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

Claire taking a selfie as she preps to lead her first surgery.
66.37% (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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Season/ EpisodeSynopsisEpisode InformationTopics & Focused Characters
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 Date 10/14/2019
Introduced This Episode
Lily Jennifer Lafleur
Mitchell Stewart Joshua Malina
Jonas Mark 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 Date 10/7/2019
Introduced This Episode
Michelle Kyla-Drew
Patricia Tracie Thoms
Dr. Donovan Iris 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 Date 9/23/2019
Introduced This Episode
Nurse Petringa Karin Konoval
Harvey John Innes
Ruby Jenny O’Hara
Susanne Sophia Lauchlin Hirt
Susanne’s Husband Aren 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 Date 9/30/2019
Introduced This Episode
Josh Mik Byskov
Olivia Tina 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 Date 3/4/2019
Introduced This Episode
Laura Joy 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 Date 2/25/2019
Introduced This Episode
Clarence Spencer Garrett
Dr. Carly Lever Jasika 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 Date 1/28/2019
Introduced This Episode
Grace Vedette Lim
Sunny Emily Kuroda
Teresa Sheena Chou
Javi Alex Plank
Lana Vered 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 Date 1/21/2019
Introduced This Episode
Governor’s Representative Cheryl White
Jake Andres Joseph
Carmel Garfield Wilson
Mia Jennifer 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 Date 12/3/2018
Introduced This Episode
Tyler Dan Byrd
Kellan Ricky 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 Date 11/26/2018

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 Date 11/19/2018

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 Date 11/5/2018
Introduced This Episode
Riley Caitlin Carmichael
Jas Supinder 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 Date 11/12/2018
Introduced This Episode
Kayla Rachel Boston
Dash John Patrick Amedori
Santiago Hemky Madera
Armando Gonzalo 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 Date 10/29/2018

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.

How Would You Rate This?

Negative Mixed Positive

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Shaun Seems Like He Wants To Open Up But No One Is Taking The Bait
75 %
Did Breezy Really Need To Die?
70 %
The Hope That We Can Get More Claire Focused Episodes, And Maybe Morgan In The Future
84 %
Michelle’s Bond With Claire
85 %
Carly Being Direct With Claire
83 %
Claire & Breezy Having A Heart To Heart
90 %
New Jersey native Amari Allah has been writing reviews, in a "Media Advisor" capacity since 2011 and has been touching upon television, movies, books, live performances, video games, and more ever since. Using a fusion of his varied knowledge of entertainment, partly gained from being a Communications major in college, his love for visual and written media, as well an ever-evolving respect for both creators and the consumers they sell to.