Home TV Series The Good Doctor: Season 3, Episode 2 “Debts” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

The Good Doctor: Season 3, Episode 2 “Debts” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

by Amari
Published: Last Updated on

Shaun continues to be pressed by everyone to give dating another chance as Dr. Andrews tries to embrace his demotion.

Community Rating: 57.74% (3)


Director(s)Mike Listo
Writer(s)Peter Noah
Air Date9/30/2019
Introduced This Episode
JoshMik Byskov
OliviaTina Georgieva

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A Fight For Prominence: Morgan, Alex, Dr. Lim

Since we’ve met Morgan, she has dedicated herself to finding a way to be the top by either underhanded means or trying to present herself as having a strong work ethic. After all, she doesn’t have much else beyond her pursuit of being a doctor.

Unlike nearly everyone else, she doesn’t have friends and family who are consistent presences in her life. So, to justify how alone she is, partly by her own doing, she tries to appease Dr. Lim with gifts and advocate for herself. However, with Dr. Lim discouraging gifts and pleads, she fails to secure the first opportunity to lead a surgery. That goes to Claire.

Question(s) Left Unanswered
  1. What happened to Morgan’s grandfather that we saw at the end of the last episode?
  2. With the way Morgan has increasingly been looking at Alex, does she perhaps have feelings for him?

The Balance of Being Selfish & Selfless: Dr. Lim, Dr. Andrews, Josh, Shaun, Olivia

A major demotion, working for your former pupil, and also making less money – Dr. Andrews has fallen from grace and all for a person he, just in season 1, wanted to fail so he could become president. Yet, times have changed, and Dr. Andrews is trying to change with them. It’s just difficult for he is so used to being selfish, thinking like a president advocating for the hospital, more than any patient or employee, that he seems unsure if he is regressing or evolving.

Yet, as he faces Dr. Lim to help a virtuous patient named Josh, with Shaun by his side, it seems he understands his sacrifice wasn’t for naught. For after Josh saves a young girl named Olivia from being groped, and nearly loses his ability to speak and eat solids, shouldn’t he be fought for? To not be treated just like everyone else considering not everyone would step up for another person?

Question(s) Left Unanswered
  1. How does Dr. Andrews’ wife feel about all this?

You Gotta Get Back Into The Saddle: Shaun, Lea, Debbie, Claire, Breeze, Dr. Glassman, Carly

While Shaun would love to focus on helping Josh be able to speak and eat again, everyone keeps bringing up the date with Carly. Lea tries to push him not to give up, Debbie coerces Dr. Glassman to tell Shaun to keep going, but the person who breaks through is Claire.

As always, Claire’s empathy allows her to reach Shaun in ways other people can’t. For while she can very much be assertive, she knows how the empathize with Shaun in a way that doesn’t make him feel like he is being manipulated but treated as a person. Perhaps with some regards to how autism influences his decision making, yet not treating it as something which provides Shaun with a handicap. It is simply something that makes him different.

So, taking note of their interaction, Shaun seems willing to try. Plus, after Carly, on her own, comes to Shaun’s apartment, asking for clarification on what went wrong on their date, since she enjoyed it, he takes note Claire’s advice that the best dates don’t have to be the fanciest. They can just be a bag of chips and quality time.

But, despite Claire giving wonderful advice to Shaun, she still struggles with her mom. Someone who would be homeless without Claire. Though with Breeze off her meds, infrequently seeing her doctor, Dr. Donovan, she initially wants their time together short. However, that is her mom, and perhaps like Morgan, there is a recognition that the opportunity to grow is key, and while Breeze is far from perfect, she is trying.



Shaun and Carly Back On

You can’t downplay the importance of Shaun dating. In terms of representation, it is like when the patient saw someone like him was a doctor. Also, while this is a work of fiction, there is enough respect given to Shaun as a character to never push him beyond what he is capable of. But, alongside that, there is the constant reminder that Shaun isn’t the typical person with autism and that they vary in abilities.

Yet, that doesn’t negate seeing him, or the roommates turn couple from last season finding love either among someone in their community or with someone atypical.

