In order to understand someone better, we need to heed the advice from Atticus Finch and “walk a mile in someone’s shoes” — and that is just what The Good Doctor did in the season finale.
While things may have been wrapped up into a bit too neat of a bow, it still left the series moving with positive forward momentum, and that is a good thing.
So, a brief recap. The penultimate episode ended with Shaun (Freddie Highmore) sitting on the floor of the locker room after suffering a breakdown at the will of Dr. Jackson Han (Daniel Dae Kim) with Dr. Claire Brown (Antonia Thomas) quietly helping her distraught friend and colleague collect his belongings.
The finale, Trampoline, began with Shaun trying to bury his sorrows at a bar, but that led to an altercation that ended with him wounded and both men in the hospital.
At about the same time, Dr. Neil Melendez (Nicholas Gonzalez) and Dr. Audrey Lim (Christina Chang) make their relationship public and are openly affectionate in front of their team.
Shaun is still suffering and obviously fired, but he can’t stop his nature and was able to properly diagnose the guy who landed him in the hospital and Claire was able to realize that she had to look at the world a bit differently in order to solve the case. She even utilized a step stool. How cool is that?!!!!
Meanwhile, Dr. Marcus Andrews (Hill Harper) has a professional dilemma as he hired Dr. Han, but has come to believe in Shaun. Claire proved the point that the team at St. Bonaventure Hospital have something to learn from their brilliant, yet different colleague. In other words, he evolved.
The casualty was no longer Shaun, but instead Dr. Han, who was steadfast in his righteous indignation to get rid of Shaun, but admitted over the course of the episode that he had experience with people with autism, but firmly believed that they weren’t able to do the job when they had no one to pick up the slack, but the opinions of others won out.
Something that may or may not be important is that Kim is an executive producer, meaning that, unlike most actors, he probably had some say on how long his character would be a fixture in this universe, and it seems like Dr. Han’s time was mercifully short…or not. He may be back.
Shaun and Claire weren’t the only ones saving lives. Dr. Morgan Reznick (Fiona Gubelmann) and Dr. Alex Park (Will Yun Lee) were working on a patient played by the feisty June Squibb — who may be best known for her roles in Scent of a Woman, Nebraska, as Francine on Mike and Molly and as Sheldon Cooper’s old Meemaw on The Big Bang Theory — who was a sad case of someone fabricating her symptoms for attention.
Dr. Aaron Glassman (Richard Schiff) is cancer free and knows that he wants to make a major life change and that involves hospital barista Debbi (Sheila Kelley who is best known for her work on L.A. Law on Sisters.). He pulls out all the stops and it makes you want to shout “let’s hear it for the boy.” Thank you Deniece Williams.
Shaun too decided to accept change. He found a new romantic interest. He arrived at her doorstep with flowers and chocolates to ask out Carly (Jasicka Nicole) for a date. His ask was clumsy, but it was sincere and her response was almost as endearing as the fact that he was so happy with it that he neglected to give her the candy and flowers.
While Shaun could have been advised to get an attorney and keep up the good fight with the aid of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Aaron could have received a maybe to his proposal, Drs. Melendez and Lim could have abandoned their relationship, but the showrunners must love the concept of a happy ending and that is a good thing when done well.
We have a lot to look forward to next season.
The Good Doctor has been renewed for season three on ABC, but the date of the premiere is TBD. Stay tuned for more.