Time Jump Shaun (Freddie Highmore)
Time Jump Shaun (Freddie Highmore)

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Plot Summary

In its final season, “The Good Doctor” looks both to the past and future. With a new medical student like Charlie, someone who is on the spectrum like Shaun, we’re reminded not only of how far Shaun has come but also of how much his privilege has gotten him to this point. But, alongside Charlie comes little Steve and navigating raising a child with Lea, who he bumps heads with over various topics – like testing Steve for autism.

Outside of Shaun’s storyline, Dr. Lim finds herself thrust into a leadership position she doesn’t enjoy and can’t put herself on auto-pilot. Morgan and Alex continue to present the argument that it isn’t about what a relationship looks like on the outside, but how it works between two people and Dr. Glassman? As Shaun makes his own family and seemingly wants Dr. Glassman but doesn’t need him, Dr. Glassman latches onto someone named Hannah, who becomes the latest way he tries to atone for what he did to his daughter Maddie.

Characters and Cast

Character’s Name Actor’s Name
Charlie Kayla Cromer
Dr. Glassman Richard Schiff
Dr. Lim Christina Chang
Shaun Freddie Highmore
Lea Paige Spara
Hannah Ruby Kelley
Morgan Fiona Gubelmann
Alex Will Yun Lee
Claire Antonia Thomas
Dom Wavyy Jonez
Jordan Bria Henderson
Jerome Giacomo Baessato
Asher Noah Galvin

Review

Our Rating: Mixed (Stick Around)

Good If You Like

  • Medical dramas

Similar To This

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  2. Everything’s Gonna Be Okay
  3. When Time Got Louder

Check out our TV series page for our latest recaps, reviews, and recommendations.

Highlights

Hannah

Ruby Kelley as Hannah
Ruby Kelley as Hannah

Setting aside the nepotism of Ruby Kelley being Richard Schiff’s daughter, let me say, compared to when his wife was on the show, you’ll get something out of his scenes with his daughter. Yes, invoking Maddie’s name and all that happened with her is a factor, but also, this season of “The Good Doctor” made more of an effort with its guest stars, whether former series regulars like Claire or not, to try to tap into what made season 1 so great.

Speaking specifically about Hannah, Dr. Glassman doesn’t have too many storylines that don’t revolve around Shaun or work. The few romances he has been in lacked chemistry, but “The Good Doctor” struggles with 90% of the romantic relationships written in, so that isn’t a surprise. However, there was something there with Hannah. The passion, the tears, the back and forth, the having feelings for someone who is an addict that wants to be enabled and not helped, it hit harder than the majority of the storylines this season – especially when the show didn’t decide to kill someone off or maim them.

Low Points

Hurting and Killing Off Characters

Every show wants to end with a bang, and, unfortunately, the majority often think killing off a character, presenting the potential of them dying, or permanently injuring them is the way to go. Sadly, “The Good Doctor” follows suit. It kills one beloved character, brings back another, and has them lose an arm, and while you might be thankful they are alive as of the end of the series, it doesn’t take away the need to side-eye who the violence was aimed at.

In some ways, you can see that maybe it was supposed to be “The Good Doctor” acknowledging what happens in the real world when it comes to who died? Then, as for the character who lost their arm, similar to Morgan losing her ability to be a surgeon, perhaps the push was that someone can still be a doctor and do good work, even if they don’t practice in their field of choice.

However, as noted in the season finale review, it could also be that anyone who could have stood in Shaun’s way of becoming what he does in the finale, they had to be taken care of in a way that would knock them out of the competition – one way or another.

On The Fence

Charlie, And The Retread Of What Shaun Has Gone Through

Freddie Highmore as Shaun and Kayla Cromer as Charlie
“Freddie Highmore as Shaun and Kayla Cromer as Charlie,” The Good Doctor: Season 7 Episode 6, directed by Mike Listo, 2024, (ABC)

In many ways, Charlie was necessary. While “The Good Doctor” has featured characters and actors who are autistic, they were there for one-episode stints, usually as patients. As a medical student, Charlie gave us a character that I wished was introduced multiple seasons back, not just in the final one.

Why? Well, because Freddie Highmore isn’t autistic and as noted by Sarah Kurchak for Time.com, “The Good Doctor” has been void of people on the spectrum in the cast, writers’ room, and even their autism consultant. So seeing Charlie, whose actress is autistic, even portrayed an autistic character before in “Everything’s Gonna Be Okay” was different. Now, I’ll admit, the same annoyances I had with Shaun in earlier seasons resurfaced, but it was very different to watch Shaun play the villain rather than the person being oppressed.

To me, showing there is a spectrum and, as Kurchak notes in her article, the degree of similarities, differences, and means of understanding, yet also being perplexed by one another, was what this show needed. Charlie challenged Shaun in ways that he was largely protected from due to Dr. Glassman’s position and influence, his co-workers shielding him, and him even becoming the face of the hospital.

But, one unfortunate thing about Charlie is that her character seemed built upon being autistic and didn’t have much else to offer. Shaun’s whole saga included the original Steve, his family, Dr. Glassman, and romances, and Charlie never got that. She didn’t get to evolve beyond what is part of her identity, but not the beginning and end of who she is.

