TV Series The Good Doctor: Season 3 Episode 12 “Mutations” – Recap/ Review (with...
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The Good Doctor: Season 3 Episode 12 “Mutations” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

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As the possibility of Dr. Melendez and Claire grows, Carly and Shaun seem less stable and Morgan faces a real problem.


Directed By Nestor Carbonell
Written By Liz Friedman, Tracy Taylor
Aired (ABC) 1/20/2020
Introduced This Episode
Angie Alyssa Jirrels
Ryan David Iacono
Mrs. Valens Brigid Brannagh

Episode Recap

The Love Birds: Ryan, Angie, Claire, Dr. Melendez, Mrs. Valens

This week, Claire finds herself trying to aide two teen cancer survivors, Ryan and Angie, in having the young adult romance we often see in books and movies. But, things get complicated when Angie’s mom, Mrs. Valens, makes it so only she can visit Angie.

Why? Well, it isn’t outright said, but one of the things thrown out there is that she has seen her daughter’s reaction when she fights with Ryan and with her having a brain tumor, which includes violent seizures, having someone who raises her pressure probably isn’t best. However, in our opinion, maybe she just wanted more alone time with her kid? After all, Angie is 16, facing life or death situations, and while Ryan is lovely, she knows if Ryan is around she won’t get any real quality time.

Yet, being that Claire wants to live vicariously, she arranges for Ryan to see Angie and it is a good thing she does since Angie dies within a day or so of her arranging a mini-prom.

This leads to how Dr. Melendez plays into this: He is pressing up on Claire. Now, when I say that, I don’t mean he is touching Claire or flirting with her in a way others may pick up on. However, I’d submit his teasing could be seen beyond being friendly but not outright like he is trying to test waters with her. For lest we forget, these two have formerly talked about having children and personal topics before, so in many ways they are picking up where they left off in season 1. It’s just now with them being single, so comes the need to wonder if Dr. Melendez would be willing to risk a possible claim against him for being too forward?

Taking On A New Challenge: Shaun, Carly, Morgan, Dr. Glassman

With Lea promptly moving out, as if she was just waiting for the shoe to drop, Shaun thinks things with Carly should be perfect but there still seems to be something wrong. In fact, you are almost led to believe Carly wanted to blame Lea for her unease with Shaun but is realizing Lea was either a minor thing or an excuse. Overall, it is hard to say but as Shaun and Morgan’s patient needs a more hands-on approach when it comes to pathology, Shaun and Carly get to work closely together and as they find the right medicine, it seems they are back where they need to be – for now.

But, while the patient finds the medicine best for them, Morgan struggles with her arthritis medication that is bringing her to the point of vomiting if she eats solid foods. However, with taking note of Dr. Andrews’ investment in her, she hones in on that and wants to write papers with him and really make a name for herself. So, recognizing she can’t maintain this liquid diet during the day and supplement it with solids at night, she continues to ask of Dr. Glassman to be her private physician. Which, considering it seems he misses challenges beyond what the clinic gives him, he continues to partake in.

Review/ Commentary

Highlights

Angie & Ryan Are The Kind Of YA Tragedy That Movies Are Made Of

Whoever is casting and writing these subplots this half of the season hopefully has a permanent role. For while Shaun’s patient didn’t create the same need to take note of his situation, since it evolved into you questioning and understanding why Carly chose pathology, Angie and Ryan remind you that these patients are people with entire lives. Ones that aren’t solely about pushing something along for our leads so that they aren’t people who just pop up, speaking a bunch of medical jargon, often save a patient, sometimes lose them, and move on.

Consistent Storylines For Morgan and Claire

Is Morgan’s arthritis storyline comparable to what we’ve seen for others in terms of character development? No. However, taking note Morgan is a young woman who is pursuing being a surgeon, and she is potentially going to lose her ability to do so, it is the kind of thing that can build into a big deal. Plus, you have to love that her storyline isn’t based on someone she is dating, or could potentially date, and the drama which comes from that. It is about her career trajectory and figuring out a way to not let this flaw derail her life.

Which isn’t to put down Claire starting to warm back up to the idea of love and a relationship, since that has long been her issue. It is the reason she and Jared broke up and with bringing up how much her mom impeded her progress, it creates a complicated conversation around how Claire should feel about her mother’s death.

