The Good Doctor: Season 3, Episode 6 “45-Degree Angle” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

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Shaun’s communication issues almost end his residency prematurely, and his continued use of 3rd parties in his relationship also causes strife.

Director(s) Steve Robin
Writer(s) Sal Calleros
Air Date 11/4/2019

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Burying The Pain: Claire, Morgan

To keep Claire’s storylines on life support, we’re reminded that her mom died recently, and to cope, she is sleeping around. However, things seem to be getting a bit unmanageable since Claire shows up for work an hour late, and Morgan is forced to cover. Which, unfortunately for her, includes assisting Shaun and trying to play Claire. An act which is certainly strange but, with Morgan seemingly fond of Claire, the ying to her yang, while she annoys her about making her do more, things are kept spirited.

Comment Down Below
  1. How long do you think it will be until Claire either has a breakdown or is caught slipping by her supervisors with Morgan unable to cover for her?
  2. What kind of storyline would you like to see Morgan have? Her grandfather, introduced multiple episodes ago, wasn’t followed up on – would you like to know about him?

What’s A Little Nepotism?: Debbie, Dr. Glassman

Debbie, for giving away coffee, multiple times, gets fired. Because of that, she takes note of Dr. Glassman’s clinic being overrun and his office manager being nowhere to be seen. So, with experience as a nurse, she comes up with many ways she could help. However, Dr. Glassman is very iffy about working with his wife.

Why? Well, he believes if they work together all day, it would mean when they get home, they’d want their space, and that would drive them apart. Debbie, the optimist she is, doesn’t believe that would happen and so she asks for a trial run, and if it negatively affects the relationship, she’ll quit or would be willing to get fired.

Comment Down Below
  1. Anyone else wonder how much from the actors’ real marriage they put into the characters? This situation, working with your spouse all day, for example?

You Have To Learn How To Communicate: Shaun, Dr. Lim, Dr. Melendez, Carly, Dr. Andrews

Starting with Dr. Lim and Dr. Melendez, it seems Dr. Melendez is willing to take advantage of his relationship with Dr. Lim, and she doesn’t appreciate that. Especially when he does the type of surgery which is not only dangerous but could hold the hospital liable in some way.

Case in point, a young woman has a tumor and is pregnant. The original idea was to have a procedure that would make it so they could prep the tumor for extraction so the baby could at least make it to term. This wasn’t discussed with Lim, and she didn’t appreciate how that made her look. So, to follow that, Melendez spoke about the follow up when the first procedure didn’t work.

Luckily for him, Melendez doing so really covers his behind for the woman ends up dying during the second procedure, and the baby, who is around 23 weeks, is removed from the uterus with hopes it can survive. That is despite a less than low chance, based on age. But, with losing a wife, also having to lose a child in a short period might be a lot for the husband. Someone who didn’t necessarily want the baby and, with his wife, was starting a business, and they were married less than a year.

But, believe it or not, Melendez might be a lesser issue for Dr. Lim than Shaun. You see, with Carly not inviting him to hang with her friends, who she paints as ass****s, he questions their relationship and talks to everyone but her. Thus continuing the issue of him not communicating his feelings, on top of third parties coming to her to explain how Shaun feels. With Claire being the person, again, despite their conversation.

Though, what pushes Dr. Lim to get involved is that Dr. Andrews seems to be willing to let Shaun fall on his face and is completely against special treatment. So when he sees Shaun gets to rehearse a full appendectomy, he questions why Shaun got favoritism when the others didn’t – especially with attending staff being included in his practice.

This, as you can imagine, irks Dr. Lim a little bit, since Dr. Andrews keeps questioning her methods like he is still her boss. But, she lets it go and just notes she has her ways just as Dr. Andrews has his. Which is why, when Shaun does the surgery, and goes off on a nurse, Dr. Andrews monitors, but doesn’t step in. Leading to Shaun being asked to apologize and admit he was wrong, but instead trying to show the nurse why he wasn’t wrong to go off on her for not handing him a tool the right way.

