The Good Doctor: Season 1/ Episode 13 “Seven Reasons” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

Shaun saying that he needs a friend.

As Shaun, annoyingly, points out the obvious and shows his own bias, Claire decides to pursue Dr. Coyle being properly punished. Network ABC Director(s) Mike Listo Writer(s) David Shore & David Hoselton Air Date 1/22/2018 Catch Up or Follow Along Characters Introduced Naja Hina Abdullah Cole Art Kitching Payton Keoni Rebeiro Tessa Chelah Horsdal Episode…

As Shaun, annoyingly, points out the obvious and shows his own bias, Claire decides to pursue Dr. Coyle being properly punished.

Director(s) Mike Listo
Writer(s) David Shore & David Hoselton
Air Date 1/22/2018
Catch Up or Follow Along
Characters Introduced
Naja Hina Abdullah
Cole Art Kitching
Payton Keoni Rebeiro
Tessa Chelah Horsdal

Episode Focus: Truth and Perception | Jared, Shaun, Dr. Melendez, Claire, Dr. Lim, Jessica

With Shaun taking days off and Jared forcing his way back into the hospital, needless to say things are a bit awkward for them. Especially since Shaun, repeatedly, notes why things are so tense and seriously pokes the bear. Even to the point of, arguably, distracting and antagonizing Dr. Melendez to the point of making a mistake. One which Shaun is ready to snitch about despite him pestering Dr. Melendez about his recent breakup with Jessica during surgery.

But, this is never brought up. Instead, we dig into why their patient Natalie is showing these abrasions on her lungs despite not smoking, and signs of methanol despite being a Muslim – meaning she isn’t supposed to drink. For Shaun, he hops on this idea she is a terrorist and this is very disappointing to Naja. Especially since, while religion and culture aren’t the same as autism, there was this hope he’d understand bigotry. Yet, like a parrot who refuses to shut up, terrorist is repeated over and over until Naja reveals her lies about her what happened to her was because she was trying to make perfume. Of which, the chemicals she got for said perfume came from her brother illegally taking them from his pharmaceutical job. Hence her lies trying to say she inhaled smoke, among other things.

Shaun accusing Naja of being a terrorist.
People with autism can be bigots too.

Though, despite Shaun being wrong, and repeatedly calling her a terrorist, there isn’t an apology.

But Shaun isn’t alone in having his perceptions challenged and questioning what is the truth, when it comes to the patient. A woman named Tessa, alongside her husband Cole and son Payton, come to the hospital for Cole has an aneurysm. One which we ultimately learn comes from him not taking his medication. Now, like many a Claire patient before, she ends up in that odd situation of whether to treat a person considering their background. In this case, Cole, we are told, abuses Tessa.

With this in play, she is ready to let him die and maintain the assumption Payton doesn’t know a thing. The truth is though, Payton has been messing with his dad’s meds for a while and is the reason he is in this situation. Yet, despite Tessa’s hand having to be forced so that Cole could get his surgery, or else she’d get exposed, and it being revealed Payton basically committed attempted murder, they get to leave without a trace.


Considering how many legal issues were flying about, I’m surprised Jessica didn’t have more on her plate. First and foremost, you have a doctor calling their patient a terrorist to their face, saying it in the halls, and you know Shaun doesn’t know how to whisper. On top of that, it gets admitted that there was a mistake done which could have killed the patient. Where is Naja’s lawsuit? Granted, her revealing what her brother did for her gives the hospital some leverage, but if she didn’t do that then she could have gotten quite a bit of money. After all, on top of the mistake Dr. Melendez made, there is the harassment which could imply improper care was given due to her background.

And speaking of harassment, the fact Shaun didn’t get told off but Jared did was amazing to me. Damn the autism, Shaun seemed like he was really trying to catch Dr. Melendez’s hands the whole episode. You are going to ask him about his recent break up at work? As if you got the type of relationship where that even seems remotely appropriate? Hell, can someone tell me who even told Shaun and seemingly the rest of the hospital?

But let’s not let Dr. Melendez off the hook here. If it wasn’t for the fact Jared thinks the doghouse is better than being put outside, I could imagine him feeling a certain type of way about essentially being, I won’t say harassed but definitely put in a hostile work environment. I mean, who really tells someone to shut up in a workplace? Especially with witnesses around?

Claire accusing Tessa of maybe being involved in her husband's situation.

Switching to Claire’s storyline, I have only one thing to ask: Between Payton or Tessa, are neither going down for what essentially seems like attempted murder? You switched a man’s life maintaining pills and he nearly died because of it. On top of that, his mother, who claims innocence, was going to let the man die. Which, considering she knew about the past stroke, and it never got confirmed if Payton was the one who messed with his pills, someone knew that one way or another this man would end up dead.

Of which, I will have to assume Tessa did since Payton was the one who freaked out about finding his father. Unless it is the case of, he just wanted his dad to stop abusing his mom. Not for him to die. But, who knows, as is noted with the title, a lot of things are based on perception and the idea she found someone else and wanted her husband out of the way is a possibility. Not to forget, life insurance money.

Subplot 1: The Takedown of Dr. Coyle | Claire

With Dr. Coyle transferred and receiving a bonus, Claire decides it is time to take matters into her own hands. Reporting it didn’t do enough, so now she is going to find past associates of Dr. Coyle, who left the hospital possibly because of him, and gather a group large enough to expose him.


Claire trying to convince another woman to speak out against Dr. Coyle.

You know that mutually assured destruction which will probably keep Naja’s mouth shut? Yeah, I’m surprised that isn’t in play for Claire. Not because of how this could affect her career, but because she blackmailed the man and it can be argued she sent her then boyfriend to assault him. Now, with the rest of the women, she can use them to get justice. However, in her case, she seemingly maybe just as much a liability to the situation as we are told Jared is.

