The Good Doctor: Season 3, Episode 9 “Incomplete” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

Carly and Shaun cuddling.
84.79% (5)

Morgan reveals something from her past, Claire might have hit rock bottom and finds unexpected comfort and Shaun? Well, his relationship with Carly continues to be tested.


Directed By Marisol Adler
Written By Brian Shin
Air Date (ABC) 11/25/2019
Introduced This Episode
Jeanie Irene Choi
Tony Hayden Szeto
Sasha Chelsea Hobbs
Sasha’s Husband Sharif Atkins

Recap

Sex Is A Liability: Morgan, Jeanie, Tony

Jeanie and Tony have been together for quite some time, but there is a fear, with Jeanie having tumors near her sex organs, which cause seizures, what would happen if sex was removed from the equation? For if she doesn’t remove the tumor near her clitoris, she could have deadly seizures, but if she keeps it, she can keep having sex.

This conundrum is really complicated for Jeanie and Tony since, like most of us, we consider sex an undisputable part of a relationship, and without it, so begins the evaluation of whether everything else can compensate for the lack of it. Which, for Morgan, is a no brainer. You keep the girl and stop having sex, problem solved. However, at first, Tony presents the idea sex is a bit of a crutch for them and without it, would they survive? But, as he recalls a camping trip he went on with Jeanie, he realizes sex isn’t the only thing that can bring them close together.

And during all this, as Morgan tries to convince Jeanie, and then Tony, to consider the surgery, she reveals to Tony that her issue with trying to make sex such a huge asset is because of how it ruined things for her. To make a long story short, she cheated on a guy who she paints as perfect, and it was because of those tingly feelings and one act. So, to put so much on the importance of sex to her, was foolish and her patient giving in was the right decision.

Comment Down Below
  1. Do you think Morgan cheating happened since we’ve met her, or was it before? Being that we rarely hear her talk about herself, never mind meet people important to her for more than an episode, this seems like a bit of a shock. Granted, it does fit the cheating theme that is fairly consistent with the patients, but also a bit out of place. Which is all to say, am I the only one surprised Morgan would cheat?

2nd Thoughts: Sasha, Claire, Dr. Park, Dr. Melendez, Sasha’s Husband, Dr. Lim

Let’s get this out of the way: Dr. Lim is having second thoughts about breaking up with Dr. Melendez but stays firm in her decision. But, of course, with Dr. Melendez being a lowkey ass, he has to push her to speak up about this rather than let her process. Not because, mind you, he wants to ease the transition to them being back to friends, or because her avoidance of him threatens the lives of patients. It seems to be solely about his ego and wanting her breaking up with him to be a hard decision.

Now that we got them out of the way, let’s talk about Claire. Well, outside of a drug bender, it seems Claire may have hit rock bottom by sleeping with a married man. Someone who pushes the idea Claire knew he was married and the possibility she chose him knowing he couldn’t really seek something long term with her. But, despite him trying to offload guilt, Claire doesn’t allow him to. In fact, she asks why he doesn’t just leave Sasha, his wife, and he replies that he can’t.

With him saying that, it reminds me of what Dondré Whitfield said in an episode of Black Love in regards to his father dealing with, “You can love one and lust after many” words which definitely fit Sasha’s husband. But, funny thing is, Dr. Park gets involved in this. How? Well, being that Dr. Park seems to be rather good at snooping, he pieces together Claire’s handling of Sasha’s husband, where his accident was, and where Claire lives – since he, for some reason, knows that information. Leading him to be a bit judgy of Claire, even though Sasha’s husband was the person who was married. But, considering Dr. Park’s relationship was ruined by someone who also didn’t care someone was married, he takes her actions a bit personal.

Perhaps explaining why, when Sasha learns of the affair, and smacks the mess out of Claire, he just looks as Claire walks away. However, one person doesn’t just look in awe, with a stupid expression, but tries to comfort Claire – Dr. Melendez. Leaving you to wonder, with Dr. Lim and him officially over, does this mean Claire and him may pursue that chemistry we’ve seen between them?