On the one hand, that was her mother yet, in so many ways, as much as Claire wouldn’t be who she was if it wasn’t for what her mom did and didn’t do, there is the need to question whether she would be less accomplished if her mother stayed on her meds, didn’t partake in alcohol, and really made a consistent effort to be the best she could before Claire became an adult. And while we, the viewer, can get what if episodes and scenarios, Claire can’t. She has to live with what happened and her journey through that should be something.

On The Fence

So Should We Accept The Inevitable?

Carly talking about her apprehension.
Carly: I thought I was fine until I…

That is, that Carly and Shaun will likely break up and Claire and Dr. Melendez will likely date? Both seem to have been built up to between this and the last episode. After all, the woman who doesn’t seem likely to be end game giving the male lead an ultimatum is usually the beginning of the end. With the ultimatum comes them questioning how secure they feel in the relationship, why they like the person, and whether they are confusing feelings of love with something else. At least when it comes to our viewing experience.

Then, when it comes to Claire, as of now, it doesn’t seem there will be a new cast member introduced and the likelihood of some old flame, besides Jared, coming back is nil. Making it so Dr. Melendez, who got put off by Claire’s reaction to her criticism in season 2, might end up attaching himself to Claire and sucking the life out of her. For if you notice, while Dr. Lim is in this episode, they aren’t necessarily pushing anything forward with her. She still has her job, but as for anything to make her more than the boss? That isn’t seen.

So here is hoping Melendez, like the succubus he is, doesn’t take what little Claire has than leaves her cold.

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Amari Allahhttps://wherever-i-look.com
I started Wherever I Look back in 2011 and from movies, TV, the occasional book, play, and Broadway show, have been trying to bridge the gap between a critic and an avid lover of various forms of media.

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Angie & Ryan Are The Kind Of YA Tragedy That Movies Are Made Of
90 %
Consistent Storylines For Morgan and Claire
91 %
So Should We Accept The Inevitable?
75 %

Questions, Comments, or Opposing Opinion?

  1. First, with the supporting cast, I think in every 3rd or 4th episode, giving a patient a chronic disease would be a great idea. There are so many diseases to choose from. The problem is that they wouldn’t be “unusual” enough for the writers, like the guy with the 200-pound tumor or the guy who needed zebra fish to solve his case. Then again I would like to see that conspiracy-theorist nutjob played by Joshua Molina(sp) again. Just give him a new illness and have him insist that only Shaun treat him. I guess it depends on how much the writers want to use their imaginations.

    Good point about Dr. Lim. I really don’t want that happening with Claire. I think they could get actual romance with Melendez and Claire if they stretch the storyline out over this season and into next season. Give it time to grow, for there to be a pursuit, for there to be chemistry instead of rushed convenience. If they dive into this relationship in the next few episodes, I will be very disappointed!

  2. Melendez a succubus?!? Harsh, but lol!! I almost breathe a sigh of relief every time we get through an episode without Melendez and Claire hooking up! And I hope Shaun and Carly make it at least to the end of this season before they break up. They did, however, hold hands and have sex in this episode. Progress!

    I really enjoyed Angie and Ryan’s storyline! I actually wanted less time with the personal lives of the doctors and more time with these two patients. And I have never, ever, in the 3 years of watching The Good Doctor, wanted to sacrifice time with a doctor for time with a patient. But this storyline was so sweet, well-written, and right up my alley! (I admit to reading a YA book every few months or so.) So kudos to the writers for this one!

    And I agree with you about Morgan’s storyline with her arthritis. A storyline for a doctor not involving romance is very refreshing. Other then Dr. Andrews’s storyline about his “demotion” from president to attending physician and Claire’s mom’s death, I’m hard-pressed to think of a storyline that doesn’t involve romance (not counting Shaun’s autism of course).

    • Well, let’s look at it this way, whoever Melendez has thus far dated has been used to give his character life and then they seem like shells of their former self. His girlfriend from season 1, despite being the hospital’s lawyer, whose role was never replaced, left. His relationship with Dr. Lim, I’d say, undermined her promotion and gave us a watered down version of what we could have had for Claire. So him being with Claire likely will give us the best storyline she has had, that he benefits by being part of, before she probably goes back to being inconsistent and barely developed.

      They really are kicking things up with the supporting cast this half and it really does make me wish we could see some of the former patients come back. Surely there can be characters with chronic diseases who can be reoccuring, right?

      Romance, the pursuit, the maintenance, and wanting, is what creates a connection with an audience, but it just feels too much about creating convenient storylines on this show than about chemistry.