The Good Doctor: Season 4/ Episode 7 “The Uncertainty Principle” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

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With Lea revealing information that is jarring to Shaun, so comes the question of whether relationships can last forever, especially with both parties constantly changing.

Director(s) Gary Hawes
Writer(s) Doris Egan
Aired (ABC) 1/18/2021
Introduced This Episode
Sophie Jess Salgueiro
Wyatt Benjamin Ayres
Alan Matthew MacCaull
Hannah Ashley Williams

This content contains pertinent spoilers. Also, images and text may contain affiliate links, which, if a purchase is made, we’ll earn money or products from the company.


I Do Wanna Live Forever – Sophie, Alex, Shaun, Wyatt

For Shaun and Alex’s patient, he has started the process to modify his genes in order to extend his lifespan, and in doing so, he creates a disease that isn’t on the books. Thus leaving Shaun and Alex scrambling for some sort of treatment until the man, Wyatt, notes he believes the side effects are temporary. For with his CRISPR physician working closely with him, he’d rather deal with the pain he is experiencing now than stop or have the process reversed.

Mind you, beyond work, one of the reasons he is modifying his genes is to be with his partner Sophie, who is due to have her genes modified after him. However, with him getting sick and her worried, she issues an ultimatum. For exercising, eating right, doing all that the average doctor would recommend, she is down for. However, what she is seeing him go through is too much. But with him wanting to live longer and willing to sacrifice their relationship if she doesn’t support it, the two break up.

Don’t Knock The Hustle – Jordan, Olivia

With Jordan soliciting testimonies for her insole product, Olivia gives her a bit of a side-eye. Especially since she talks to a patient’s husband, named Alan, a venture capitalist, about investing. The shade is taken with some offense and leads to Jordan explaining she has, throughout her life, helped people and took care of them for free. So her becoming a doctor was about getting paid for such services and her making and selling the insoles was about using her research and knowledge to diversify her income.

Which in time Olivia gets, especially since she wears platform heels during her shift and her feet do hurt at the end of it.

Wanting A Love That Will Last – Shaun, Lea, Enrique, Morgan, Dr. Lim, Claire, Hannah, Alan, Dr. Andrews, Wyatt

After Lea received a package in the mail that Shaun is confused about, Lea reveals it was from her ex-husband, who she was married to more than a decade ago. Due to Shaun not knowing about the divorce and his take on marriage and relationships, he is a bit shaken. For while he was in a relationship that ended previously, and he survived, Lea is different.

Thus leading to the theme of the episode dealing with what makes a relationship last and how? Take Claire’s patient Hannah, who has a disease that makes her prone to cancers. What surety can her husband Alan, the Venture Capitalist, give when her first two bouts of cancer strained the marriage? Heck, bringing in Shaun’s patient Wyatt, if a person lived 1000 years, could they still be in love for hundreds of years?

Hannah (Ashley Williams) wondering if her husband can survive another cancer treatment
Hannah (Ashley Williams)

Shaun receives a lot of mixed responses from people simply being unsure, to romantic, to the idea that an effort would be made, but most get married under the understanding they won’t live 1000 years. Yet, in the end, rather than become a pessimist, ready to break up with Lea to get it done with, Shaun is an optimist. This is not because Alan quits his job to be with Hannah and commit, but he understands, as quoted below, part of what makes a lasting relationship.

As for everyone else? Well, they don’t have the same epiphany. In fact, for some like Claire, relationships remain a significant challenge. Granted, she does allow Morgan in without pushing back as she formerly did when it comes to friendship. Also, Claire and Dr. Lim have seemingly allowed what began as trauma bonding and a dash of mentorship to evolve into something new.

But, while Claire is experiencing growth in her professional and platonic relationships, with Enrique speaking to Claire with him putting it out there he would date her, she is uncomfortable. Mind you, her reasons vary from him being a subordinate to his polyamory, but I can’t say it is because she doesn’t find him attractive. So while she may take it slow, with hesitation, and has drawn friendship boundaries, who knows if Enrique may adhere to that or if Claire may find her walls coming down?

