The Good Doctor – Not Fake
By: Jessica Wolff
Dr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore) comments that Dr. Jared Kalu’s (Chuku Modu) coffee smells like leather. When offered some, Shaun tells them that he doesn’t drink coffee. Dr. Claire Browne (Antonia Thomas) comments how dead the graveyard shift is and Nurse Farrar (Kari Coleman) introduces the three to their supervisor, Audrey Lin (Christina Chang). Farrar gets a call and announces that there was a massive bus crash before giving everyone instructions. As they wait at the front door of the hospital, Shaun answers Lin’s question about the color-coding priority.
The ambulances arrive and everyone rushes to help the incoming patients. Everyone takes a patient and Dr. Neil Melendez (Nicholas Gonzalez) comments that one patient, Noomi (Heather-Claire Nortey) has an object in her neck to prevent her from bleeding. Melendez asks Claire to confirm the protocol for the situation and Shaun waits for a critical patient to attend to. A patient with a severe leg injury, Marco Magallanes (Paolo Maiolo) is rolled in and Shaun freezes when told to help him. Shaun finally goes over and silently observes the situation as other nurses try to talk to him.
Once he is provided the materials that he asks for, Shaun gets to work and explains that he’s making something that none of the nurses have heard of. He tells them that it will stop the bleeding, but doesn’t elaborate. Shaun gives them instructions and the nurses are surprised that his idea works. Jared works on a burn patient (Kandyse McClure). Dr. Marcus Andrews (Hill Harper) comes over and corrects Jared. He cuts her chest to help her breathe and then orders her to be transferred to the burn unit. Dr. Aaron Glassman (Richard Schiff) tends to a yellow tagged man (Herbert Duncanson) and confers with Melendez. Glassman manages to stabalize him, and asks Melendez how many times Shaun is going to have to prove himself.
As they scrub in for surgery, Melendez asks Claire why she hesitated in the ER. She insists that she didn’t, but he replies that she was overwhelmed. He tells her that you have to be quick and methodical in trauma, and that she should be a little more like Shaun. Jared’s patient screams as he works on her burns, and he asks how she’s doing. He admits that it’s a stupid question, and she asks how bad the burn is. She sees through his attempts to downplay her condition, and asks for a mirror. He shows her the severity and she breaks down, believing that she looks like Freddy Kruger. Lin reports the numbers of the patients to Melendez, and Shaun comes over and diagnoses Marco with a severed femur. Melendez looks at the scans and decides to focus on him.
Melendez and Shaun go to see Marco’s family in the lobby, his father Ricardo (Ruben Garfias), his mother Lorena (Norma Maldonado), and his fiancee Sonia (Gloria Garayua). Melendez reports Marco’s condition and Sonia asks if they can save them. He responds that amputation is their only option and the family is devastated. Shaun rushes to find an open computer, but finds that they are all taken. Lin asks Melendez and Jessica Preston (Beau Garrett) when their wedding will be, and Jessica responds that they don’t know the details yet. She suggests that they might get married on a beach, but Melendez responds that his family would prefer a church. They agree to talk about it later, and Farrar asks Shaun if he is available. He tells her that he doesn’t want love, and walks away.
Shaun attempts to steal an open computer before Claire sits down and she pushes him away. She asks if his patient is pre-op or post-op, and gives him the computer on the condition that he apologize first when he answers pre-op. He apologizes and she lets him look at Marco’s scans. Shaun asks her why Marco’s family cried when told that his leg would be amputated, and she explains that it’s normal to react that way. He doesn’t understand since amputating would give Marco a chance to live. Shaun assesses that there are no other options, but Claire suggests replacing the entire femur.
Melendez, Claire, and Shaun watch as a 3D printer creates a femur, but Melendez warns them of the risks of a fake bone. Shaun is confident that it will work, and Melendez promises to think about it. Outside, Claire asks Melendez what there is to think about and he comments that Shaun’s idea is risky. Claire takes credit and argues for her idea, but Melendez doesn’t believe it’s her idea. Claire finds Jared sitting outside, and he admits that he’s struggling with talking to his patient. Claire tells him to listen to her and to be an escape for her while she’s trapped in the hospital.
Ricardo is bewildered by the idea of implanting a fake femur into Marco’s leg, but Shaun insists that it’s not fake. Sonia is excited about her fiancee being able to walk again, but Lorena asks Melendez if they’ve done the surgery before. Shaun tells them it will be the first time, and Melendez explains that there are risks involved. Sonia believes they should do the surgery, but Marco’s parents are opposed to it. Sonia and Lorena argue over what Marco would want, and Sonia asks Melendez who has the right to decide. He declares that since Sonia and Marco hadn’t been married yet, the parents get to decide. Ricardo makes the decision to amputate.
