The most exciting season of The Good Doctor ends its first half with an unexpected person of Dr. Glassman’s past and a devasting ending that may change everything.


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The most exciting season of The Good Doctor ends its first half with an unexpected person of Dr. Glassman’s past and a devasting ending that may change everything.


Aired 11/22/2021
Network ABC
Directed By Mike Listo
Written By Jim Adler, Mark Rozeman
Introduced This Episode
Ilana Ann Cusack
Alma Natalee Linez
Sunil Sean T. Krishnan

Recap

Relationships Might Be About Compromise, But You Are Asking For A Lot – Salen, Marcus, Alex, Morgan

With Salen likely a few dates from saying she loves Marcus, she decides to have them go public and double date with her mentee Morgan and Alex. Marcus isn’t happy Salen proposed this double date to Morgan before talking to him, but he comes around. As for Alex? He shoots that proposal down IMMEDIATELY!

This leads to Morgan trying to come up with every compromise or gift under the sun to get Alex to say yes, but it seems the idea of breaking bread with Salen is not something he wants to do or budge on. However, it seems, after Morgan makes a kind gesture that supposedly isn’t a bribe, he comes around. After all, even if he isn’t ambitious, he recognizes the woman he is with is, which means networking events are part of the package. So, with it being clear this could drive a wedge down the line, Alex settles for Salen likely paying for dinner as a means to will himself for the double date.

Hello To An Old Face – Ilana, Sunil, Dr. Glassman, Alex, Morgan, Shaun

While Dr. Glassman’s ex-wife gets mentioned occasionally, like Maddie, she isn’t one of his favorite topics, so he doesn’t bring her up often, if at all. Yet, as he is prepping to sell his house, his ex-wife, Ilana Reeves, shows up and asks for Dr. Glassman’s medical expertise. As you can imagine, seeing his ex-wife suddenly, as he is closing a chapter of his life, is random and unnerving. But, to add to how awkward things are, she wants him to do a procedure on her husband.

Ilana (Ann Cusack) and Sunil (Sean T. Krishnan) in a hospital room
Ilana (Ann Cusack) and Sunil (Sean T. Krishnan)

Now, for her, Dr. Glassman ends avoiding the hospital and shows up and clearly is in a mood. What kind? Well, when he learns Salen and Dr. Andrews are dating, he says that maybe that’ll mean there is at least one soul between them. Then, when it comes to Morgan taking over the clinic, he is real curt about her turning his clinic into a for-profit part of the hospital. Which makes the only person he interacts with, that he isn’t giving the business, Sunil, Ilana, and Alex.

However, Ilana does test Dr. Glassman. How? Well, by bringing up Maddie. That and dredging up how their marriage ended and just triggering a whole lot of bad memories. Yet, part of Ilana’s reason for doing this is that she needs that egomaniac who put work before his marriage and family to save the family she found after him. And be it guilt or maybe some form of healing, he uses the drive she inspires to give Sunil a miracle surgery. One that makes it so he may no longer have symptoms of Lewy Body Dementia or need to worry about a cancerous lesion anymore.

But, before she heads off to the happy life she found and built, she does try to convince Dr. Glassman to stick around for Shaun. Now, the way she sees it, Dr. Glassman buried himself into Shaun’s life in order to deal with Maddie’s death. Dr. Glassman denies this, but you have no reason not to believe this is true. After all, where Dr. Glassman was in season one, overbearing and willing to put his job on the line, that is the type of thing a father does, and someone who needs someone to have that level of dependency. If not, to be more respectful of their relationship, a certain level of reliability that makes it so they feel safe around you and that you can fulfill various human needs.

Cuts & Lies – Alma, Shaun, Salen, Dr. Lim, Dr. Glassman, Lea

Thanks to her pestering Dr. Glassman and interfering in his life, he returns the favor. Rather than help Shaun with the semi-perfect wedding venue and take up his duties as best man, he plans the seed that Lea needs to talk to him about something. Thus, Shaun initiates the conversation, which leads him to learn that Lea deleted records from his reviews – and she cannot put them back.

