Claire has always been one of the strongest women on The Good Doctor.
Usually, most of the characters take a back seat to Shaun, but The Good Doctor Season 3 Episode 3 was all about Claire, her backstory, and her overeagerness to help a patient.
This time, Shaun and Carly’s relationship drama was in the background, as was Park and Morgan’s somewhat silly case, and Claire had her chance to shine!
Some viewers were concerned after The Good Doctor Season 3 Episode 2 that the show was veering too much towards soap opera territory.
But while there was plenty of drama, this time there was a more medical focus.
Everything revolved around Claire’s nervousness about her first surgery and her eagerness to help the patient have a better quality of life.
She was so good at establishing rapport with Michelle that I thought she should go into psychiatry!
It’s your job to fix her gall bladder, not her life. It’s your first surgery. Don’t get distracted.
Claire didn’t heed Melendez’s warning and got overinvolved, determined to get Michelle the mental health treatment she needed despite her mother’s opposition.
In a way, it was understandable.
Claire clearly saw what was going on with Michelle, while her mother was too stressed, busy, and resistant to the idea of psychiatry to accept a referral.
And as Lim said, if Michelle was a danger to herself, that superseded her mother’s wishes.
At the same time, Claire’s behavior with Michelle was similar to her behavior with Carly.
She has been a caretaker all her life and can’t help stepping in to fix problems even when none exist.
Carly was right to tell her to butt out, and Michelle’s mother also felt that Claire had violated her boundaries.
And now the mother that Claire had taken care of her entire life is gone, how will Claire deal with that moving forward?
Her mother’s death was shocking and upsetting.
She seemed to be doing better and even told Claire that she was inspired by how strong Claire was!
I hate when characters get killed off gratuitously, but this one wasn’t gratuitous.
It was tragic, yet somewhat logical, and I was hoping when Claire approached the car that her mother had been arrested rather than killed.
Hopefully Claire won’t blame herself or think that her positive feelings about her surgery somehow led to her mother’s death in a drunk driving accident.
It doesn’t help that her mom was celebrating Claire’s success when she got behind the wheel, but ultimately that was her own choice.
One of the strongest aspects of The Good Doctor in general, but especially in this episode, is that it has a legitimately diverse cast full of well-rounded characters.
Sometimes shows hire people of color to have a diverse cast but don’t give them full storylines, or those characters deal with racial issues and nothing else.
But in this case, both Claire and Dr. Lim are well-rounded characters who are successful doctors in their own right but who have also dealt with both racism and sexism on the job.
They come from different backgrounds and have different personalities.
That is why Claire is more open about her emotions, while Lim feels the most important thing is to prove the haters wrong and not let anyone see vulnerabilities that can be exploited.
Race also played a part in Claire’s relationship with Michelle and her mother.
Michelle’s mother expected that a doctor of color would understand cultural attitudes about mental health treatment, while Claire felt that was an aspect of the culture that needed to change.
It was subtle — just a few lines — and it got the point across without overshadowing the rest of the story.
Meanwhile, Morgan and Park were shoved into the background, and their story was mostly used for comic relief.
That’s where those two belong, especially Morgan, who is the most annoying character on canvas.
It’s always good to see Robert Sean Leonard. Most people associate him with House, but to me, he will always be the kid who killed himself in 1989’s Dead Poets’ Society.
This silly story about the marlin allowed him to demonstrate his versatility as an actor.
He played over-the-top scenes with a straight face and made viewers believe that he really named his prize catch and would rather die than damage it during surgery.
And of course, at the end of the hour, he wasn’t fazed by losing his leg as long as Franklin survived intact! Talk about a goofy storyline.
Shaun’s signature creative visualizations were missing from The Good Doctor Season 3 Episode 3.
But that’s okay.
He made his suggestion for how to approach the surgery early in the hour and then stepped back so Claire could take the lead — in the story as well as in surgery!
What did you think, Good Doctor fanatics?
Did you enjoy the Claire-centered episode?
How did her mother’s death affect you?
And what do you hope to see from Shuan, Claire, and the rest of the staff going forward?
Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget you can watch The Good Doctor online if you missed anything!
The Good Doctor airs on ABC on Mondays at 10 PM EST/PST.
Jack Ori is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.