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

[…] the problem isn’t really change. It’s whether two people change in the same direction.
— Shaun



Claire Opening Herself Up To Not Just Love, But Friendship

While we are aware Claire does have friends outside of work, being that our view of each doctor’s personal life is so limited, outside Shaun, while they exist, at the same time, they don’t. Sort of like how we know Morgan has a family, Dr. Andrews’ wife and sister exist, and others, but we rarely see or hear from or about them. In the case of Claire, Claire has always made her relationship with Morgan interesting since Morgan, like Claire, often comes off isolated and married to her job.

However, unlike Claire, Morgan didn’t necessarily blow up or make herself small for a lengthy amount of time. Not to imply Morgan hasn’t gone through things on the show, which caused her grief and anger, like losing her ability to be a surgeon or the death of the young man multiple. But the difference is, Morgan was never written to be defined by her trauma and often operated on ways to pivot. On the other hand, Claire often chose negative ways to deal with her issues ranging from isolation, uncommitted sex, making herself small, and sometimes lashing out.

Claire texting Morgan

Thus making Claire opening up once more, dare I say finding a rhythm with Morgan and willingly letting her in her personal life, a huge step! And considering how much work Morgan has put in to befriend Claire and form the bond we’ve seen her develop with Alex, you could even add this means people have gone beyond tolerating Morgan. That may be, while her truth and perspective can be biting, it has its place.

Heck, even with Dr. Lim, as noted above, their relationship, Claire and Dr. Lim, began in the form of recognizing each other as women of color amongst a sea of white men. Then there was mentorship, trauma bonding, and while they aren’t equals, it seems Claire is approaching that. And what really makes her relationship with Lim interesting is she is willingly seeking to be closer to her, rather than what we usually see Claire end up with, which is being imposed with doing emotional labor for others. So with that switch up, truly, we may have permanent growth.

Appreciating That, Once Shaun Asks All His Questions, His Understandings Simplify The Complex

While there are many times I don’t understand Shaun, there are also moments when I either feel connected with him or see his brilliance. Because one thing you have to appreciate about Shaun and him having autism, is that it reminds you how fearful an atypical adult is to just ask questions. Rarely does Shaun only assume without taking note of what you say, what you do, and asking questions. Hence why Asher is such a mystery to Shaun since he no longer feels able to ask what he needs to know.

But, when you set aside some of Shaun’s journey to finding answers, the answers themselves click together so well that you find yourself adapting to his train of thought. Take the quote used above in regards to how people can stay together. Shaun polled people, asked questions of those he knew were married, took note of those divorced, and because he is given the environment to ask questions, a certain level of grace which is enviable, he doesn’t lose that ability to explore.

And I think this is the benefit of showing autism in that capacity. For while the savant moments lead to cool graphics, it is in seeing Shaun’s honesty, his uninhibited curiosity, and remembering what it was like to be that and not feel shamed for it that lets you see autism as a gift. Because, while everyone else is shackled by shame or the desire to seem like they have it all together, Shaun is actually asking the necessary questions to adapt and be ready for life. Including just the simple question many adults have trouble asking: Can you help or explain this to me?

Jordan Admittedly Being In It For The Money

Generally, when someone talks about becoming a doctor or in the medical profession, it’s for altruistic reasons – especially in media. So to hear someone say it was because they did it for their whole life for free, and now they want to get paid? It made me enjoy Jordan. Not that I didn’t appreciate her standing her ground when it comes to her faith and generally not being a pushover, but this just tipped her over.