So, while a step in the right direction, I’d submit, whether, in season 6 or 5, Charlie would have been better suited to be introduced rather than shoehorned in, almost as a means to address long-held criticism.

The Majority Of The Relationships

Fiona Gubelmann as Morgan

As noted above, “The Good Doctor” was always terrible at writing relationships. Shaun and Lea still show signs that she hasn’t moved on from her stereotypes and prejudice but has made Shaun out to be an exception. Alex and Morgan continue to be the kind of couple that makes sense on the inside, but it doesn’t make sense from the outside looking in.

I say that because Alex continually pushes the idea Morgan needs to change and fit into his idea of normal. In contrast, she, while never said to be autistic, does sometimes read as such. It creates the idea he doesn’t accept her, so he continually tries to mold her, and when he gets his way, he settles for a bit, before something new comes up for him to get fussy about and force her to adapt. None of it comes off romantic, and more comes off like Morgan settling because her desire to date and opportunities to meet someone are slim.

Beyond that, we got Jared and Jordan, an idea seemingly flirted with due to neither having a notable storyline, and then add in Claire and Jared potentially getting back together? Again and again, it seemed clear that relationships were an obligation to be fulfilled, not something anyone was truly invested in.

The only exception would be Asher and Jared, and we saw what they did to that relationship.

Dom Became An Afterthought

Dom (Wavyy Jonez) listening to a patient
“Dom (Wavyy Jonez) listening to a patient,” The Good Doctor, S07E02 “Skin In The Game,” directed by Freddie Highmore, 2024, (ABC)

Dom came onto the show with Charlie, and while they played up him not handling blood well and being a former athlete, they didn’t develop him much. Charlie was the thing they honed in on, and despite Dom talking about starting a clinic with his brother and maybe bonding with Alex, since they both made drastic life changes, he was often just relegated to the back. Someone who helped when they could and, even in terms of the friendship he seemingly had with Charlie, I guess since they didn’t want them put together romantically, even that got swept away to the point of questioning, was Dom just added since Dr. Andrews left and they needed a Black male doctor?

Dr. Lim Barely Had A Story

It truly is terrible that, despite being one of the original cast members and making it to the series finale, Dr. Lim barely got a proper send-off in the final season. Yes, her mom showed up and revealed a little bit about her father, but Dr. Lim had to share her with Dr. Glassman, who got another push to remind viewers that he is still sexually attractive to someone.

Which I don’t say to shame the actor, but more so to put forward that this show has long had its favorites, and for those who weren’t the show’s favorites, at best, you may experience trauma to give you some kind of story. At worst, you would be paired with someone romantically. Unfortunately for Dr. Lim, she experienced almost exclusively the worst the writers could offer, time and time again, and even in the final season, they didn’t finally do right by her.

Background Information

Network ABC
Genre(s) Drama
Renewal Status Cancelled (Ended)
Series Page The Good Doctor
Character Guide N/A
Content Information
Dialog N/A
Violence Notable Fight Scenes
Sexual Content N/A
Miscellaneous Depiction of Bodies During Surgery

Listed Under Categories: , , , ,


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The Good Doctor: Season 7 Review
Time Jump Shaun (Freddie Highmore)

Title: The Good Doctor: Season 7

Description: In it's final season, "The Good Doctor" tries to end things on a high note but continues to commit to many of its flaws or trips in its pursuit to leave a lasting impression.

Start date: February 20, 2024

End date: May 21, 2024

Number of episodes: 10

Season number: 7

Part of series: The Good Doctor

Author: Amari Allah

Production company: ABC

Actor(s): Kayla Cromer, Richard Schiff, Christina Chang, Freddie Highmore, Paige Spara, Ruby Kelley, Fiona Gubelmann, Will Yun Lee, Antonia Thomas, Wavyy Jonez, Bria Henderson, Giacomo Baessato, Noah Galvin

Summary

“The Good Doctor” is one of the longest shows we have followed from start to finish, and sadly, we don’t find its ending bittersweet. In many ways, it feels overdue, and while season 7 presented characters like Charlie and Hannah who gave the show something it needed, unfortunately, between the romances and push for shock value, “The Good Doctor” ultimately became like so many shows that didn’t know what to do with itself, once its initial hook lost its luster.

Overall
73%
73%
  • Hannah - 82%
    82%
  • Hurting and Killing Off Characters - 63%
    63%
  • Charlie, And The Retread Of What Shaun Has Gone Through - 78%
    78%
  • The Majority Of The Relationships - 72%
    72%
  • Dom Became An Afterthought - 71%
    71%
  • Dr. Lim Barely Had A Story - 70%
    70%
Sending
User Review
0/100 (1 vote)

Highlight(s)

  • Hannah

Disputable

  • Dr. Lim Barely Had A Story
  • Dom Became An Afterthought
  • The Majority Of The Relationships
  • Charlie, And The Retread Of What Shaun Has Gone Through
  • Hurting and Killing Off Characters

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