The Good Doctor: Season 3, Episode 5 “First Care, Second Base” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

Shaun and Steve during Shaun's first opportunity to lead a surgery.

A familiar face reappears this episode as Shaun deals with everyone pushing him to feel anxiety or be nervous over his first lead surgery.

A familiar face reappears this episode as Shaun deals with everyone pushing him to feel anxiety or be nervous over his first lead surgery.

Director(s) Rebecca Moline
Writer(s) David Hoselton
Air Date 10/21/2019

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Instead Of Making Compromise Dirty, Let’s Make It Naughty: Shaun, Carly, Debbie, Dr. Glassman

Carly still is trying to navigate how to be intimate with Shaun and maybe have some sort of spontaneity to their sex life. This is a difficult task for both since Carly is dealing with a learning curve and with Shaun not having much in the way of relationship experience, and probably not having a lot of experience with intimacy, he is green. I mean, just someone wanting to kiss him on a regular basis is a major win for him. So getting to grab a breast, that’s something he has to mentally get used to. Never mind being expected to adapt to how most pursue something passionate and explicit. But, he is willing to learn.

As for Dr. Glassman? Once again, his stubbornness makes it seem he really jumped the gun, no pun intended, when it comes to marrying Debbie. Why? Well, apparently she is a gun owner, and guns make Dr. Glassman uncomfortable. Leading him to do, as we’ve seen Shaun do before, take advice from multiple people but hone in on the one which could give him the result he wants – which is Debbie getting rid of her gun.

However, after a fancy security system, and multiple conversations, he seems to think the nuclear option is all that is left. That is until Shaun helps him realize, getting to touch her breast is worth more than the argument, and possible breakup, that can come from the nuclear option.

Question(s) Left Unanswered
  1. While we are aware of Lea, and that traumatizing moment when Shaun was a teenager, how many other experiences has he had with kissing a girl or intimacy, in general?

Can We Include “Loss of Hope” In The Stages of Grief?: Morgan, Claire

Claire while talking to Morgan.

Thanks to a patient Claire and Morgan are working on, this drums up Claire’s issues with her mother’s death and having faith in people. An idea Morgan doesn’t like for she doesn’t like seeing Claire like this, and while she understands Claire doesn’t like when people make a fuss about her, she can see Claire is getting worse. Which makes Claire admitting she feels like she played a part in her mother’s death the kind of revelation which will either be the first step in the healing process or just be the warning shot before she deep dives into the darkness.

Question(s) Left Unanswered
  1. How often does everyone switch who they are paired with? I ask since I wouldn’t mind seeing Shaun and Morgan paired up again.

Even In Death, I’ll Be There: Shaun, Dr. Lim, Dr. Andrews, Alex

Nearly everyone is trying to push Shaun to feel nervous. Alex because he is jealous that his case got handed to Shaun, and many others due to expecting some form of anxiety. In time, this kind of gets to Shaun, but more so because Dr. Andrews decides to disrespect Dr. Lim’s authority more than anything else.

You see, Dr. Lim wants to ease Shaun into being the lead surgeon and take note of some of Shaun’s weaknesses. Dr. Andrews, on the other hand, wants Shaun thrown into the fire. It isn’t clear if this is part of his anger for losing his job defending Shaun, and still wrestling with that decision, or if he truly does feel Dr. Lim is ruining Shaun by not making sure he is challenged?

For the way he makes it seem, as a diagnostician, Shaun is ace. Hence why he was moved to pathology before. However, as a surgeon, one who has to use a soft touch with certain patients, Shaun still needs work and autistic or not, Dr. Andrews seems to want Shaun to figure a way to work around his disorder.

This challenge, as you can imagine, isn’t easy for Shaun. Especially since Dr. Andrews decides to override Dr. Lim, while Alex is talking to a patient, and forces Shaun to deliver bad news. It also doesn’t help that Dr. Andrews, when Shaun freaks out during surgery, is ready to swap him out instead of work with him.

