Monday, October 8, 2018

REVIEW: 'The Good Doctor' - Claire Makes Sure She Is Heard During Surgery While Shaun Avoids Lea in '36 Hours'

ABC's The Good Doctor - Episode 2.03 "36 Hours"

Dr. Melendez, Dr. Brown and Dr. Park have given a young married couple two choices about their future: save the wife's life or their future ability to start a family. When Dr. Lim has to take care of some personal business, she leaves oversight of the emergency room to Dr. Murphy and Dr. Reznick. Dr. Glassman's post-op recovery leaves him struggling to get the rest he needs for recovery and also confronting his relationship with his daughter.

In 2018, it has become very difficult to keep up with every television show out there. It's even more difficult to provide adequate coverage on this site about the episodes that air every week. Not every show can get full coverage because of my busy and hectic viewing schedule. As such, some reviews will now be condensed to give only some summary thoughts. But it also affords a space for me to jot down my thoughts on the various episodes. And so, here are my thoughts on this week's episode of ABC's The Good Doctor.

"36 Hours" was written by Thomas L. Moran and directed by Larry Teng

This episode explores the value of listening in every kind of relationship. It's the most moving and thematic when it comes to Claire expressing herself at work. She was told that she needed to be more assertive. And so, she feels confident going to Andrews to say that research shows that 36 hour shifts aren't effective for any of the staff. He disagrees with her opinion by being able to cite research that he himself supported and proved. It's a significant story because she also continues to voice her opinion throughout her surgery with Melendez and Park. In that moment though, they aren't treating her as a colleague. They see her as someone complaining about things not going her way and that she shouldn't make a big deal about it. And yet, this is a huge deal because it shows the casual ways that sexism exists in our culture. Last season told a very blunt version of sexual harassment in the workplace. This is a much more subtle approach and with characters the audience is actually suppose to root for and understand. Claire is voicing her opinion and it takes awhile for her to get the respect that she rightfully deserves. She believes she's being punished by having to update the husband in the waiting room. But she takes ahold of the power that that position affords her in making the final decision for the surgery as well. She is the one determining the outcome of this women. And in the end, she is supported and rewarded for that decision. She is stepping up in a major way and it is making her an even more compelling character to watch on the screen. Meanwhile, Shaun's day is spent in the melodrama of not wanting to talk to Lea while constantly waking up Glassman even though he needs his sleep. He survived surgery. Everything is looking good. But he can't sleep. It gets to the point where he is hallucinating his daughter. That's strange and surprisingly minor in the grand scheme of things as well. It should be a huge warning sign because of what it could indicate about the additional consequences to this surgery. The show casts Holly Taylor who was so amazing for a long time on FX's The Americans in the role. As such, there is the suggestion that she could be a part of this story moving forward. She could hint at the tragedy in the present or flashbacks could be utilized to better flesh out what happened in the past with her. Right now, it's nothing more than a tease which feels a little annoying simply because of how underdeveloped all of this still is. Meanwhile, Shaun is getting advice from all of the women in his life about the best way to handle things with Lea. Claire and Lim are sensible in saying that he needs to talk with her instead of shutting her out completely because his feelings got hurt. And Morgan is absolutely the last person Shaun should ever listen to when it comes to advice. She doesn't trust that anyone could see him as a real man. And in the end, Shaun is rightfully called out for his wrong behavior. He can't just grow uncomfortable and say that he's sorry. This relationship is going to take a lot of work if it is going to be restored to a healthy place. Right now, both of them are hurting because of the other. As such, that means they could both be very distracted moving forward because this is something that does mean a great deal to both of them.