The Good Doctor: Season 3, Episode 4 “Take My Hand” – Recap, Review (With Spoilers)

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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

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Who Knew Compromise Was Such A Dirty Word?: Mitchell, Shaun, Carly

Mitchell Stewart (Joshua Malina) talking to Shaun.
Mitchell Stewart (Joshua Malina)

As we all know, in Shaun’s venture to understand dating, and Carly, he is willing to take advice from the closest thing he has to a friend, Claire, to complete strangers, like Mitchell Stewart. Someone who is a known liar, and modeled after Alex Jones, and yet Shaun takes his word when it comes to handling Carly’s desires to hold hands. An idea Shaun doesn’t like, be it due to his autism or something unrelated, so he tries to end the idea of them ever doing that. To which Carly seems to, solemnly, accept it.

Though, as Shaun realizes how much Mitchell is willing to lie and hide, he comes to realize that he shouldn’t listen to Mitchell. Here is hoping that, eventually, he’ll realize most people who give him advice don’t necessarily give the kind that could make his life better.

Question(s) Left Unanswered
  1. Will Mitchell still take those “Herbs” so that he can get an erection? Even if it means his liver eventually failing?

Love Is About…: Debbie, Dr. Glassman, Shaun, Carly

To prove Shaun learned his bad habits from somewhere, Dr. Glassman gets pensive, freaks out, and outright abandons Debbie after he decides, last minute, he doesn’t want to get married. He even hides from her and doesn’t really want to explain himself. Yet, it should be noted, all of this stems from Shaun doing as many have to him – planting a small seed, and watching a weed sap the life out of the situation.

However, unlike most, while Shaun does poison the well, he also undoes his spell. For as Dr. Glassman racks his brain and shows, like so many on this show, he has no friends, so he turns to Shaun, Shaun points out something very simple. Dr. Glassman’s pattern when talking about his ex-wife was just that, speaking of her as his ex-wife. But now he uses the term 1st wife.

So, with that in mind, Debbie and Dr. Glassman get married, and Shaun, with Carly, acts as their witnesses. Also, Shaun comes up with a way to show he can compromise without making himself uncomfortable by figuring a way for him and Carly to be close, nearly holding hands, but not. Sort of in an anticipation kind of way.

Amazing Grace: Morgan, Lily, Jonas, Claire

So, Claire’s mom died, has been cremated, and apparently she hasn’t told anyone. Not even the friends who, if I recall right, we saw last season. Instead, she is just shutting down, and it has gotten to the point she is as bad as she was when she was with Jared. Even with patience, she is strangely cold-hearted.

Lily has an issue where she can’t feel pain and has a limited ability to feel emotions as well. Something that leads to her having to be treated for appendicitis, among other things, and one of the treatments includes cutting off the woman’s hand. Yet, she isn’t making a big deal out of it. This worries her husband for if her mom can die in front of her, and she can lose a hand, and it not be this earth-shattering thing, who is he?

Leading to him, temporarily, leaving her and this idea that the treatment was to make her suffering like the rest put into the air. Likely triggering Morgan to realize, as she has done many times before, she needs to dig in Claire’s business. After all, Morgan has a lockdown on being the mean one, and she can’t let Claire steal her shtick.

Thus, after a whole lot of boundary-pushing, Claire reveals Breeze died, and she has had her ashes in the trunk like an old thermos she forgot. This leads to Morgan pushing Claire to fulfill Breeze’s final wishes and dump her ashes near a bunch of sea lions. Then, to really show how much Claire is willing to let Morgan influence her, she even sings “Amazing Grace” as it happens.

But, being that Morgan has gotten a little too close, including sleeping on her shoulder on the way home, Claire, likely repulsed she got so emotional with another human being, decides to have empty sex. Perhaps to f*** the pain away or maybe to prove to herself she still has the ability to shut herself off after being opened so wide.

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

When only one side can get what it wants, make sure it’s yours.
— Mitchell

Not everybody has a god, but everybody has a religion.
— Morgan

Other Noteworthy Facts, Moments, and Random Thoughts

  • Isn’t it strange how Richard Schiff and his wife make a perfect pairing on this show, but Will Yun Lee and his wife, real wife for both by the way, just don’t bring the same investment?



Realizing How Much Shaun Is How He Is Thanks To Dr. Glassman

Being that we haven’t really gotten to see Shaun between Dr. Glassman taking responsibility for him, and modern times, it has made it so we haven’t gotten to see Dr. Glassman as a parent. However, with the way Dr. Glassman reacted to Shaun’s comment, and how he treated Debbie, it makes you realize a lot of what we thought was connected to Shaun being autistic is just him following after Dr. Glassman.

Not to say Shaun losing his brother and being estranged from his parents isn’t a factor. You can’t discount that. However, taking note Dr. Glassman doesn’t have friends, and the only person, outside of Debbie, he has something beyond a professional relationship to is Shaun, it all comes together. Also, considering Shaun, for who knows how long, only had Dr. Glassman as both his family and friend, them being one and the same, in many ways, makes perfect sense. Right down to them both being hard to live with due to how stubborn they are and how much they always want their way. Otherwise, they have a hissy fit.

Understanding The Intimacy Of Holding Hands

While the importance and journey Shaun is on isn’t lost to me, or anyone watching the show, I do think Carly’s point in helping us understand the struggles that can be faced present notable moments. Like, how do you deal with someone whose love language not only doesn’t match yours, but they are repulsed or uncomfortable with that? Not even due to some childhood trauma, but because the way their brain is wired.