Leading to Dr. Lim getting involved and, with Alex, calming Shaun down and them discovering he found a better method to treat the patient, it is just he isn’t experienced enough to lead the surgery. Ultimately creating a moment when Dr. Andrews should have been reprimanded, but instead, Dr. Lim reminds him that to get things done they need to be a team – and she sadly leaves it at that.




Steve’s Return

I’m still flummoxed about why we haven’t seen more of Steve and Shaun’s teen years. It’s a huge gap that leaves so many questions, especially in regards to life with Dr. Glassman and his college years. So while Steve’s appearance didn’t answer those questions, Dylan Kingwell is always a welcome actor. Here is hoping, though, as Shaun learns about intimacy of the physical sense, Carly may also challenge him to deal with intimacy, of the emotional sense, as well.

Steve (Dylan Kingwell) making an appearance.
Steve (Dylan Kingwell)

Specifically, I’d love for her to push Shaun to talk about Steve, his parents, and down the road, maybe not push him to get in contact with his dad, the reason he and Steve ran away, but maybe his mom. Yes, she stood by and let this all happen, but considering the temper of Shaun and Steve’s dad, there is a good chance she was trying to protect them the only way she could and didn’t have the tools to leave. Even in terms of leaving with her children to keep them safe.

On The Fence

The Handling Of Claire’s Grief

Being that Claire isn’t the most energetic of characters, a part of me likes her being “bitchy,” as Morgan puts it, just because it means she doesn’t have this chill vibe and almost monotone voice. However, there is a need to question where is this going? Not just for her, but Morgan as well. For as much as these characters add value to the show, I can’t really say there has been any consistent investment in them as people.

Now, you can refute that by noting Claire’s mother and that relationship and the one she had with Jared. I’d counter with the storyline dealing with Dr. Coyle that went poof and how it seems anytime she has a storyline which could make you feel Claire is growing as a character, it is clipped at the knees. Which can also be said about Morgan. Her grandpa we saw a few episodes ago at the hospital, and we haven’t seen or heard about him since. Not even in terms of Morgan trying to help Claire mourn to prep herself for her own grandfather’s demise. He is just gone with no mention of what happened to him.

The Conversation Around Gun Ownership

While I don’t own a gun, at the same time, I must admit it is annoying how shows like this and The Bold Type like to shame gun owners. Not to imply I’m a member of the NRA or don’t believe in gun control but the fact all Debbie said was not considered at all was annoying. Especially since Debbie and Dr. Glassman don’t have children or grandchildren, so the only people who’d ever would touch that gun are them. Also, from the way Dr. Glassman handled the gun, he knows how to handle a weapon, if need be.

So one can only hope the show doesn’t make it a pattern of showing Dr. Glassman should have took his time before getting married. Because, while kind of funny at first, this is getting old quick.

How Everyone Treated Shaun, As A Doctor, This Episode

Dr. Andrews talking about Shaun walking out of the surgery.

Generally, I err on the side of thinking this show bends too much to accommodate Shaun. However, in this episode, the pendulum swing the opposite way and was plain old ridiculous. Whether it was everyone trying to push him to be anxious, how Dr. Andrews coerced him to talk to a patient about her diagnosis, with no prep or Dr. Park being an ass, just to be petty, there were a lot of inappropriate moments going on.

Dr. Lim Should Have Been Harder On Dr. Andrews

But, here is the thing I wanted to see and was disappointed that we didn’t get: Dr. Andrews being reprimanded. For bad enough so many pushed Shaun to envision a dead person to calm him down, a trait he seems to share with Dr. Glassman, but Dr. Andrews, repeatedly, undermining Dr. Lim should have led to something stern being said. After all, considering his former positions, it seemed like he needed to be reminded of his place. Much less, while he is one of many molding Shaun, it is inappropriate to throw your peer, student or not, into a situation they aren’t prepped for.

Even Morgan at her worst wasn’t that cruel.


