The Good Doctor – Sacrifice
By: Jessica Wolff
Dr. Marcus Andrews (Hill Harper) and Dr. Neil Melendez (Nicholas Gonzalez) tell Dr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore), Dr. Claire Browne (Antonia Thomas), and Dr. Jared Kalu (Chuku Modu) that they will be split between two patients. The three of them draw their assignments out of a hat, and Shaun and Jared are both pleased to find that they will be working with an Esports champion, Bobby (Manny Jacinto).
Shaun goes to see Dr. Aaron Glassman (Richard Schiff), who introduces him to a potential therapist, Melissa Bourne (Erin Matthews). Shaun declares that he is not comfortable with a therapist, but Glassman urges him to give her a chance. He agrees, but is clearly shaken by the prospect.
Melendez examines Bobby’s wrist, and Andrews assures him that they’ll take good care of him. Shaun bursts in, and insists to Melendez that he is fine. He asks Bobby to squeeze his hands, and uses his textbook memories to diagnose him. When he presents his explanation, Melendez shuts him down.
Once the others leave, Bobby asks Shaun what’s wrong with him. Shaun explains his autism, but Bobby means what is wrong with him emotionally. Bobby insists that Melendez doesn’t respect Shaun, and tells him that the others should listen to him. He tells him that he needs a different strategy, and replies that everything is a game when Shaun protests.
Dr. Matt Coyle (Eric Winter) approaches Claire, and expresses his sympathy for having drawn his patient instead. He asks about the patient, but Coyle cuts Claire off twice during her explanation. Claire examines the patient, Hazel Mitchell (Rhona Rees), and Coyle discusses the details of the surgery with her and her sister, Grace Mitchell (Kayla Wallace) before smiling over at Claire.
As Melendez’ team operates on Bobby, Jared compliments Andrews’ recent article. Shaun tells Melendez that he has beautiful hair, and then makes a suggestion for the surgery. Melendez rejects the idea, and Andrews tells Jared to take over for Melendez. He reluctantly hands over the tools, and Jared operates on Bobby.
Claire and Coyle operate on Hazel, and Coyle asks the others to hang out with him after the surgery. While the others agree, Coyle comments how quiet Claire is. He tells her to loosen up, and gives her an opportunity to operate on the other leg. Shaun is about to get on the bus, but he freezes and runs back into the hospital. Grabbing a mattress, he decides to sleep in a broom closet, ignoring a text from Glassman.
The next morning, Glassman asks Shaun how the meeting with Bourne went. Shaun lies that it went well, but Glassman calls out the fact that he is wearing yesterday’s clothes. In the elevator, Glassman remarks that they are at an impasse and tells him that he could have said no. Shaun says no, and Glassman insists that he can make his own decisions. Glassman reiterates that he thinks Bourne would be good for him, and bribes him with a surround-sound system for his television if he sees her. After a couple moments, Shaun agrees to meet with her.
Claire unwraps Hazel’s bandages, and Coyle answers questions about the surgery. Coyle compliments Claire’s work, putting a hand on her back. Claire then asks Jared or Shaun to switch patients with her, but they refuse. When Claire explains that she was uncomfotable with Coyle’s touching of her, Jared doesn’t believe it’s a big deal.
Bobby asks about the surgery, and Melendez tells him that he, Andrews, and Jared all worked together. He asks Shaun what he did, and he responds that he helped clean the wounds. After an encouraging look from Bobby, Shaun presents his theory and suggests they order an MRI. Melendez criticizes Shaun’s idea when they are outside, and Shaun declares that Melendez doesn’t respect him. Jared supports Shaun’s idea, and Andrews approves the MRI.
As he sets up the MRI, Bobby congratulates Shaun on convincing Melendez to do it. Shaun tells him that Jared was the one who did, telling Bobby that Jared asked nicely. Bobby tells Shaun that he needs to be more assertive if he wants glory, but Shaun insists that he just wants to be a good surgeon. He tells Bobby about Glassman’s bribe, and Bobby tells him that he was promised a PlayStation 2 in exchange for seeing a therapist. Shaun asks what therapy was like, and Bobby tells him that he never followed his therapist’s instructions. Shaun asks if that’s an option, and Bobby tells him that doing what he wants is always an option.
Jessica Preston (Beau Garrett) reminds Melendez that they’re meeting her father (Andrew Airlie) for dinner that night, and asks about the surgery. Melendez comments that Shaun seems off, and that Andrews is being too friendly. They flirt about dinner, and Jessica decides on a wedding date to tell her father when he tries to pressure them. Jared and Shaun show Melendez a tumor they found in Bobby’s MRI, and Shaun reminds everyone that it was his idea.
