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

As the first round of results from Salen’s client reviews come in, some take it as a matter of pride while others are devastated. Alongside that, Salen takes a major risk.


Aired 11/1/2021
Network ABC
Directed By Rebecca Moline
Written By Sam Chanse, Jessica Grasl
Introduced This Episode
Emily Jee Young Han
Mr. Song François Chau
Rosa Lorena Martinez

Recap

This Is The End – Rosa, Dr. Lim, Salen

Mateo, who seems to be off to somewhere in crisis perpetually, leaves California and sends his ex, Rosa, who is dealing with a serious medical issue, to his place of work. For Salen, this isn’t acceptable considering Rosa isn’t bringing money into the hospital, and her top-rated doctor is just gone with no clear date for when he will be back.

But, with Dr. Lim in love with Mateo, combined with her still not being used to the changes which don’t allow the same level of autonomy she was used to, she pushes back on Salen’s questions and concerns. This leads to Salen trying to push the idea everyone is a team, but when it comes to her, there may not be an “I” in team, but BS and balance sheet can sometimes go together.

Rosa (Lorena Martinez) trying to reassure Dr. Lim about Mateo
Rosa (Lorena Martinez)

However, Salen doesn’t end up the only one a bit perturbed by Mateo. Dr. Lim, in handling the medical care for Rosa, learns that Mateo getting up and leaving is his thing. On top of that, he may not be the type to say goodbye or do a proper breakup – he just doesn’t come back home. So while Rosa makes it seem Mateo may have outgrown that, Dr. Lim knows different. Hence, since Mateo is becoming more of a liability than an asset, she decided to end their relationship and try to keep things strictly professional.

It’s Attractive When Someone Can Make The Hard Decisions – Salen, Dr. Andrews, Dr. Lim

At this point, it seems Dr. Andrews might be vying for the job he used to have. What makes us say that? Well, he decides to have Rosa get sent to a county hospital, which is a non-profit, rather than keep her at their hospital. As you can imagine, being that Dr. Andrews doesn’t have much in the way of authority, and that was Dr. Lim’s patient, she is pissed.

However, in Dr. Andrews’ mind, he is following the mindset of their boss and working the system. Something which Dr. Lim seemingly doesn’t want to do or may not be good at. Because of this, she’d rather butt heads with Salen.

Yet, Dr. Andrews working the system doesn’t go unnoticed. In fact, with the way Salen is talking, she wants to know why Dr. Andrews lost his former position and might be making long-term plans for him. The kind which isn’t just professional, but personal. Yes, once again, we find a superior asking out one of their employees, but in this case, it is Salen and Dr. Andrews – and he accepts. Mind you, with the kind of hesitation that makes it seem he is not doing this out of potentially falling in love but rather an opportunity.

Just When You Thought Bedside Manner Was No Longer An Issue – Mr. Song, Emily, Shaun, Lea

While Mateo, Jordan, and Asher are ranked in the top three of the hospital, Shaun is dead last. The reason? Well, everything about his bedside manner. Be it his direct approach, the lack of empathy he can show in a situation, and things associated with his autism.

But what makes being ranked last truly terrible is that it is data-driven, and Salen has it where everyone doesn’t just see the numbers but the comments as well. This throws Shaun into a bit of an obsession, and Lea wonders if these comments and numbers may have triggered Shaun’s childhood trauma. For with him growing up without friends and never feeling well-liked, going from opinions to hard fact data is a bit much. Yet, Shaun would rather rise to the occasion, see this as a challenge, than be defeated.

So when it comes to Mr. Song and his daughter Emily, Shaun tries to use the method of the florist he and Lea are using, the tailor, but he doesn’t nail their way of doing customer service. In fact, it just makes Shaun more awkward, and while he does save Mr. Song by pressing Emily and trying every method he knows, her comment just doubles down on everything Shaun was trying not to be. Hence Lea edited the data to protect Shaun’s feelings.

