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

Claire taking a selfie as she preps to lead her first surgery.
63.08% (1)

Someone once said that for every person you steal from death, they take one personal to you. Claire learns that lesson this episode.


Network
CTV, ABC
Director(s) Allison Liddi-Brown
Writer(s) Liz Friedman, Tracy Taylor
Air Date 10/7/2019
Introduced This Episode
Michelle Kyla-Drew
Patricia Tracie Thoms
Dr. Donovan Iris Quinn

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Recap

Butt Out: Shaun, Claire, Carly

Being that Claire is Shaun’s confidant, he seeks out her opinion on his most recent date with Carly. However, with her planting seeds, accidentally, that Shaun being direct might not have been a good idea, he goes into a tailspin. So, to undo the damage, she speaks to Carly who, since she doesn’t know Claire, gently tells her to butt out. Mostly due to the fact, Carly likes how Shaun is, and while she doesn’t have an issue with Claire and Shaun being friends, she doesn’t want a negative influence in their relationship.

Question(s) Left Unanswered
  1. How will Claire noting her influence over Shaun affect his relationship to Carly, in the long term?

Mommy & Me: Claire, Breeze, Michelle, Patricia, Dr. Donovan. Dr. Lim, Shaun, Morgan

Claire living with Breeze is a challenge, yet it seems Breeze is trying to make an effort. However, it can’t be a one-sided thing. Claire recognizes it means pouring all the alcohol away, and even showing up to Breeze’s therapy session. But what she didn’t expect was for her take on what her mother did, or didn’t do, being part of the conversation. Yet, between the therapy session, and a casual conversation on losing virginity, the two begin to move in the right direction.

This is why Claire hones in on Michelle, her first surgical patient, for Michelle’s story doesn’t perfectly mirror Claire’s own, but it triggers old memories. Be it Michelle taking care of people she shouldn’t have to, in the form of three foster kids, hurting herself, or feeling she can’t have a life. All of this leads to Claire’s empathy going to a place where she has to be reminded that her job is to perform surgery on the body and that she isn’t a psychologist or psychiatrist.

Something that Claire brings up as an idea for Michelle, to help her manage her life, and Patricia doesn’t appreciate that. Mostly due to the whole, “Black people don’t do therapy” thing. Which Claire herself has shown she isn’t for, or else she would have stuck to her regiment after losing her first patient. Heck, considering the immense pressure she is under for her first procedure, when better to see a doctor since no one else seems able to help?

Shaun, due to Claire volunteering to talk to Carly, all he can do is badger her about her promise or plant seeds of all the ways her surgery could go wrong. Then, when it comes to Dr. Lim, being that she is the chief of surgery, hearing the lead on a procedure is nervous isn’t what she wants to hear. So, she instead gives a pep talk, one which is well-intentioned, but maybe damaging.

How? Well, it’s your usual, “Twice as hard” conversation that is supposed to reassure Claire that she has trained and study hard to the point she, Dr. Lim, and Claire, are fabled to unicorns. But while that is empowering for a moment, so comes that idea from Morgan about the precedent Claire is setting, and while Claire doesn’t take on how her failure could affect the rest, you can imagine that idea swimming about.

Oh, and did we mention Patricia, Michelle’s mom, having a bit of a tiff with Claire after scheduling Michelle for a therapist? It is a short-lived issue, but another factor to deal with, especially after Patricia threatened to call the medical board.

Thankfully, however, while Claire makes a minor mistake, it isn’t one Michelle or anyone outside that surgical room will ever know, and Michelle will make a full recovery. Also, Patricia comes around to the idea of her daughter seeing a therapist.

Question(s) Left Unanswered
  1. Why did Patricia have so many foster kids that required her to rely on Michelle?

It Was The Best Of Times And Worst Of Times: Claire, Breeze

It appears Claire is the type of character we are meant to ask, “How does she keep smiling and remain so empathetic and open?” For, after them heading on the road to recovery, Breeze dies. Then, to make matters worse, when Claire shows up on the scene, she discovers what might have been the cause of death was a bottle Claire hid to celebrate her first time leading a surgery.

Which, compounded with the idea it was her fault her mother had such a difficult time raising her, that she worked through over the years, now she must reckon with being an actual factor in her mom’s death. So here is hoping she doesn’t pick up a vice but instead a phone number.

Question(s) Left Unanswered
  1. What led Breeze to pick up that bottle or even go into the cabinet where Claire was hiding it? By now, she surely knows where all the utensils and spices are. It isn’t like that night was the first time she cooked for Claire.

 

Review

Highlights

Claire & Breeze Having A Heart To Heart

While I’m not fond of characters dying to boost another character’s story, at the very least, Claire and Breeze got to have a normal conversation before Breeze’s passing. One that wasn’t about bringing up Breeze not being a good mom and forcing Claire to grow up before she should have had to.

But, also, it was nice for Claire and Breeze to let it all out in front of Dr. Donovan too. Because most of Claire’s venting came when frustrated with her mom, so there was the kind of anger that was more geared towards attacking than anything else. So with Dr. Donovan there, acting as a person who could adjust the valve to the steam Claire was letting off, there was constructive work done. The kind that allowed Breeze to talk and even do more than place a band-aid on a lacerated wound. One would submit that, while scarring would be inevitable, they finally did the surgery required to heal and not just hope a ripped cloth and pressure would allow them to keep limping together until the end of their days.