Putting Boundaries Up & Knocking Them Down: Dr. Glassman, Debbie, Shaun, Carly

I think some of us can agree, Debbie is a bit all-consuming, and when it comes to Dr. Glassman, as much as she wants boundaries when it comes to his relationship with Shaun, it seems he needs to establish some with her. Why? Well, what comes to mind immediately is this idea that she is very controlling, maybe even isolating to a certain point, but it could just be she is not only aggressive but far more direct than most of the women on this show. So it seems only natural that someone so upfront about how they feel would be an outlier and seem like a problem.

Yet, as Dr. Glassman listens to Debbie, he realizes she is right. While Dr. Glassman values Shaun and loves their relationship, he sees himself as a crutch. Which is his own damn fault for not conditioning Shaun earlier and helping him improve his interpersonal relationships. Though, thinking about it, this is all assuming Shaun grew up with Dr. Glassman and didn’t grow up in foster homes with Dr. Glassman just checking in. It’s one of those things which is hard to judge since there are such huge gaps of information that, even this far into the show, haven’t really been filled.

But, what is made clear is that Dr. Glassman has been keeping in contact with Shaun’s mother and that his father has late-stage pancreatic cancer.

That information could very well be a blessing. Not just in the form of us seeing Shaun talk to his parents, maybe figure out how his mom has dealt with her children running away, one dying, and the other flourishing without her. More so, it seems part of what is keeping Shaun from connecting with Carly is fear.

Carly clarifying what her relationship to Shaun is.
Carly: I am not going out with Shaun because I have a martyr complex.

Now, on the subject of fear, it is deep for Shaun since it seems, like Carly, he might be dealing with imposters syndrome. But, while Carly deals with that at work, Shaun does in his personal life. Making it so, as much as he likes Carly, and she shows she likes him, he fears losing her. That information makes you wonder, as people, Morgan, question Carly’s reason for being with Shaun, could the real question worth asking be why is Shaun with Carly? Is it because he likes her, maybe loves her, or is it because she said yes and is patient? Never mind, unlike Lea, is emotionally available and consistent?

This isn’t to downplay their relationship, but as we’re pushed to see Shaun outside of being a doctor, being a friend, and something more to someone, there is a need to look at his as a man and wonder what’s his motivation and long term plans. For as much as he is sweet, usually direct, and without motive, there is this vibe that permeates his relationship with Carly that feels off. At least, for us, in the form of believing Carly is for now to set up what is for later.

Comment Down Below
  1. How long has Dr. Glassman been in contact with Shaun’s mom, and what are their conversations like?

 

Review

Highlights

Carly Correcting Morgan’s Assumption About Her Relationship

Early on, I got to admit, I was of Morgan’s mindset and thought Carly, not in a martyr way, but like Lea at one time, sort of romanticized Shaun’s autism since it meant dealing with someone direct and honest. Yet, in the long run, not understanding as much as Shaun’s kindness and no bulls*** approached made some things easier, when it comes to intimacy, that path would be hard.

And increasingly, it does seem as much as Shaun is trying, it is Carly who is mostly making concessions, and that is why I keep wondering if they will last. Yet, there is a need to wonder if, despite these issues, and especially considering how this episode pushes sex isn’t the end-all to be all, will Carly get past this? Will what seems like concessions now just be part of their relationship dynamic and not be something Carly gave up but traded in for consistency, stability, love, and other means of knowing she is desired?

Getting To Know Why Morgan Doesn’t Have Much Of A Personal Life

Morgan talking about cheating.

In a way, Morgan noting she cheated on someone, and lives with that regret, feels like it explains so much. That may be the reason she came into the show pushing people away as she did. It could be because she felt she’d just ruin those relationships anyway so why get close to people? If not, to punish herself, maybe even run and distract herself from what she did, Morgan wanted to make sure she’d have no one prod into her life and force her to admit one of her biggest regrets and then be judged for it. Hence why she mentioned it to a patient because, if she did that with Park, Shaun, even Claire?! Oh, she’d never hear the end of it.

