Monday night marks The Good Doctor season 2 finale, and from a story perspective, we don’t really have to tell you that stakes are high. That’s clear based on the promo alone. Dr. Shaun Murphy’s career is at a precipice entering the episode and by the end of it, so could his life. He doesn’t have a job, and when he lashes out at a man while getting a drink, things will spiral. He is not going to have a coping mechanism to save himself in that moment and this man could beat him to an inch of his life.
When it comes to Shaun’s heart, we’ve never felt worse. Here is where the dichotomy comes into play. As horrible as we may feel at present for Shaun the character, you have to feel nothing other than pride for Freddie Highmore the performance.
Obviously, we don’t think that anyone who watched “Breakdown” this past week suddenly discovered for the first time the brilliance of Highmore as an actor. The quality of his work is well-documented dating back to his days as a child actor; yet, through this episode, you may have saw him reach another high point. His commitment to his scenes with Daniel Dae Kim was on another level, especially since Dr. Han remained stoic in the midst of Shaun’s furious collapse. Highmore had to create his own escalation just as Kim had to continue to practice restraint. Watching these two go toe-to-toe was a wonder acting showcase, and it’s all the more clear why Kim waited for this role rather than jumping on board the series sooner. He recognizes the value and importance of someone like Dr. Han; he may not be likable to viewers but he represents the most formidable opposition to Shaun to date. He also lifts Highmore to even higher heights.
Given that this is March and the Emmy nominations are not until later this summer, it is far too early to coronate Freddie as a contender — fun as that may be. There are many more performances to sift through and think about; there may be more, in fact, than there has ever been. Think about how many shows are out there! think about how many actors! The field is so crowded that it’s almost impossible to point anyone out … or at least it would be were it not for Freddie and a few others.
Going into the finale, Highmore’s power and presence on this show is better than its ever been. Entering the finale now, the best thing that The Good Doctor can do for his Emmy chances, and for itself, is to find a way to stick the landing.
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Think about this…
Freddie Highmore doesn’t have a single Emmy nomination. Zilch. Not for this show and not for Bates Motel. This has to be one of the biggest snub travesties of the past decade, especially when you consider just how long these two shows were on the air.
Fingers crossed that this summer, voters come to their senses. We get it that Freddie doesn’t act for the awards — it’s for the sake of the art and for those who support him. Nonetheless, getting a little recognition from your peers is valued and, in this case, absolutely well-deserved.
If you want to preview The Good Doctor finale further…
You can do that just by heading over to the link here.
Should Freddie Highmore be an Emmy contender this year?
Be sure to sound off in the comments! (Photo: ABC.)