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The Good Doctor - Heartfelt - Review: "You Don't Make Friends With Rentals"

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“Heartfelt” was the 15th episode of The Good Doctor which aired on the 28th of February 2017. A teenage patient hopes the surgical team can free her from a life of confinement at home; a young patient's perfectly matched organ donor is causing a moral dilemma for the parents and the patient.

Hey STV readers, I'm scrubbing in this episode (and 1x16) for Marko who was unable to review these episodes. As someone who is on the Autism Spectrum, The Good Doctor has been an overly relatable as well as an entertaining show. From my experience and the experiences of others around me, the show has a firm grasp on what it means to be and know a person with autism and journey experienced by everyone on both sides. 

Shawn's Adventures
We open up the episode with Shaun Murphy catching a bus a lot has changed for Shaun. He's able to ride a jam-packed bus during peak hour, with many passengers bumping and shoving him at every angle. It seems like Lea's notes and their song is enough to block out the sensory stimuli of the predicament he's in which I think is a cute little nod back to their relationship.

With the absence of Lea, Aaron and the upcoming social schmoozefest, Shaun is looking for new ways to interact with people and (hopefully) make a friend or two.  With Shaun being teamed up with Morgan this week, she offered him advice saying he needed to buy a $2,000 tuxedo in order to get ahead with the event.

He asks Dr Andrews for advice on his fashion choices and he advises Shaun against the purchase saying it's merely his talent that'll get him noticed, not his flossing. Morgan insists Shaun that he is an untrustworthy advisor saying he'd only tell people he didn't respect to scrimp out on the suit. Shaun inevitably decides to buy the suit.

This also marks the first major decision Shaun has had to make on his own and it'll be interesting to see if such an exuberant spend will come back to haunt him.

Every episode there is always a heart-warming moment, and for this episode, it had to be the final scene when Marcus stood in to help Shaun socialize with patrons at the Gala. Shaun's first run at the social game was brave, but sometimes we all need a little help in these situations. The fact that everyone seemed reluctant to attend the event, it was nice to see everyone supporting one another. It kind of makes me hopeful for his future social adventures.

It's also one of the rare moments we've seen Marcus endorse Shaun by greasing the wheels with his colleagues. Whether the suit made a difference though is unclear but I doubt that it made any difference seeing as he was actually kind of impressed by his defiance.

The Team
In this episode we're introduced to a new tribute intern Alex Park, a former cop turned mature-aged doctor. I think it's kind of badass to see an older resident on the team, especially when there is now a large sector of mature age students who are now entering a second profession.

However, it's his attitude due to his former profession that leaves me a little bit wary of this character. His cavalier attitude towards searching a minors belongings to calm the patient and his strict demeanour when restraining him were rather unsettling but it did help the patient so for the most part, it was deemed as helpful.

The way Alex talked Boris into killing himself left me feeling conflicted. Seeing as he had a low opinion of Boris (and prisoners in general) it was hard to see this scene with any sort of empathy or compassion due to his previous over the top mistrust of Boris just because he's a prisoner. To me, Alex could not have cared less about the patient or the donor and it's that lack of compassion that makes me curious about why he decided to be a doctor in the first place. Will his cop training and cynicism be too much to overcome during his residency? Or can it be an asset to Team Melendez? I'm not too sure either way. 

The biggest development within the group would have to be between Jared and Claire who decided to end their relationship after Jared realized he was far more invested in the relationship than Claire was. I've always enjoyed the relationship between these two. It's made Jared a less selfish and more likable character while for Claire it's exposed a lot of her insecurities when it comes to dealing with her own personal feelings and relationships.

While they may not be together now, I think that it's not impossible to think we'll see them back together again. I think at the moment Claire needs to overcome her insecurities and mistrust in her personal life. It's something that I a look forward to as Antonia Thomas' emotionally nuanced performances in times where Claire falters are truly outstanding and interesting to watch.
As mentioned, this week we saw Morgan interact with Shaun one on one and like I did with Jared, I'm kinda slowly warming up to her. In previous weeks it seemed like her ambition was merely a selfish ploy to get out on top by any means necessary, but with her interaction with Shaun makes me think otherwise. This is someone who wants to win, but not by beating others down but by beating them at their best. Her pushing Shaun to overcome his "autistic crutch" is not said with malice but out of genuine concern for his medical judgment. While in the beginning, we saw Melendez take this approach with Shaun, Morgan's run seems more helpful as she offers him reasoning and solutions with her criticism, rather than dismissing him completely. 

The Cases
I found the cases in the episode to be rather interesting both from a medical and interpersonal perspective.

It was interesting to hear about the potential legal implications of allowing prisoners to donate their organs to the hospital, with Glassman implying that it could be used to create an organ farm within the prison system. The moral and ethic debate between the "adults" was pretty diverse and I don't think anyone was right or wrong.

What did perplex me about the case was the lack of privacy between the donor and transplant patient. While it easily allowed for more drama this episode, it felt a little bit lazy and underdeveloped. No doctor in their right mind would tell a patient about the details donor before the transplant out of fear of reprisal or interaction and there was very little development behind the transplant boy' story.

The girl with the heart on the outside of her chest was the most visually interesting case of the season thus far and set out an interesting dichotomy between Shaun and the patient this week. While both socially isolated due to their condition, one person finds a way around the problem while the other seems to just accept it as apart of his life. 

Final Thoughts
- Did anyone else notice the House MD Easter egg while Shaun was riding to work?

- Mad props to Seven Second's breakout star Regina King who directed this episode!

- I had to laugh at Jared and Claire's faces when it was noted that Alex was a cop.

- Is anyone else missing Aaron on the show? I feel like the writers don't know what to do with him beyond his interactions with Shaun and I think it's wasted potential! But it was great to see him interact with Jessica again.

- Was I the only one rooting like crazy for Allegra getting the rich guy? When you're an intelligent, headstrong woman that looks like Tamlyn Tomita, age is the last thing on your mind!

So that's all for this episode, tell me what did you think in the comments below! What was your impression of Alex? Do you think Morgan is out to hurt or help Shaun and Do you think that this is final dance for Claire and Jared? 

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