The Good Doctor: Season 5/ Episode 8 “Rebellion” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

Shaun finds himself questioning if Lea settled for him as Dr. Lim preps for war against Salen, who creates a David vs. Goliath dynamic.

Shaun watching Lea walk away

Shaun finds himself questioning if Lea settled for him as Dr. Lim preps for war against Salen, who creates a David vs. Goliath dynamic.

Aired 2/28/2022
Network ABC
Directed By Gary Hawes
Written By Thomas L. Moran
Introduced This Episode
Dr. Fremes Adam Greydon Reid
Candace Williams Roberta Valderrama
Phil Hall Charley Koontz
Monica Rebecca Olson
Jacqueline Plante Veena Sood


Move Swift On The Vulnerable – Salen, Alma, Dr. Freme, Dr. Lim, Dr. Glassman, Jacqueline

Salen is a calculated woman who moves swiftly against all threats. While grieving, Salen gets Alma, the woman who lost her child, to sign a consent form in which she’d only get $200,000 and seemingly release the hospital from any liability or lawsuit. She also makes Dr. Freme the fall guy for all of this, and you can bet your behind that Dr. Lim is massively upset about this.

Dr. Fremes (Adam Greydon Reid) taking a severance package
Dr. Fremes (Adam Greydon Reid)

However, what’s the way forward? How can she go against Salen and maybe even rid the hospital of her? Dr. Freme, who has a wife and two kids, is unreliable due to needing money to support his family and not wanting to tank his career in an uphill battle. Dr. Glassman? He is heading towards retirement and rather remain neutral since he barely has it in him to go back and forth with Shaun, never mind a woman who is used to being sued and argued with.

So, to try to get someone notable on her side, she looks towards the attorney general of California, Jacqueline Plante. Dr. Lim thinks she could step in since the transition from a non-profit hospital to a for-profit one needs Plante’s support, and this baby’s death she thinks could kill the move. For as of now, Salen’s deal with taking over the hospital, a deal worth over $52 million, hasn’t been completed yet.

Jacqueline Plante (Veena Sood) talking to Dr. Lim
Jacqueline Plante (Veena Sood)

But, always one step ahead, Salen has seemed to have already spoken with the AG, either about this matter or by just having her in her network. So with that, she knows what Dr. Lim is trying to do. Thus, Dr. Lim has lost the ability to launch a surprise attack and rather is now a known enemy who has to be watched.

Bickering Like Siblings – Dr. Allen, Asher, Morgan, Dr. Andrews, Candace

Candace (Roberta Valderrama) in the middle of her operation
Candace (Roberta Valderrama)

Due to their various differences because of religion and lifestyle, Dr. Allen and Asher bicker like siblings. Many find this entertaining at times, like Morgan and Dr. Andrews. However, sometimes they find themselves questioning if it is for the patient’s benefit or is this what those two call fun? This question is particularly of interest as Candace, a woman who got a BBL (Brazilian Butt Lift), comes to Morgan’s clinic and wants surgery that saves her butt yet fixes all the problems of a botched job.

With taking on this situation, Dr. Allen and Asher go back and forth over changing your looks, leading to jabs and uppercuts from both sides. Be it Asher talking about Dr. Allen’s hair, Dr. Allen saying Asher wasn’t raised around strong women, and it never getting nasty enough to be a shouting match, but definitely getting personal. I would even say it gets to the point Dr. Andrews doesn’t see the benefit. He just sees bias which could negatively affect a patient’s experience at the hospital.

However, between Morgan providing the two cover and them hashing it out over a drink, while neither one apologizes, they do move forward. Dr. Allen even explains, from her side, how she treats Asher is because he reminds her of her older brother, who she loves, but bickers with constantly.

Did You Settle? – Monica, Phil, Dr. Park, Shaun, Dr. Lim, Lea

Appearance is a major theme in this episode and the idea of what someone deserves and settled for. Such is the case with Phil, a patient who gets drunk and crashes his car after being romantically rejected by his friend, Monica. This leads to Shaun, reeling from losing a baby patient, questioning his relationship with Lea.