But, as many times before, as nice as it is to know more about Morgan, we’re still left to wonder if this may lead to a storyline, or should we just continue to expect little tidbits that form an incomplete mosaic of who she is?

Claire Maybe Hitting Rock Bottom & Finding Dr. Melendez There

I think getting to the point you’d willing would sleep with a married man is rock bottom, right? Outside of Claire becoming an alcoholic, as her mom was, or a drug addict, there isn’t any sensible way they can bring Claire lower without making it seem they refuse to let Claire be happy. Which is why Dr. Melendez consoling her raises some eyebrows but also piques my interest.

Dr. Melendez consoling Claire.

Particularly since, at least a handful of times each season, they have these intimate moments which don’t have touching, innuendo, none of that, but do convey a certain chemistry that seems beyond friendship but would need to be nurtured to become a relationship. So with the conversation about boundaries and then sex not being all that matters in a relationship, it makes you wonder if those two things may play a role in what’s next for Claire and Dr. Melendez. Especially since Dr. Melendez needs a new character to leech off.

Shaun’s Parents On The Horizon

This has been long overdue. In fact, I’m so happy this is a mid-season finale thing and not a season finale thing for the effect the meeting will have on Shaun’s relationships will be astronomical. Take Carly. Who is to say what talking with his parents may do for them? Maybe it could help him understand what love is, by realizing his parents’ love for each other was never passed onto him so he needs to recognize the love someone is offering him?

Heck, with Dr. Glassman, while I’m starting to wonder if we give too much credit to Dr. Glassman in Shaun’s upbringing, this could be what Glassman needs to push back when it comes to Debbie and have it where he sets up boundaries with Shaun, without her influence? Plus, while it isn’t likely to happen, it would be nice for them to talk about Steve and all that has happened since Shaun left their care. Which might be wishful thinking but, come on, this is the perfect time to walk down memory lane.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. I will never pardon Shaun’s dad for killing the hare cos he must have known flinging a small lightly built animal forcefully inyo a solid brick wall would kill that animal and as someone who cares more about dogs and other animals than hukan beings that was unforgivable and I’m praying Shaun furiously scolds his dad before the sod dies

  2. Thanks for the link! That looks like it will be a very good episode!

    I agree with you that addressing Claire’s past story lines would be an excellent idea before the writers start Claire on a new path with Dr. Melendez, if that is where they are heading. But I think they feel like they wrapped up the story line of Dr. Coyle with their brief, unsatisfying explanation that he was moved to a new department. And the writers had Jared and Claire say good-bye to each other in Jared’s last episode, so I don’t think they’re going to give him another thought. So unfortunately I do not see the writers acknowledging any of Claire’s previous story lines, even in passing.

  3. Poor Claire!! This was the story line that I found the most interesting in this episode. And when Sasha slapped her – I did not see that coming! I agree that this is Claire hitting rock bottom, and having Dr. Melendez come and console her (not Dr. Park, although I thought it would be Morgan at first) piqued my interest, too. Even though “Dr. Melendez needs a new character to leech off” (a little harsh, but funny!), I still am wary of their superior/subordinate relationship, while at the same time I acknowledge what great chemistry they have. If something happens with them beyond this episode, I hope the writers move slowly and deal with how he is her boss and how that sabotaged his relationship with Dr. Lim.

    I’m really hoping we meet Shawn’s parents, or at least his mother.

    I too was surprised to find out that Morgan had cheated. She is always in control, sometimes even obnoxiously so. So for her to lose control so completely like that seems so much out of character for her. And I agreed with you as to why Morgan told a patient about her cheating but would never tell anyone she worked with. I can see them teasing Morgan with this repeatedly.

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