Shaun saying Lea should get fired

In doing this, Shaun feels terribly betrayed, especially since he thought he was improving with the numbers getting better. So her doing this stole a sense of pride from him, and as Shaun makes it very clear, he does not want his ASD to define him. So her talking to him like she is some caring mother and no one understands her baby because he is different, that doesn’t fly with him. In fact, after a stressful day, it is one of the reasons he may have broken off their engagement.

But let’s back up and tell the whole story. On the way to work, Lea and Shaun come across a car accident, and one of the patients, Alma, is pregnant and requires surgery. Throughout the day, Shaun is dealing with Dr. Glassman finally returning, Lea’s lie, and her refusing to own up to her lie with Salen – which makes him say he thinks she, Lea, should get fired because of what she did.

So, with issues with the wedding venue, Dr. Glassman not trying to be the best man or mentor Shaun needs, and Lea’s lie? It makes Shaun unable to save Alma’s baby because of Salen’s cost-cutting measures, being the straw that breaks the camel’s back. It sends Shaun into a meltdown that has him call off the engagement, go off on Dr. Glassman for abandoning his job, and you left to wonder, when Shaun is calm, will he take anything he said, especially to Lea, back?

Alma (Natalee Linez) noting she is going to do what she needs to for her baby
Alma (Natalee Linez)

Oh, and we’re not done. With seeing Shaun break down and failing in what would have been yet another genius save solely due to Salen? Dr. Lim decides it is GO TIME! Now, at first, she was just going to call out Salen, in an unfriendly tone, and let her know that she shares a part in this death. But, where Salen goes wrong is pushing the idea they will downplay what happened so that lawsuits don’t go flying. Hearing that pushes Dr. Lim over the edge for it is Salen’s system which led to the pharmacy having expired medicine and no backup! So, Salen being teary-eyed or not, Dr. Lim is ready to stop rolling her eyes about Salen and actually do something.

Things To Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Call me ignorant, but surely there is technology out there that should have kept track of when those medicines would expire and the inventory. Considering how much Salen works in data, I feel like that should have been a very data-driven area. It is a hospital, for goodness sake!
  2. Is anyone else still a bit confused about the timeline between Dr. Glassman becoming a notable part of Shaun’s life and when Maddie died? Especially considering it seems Dr. Glassman didn’t adopt Shaun and Shaun was in the foster system for a while. So, did Shaun age out, and Dr. Glassman happen to see him? Did Dr. Glassman seek him out and find him in foster care? There is a serious lack of details here, and it feels like we’re overdue to fill in that gap between a flashback or conversation.

What Could Happen Next

  1. Lim will go to battle with Salen and will soon learn who is on her side and who would rather keep their job.
  2. I so badly hope we still get to see that double date between Alex and Morgan, alongside Dr. Andrews and Salen! Oh, and imagine if this is after it gets out that Salen wants to suppress information about why that baby died!
  3. I think Dr. Glassman will continue to move and pursue starting over, mainly since what Ilana is advocating for is some form of dependency. That isn’t what Dr. Glassman needs. His need to be needed and wanted led him to rush into a terrible marriage. What he needs is, as he said, a fresh start with no expectations or perceptions. He needs to get to put Aaron first, and not his title of being a doctor, a cancer survivor, and all the baggage each of those labels comes with. He just wants to be a retiree who enjoys baseball and wants to be part of the community.

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

Someone can love you and still let you down.
— Alma

Review

Highlights

Dr. Glassman Making It Clear He Is Running Out Of F***s To Give

Dr. Glassman noting he knows what Morgan has done to his clinic

Can I just say, I like this Dr. Glassman who will publicly talk about people as if word can’t get back to them? The lack of f***s to give needs to be in the hospital and not with him out somewhere in Montana. For just imagine him saying this kind of stuff to Dr. Andrews or Salen’s face! Heck, considering he chided Morgan a bit, imagine him taking this to the next notch with her! We clearly are about to head towards a civil war, and it would be interesting to see more than Dr. Andrews align themselves with Salen and get on Dr. Glassman’s bad side.

