Dr. Shaun Murphy is put on scrut duty on the first day of his residency at San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital because of one doctor’s harsh opinions, but in the end, proves he is meant to be there.
As the episode begins, Dr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore) is lying wide awake in an empty room, on a carpet with a single pillow and no blankets. His alarm rings and he excitedly shuts it off and breaks out into jumping jacks and push-ups before it begins to ring again. He then measures his floor before the alarm goes off a third time, cuing him into the show. The scheduled morning continues as Dr. Shaun Murphy prepares of his first day of his residency at San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital.
However, not all goes according to plan as Shaun runs into his first stop of the day, five minutes late, to bluntly interrupt the other residents and lead surgeon Dr. Neil Melendez (Nicholas Gonzalez). While they were on rounds, updating a man who was recovering from surgery, Dr. Melendez publicly berated Shaun for his lateness, before Dr. Claire Browne (Antonia Thomas) came to his defense. Shaun, however, didn’t truly grasp Melendez’s anger, since he blamed the bus for his lateness and not himself. On the next round, Shaun is the first understand the scan of a middle-aged woman who is having severe stomach pains. “She has a malignant tumor,” he says matter-of-factly as the other surgeons are still trying to read the scans. “Malignant? Am I going to die?” the patient responded, to which Shaun replied, “Yes.” Shocked at his bedside manner, Melendez and his team all talked outside, where Shaun was reprimanded again. In response, Melendez assigns Shaun to scut work all day in the clinic — doing check ups for common colds, ear infections and more.
Shaun takes his duties to the next level and orders almost every patient a biopsy or scan to make sure they’re 100 percent healthy before sending them home, which makes Dr. Melendez even more mad. However, Melendez has his own issues — trying to take the huge, malignant tumor out of the middle-aged woman who wants to make it to her son’s wedding in two weeks. Dr. Claire Browne promised the patient, played by Nancy Stone, that she would survive. When the doctors open her up, though, they realize the tumor is worse than they thought and essentially inoperable.
Waiting for the biopsy of the tumor, Dr. Melendez calls an excited Dr. Murphy up to surgery, only to ask him to go down to biopsy and push the results through. When Shaun is pushed aside by the biopsy department, he has a flashback to when he and his brother went door-to-door to raise money for food. While his brother had no trouble making up a story about raising money for a trip to Mt. Rushmore for the class to coax neighbors into giving them money for food, Shaun tried and couldn’t get out the lie. At one point, the boys were threatened by a man with a shot gun for soliciting. As the boys ran, Shaun’s brother turned around and told him, “”If there’s one thing you need to do, you can never be afraid.” After recalling that bold moment, Shaun fearlessly asks the biopsy desk to push along the test or he would “throw a rock through the window.” Sure enough, the test would be done soon!
While the biopsy confirmed the patient’s tumor was inoperable, Shaun suggested a high-risk procedure to go through the healthy left kidney to get a better view of the tumor. Both Dr. Browne and Dr. Jared Kalu (Chukuma “Chuku” Modu) thought the idea was insane, but that didn’t stop Dr. Kalu from taking the idea to Dr. Melendez who wanted to try it.
As the team is in surgery, Dr. Aaron Glassman pulls Shaun aside after a patient he sent home was concerned that he wasn’t actually healthy. Shaun admits that he never said the man was absolutely healthy because “one can never be so sure.” After Glassman reassures the patient that he’s healthy and to go home, he takes Shaun under his wing to teach him the importance of bedside manner. Shaun immediately realizes that his duty is the ensure every patient in healthy, not just to appease his superiors. Running to the biopsy department, Shaun runs tests on a little girl named Martine he treated earlier in the day with a stomach ache. While Dr. Melendez said the girl was fine and her aching tummy was due to the stress her bickering parents caused her, Shaun thought differently.
Showing up at their house and banging wildly on the door, Martine’s parents threaten Shaun and try to send him home. “Part of my weirdness is that I keep thinking of things. So I will keep knocking on your door until I know Martine is okay,” Dr. Shaun Murphy exclaimed. The parents take him up to Martine’s room where they find her unconscious with vomit all over.
In the same scene, Shaun has a flashback to Dr. Glassman driving he and his injured brother to the hospital in the middle of the night, after the fatal fall. Shaun returns to the present, where he sits in the back of the car holding Martine and providing CPR to keep her pulse going. They arrive to the hospital where Shaun finds the twisted intestine and for the first time, schedules his own surgery.
As Shaun preps for the OR, Dr. Melendez and Dr. Kalu remove the huge malignant tumor from their patient — saving her life. Melendez then goes right into Shaun’s surgery, pushes him aside and takes over, sending him home for the night. To stick the knife in further, Melendez tells Shaun about Dr. Kalu’s “great idea” to go through the patient’s kidney. However, Dr. Marcus Andrews stands over the OR and asks Melendez to allow Shaun to stay. “He is here, we will treat him as we treat all of our doctors,” he bellowed into the operating room. Shaun was put on suction duty. Still, the young doctor finds joy and happiness and reason in all that he does — it’s what makes him the good doctor.
That evening, Shaun slept, holding the fake No.10 blade his brother gave him and in the comfort of a home that was a bit more furnished that when he left it.
HollywoodLifers, what did you think of this week’s episode of The Good Doctor? In my opinion, this is one of the most necessary, beautifully presented shows on television right now with an important message to open your heart and mind to anyone, no matter their limitations. Let me know what you think!