The Good Doctor: Season 5/ Episode 10 “Cheat Day” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

The war against Salen reaches its peak as many doctors make it clear you are either with them or against them – no one can sit on the sidelines.

Salen sipping her coffee, imagining the battles ahead

The war against Salen reaches its peak as many doctors make it clear you are either with them or against them – no one can sit on the sidelines.

Aired 3/14/2022
Network ABC
Directed By Mike Listo
Written By Peter Blake, Tracy Taylor


And I’m Telling You, I’m Not Going – Salen, Shaun, Dr. Glassman, Dr. Lim, Lea, Asher, Alex, Jordan

Shaun decides to reverse his decision after Dr. Glassman takes note of Shaun having a year in his residency left and the challenge it would be to find someplace new. But, rather than burden Shaun strictly with things that would cause him to gravel at Salen’s feet, he reminds Shaun of that huge poster and bets she wouldn’t drag him out of the hospital.

Salen taking note of Shaun taking a stand for himself

Which, lucky for Shaun, he’s right about. However, while Salen isn’t able to rid herself of Shaun, despite his actions, she does promptly fire Lea, Dr. Lim, and Dr. Glassman, with a history of all we’ve seen them do on the show for her justification. As for Alex and Asher? While she has nothing on them personally, she does recognize she can’t fire the entire staff, and with Asher and Alex having less than two years of their residency left, it isn’t a good time to get fired.

Now, what is Jordan’s take on this? Is she ready to take a stand and fight the good fight? Hell no. Jordan had to fight her way to get to where she is, and she doesn’t have the privilege many of those who got fired have to take this risk.

Lowered Morale – Salen, Dr. Andrews, Dr. Lim

While Dr. Andrews has tried his best to support Salen, firing people has taken things to the point he questions if her scorched Earth tactics will work. But with Salen not willing to back down, he begins to see the person everyone else had. Yet, with it being dangled he could become the hospital’s president once more, he takes the carrot.

A nameplate noting Dr. Andrews as the hospital president again

Yet, when he sees Dr. Lim, who is gathering her things, he tries to push the idea that they need someone on the inside. However, like Shaun, Dr. Lim doesn’t see anyone close to Salen as a potential ally. It’s pretty much all or nothing, and she sees Dr. Andrews’ ambitions as what ultimately got him choosing a side.

Line In The Sand – Salen, Dr. Andrews, Alex, Morgan, Shaun, Nira, Jordan

So the plan was to speak at the pension fund and embarrass Salen publicly. During this, new recruits were added in Shaun, who wanted to fight for the people who have fought for him, ASD making the consequences worse for him or not. Also, Alex mid key guilts Morgan into joining and even admitting to her past patient, Nira, the alternative she didn’t present to her. Heck, even Jordan decides to join last minute!

But, before the public embarrassment can happen, Dr. Andrews lands a death blow by testing if Salen’s love for him would make it, so she’d rather end the war now than make it a pyrrhic one. And damn if she doesn’t back down and back out. Thus leaving Dr. Andrews as president over a soon-to-be bankrupt hospital and viewers wondering what the fallout of this all will be.

Things To Note

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Considering Dr. Andrews is now president, did Glassman just decide to let the firing go through, or was Andrews promoted before he took down Salen?
  2. Though perhaps dumb to ask, it could assumed Salen and Dr. Andrews broke up, right?
  3. How many will actually return to the hospital after Salen leaving?
  4. Did almost losing a patient throw Dr. Andrews, badly off his game? It seemed, beyond Shaun and Alex going back and forth, he froze in the surgery room and went on autopilot.

What Could Happen Next

  1. The hospital being in rough shape without the money Ethicure brought into the hospital

Collected Quote(s)

Is it possible to be sure what the right thing is, but it’s also wrong to act on it?
— Shaun

I’m not scared. I’m exhausted.
— Jordan


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Shaun Learning Leverage and Politics

Shaun hasn’t often gotten to fight for himself and win. He often had to have someone speak for him, sacrifice themselves, or be by his side when he stood up to someone or for what he deemed right. However, when he stood up to Salen, due to him changing his mind, even if Dr. Glassman gave him the idea, it was Shaun, on his own, holding his ground, making a scene, and getting Salen to back down.

Man was it a sight to see.

Morgan Noting You Can’t Always Do Every Experimental Surgery There Is

Morgan calling out the show and not even knowing it

One of the things that The Good Doctor and probably many medical dramas do is pull out a miracle or experimental surgery to save patients. More often than not, they work, and the doctors claim yet another win that often feels meaningless since they pull rabbits out of their hats regularly. Yet, in a reminder of reality, Morgan noted to Alex that you can’t always do an experimental surgery.

Then, to add to that, they showed that, while Morgan not offering the surgery meant Nira not having her vision back to a fully functional level, she did reclaim her life. She got closer to her partner, her child, and Morgan’s decision is the reason for that. Now, yes, they coerced Morgan to feel shame, despite the good her decision did for Nira, but you know they can’t have you think these experimental procedures aren’t worth it. That would be like Disney abandoning the idea that all their movies should end with a happily ever after ending.

Dr. Andrews Understanding There Always Needs to Be an Insider

There is only but so much a person can do from the outside of a machine. Yelling, protesting, trying to shame people, it has a limited effect unless people on the inside already wanted that person out. Hence, many companies can have these horrible people like CEOs and other higher-up positions for years, even after being exposed. But, if morale is low, and the target made the wrong enemies, public opinion can be the excuse to turn their backs on said CEO and get them ousted.

I mean, look at any government across the world, especially tyrannical ones, and you can see how insulated a leader can be, despite public opinion, until their closest allies decide they want a change.