Meeting Dr. Glassman’s Ex-Wife

I wouldn’t say it was seeing Ilana in itself but more so getting some idea of Shaun and Dr. Glassman’s past. As noted above, there remains such a mystery on what happened between Shaun’s older brother dying, which is around the time he met Shaun, to him becoming his mentor in college. Through Ilana, we now know that Dr. Glassman got involved with Shaun after his daughter’s death, and he likely discovered Shaun because, after a major failure in life, Dr. Glassman feels the need to move and start over.

Now, this doesn’t explain how they kept in touch since it seems Shaun didn’t stay at anyone’s home too long, and Dr. Glassman didn’t adopt him. However, these answers could come as Dr. Glassman and Shaun rebuild their relationship. Which, in a way, is a long time coming since the slap that changed it all. For now, it seems they are pushing towards being two independent people sharing time, knowledge, and love, vs. interdependency. At least, it seems, outside of notably stressful times, Dr. Glassman is trying to ease his need to be needed by Shaun, and Shaun is not as often looking for Dr. Glassman to be his co-sign in life and at work.

Admittedly, they aren’t always on the same page about how to evolve their relationship, but they seem to be getting there.

Dr. Lim’s War With The Administration

Notably, Dr. Lim has just kept her head down and done the work for the last couple of episodes, if she appeared at all. But, she has made it clear that she isn’t fond of many of Salen’s changes since the beginning. But now, with a baby dying and her bringing trauma to her star pupil, never mind Salen not trying to own up to the consequences of her actions? It’s on!

Salen trying to get Dr. Lim on her team

This is a bit bittersweet because, you know, someone has to get fired or quit by the end. On the one hand, we have Dr. Lim, who has been here since the beginning, but once her Melendez saga ended, has sort of fizzled out as a character. Add in Claire’s exit, and you got a character who is around for continuity but isn’t doing anything notable in her own life, in her career, or in pushing other people forward. I mean, even in terms of forcing Shaun to be a better mentor, that storyline is done. So if she quits or gets fired, it would be a grand exit to a character whittled away for years.

As for Salen? Her quitting or being fired would be devastating since she made The Good Doctor interesting again. She wasn’t someone hyper-focused on Shaun and just made into another bigot who was trying to pop the bubble Dr. Glassman made for him. Salen had notable interactions with everyone. I’d even say she destroyed the stupor nearly every character was under.

Dr. Andrews has been on ice so long that it was questionable if the writers were just waiting for his actor’s contract to run out. Morgan had been shackled to Alex, and after losing her ability to do surgery, she was a shell of her former self. Shaun, whose bedside manner was always an issue, once again found himself having to perfect the one area of medicine he isn’t good at. And the beauty of these interactions is that you see Salen focused on the characters with the most drive and potential.

So imagine losing that. Yes, Dr. Andrews and Morgan will likely ascend and be in the positions they have sought, but so comes the question of: What’s next? Like any show, The Good Doctor struggles under the weight of escalation and how to keep things interesting, and Salen is the answer to that question. But, if you remove her, then we’re right back to having a notable problem.

Which is all to say, when the dust settles, I dearly hope Salen remains in control of the hospital, for I don’t want to go back to Shaun being the only one with a notable storyline.