It’s little things like this which are nice to see, just because it reminds you as much privilege as Shaun has, not everything is going to be handed to him. That or people sacrificing themselves, like Dr. Andrews, for Shaun’s benefit while doing a disservice to themselves.

Claire & Morgan’s Relationship

There is something about Claire and Morgan’s relationship which has the level of chemistry and intimacy which surpasses even the romantic relationships on this show. Which isn’t to say I think either are queer or questioning, more so, outside of people’s interactions with Shaun, these two are the only ones we’ve seen have consistent, intimate conversations and interactions. Never mind hang out outside of the hospital enough times when you can remember when it was done last.

Hell, in terms of Claire’s mom, only Morgan has really gotten to know and understand her, and has been allowed to really engage Claire and not deal with a wall or be shut off. I can’t tell you if that comes from Claire wanting to connect with another person, but being scared, or if Morgan being pushy is considered flattering at first, then annoying once that attention high wears off. Either way, this is a serious ying and yang relationship going on here, and I think whenever Morgan feels they are off-balance, that is when she just instinctively knows she needs to check-in, prod, and force Claire to stop taking everything in and let stuff out.

Low Point

Is Claire Really Going To Regress Like This?

Back when Jared was around, it was clear Claire used sex to help her feel something without letting anyone in too close. Since then, she hasn’t really dated, and beyond a short stint with Dr. Melendez, when talking about having kids, some ER talk initiated by Dr. Andrews, and the occasional Shaun conversation, while she may open up in passing, always speaking with a bit of calculation, she has been closed off.

Now, previously, one could have assumed she was dealing with how Jared left, her mom, and maybe feeling dating while being a doctor was too much. I mean, as she notes this episode, but we haven’t heard noted in a while, the hours are killer and don’t leave much room for a normal relationship. Hence Jared since he was convenient. But I guess with Claire both fearing and wanting intimacy, it should be expected she’d fall back into the only pattern she knows and which, for a time, worked for her.

Here is just hoping that she doesn’t get stuck in her old patterns. It has been over 2 years, estimated, since Jared. Surely there is some part of her who doesn’t want drunken hookups with random men, seemingly in an alleyway.


[ninja_tables id=”26508″]

Is Claire Really Going To Regress Like This? - 69%
Claire & Morgan’s Relationship - 89%
Understanding The Intimacy Of Holding Hands - 80%
Realizing How Much Shaun Is How He Is Thanks To Dr. Glassman - 90%


What Would Your Rating Be?


  1. I didn’t agree with anything related to the Carly story line this week. First of all, I didn’t agree with Carly placing so much importance on hand-holding, even though Shaun made it clear that because of his autism, it really bothered him. Maybe that ‘s because of my point of view while watching this. My daughter, which you know is autistic, hates to be hugged. Now I would love to hug her, but I know that because of her autism, her brain is wired in such a way that hugs bother her. But I don’t question her love for me just because she won’t hug me. Yet here is Carly, who has a sister with autism so she should understand this, trying to get Shaun to hold her hand even though he explained to her it really bugs him. It’s like his companionship isn’t enough for her.

    And I disagree with what you wrote, how “not everything is going to be handed to him”. I took that to mean Carly shouldn’t let him get away with not holding hands, and thus it would be yet another example of Shaun getting everything handed to him (no pun intended). But like I wrote above, it’s not taking into account how much this bothers Shaun because of his autism and how I think Carly should know better.

    But I liked the Claire parts of your recap (and I really enjoy the Claire/Morgan friendship)!

    1. As we spoke upon before, Carly importance seems to be focused on what happens when someone who is autistic dates someone who is neuro-typical (assuming I got my terms right). So there is this give and take I see between trying to see what is Shaun being Shaun, which is stubborn and particular, similar to Dr. Glassman, and what is due to him being autistic. Plus, I think part of the reason why they showed him finding a means to compromise was to show that, while he is uncomfortable with certain things, he can find ways around it to make it so he and his partner can be happy. Which is why “not everything is going to be handed to him” is said since many have sacrificed or adapted to Shaun, but he hasn’t been expected as much to adapt to others. The only exemption I can come up with, though do correct me if I’m mistaken, is how he is to speak to patients. Other than that, between him getting his job, it being saved multiple times, and his interactions with many, it seems Shaun is handed one chance after another. Making Carly perhaps one of the first people we’ve seen him adapt to, and perhaps go 50/50.

      1. I see what you’re saying about Carly and Shaun dating, and how it is more to show an autistic and a normal person (wrong term, but I’m very un-PC) dating and not about Carly’s particular situation. I guess I got thrown off when the show emphasized how Carly said she might have said yes to dating Shaun because she has an autistic sister and how she personally doesn’t mind if Shaun interrogates her with 83 questions. But your point is a good one.

        I do like the way Shaun was able to compromise with the holding hands, but I still don’t think Carly should have expected him to. However, I agree with you that on the job, where there are lives on the line, he is getting multiple chances. I seem to remember Morgan pointing out last season that he gets more chances or is treated easier (or something like that) then the other residents. Shaun did have to adapt to Lea bringing home her boyfriend and the boyfriend staying the night, but otherwise Carly is the only one who has asked Shaun to adapt to something she wanted.

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