Jordan’s Reason For Sitting Out This Fight

Jordan opening Asher's mind and dispelling his ignorance

Alongside Morgan’s reality check came Jordan’s regarding not every fight being worth it. Was Salen dangerous to the hospital? Yes. But the difference between Jordan and Dr. Lim, Dr. Glassman, and Lea is opportunity. As much as there were threats of career suicide, let’s not pretend Dr. Lim, many haven’t heard of Salen and wouldn’t take Dr. Lim on despite what Ethicure put out there.

Then, with Dr. Glassman, he is rich. He has been president of that hospital for how long now? Also, when have you ever heard him talk about money as a deterrent for him not to go to bat for Shaun or something else? Never. As for Lea? She works in IT and has knowledge of Ethicure’s system and how to do corporate IT and engineering if I recall right, so Salen taking her down? Ruining her career? It seems a bit laughable.

On the other hand, Jordan has issues that mirror Shaun’s. Because of Jordan’s faith, she can cause conflict in the surgical room and when speaking to patients. Also, she doesn’t set aside her personal beliefs but lets them be known. In many ways, like Shaun, she has become spoiled by this hospital being lenient on outbursts, insubordination, and residents feeling like they have say so despite the vulnerable positions they are in.

Now, you could submit that this shows the hospital is fair in that Shaun isn’t the only one who receives a form of favoritism, and you’d be right. But what saves Shaun is a diagnosis that can back every criticism and make it an easy discrimination suit. Never mind each higher up, from Dr. Glassman to Dr. Andrews, willingly falling on the sword for Shaun. Jordan being a Black woman with an opinion on things isn’t going to give her a strong discrimination case. It’ll just make her seem difficult, and that wouldn’t be something so early in Jordan’s career she could fight off. Add in no one to go to bat for her like Shaun does? Well, it makes her one of the most vulnerable on the show.

Low Points

Salen Being So Easily Defeated

So you’re telling me, the woman with an army of lawyers, who fires at will and has waged many a war against hospital staff caved this time because her boyfriend asked her to? I’m insulted on so many levels!

First off, how are you going to build up a villain, the first quality villain since Morgan was introduced, and have them go out like that? Salen had all her ducks in a row to show everyone as inept employees who lack the moral high ground they think they have. Alongside that, the smear campaign Dr. Lim planned was falling through, and she was on the ropes – yet again.

Salen resigning from the war

So tell me, how did Dr. Andrews, who has so many marks on his HR file, was able to put himself on the line and, because he is her boyfriend, get her to back down? If that isn’t one of the top 3 most ridiculous things this show has ever exhibited to fix a problem, if not number 1? I don’t know what could compete.

On The Fence

No One Seeming To Listen That Shaun Doesn’t Want His ASD To Be Used Against Him

Shaun has often noted he doesn’t like or want his ASD to be used as a reason he can’t do something or as a limitation. He has come so far in proving people wrong, with Dr. Glassman being one of his main advocates and Lea at a point as well. So the continued use of them saying he should be careful because his ASD I get, but each time it feels less like they are trying to protect or guide him and more like they are continuing to infantilize him and limit even what he can see himself capable of.

[ninja_tables id=”46813″]

Salen sipping her coffee, imagining the battles ahead
The Good Doctor: Season 5/ Episode 10 “Cheat Day” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
It's bittersweet, the idea that this is the end of Salen's time on The Good Doctor, and with the precedent she has left, like the hospital, I fear the show may struggle for a little bit.
Jordan's Reason For Sitting Out This Fight
Dr. Andrews Understanding There Always Needs to Be an Insider
Morgan Noting You Can't Always Do Every Experimental Surgery There Is
Shaun Learning Leverage and Politics
No One Seeming To Listen That Shaun Doesn't Want His ASD To Be Used Against Him
Salen Being So Easily Defeated

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  1. Hi Amari! Please forgive how late in the week this comment is.

    I thought The Good Doctor reached its lowest point when it tried to bore us to death with the relationship between Dr. Glassman and Debbie (which was even duller then Alex and his ex-wife). But that was nothing compared to the patient who miraculously recovered on the operating table after she was dead in last week’s (or the week before’s) episode. However that was riveting and realistic drama compared to the anticlimactic b.s. that was the end of Salen. Salen won’t go against Dr. Andrews, but now Salen and Dr. Andrews aren’t dating anymore, let alone speaking to each other? (My guess is that yes, they have broken up.) Such a big deal was made about Shaun (and Jordan) standing with everyone, but now we won’t see Shaun’s speech?!? I want to see Shaun make his speech!! I feel like they robbed me of that! (Although I agree with you that watching him stand up to Salen when did ‘not’ quit the hospital was pretty cool!) That definitely should have been a two-part episode with the second part being the actual Pension Board Meeting because the way they ended Salen’s arc was terrible!

    One thing I didn’t understand was – Did Morgan actually send a letter to Nira saying she did not offer her the experimental eye surgery that would have restored her vision to save the hospital money? I thought she showed Alex that letter and said she sent it. If so, even though Nira is happy, and the moral of the story is you can’t do every experimental surgery there is, isn’t that opening the hospital to all kinds of lawsuits? Couldn’t Nira argue she should have been given the option of the experimental surgery? Or am I misunderstanding what happened?

    1. Nira seemingly let the situation go but did pull the money that was going to the clinic – hence Dr. Andrews saying it’ll likely have to be shut down.

      And you know that they can’t worry about what is legal when they all pulling miracle procedures left and right lol

      1. Thanks for clearing that up for me!

        I’m looking forward to the next miracle procedure!!

        Onto the next Good Doctor episode. I’m falling behind. I still haven’t watched last Monday’s. 🙁

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