Carly Being Direct With Claire

Just like Claire doesn’t know Carly, we don’t. But with her being direct and firm with Claire, everyone got put on notice. Thus pushing the idea that Carly, in terms of long term potential, there might be a few conflicts. Nothing major, but between Lea and Claire, maybe others, she may not appreciate them getting Shaun frazzled.

Now, whether this will be presented as her being controlling or not is something I’m waiting to see. Also, how much of this might be due to past relationships, be it romantic or with her sister, is also something I’d love to see explored. For there is just something about the way she handled Claire which brought about this vibe that Carly was making it clear she is not some 20 something-year-old girl, and she is not for gossip or messiness.

Michelle’s Bond With Claire

As shown by not mentioning the fish guy, increasingly, there is a feeling that skipping over the patient of the week isn’t an omittance to feel guilty about but justified. However, when it comes to certain characters like Michelle, who leave an impression on their doctor and viewers, totally different scenario. For while we get someone like them every season, who a character identifies with, and thus pushes them to open up, it hasn’t gotten old yet.

Leaving me to hope that, while it isn’t likely, maybe we could see some of these patients come back later. Even if, in the case of Michelle, her sending a letter or asking Claire for a letter of recommendation or advice. Just to remind us that these people don’t disappear after one appearance and that’s it.

Which, I know, might be how people act in real life, but let’s be flexible for scripted TV.

The Hope That We Can Get More Claire Focused Episodes, And Maybe Morgan In The Future

Claire is a strange character on this show. She has been around since the beginning but has been treated in such a way that she feels understated. Her breakup in season 1, going into season 2, felt rushed and swept under the rug. This weird thing she had with Dr. Melendez, especially after his engagement ended, pushed aside. Heck, her going after Dr. Coyle suddenly stopped, and that storyline came about during the heart of the #MeToo movement coming into the mainstream.

So here is hoping that this episode wasn’t just a bone thrown to her but is a sign that the show may feature more than just Shaun and his problems. Because with Morgan’s grandpa coming and going, it seems she might be following in Claire’s footsteps, in terms of having stop and go storylines.

On The Fence

Did Breeze Need To Die?

Claire crying, while hugging her mom.

As of this episode, no one really interacts with their blood relations on screen. Dr. Melendez’s sister, we only saw once or twice. Dr. Glassman’s daughter is dead, Shaun’s brother is dead, Carly’s sister is who knows where, Morgan’s family remains to be seen and Dr. Park’s family? Honestly, after season 2, the less screen time they get, the better.

However, there has always been something about Claire’s relationship to her mom, and the fact it ended with Breeze dying, I dare say, felt lazy. They had 20+ years to go through and recover, and it ends with a car crash. Why does this feel like something to put Claire back on ice again?

Shaun Seems Like He Wants To Open Up, But No One Is Taking The Bait

Is it just me, or is Shaun increasingly dropping reminders his childhood was horrible? Whether it is talking about living on a bus this episode or engaging Claire in conversation about his parents, it seems Shaun might be ready to open up but isn’t sure who to do that with? Does this mean we have any reason to get excited about the idea of Shaun’s parents showing up? Maybe even Shaun visiting his brother’s grave? Considering how Carly seems to like being direct and firm, you think she may trigger this?

Stay tuned to find out.

 

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How Would You Rate This?

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3 COMMENTS

  1. First of all, I see you have a new comments section. Very nice-looking!

    While reading this, I found myself agreeing with everything in the “Review” section! Claire and Breeze have a productive therapy session with Dr. Donovan and work through some issues.

    Carly tells Claire to “butt out”. I’m curious to see if anything happens with Carly and Lea, Dr. Glassman, etc. down the road also.

    Michelle made an impression on me, too. Maybe we see her again when she goes to say hi to Claire on her way to a therapy session with the hospital therapist. (Remember how Patricia asked Claire for the therapist’s card?)

    But what I agree with most is your thoughts about Breeze dying and the future of Claire’s story lines. Yes, killing Breeze was definitely lazy! And after my first thought of sympathy for Claire came my 2nd thought of “Oh no!!” That’s because they just wrapped up all of Claire’s story lines so now Claire will go on the back burner where she spent almost all of season 2. Maybe Morgan will get a nice, juicy story line like Claire just did, and I agree that (LOL!!) the less we see of Dr. Park’s family, the better. But with not being able to help Shaun with Carly and Breeze gone, I agree that this feels like the end of Claire :(!!

    • That is, unless Dr. Lim is willing to play favorites. For right now, that is the only connection that doesn’t seem to be overly complicated. Yes, there is some conflict since that is her boss, but after that pep talk, there is some hope Claire could have a solid connection with someone.

      • Oh, Dr. Lim bending the rules and playing favorites like giving Claire another surgery before everyone else gets their first one. I can totally see that happening since she is already bending the rules by dating Dr. Melendez.

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