The Good Doctor Season 3 has some wit, heart and a lot of promise

Freddy Highmore as Shaun Murphy in The Good Doctor
Freddie Highmore as Dr. Shaun Murphy on The Good Doctor. Pic credit: ABC/Jack Rowand

Dating rituals can seem nonsensical.  There is no rhyme and reason to why we do what we do and it is very rare that we have a good sense of what went right and wrong with the date in the moment.  Why do we do the things we do and why do we endure these annoying socially constructed rituals? Well, leave it to Dr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore) to express his frustration with dating in an unfiltered, yet completely relatable way.  What a quirky start to season 3 of The Good Doctor!

Shaun is telling his colleagues about his first date with Carly (Jasika Nicole) and they are hanging onto every word instead of doing their work.

Dr. Lim (Christina Chang) started as Chief and she immediately gets to deal with the bureaucracy that goes along with the new gig.  One of the first things she does is go to HR with Dr.  Melendez (Nicholas Gonzalez) to tell them that they broke up.  The personnel officer accepts their statement on paper but tells them that she doesn’t believe that they are no longer together, but gave them the tip that they have some big challenges ahead of them.

Meanwhile, residents Reznick (Fiona Grubman) and Park (Will Yun Lee) originally try to get the other to take a seemingly boring case, but after Dr. Lim says that she will allow residents to lead on basic surgeries both fight over it to the point of going over security tape footage to see who touched the file first.  When their patient, who is a senior with dementia. has cancer rather than kidney stones, they aren’t too interested in the patient or his devoted wife.

Dr. Glassman (Richard Shiff) is trying to figure out what to do with himself now that he has beaten cancer and takes a job at a free clinic, but Allegra Aoki (Tamlyn Tomita) wants him to go back to the hospital as board president, but he is reluctant to budge.  Though eventually, she is able to make him an offer that he is unlikely to refuse.

Shaun is tasked to treat a brand new bride (still in her wedding gown) who happens to have cancer that has spread to all lower organs. Melendez tasks Shaun to practice compassionate communication to let her and her new groom know that she is dying.  Instead, Shaun does some research and Melendez takes him to the patient, where begins by giving the grim report, but then adds that there is hope.  If the team takes out all of the lower organs and remove the cancer tissue from them, she may have a chance.

Lim battles with the nurses who want more staff, but she tells them they can’t have more people if they don’t want to lose their overtime.  In order to get some good advice, Lim visits Dr. Andrews (Hill Harper) in his lavish home and gets his advice.

Reznick and Park are nonplussed when they learn that their newly diagnosed cancer patient’s wife is happy to continue to care for her ailing spouse, even though he will have to live in a world of confusion where he will learn that he has cancer and forget about it every day, but  she won’t be budged.  She loves her man and is willing to lie to him to keep him as comfortable as possible with his dementia.

Lim then bothers Andrews again and appeals to his ego by luring him back to the hospital as a surgeon, where he would be working under her. But it looks like he would rather be useful than putter around trying to figure out what’s next?

Shaun’s patient is at first reluctant to commit to treatment, as she doesn’t want her new husband to have to take care of her and waste his life.  He reminds her of the “in sickness and health” part of their vows and she comes out a little worse for wear, as she needs an Ostomy bag for the rest of her life, but her husband is happy to have her by his side.

In between all of these activities, Shaun continues to ruminate about his awful date. Which his sympathetic audience didn’t think was too bad, but for someone who likes control, it felt disastrous to him.

All in all, this inaugural episode of Season 3 set the stage for a lot of interesting human interactions and a lot of dramedy to look forward to this season.

The Good Doctor airs on Mondays at 10/9c on ABC.  

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