Monday, January 14, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Good Doctor' - Shaun, Morgan and Park Have to Think Quickly to Save Lives in 'Quarantine, Part Two'

ABC's The Good Doctor - Episode 2.11 "Quarantine, Part Two"

The hospital is still in quarantine as Dr. Shaun Murphy continues to be overwhelmed by the chaos and noise in the emergency room. Dr. Morgan Reznick struggles to keep her patients alive. Dr. Audrey Lim fights for her life. Dr. Neil Melendez and Dr. Claire Browne must find a way to complete their patient's bone marrow transplant, despite the quarantine.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. Premieres and finales may feature longer reviews. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of ABC's The Good Doctor.

"Quarantine, Part Two" was written by Simran Baidwan & Mark Rozeman and directed by Mike Listo

The quarantine was very overwhelming to everyone. No one was expecting this to consume their day when they came into the hospital. It has made all of the doctors hunker down with what they truly want from their lives as well. Moreover, this hour tells some strong medical stories that continue the intensity while never losing sight at the character moments along the way. Sure, things were very melodramatic at the conclusion of the first part of this story. Everyone seemed in danger of dying. And yes, some people do die here. But there are far more victories than there are tragedies. The buzzing from the overhead light and the lack of food contributed to Shaun's breakdown. After he recovers, he is quickly able to bounce back as a surgeon. He is still doing innovative things to prove just how clever he is with some seemingly impossible situations. He is asked to deliver a baby here while also ensuring that both mother and son survive the procedure. Both of them do because of his quick thinking. Sure, it's awkward that he brags about it being his first solo surgery. And yet, he also gets to reunite a happy family. He was there to ensure that the worst didn't happen. Moreover, he doesn't breakdown again. There is the fear that he will. The people in quarantine don't know what's going through his head and how he'll react to any given moment. When he is given the time to be quiet and contemplative though, he succeeds. Plus, he is so supportive of Glassman when his mentor opens up about his new complication. His cancer isn't back. As such, that was a cruel and cheap tease to make the audience fear that the worst was still going to happen to him. The creative team has done that one too many times with Glassman. It will be better once he is stable again and can focus on his own life and career. At least Lea is able to call him out for his flimsy rationalizations along the way. Elsewhere, Melendez and Clare keep their patient alive long enough for his father to donate bone marrow. However, the dad dies due to unforeseen complications. All of this plays through the context of Park having his own difficulties with his son. He breaks through the quarantine in order to get to him in time. His inhaler is suddenly empty and he needs a makeshift solution. But it's the personal drama afterwards that puts things into better context. Their dynamic was fraught with tension right away. Plus, the show is still just figuring Park out as a character. His family has been the hook for character development this season even though he is so far removed from them. They have a happy reunion here. But it's also unclear if that will be able to last for a long time with Park putting in the work to be more accessible. And finally, things are bittersweet when it comes to healing the mysterious illness that has plagued the hospital. There isn't some magical solution that comes in and saves the day. Instead, it's just rational convention that treats Lim more quickly than anyone else exposed to the virus. She survives as well. That too is cause for celebration amongst the staff and for her burgeoning personal dynamic with Melendez. But all of this remains devastating for Morgan because she leaves the hospital still suffering from Tyler's death. She is all alone which is tragic considering all that she has also been through during this chaotic and uncertain day.