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The Good Doctor takes relationships a step or ten further in Episode 4

Good Doctor E4
Dr. Aaron Glassman (Richard Schiff) and Debbie (Sheila Kelley) take a big leap on The Good Doctor. Pic credit: Jeff Weddell/ABC

On The Good Doctor, every relationship has its nuances, and in Episode 4, called Hold My Hand, all sorts of relationships experienced a sort of metamorphosis. Below is a play-by-play recap of the all-new episode on ABC.

Shaun (Freddie Highmore) is in the early stages of his romance with Carly (Jasika Nicole), where he is fine with kissing during the commercials, but he isn’t quite at the hand-holding stage. Dr. Glassman (Richard Shiff) is contemplating taking the big leap with his newly minted fiancee Debbie (Sheila Kelley). However, another important relationship shift appears to be with Claire (Antonia Thomas) and Morgan (Fiona Gubelmann) taking a break from being rivals or frenemies and sharing a touching genuine friend moment.

Shaun and Carly are able to kiss a little and watch TV closely on the couch, but he isn’t a fan of hand-holding and isn’t sure what to do.

The hospital has a pseudo-celebrity guest (Joshua Malina) who is a conspiracy theorist that believes he is being poisoned, despite having test after test that reveals that he has a genetic disorder with his liver. He likes Shaun’s no BS approach but sticks to his claim.

Claire is very quiet. She is not herself. Yikes, she hasn’t told anyone that her mother just died!

They are dealing with a patient who came in with a ruptured appendix, but her problem is much greater — she cannot feel physical or emotional pain. As Claire is so subdued, Morgan suspects her issue is with her mother, but something fixable, like a fight.

Shaun talks to Dr. Glasman about his relationship with Carly and how much of the big things they agree on. This accidentally causes Dr. Glassman to freak out, as he doesn’t really know that much about Debbie and vice versa when they are at City Hall awaiting to get married.

The conspiracy theorist fails to get better, so he resumes his theory that someone is poisoning him. He and Shaun then talk about his conspiracies that have been proven to be incorrect. He went on to explain that he never compromises and never admits that he is wrong.

Shaun takes his advice to his relationship regarding the hand-holding and it doesn’t go well. He thought not holding hands would not make Carly uncomfortable. She told him that not holding hands did make her uncomfortable.

The woman who feels no pain had to have her hand amputated from infection, but still remains calm. She is confronted by her husband, who asks her how she really felt about a move and a miscarriage, and she remained positive. Then, he asked how she would feel if he died, and she confessed her love but did not express the pain in his words. He then said he needed a break and left her. She is advised to go on special meds that will allow her to feel pain.

Philosophical questions are asked. Why does she have to change and feel pain the way everybody else does? Does it make her husband feel better if she is more normal? Weren’t they happy as they were?

Shaun goes through the conspiracy theorist’s stuff to discover that he takes Chinese herbs for male enhancement and virility and he gets an idea to test the patient for other kinds of conditions.

Morgan tries to get to the bottom of Claire’s mood and while going through her car, she comes across the urn with Claire’s mom’s ashes. That silenced her for a minute.

Morgan finds out that Claire’s mom wanted her ashes spread at the sea lion habitat in the Marine Sea Center, so they dress up and crash a drag pride party to release the ashes. Claire sings Amazing Grace while some of the drag party guests look on.

Shaun’s additional tests on the conspiracy theorist turn out negative, however, when he runs a check on the Chinese herbs, he discovers that the herbs aren’t herbs at all and one of the ingredients would negatively affect someone with his preexisting liver condition. Conspiracy solved. The guy was accidentally poisoning himself.

The woman with no pain weeps when her husband comes back to her, but upon learning that they took her off the new meds, she tells him that her tears are tears of joy for him coming back to her.

Dr. Glassman asks Shaun for advice, which makes Shaun happy, as he has never done that with him before, but he reveals that Dr. Glassman said “first wife,” which logically points to there being a second wife implied with his statement.

Dr. Glassman and Debbie return to City Hall and go through with the wedding with Shaun and Carly standing as witnesses. They aren’t holding hands, but they almost are… Perhaps a little compromise did happen after all.

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

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