Things To Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered

What Could Happen Next

  1. Lim feeling she is being backstabbed after bringing Dr. Andrews back into the hospital
  2. Shaun learning Lea manipulated his scores and seeing that as a grand betrayal
  3. Glassman quitting
  4. Andrews questioning his relationship with Salen, especially in light of his ambition
  5. Morgan and Alex breaking up (wishful thinking)

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

It cost me a lot to get here, but I’m finally in a good place. […] I don’t know if that’s “reaching my full potential,” but I’m happy. And I fought too hard for that to let anyone to tell me it’s not enough. Even the person who makes me happiest.
— Alex

I’m ambitious, that doesn’t mean I’m broken.
— Morgan

Review

Highlights

A Different Side To Alex

While not touched upon in the recap section, I must admit this episode probably presented the first time, in a long time, I felt invested in Alex’s story. Usually, Alex just seems like his casting is based on who Daniel Dae Kim would have preferred to be Shaun, based on Daniel Dae Kim originally envisioning the lead as someone Asian, like the South Korean series this is based on. However, with Alex interacting with another second-generation Asian American, talking about his dad, and even addressing Morgan’s vision for his life, he felt like a real person.

Previous to this, Alex seemed like a character thrusted upon us while presenting no value beyond shallow representation. And while you could submit, like many characters, dropped storylines impaired him, when has his storylines ever been a highlight of the season? But, let’s not walk down sordid memory lane. Rather, let’s be happy that we finally got an episode in which the writers finally gave Alex a storyline that didn’t make him seem wooden or lacking value.

Shaun’s Struggle With Likability

Salen continues to present ways to pop the bubble the staff of the hospital made for Shaun, and this might be the one most devastating to Shaun. Now, let’s state facts: Shaun’s bedside manner has rarely been good. However, he was always able to compensate with the fact that he is a brilliant doctor. However, he could compensate for that before when his value was based on how Dr. Lim, Dr. Glassman, or Dr. Andrews saw him. Now things are in the “Clients” hands, which messes up one of Shaun’s main protections.

But, what you have to appreciate about Shaun is that he isn’t seeing this as a means to get angry or throw a fit. Rather, Shaun sees it as a challenge, showing what he needs to improve on and getting the kind of feedback we haven’t seen the doctors officially get since, maybe early season 2?

Though I must say, I wonder what will come of Lea messing with the data? How will Salen feel about this, and in terms of Shaun, he already got emotional about Lea thinking he couldn’t do better, so her secretly changing things? Her doing something which could jeopardize her job and make it seem she did it for Shaun’s benefit, cause she did? That could have serious repercussions. After all, Salen bases nearly all her decisions on data, and Lea just messed with it.

Also, lest we forget, Shaun isn’t the only one who relied on Glassman to get them a job at the hospital – Lea did too. And with how Dr. Andrews is moving, Glassman may not be around too much longer. So once Lea makes her adjustments to better Salen’s system, she could get the boot.

Dr. Andrews’ Ambition

It’s going to be interesting to see the Dr. Andrews we met in season 1 get reconciled with who he is now regarding his ambition. Clearly, while cool with Dr. Lim, he doesn’t mind overstepping her to show his loyalty to the big wigs – despite her being the one to get him a job back at the place he got fired! Yet, lest we forget, Dr. Andrews was lowkey grimey in season 1, and now with his wife gone, is there anyone to tell him when he is not doing the right thing? Never mind someone who, if they did tell him that, he’d listen to them?

So, taking note of the drama of his minor betrayal of Dr. Lim may cause, on top of the thing which made her happy being gone? It should be interesting to see those two clash.

On The Fence

Dr. Andrews Dating Salen

I’m not for it. It seems like another pairing slapped together for the sake of having relationship drama in the show’s back pocket. I mean, just based on the women we’ve seen Dr. Andrews date, from his wife, the woman in Guatemala he was interested in, and earlier this season, Salen doesn’t seem like his type at all – beyond her job title. But I guess both are lonely, or at least don’t have anyone, so that could be seen as enough of a reason for them to get together?

[ninja_tables id=”46813″]

Salen asking Dr. Andrews out
The Good Doctor: Season 5/ Episode 5 “Crazytown” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
Trajectory: Plateau
Conflict, genuine conflict, is building and between Alex and Morgan showing a potential fracture in their relationship. Lea may be causing one with Shaun and Dr. Andrews reminding us of how self-serving he can be? It seems the season may not solely rely on Salen to keep things interesting.
Highlights
Dr. Andrews' Ambition
Shaun's Struggle With Likability
A Different Side To Alex
Disputable
Dr. Andrews Dating Salen
82


8 Comments

  1. Hi Amari! In case you were wondering, I read last week’s recap, and I always read them. But although I Submitted my Rating for it (Positive), I didn’t comment because it would have just read “You’re right.” and “I agree.”