Jordan talking with Olivia

Lea Development

Is Lea revealing she was married over 10 years ago a big deal? Yes. For though there have been bits and pieces dropped throughout the series, Lea’s development isn’t like Claire or Morgan, when you can really remember the situation when she revealed this about that. We know she is from the east coast, likes a fast car, was very much into serial monogamy at one time, but then the information begins to taper off. Mainly since you’d have to remember details from the first season when Shaun met Lea, and he developed a crush on her.

On The Fence

Enrique & Olivia

With the newbies, each one is starting to carve out their lane as individuals and make a name for themselves. Asher is mysterious due to his religious, or lack thereof, background, the question of his sexuality, and just this overall demeanor, which raises an eyebrow. Jordan has butted heads with multiple people, and though she backs down in time, the audacity has consistently made her one to watch.

Then, with Olivia, admittedly, she isn’t living up to this idea of reintegrating Dr. Andrews as one of the prominent cast members. Instead, she is someone who is around, who may get the occasional bit part in someone else’s storyline, but as an individual? She doesn’t make an impact.

Leaving Enrique. As of this episode, I’m not 100% sure how to feel about him. At first, he seemed potentially interesting just because he was unconventional. However, between the makeshift home that the hospital just lets him have in the parking deck, him being polyamorous, and just feeling like they are dropping a notable number of quirks, he comes off like an odd duck. Which, with him being Claire’s potential next love interest, as much as you could think to yourself how wonderful it could be since he is so different from what we’ve seen her with, it does make him come off like another character who she may chew up and spit out.

For at this point, it seems being Claire’s love interest is a sign your character is at the end of their storyline. Granted, this has only happened twice, with Jared and then Dr. Melendez, but you must admit it does feel like a pattern is forming.

[amazon bestseller=”The Good Doctor ABC” items=”3″]

[ninja_tables id=”46813″]


Claire Opening Herself Up To Not Just Love, But Friendship - 88%
Appreciating That, Once Shaun Asks All His Questions, His Understandings Simplify The Complex - 90%
Jordan Admittedly Being In It For The Money - 83%
Lea Development - 82%
Enrique & Olivia - 76%


"The Uncertainty Principle," as it drives you to look more into the longevity of love, brings about Lea getting developed, Claire getting a new potential love interest, and a newfound appreciation for Shaun.

What Would Your Rating Be?


  1. Indeed Amari, the show provides its audience with an immersion experience about autism, and it is no coincidence that you confess in your review how often you can’t understand Shaun and might feel frustrated about that.

    This is very true to real life, in which you find yourself often in exact the same spot when confronted with an individual on the spectrum. A situation that is furthermore complicated by the many of these individuals being quite clueless about the condition and frustrated themselves. Not all of them have the insight on ASD and the access to research literature I can provide to fill some blanks.

    Thus, if we are to take a message with us from the show, it very well might what you just wrote: don’t expect others to be on common ground but allow them and yourself to explore the territory in between.

    Of course, this is easier to say than to do and we reached this moment of clarity after watching three and a half seasons.

    Lea parents will be exposed to Shaun with little to prepare them for the experience (although we might assume that the already know of his autism in general by Lea).

    In general, I would expect that the writers would use the parents to address some more of the prejudices against people on the spectrum, we haven’t seen much of that since Dr. Han and Ethan Murphy. Personally, I find it about time that the show again acknowledges that we are still confronted with this almost daily and that St. Bonaventure has been a safe space for Shaun since Chief Lim is on the helm

    Though, the synopsis of “Parenting” telling us the patient of the week is a teenage gymnast suffering from over-training, probably struggling to live up to the expectations of her parents, we might also see Mom & Dad Dilallo giving their daughter a hard time, too, because the overarching theme of the episode might be emancipation and freeing yourself from pressures other lay on you (which in case of Lea would be a nice mirroring of Shaun’s emancipation from Glassman’s overprotection mid-season 1, it even could work for Lim, who feels the pressure to keep up the façade of being unaffected of the pressure of her job).

