As Shaun deals with his first set of heartbreaks, Morgan and Claire try to decide if they are capable of compromising their passions.
|Directed By||Steven DePaul|
|Written By||Thomas L. Moran, David Renaud|
It’s Not About The Dream, It’s About Reality: Morgan, Dr. Glassman, Dr. Lim
With things not getting better using medication solely, Morgan is stuck between a surgery that would remove the joint linings in her fingers, synovectomy surgery, or finding a different specialty. Which, in her mind, is a difficult decision for while talking with Dr. Glassman pushes the idea the surgery would, at best, give her another decade, from then on she’d be in pain. Leading to, at first, the idea she maybe should forego surgery and focus on the fact she will still be a doctor, just not a surgeon.
However, then Dr. Lim, who she reveals she has RA to, allows her to perform osseointegration, and with that, Morgan decides she is going to have the surgery. For what could be seen as Dr. Lim perhaps giving Morgan a swan song actually relights her fire.
To Settle Or Go For Something Challenging?: Claire, Dash, Dr. Melendez
Since season 1, when Dr. Melendez was dating Jessica and Claire was dating or just having sex with, Jared, Melendez, and Claire have had a closeness no one else had with their mentor. At least if you exclude Shaun. For whether they were talking about marriage and children, in a private setting, or having fiery back and forths, we’ve long seen passionate, sometimes vulnerable, exchanges between the two.
Which perhaps is why, despite how good things are with Dash, Claire is content but not happy. Not to forget Dash is her best friend’s longtime partner, and her not being comfortable with dating him when it was proposed to her. However, with realizing their kiss doesn’t spark anything, and she is relying on convenience rather than challenging herself, she allows herself to reveal she does has feelings for Dr. Melendez.
Now, as for whether the feeling is reciprocated? Well, being that Dr. Melendez has been accused of favoritism and his last relationship partly ended due to a power imbalance, it’s hard to say. However, without a birthday, promotion, or any other trigger, Melendez does give Claire multiple compliments that extend beyond her abilities as a doctor. So one could submit, in a subtle, can’t be misconstrued by those outside their relationship way, he put his feelings out there.
Somebody To Lean On: Dr. Andrews, Dr. Lim
Dr. Andrews working at a place he was formerly let go from, after climbing to the highest rank, as you can imagine, could be awkward. Especially since he still maintains some of the airs and graces of his former title and almost acts as he still has the weight behind his words of a managerial staff member. Which, for Dr. Lim, leads to some contentious moments, as we’ve seen in the past.
But, rather than them butting heads due to Shaun or the residents, it is because there is this idea they are in competition, or their egos are getting in the way. Leading to a conversation that ultimately reveals, it isn’t about ego what so ever. Competition? Maybe. Dr. Lim will admit she is a competitive person. However, it’s pushed the matter at hand, alongside the competition, might be Lim wanting to maintain the former relationship of Dr. Andrews being a mentor, but with him no longer her supervisor, so comes the awkward clash. One she doesn’t revel in but comes with the territory.
The First Heartbreak Always Hits The Hardest: Shaun, Claire, Lea
For three days, Shaun sulks in his apartment and finds himself stewing in Lea’s rejection. If he had his way, he’d probably take a whole week, since he has the sick days and time off to do so. However, between Claire pressuring him to go to work and then Dr. Melendez forbidding him to go home, unless he wants to be fired, Shaun is forced to be around people. All the while, having no desire to even try to use all the training and knowledge he has about social cues and niceties.
Yet, in seeing a patient’s girlfriend destroy someone’s car, and get a cathartic release, Shaun gets the idea he should do that to Lea’s prized car. You know, transfer his emotional and mental pain onto something physical and get Lea to hurt to boot. But, Shaun isn’t about that “I smashed the windows out your car” life. He may enjoy some rap and potentially R&B, but that is not his life.
So, instead, he decides to viciously give Lea a verbal tongue lashing as if she did more than say she didn’t want to date him. Granted, part of the reason was her recognizing they aren’t compatible, with one of the reasons being Shaun’s autism, but with Shaun wanting to lash out, she takes it. Plus, considering she has seen Shaun agitated, not full-on mad, who knows what he could do with that metal bat in hand.
But, once he lets go of all his ill feelings, it seems he might be better.
A Recognition That Morgan Isn’t Pursuing The Dream But Living It
It’s often easy with Morgan to label what she says or does to either be selfish or stubborn. After all, when made to feel uncomfortable, challenged, or not in control, her default is that girl we were introduced to who was the Black sheep in her family. Someone who had to prove not being a professional in the arts meant something, that it was of value. Which, for the average person, may seem strange since how highly favored doctors and medical professionals are. But that isn’t Morgan’s life.
Hence her conundrum about whether or not to have the surgery for while she could be successful in oncology, maybe pathology, and still very much be a doctor, consider what it means to use her hands. Her family are artists, sculptors, and musicians. Morgan has potentially expanded the idea of what the Reznick family should be known for beyond the arts but rather their dexterity – the use of their hands in artful ways. So while there aren’t any nieces or nephews, or Morgan having children of her own, what she is doing, maybe feels compelled to do, is create a path for those who follow so they don’t experience what she did growing up.