As they prepare for the amputation, Shaun asks Melendez why he’s marrying Jessica. Melendez declares that he loves her, and Shaun admits that he doesn’t understand why love is so important. Jessica comes in and tells them to stop the amputation, as she filed an injunction to stop it. Claire informs Noomi of her condition, and she asks about her wife, Jenna (Devin Barker). After checking the hospital’s list, Claire informs her that Jenna isn’t on it. She explains that it’s a good thing as it means she’s probably in the waiting room.
Melendez asks what he’s supposed to do with Marco, but Jessica explains that a judge will have to hear both sides before making a decision. Shaun asks if he has to testify, but Melendez and Jessica both tell him that he hopefully doesn’t have to. Jessica tells Melendez that she believes Marco’s parents are making a rash decision, but he argues that it’s the parents’ right to decide. He declares that nobody’s going to love Marco more than his parents, and she asks if he would want his parents to overrule him if something were to happen to him. Melendez denies saying that, but Jessica tells him that it’s not the judge’s decision to make. Shaun tells Jessica that the judge has three hours to decide.
Jared brings his patient a tablet with movies, and she questions if he thinks that’s going to help her. He apologizes and tells her that there’s nothing else he can do, but she is not happy about it. Judge Singh (Nimet Kanji) listens to Sonia and Lorena argue. Ricardo states that he wants Marco to live, and Sonia agrees, but that she also wants to save his leg. He tells her that Marco wanted to marry her, and that amputating will give him a guarantee of doing that. Sonia reveals that she met Marco in rehab, to his parents’ shock. Claire looks for Jenna in the waiting room but can’t. She realizes that Jenna might still be at the crash site and orders the EMTs to take her.
Sonia explains that Marco took up outdoor activities to deal with his addiction, but Lorena believes her reasoning is ridiculous. Sonia continues to plead her argument, and Lorena tells Sonia that Marco cheated on her. She believes that Lorena is lying, but Ricardo backs up her story. Jessica tries to focus the discussion back to the decision, but Lorena insists that it proves that Sonia doesn’t know Marco as well as they do. At the crash scene, Claire commands a search for Jenna. She finds her lying unconscious off the road and runs to assess her condition.
Jared suggests to Andrews that they use a method developed by a San Diego hospital to wrap his patient’s burns in fish skin. After hearing Jared’s arguments, Andrews suggests making a proposal for the surgery and explains that he can’t expedite the process. Claire tends to Jenna and drills a hole into her head to help her breathe better. At the hospital, Jenna is cleared for surgery and Glassman compliments her successful idea. Jared informs Andrews and his patient that the San Diego hospital has agreed to expedite the fish skins for the operation. Andrews is suspicious, but Jared gives an explanation. The patient agrees to try the surgery and asks Jared to be the one to do it.
Shaun is brought in to testify, but he tells Singh that Melendez can testify on his behalf. Singh wants him to testify because it’s his fake femur, but Shaun declares that it’s not fake. Shaun tells Jessica that he knows what the family needs to know, but freezes. Singh asks if Shaun is going to answer her questions, and Jessica asks him to focus. The family argues, and Shaun demands they stop talking. He examines Marco and determines that his toes are clotting. They rush Marco to the ER and Melendez demands a decision. Singh rules that they should replace the femur and Sonia is grateful for her ruling.
Claire and Glassman, Shaun and Melendez, and Jared and Andrews operate on their respective patients. Shaun is pleased that his femur worked. Glassman compliments Claire’s work, but they discover that Jenna died in the process of surgery. Lin tells Glassman that there is something that he needs to know about Jenna’s death. Melendez tells Marco to try and move his toes, but he is unable to. Shaun runs an object along his foot and announces that the toe moved. He demonstrates it again and declares that it worked. The family is relieved and Marco thanks Melendez and Shaun for saving his life and his leg. Marco asks Sonia if she’s ready to pick up where they left off, but she tells him there’s plenty of time to get married and that he should rest.
Jared tells his patient that she looks good, but she thinks she looks like sushi. He assures her that it’s only temporary until her new skin grows, and she thanks him. Claire stands over Noomi, and Glassman asks to speak to her. He asks her about her operation at the crime scene, and he tells her that she put the tube too far into Jenna and constricted her breathing. Claire feels terrible, but Glassman tells her that anyone could have made that mistake. He tells her about a mistake that he made that cost a patient’s life that continues to haunt him. Glassman tells her that she’s not going to forget this, but she needs to find a way to keep going. He tells her that he doesn’t want her to talk to Noomi or anyone outside the hospital about it.
Andrews joins Jared on the elevator and confronts him about donating to the San Diego hospital to expedite the operation. He warns him to be careful and that he can’t use his family’s wealth every time a patient is in need. Claire watches as Glassman informs Noomi of Jenna’s death. Jessica hands Melendez documents that indicate who she wants making medical decisions for her. They kiss and leave the hospital hand in hand. Glassman finds Shaun sitting outside, and Shaun asks why Farrar asked if he wanted love. He asks Shaun why he doesn’t want love, and he explains that he loved Steve and his rabbit but not anymore. Glassman explains that you can still love someone after they die, but Shaun declares that he doesn’t want love.