[ninja_tables id=”46813″]

Shaun saying Lea should get fired
The Good Doctor: Season 5/ Episode 7 “Expired” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
Trajectory: Climbing
The first half of The Good Doctor, almost entirely thanks to Salen, breaks the monotony of miraculous discoveries and miracle procedures. For with the changes she has implemented, it's like every character matters again and has a story to tell vs. this being Shaun's story, and everyone else being thrown a bone to not completely revolve around his wants and needs.
Highlights
Dr. Lim's War With The Administration
Dr. Glassman Making It Clear He Is Running Out Of F***s To Give
Meeting Dr. Glassman's Ex-Wife
Disputable
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12 Comments

  1. That was… intense. Allegedly, Salen Morrison was an idea by Freddi Highmore himself. So, kudos to him for sensing that the show needed more than some new romances and the slow crawl towards a wedding for season 5. Instead of heading towards Grey’s Anatomy, The Good Doctor turned to Die Hard. And I find myself rooting for the villain to survive fall!

    Which is not such a far-fetched claim as it may sound, because according to a BTS picture, episode 5×09 is titled “Yippee Ki-Yay”. So, Salen Morrison’s takeover of St. Bonaventure Hospital is to be taken as a variation of Hans Gruber’s raid on Nakatomi Plaza. Big honors for Rachel Bay Jone’s performance to be pictured as walking in the shoes of Alan Rickman’s great movie villain.

    So, Chief Lim will be John McClane, fighting alone against the system? Not quite. Since Salen’s management is all data-driven, it makes sense for Lim to turn to the head of IT for acquiring records that may prove her claim of Ethicure’s policies endangering patients to the state authorities.

    Which again underscores the beauty of Salen as disruptive element of the show: she makes Lim *and* Lea a purpose to (inter-) act beyond Shaun’s orbit. Bring on the battle!

    Though, I must submit that Salen might have prepared some good defenses since she is depicted as an ambiguous and reasonable adversary instead of pure evil. And remembering the past seasons, Lim & Co. might even be called out for being hypocrites about Salen’s reaction to the death of a baby.

    1×09 “Intangibles”: A misplaced tissue sample might result in a patient losing her speech for nothing. Hospital lawyer Jessica Preston and Andrews order Claire not to admit to the patient that the hospital has made a mistake to prevent a lawsuit.

    1×06 “Not Fake”: Claire screws up intubating which leaves her patient brain dead. Lim discovers Claire’s mistake but keeps quiet about it, only disclosing the information to Glassman in private. Glassman orders Claire to keep quiet about her mistake and especially not to talk to the patient’s family.

    1×18 “More”: Shaun makes a mistake during surgery that could result in a patient’s death. Melendez, Claire, Park and even a reluctant Morgan conspire to withhold the mistake from Andrews as long as possible in order to protect Shaun.

    3×14 “Influence”: Morgan makes a mistake during surgery, almost resulting in a patient’s death. Lim, Andrews and a reluctant Shaun conspire to withhold the information from the patient, a social media influencer, to preserve Morgan’s career and the hospital’s reputation.

    The staff of St. Bonaventure have some experience in cover-ups and little scruples to do so when it suits their needs. With Salen having done her homework on the key players’ past, she might launch some unexpected counter strikes, unearthing corpses hidden away in St. Bonaventure’s basement since Glasmann’s long reign.

    Now let’s see what alliances will be formed, who will be caught in the crossfire and what damage civil war will do to St. Bonaventure. Lest not forget, the hospital was bleeding more money than actual blood before Ethicure. At the end, Lim might not be John McClane but King Pyrrhus.

    1. First, an unnecessary side note: Rachel Bay Jones is also guest-starring on a comedy called “The United States of Al” as a love interest of the father of the main character. She is doing well in this comedic role, as well as Salen!

      I am definitely looking forward to Salen and Dr. Lim going against each other! And if Lea joins Dr. Lim, I like that pairing very much!

      A question for you, Andreas. I am trying to remember what happened in 1×18 “More”. Was the mistake Shaun made the one he told Dr. Andrews about that led to Dr. Andrews becoming the President of the hospital? I don’t care about the medical case itself, just the consequences of the mistake and whether it is the one I am thinking of. If not, was there 2 mistakes Shaun made in surgery?

      I want to see who sides with who, also.

      And last question – who is King Pyrrhus?

