‘The Good Doctor’ Premiere: Introducing Dr. Shaun Murphy

Dr. Shaun Murphy is brilliant, witty and brave -- if only everyone else could see that. In the premiere of 'The Good Doctor' we meet Shaun and his biggest supporters... as well as his greatest doubters.

Freddie Highmore
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Image Credit: Courtesy of ABC

We’re seeing the world through his eyes — the anxious, observant, and brilliant Dr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore). An autistic doctor at San Jose Hospital is a high-functioning autistic man with a brilliant mind, made for saving lives. In The Good Doctor his impeccable story of survival, endurance and wit is told, starting tonight on ABC!

“I met Shaun Murphy when he was 14 years old. Yes, he has autism,” the President of San Jose hospital, Dr. Aaron Glassman, vouches for the young man to the board of the hospital, as the screen flashes to Shaun saving a young boy who has been injured by falling glass at the airport. Shaun sees things that others do not, as he works with a senior doctor who is trying to undermine him in the airport. Reminiscent of House, these out-of-this-world diagnosis and situations are taking control — and it’s great.

At the San Jose hospital, Dr. Claire Browne (Antonia Thomas) and Dr. Jared Kalu (Chukuma “Chuku” Modu) fool around in the break room, as a nurse searches for Claire to talk to a cardiology patient. After Claire talks to the patient, who is having second thoughts over his open-heart surgery, the lovers bicker over who can make him sign the surgical consent forms first to appease their boss Dr. Neil Melendez (Nicholas Gonzalez).

We’re then taken back to Shaun’s childhood where his abusive father screams in his face for screwing up in school. Shaun’s brother jumps on his father to stop the madness as his mom yells in the background. Shaun’s father tosses his brother off his back and throws Shaun’s pet rabbit against the wall. Following that horrific episode, Shaun is back in an ambulance with the young boy his saved and his family, heading to San Jose Hospital, where he is not yet a resident.

The surgeons at San Jose begin to perform surgery on the young boy as Shaun tries to break into the hospital because he knows the boy needs an Echocardiogram. As Shaun is searching for ways to enter the hospital, there is a quick  flashback to him meeting Dr. Glassman, on that fateful evening his father threw his rabbit across the living room. “He’s gone, he’s in heaven now,” Glassman told a young Shaun Murphy and his brother. “No! I don’t want him to be in heaven! I want him to be close!” Shaun exclaimed as his brother looked on. His brother declared the two of them would never be returning to their home. In the same moment, an older Dr. Glassman fights for Shaun to be admitted to San Jose Hospital’s residency program, but no one else on the board of the hospital is approving.

As the doctors doing surgery on the young boy realize something is actually wrong with his heart, Dr. Claire Browne and Dr. Melandez search for Shaun. Claire brings Shaun back to the Echocardiogram, which everyone thinks is normal, except for Shaun, who finds a defect in the left atrium. It takes Claire to convince the doctors that the young boy may actually have glass stuck in his heart.

At the same moment, an assistant barges into the situation room where Dr. Glassman and more board members of the hospital are having a decisive vote on Shaun Murphy’s admittance. Dr. Shaun Murphy of San Jose Hospital is all over the internet, with video footage of him saving the young boy at the airport.

The doctor’s end up proving Dr. Claire and Shaun right, finding a shard of glass in the young boy’s heart and saving his life. Following surgery, Glassman goes to Menendez for help in the vote, and with convincing from board member/girlfriend and Dr. Jessica Preston (Beau Garrett), he comes through. “Give him six months. If he proves is less than excellent…” Dr. Glassman promised he would give up his own position as president of San Jose Hospital.

It’s Shaun’s turn to impress the board. When asked why he wants to become a surgeon, Shaun goes still and silent, reflecting back to this childhood, playing tag in the warehouse as a young boy with his brother. In a game of trains, Shaun witnesses his brother slip and fall off a train and die. “They should have become adults. They should have had children of their own and loved those children and I want to make that possible for other people,” Dr. Murphy responded to the board, referring to his brother and his pet rabbit. “And I want to make a lot of money so that I can have a television,” he added. Upon his answer, Dr. Shaun Murphy was welcomed to San Jose Hospital, even by the reluctant Dr. Marcus Andrews, who was reluctant from the start.

As Dr. Shaun Murphy was welcomed into surgery, Menendez told him that all he would ever be doing was “suction.” And in the same breath, Murphy told him that he was “A very arrogant person’ and questioned his personality, while complimenting his surgical skills. Will Menendez let Shaun do more?!

HollywoodLifers,what did you think of the first episode of The Good Doctor? Let me know!

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