
Writer(s) David Shore
Air Date 9/23/2019
Introduced This Episode
Nurse Petringa Karin Konoval
Harvey John Innes
Ruby Jenny O’Hara
Susanne Sophia Lauchlin Hirt
Susanne’s Husband Aren Buchholz

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Recap (with Commentary & Spoilers)

All That Matters Is He Remembers He Was Happy: Harvey, Ruby, Alex, Morgan

Harvey (John Innes) and Ruby (Jenny O'Hara) listening to Harvey's diagnosis.
Harvey (John Innes) and Ruby (Jenny O’Hara)

Alex and Morgan find themselves with a case that deals with a man that has dementia, Harvey, having cancer. At first, neither want this because Alex doesn’t want to deal with a person with Dementia and Morgan? Well, while she sees him as a person with feelings, there is the issue of the case, originally, being boring.

However, then Dr. Lim opens up the opportunity for mundane surgeries to be led by surgeons. With that, both battle for it and leave Ruby, Harvey’s wife, without the best service. Alex is callous, Morgan understanding but still not saying the right thing. So, rather than have her husband suffer, Ruby decides to let Harvey live with the pain.

And with what happens between Ruby and Harvey, Alex is inspired to go see his son and Morgan her grandfather – who for some reason is in the hospital.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Does Morgan’s grandfather have dementia? Thus explaining why she sought to treat Harvey as she did?

Difficult Conversations: Nurse Petringa, Dr. Lim, Dr. Andrews, Shaun, Claire, Dr. Melendez, Susanne, Dr. Glassman, Allegra

Both Dr. Andrews and Dr. Glassman, by many accounts, aren’t fully utilizing their skills. Dr. Andrews spends his days working out, working an espresso machine, and Dr. Glassman, when not lounging at his home, prepping to get married, is working at a clinic. So, to fix these problems, Dr. Lim, in need of mentorship, asks of Dr. Andrews to return, for she needs help adapting to her new role. Especially in terms of handling the politics of it, like working with Nurse Petringa.

As for Dr. Glassman? Well, despite his past as president, Allegra requests him to come back and to sweeten the deal, she offers to fund a clinic – even if they are money pits. To which Glassman accepts.

However, both of their returns to former positions aren’t the only change. Dr. Lim now allows 3rd years, which would be Shaun, Claire, and the rest, the ability to preside over surgeries and with that, Dr. Melendez decides they should also take on more responsibility in delivering bad news. Case in point, Shaun is tasked with telling a young woman, Susanne, who just recently got married, she has an aggressive form of cancer and is likely to die before her time.

Naturally, since Shaun isn’t that great at delivering news of this sort, he tries to avoid saying that Susanne will die and leave it at that. Instead, he comes up with this overcomplicated surgery which does work, but leaves Susanne having to deal with her bowels processing into a bag.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. How many of these surgeries are actually done, and fairly known, for Shaun to pull them out as he does?

The Disastrous Date: Carly, Shaun

Throughout the episode we hear of Shaun’s date with Carly which was awkward, but Carly rolled with it. She handled Shaun cutting her off, while talking about school and her relationship with her father, so he could tell a joke. When the food comes, and he freaks out, she doesn’t get wide-eyed and freak out. Also, when Shaun accidentally bumps a woman, and then has a moment, she is a calming force. Heck, she even gives a peck on the lips at the end of the date.

But the only disaster there might be is that Shaun doesn’t take the opportunity to greet her at work. In fact, she sees him walk past her department and looks quite disheartened.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Who or what in Carly’s life led to her having such patience?

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

The problem isn’t how you said no, the problem is how you said yes.
— Dr. Andrews

Review Summary

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Knowing This Isn’t The End For Shaun’s Dating Life

After Lea hemming and hawing, but ultimately rejecting Shaun, and the trauma he experienced with that girl when he was a teenager, you know Shaun isn’t going to just end things with Carly. Think about it, he has seen so many people, including those with autism, find love over the last two seasons. Add in Carly is looking for love, and finds Shaun’s neurosis charming, maybe even livens up her rather dull day, I think she may take the initiative on this.

Which should be interesting to see since Carly, up until the end of the last season, we rarely saw her leave her lab. So between the tidbits we learned this episode, alongside the show seemingly pushing Shaun to talk about his parents, it should be interesting how her pursuing Shaun may lead to him opening up. Especially as seeing and talking to Carly becomes part of his routine.