Ultimately, this all leads to two things: The major thing is Shaun having a complaint in his file, which will negatively affect him by threatening his residency and the potential of future employment. Also, as a subtopic to that, it could complicate things for Lim since you know nurses and doctors have a very precarious relationship sometimes.

The second thing is Shaun talking to Carly and them hashing out why she didn’t invite him. Which, in the long run, he is glad for, but in the short term, it triggers thoughts of when his father would send him to his room, while he and his friends played poker, and they would make fun of how Shaun talked. So, while he is glad he didn’t have to experience that again, and Carly defining their relationship, by noting he, Shaun, is her boyfriend, it seems she may have to prep for Shaun acting out as their lives get more entangled.

Comment Down Below
  1. With the more Shaun mentions his father, do you think Carly may push him to reconcile? For while he has only done so twice this season, we’ve heard him talk about his dad more in these last few episodes than season 1 and in season 2. I’d even dare say more than if you combined both of those seasons.



Dr. Lim

With Dr. Lim, we’re seeing a bit of a shift in terms of her role in this show. While maintaining some sense of autonomy, in the form of not being just Dr. Melendez’s girlfriend, just the head of surgery, or one specific task, she has significantly grown as a character. Which, to be honest, is a bit of a surprise for someone who wasn’t part of the crew in the pilot but added later on.

Yet, all things considered, the way she works with Dr. Melendez as a partner and subordinate creates this interesting dynamic and helps keeps him relevant. Also, it makes for this rare situation when the male gets to be the boring one in the relationship rather than the woman. Especially on shows like this when things, power dynamics, for example, are usually the opposite.

Dr. Lim talking to Shaun.

Also, when it comes to Dr. Andrews, you have to appreciate how she finds herself willing to learn and doesn’t find the need to call out Dr. Andrews overstepping a bit. Much less, even if subtly, going against her wishes. Take Shaun, for example, she has a clear, guided path for Shaun to help him learn, and yet Dr. Andrews is maintaining his system from when he wanted Shaun fired. It’s them working in tandem that shows you how strong Dr. Lim is as a character since two men, who formerly were prominent on this show, rely on her to play off of and present themselves as still major players.

Carly & Shaun

While I increasingly feel that Carly and Shaun won’t last, for she is beginning to feel like training wheels for him to meet someone else, or be with an established character, I appreciate her part on his journey. Also, the fact that, while she is being used for his journey, it doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a life of her own. From mentioning her having friends over, the one time mention of a sister, who we likely will never see, or just once like Dr. Melendez’s sister, Shaun isn’t her entire world. He is just a new part of it, which requires a bit more time, patience, and communication, so they both feel happy about it.

Morgan Staying On Claire’s Neck

At this point, it seems the show refuses to give Morgan an actual storyline and will just make her a personality. The kind which flirts with the idea of something long term, be it a friendship with Dr. Park, the possibility of having local family, and things of that nature. Which makes her focus on Claire of interest since it is probably the closest thing to her having something consistent beyond her snark.

Plus, for Claire, it seems since she is so nice and reserved, some treat her beyond reproach and don’t challenge her like they should. Granted, the challenges Claire faces are mostly personal, but there remains this need to wonder why very few characters have personal lives?

One answer would be, due to how consuming working at a hospital can be, what life can they really have? Yet, as Claire has herself a ho phase to mourn, so comes the question if she finds a good guy, will we meet them and will they stick around or will Morgan simply push her to find a healthier way to cope? Never mind, maybe seek her out more since Morgan is clearly invested beyond being peers.

Morgan showing concern.

On The Fence


The issue with Debbie is Dr. Glassman never really evolved into a character who could hold his own. Unlike Dr. Andrews, and now Dr. Lim, he never became the type of character who you could build other characters from. So Debbie being stuck with him is like having a hot flame surrounded by a moat. She can’t grow in intensity, spread, or truly have her heat and passion felt, because Dr. Glassman is a bit of a stepping stone character and she has no visible means to move beyond him. Making it so, she is so tied to him that unless he has an engaging storyline, as excited as Debbie seems, her flame gets smothered a bit.