  2. It seems we’re all a little late this week… 😉

    Amari, I was quite stirred by your musings on Shaun this time, and it wasn’t only for that you pondered about positive effects his ASD has while in social media he is mostly misunderstood and condemned for his behavior.

    It also resonated with some of my more recent encounters of neurotypical vs. autistic life; for example a friend implying I could not understand their viewpoint because of my ASD or that I should quit dating and concentrate on becoming a fully trained psychologist since little money but a developmental disorder was a total knock-out criteria for women.

    In short, a positive outlook on ASD was welcome right now. Yet, it also went deeper because your reasoning boiled it down to fear and shame and how it bogs people down. It is quite ironic that while I have ASD myself, I obviously adapted to much neurotypical ways to see that for myself before I dated another women with ASD, which resulted in a totally different sort of communication: asking questions without the fear of being judged, without the shame to be different. This was an exhilarating experience for both of us that was only possible because we gave ourselves a suitable environment for it… Perhaps I should act a little more autistic again once in a while. 😉

    But speaking of Shaun being given the environment to ask questions, looking at the exasperated faces of Andrews and Park, their patience with Shaun disclosing very personal information might grow short soon. Or he might run into serious trouble with someone not included in this St. Bonaventure-bubble, for example Lea’s parents, which reportedly have an issue with Shaun next episode. How this ex-husband was introduced low-key felt to me like a prelude, providing necessary context for something else.

    I really enjoyed that the writers did not turn the ex-husband into a soap opera (at least not yet, note that he has Lea’s current address) but instead used it as an effective hook for the greater theme of change and adaption to it. That was the show at its best, especially since the writers managed to weave in references to episodes way back to seasons 1 and 2, reminding us how much has changed for the characters in four years:

    Lim giving out orders for extra trauma calls in the ER because of people going wild was reminiscent of 210 “Quarantine Part One” when she informed her hook-up Melendez of managing the ER on Christmas. Later, Lim was putting yet another pizza in the oven (313 “Sex And Death”), although literally this time, because after dealing with two deadly viruses she is really alone.

    Claire telling the venture capitalist to plan for a divorce and get the hell out addressed once again all the trauma she had to go through while caring for her bipolar mother.

    Morgan telling Claire “I like being your bestie. Slumber party?” was referring to the character’s introduction in 114 “She” with “… you and I are not gonna be friends, hanging out, having sleepovers, …” – How far these two have come, indeed.

    And finally, Claire and Enrique having Turkish Coffee re-enacted the conversations about being friends and changing feelings Shaun and Lea had in 205 “Carrots”.

    Probably, there was more I did not catch at first glance, but I guess it already demonstrates how much care and thought went into this reflection on how people and personal relationships change over time.

    Now, since Morgan accidentally discovered an earthquake kit in Claire’s trunk last season, I’m just wondering if there is any significance to them finding a diamond ring in the patient’s bowls… 😉

    1. I find it funny you said, “there was more I did not catch at first glance” when it often appears you know this show well enough to write future episodes for it and maintain, if not surpass, the quality expected.

      And I’m glad I was able to give you a positive outlook. Thanks to you and Emily, alongside other shows I watch that feature characters with ASD, I feel like it’s molding me so that I can understand, in theory, how to act and adapt with someone who is on the spectrum. Also, through the show, I think it pushes people who don’t commonly interact with people with ASD to confront their stereotypes. For while Shaun isn’t a one size fit all model, through seeing how many of the doctor’s changed talking to Shaun, you are pushed to understand the ignorant place many formerly operated from.

      This is acknowledging there were multiple times when I just couldn’t make sense of what Shaun is doing, but between forgetting certain moments in the series, just due to the sheer amount of stuff I watch, and there still feeling like a huge gap in Shaun’s storyline, I thank you for your grace.

