The Good Doctor: Season 4/ Episode 16 – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

In a follow-up to the events that ended the last episode, we learn whether Lea and Shaun simply experienced a scare or a tragedy.

Episode Name Dr. Ted
Directed By Anne Renton
Written By Patti Carr, Sam Chanse
Aired (ABC) 5/10/2021
Newly Noted Characters
Maxine Veronica Cartwright

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She Reminds Me Of My Bubbe – Asher, Maxine, Dr. Glassman

With encountering a patient named Maxine, who has a DNR, so Asher has to watch her die, he is a bit traumatized. Luckily though, a pacemaker she has from a past surgery revives her. However, with coming back to life means a very upset 80+-year-old woman who is ready to die. Thus leading to a battle between Asher, Maxine, and the rest of the doctors on the case.

Maxine (Veronica Cartweight) realizing she is still alive
Maxine (Veronica Cartweight) realizing she is still alive

Which, in the end, because Asher goes rogue, she lives, and Dr. Glassman catches this. Which doesn’t lead to Asher getting fired, but it does lead to a very strong warning due to the legalities of what he did.

When There Is Hope – Shaun, Lea, Alex, Dr. Andrews, Dr. Lim, Dr. Glassman, Jordan, Claire

One of the benefits of being an employee at the hospital is that all the best people who work there can and will find the time to make you their patient and lend their expertise. However, even with Dr. Lim involved, Claire and Jordan, Shaun doesn’t find peace. Be it because he isn’t allowed to join any of the surgeries or no one providing advice that makes him feel better. Instead, he is forced to wait, which is a struggle, and with him also limited in how he can help or calm Lea, it makes for a really difficult few days.

Luckily, while the situation does stress many out, it also leads to people opening up. Be it Dr. Andews noting he and his wife are still trying for a baby, Alex noting Kellen’s birth in a mall, to Claire bringing up her familiar spiel about how she thought if she was a better child, things in her life would be better. However, perhaps the one that lightens the mood the best is Jordan making it seem she lost a baby when really it was her turtle running away. This story leads to a lot of laughs amongst her, Lea, Dr. Lim, and Claire, and offers some levity.

A Dream Deferred – Lea, Shaun

In the end, despite multiple surgeries and even the use of steroids, Shaun and Lea’s baby doesn’t make it. As you can imagine, this is devastating to both but as for how they will move forward? That’ll be seen in future episodes.

Things To Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Meaning behind the episode title: Dr. Ted is a stuffed animal that Shaun approves of due to it being less likely to strange a baby.

Commentary/ Review


The Bold Decision To Have Lea Lose The Baby

Lea leaving the hospital after losing her baby
Lea leaving the hospital after losing her baby

The Good Doctor is the type of show which doesn’t often have its doctors fail. Usually, a miraculous, hard to say, procedure is pulled out of nowhere, and the patient lives! It’s so common on this show that it makes any threat presented hardly serious. So for Lea to lose the baby was a bit of a shock.

Yet, even with her having a rare situation that led to the baby not being viable, it does represent a serious situation that many couples go through as miscarriages, while unfortunate, are also common. It’s just, as Dr. Andrews noted, something you hope to never have to talk about and you quickly try to avoid the topic when it happens.

Minor Updates

From learning how Kellen came to be, Dr. Andrews and Isabel still trying for a baby, Debbie still existing, to a handful of information about Asher, you have to appreciate these minor details added to everyone’s profile.

[ninja_tables id=”46813″]


The Bold Decision To Have Lea Lose The Baby - 85%
Minor Updates - 82%


The Good Doctor decides to end one of its most exciting storylines in tragedy, leaving you to wonder what's next now that it has reminded us that not every situation will end with a miraculous procedure to save a patient?


  1. Thank you, Emily!

    Concerning Morgan let me add that it was probably the weakest writing decision in season 4 to prioritize the newbies above Morgan’s difficult transition into internal medicine.

    The newbies brought in fresh faces shortly but as we know now, their various storylines are mostly pointless by now since the characters are either no longer there or they barely contributed to the development of the main characters.

    The main reason for the existence of the newbies was obviously buying time for Shaun and Lea to settle into their relationship – and have lots of sex, as we were often reminded – so that the pregnancy arc could start in a reasonable time frame.

    Though, the same could have been done if the early season had focused more on storylines Morgan, Lim and Claire had carried over from season 3 and from the Covid-crisis. Well established characters that can carry scenes and even entire episodes on their shoulders flawlessly.

    Alas, even great series have their misfires and dead ends. Star Trek Deep Space Nine for example struggled for seasons to get the character of Doctor Bashir work properly and characters like Garak and Gul Dukat, which became essential for the plot later in the run, vanished for a season before resurfacing. You can’t have it all, I guess…

    1. Andreas – Excellent point about Morgan! I would have really liked a storyline about her having problems transitioning into internal medicine. The actress who plays Morgan could easily have carried whole episodes, and since Dr. Lim and Claire got them, why not her, too?! And not having to listen to Shaun talk about sex as much would have been a nice bonus!

  2. Don’t make yourself smaller than you are, Amari. ? I always benefit from your perspective so different from mine! What makes the difference is that this is the only show I really follow these days, so I can pool more resources into my comments.

    As I -obviously- love to write about it, let me add some new thoughts with the season coming to an end soon. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news for Emily again, but the synopsis for episode 4.19 “Venga” confirms that Lea is still struggling with the loss of her baby. The sorrow continues into the two-part season finale.