    It’s the same thing this week, but I have to weigh in on how much I intensely dislike Salen and Dr. Andrews dating. You may recall how I repeated a few times I did not want Claire and Dr. Melendez to date because he was her superior. Well, Salen is Dr. Andrews’ boss, but that certainly hasn’t stopped the writers before! And this show won’t let two single people remain single if they can help it. I’m just glad Asher is gay so he and Jordan won’t be dating! I was just warming up to Salen and then she had to go ask out Dr. Andrews. Eww! And of course that woman in HR that interviewed Dr. Lim and Dr. Melendez last season can’t complain about it because Salen is her boss and can fire her, plus anybody else who complains for that matter. So we’re stuck with this stupid, lazy pairing just like we’re stuck with the other lazy pairing of Alex and Morgan. Except the sad thing is the writers had decent storylines going with Salen and Dr. Andrews so they didn’t have to resort to them dating, but for the sake of “drama” decided to anyway. Once again, Ewww!!

    1. I think the only plus of this is we’ll see how far Dr. Andrews is willing to go to get back to where he was before he went to bat for Shaun. Because, based off his wife and the women we’ve seen him with, I don’t think Salen is his type.

      1. Haha! I had more ore less the same problem as Emily with your recent reviews, Amari, I couldn’t add much substance but only agree silently…

        Yet, mere hours before the next episode airs, let me emphasize how much I enjoy the addition of Salen as well.

        Salen Morrison is a story nexus – all the major characters’ storylines either meet or originate in Salen’s actions.

        Which isn’t only a major (and much needed) shake-up for the show in season 5 in general but also a stark improvement in terms of storytelling. While in the previous seasons the storylines of the various characters where mostly independent from each other and therefore the show often felt fragmented and the characters isolated, now, the St. Bonaventure takeover does offer a coherent narrative that binds all the characters and their stories together.

        Another ingenious choice was to make Salen be neurodivergent herself. ADHD and ASD are kind of “stepbrothers” within the neurodiverse spectrum. Various studies showed that 22–83% of children with ASD have symptoms that satisfy the DSM-IV criteria for ADHD, and vice versa, 30–65% of children with ADHD have clinically significant symptoms of ASD. Therefore, it was even briefly discussed if both diagnoses could be in fact just different expressions of the same underlying condition. This theory has been dropped, but recent research recognizes considerable clinical, genetic, and neuropsychological overlap between ASD and ADHD.

        So, Salen is quite a different, far more nuanced antagonist to the autistic protagonist. Rather than just presenting another variation of the Dr. Han scenario, Salen is personally involved in the matter, but comes with a perspective and experience different than Shaun’s.

        Other than Dr. Han, Salen doesn’t see Shaun’s ASD as liability she better gets rid of sooner than later. Yet, she also knows the challenges that come with the condition within a competitive work environment.

        Interestingly, Salen already revealed to Glassman that her own experience of being neurodivergent taught her that exposition to adversary creates a stronger self. Thus, while Salen does what is to be expected from any CEO, creating revenues by all means, it is quite feasible that she also feels some honest kindred ship when it comes to Shaun, although she rather would challenge than coddle him.

        It’a an approach I approve of personally, by the way. Being diagnosed with ASD only in my late thirties, I was never given any slack in school or work life either. Thus, I had to become more resilient, stronger and more resourceful – just as Salen – and it serves me well.

        It is important to note that we yet have to learn Salen’s stance on Shaun’s bad client reviews. Since she made such a fuss about it, everybody is anticipating that bad ratings would hurt Shaun’s career immediately – but Salen clearly expressed her expectation that those who scored low would work to improve on that. And that’s exactly what Shaun did, albeit in his typical obsessive manner…

        I think it likely that Salen never expected her new diversity poster boy to naturally excel in an area she knows he can’t, but instead take the scores as an incentive to work harder on his weaknesses and grow more resilient in a process of trial and error.

