It’s a normal day for Dr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore), until he notices a commotion in the emergency bay. The doctors are trying to restrain a “psychotic” patient who’s fighting them. Shaun has an instant realization: he’s not psychotic — he’s autistic. He gets the doctors to stop trying to restrain the scared patient (named Liam), to the shock of his parents, who clearly can’t believe that their kid’s doctor has autism, too.
We learn that this isn’t just the first patient with autism that Shaun’s ever encountered, but the first person with autism he’s ever met. How? Dr. Claire Brown (Antonia Thomas) notes that it must be nice for him to finally meet someone like him. “Why would that be nice?” Shaun quips. Good point! While Liam’s parents have their reservations about Shaun, he’s the perfect person to treat their son. He knows what will scare Liam before Liam even reacts. At one point, to get Liam to stay calm during his MRI, he recites the number of steps and windows in the hospital to him.
Shaun gets Claire to help him because she’s “good with people who have autism.” He’s finally warming up to her! Turns out, there’s a bit of an ulterior motive when he asks for her help. He’s actually freaked out about treating a patient with autism. She gently tells him to get over it, and he’s able to once again sooth Liam during another medical incident. Despite his expert help, and the fact that he actually diagnosed Liam with an immunodeficiency, Liam’s parents refuse to let him in the OR for Liam’s surgery. What?
It’s just how they feel. They’ve seen what happens to Liam when he gets anxious or scared, and they don’t want Shaun to do that in the OR! Ultimately, though, it’s Liam who gets them to change their minds. Shaun told him he would be fine during surgery, and he wants him in the room. The surgery goes smoothly!
While this is all happening, Jared is having one hell of a day. He has an elderly patient whose pacemaker has failed. He doesn’t want help; he confesses to Jared that he destroyed the pacemaker on purpose so that he could just die. The patient continuously escapes from his hospital room, and Jared keeps tracking him down. Finally, as the patient sits on the roof of the hospital, threatening to jump when he can stand back up, Jared does something incredible. He takes him back to the room and waits for him to die on his own terms. Hopefully, the hospital doesn’t find out.
The Good Doctor airs 10:00pm on Mondays on ABC.
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