      1. Greek king Pyrrhus of Epirus did win the Battle of Asculum in 279 BC against the Romans. Yet, much of his forces were destroyed, forcing him to end the campaign.

        Thus, the phrase “Pyrrhic victory” describes a victory taking such a heavy toll that it inflicts long-term damage to the victor.

        And yes, it was in fact this one mistake of Shaun that made Andrews president, since Shaun insisted to report himself. But as so often, there weren’t any direct consequences for Shaun. Instead, Andrews used the incident against Glassman. This is quite interesting in the given context with Lea’s omission of reviews.

        Shaun likes to stick to the rules by the dot but rarely considers the broader picture, which often enough causes others in his proximity to suffer.

        What we see right now is very much a re-run of what happened between Shaun and Glassman in season 1, starting with Glassman forcing a therapist on Shaun and him hitting his mentor and running away.

        The show still likes to work with these parallels and I very much suspect that another road trip for Shaun is near – but this time he will probably be alone (going along with the Die Hard theme).

        Being sheltered in a bubble for years, it now becomes clear that Shaun still isn’t ready for the harsh realities of being a doctor (or a reliable husband holding to his wife in bad times). He has to face his inner demons, and in a classic hero’s journey, he will have to do it all on his own before he can return to his friends as a better version of himself.

        1. So with that said, you think he may go see his mother again or even encounter someone who was one of his foster parents? Like Emily, I feel like there is so much that could be fleshed out when it comes to Shaun’s teen years that could help further us understanding his foundation.

          For a part of me feels that, with losing his teen years, we don’t get to see what people formed who Shaun is. We know his brother had a role, and the trauma from his parents, even Dr. Glassman a bit, but it does seem like there are many they could add between his brother dying and Shaun’s college years.

          Also, excellent use of Pyrrhic victory but I feel like it may end up the opposite way. I think Salen may win but in the process, we lose Dr. Lim. Especially since this is all Dr. Lim has going for her right now and it doesn’t seem like they have long-term plans for the character.

          1. First Claire and now Dr. Lim?!? I certainly hope not!! When they actually give her a storyline, I really like her! But then that goes right to your point, Amari, that the writers don’t often give her storylines. And with the exit of her boyfriend the doctor, again you’re right in that there does not seem to be anything in the future for her either.

            Thank you, Andreas, for explaining “Pyrrhic victory”. A road trip to one of Shaun’s foster homes would be so interesting!

          2. The return of Marcie Murphy is certainly in the books for this season; there has been enough foreshadowing for this. Lea even said that they “still have lot to work through” in episode 5×03. Yet, I’m not sure if this isn’t something that should be spared for later in the season, after the initial turmoil at St. Bonaventure has ceased.

            Whatever may come with 5×08/09, it should continue with what Salen started in 5×05: “Think of these not as a report card, but a window into the minds of your clients […], and also as a window into yourselves.” Lately, Shaun has been depicted as being in denial about his identity as an individual with ASD.

            Refusing to be defined by his ASD might look like empowerment at the first glance, but in fact it holds him back. Because he can grow to his full potential only when he truly identifies and accepts his weaknesses beforehand. Speaking in medical terms Shaun is so familiar with: for administering the appropriate therapy, he first must get the diagnosis straight.

            Thus, I believe any upcoming road trip should be about not only keeping open the window into Shaun’s self but jumping through it for bold (perhaps even painful) exploration.

            This might include his mother since Shaun’s ASD was an important factor in his relationship to his parents – but it wasn’t the only one. Thus, it might be better to keep the issues of Shaun’s identity and family relations separate.

            As for Lim and Salen, I think there are some good arguments for both to survive the war. For once, the show’s structure needs an attending as well as a chief of surgery. With Lim leaving and Andrews filling the gap, a new face would have to be introduced as attending.

            Ethicure also multiplied the stories to tell for the show, as you already noted before, Amari. The legal and financial matters of running a hospital had been absent mostly since season 2. Season 4 concentrated on the cast’s relationships. With Salen and Ethicure, career paths, office politics, and the American health care system at general are back and a vital part of the stories. I doubt the writers would cut themselves all these options after half a season.

