Monday, March 4, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Good Doctor' - Shaun Confronts Han to Get His Job Back But Is Dealt Another Significant Blow in 'Breakdown'

ABC's The Good Doctor - Episode 2.17 "Breakdown"

Dr. Shaun Murphy is desperate to join the team on a dangerous procedure involving a patient's tumor removal. Having been removed by Dr. Jackson Han from the surgery team, he must use his talents to help figure out the cause of an infant's injuries.

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.

"Breakdown" was written by Thomas L. Moran & Lloyd Gilyard, Jr. and directed by Mike Listo

Shaun has two miraculous solves here. That proves how important his tactical brain can be at the hospital. He is a valuable asset. And yet, that only contributes to those difficult and heartbreaking moments at the conclusion of the hour in which it seems like Shaun loses absolutely everything. He keeps trying to make the argument that he is a surgeon. However, he continues to struggle in actually presenting his case and understanding the difference of opinion Han has. Han is a doctor who is used to getting his way. In the operating room, he is still collaborative with the other surgeons. He respects their opinions and a great idea coming from anywhere. But he still has his doubts about Shaun. He sees a man who can't survive the brutal process of residency that is only going to worsen in the next few years. He came up with a solution for Shaun that would be beneficial to everyone. The adjustment period has been rough. Han has even gone to bat for Shaun. He pressures the medical board into dropping their complaints against Shaun, Lim and Melendez over the hospital quarantine. That proves that he knows how to work the system and can manipulate it to his advantage. Sure, that can also present him as someone who believes he is above the law and won't have to deal with any of the consequences of his actions. But that's also not something that Shaun understands at the moment. He is thankful of Han for dealing with this problem. His mind is just overwhelmed with the idea of being a surgeon and doing everything that has become a part of his routine at the hospital. He doesn't know how to operate as a pathologist. Carly is a nice supervisor. He trusts her completely even when he has a wild idea about a test that should be run. He finds a convenient solution for Lim's patient that proves that it wasn't another case of child abuse. He was the only person who thought of that. That's the way his mind works. He also gives his analysis to the main surgery that brings together the residents, Han and Melendez. They are faced with a massive growth on a man's legs that has simply grown too vast and complicated. Shaun once again finds the solution that gives this man exactly what he wants. Of course, credit should be given to Claire as well. She came up with the solution that allowed the surgery to happen in the first place. When her attendings were willing to quit, she was still thinking about out-of-the-box solutions. That worked as well. Shaun just helped the team finish. And yet, Shaun sees it as yet another betrayal in which he is brought into the operating room but isn't allowed to operate. Melendez values his opinion but no one welcomes him in to assist with the procedure. He isn't there to see the miraculous save take place. That's something that he is continually chasing and wants people to understand. He just articulates it over and over again by proclaiming that he is a surgeon. He hopes that that should be enough for people to understand. It just isn't though. Han sees it as immature behavior that only further intensifies his point. Shaun can't intimidate his boss as well as Han can. He doesn't have those skills. The other residents don't know what to do to support Shaun either. Everyone else at the hospital knows that Shaun is a great surgeon. But Han continues to win this fight. It just comes to a tragic ending where Shaun can't accept it and basically ruins his medical career as a result. There is no amount of rubbing his plastic knife that can calm him either. He breaks that tool that was given to him by his brother. Those final minutes are tough to watch. All Claire can do to support him is simply sit by his side. That's the only support that anyone can do. Shaun lashed out and was probably fired as a result. Glassman may have gotten the good news about his cancer being completely gone. But now, things are left in limbo heading into the finale because Shaun's presence is no longer at the hospital. Han wanted things to adjust to a new normal and Shaun just couldn't accept it. That is a personal failing of his. But it should be very interesting to see how the show overcomes all of this to suggest that Shaun will still work at the hospital with the support of everyone once more.