Realizing All Morgan Has Is Her Work

While we did see Morgan have a friend last season, unlike the majority of the characters, we aren’t familiar with her outside of the hospital. We know of a grandfather and parents, she was into sports during high school, but we don’t see Morgan having a life outside of work. Which pushes you to wonder why she may fear developing more than a professional network?

Is it because of how she lost Tyler last season? A side effect of her upbringing? Realizing how much she isolated herself in trying to compete with everyone? What gives? Heck, could it be that, after being paired with him so much, she has developed feelings for Dr. Park and is afraid to express them? So rather than pursue them, talk about them, possibly get hurt by him, she shuts herself off? Making it so, while she is at least cordial now, there is still a bit of a wall?

Claire Giving Her Mother Another Chance

Breeze has been a pain in Claire’s side since her introduction. Also, she has been the source for our understanding of why Claire is reserved, empathetic, yet also struggles with getting close to people. So one can only hope in possibly healing her relationship with Breeze, Claire may find her life renewed.

After all, it has been quite some time since Jared, and she broke up, and it would be nice for her, like so many on the show, to not daydream about past loves but find something new. If not, at the very least, a proper friend whom they spend time with outside the hospital.

Carly’s Reflection On Dating Shaun

Carly confronting Shaun at his apartment.

Carly reveals her little sister Andi has autism, thus joining Dr. Melendez in having a younger sister with a development condition. But, what makes Carly bringing this up of interest is her confronting how it might have affected her feelings towards Shaun. Specifically, the idea she was trying to prove something or, maybe, deal with her own bias?

With her being so upfront and honest, it leads you to see a side not shown when we see a character, usually a woman, take interest in an autistic person. For often, like on Atypical, they romanticize how honest to a fault the guy is, but don’t challenge their feelings for them. At least in a way which recognizes the questions viewers would have and even confronts their bias and ignorance.

For, let’s take note: Carly is shy, yes, but otherwise atypical. She has a good job, is youthful, and her main issue may only be not putting herself in social situations. So for her to not only accept Shaun randomly showing up to her apartment, but accepting a date from him, it has to get your wheels turning. Not to say Shaun isn’t a catch, but she surely knows about his saga with Dr. Han, his sometimes tumultuous relationship with Dr. Glassman and with her having a sister with autism, there has to be certain expectations.

The kind that, just as Shaun has dispelled assumptions about what it means to be autistic, one can only hope Carly will provide a real, day to day, look at what it means to love, and be loved, romantically, with someone who has autism.

Season/ EpisodeSynopsisEpisode InformationTopics & Focused Characters
Season 3, Episode 5 “First Care, Second Base”A familiar face reappears this episode as Shaun deals with everyone pushing him to feel anxiety or be nervous over his first lead surgery.
Director(s)Rebecca Moline
Writer(s)David Hoselton
Air Date10/21/2019
  • Instead Of Making Compromise Dirty, Let’s Make It Naughty: Shaun, Carly, Debbie, Dr. Glassman
  • Can We Include “Loss of Hope” In The Stages of Grief?: Morgan, Claire
  • Even In Death, I’ll Be There: Shaun, Dr. Lim, Dr. Andrews, Alex
Season 3, Episode 4 “Take My Hand”Claire and Morgan share another moment because of Breeze and Shaun, alongside Dr. Glassman, deal with their fear, and/or stubbornness.
Director(s)Tara Nicole Weyr
Writer(s)Doris Egan
Air Date10/14/2019
Introduced This Episode
LilyJennifer Lafleur
Mitchell StewartJoshua Malina
JonasMark Hildreth
  • Who Knew Compromise Was Such A Dirty Word?: Mitchell, Shaun, Carly
  • Love Is About…: Debbie, Dr. Glassman, Shaun, Carly
  • Amazing Grace: Morgan, Lily, Jonas, Claire
Season 3, Episode 3 “Claire”Someone once said that for every person you steal from death, they take one personal to you. Claire learns that lesson this episode.
Director(s)Allison Liddi-Brown
Writer(s)Liz Friedman, Tracy Taylor
Air Date10/7/2019
Introduced This Episode
PatriciaTracie Thoms
Dr. DonovanIris Quinn
  • Butt Out: Shaun, Claire, Carly
  • Mommy & Me: Claire, Breeze, Michelle, Patricia, Dr. Donovan. Dr. Lim, Shaun, Morgan
  • It Was The Best Of Times And Worst Of Times: Claire, Breeze
Season 3, Episode 1 “Disaster” [Season Premiere]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 Date9/23/2019
Introduced This Episode
Nurse PetringaKarin Konoval
HarveyJohn Innes
RubyJenny O’Hara
SusanneSophia Lauchlin Hirt
Susanne’s HusbandAren Buchholz
  • All That Matters Is He Remembers He Was Happy: Harvey, Ruby, Alex, Morgan
  • Difficult Conversations: Nurse Petringa, Dr. Lim, Dr. Andrews, Shaun, Claire, Dr. Melendez, Susanne, Dr. Glassman, Allegra
  • The Disastrous Date: Carly, Shaun
Season 3, Episode 2 “Debts”Shaun continues to be pressed by everyone to give dating another chance as Dr. Andrews tries to embrace his demotion.
Director(s)Mike Listo
Writer(s)Peter Noah
Air Date9/30/2019
Introduced This Episode
JoshMik Byskov
OliviaTina Georgieva
  • A Fight For Prominence: Morgan, Alex, Dr. Lim
  • The Balance of Being Selfish & Selfless: Dr. Lim, Dr. Andrews, Josh, Shaun, Olivia
  • You Gotta Get Back Into The Saddle: Shaun, Lea, Debbie, Claire, Breeze, Dr. Glassman, Carly
Season 2, Episode 18 “Trampoline”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.
Season 2, Episode 17 “Breakdown”

