Tonight, The Good Doctor episode 13 shook things up after spending the past two episodes focusing more on the Dr. Shaun Murphy. Tonight, Dr. Neil Melendez was in the spotlight and mostly due to a claim from Shaun that he made a mistake why operating.
Why did he do that? Was it because he was distracted by his recent breakup? That was one theory that was floating around out there, but it was one that Melendez seemed to reject. Shaun was afraid that reporting what he saw would cause friction between him and his superior, and in some way he was right after dealing with one of his latest patients. He was doing his best in order to treat a woman who was complaining about suffering some injuries that she supposedly got during a fire. However, her story didn’t exactly match what happened to her and that made him think that she was lying in order to get treatment.
Was the patient a terrorist building some sort of chemical weapon? That was Shaun’s theory and Neil didn’t like it. For one, Melendez felt like he was being biased against the patient because she was a Muslim. Was that actually the case? Well, she was clearly hiding something.
Basically, what Shaun learned at the end of the episode was to not always judge someone based solely on the most obvious assumption. While Shaun was right about her using chemicals that were a part of nuclear weapons, she was actually using them to make perfume. She wasn’t a terrorist, but still had something to hide.
As for Dr. Melendez, he did find a way, with the help of the other doctors, to push through some of his issues in judgment. Beyond just struggling with his patients, he just had to admit to himself that he was hurting. It was a strange feeling for him since he was so used to being constantly arrogant and above it all.
As for Claire, tonight her story involved her trying to convince a patient’s wife to make some hard choices involving her husband — which was not easy because of this husband’s history of abuse. While she may not have been hurt physically by Dr. Coyle, she had experienced emotional pain. With that, there was a touch of relatability that she had to this case. While she may have understood suffering, this was on a different level. As the case progressed, Claire started to suspect that this woman was slowly killing her husband by not giving him the proper medication; she denied that was the case. Yet, she did discover that it may have been her own son who was dropping his dosage to ensure that he died. Heartbreaking.
What Claire did get an opportunity to do at the end of the episode was build more of a case against Dr. Coyle — she wasn’t the only person harassed by him, and that finally allowed her to do something to stop him that she didn’t have a chance to do beforehand. She wasn’t just one accuser who could be ignored anymore.
At the conclusion of this episode Shaun also realized something of his own: He needed someone like Dr. Glassman in his life. He was a mentor, but it took Shaun a while to realize that he was okay with that.
We were a little surprised that Lea wasn’t really brought up in this episode of The Good Doctor until closer to the end, especially because of the impact that she just had on Shaun’s life in a big way. Yet, the story did make up for that with the air-freshener scene and the cases the team took on tonight were pretty fantastic.
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