            So, in-universe, while Salen sure would be glad to get rid of an obstructive hospital president and an insubordinate chief surgeon, firing any of them might send the wrong signals to the staff, the press, and authorities. After dealing various punches, Salen probably will have the upper hand again, backed up by a large force of lawyers and sufficient funds. Though, her victory will come with the prize of many disgruntled employees ready to quit if Salen doesn’t take the staff’s concerns into consideration more often.

            Salen likes to talk of the Ethicure family. Obviously, she sees herself as the mother of quite immature children she must parent (with Lim in the role of the revolting adolescent…). In line with the overarching theme of parents accepting that their children become adults someday (Glassman!), Salen’s character arc might be just that – letting go of the total control she likes to exercise over the hospital, allowing the members of her Ethicure family adequate self-advocacy.

  2. Last post. The ending was so heartbreaking! I felt so bad for Shaun! Lea betrayed Shaun and then wouldn’t make it right by confessing what she had done to Salen. Dr. Glassman was too busy playing softball in Montana to keep in touch with Shaun. Claire is in Guatamala. Then Shaun loses a baby patient so soon after losing his own baby, and he feels there is no one left to comfort him! No wonder he broke down in the pharmacy!!

    1. I DIDN’T EVEN THINK ABOUT SHAUN LOSING HIS KID! Oh, damn! No wonder he broke down. After all that, he probably feels incredibly helpless and like, no matter what he tries or how hard he works, he can’t escape failure. Which, in my mind, I think Shaun sees success and his work as his only escape from the stigma ASD gives, so having negative reviews and losing a patient, it feels like a setback from what he has been running from since he was a kid and getting bullied.

      1. Don’t worry about forgetting about Lea’s miscarriage. When Andreas brings up past things, sometimes there will be one I don’t remember even after he’s described it. But yes, I agree you described how Shaun was feeling failure very well. And his support system, Lea and Dr. Glassman, abandoned him. So he couldn’t take it anymore! 🙁

  3. Comment #3: What Could Happen Next:
    1. Dr. Lim going to battle against Salen – I really hope that happens! Two alpha women going head-to-head, watching people take sides, seeing if Dr. Glassman sticks around and helps Dr. Lim, would Shaun help or hurt Dr. Lim’s case; the possibilities for drama are endless!!

    2. Everything you wrote about the Alex/Morgan, Salen/Dr. Andrews double date – I completely agree! It would make up for all of the Ewww stuff (like Salen sniffing Dr. Andrews. Sorry Andreas, but no.)

  4. I know I just posted, but last night I was typing away when all of a sudden my comment just disappeared before I could post it. So I am paranoid it will happen again, so I am going to post each paragraph as I type it. Weird, but I hope it’s o.k.

    Questions Left Unanswered 2. I’m confused about the timeline, too. Didn’t Shaun and Dr. Glassman meet when Shaun and Steve took their dead bunny to Dr. G.? And when Dr. G. was talking to Maddie’s ghost, didn’t she say she knew Shaun? I would like to see a flashback or three to clear this all up.

    Lol “Dr. Glassman Making it Clear He is Running Out of F***’s to Give”!!

  5. Hi Amari! Happy Thanksgiving!! Where do I begin? How about with Questions Left Unanswered. Andreas’ memory is much better, but here goes:
    1. When Shaun angrily went into the pharmacy, the guy told Shaun he was behind in his inventory. I took that to mean he may have entered the expiration date when the shipment first came in, but he has not gotten around to looking at that medicine since then. Even though you would think there would be a big red alert on the pharmacy computer when a medicine has expired, maybe Salen’s cost cutting deleted that feature. And an episode or 2 ago, Salen told someone (Dr. Andrews?) there were some sort of problems in the pharmacy. So that was enough for me to believe the hospital could plausibly have expired medicine on hand.

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