As always, everything said around or to him is taken note of, especially how Dr. Park talks about Phil while he is unconscious vs. when he is wide awake. Because the lying is something Shaun finds particularly triggering. For saying Phil didn’t stand a chance with Monica without being rich or famous, while refuted by Dr. Lim, is taken note of by Shaun. Just as much as Dr. Park saying Monica could change to Phil when he awakes.

So with that in mind, alongside Monica saying she didn’t want to settle and providing no reason to think settling could deal with anything beyond Phil’s weight, the wheels begin turning. Shaun thinks Lea settled because the other options, the other people who have pursued and dated her, were terrible. So, Shaun, who she once said she couldn’t be with because of his ASD? Then lied, three times, to cover up the thing that was the reason they couldn’t be together before? It makes him believe she doesn’t truly want him but settled.

However, with hearing Dr. Park speak to Phil about loving himself and not being ashamed of what makes him different, Shaun changes his perspective on ASD being a detriment to prospective relationships and tries to reconcile with Lea. But with saying the wrong thing and Lea feeling like every mistake, even if for Shaun’s benefit, will be held over her head, she decides to call it quits.

Things To Note

What Could Happen Next

  1. Lea and Shaun date other people, realize they are each other’s end game, and they elope
  2. Salen make Dr. Lim’s life hell and make it seem she is incompetent and defiant


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Salen is the villain The Good Doctor has needed its whole run. She isn’t someone picking on Shaun for being on the spectrum but is an administrator who puts profits before people. A universal reason to hate her. But, to the credit of the writers and actress, she isn’t someone you hate simply because of what she does, but how she does it.

Salen took advantage of a grieving mother, told her what she needed to hear, to sign a document despite being in distress. Using her position, she coerced a doctor to, in writing, take the blame, a payout, and make him keep his mouth shut. Alongside that, with noting an army of lawyers and making it clear she has friends in high places, she seems like an unstoppable force who may have one legal technicality as a weakness, but it is made clear Dr. Lim won’t easily be able to exploit that weakness.

Also, lest we forget, while many may not like Salen, some are neutral or support her. Dr. Andrews, as an example, is dating her, and maybe Dr. Lim may stoop low enough to use him against her? Who knows. But as for Morgan, Dr. Glassman, and many others who benefit from being on Salen and Dr. Lim’s good side? This war will be an awkward thing to watch from the sides and not get sucked into.

The Larger Conversation – Not Just How It Plays Upon How Characters Feel

Almost everything a patient talks about that is personal to them ends up being used to delve deeper into Shaun’s story or how one of his peers feels. But with Candace and Phil’s story, we got one of the rare times it felt like a larger conversation was had. One which pushes you to think about the lies you tell, despite your true feelings, and even the biases you openly share, despite the pain they could cause.

Now, this isn’t to put down all the previous topics brought up on this show. More so, I think as The Good Doctor pushes towards feeling like an ensemble, and it not just being Shaun who is the good doctor, a mirror is being presented towards fans so that the weekly patients, and what they bring, isn’t just part of the storyline. It’s also meant to spark conversation and thoughts amongst viewers in hopes that, whether it is Shaun’s ASD, age, weight, and the many things which make each character different, maybe a perspective may change.

On The Fence

The Shaun and Lea Drama

The Good Doctor, as a medical drama, has always been on point. However, when it veers into being a romantic drama? It has rarely been consistently good. Relationships on this show have often been used to keep characters active while they lacked notable individual storylines – see Morgan and Dr. Park, alongside Dr. Andrews. It has also been a means to build up characters before they are written off, like Dr. Melendez. Rarely has it been something where the relationship didn’t feel forced, about convenience, or to hold an actor’s position until there was an opportunity to invest in them.

