Claire returns to “The Good Doctor” but with a few scenarios setup in the penultimate episode, it seems the writers don’t want to end the show on a happy note.


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Plot Recap

The Return of Claire – Claire, Shaun, Jared, Jordan

Fresh from Guatemala, you’d think Claire returned to California for Morgan’s nuptials to meet Steve and spend some time with her chosen family. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Discovering a lump in her breast and Shaun’s worries being paired with a chance to see Jared is why Claire has returned.  

Now, in regards to the lump, after extensive testing, it is determined that Claire has Stage 1 cancer, which is fairly easy to treat with surgical procedures. As for the Jared situation? Originally, it was assumed that would be complicated since Jared and Jordan were exploring something. However, Jared makes it clear that he doesn’t see the path forward there with Jordan in daily contact with her ex, and they are friends, which makes it so that Jared and Claire can move forward. 

The Perfect Wedding – Morgan, Alex 

For Morgan, while she loves Alex, the hoopla of a wedding isn’t something she needs. Her needs are to have this situation for Eden handled. But, being who Alex is, he believes Morgan wants a wedding and as any good partner does, he compensates for what she doesn’t vocalize. So, he works out with the owner of Idle Time, where he and Morgan had their first date, the ability to rent the place.  

Unfortunately, since the place is popular, their wedding has to take place at 2:00 AM, but everyone shows up, including Dr. Lim, who officiates the wedding.  

This All Shall End Bittersweet – Hannah, Shaun, Dr. Glassman, Claire, Jared, Lea

Claire (Antonia Thomas)
Claire (Antonia Thomas)

While there is a lot of good news in the episode, sadly, things don’t end on a high note across the board. But, let’s build up to the bad news by first starting with Hannah. Dr. Glassman is doing his best to work with her by giving her pills on a regimen and for a little bit, it seems this maybe working. She is cooking and noting her interests, gets a job, and seems to be on the right track.  

However, then Dr. Glassman discovers she is still getting street drugs and this causes issues. But, what is also causing issues is that Lea discovers Hannah is living with Dr. Glassman, Shaun discovers this, and you know Shaun – he’s a snitch. So, he is going back and forth between telling Dr. Lim or not, so he confronts Dr. Glassman who plays it off and tells Shaun to mind his business.  

This only pushes Shaun to think he should tell more, but then Claire reminds him of who Dr. Glassman is, what he has done for Shaun specifically, and how unconditional love has gotten Shaun as far as he has gotten. So, with that in mind, when Shaun sees Dr. Glassman at the end of his rope, having to walk away from Hannah after a verbal altercation, Shaun steps in and has a heart-to-heart with Hannah that seemingly is what she needed to hear. Thus leading to Dr. Glassman committing to finding her a rehab facility that will work for her and her committing to do it, since Dr. Glassman says he will be there for her once she gets out. 

Switching to Claire, while she does get good news regarding her breast cancer diagnosis and seemingly is rekindling her flame with Jared, the night ends after Morgan’s wedding, with Claire passing out for reasons unknown. But, to make matters worse, Dr. Glassman reveals he has terminal cancer, and while he doesn’t reveal how much longer he has to live, it is nonetheless a major shock for a season already plagued by death. 

Cast Guide

Character’s Name Actor’s Name
Claire Antonia Thomas
Shaun Freddie Highmore
Jared Chuku Modu
Jordan Bria Henderson
Morgan Fiona Gubelmann
Alex Will Yun Lee
Hannah Ruby Kelley
Dr. Glassman Richard Schiff
Lea Paige Spara

Other Noteworthy Information

Collected Quote(s)

  • I think you’re gonna have to choose between immediate and meaningful. – Idle Time Owner

Review

Highlights

Shaun Supporting Dr. Glassman And His Talk With Hannah

What we see from Shaun from season to season is a showing that things don’t have to be absolute. Yes, some things don’t make logical sense, but there can still be justifiable reasons. I think when it comes to Dr. Glassman and Hannah, Shaun is experiencing notable growth. Perhaps the kind that, as Steve grows up, will serve him well, for he is learning to accept the grey.

Dr. Glassman is doing something unethical that could risk his license, and he should stop. However, if he stopped immediately, it would mean Hannah potentially ending up like Maddie, Dr. Glassman feeling like he failed someone else, and with time short, it would mean he perhaps would feel like he didn’t redeem himself.

And lest we forget, there is a good chance someone gave similar warnings to Dr. Glassman about Shaun. We have never seen it, since the show hasn’t dove too much into Dr. Glassman raising Shaun, but it is fair to assume him having some kid around, maybe raising him outright, likely raised eyebrows, led to people feeling uncomfortable and someone might have said it was inappropriate.

This makes not only Shaun’s speech but also Charlie’s effect on him clearer. Charlie, because I think Shaun has long forgotten his privileges, if he has ever acknowledged them. And then with the Hannah speech, after Claire turned on the lightbulb for Shaun, I think that pushed him to realize that Dr. Glassman not only is still dealing with grief and trauma but also wants and needs more than Shaun can give him in his personal life.

On The Fence

Threatening The Lives Of Characters For The Sake Of Tears

I don’t like how Claire returns, and they hit her with a breast cancer diagnosis. I get there could be a push of having viewers get themselves checked and also enlighten them about potential advancements in finding breast cancer, but I wouldn’t say “The Good Doctor” keeps the science simple enough to repeat what was said in the real world. So, that isn’t an applicable excuse.

They could have just had Alex call Claire and let her know about the wedding, and she could have come up as a surprise, reconnected with everyone, and kept it simple. The extra drama was not needed, especially with Asher’s death still fresh.

Jared x Claire – Another Round

Jordan (Bria Henderson)
Jordan (Bria Henderson)

Speaking of drama, we don’t need a love triangle or Jordan being jealous. There is one episode left, and what should be happening, unless we’re going to get an epilogue, is things wrapping up, not ramping up. And honestly, with the reminder of Jared and Claire’s relationship once existing, I find myself wondering which couple was worst: Jared and Claire, the OG couple, or Morgan and Alex, the new one thrusted onto us that shows opposites don’t always attract, but writers can sure force them together.

Background Information

Episode Title Unconditional
Release Date May 14, 2024
Network ABC
Director(s) Mike Listo
Writer(s) Thomas L. Moran, Adam Scott Weissman
Previous Episode Season 7/ Episode 8
Series Page The Good Doctor
Character Guide N/A

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The Good Doctor: Season 7 Episode 9 - Review

Summary

I’m trying to focus on the high of Claire returning and Shaun’s speech, but the setup for a devasting finale or Shaun doing potentially two miraculous surgeries weighs heavy on me and makes it seem the series finale is going to be a nailbiter.

Overall
77%
77%
  • Shaun Supporting Dr. Glassman And His Talk With Hannah - 86%
    86%
  • Threatening The Lives Of Characters For The Sake Of Tears - 73%
    73%
  • Jared x Claire – Another Round - 72%
    72%
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User Review
0 (0 votes)

Highlight(s)

  • Shaun Supporting Dr. Glassman And His Talk With Hannah

Disputable

  • Jared x Claire – Another Round
  • Threatening The Lives Of Characters For The Sake Of Tears

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