In The Good Doctor’s return, we focus on Dr. Lim as she juggles the eccentric doctors under her employment, the patients under her care, and an eroding mental/emotional state.
|Writer(s)||Jessica Grasl, Tracy Taylor|
|Introduced This Episode|
|Ben||David Del Rio|
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Something Strange Is Going On – Morgan, Alex, Dr. Lim
Alex and Morgan living with each other is strange enough, but what takes things to the next level is them having petty bets and games, and it spilling over to work. Dr. Lim initially peeps something is up with them wearing crocs to work but she draws the line at them putting grills in their teeth. And why are they doing this? Because neither one wants to deal with a mouse and so they are coming up with ways to make the other person tap out. That nonsense leads Dr. Lim to send them both home for being foolish, inappropriate and wasting everyone’s time.
Everyone’s An Expert – Claire, Ben, Rose, Zoe, Dr. Lim
But the stress doesn’t end there. On her way to work, with her speeding in an effort to drown out her thoughts, she comes across a veteran named Ben who has vivid flashbacks due to his time in Kandahar, Afghanistan. He was hit by a car and Dr. Lim takes responsibility for him at the hospital, with Claire’s assistance.
As this happens, Dr. Lim encounters a woman named Rose who claims to be such an empath she can feel Dr. Lim’s stress to the point of her blood pressure rising. Rose’s mumbo jumbo makes Dr. Lim very uncomfortable so she tries to avoid her at all cost. Yet, with the warning about her stress, and the ringing in her ears, maybe Rose is right?
However, Dr. Lim doesn’t have time to question her mental and emotional state with so many patients and nowhere near enough time to treat them all. This is why she tries her best to leave them in the hands of her employees but when some like Claire want to try procedures that go beyond their scope of care – Lim pushes back. After all, it was only a few months ago elective surgeries were on a case by case basis. So while Claire has found one which could treat Ben’s PTSD, maybe give him a normal life with his partner, Zoe, Lim isn’t originally down for it.
That is until Ben seems on the verge of suicide because of the guilt from missing an IED and countless lives dying in the process. With that in mind, Lim allows the surgery and it seems to help.
Though with Ben experiencing PTSD, and Dr. Lim seeming off, it leads to Claire to try to open up to Dr. Lim about her own PTSD. For as we saw early on in the series, Claire was trying to push through like Dr. Lim but was forced by Dr. Glassman since she was clearly struggling to do so. And while Claire didn’t keep going to therapy, she at least had Dr. Melendez to aide her in her struggle. So, Claire is hoping Dr. Lim will tap into the kindness Claire was given so that she may ease her burden and struggle.
Authority And Delegation Isn’t A Cure-All For Stress – Jordan, Olivia, Rose, Dr. Lim, Claire, Shaun
While Claire means well, Dr. Lim is of a different generation and it seems for her, the idea of wallowing in the stress of her job doesn’t make sense. She knows what she has signed up for and it seems she’d rather blast music, speed down roads, then talk about hearing people’s time of deaths over and over in her head. But, if her stress was just affecting her that would be one thing, but it’s starting to affect her relationship with people.
For example, when it comes to Jordan, she snaps at her. Why? Well, because she abandoned an abortion procedure, in the middle of it, because of her religious beliefs. Mind you, Jordan did originally say she didn’t want to and Olivia was to do so. However, after Claire reminded Jordan of who not to disappoint, or potentially upset, Jordan tried to push through but just couldn’t. Leading to Dr. Lim going off on her.
But Jordan wasn’t the only one. Shaun also gets told off for his search to find Lea the perfect birthday present, combined with him thinking he could tell Dr. Lim what he is or isn’t going to do, in regards to teaching students, leads to her snapping. Though, let’s be honest, as much as Shaun deserves some grace due to his autism, surely asking women, at work, what sex toys they like and think your girlfriend might like, that can’t be something he thought would be appropriate?
Either way, while upset with Shaun’s continued defiance and him really testing how much patience he deserves for social faux pas, Dr. Lim presses on and continues to push Shaun to teach. Even when he has a strong desire to just take over the situation because it is easier.