Dr. Melendez

Since losing his fiancée in season 1, Dr. Melendez has slipped further and further down the line to the point he is now, I’d submit, just a few notches above some of the nurses. For while he does have a relationship with Dr. Lim, she is too busy to foster that, and the show doesn’t give them much screen time beyond him slighting her in some way. And again, like so many, he is so closely tied to another character that unless that person has something going on which gives them momentum, so comes the issue of someone being around but not feeling like an active, never mind essential, part of the cast.

Which is weird in Dr. Melendez’s case, yet considering Claire, Morgan, and so many others, it also reminds you one of the major issues with The Good Doctor is that it keeps the majority of its characters on stand by. So while you can see them have a major moment at any time, pretty much, outside of their interactions with a patient, they have little, to almost nothing, to exhibit to attract your prolonged attention. Never mind have you invest, if not reinvest, in their character.


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Dr. Melendez - 70%
Debbie - 71%
Morgan Staying On Claire’s Neck - 80%
Carly & Shaun - 81%
Dr. Lim - 85%


What Would Your Rating Be?


  1. I just read your review and found myself agreeing with everything! That hasn’t happened in a while! I especially liked what you wrote near the end. “…it keeps the majority of its characters on stand by.” So not only do I not invest in them too much, but I overly-invest in Shaun. On the one hand I couldn’t feel too much for Dr. Melendez at the end of the show even though he was so broken up, and on the other hand I hated Dr. Han and that whole story line last season because of what it put Shaun through. The show has too many characters and can’t service most of them properly.

    So what do the writers cut to make more room for Claire (of course!) and a story line for Morgan, too? That’s easy – Cut out Dr. Glassman’s scenes. Your analysis of Dr. Glassman’s character not being able to hold his own was spot on!! Even though he has had major story lines, I just have never really cared about him. But Claire and Morgan always could hold their own when given actual story lines, and I care about them, so it is time to give them more to do again. And I also enjoyed reading what you thought of Dr. Lim’s character development, and Dr. Andrews can hold his own, too, so keep them active whenever possible. Debbie is one character too many, and Dr. Glassman, Lea, and Park can be supporting characters and/or sounding boards for Shaun when needed.

    Side note – What to do with Morgan? I’d like to see an old flame, like ‘the one that got away’, come back into her life. It would reveal her past and provide a challenge to her regarding whether to get involved with him again. And Claire? I think she’s due for a breakdown soon.

    1. I think what we need with Morgan is to see the building blocks of her character. Be it the one who got away, meeting, in the physical, her family, or something of that ilk. Taking note of Claire, with seeing her mom, it clicked why she is so empathetic and caring, she has lived that way her whole life. With Shaun? Dr. Glassman raised him so you can see a lot of his personality. So with Morgan, at least for a few episodes, I’d like to see her folks. Especially since it is the holidays and I’m sure she is lonely.

      As for Claire? Yes, a breakdown is so necessary. She keeps avoiding it, like when she lost her first patient, when she and Jared were officially over, and now with her mother’s death. Which makes me hope they bring back the psychologist from the first season, if not have her continue sessions with the woman her mom was seeing. Because I think, overall, Claire has so much to unpack, go through, and possibly throwout or reorganize if she, as a person, is going to be able to not just have empathy for others but also herself.

      1. Having Morgan spend time with her family would be a great story line! She avoided them last year during the holidays, but maybe this year one of them is hospitalized and then Morgan has no choice but to interact with them. And I forgot how much Claire has been through, so I can see something pushing her over the edge, her having a breakdown at the hospital, and then Dr. Lim ordering her to see a therapist. I think a therapist story line with Claire would be so interesting! Let’s sacrifice Dr. Glassman and Debbie’s scenes and develop these two story lines instead 🙂 !

        P.S. I forgot to mention in my last post – I really like Dr. Lim’s character development as well. And I enjoy seeing a woman in a powerful position (even if I think she sometimes coddles Shaun too much)!

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