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  1. Regarding Dr. Andrews and Shaun – You’re right in that Dr. Andrews totally and repeatedly overstepped. And you’re right in that Dr. Lim should have reprimanded him. But Dr. Andrews was right at every turn. Shaun was not ready and Dr. Lim should not have given him Park’s surgery in the first place. When Shaun had to give the patient the bad news about the feeding tube, Shaun didn’t want to because then he would have lost the surgery. So Dr. LIm coddled him and ordered Park to do it. When the patient wanted another surgeon, Dr. Lim got him back in the patient’s good graces. When Shaun discovered the good news during surgery, he then had that meltdown because the good news meant he couldn’t do the surgery. so Dr. Lim coddled Shaun by letting him back into the OR and telling him he would be lead surgeon soon afterwards. So even though Dr. Andrews should not have done what he did, I think he was right about Dr. Lim coddling Shaun and Dr. Lim was letting Shaun get away with so much that he should not have gotten away with.

    And Claire – What a story line she has now! I completely agree with you that I hope it doesn’t end up like the Dr. Coyle story line and gets dropped suddenly or a patient comes along next week and immediately shows her the way back to happiness, rainbows, and puppies.

    We haven’t seen Shaun and Morgan together in a long time. I would enjoy that a lot!

    And did you notice how Park got his first lead surgery off camera and without a story line? It’s as if he has become like Claire was last season – a supporting character with no real story line of his own. Fine by me!

    1. This dislike for Dr. Park is strong I see. To be honest, a part of me wouldn’t me him getting cut but since they work in pairs, I know that isn’t going to happen.

      As for Shaun? I have to admit, sometimes I feel unsure when I am going to easy or hard on him. Yet, I think alongside Carly, Dr. Lim may also be trying to figure out Shaun in terms of what can and can’t be done, alongside what he can be pushed to do. Which does make it seem she’ll fall into the same issue Dr. Glassman and Dr. Andrews had in both over and underestimating Shaun at inopportune times.

      1. In regards to Shaun and whether to go easy or hard on him, I’ve drawn the line on whether it’s social or medical. If it’s social (Carly), I say go easy on him because overall it doesn’t matter if he holds hands or not or touches one body part at a time or not. But if it’s medical and someone’s life is on the line and Shaun could walk out on a surgery or Shaun could have a meltdown and collapse on the floor, then I think Dr. Andrews is right. Until Shaun learns coping mechanisms, he’s not ready to be the lead surgeon. He needs to learn to “blow out the candles” before the meltdown, not after he walks out on the patient and Dr. Park has told him to breathe.

          1. I was so focused on Shaun getting coddled by Dr. Lim that I forgot to comment on Steve. When he appeared, I was so happy so see him!! He gives such an interesting insight into Shaun when Shaun was younger, including in this episode. It’s such a shame that Steve died so young because then we can’t have Steve up through high school and beyond. I know you mentioned Steve’s teen years, but how old was Steve when he died? How many teen years did he actually live? I’m not sure, and I always guessed it was when he was 13 or 14. Anyway, Steve is a character I’d love to see more of!!

            1. It would depend if Shaun is the older or younger brother. Going by my notes for episode 1, of season 1, Dr. Glassman met Shaun when he was 14. So, if I recall right, Steve was the younger brother who was like an older brother so he’d have to be 13?

              Though, they could have used Evan, who we saw in S1E5 as a workaround. It was Dylan Kingwell as him and Shaun could have been weird about it and stayed in touch. Maybe cyber stalked the kid.

              But, in a way, it is cool for Shaun to imagine Steve for it connects him in another way to Dr. Glassman. At least in terms of, when highly stressed, they see the biggest love of their life and they guide them.

              1. I think you’re right that Steve died when he was 13, especially since Shaun seemed about 14 when he stopped living in a bus with Steve and went into that foster home with the woman who kept saying “Tough titmouse”.

                And more Steve would be great! Or, like you wrote in your recap, an appearance from Shaun and Steve’s mother.

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