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

Lea saying goodbye to Shaun.
Lea: I'm gonna miss you, Shaun.

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

Directed ByNestor Carbonell
Written ByLiz Friedman, Tracy Taylor
Aired (ABC)1/20/2020
Introduced This Episode
AngieAlyssa Jirrels
RyanDavid Iacono
Mrs. ValensBrigid 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


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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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%


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