Dr. Lim & Mentorship
The unfortunate part of such a show with a large cast but singular focus (Shaun) is we often see characters swapped from being front and center to the back. Alex often experiences this, as seen by his family coming and going off and on, and most characters, once an arc is done, are put on ice. If not, in the case of Claire and Morgan, their storylines start and stop almost on a whim (formerly).
But it seems Dr. Lim, post-dating Dr. Melendez, is now finding a new role on the show, and that is of a mentor and also mentee. Something that we saw previously in Dr. Lim having a conversation with Claire about them being women of color but, as with many of Claire’s storylines, what was started didn’t continue. However, with Dr. Lim giving a nod to Morgan, so it seems while Dr. Lim can’t dedicate her time to residents in a full-on mentorship role, if she knows your struggle, she will shine a light on you. One that allows you to push forward despite whatever insecurities or fears you are experiencing.
And in relation to the Morgan topic, one could say this is all in an effort to change how things operate at the hospital. For while Dr. Andrews likely didn’t mean any harm, one could submit him questioning his boss, asking if she is doing things out of ego, if things were switched, that wouldn’t be tolerated. This isn’t to say he doesn’t respect the position or Lim, but whether you contribute his attitude to their previous relationship or possibly sexism, you can potentially see the issues which come from his approach. Especially since he didn’t speak to her in a private setting, away from the resident or nurses, but in a public setting.
On The Fence
Dr. Melendez & Claire Together
As noted, Claire and Dr. Melendez are a long game potential couple. They have had conversations with one another not in group settings, but one on one, and have shown some realm of vulnerability with one another. And while Dr. Melendez’s storyline has basically been about his relationships, I think I’ve come to the point of accepting that’s how they soften and show the human side of his character.
Now, as for Claire? Well, I still don’t like the idea of her being bridled to her storyline revolving around a relationship – a romantic one at that. For as much as I’d like to see Claire be happy, from the handling of her mother’s death, Dr. Coyle, and even her having a ho phase, it seems any individual storyline Claire has doesn’t get to be fleshed out fully. However, if it can include someone else, especially in a romantic context, there is a full dedication there.
But, with most shows, not just “The Good Doctor,” that is the case.
Shaun Going Off On Lea & His Attitude In General
One of the things I feel the need to recognize is that Shaun isn’t perfect, and as much as he is high functioning and a symbol of what people with autism are capable of, he is human. On top of that, there has never been a pursuit of making Shaun anything but that. Unlike how we see other marginalized people, Shaun has never been writing as the first and dealing with the weight of that or some kind of role model. Shaun’s autism has been an issue more so for other people and their expectations than something Shaun has closely identified with.
Yet, even taking note of that, I find it hard to support how he approached Lea. Granted, the discrimination I can face as a Black person, in the dating world, isn’t the same as Shaun would as someone who deals with autism. However, his handling of that rejection was something I could support up until he wanted to smash Lea’s car.
Why? Well, for one, him threatening her car over being rejected seemed like an overreaction. This isn’t to discount Shaun’s feelings, or the fact, like so many times in this show, he is just doing what he saw someone else do and is seeing whether that would work for him. Not to forget, considering Shaun hasn’t really had a dating life up until now, he is basically a teenager.
Now, this isn’t me saying Shaun is mentally a teenager but more so with this being his first time dealing with romantic emotions, his feelings spike and deep like you’ expect from a teenager. Yet, in him stopping himself from destroying Lea’s car, it showed that, despite his anger, he still cares about Lea enough to not destroy her car.
Leading to the thing which made me feel uneasy – Shaun going off on her. Which, for viewers, I think it could be an opportunity to live vicariously. A moment that would allow you to say what you thought about Lea for breaking Shaun’s heart and being honest about why she didn’t want to date him. However, for me, it felt like it went a bit too far. For whether you take note of the bat in Shaun’s hand, the threat to her property or, as usual, Shaun showing up when he likes and demanding Lea’s attention, so much of this felt so wrong.
And as for what Shaun said, again, I have mixed feelings. Is most of what he said what Lea has said about herself or is part of a clear pattern? Yes. But Shaun deciding, just because he got rejected romantically, to burn that bridge? I can’t support that and can’t excuse it either. For as much as there is a need to recognize Shaun might be triggered due to his interaction with that girl who faked liking him, among other reasons previously named, it’s hard to blame Lea for not living up to Shaun’s fantasies. If not the side effect of him doing so well at work, and with Carly, to a point, and being unable to handle one of the few failures we’ve got to see him experience.
All of which hopefully doesn’t sound callous, for we have this “On The Fence” heading for a reason. It’s just, I think Lea is being judged a little too harshly, and while she did kiss Shaun, and one could say she did plant some sort of idea here, I feel it is due to Carly and others Shaun took this leap. So, if anything, he should be lashing out on the people who continually plant seeds of doubt in his head, or push him to “Shoot his shot,” for lack of a better term, than the people who don’t respond to him as he hoped.