    This season brought a lot of loss and defeats, it pushed the characters to their limits right from the beginning during the Covid-themed season opener. The doctors were helpless mostly against the new virus; it brought death, despair, and social distancing to them just as to us.

    While the pandemic itself was overcome quickly in the TGD-verse for the audience’s benefit, I wonder if the series ever really left the theme of loss and separation this season.

    There’s Morgan, desperately trying to stay connected to her former colleagues and struggling to define her relationship with Park, a man who lost wife, home and after 18 year still seeks for ways to connect better with his son.

    Then there’s Lim who tries to remain cool, calm and collected (a song in “Lim”) although her mind is falling into pieces. She doesn’t want to appear weak and therefore closes herself off from everyone, including Claire – the woman that has suffered severe personal losses recently.

    There’s the great newbies knockout contest with contesters that either fail to connect to the team from the beginning or drop out quickly again. Which eventually delivers another blow to Andrews who never saw who his niece really was for 25 years!

    Presiding all over this is Glassman, who mostly buried himself in his office this year when not thrill-chasing by high-risk procedures.
    Lastly, Shaun and Lea existed in their own little bubble since social distancing ended but were quickly rendered powerless again by the complications the pregnancy presented.

    Up until now, the characters’ story arcs felt more fragmented than ever before. Though, “Dr. Ted” made a clear effort to bring the characters together again, opening up to each other in the OR and around Lea’s bed. As the closing montage suggests, in tragedy the “family” of St. Bonaventure convenes and finds strength in their community.

    An idea that obviously will culminate in a season finale that sends all the characters (except Glassman and the newbies) on a relief mission to a rural hospital in Guatemala. Presenting them with challenges that supposedly only can be overcome in a strong team.

    I may submit that this season has been a sophisticated allegory on the times we have to live through, accompanied by the promise that the deep wounds can be healed when standing together again.

    1. When I read a comment like this, I totally agree with Amari’s comment, “Andreas has pretty much said everything I could say….” This is such an excellent synopsis of this season, Andreas! The only things I can think to add are, I hope the writers think of a way to add Morgan in more, other then having her hooking up with Park. I miss her having an actual storyline that I like. And Guatemala? Where did that come from? I guess we’ll find out.

  3. A bold decision, indeed. But just as you wrote not so long ago with Asher’s first patient passing, Amari, while death is rare on the show, when someone does die, it needs to have an impact. The show just traded a multi-season storyline for the ultimate catalyst of drama.

    This will have an impact undoubtedly. The episode also answered a question that was bugging me for a while now: what the final conflict leading up to the season finale would be.

    The Good Doctor is a show that adheres to its patterns and at least since season 2, the pattern has been established that with episodes 15/16, something turns Shaun’s life upside down, be it a new Chief of Surgery or Lea rejecting the idea of becoming a couple.

    That in mind, stay strong Emily! Since this sure won’t blow over easily. In fact, thanks to behind-the-scenes material shared amazingly freely by the cast and crew, I now have a pretty good idea what will happen in the remaining episodes of season 4 and if they chose to go dark, it might make “Fixation” and “Heartbreak” seem like a carousel ride.

    I pulled some statistics on miscarriage and have to concur with Amari, it is a common occurrence but also a tabu: approximately 12% to 24% of women who had a positive pregnancy test result experience the loss of a pregnancy; 25% to 50% of women experience at least one miscarriage during their reproductive years;. Yet, there is little talk about it.

    As with the female gender bias and many other issues before, The Good Doctor makes us take note of an important issue and it is a testament to its relevance that since the episode aired, women are coming forward with their own stories of miscarriage on social media. And they are many.

    Though, on the heels of pregnancy loss, another issue arises: these women (and to a lesser extent their partners) are at significant risk for depression, anxiety, and PTSD. As the promo for 4.17 and the synopsis for 4.18 tell us, this is the course the show has set. Season 4 continues to explore the mental health of its protagonists. With the level of acting and storytelling presented in “Dr. Ted”, I’m all in.

  4. Hi Armari! First, a typo. Under A Dream Deferred – “In the end, …Shaun and Lea’s baby does make it.” I’m sure you meant to type “doesn’t make it.”

    Lol – Under Minor Updates – “From learning…Debbie still existing” Good one!

    As for the episode itself, yes, the acting was excellent. But I wanted the baby to live because I thought for next season, Shaun being a father would make a great storyline. I hope the storyline doesn’t become Shaun doesn’t know how to or can’t comfort Lea so he tries to lose himself in work. And grieving for a lost child could easily take up many episodes, and I don’t want to see many episodes of sadness. One was enough. One was almost too many.

    I do have a question for you, Amari. Would you rather I not comment on your different reviews, especially when I am behind in episodes? It is usually to tell you I agree with what you so wonderfully wrote anyway. If you are too busy and it would save you time by not having to go back and read my comments about something that aired three weeks or even three months ago, I would totally understand! For example, I have only watched the first episode of Pose. But I agree with you that a lot of it felt like a rehash of last season. Like didn’t Angel get into drugs last season? Anyway, please let me know.

    1. Thanks for the catch!

      I enjoy reading people’s comments and try to reply and comment, it is just the way things are set up on the backend, I only get notified if comments raise a flag so by the time I see something, Andreas has pretty much said everything I could say, plus giving a personal perspective and statistics alongside that. So outside of co-signing him, it’s like… what can I really add to this?

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