Subplot 2: You’re On Your Own Now Kid | Dr. Glassman, Shaun

While Shaun gets along with Claire, and his new neighbor, played by Cole D’Elia, seems nice, Shaun doesn’t necessarily have any friends. Lea is gone, seemingly can’t be called, texted, or face time’d, so Shaun goes to Dr. Glassman. Someone who, after pouring in his time and efforts into Shaun, is fully committed to backing off. I’m talking, basically making their relationship professional at this point. Since, Dr. Glassman straight up says, either you accept a father/son relationship or I got nothing for you. Which is hurtful to Shaun, but pushes him to learn how to not use Dr. Glassman as a crutch for guidance.

Thus pushing him to just smell a pine tree car scent thing, to at least remember the good times when Lea was around.


Shaun grasping a pine tree scented deodorizer and remembering his road trip with Lea.

Taking note of the preview in which some girl comes in like a tornado, Shaun lacking friends is going to be quite the thing for him to deal with. For, thus far, Dr. Glassman has shielded Shaun from a lot and used what he has learned to keep him rather calm. However, outside of keeping Dr. Andrews from taking his job, I don’t foresee Dr. Glassman really going to bat like he used to anymore. Shaun wants to be an adult, well damn training wheels! Dr. Glassman is going to kick Shaun’s behind down that hill and let him roll, slide, and gets some scrapes and bruises. He wants to be grown, well then he will learn what it is like to fall on your ass and no one being there to ask, “Are you okay?”

Which may seem cruel but, what else can Dr. Glassman do. Leading to the thought, how come him and Jessica didn’t talk this episode? She is still his surrogate daughter right? I’m surprised he didn’t check on her to see how she was holding up.

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  1. I really thought that Shaun was asking Dr. Melendez about his breakup because he wanted to know how to deal with Lea’s exit. Perhaps the character of Shaun could gain some insight from honest answers. Surgery is not really the best place for that conversation. One of the traits of Autism is not knowing when and where on many levels. IMHO

    1. That’s definitely another way to look at it. I think my issue is, with Shaun seeming capable of learning social situations and understanding vibes to a point, there is this desire to question when can him being autistic be seen as an excuse or an explanation?

  2. I’m making an assumption here so I could be completely wrong. But I was under the impression that people with autism have a problem recognizing and/or dealing with emotions. In many scenes we’ve seen the surgeon’s having conversations that had nothing to do with the patient and Shaun has often said strange things during an operation. For instance the time he told Melendez that he had beautiful hair (I got a kick out of that). I didn’t find it strange that he would ask Melendez about his break up during surgery it just seemed like Shaun being Shaun. Though I was annoyed at how quick he was to run his mouth without being sure what the exact problem was. And yes I was very disappointed with all of his she’s a terrorist talk. It would’ve been nice if he apologized and in the real world there probably would be a lawsuit from the patient and as far as I’m concerned it would’ve been completely justified. She was the one who was actually terrorized by Shaun constantly calling her a terrorist. She’s in a weaken state and with no family or friends with her and I wouldn’t be surprised if the stress Shaun put her under helped contribute to her heart attack. She did start having chess pains after he spoke to her about being a terrorist.

    The whole abusive husband story was enjoyable for me. I don’t think a 12 year old would go to jail for attempted murder. Mostly because he’s a minor he would probably get probation and therapy. Especially if his father really was abusing his mother. To me it’s justified. He’s a child trying to help his mother and children aren’t known for thinking things through. And since the wife didn’t let her husband die there would be no insurance money to collect so what’s the point in calling the police? He’s alive and hopefully the woman and her son are safe. It was the perfect time to leave and I was surprised the wife didn’t think of it sooner. While he’s in surgery you clean out the bank account and pack up your stuff and disappear. It’ll be awhile before he can return home. Giving them time to safely relocate. Hopefully. I had a family member that escaped her abusive husband for 2 years only for him to find and kill her and their children. So yeah the story spoke to me.

    I don’t think Claire is a liability to the Coyle case. She never asked Jared to attack Coyle which was made clear by Jared – that he acted on his own thinking he was doing the right thing (though I doubt he gave it much thought at all or else he wouldn’t have done it). And just like the whole harassment case boils down to her word against his so is her so called blackmail. He has no proof that she told him that she would try to cause him to lose his job if he didn’t help Jared get his job back. And even if he taped the conversation – it would do him no good because he basically admitted that he did in fact harass her. Whether or not she loses her job (and it could happen) her self-respect and self-worth mean more to her than a paycheck and I’m proud that she’s doing the right thing.

    The whole Shaun and Dr. Glassman situation just broke my heart. I feel strongly that Dr. Glassman is being too hard on Shaun. I get it Shaun really hurt his feelings not to mention he already lost one child. Shaun’s rejection probably feels like another loss. I feel for him I do. However I feel for Shaun too. Shaun was right to ask to be treated like an adult. It is a difficult transition from childhood to adulthood for those of us without autism. So it must be even harder for him. Yes Dr. Glassman needed to pull back and allow Shaun to make his own mistakes however he shouldn’t ditch him completely. Who else does Shaun have? Lea who lives across the country? Claire who is a bit distracted with her own issues at the moment? His parents? Ok we all know he doesn’t have his parents. I can see clearly both sides of Shaun and Dr. Glassman’s arguments and it breaks my heart. I hope they can come together in a way that benefits them both. It’s clear they need each other and as the great poet Maya Angelou says “…nobody, but nobody can make it out here alone…”

  3. I’m impressed that Dr. Melendez didn’t smack Shaun when he wouldn’t shut up during surgery! But I Understand how Shaun kept saying she was a terrorist. My daughter, who has autism, perseverates(sp) like that too.

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