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The Good Doctor - Tough Titmouse - Review + POLL

The Good Doctor airs Monday night 9PM CT on ABC

Network TV is saturated with a plethora of medical dramas and audiences are spoilt for choice, but not all the shows have what The Good Doctor brings to the table every week. The first season was received with mixed reactions especially with the handling of the Lead characters autism spectrum. I think the second season is better with the writing and the handling of the stories they want to tell. Other than the missteps in “Middle Ground” which I did not review, there has been a vast improvement in the research that goes into the subjects the writers have chosen to deal with this season. I have a skeptical mind when I watch shows trying to deal with complex subjects, and my worry is always about how the audience will receive what’s being presented, and in this case, I will say Tough Titmouse did a fantastic job.

We got to learn a little bit more about the main characters, with Dr. Glassman’s past being a huge focus of the episode. We are taken through his post-surgical stress delirium and its heartbreaking. We have known about his daughter’s death, but not much had been shared about her life and how she died. Richard Schiff is a seasoned actor, and we expect great performances from him but this episode he outdid himself. First of all, he spent the entire time laying on his back in a hospital bed which is not comfortable and at the same time went into a deep emotional space to dig out painful memories of Glassman’s relationship with his daughter Maddie. The scenes with Schiff and Taylor explain why he is attached to Shaun and the guilt that Glassman carries around because of Maddie’s overdose. Glassman has been blaming himself for what happened to Maddie and facing his own mortality enabled him to finally address the fear of “losing” that has tormented him even in his career as a surgeon. The filming in the scenes between Maddie and Glassman was terrific. I am not sure if the intention was to show the push and pull of their emotional journey through the camera angles, but if you watch from both viewpoints, there’s a trick that shows distance that symbolizes what their relationship was.

The surgeons worked again in two pairs with Dr. Melendez, Park and Murphy dealing with a long time patient of Melendez who is on the spectrum and his mother, Nicole. Nicole’s son expressed himself violently and endangered those around him whenever he was frustrated with his communication. This was a sensitive case especially for Dr. Melendez who we discover has a sister whom his family had to put in a facility for full-time care. This shed some light into why Melendez was hesitant to advise his patients' mother Nicole to send him to a full-time care facility. I love how Park is confident when it comes to leveling with Melendez. He was assertive and using his own past experience to nudge Melendez to talk to Nicole is what it means to be a good colleague. Shaun’s handling of the violent incident with Nicole’s son Mark was a testimony of how well Shaun relates to others in the spectrum. He is gentle and has a better grasp of how to de-escalate situations involving those he identifies with; this is also what makes him a great physician.

The second group had Drs. Brown and Reznick working together to deal with a patient who was adamant to continue the summit climbing career despite the dangers it posed for her. There was a lot of unethical things that happened with the case Claire and Morgan were working on. It is rare that Claire makes a bad judgment call but in this case, she overstepped her boundaries, and the hospital needs to address. Claire went against the patient’s wishes by misusing a protocol which allowed parents of an eighteen-year-old to override her own decision. Claire was dealing with her personal lousy parenting experience issues, and to help the understandably overbearing parents, she crossed a line. Morgan on the other hand also manipulated the situation to get the patient to agree to the dangerous surgery. All in all bad decision making on the residents part even though the outcome might have been better for the patient.

Last week we saw Lea finally be honest with Shaun and let him know that he was not a good friend. I am still torn about this, especially since this entire episode we see Shaun try to go above and beyond to get Lea to forgive him. The hint about Shaun not asking her about what happened is a clear foreshadow on a visit into Lea’s past. I hope the writers address the reason why Lea moved to Hershey soon because at this point it feels like a plot device to push Shaun into a romantic relationship which I don’t think he is ready to do. I will be honest and say I was not comfortable about Lea's reaction to the sweet gestures from Shaun. She came off as calculating in that she managed to make Shaun’s concerns and feelings about her leaving less critical. Shaun has a hard time getting attached to people and when he is abandoned or rejected it makes him a little harder. In one of the most heartbreaking flashback scenes we see his foster mother sending him away, and it’s hard to watch. I am looking forward to seeing what happens since Shaun revealed he had signed a lease for an apartment to share with Lea.

I have loved The Good Doctor since the beginning, and even though some episodes have been a hit or a miss, Tough Titmouse knocked it out of the park. The episode was written by David Hoselton and directed by Steven DePaul and what a great combination these two were. What they brought to the screen was heartbreakingly messy but also real, and it worked brilliantly. Tough Titmouse is about parenting, it’s about the past, the present and how trauma affects us, how it lingers in our heads and hearts. Tough Titmouse is about mistakes, rejection, forgiveness, redemption, and acceptance. Tough titmouse is about growth and moving on, and it was fantastic writing.

Things I need to see moving forward...

1. A look into Dr. Parks’ life especially after revealing that he is a former cop.
2. Some background on Morgan because she’s a little too perfect.
3. Melendez family situation and his involvement in his sisters care.

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