Monday, January 21, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Good Doctor' - The Residents Enjoy a Day Off in Various Different Ways in 'Aftermath'

ABC's The Good Doctor - Episode 2.12 "Aftermath"

In the aftermath of the quarantine, the staff of San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital tries to return to their normal routines as the Department of Public Health office decides they need to review what transpired to restore public confidence. As Dr. Audrey Lim recovers from the virus, she and Dr. Neil Melendez navigate their new personal and working relationship. Dr. Shaun Murphy and Dr. Aaron Glassman try to relax and visit Lea at work.

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.

"Aftermath" was written by Thomas L. Moran and directed by Dawn Wilkinson

The effects of the quarantine are still being felt even though the initial scare is now over. The hospital no longer has to worry that some mysterious and infectious disease is spreading and quickly killing people. However, the hospital is still cleaning up to ensure it doesn't spread while also being reviewed for the actions that were taken during the quarantine. That proves that that event may propel the story forward for the remainder of the season. It gives Dr. Andrews more agency because he suddenly finds himself in a position where he has to defend his doctors. There is the chance that Shaun, Melendez and Lim could have their medical licenses suspended because of the actions they took during the quarantine. That's very scary. It also proves that Andrews may fight harder for his attendings than the residents. He warns Melendez and Lim that this is happening and they should prepare. Shaun is completely oblivious. Andrews has always had his doubts about Shaun's ability to do this job. He has seen him as a competent and inventive surgeon. He still has room for growth though. Shaun spends the day worrying about Glassman because he wants to go out into the world and not spend any more time in a hospital. He wants to be out there living. That's a noble goal. However, the show very much loves teasing the audience with the idea that something could happen to him when he escapes the hospital with Shaun to see Lea at work. The season has been a little unclear as to what Lea actually does at her job since moving back to the city. Here, it presents a wild case of what a tech startup actually looks like. It seems like some rich investors have provided some tremendous amenities to this company that even Shaun and Glassman can enjoy for the day. That's very fortunate. Lea can just take time off as well. All she has to do is say she had a crummy start to her day. There is no explanation for her making this offer to Shaun and Glassman. She just enjoys their company. Of course, all of this is used to once more provoke the idea that Shaun and Lea could be more than just friends. They have worked so well this season once the pressure was off from them having to be a romantic couple. They have been fun as roommates who support and challenge one another. Sure, Lea is always there to help out whenever Shaun needs it. But that's very appreciated too. It just makes it very melodramatic when Glassman suggests they should be something more only for Shaun to come home and see Lea with another guy. That may suggest that Shaun is heading to a very melodramatic close to the season with potential changes to his professional and personal lives. Elsewhere, the show really just examines what a day off means for the residents. They are given this time away because of the quarantine. It's rare for them. It also proves whether or not the show is sustainable when it functions outside of being a medical procedural. It can always rely on a good case-of-the-week mystery to amp up the tension. The storytelling here requires the audience to be invested in the individual characters. That means hitting some very basic notes with some of them. Morgan doesn't want to be alone after Tyler's death. Park is hopelessly pining after his ex-wife. Claire is dealing with new drama from her mother. There are moments that work in each of these stories. Hopefully, there is potential for Claire and Morgan to become better friends at work. It also just proves that the show needs that unifying premise in order to bring all of these separate stories together in a way that actually works in an entertaining and compelling way.