Monday, January 28, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Good Doctor' - Shaun Doesn't Know How to Help Glassman While Park Comforts His Patient's Daughter in 'Xin'

ABC's The Good Doctor - Episode 2.13 "Xin"

Dr. Shaun Murphy, Dr. Morgan Reznick and Dr. Audrey Lim treat a woman with autism and a delicate brain condition while navigating the complicated relationship she has with her roommate, who is also on the spectrum. Lea and Shaun are still figuring out their friendship and roommate status.

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. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of ABC's The Good Doctor.

"Xin" was written by Brian Shin and directed by David Straiton

Honest communication is important in every relationship. However, it's just as important to understand and respect what another person is saying as well. That is the primary focus throughout this hour. It's the most personal when it comes to Shaun trying to help Dr. Glassman. He wants to help his friend through his grueling chemotherapy treatment. However, there isn't a simple fix to any of this. It's a difficult process. Glassman tries to present better than he actually is simply because he doesn't want Shaun to freak out and start worrying. That's what Shaun does at the first sign that the treatment isn't working. Right now though, Glassman needs a supportive friend who will listen to him and simply be there. That's the same advice that Lea gives Shaun too. It's only when she says it that he can go over there and be that for Glassman. That proves that Lea's influence is so important for Shaun. But again, there is the confusion over whether or not they could ever be more than friends. People keep telling Shaun that he is in love with Lea. They both agree that their lives are better with the other in them. That's the basis for being in love according to Morgan throughout the main story at the hospital here. As such, the show seems to be suggesting that this is a direction it will explore once more. But again, it could turn melodramatic so quickly as well. The show has to be very careful in that regard. It's awkward right now because Shaun doesn't want anything to change now that Lea is dating Jake. He wants to be a part of the new couple as well. That's awkward but it doesn't become a problem here. It may only be a matter of time though which is so nerve-wrecking. Elsewhere, the medical storylines are both strong. Autism patients are once again featured but the show doesn't need to hit the audience over the head with something that Shaun can relate to simply because he too has autism. Instead, he's not the person who can get the patient to speak during the brain surgery. Instead, that's her roommate and occasional sex partner. Morgan is pushing for them to admit that they actually love one another. That may be her pushing too far into their relationship because of her own problems at the moment. She needs things to be clearly defined in order to feel secure in her life. That's not what this coupling is though. Sure, it's what it ultimately becomes with them declaring their love for each other and the surgery going well. But that's still a nice ending to all of this too. Meanwhile, Park is at the center of his own case with a troubled family dynamic. He has learned very quickly that he needs to be honest about his feelings. That has opened him up in a way that allows him to be a more accessible character. Sure, he's still very thinly drawn. However, he is able to help the daughter of his patient see how things have changed even in the simplest of ways. On the surface, it seems like the tension between her and her mother is just as fraught as it has ever been. Her mother only sees stereotypes about people in the arts and refuses to see how it could be healthy for her daughter. And yet, her daughter stands proud as an accomplished performer. It's just difficult because of the lack of obvious love being shared between them. It's possible though. It just takes a medical crisis in order to bring them back together and share how they are truly feeling as well.