The Good Doctor series finale recap: Did Glassman and Claire survive?

Aaron Glassman on The Good Doctor.
Glassman’s life is on the line. Pic credit: ABC

The Good Doctor did the best it could with its last-minute series finale.

Surprisingly, it was a bittersweet farewell that reminded viewers of the impression Shaun made on the staff and patients of St. Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital when he arrived during the series premiere.

At the beginning of Tuesday’s final installment, Shaun was reeling from the news that Glassman had just months to live and opted to split his team between finding a cure and simultaneously trying to find a way to save Claire.

Shaun vocalized the importance of saving Glassman, who was resigned to the fact that he had months to live and believed spending it with Shaun, Lea, and Steve was worth it.

Shaun’s best plan would have meant Glassman would have been in and out of surgery, giving him a year at best, which the Chief of Surgery didn’t believe was worthwhile when he could enjoy whatever time he had left.

“I shouldn’t have told you,” Glassman explained to Shaun as the pair argued about the former not wanting to go through any more surgery.

Did Shaun and Glassman find peace?

“You are being selfish, and you are a coward,” Shaun fired back.

“You could keep fighting and have more time with me, with Lea, with Steve, but you are giving up on all of us. If you are giving up on me, I have to give up on you.”

Shaun then focused on saving Claire, who was fighting a virus that was a medical mystery to everyone at the hospital.

Claire was still on a high from her date with old flame, Jared, who vowed to be with her every step of the way, even as she learned she needed to be placed in a medically induced coma as her body was going into septic shock.

“I can’t say goodbye; I just got you back,” Jared admitted before Claire dropped the l-word on him.

“I love you; I’m so sorry that we lost so much time,” the returning original character said as her prognosis looked grim.

“We needed that time to get back here. We weren’t ready before. We were too dumb,” Jared responded.

“But I did tell you that I think one day we’ll both be very happy. I just didn’t realize it would be together,” he added.

“I love you too, Claire Brown, and I really wish I could kiss you right now.”

Shaun’s frantic mission to save Claire

Shaun assembled his nearest and dearest to tell them that the only way to save Claire’s life would be to use a virus to attack the bacteria, but the procedure had to be approved by the FDA.

Lim worried that Shaun was spending so much time chasing a cure for his friend that he neglected to say goodbye as she was put into a medically induced coma.

Jared conceded that they had to amputate Claire’s arm, or it would lead to even more complications as her condition deteriorated.

While the hospital staff battled to save Claire, Lea offered Glassman some words of wisdom as he worried Shaun wouldn’t talk to him again.

“He will come around, eventually,” she reasoned, but Glassman wasn’t so sure.

“He doesn’t have a whole lot of time,” he responded, which compelled Lea to locate Shaun and tell him to “plan for your final days with your father.”

Those words resonated with Shaun because Glassman became his father figure when they crossed paths many years ago, and Shaun realized he’d been too hasty.

As Claire’s condition got even worse, a phage of the virus was found to save her life, but the FDA did not agree to let him carry out the surgery.

In one of the series’ most predictable but impactful moments, Glassman said he would complete the surgery to save Claire’s life.

The Good Doctor: 10 years later

Instead of following the aftermath of the surgery, the finale jumped 10 years into the future to reveal that Shaun was now the Chief of Surgery and gave a TED Talk on his career.

The flash forward revealed that Claire survived, got married to Jared, and had a kid.

Shaun and Lea welcomed a daughter years later, while Park and Reznick adopted Eden.

Given how late in the game the cancellation came, The Good Doctor went out with a satisfying series finale that flawlessly brought the hit series to a close.

The Good Doctor is available to stream on Hulu.

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