The Good Doctor: Season 3, Episode 8 “Moonshot” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

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Morgan reveals a secret that could evolve into an actual storyline as both Carly and Shaun, as well as Dr. Lim and Dr. Melendez, struggle in their relationships.

Directed By X. Dean Lim
Written By David Renaud
Air Date (ABC) 11/18/2019
Introduced This Episode
Wren Donna Benedicto
Rosalind Elion Kathleen Duborg
Leo Paul McGillion


The State of Fear: Rosalind, Wren, Leo, Shaun, Dr. Melendez, Dr. Park

Once again, we have quality guest stars, and this time, it is a doctor, Rosalind Elion, known for her leukemia research, and a woman named Wren who plans to go to the moon. Combined, their storylines both are based in fear with Dr. Elion’s dealing with the fear of being alone and perhaps making the wrong choice between her husband Leo and her work.

As for Wren? Her fear is less about ego, or debilitating, but more so the fear that, after all she has done, a tumor on her lung can effectively end her dreams. This leads into Dr. Melendez’s story for, after losing a patient, he fears doing so again, so he wants to play it safe. Thus leading to an issue with Dr. Lim that is gone into within the next heading.

Leading to the final results: Wren lives, and her surgery is a success after Dr. Melendez moves past his fear and need to spread the blame around to deal with his guilt. As for Dr. Elion? Well, Dr. Park decides to go to bat for her and track down her ex-husband. Someone who isn’t able to give or assist in Dr. Elion getting a new heart, but at least she doesn’t die alone.

Relationship Trouble: Shaun, Carly, Dr. Melendez, Dr. Lim, Dr. Glassman

For Dr. Melendez, he can’t get off this idea that Dr. Lim should take some of the blame for him losing a patient. Which, is getting aggravating for her, and us, but it is also pushing her to wonder, as he talks about going over her head, if maybe she should take a job elsewhere? Primarily so that she and Dr. Melendez don’t have to break up. If not, since Dr. Glassman catches them arguing in the halls, having to deal with the possibility of being fired.

But they aren’t the only ones who are pushing the idea of a major change. Carly is at the point where she wants more intimacy than a breast grab and kissing, she wants to have sex. Problem is, as much as Shaun wants to have sex, that kind of intimacy conflicts with his sensory issues. So, as usual, when uncomfortable he tries to push back and get the other person to settle on what makes him comfortable.

Thing is, Carly has been compromising a lot, and while she gets that is part of a relationship, she’d like to say she got what she desired and didn’t have to settle for once. So, for a hot minute, it seemed like she was done. Yet, with Shaun showing he is willing to try, while they don’t have sex, it seems she is willing to extend a bit more patience.

I Need You To Go To Bat For Me Like You Did Shaun: Dr. Andrews, Morgan, Dr. Glassman

Morgan asking for an opportunity from Dr. Glassman.
Morgan: I’m asking for a chance to prove myself.

Morgan gets her first surgery, and unlike her peers, she gets one that is major. She even says it is for someone with two years of experience she doesn’t have, leading to her questioning why Dr. Andrews gave it to her? The answer? Well, considering how competitive Morgan is, and how she has often risen to the occasion, her reward is to show everyone what Dr. Andrews has seen and experienced.

Leading to her revealing an issue which will not just affect the surgery, but her career: Rheumatoid Arthritis. Something which runs in the family, her mother’s side specifically, and could derail her progress. Hence why she goes to Dr. Glassman, despite lacking a relationship with him, because she thinks, because he went to bat for Shaun, and gave him the opportunity to prove others wrong, he’d do the same for her.

Now, does it seem dumb she isn’t taking into account Dr. Glassman raised Shaun? Yes. Also, does this seem foolish considering she wants to get a job at that hospital? Yup. However, Dr. Glassman doesn’t wish to be considered a hypocrite, so it seems she has set things in motion so, if her arthritis ever does flair up and become common knowledge, she may have an ally.

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

I’m not setting you up to fail, I’m setting you up to shine.
— Dr. Andrews

Success and happiness aren’t the same thing.
— Dr. Park


Trajectory: Plateau


Morgan Maybe Having A Storyline?

For a long time, it seemed Morgan would play the best friend to Claire and rely on her drama to have a life outside medicine. However, with the mention of something which could threaten her career, now there is a need to focus on Morgan as an individual. But, considering the stop and go nature of nearly every character, whether this becomes a seldom-mentioned issue or a serious problem Morgan consistently deals with, it is hard to bank on.

Shaun & Carly’s Relationship (De-Romanticizing What It Means To Be With Someone Who Has Autism)

Carly ready to give up on Shaun.
Carly: You’re right. This isn’t going to work.

