The Good Doctor: Season 5/ Episode 16 “The Shaun Show” – Recap/ Review

Shaun asking if it is time for a surprise?

Alongside the marketed surprise appearance, Sophie asks Shaun and Lea some hard questions, and another nurse gets to step into the spotlight.

Alongside the marketed surprise appearance, Sophie asks Shaun and Lea some hard questions, and another nurse gets to step into the spotlight.

Aired (ABC) 5/2/2022
Directed By David Straiton
Written By Tracy Taylor
Introduced This Episode
Grant Sandy Robson
Dana Mercedes de la Zerda
Nicole Naomi Rose MacFadden

This content contains pertinent spoilers.


I Know My Performance Isn’t What You’re Used To – Dr. Lim, Nurse Villanueva

Nurse Villanueva revealing she is in a domestic abuse situation

Nurse Villanueva, who we have seen off and on since the show’s beginning, is going through something. Specifically, a domestic violence situation that has led to her dealing with phone calls at work, reduced performance, and it gets so bad Dr. Lim, not knowing what was going on, writes her up. But, with being told what is happening, so comes the question of whether the hospital’s champion may become the champion for one of her top-performing nurses?

You Can’t Be A Resident Forever – Alex, Dr. Lim, Grant

As noted in episode 9 of this season, Alex is quickly approaching reaching that 5-year mark as a resident. With that, so comes the question if he will become an attendee? He and Shaun are both tested, and Alex’s test is working on a fireman named Grant.

This case is a bit personal to Alex since Grant’s surgery could make it so Grant would be able to walk but not do his job. And with being on the force for 15 years, Alex understands the brotherhood which comes from being part of a first responder team. Hence, he often looks to Dr. Lim for help since there is a surgery that could allow Grant to get back to work, but it is dangerous and difficult. However, Dr. Lim wants Alex to make the final decision, which presents a challenge.

Grant (Sandy Robson) learning he will no longer be a firefighter
Grant (Sandy Robson)

But, despite Grant’s desires, Alex makes the call when it is determined he can’t save Grant’s career if he wants to save his life. Thus leading him to pass Dr. Lim’s test.

Life Under A Microscope – Sophie, Lea, Shaun, Dr. Glassman, Claire, Dana, Jordan, Nicole

Shaun’s test is helping a burn victim named Dana while being under Sophie’s cameras. The combination doesn’t work well for Shaun since the cameras are distracting and makes him having to mentor Jordan in the process all the more daunting. After all, Shaun is dealing with a double-edged blade. His being autistic allows him to be a savant and makes him feel like he doesn’t have the ability to make a mistake. Mind you, he has made many throughout the series, with various peers defending him, but he still isn’t comfortable enough to falter.

This is why Sophie catching him make a mistake, and Jordan making it clear it wasn’t her, is a problem. Add in Shaun showing a bad bedside manner, and then the interviews Sophie is doing? It becomes a lot. Hence Lea stepping in and calling out Sophie, for she feels like she is exploiting Shaun. Also, Shaun has to go to Dr. Glassman for a pep talk, since his confidence is starting to falter.

But, as always, Shaun bounces back. He fixes his mistake with Dana’s burns, and while his bedside manner doesn’t improve, Jordan steps up, acting as Shaun’s new Claire, and handles the psychological side of recovery. Especially regarding Dana’s daughter, Nicole, being afraid of her mom after Shaun treated Dana for second-degree burns and not third degrees burns, which made Dana look scary.

However, his wins as a doctor aren’t shared by Lea, who struggles with Sophie. Aside from calling out Sophie for potentially exploiting Shaun’s quirks, she also feels that she is losing the narrative. Shaun is very honest that, at one time, it appeared Lea didn’t want him because he was autistic, and Sophie pressures Lea to be honest about why. It’s tricky to talk about since Lea doesn’t want to be seen as a villain, but she notes how she evolved on the issue because she gained the courage to love Shaun for who he is as a person and partner.

And to top off Shaun and Lea being in a good place, and Sophie being part of that, they have a party, with some karaoke, and Claire appears to help celebrate their nuptials. Granted, with a very odd song choice in “Every Breath You Take” by The Police, but all that matters is Claire is back!

Things To Note

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Considering Morgan works for the clinic, is she no longer part of the residency program but has a full-time job?

What Could Happen Next

  1. Sophie crossing a major line, but perhaps not with Shaun or Lea, but something else she notices about the hospital
  2. More on Nurse Villanueva’s story, and maybe her and Dr. Lim becoming closer – even friends?

Collected Quote(s)

is it more important to give people truth or hope.
— Shaun



Nurse Villanueva Getting A Storyline

Considering the last major storyline featuring a nurse was another veteran of the show dying, a part of us feels like this is a slightly better direction? Granted, it sucks that when Nurse Villanueva gets the spotlight, it is due to her being in a domestic violence situation. But let’s not discount the show has so many doctors who have come and gone, with most getting multiple episodes, if not notable reoccurring roles, but the nurses? They are lucky if they get to say more than a handful of sentences, all of which are in response to a doctor’s order.

So we can only hope that this could be the beginning of a shift when it comes to The Good Doctor in terms of showing the other medical professionals who allow Shaun and the others to look good. Especially since the show has pretty much dabbled and cut, repeatedly, focusing too much on the legal and money side of running the hospital.

Most Being Forced To Admit How They’ve Changed Because Of Shaun

While Morgan got to sidestep how she treated Shaun, everyone else is held accountable. Be it Dr. Glassman, who would overcompensate and didn’t necessarily trust that Shaun could handle himself, or Dr. Andrews, who was prejudice from the jump. At least until he, likely similar to Salen, saw how advantageous for the hospital Shaun could be. Shaun being a savant meant a better surgical success rate, more papers written by their doctors, and if he could bring himself to it, he’d probably would have made a banner featuring Shaun too. However, Dr. Andrews didn’t have it in him.

Though Lea perhaps was our favorite to see since her relationship with Shaun has long been a bit rocky. Yes, it is in a good place now, but we can’t downplay the moments that got her to this point, mainly dealt with Shaun making an effort as Lea came to realize most of the men she dates are trash. Thus making Shaun a, “Let me try something different” type of guy who just so happened to work out.

Based on how uncomfortable Lea was with Sophie’s question, this makes me question if Lea still feels guilty about pre-judging Shaun and stringing him along when she did. Heck, she probably is also happy most don’t ask about Shaun and her relationship and how it got to where it is but rather stick to their current and future issues.

Jordan Sort Of Becoming The New Claire

Though no one can replace Claire, it’s not hard to see Jordan is meant to assume her role in some ways. In this episode, and many other times, she has been the one to push people outside of their bubble and have them consider other perspectives. Now, this isn’t to discount when Jordan wants to, she can be stubborn about her views, like when she refused to perform an abortion.

However, the show has dialed that down quite a bit and seemingly has pushed Jordan to be everything Claire was, just without having an active and messy dating life. Never mind issues with her mother as a notable part of her storyline.

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