Monday, October 29, 2018

REVIEW: 'The Good Doctor' - Shaun Struggles with Being a Good Friend to Glassman and Lea in 'Carrots'

ABC's The Good Doctor - Episode 2.05 "Carrots"

When a patient suffering from anorexia can't gain the necessary weight needed to survive heart surgery, Claire suggests they perform an experimental surgery which Melendez strongly opposes. Shaun worries Glassman's refusal to walk the hospital floor will keep him from being discharged and tries to persuade him to ambulate. Shaun and Lea change the terms of their current relationship.

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.

"Carrots" was written by Liz Friedman and directed by Sharat Raju

It would be much appreciated if Shaun and Lea could fall back into a normal and charming routine soon. Their interactions this season have been very melodramatic. That's all stemming from her choosing to leave and then suddenly returning. That was a lot of change in Shaun's life that he doesn't know how to process. Plus, it always seemed inevitable that the two of them would become roommates. That would keep Lea an active part of the show with there always being a convenient way for her to remain involved in Shaun's life even though they aren't dating anymore. It just takes an entire episode of the two of them talking about the same conflict over and over again for the two of them to actually celebrate this huge decision about becoming roommates. Hopefully, that restores an aspect of fun to their dynamic. At the hospital, the show delves into two cases of eating disorders. It covers them in the broad strokes as well. Neither really have a ton of nuance to them. There is some intrigue that comes from some ambivalent endings though. Is the husband of Shaun and Park's patient actually swallow? Their patient didn't want his husband to know that he had gastric bypass surgery to loss weight. And now, they are fully aware that he could gain it all back because the procedure had to be reversed due to another disease. Meanwhile, does Claire's patient actually experience personality changes from this experimental procedure? Her anorexia has been so crushing for her entire life. This surgery seems like the only glimmer of hope left. And yes, it's very precarious to think that brain surgery can cure psychological conditions. Melendez is against it initially because the test results have been inconclusive with it not even being approved in the United States yet. Claire goes around him and straight to the patient who is able to advocate for it. The show points out the potential consequences of this surgery. She forges ahead with it regardless. And yet, the surgeons could essentially be condemning her to a life where she is never certain if she loves her son as much as she previously did. That could be absolute torture for her considering her love for him was enough to overcome her anorexia during her pregnancy. It's more intriguing to know that Melendez is punishing Claire permanently for this decision. He no longer wishes to work with her because he doesn't think she will follow his instructions. At the start of the season, she was told to be more assertive. She has certainly risen to the occasion. And now, she is being punished for it. Maybe she finds a better working relationship with Lim. Maybe there she can learn how to be a better surgeon. And finally, Shaun really struggles with getting Glassman to perform the requirements to leave the hospital following his surgery. He explains the risks that a lack of mobility could create. He reaches out to his oncologist. She has very practical advice for Shaun. But at the end of the day, Shaun believes that he isn't the kind of support system that Glassman needs right now. That's devastating to him because he trusts his friend completely. He only wants what's best for him. He needs him to recover. And now, Debbie is able to get him to move much more quickly than Shaun was able to do throughout the entire day.