Yet, even with getting a win in having Shaun do what she asked him to, this doesn’t ease Dr. Lim’s stress and Rose, the empath, she nearly dies of a heart attack from trying to take on Lim’s stress. Which, of course, Lim refuses to accept the responsibility of for she didn’t ask Rose to, just like she isn’t likely to ask Claire to do so.
However, with her getting into a motorcycle accident on the way home, and having dizzy spells, it seems she may not be able to hold all she is feeling inside for too much longer.
Things To Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered
- Remember, perhaps last season, when Dr. Lim saw a ghost of a little girl? Did anyone else think they would maybe pick up on that with this episode? Especially with the abortion storyline and maybe play out that, like Jordan, Dr. Lim made a sacrifice so that she could stay on her career trajectory? If not that little girl being her and maybe the show touch on Dr. Lim’s upbringing and maybe use that to further why she didn’t want to talk and just considered the stress she is under as part of the job?
- Why was this the first episode we got to hear how much of a potential legend Dr. Lim and her residency program is?
Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs
The basis of empathy is curiosity.
Your job is to teach, not take over.
— Dr. Lim
You need to stop seeking out other people’s pain. It’s literally killing you.
— Dr. Lim
A Non-Shaun Focused Episode
While we enjoy Shaun, we also feel it is very easy to get Shaun fatigue. Especially as he asks about various social situations that, between high school, college, and medical school, you’d think he would have experienced and understood. Never mind, with Dr. Glassman being a former helicopter parent, thinking he would have explained things to Shaun, or around him, to smooth out a situation. Yet, with The Good Doctor having this huge chasm between the time period after Shaun’s brother died to when he got hired at the hospital, it’s often hard to say what should or shouldn’t be expected.
But I digress, while there is more to explore with Shaun, I’m glad we did focus on someone else for the series’ return. Heck, I hope, as much as The Good Doctor is a show about Shaun, and how his autism makes him a special part of the hospital, that the supporting characters get to be seen as actual people more often. Because one issue we sometimes have is feeling that they are all only as fleshed out as Shaun is privy to their lives. Which if The Good Doctor only focused on Shaun, that would make sense. However, with us learning bits and pieces and being enticed by developments that often are put on pause, it does become frustrating at times.
The Difficulties Of Making Life & Death Decisions, And Managing The Eccentric Employees Lim Has
Dr. Lim probably has one of the most stressful jobs in the hospital. As she noted in the episode, during COVID-19’s height, she had to choose what surgeries, the ones which usually don’t need approval, were necessary and it led to someone dying. And when you add in all the deaths, one after another, then negotiating for supplies, dealing with Zoom meetings, and then her staff? It was probably a lot.
I mean, look at what we got on an average day when COVID wasn’t involved. You got Morgan continuing to make her presence known, and with her living with Alex, her roping him into her madness. On top of that, you got residents who, because Shaun doesn’t like to do something he isn’t good at, now Dr. Lim has to get involved and handhold. Never mind him treat the staff as if every decision he comes across that isn’t medical, he must have their opinion on it and it cannot wait.
Add in patients that have PTSD, are strange, or dealing with a traumatic moment they’ll never forget and Dr. Lim not having an outlet besides thrill chasing? It helps me understand why people like Grey’s Anatomy because this is the kind of drama you can understand being spread out over multiple seasons.
Perhaps like the doctors, we have become a bit emotionally numb to a lot of the patients’ storylines but every now and then one hits us and Ben was one. Maybe it was because his story wasn’t made to just be a trigger for Dr. Lim’s own? It could also be the performance? Either way, it was one of the first in a while that affected us and brought us to where we were in season 1 when it felt like we were crying damn near every episode.
On The Fence
Wondering If They Should Have Brought Cultural Context To Dr. Lim’s Stress Management
Until recently, Black American culture, Asian American culture, and some immigrant cultures didn’t take well to the idea of therapy. Between praying or sucking it up, you were expected to just deal with whatever was bothering you in silence, through a hobby, or a vice. Now, being that there aren’t a huge amount of Asian characters on television, especially in Dr. Lim’s position, not going into her past, her culture, and bring in the “Why?” when it comes to her holding everything inside seemed like a missed opportunity.
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