        Ironically, Lea – who treated Shaun without kid gloves as well in the past, as Morgan pointed out – sabotaged that in her effort to protect her loved one. Storywise, this opens some interesting possibilities.

        Off course, Shaun will feel betrayed and patronized by Lea, but in the end, he also will have to confront his own false beliefs and his tendency to underestimate the impact the ASD has on him.

        For Lea’s working relationship with Salen, her actions might be less fatal in the end than some assume. Salen tends to micromanage, but she can’t be everywhere all that time and Shaun is a high-maintenance employee. With Glassmann AWOL, Salen needs Lea to keep her poster boy functional, thus I doubt she would fire Lea because of omitting a patient’s rating. Instead, Salen might rather use this as a lever to enroll Lea for the strategy of challenging Shaun more.

        Now, to Salen and Andrews… I actually like the possibilities for drama that come with that, and I like the basis this relationship builds on: showing vulnerability in a position you can’t afford showing any weaknesses.

        This is what Salen’s (the big boss) and Andrews’ (the former boss with ambitions) was all about. Two alphas that usually will keep up a façade of strength & control at all costs. Yet, Salen directly cut through all defenses to the soft spot; the toll it takes to keep this façade up. Her being judged as sociopath, him feeling crappy for keeping emotions out of business decisions.

        These two don’t connect by physical attraction, but by shared experiences – which can form a very strong bond.

        Of course, it also leads to some complications with their respective positions. But – Winter Finale is coming… 😉

        1. I agree Andreas and would say that was probably one of my major issues with the show in earlier seasons. Because things were so fragmented, or characters would get one or two notable episodes that would allow for development, it was easy to feel cheated. Especially since everyone’s life didn’t revolve around Shaun and when they were paired with him on a case, they often existed within his shadow.

          However, now it does feel a bit more like an ensemble with Shaun still firmly being the lead, but there being a more equal investment in all characters.

          Also, I think the show has finally realized that it can’t keep having characters act as antagonist to Shaun purely due to their own prejudice. We got that with Dr. Andrews, Dr. Melendez, and Dr. Han. The pattern was weak and considering what happened with each character, I’d submit they didn’t contribute much to Shaun as a character. They just were stressors.

          With Salen, she doesn’t have a hyper focus on Shaun but has valuable interactiosn with nearly every character. She is pushing growth, people thinking long term, and not just about the then and now. She has Morgan and Dr. Andrews showing their ambitions again. Salen brings back what was lost regarding the fact the hospital is for-profit and while it is nice everyone comes up with these miraculous cures, they cost money insurance doesn’t always cover! So while you get to be big time hero, there is the question if your prestigious moment will bring in money or just widen the hole in the hospital’s pocket.

          As for Lea? A part of me feels that as much as we can say she is patronizing or infatalizing Shaun, we can’t discount she is soon to be his wife, and likely they will try for another child. So the last thing she needs is the stress of another pregnancy paired with Shaun struggling to secure another job. After all, it isn’t like we hear about Shaun being head hunted from other hospitals, and it seems Dr. Glassman was the sole reason he got hired.

          And while, yes, now Shaun has experience, he also has negative reviews, a write up, and there is a need to question if being a savant in medicine will compensate, outside of St. Bonaventure, for who he is, without much in the way of compromise?

          Heck, taking note of your story Andreas, a part of me wonders how different Shaun’s life would have been if he didn’t get diagnosed? What would his life have been like as someone just seen as eccentric, irritable, and not have who he is be boiled down to ASD?

          I don’t think we’ve gotten much, if any, “What If?” type episodes, but that could be a story to explore.

          1. Hi Amari, I guess I will have to split my answer between here and “One Heart”, since I found it fitting to incorporate some of the events of the subsequent episode into the scope. Sorry for any inconvenience…

            Salen the savior (of the show’s concept)– that notion sure would please her… 😉 Indeed, the organic “flow” of the episodes has very much improved with season 5. Which sure is thanks to the overarching theme of institutional change impacting the cast, personified in Salen.