So when it comes to Shaun and Lea, who have long been posed to be an end game couple, there is a need to question how long will we get a “Will they or won’t they?” type story going? Could it be, like Debbie and Dr. Glassman, Lea could be written off? After all, she did help Dr. Lim to take Salen down and could be made a casualty of this war. Also, considering Dr. Melendez’s death and Claire being written off, with the door open for a return, it isn’t like The Good Doctor hasn’t lost characters who have been here since the beginning.

But perhaps the better question is, considering Shaun’s main obstacle seems to be embracing his ASD, especially how it can benefit him beyond being a savant in medicine, is Lea not as big of a deal as she seems? Could she be like Carly? Someone who significantly moves Shaun forward but isn’t meant to be there when he reaches his final destination? Sadly, we’ll have to wait a while to see.

[ninja_tables id=”46813″]

Shaun watching Lea walk away
The Good Doctor: Season 5/ Episode 8 “Rebellion” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
As The Good Doctor takes the weight of the show off Shaun a bit, Salen gets to really hone onto the idea of being this season's villain, and completely eclipsing all whose primary focus was eliminating Shaun or lessening his visibility.
The Larger Conversation – Not Just How It Plays Upon How Characters Feel
The Shaun and Lea Drama

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  1. I forgot to mention – Under Highlights, you’re right, Salen is a good villain! I am anxious to see what will happen next with her and Dr. Lim! I wonder if Dr. Andrews is going to become the new Chief of Surgery?

  2. Hi Amari! It’s great to be back reading your wonderful reviews again!! Especially when we are thinking alike! 🙂 For the first time since Lea suddenly decided she loved Shaun, I am “On the Fence” about those two dating. I listened closely to their argument at the end of the show, and right before she broke up with Shaun, Lea started twisting his words as if to fabricate a reason to be mad at Shaun and then make up a reason to break up with him. The whole thing rang false to me. So when you asked if Lea could be written off, for the first time ever I thought that was an actual possibility. And for the first time ever I didn’t mind the idea.

    P.S. I like this new format here in the Comments Section!

    1. Excuse the delay, my time management has been terrible this past week.

      Just finished the most recent episode, and while I appreciate Lea recognizing they have kinks to work out in their relationship, I feel that the show really needs to take seriously that Shaun doesn’t find peace with Lea. To me, getting with her is treated as an accomplishment to make up for all the girls who made fun of him or tricked him. She feels like a symbol and I think when they broke up, it ruined that rose-colored glasses view he had of her. He saw her as she truly is and while he seems committed to loving that person again, it’s hard to not feel like… I wouldn’t say he is settling but definitely looking to boost his ego in some ways.

      1. I definitely do not consider you replying just 2 days later any kind of “delay”, especially with how busy you are!!

        I have yet to see this week’s episode (my time management is worse then yours) 🙂 . But based on everything up to that, I find your analysis “getting with her is treated as an accomplishment to make up for all the girls who made fun of him or tricked him” very interesting! It’s like Lea was the ultimate cool girl and if Shaun could get with her, then he would have proved all of those mean girls wrong. Like you wrote, a symbol of what he could accomplish.

        1. Also, and maybe I’m projecting when I say this, but it would also bridge/reconcile the massive accomplishments in his career with his personal life. For with his brother dead, father gone, and mother still being a strained relationship, getting the chance to make a new family without the baggage of the past would be ideal.

          Yet, with Lea, he seems to realize he can’t escape the pain of the past. Shaun can’t escape his diagnosis with accolades, job titles, and relationships. He can’t pick and choose when and what can be marketed and damn the rest. He has to fully embrace who he is and even how some people may react to that.

          Hence the conversation regarding expecting someone to love you when you can’t love yourself. Shaun, in my eyes, learned to tolerate or ignore his autism, maybe even fight to overcome it – especially when it comes to moving up in society. But he hasn’t been able to with Lea, even Carly, allow someone to love him with that being part of the package.

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