Shaun tries to assert himself with Dr. Han as he feels largely unsupported. As that happens, Dr. Lim and Melendez contemplate coming out.

Director(s)Mike Listo
Writer(s)Thomas L. Moran, Lloyd Gilyard, Jr.
Air Date3/4/2019
Introduced This Episode
LauraJoy Osmanski
  • Brown Noser: Claire, Morgan, Dr. Park
  • When You Really Love Someone: Laura, Dr. Lin, Dr. Melendez, Shaun
  • Why Does No One Understand Me?: Shaun, Lea, Claire, Dr. Han
Season 2, Episode 16 “Believe”Everyone is forced to be an advocate in some form, but the big challenge for many is being an advocate for themselves.
Director(s)Alrick Riley
Writer(s)Sal Calleros, Karen Struck
Air Date2/25/2019
Introduced This Episode
ClarenceSpencer Garrett
Dr. Carly LeverJasika Nicole

  • Do You Believe In Miracles: Claire, Morgan, Dr. Melendez
  • I’m Still Here: Carly, Shaun, Debbie, Dr. Glassman
  • Are We Not Communicating?: Dr, Han, Shaun
Season 2, Episode 15 “Risk and Reward”A new chief of surgery comes about, and his style disrupts Shaun’s life as much as a talkative guy when Dr. Glassman gets chemotherapy.
Season 2, Episode 14 “Faces”Guilt and regrets are prominent themes and emotions in “Faces” as old, and new, faces enter the characters’ lives.
Season 2/ Episode 13 “XIN”
Director(s)David Straiton
Writer(s)Brian Shin
Air Date1/28/2019
Introduced This Episode
GraceVedette Lim
SunnyEmily Kuroda
TeresaSheena Chou
JaviAlex Plank
LanaVered Blonstein

Shaun finds himself confronted with the idea of being alone as he works with a patient who has autism, and a relationship, as well as Lea and Dr. Glassman asking for space.
Season 2/ Episode 12 “Aftermath”
Director(s)Dawn Wilkinson
Writer(s)Thomas L. Moran
Air Date1/21/2019
Introduced This Episode
Governor’s RepresentativeCheryl White
JakeAndres Joseph
CarmelGarfield Wilson
MiaJennifer Birmingham Lee

While a lot of people heal old wounds, even find loved ones, some are left as lonely as they were when we first met them.

Season 2/ Episode 11 “Quarantine (Part 2)”

More people die, and there are moments in which the winter premiere of The Good Doctor will have you shed tears.

Season 2/ Episode 10 “Quarantine” [Mid-Season Finale]

The mid-season finale is all about building anticipation as people die left and right and you wonder, will a main cast member be written off?