            Though, I would like to submit that another factor plays into this as well: there’s no more second lead that must be fed with plots equivalent in importance to the first. As interesting as Claire was as a character, she consumed a lot of screen time once an episode dived into her character. With Claire staying abroad, the hierarchy in the cast now is much clearer: there’s the titular character and its established supporting cast (in this regard, it also helps that there’s no more Dr. Osma to establish…).

            That frees up a quite a lot of run time for the others. Just look at the content of “One Heart”: besides Shaun’s usual professional struggles…
            — we had 3 instead of the 2 medical cases per week, of which one had the tear-up quality of season 1;
            — we got a major change in Morgan’s job description that will have wide ramifications professionally AND personally;
            — we got a major turning point in Andrews’s relationship with his boss/now lover that (as I suppose) will come back to bite him in the ass as soon as in the winter finale;
            — we dived deeper into the personal story of Asher;
            — the bond between Glassman and Lea was tied with another knot by him, at last, giving his blessing to the relationship and acknowledging Lea’s positive influence on his surrogate son, as well as sassy Lea revealing that Shaun isn’t the only one relying on the grouch;
            — the friendship between Park and Shaun was tested and proved to be viable, with Shaun extending the olive branch at the end, which signaled that he understands the value of the friendship and how to make amends in that regard.

            That’s a lot to accomplish in 44 minutes!

            But keeping the focus at “Crazytown”, I must thank you for providing an angle of Lea’s POV I hadn’t taken into consideration yet that much. Besides the extra miles Lea has to go to understand and guide Shaun from day to day, you bring up very valid concerns about their future together. Concerns Lea might not have realized to their full extent, but sure is working on subconsciously at least. It adds another layer of plausibility to the theme that started with her ruling out a romantic relationship when they moved in together as roommates in season 2, and then her rejection of Shaun in season 3. Back then, Lea has been seen as the bad girl by many, but as it plays out now, her concerns had a basis that has become quite obvious by now. Shaun might be a medical genius, but that does not give him job security at all. As an employee with client contacts, he is -still- quite problematic for any employer (even as Salen is up to now the most qualified to sympathize with him personally). A future together is always bound to be shaky and potentially stressful for Shaun and Lea personally as well as professionally.

            Though I would submit that it wouldn’t change much if he hadn’t been diagnosed with ASD early on. In fact, we got an what-if episode about that with Dr. Chambers in 4×12 “Teeny Blue Eyes”: a surgeon with ASD who went undiagnosed and lived a very isolated and unhappy life because he himself and his environment lacked understanding for him.

            As I see it, the problem isn’t the diagnosis but the level of accommodation for it. There’s no question that an individual with ASD has certain limitations they need accommodations for – yet, first you’ll have to test what these individual limits are. Looking at individuals younger than me and diagnosed early, I often get the impression they never got to explore their true limits because they were accommodated too much and too early – and thus they stagnate way below their capabilities for growth.

            Which brings us back to the roles Glassman and Lea played in Shaun’s life since season 1 and how these two now go back and forth between the extremes of empowering and patronizing the person they both love. It’s a struggle of hearts without clear boundaries or guidelines. Painful, but good drama material, for sure.

      2. Welcome back Andreas! I missed reading your comments! I thought your paragraph about ASD and ADHD being “stepbrothers” was fascinating! While my daughter is a very laid-back autistic person, I know a boy who has autism and seems to have ADHD also. And I liked how you related Salen’s ADHD to how she treated Shaun, especially when compared to Dr. Han.

        But while I understand what you are saying with how Salen and Dr. Andrews dating will be interesting because they are 2 alphas, etc., as soon as it even begins to get romantic, I will go back to my original opinion of those two dating, which was Ewww!

        Amari, I think a “What If?” episode where Shaun wasn’t diagnosed with ASD would be great! Sadly, I don’t think the writers are creative enough to write this. But what a cool episode or two that would have been!!

        1. Thank you, Emily, for the warm welcome! Though, I might torture you soon with some more musings on the Salen/Andrews developments in the episode “One Heart”… ;).

          As with the “What If?” episode, see above the episode about Dr. Chambers going undiagnosed until his sixties last season.

          1. Andreas – Even though I’ve already watched the next episode (“Expired”), I want to say how interesting it is you calling the episode about Dr. Chambers the “What If” episode. I never thought about that, but I find myself agreeing with you. Good thinking!

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