Finagling A Way For Dr. Andrews & Dr. Glassman To Be Back In One Hospital

At this point, we have a nearly perfect cast. Shaun’s adventures in dating, and his savant syndrome makes for good drama, and we get the privilege of seeing more people with autism date and maybe get inspiration. Claire’s troubles with her mother open the doors for her dealing with her trauma, beyond what we’ve already have seen, and with her noting Shaun is a role model to her, she may give him the confidence, or push, to talk about his past and whether his mom, at the very least, ever sought him out. Then with Dr. Andrews and Glassman, they’re the veterans these people need. Especially Dr. Lim since she has to learn to code-switch or, at the very least, learn office politics.

Add in Morgan still slowly unfurling to us, and Dr. Melendez surely having more to do than be Dr. Lim’s secret lover and a mentor, things are looking good. Heck, there is even the slight chance Nurse Petringa, considering how much she got to talk, could represent the nurses of the show. People who haven’t necessarily been a consistent presence to the point they can easily be named on sight.

Morgan’s Grandfather & Those Opportunities

While Morgan has been with us for a little more than a full season, unlike the others, there remains this sort of mystery to her. The kind which makes you wonder, since we haven’t seen a lot of confirmations about what she has told us, could she have been lying? Take this grandfather showing up, who is to say she hasn’t fibbed about a lot of her upbringing and was actually from a working-class home? One that her grandfather was head of and he is the one who raised her?

Because, as of now, Morgan is the only one we haven’t met any family members of. Be it in a flashback, delusion, or in present time. So while Morgan has many times stole the show, this season she might outdo herself.

[ninja_tables id=”26508″]

You Knowing This Isn’t The End For Shaun’s Dating Life - 90%
Finagling A Way For Dr. Andrews & Dr. Glassman To Be Back In One Hospital - 91%
Morgan’s Grandfather & Those Opportunities - 89%


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  1. No big deal on the teeny, tiny mistake you made. It’s the first one I’ve ever read in your reviews, and I’ve read a LOT of your reviews! Plus, some reviewers and recappers make mistakes almost every time they write, so I am very impressed with your accuracy!!

    I still think Shawn thinks dating is horrible because the date was too unpredictable, and the date is uncontrollable unlike other aspects of his life (like for example how there is never pickles with his meal when he makes a meal, but on the date they put a pickle right on the plate of his food). I guess we’ll just disagree on that point. But I really hope I’m wrong about Carly being in further episodes because as I’ve written before, I really like Jasika Nicole from her days on Fringe so long ago.

  2. Yay, The Good Doctor is back, and with it, your great reviews!! I’ll start with what I agreed with. The show definitely has a near-perfect cast! I like having Dr. Glassman back as hospital president and perhaps running a clinic, too. (Side note: It was Allegra with a new hair cut that got Dr. Glassman to come back to the hospital, not Dr. Lim.) And having Dr. Andrews as just a surgeon and not the Chief of Surgery might make for some interesting story lines. And I really liked how they paired up Morgan with Alex on one patient and Claire with Shawn on another. I always enjoy seeing Claire and Shawn together. I am also looking forward to learning more about Morgan. And I got a kick out of your question about Shawn knowing about the surgeries that he does – they are weird and seem way too rare for him to come up with them!

    But I completely disagree with your assessment of the results of Shawn and Carly’s date. Shawn not only thought the date itself was a disaster, he thinks dating overall is horrible. That’s why when he was looking at Carly at the end of the show, I think he realizes he likes her, but he is not willing to go on actual dates, so thus he doesn’t go talk to her because that would mean he would have to follow that up with a date, which he will not do. Remember, in the first 2 seasons, he never went on a “date” with Lea but ended up really liking her. Maybe if Shawn and Carly worked in the same department like Shawn and Claire do, so he could get to know her without dating her (after all, that’s what led to the date in the first place – working in the path. lab with her during season 2), then they might become a couple. But as it stands now, with the only option to romance with Carly being dating her, I don’t think it will happen. I hope I’m wrong because if I’m right, then this is the end of Carly on the show 🙁 !

    1. That’s what I get for rushing…

      I don’t think Shaun thinks dating is horrible as much as he is horrible at it and I think it is the fact they did work in the same department, for a short while, and under distress, which is why he asked her out specifically. But, going by previews, this isn’t the end of those two.

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