The Good Doctor Season 3 Episode 5 Review: First Case, Second Base


What the heck was that?

Doctors are always questioning whether Shaun has it what it takes to be a surgeon, and usually, he proves the naysayers wrong.

But on The Good Doctor Season 3 Episode 5, Shaun had two Autism-related meltdowns, one while in the middle of surgery.

Shaun’s first meltdown made sense. One way Autism affects him is that he has a hard time dealing with change and dashed expectations.

So when the patient decided she wanted a different surgeon, he couldn’t let go of the idea that he was supposed to be the lead surgeon.

Related: The Good Doctor: Does Dr. Han Have a Point About Shaun?

It wasn’t much different than the meltdown that got him in trouble with Dr. Han on The Good Doctor Season 2 Episode 17. Just as Shaun couldn’t accept not being a surgeon, he couldn’t accept not being the surgical lead.

His response to Lim’s attempt to encourage him was heartbreaking, though.

Lim: Going from attending to Chief of Surgery has been hard. Every decision, every mistake… I learn something new every day. And so do you.
Shaun: No, I don’t. I have a developmental disorder.

Shaun seems to have internalized the idea that his Autism means he can’t learn and is stuck with whatever talents he has or doesn’t have, and Andrews’ insistence that he wasn’t ready probably didn’t help that.

Andrews’ doubts came out of nowhere. He sacrificed his position as hospital president to sack Han and reinstate Shaun, so why is he suddenly having doubts now?

Andrews was right that Lim shouldn’t coddle Shaun, but Shaun’s reluctance to give the patient bad news didn’t mean he couldn’t perform surgery on her.

Andrews: Shaun was very lucky. He got the world’s most genial patient.
Lim: Nice.
Andrews: Of you. I saw the chart. This was supposed to be Park’s patient. You can’t coddle him.
Lim: If we challenge him too much we’ll lose him.

And the patient’s reaction to getting that bad news was odd, too. It wasn’t clear why she decided she wanted another surgeon.

Related: The Good Doctor Season 3 Episode 3 Review: Claire

Lim said that Shaun’s phrasing was problematic but that his surgical skills were top-notch, but his bedside manner didn’t seem THAT bad.

This felt like manufactured drama.

Obviously, there has to be some conflict involved with Shaun leading surgery for the first time, but surely there was something better than Andrews and the patient’s mistrust of him.

And what’s up with patients deciding at the last minute they want a different surgeon, then changing their minds back?The same thing happened to Claire on The Good Doctor Season 3 Episode 3.

Speaking of Claire, I can’t decide if Morgan is still a good friend to her or if she’s gone back to being a pain in the neck.

Morgan spent most of the hour pushing Claire to deal with her mom’s death and arguing with her about whether their patient had fallen off the wagon.

Her attitude towards Claire was irritating, but at the same time, Claire needs to take some bereavement time or something.

Related: Get True Crime Files by ID via Prime Video Channels for Over 1,000 Real-life Mystery & Suspense Shows!

Claire snapped at her patient’s wife, accusing her of killing her husband by refusing to accept Claire’s diagnosis.

Her behavior was unprofessional, but the odds are no one with any authority will ever call her on it or even ask what’s going on with her. That’s not Claire’s normal personality and someone besides Morgan needs to realize something’s wrong with her.

I knew as soon as Claire and Morgan began insisting that her patient had fallen off the wagon that he had some bizarre medical condition that emulated drunkenness, too.

Claire was too convinced that that was the explanation for his symptoms for it to be the explanation.

And she was just as wedded to her opinion as the patient’s wife was to hers. Even discovering a rare tumor that caused pseudo-drunk symptoms didn’t change her conviction that all addicts lie and fall off the wagon.

She needs therapy, stat. We need to get our sweet, supportive Claire back, and it’s not going to happen on its own.

The subplot about Debbie’s insistence on carrying her gun was interesting even though it ultimately went nowhere.

Despite Glassman’s fear and reluctance to have a gun in his house, the issue was handled fairly maturely.

It shouldn’t matter why I want a gun. Whether it’s so I can defend myself or it’s a momento of my dad’s or it’s fun to shoot. I’m a grownup and I’m responsible.


Neither Debbie nor Glassman was being unreasonable. She wanted to keep a gun in the house for whatever reason and he didn’t want one anywhere near him.

Nobody was evil, crazy, or a nut case, making this story palatable to both gun owners and proponents of weapons bans.

But what the heck was this breast-touching business?

Carly asked Shaun to touch hers. I get that.

But his advice to Glassman, and Glassman’s subsequent touching Debbie’s breasts instead of discussing how they were going to solve the gun issue, bothered me.

Related: The Good Doctor Season 3 Episode 4 Review

Sure, Glassman said he had a compromise, but then he started touching Debbie

.She didn’t seem to mind, but still.

At the very least, Glassman used sex to distract from the need to have a potentially controversial conversation.

Similarly, I wasn’t a big fan of Carly deciding minutes before Shaun’s surgery was a good time to kiss him and ask him to touch her breast in the first place.

That was all sorts of inappropriate, and Shaun didn’t seem to be particularly into her until she put his hand on her breast. .

And Shaun’s mid-surgery meltdown didn’t make sense.

Why didn’t he do the visualizing things in his head and announce his proposed solution like he usually does?

That felt like drama for drama’s sake.

And worse, it proved Andrews’ point right and suggested Dr. Han had been right to bar Shaun from finishing his surgical residency.

Your turn, The Good Doctor fans.

Did Shaun’s meltdowns make sense to you?

Was Glassman right to be worried about Debbie having a gun?

And was Morgan a friend or just a nuisance?

Tell us what you think in the comments, and don’t forget you can watch The Good Doctor online if you omissed anything.

The Good Doctor airs on ABC on Mondays at 10 PM EST/PST. The next new episode will air on November 4, 2019.


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Jack Ori is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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