At the start of the episode, Dr. Shaun Murphy struggled to come to grips with the news that his mentor and friend in Dr. Aaron Glassman has cancer. He has a limited period of time to live and despite however many different opinions that he got on the subject, it didn’t appear as though there was any hope. Glassman was intent that this was it for him, and the last thing that he wanted to do was sit around and listening to impossibilities. He just wanted to live, which led to one of the most powerful scenes of the entire season with Freddie Highmore and Richard Schiff as Glassman started to break down. Following that, there was another painful one that came aboard the carousel as Glassman reflected on some of his past and how he once thought he would go.
Shaun eventually did come up with another solution that could work for Glassman, but in the process of that he had another major problem to solve: Saving another patient, one that he almost killed earlier in the episode due to his own mistake. This mistake led to questions as to whether or not he would lose his own job as a result of it, but luckily the rest of the team did end up rallying behind him. Even Morgan, who still doesn’t think he should be working there, did at least think he came up with the right procedure to make sure this patient recovered.
Did it work? It was touch and go, and the most powerful moment within this operation came when Dr. Melendez decided to work through it in tandem with Shaun. If something went wrong, both of them would take the fall. Luckily, neither one of them had to. The operation was a successful! While Shaun made a disastrous mistake they were able to recover.
The aftermath of the operation
Following the operation Shaun did receive some good news from Dr. Glassman — while he does have cancer, the results of the biopsy showed that he does have a chance. There was still an operation and tough weeks ahead, but the possibility of hope was enough for Shaun to do something that he rarely ever does: He hugged Aaron. He hugged his friend.
Ultimately, Shaun made another tough choice following this moment with Dr. Glassman: Did he go and tell Dr. Andrews about his mistake? The closing seconds suggested that he was on his way — he was willing to put his job on the line for this meeting, but it was for what he considered to be the right move.
The Good Doctor finale is over, but it’s pretty clear that the story of Dr. Shaun Murphy is far from it. Now, we’re just left to wonder whether or not he and Glassman each make it out of that meeting with Dr. Andrews still employed. With excellent performances and heartfelt moments, though, the finale was easily the strongest overall episode this season.
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