      Especially since, with you filling in why Shaun acts the way he does, the more I realize the only thing that makes Shaun seem different is, as said before, is he doesn’t operate with shame or ill-intentions in mind. Which, again, isn’t to say this is universal, but thinking about your comment about what your friend said to you, it really does make me think of how much value Shaun’s point of view presents. Because, just look at all that Dr. Lim avoids, Claire struggles to speak on, and how people like Morgan mask things with sarcastic humor. Say what you will about Shaun, but cutting through all that and getting to the point is why in this show, and Atypical, you see women like and love men with ASD. Yes, sometimes the brutal honesty can be a bit much, but at least you can know where you stand and how your partner feels. Thus, you get that ideal intimacy of knowing what they say is true.

      Speaking on the Lea situation, I both fear and am curious about how her parents will react to Shaun. He clearly loves her, but both for Shaun and the other person, there is a need to willingly adjust. Which, honestly, is required when meeting anyone new, but with Shaun a bit more set in some of his ways, the only difference is a little more patience and dropping your assumptions, and explaining why you need certain things.

      And the more I think about it, the more I really feel pushed to realize that the type of communication Shaun asks for, maybe even demands, is the human decency we all want. That if you like things a certain way, explain why to me rather than expect me to follow suit. For the other person to take note, they just met me, I just met them, and if we are to get along, you have to catch me up. Don’t just expect me to pick up on body language or social cues, we come from different backgrounds, cultures, and child-rearing methods. We may both speak the same language but could be operating on a completely different dialect. So there has to be an effort, from both sides. Not just an expectation that the handful of things that make us the same should make things click and if it does not, that means the other person is weird, wrong, and thus should be rejected.

      As said in a recent episode of Call Me Kat:

      Just because you couldn’t relate to me, doesn’t mean something was wrong with me.
      — Call Me Kat (1.4)

    2. You’re right – Claire did seem to like to make other people happy. It’s been interesting to watch her develop over the course of 4 seasons. I think the writers have done a good job having her character grow and change. “Pick and choose her battles” – Interesting way to phrase it, yet quite true!

    3. Andreas, your memory never ceases to amaze me! I got a chuckle out of Morgan’s comment to Claire about the slumber party, but I didn’t realize it was referring to a comment she had made in the first season. Nice catch!

  3. Hi Amari! Sorry it took me so long to comment! I just watched this episode tonight. But I really enjoyed your review – excellent and in-depth as always!! I completely agree about you assessment of Enrique and Olivia. I was looking forward to more of Dr. Andrews through Olivia. Oh well. And I forgot all about Enrique being an actual character until this episode. To me he’s been in the background like one of the nurses until he asked Claire out. Speaking of which, lol “being Claire’s love interest is a sign your character is at the end of their storyline”!

    Claire does seem to have grown, from how she is more like friends with Morgan then just tolerating Morgan in her life, to how she seems to be moving towards more of a friendship with Dr. Lim like you pointed out. I also took note (and liked) how Claire firmly told the husband of her cancer patient to file for divorce from his wife. I think the old Claire would have been much nicer to him and pleaded with him to spend more time with the cancer patient. She doesn’t seem to take any garbage any more, even from patient’s husbands.

    I enjoyed reading your analysis of Shaun’s storyline, and how you appreciated Shaun’s auitism. One thing I get out of reading your reviews is more insight into the episode, and the parts you wrote about Shaun brought more depth and made me think more about how autism effects the way Shaun does things and how he thinks that are completely different then neuro-typical people, just like my daughter does, even though she is much lower-functioning then Shaun is. It was definitely food for thought!

    1. You know, I didn’t think about that part of Claire’s growth. Formerly she almost exclusively was geared towards keeping the peace and seemingly bringing everyone together. But with the divorce, as you noted, it seems she has taken a turn. Not in a bad way, but I think one could say she doesn’t need other people to be happy anymore. For whether she no longer wishes to live vicariously or find purpose in bringing others joy, she is starting to – I wouldn’t say harden but pick and choose her battles.

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