Between Atypical and this show, it seems the way people with autism are direct is often romanticized, and the day to day of dating someone who has issues with touch and communication sometimes gets downplayed. So the way Shaun and Carly have a warts and all relationship, it undoes the damage.

It reminds you of how difficult intimacy can be, and like any relationship, there is a certain amount of compromise and work. But, for certain issues, it goes beyond what is usually expected and called for. Which, honestly, will make you want to break up for that person since you’ll really have to figure out how patient are you really? And while I’m sure Carly may not seem like the best match for Shaun, she is giving him the kind of lessons that, in case Carly is a warm-up for someone else, like Lea, Shaun will have the tools to be the best boyfriend he can e. Maybe even husband, depending how long this show goes on.

On The Fence

Dr. Lim and Dr. Melendez’s Relationship

Is it wrong I got more out of Claire and Dr. Melendez chatting like they used to, before she blew up on him in early season 2, than most Dr. Lim and Dr. Melendez scenes? For, like Dr. Glassman and Debbie, and Dr. Park and his wife, or ex-wife, there is something there that seems so forced.

I can’t say what it is specifically, but a part of me feels that Dr. Lim is used to show a softer side of Dr. Melendez and, for Dr. Lim’s character, that relationship doesn’t benefit her at all. In fact, considering how much Dr. Lim gives Dr. Melendez, yet also does so much for others, it makes you wonder if losing Jessica after season 1 was a mistake.

Dr. Lim talking to Dr. Melendez in his home.

Take into consideration, during Dr. Glassman’s breakdown in the last season, Jessica being there could have helped him immensely, and they could have talked about his daughter showing up. Heck, she could also be some kind of source in us getting to know Shaun’s life before working at the hospital, assuming Jessica was around. Yet, with Dr. Melendez, what does he bring? What’s his long term use now that Dr. Andrews is the one hardest on Shaun?

Think about it. Dr. Andrews, between Shaun and Morgan, at least has this mentorship role. Dr. Melendez, on the other hand, he doesn’t play that role in any resident’s life and as an individual, is d r y. Hence why his partners on this show have been women who conflict with his character’s job. Thus leading to him questioning their relationship and using it to try to manipulate them. Leading to some eye-roll-inducing drama which keeps his character active, even if with a fairly weak storyline.

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Shaun & Carly’s Relationship (De-Romanticizing What It Means To Be With Someone Who Has Autism) - 89%
Morgan Maybe Having A Storyline? - 85%
Dr. Lim and Dr. Melendez’s Relationship - 70%


What Would Your Rating Be?


  1. I like Carly, too. I never thought of her being isolated from the other characters, but when she specifically told Claire to “butt out”, that contributed to her isolation. I can see why you feel like she won’t last, but I think the writers have invested in Carly and Shaun’s relationship and are in it for the long haul, or at least for the duration of all of Season 3. And because she is so important to Shaun, she is there more than “just because” like Dr. Melendez is.

    Because this is a procedural, I don’t take any note of the guest stars unless I have seen them in something else before this because I know they will not be back after one episode (except for Steve).

    As soon as Morgan reveals her diagnosis, I think everyone will be looking closer at her hands to see if they shake or if she has less mobility. Morgan is already starting to feel the pain from her R.A., but I don’t know how quickly it progresses.

  2. Neat “trick” with the three pictures of the two guest stars!

    I thought what Morgan did with Dr. Glassman was great! I thought her reasons for going to him were sound, and I agree with you that she has someone supporting her, who is the President of the Hospital no less, if her R.A. becomes a problem in the future. And I hope this means an actual story line for Morgan, too.

    I was surprised but impressed by Carly’s ability to say to Shaun enough’s enough when he gave up on the “therapy” after 8 seconds. I know she lost patience with him, but what else could she have done? How could she have helped Shaun when he kept saying “I don’t know” when she asked why he got off the bed after only 8 seconds? Happily, it ended well. On a different note, I hope Carly is “the One” for Shaun after all she has gone through with him!

    I enjoyed Claire and Dr. Melendez’s short scene, too. It’s a shame he is her superior. Those 2 work nicely together. Drs. Lim and Melendez on the other hand, not so much. So maybe its a good thing that she broke up with him at the end of the show. I wonder if Dr. Melendez will be bitter about it?

    1. I’m in this weird place of liking Carly, yet feeling she is so isolated from other characters that she may not last. If not, similar to Dr. Melendez, she may stick around but have such a weak connection to most characters that they seem to be around just because.

      And I’m trying to take note of the guest stars of shows more. It’s just, with procedurals like this, they usually are just fodder for a lead characters growth and don’t have their own specific impact.

      As for Morgan, I really do wonder if the reaction will be as bad as she is prepping for. I get she needs precision in order to work, especially considering where she is cutting, but would that eliminate her so early on in her career and her diagnosis? If not, as Shaun was last season, reassigned to a different department?

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