Director(s)Mike Listo
Writer(s)Liz Friedman, Lloyd Gilyard, Jr.
Air Date12/3/2018
Introduced This Episode
TylerDan Byrd
KellanRicky He

Season 2/ Episode 9 “Empathy”

Dr. Andrews finally decides who will be chief of surgery as the residents deal with emotionally, and morally, challenging patients.

Director(s)Joanna Kerns
Writer(s)Karen Struck
Air Date11/26/2018

Season 2/ Episode 8 “Stories”

Dr. Andrews pops his head back in to address a Claire situation and Dr. Park’s past continues to be danced around. Also, it is revealed Morgan has friends.

Director(s)Michael Patrick Jann
Writer(s)Sal Calleros
Air Date11/19/2018

Season 2/ Episode 6 “Two-Ply (or Not Two-Ply)

The value of emotional intelligence plays a big part not just for patients, but the personal lives of doctors.

Director(s)Tara Nicole Weyr
Writer(s)Simran Baidwan
Air Date11/5/2018
Introduced This Episode
RileyCaitlin Carmichael
JasSupinder Wraich

Featuring: Dr. Glassman, Debbie, Lea, Shaun, Morgan, Riley, Jas, Claire, Dr. Park, Dr. Lim, Dr. Melendez, Shaun

Season 2/ Episode 7 “Hubert”

As we learn Claire does have a life outside of the hospital, two brothers trigger Shaun’s memories of not just Steve but his father.

Director(s)Marisol Adler
Writer(s)David Renaud
Air Date11/12/2018
Introduced This Episode
KaylaRachel Boston
DashJohn Patrick Amedori
SantiagoHemky Madera
ArmandoGonzalo Menendez

Featuring: Dr. Glassman, Lea, Shaun, Armando, Santiago, Morgan, Kayla, Dash, Claire, Dr. Melendez

Season 2/ Episode 5 "Carrots"

Present and future relationships are being established and tested as people take leaps or push some out of their comfort zone.

Director(s)Sharat Raju
Writer(s)Liz Friedman
Air Date10/29/2018

Featuring: Shaun, Lea, Dr. Lim, Dr. Park, Dr. Glassman, Debbie, Dr. Blaize, Claire, and Dr. Melendez

Season 2/ Episode 4 “Tough Titmouse”

Everyone’s baggage becomes an issue and while some unpack and deal with it, others barely unpack and just try to not let it hold them back.

Season 2/ Episode 2 “Middle Ground”

With Lea back, combined with Dr. Glassman’s diagnosis, and Dr. Melendez deciding to test Shaun’s bedside manner, something is bound to give.

Season 2/ Episode 3 “36 Hours”

Things get a bit heated as Claire and Nurse Flores become assertive and the men in power positions not only question their judgement but say borderline offensive things.

Season 2/ Episode 1 “Hello”

Dr. Andrews first task as president is yearly reviews. Which, for many, the criticism helps both their professional and personal lives.

Season 1/ Episode 1 “Burnt Food”

Not since Anne (also known as Anne with an E on Netflix) has a show grabbed ahold of me like The Good Doctor may also do to you.

Season 1/ Episode 2 “Mount Rushmore”

Despite Dr. Melendez still neglecting Shaun, Steve's influence continues to make Shaun the best doctor he can be.

Season 1/ Episode 3 “Oliver”

While we are left with the lesson that you can’t win them all, there is a rebuttal in there about still, at the very least, trying.

Season 1/ Episode 4 “Pipes”

As Dr. Andrews takes more to Shaun, Dr. Melendez finds himself part of another procedure with legal repercussions.

Season 1/ Episode 5 “Point Three Percent”

There is a child who looks like Steve in the hospital. As you can imagine, that means you need to prepare your tissues.

Season 1/ Episode 6 “Not Fake”

What begins as an episode showing our favorite residents rise to the occasion leaves them all with hard lessons to learn.

Season 1/ Episode 7 “22 Steps”

In another tear-inducing episode, Shaun encounters an autistic person with an ideal family and his peers deal with grieving over patients.

