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Why did The Good Doctor kill off Melendez? Nicholas Gonzalez leaving shocks fans

Nicholas Gonzalez dying in a hospital bed
Dr. Melendez was killed off after saying goodbye to a new love interest, Dr. Claire Brown. Pic credit: ABC/ YouTube

An earthquake that happened in the first part of Season 3 finale of The Good Doctor left fans worried about the fate of Dr. Neil Melendez, who suffered an injury to his abdomen.

Warning: Spoilers for the finale of The Good Doctor Season 3.

Our worst fears were confirmed last night in part 2 when Dr. Melendez (played by Nicholas Gonzalez) died of irreversible septic shock.

The crack surgeon was able to say goodbye to Dr. Claire Brown, who heartbreakingly failed to save him on the operating table and who had just realized she was in love with him a few episodes ago.

So why did Dr. Neil Melendez have to die?

The show’s runner David Shore has revealed that Dr. Melendez’s time was up as soon as the writers decide to injure him in the earthquake.

“I can tell you it was a really, really difficult choice,” to kill off Dr. Melendez, Shore told Entertainment Weekly, adding, “However, he also maintained that emotion had to be kept out of the decision. He argued that medical dramas need to have people die regularly; this includes both guest casts and regulars.

“Dramatically, that is what a medical show is all about. It’s all about the risk of losing somebody and what you’re willing to do in those circumstances,” he added.

He explained that losing someone that was so important and so loved on the show would enable the writers to explore themes involved with that kind of loss.

Speaking to EW, Nicholas Gonzalez said he first heard the news he’d be leaving the show about two-thirds of the way into the current season.

“It was pretty much right after the new year [when] I was informed,” according to the hunky actor.

Gonzalez admitted he was sad to say goodbye to Dr. Melendez after having spent three years working on the character.

He said Melendez was, “someone I felt that still had a lot more to say, but there wasn’t always that opportunity, and I feel like we really built a beautiful world around that character.”

In the end, the death was essentially down to a creative decision.

Fans were shocked at the death of Dr. Neil Melendez

Many fans took to Twitter to express their outrage at this “creative decision.”

A “fictional death I will never get over,” said one user.

https://twitter.com/lynzlome/status/1244827281886978050

Another fan refused to believe Dr. Melendez was dead until a funeral takes place.

Fans also praised The Good Doctor actors for “how absolutely incredible and heartfelt performance this episode was. I am utterly speechless.”

Still another fan suggested she would not be watching any more without Dr. Melendez.

The show has continuously and successfully struck a balance between handling medical emergencies and dealing with character’s stressful and upsetting personal issues.

Earlier in the season, Dr. Shaun Murphy (played by Freddie Highmore) had to deal with his father’s death.

The autistic Dr. Shaun has also grappled with developing romantic relationships this season.

The Good Doctor airs 10/9c on ABC.

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tv watcher
Guest
tv watcher

the dr mendedez needs to be put back on the show!! I will not watch anymore if he does not re-appear!!!

tv watcher
Guest
tv watcher

I want dr Mendez back

Margie
Guest
Margie

I cried…… I mean I really cried like I personally knew him! The acting made you feel like you were actually in the room and feeling everything they did. :'( I cried for Claire and hope this will, in a sad way, help her with her life choices. Hope the show doesn’t loose ratings now.

MaryAnn Rapuano
Guest
MaryAnn Rapuano

Not happy with this “creative decision”. Bring him back

The Doctor
Guest
The Doctor

Yeah that was a bad decision.

Doria Whitlatch
Guest
Doria Whitlatch

I am not happy they killed off Dr. Melendez. If the show gets cancelled because of it serves them right.

Patricia Schneider
Guest
Patricia Schneider

Creative decision NOT! I loved this character. Not sure I’ll continue to watch next year. Bad bad bad movr!

Patricia Schneider
Guest
Patricia Schneider

Creative Decision NOT! I doubt I will continue to watch this show next year.

Karen P
Guest
Karen P

Big mistake!!!! He was NOT the character to kill off.
You will lose fans. The creators messed up , who’s next…Shaun?

James Myers
Guest
James Myers

First the killed off Dr. Brown’s boyfriend for Leila, now they kill off Dr. Mendez. He was one of the reasons I watched the show. That was the Season Finale, also my finale for the show! Whomever makes these decisions should be fired from the show’s staff because I am not he only one who won’t watch this show again next season. This really upset my neighbor!

Elizabeth Bittman
Guest
Elizabeth Bittman

I will not be watching the Good Doctor without Dr. Melendez.
The writers were morons and they must get paid minImum wage.

Tv watcher
Guest
Tv watcher

Terrible move, we will not be watching next year. This show will lose ratings bad. Not “creative”

Ethel Morgan
Guest
Ethel Morgan

I am extremely upset and heartbroken that they would remove Dr. Mandez from from the good doctors you guys make some kind of way that you can turn this around!! Make it a dream or something!! We need him in the show to balance things!! I was anxious to see how he and Claire’s relationship would develop and progress bring him back!!I was anxious to see how he and Claire’s relationship would develop and progress bring him back!

was a fan
Guest
was a fan

They could have killed off several of the others – someone didn’t like NG as much as the rest of us.

Linda Ewer
Guest
Linda Ewer

I actually cried…he was my favorite on the show. Not sure I will watch next season. It will be too difficult.

Fan
Guest
Fan

This was the dumbest I’ve seen. They better do a Dallas Copycat with him alive in the shower it was Just a dream!!

Justaman
Guest
Justaman

Too many people take things too serious especially the writers. Weak story, bravery would be killing Shawn off.

Southern Man
Guest
Southern Man

I agree with others that this was a big mistake. Melendez was the second most important character on the show. And with the focus on Sean being more about his ridiculous personal life instead of his savant-like gifts as a doctor, I expect the show to see a steady decline in viewers.

Sherry
Guest
Sherry

Bring him back as a ghost or something.
He was more important to the shows story than you know.
Stupid move

April Jackson
Guest
April Jackson

This was a bad move I love Freddie and my heart beats for Hill but to kill off Gonzalez how stupid millions of women’s watch the show just for him unless it was decided months in advance this was personal and we know it.
I wish the best for Mr .Gonzalez and his family.

Vivdell
Guest
Vivdell

I , too, loved Dr Melendez. I like Freddie’s acting abiity….it is so believable, but I’m not sure I will be quick to be in front of the TV when you return. Not everybody on the staff has to have one of their own die.

Sarah Ross
Guest
Sarah Ross

I too wont be watching the next season, they dropped the ball on this season, the move away from the medical genius to his romance was boring, especially when the show was built around his gifts, the romance with clare and molendez was the part with watching, critical error to kill him off when there were others they could have killed off like Dr Lim