Going into The Good Doctor season 2 episode 4, it was reasonably clear that we were going to have an outstanding hour of television. Anytime you give Richard Schiff material and allow him to run with it, you’re putting yourself in a very-smart position.
The story for Schiff’s Dr. Glassman tonight was devastating, as the character was forced to effectively confront one of his biggest demons: His daughter Maddie and the night of her death. While he was recovering from surgery he started to hallucinate with her being there in front of him. They had a conversation about rage, about heartache, and about how he was never there for her through much of her life though he though in his mind that he could be the one to fix her. He considered himself almost a superhero for her who could find a way to actually have things be a little bit better. He didn’t want her to suffer; he wanted her to be okay.
The problem with these hallucinations was that they were also keeping Aaron awake and the longer this happened, the riskier it become in terms of his long-term health. He was eventually compromising his own ability to survive, and Shaun and the rest of the team did everything that they could to help him. Luckily, Glassman eventually got to what he needed to hear from his late daughter: That she loved him. That was enough to put his mind at ease and give him a little more of a sense of peace so that he could get some of the necessary rest he needed to recover.
Personally, it’s going to take us some time to recover from this, given that this was a devastating journey of frailty and regret as Dr. Glassman was forced to confront his flaws. This was extraordinary work that Schiff did, especially while confined almost entirely to a hospital bed in the process.
Shaun’s own journey
We saw Shaun channel some of his past experiences going from home to home in order to better work on one of his cases, and he tried to balance that out with the current, broken state of things with Lea. She was upset with him over his pattern of behavior following what happened in Hershey, and he did everything he could to apologize for some of his recent outbursts — he tried a big gesture, he got her food, and he tried to help her to find a new place. In the end, though, what she really needed from him was truth: He didn’t care about Hershey, but she cared that it’s something that mattered to her. They were on better terms at the end of the episode, at least until Shaun suggested that he may have rented out a place that the two could live at together.
This episode of The Good Doctor should cement Richard Schiff in Emmy conversations, if there is any justice in the world. It was important mostly for the sake of backstory, as we understand better now both what makes Shaun and also Dr. Glassman tick because of what they’ve went through. Also, it showed the when it comes to Shaun and Lea, there is still a little bit of work that needs to be done.
What did you think about The Good Doctor season 2 episode 4 overall? Be sure to share right now in the attached comments. (Photo: ABC.)