Season 1/ Episode 8 “Apple”

Admitting you are wrong & dealing with guilt are the focus of the episode. And not just within everyone’s professional life

Season 1/ Episode 9 “Intangibles”

With a mistake which could lead to a lawsuit and another a child’s death, it seems more people might be visiting Dr. Mohan – alongside Jessica.

Season 1/ Episode 10 “Sacrifice”

Shaun finally seems to succumb to the pressure he is under but not because of the work. Rather, it is because of Dr. Glassman.

Season 1 (First Half)

The first half of ABC's The Good Doctor is a consistently tear-inducing saga with very few issues to name.

Season 1/ Episode 11 “Islands: Part One”

Conjoined twins set up an episode about separating from your past to discover a more fulfilling future.

Season 1/ Episode 12 “Islands: Part 2”

Jessica finally is given some oomph and, for the first time, we experience patients for more than one episode.

Season 1/ Episode 13 “Seven Reasons”

As Shaun, almost annoyingly, points out the obvious and shows his own bias, Claire decides to pursue Dr. Coyle being properly punished

Season 1/ Episode 14 “She”

A new resident seemingly will act as some sort of villain for the show and alongside her introduction is that of what trans youth go through. Especially in terms of medical issues.

Season 1/ Episode 15 “Heartfelt”

Shaun gains invaluable lessons from Morgan, unexpected kindness from Dr. Andrews, and poor Claire experiences a moment she didn’t see coming.

Season 1/ Episode 16 “Pain”

2nd chances at happiness are a big thing this episode. Especially in regards to Shaun’s friend Kenny and the arrival of Claire’s mom. But, of course, not everyone deserves a 2nd shot.

Season 1/ Episode 17 “Smile”

The upside of a situation is what everyone is trying to find but, as you can figure out, not everyone can end the episode happy. Much less satisfied.

Season 1/ Episode 18 “More”

Setting aside the life or death situation of Dr. Glassman, Shaun creates a problem that may give him and Dr. Glassman something bigger to worry about.

Season 1

The Good Doctor starts strong but as you get used to the tear-jerking patients and moments of the hospital staff, you begin to see flaws which can use some patching up.

Carly’s Reflection On Dating Shaun - 89%
Claire Giving Her Mother Another Chance - 85%
Realizing All Morgan Has Is Her Work - 87%
Shaun and Carly Back On - 88%


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Emily51 October 4, 2019 - 11:44 PM

You pose an interesting theory about Morgan wanting a relationship with Dr. Park. I still think you’re wrong, but then I thought you were wrong about Carly continuing to be in Shaun’s life after their first date, and look who was correct about that one :) ! I guess we’ll have to wait and see if anything happens in the upcoming episodes.

Emily51 October 2, 2019 - 12:45 AM

Wow! I was so very, very wrong about Shaun and Carly!! And very happy to be wrong! I am so excited to see where this story line goes! I loved how Carly was so honest about her questioning her motives for dating Shaun but at the same time wanted to continue to date him. I can’t wait to see where this leads! And I liked how Claire was the one who got Shaun to give a 2nd date a try. In fact, it’s great how Claire has had overall more to do this season, like with the return of her mother.

Take this with a grain of salt because I was so far off base about Shaun and Carly, but I don’t think Morgan has feelings for Dr. Park. I think what she feels is purely a rivalry to be the best and to be the first intern to operate. Dr. Park is just the doctor she got paired up with, so he is the one who she has gone up against in the past 2 episodes, especially since in this episode he played her so she would NOT get picked by Dr. Lim to be the 1st one to operate. If it was Claire she was paired with, she would have been acting the same way with Claire, except that Claire would have blown a lot of it off or ignored a lot of it. But it definitely seems like Morgan is all work. I have no idea what happened to her grandfather.

Amari Sali October 4, 2019 - 11:22 PM

From my point of view, they have been treading lightly with Morgan to show she wasn’t brought on to purely be a villain. So with Shaun getting into the dating saddle, in my mind, they aren’t going to have him be alone in the struggle. So what better way to further humanize Morgan than have her want something, or rather someone, she can’t have? Be it because she thinks the relationship wouldn’t be appropriate or because Dr. Park is trying to reconcile with his ex-wife?


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