Melendez consults with Jen Clavet (France Perras), who recognizes Bobby from having treated him for cancer three years before. Melendez, Jared, and Shaun confront Bobby about his previous cancer, but Bobby doesn’t understand how it’s relevant to his current condition. He confronts Melendez about not respecting Shaun, but Melendez denies it. Shaun asks Bobby why he hid his previous diagnosis, and confesses that he felt that the cancer was affecting his gaming ability and that blocking all of the negativity allowed him to focus again. Shaun declares that Bobby needs a full body scan, and Bobby wholeheartedly agrees.
Hazel comments that Claire seems happier with Coyle gone, and tells her that she doesn’t have to pretend around her. She tells Claire that she pushed herself too hard in spin class because of comments made by men about her appearance. Grace suggests doing something that doesn’t involve dealing with men like that, and Claire suggests becoming a nun. As Hazel rants about sexism, Claire notices that her heart rate goes up and rushes to help her. Coyle lets Claire take charge, and Claire stabilizes Hazel.
Jared believes that Bobby is scared of his diagnosis, and Shaun notices a brain tumor on Bobby’s scan. Melendez shows the results to Glassman, and they discuss how to approach Bobby’s treatment. Melendez asks Glassman if Shaun is okay, and Glassman says he’s fine as long as he’s working well. Melendez, Shaun, and Jared inform Bobby of his brain tumor, but Bobby downplays the severity. Once Shaun explains the consequences the tumor will have on him, Bobby accepts his fate, declaring that he’s had a good run.
Coyle compliments Claire’s work and asks her out. Claire calls his advances inappropriate, but Coyle insists that she led him on. He brings up her relationship with Jared, and Claire calls him an ass. Coyle stops her from leaving and accuses her of insubordination. He says that he won’t report her, but warns her not to have a stick up her ass about being asked out. Melendez and Jessica meet her father for dinner, and he offers to pay for their entire wedding. Jessica refuses his offer, insisting that they are capable of paying themselves. Her father warns her that they will have less money once they start having kids.
A janitor, Paul Buendia (Faustino Di Bauda) finds Shaun in the broom closet and asks why he’s there. Shaun admits that he’s hiding from his therapist at the expense of losing his chance at a surround-sound system. He asks Buendia if he’s happy with his life, and he expresses his love for his family. Shaun admits that it’s a good answer, but refuses to look at pictures when asked. Jessica asks her father why she has to give up her career to start a family, and he replies that she should be enjoying life since money isn’t a problem. Jessica tells her father that she loves her job, and Melendez calls him a parasite that refuses to contribute to society. He replies that he’s not going to apologize for his inherited wealth before storming out.
Glassman visits Shaun’s broom closet, and asks what he’s doing wrong. Shaun states that he doesn’t need a therapist, and Glassman points out that he’s sleeping in a broom closet to avoid Bourne. Glassman comes to a realization, and tells Shaun that their conversation isn’t over. Jared suggests that Claire file an HR complaint against Coyle, but she’s worried about being labelled as difficult. He tries to convince her it’s the right thing to do, but she points out that they’ll put the blame on her. She argues that Jared didn’t listen to her concerns about Coyle earlier, and that she shouldn’t expect strangers to either. Jared attempts to apologize, but Claire explains that it is what it is.
Glassman tells Bobby that they can remove the tumor if he is willing to sacrifice his ability to move the left side of his body as well as other motor functions. Bobby agrees, but Andrews warns him of the dangers of the surgery. He explains that going through physical therapy is better than death, but Andrews tells him that his career would be over. Bobby signs the paper, approving the surgery. Jared slams Coyle against a locker, and threatens to do worse to him if he harasses Claire again.
Claire tells Hazel that she’s getting better, and Hazel thanks her. Hazel tells her that she did well standing up to Coyle, admitting that she wasn’t sleeping and heard everything. She calls Claire brave, but Claire doesn’t believe she is. Glassman makes conversation with the others as he operates on Bobby. Shaun notices that Bobby’s heart rate is rising, and Glassman tells Melendez that it’s too late to abort the surgery.
Melendez and Glassman argue over what to do, and Melendez asks Jared and Shaun for ideas. After talking out the situation, Melendez comes up with a plan and everyone rushes to put it in motion. After a few moments, the heart rate stabilizes and Glassman compliments everyone on their work. Claire goes to Andrews’ office and asks to talk to him, and Andrews tells her that he wants to talk to her as well.
Glassman determines that Bobby’s surgery was a success, and Melendez informs him that his motor functions might work better than anticipated. Bobby is thrilled, and Shaun tells him to be patient when he tries to move his finger. Shaun asks if patience is a bad thing, and Bobby replies that acceptance is a bad thing. Bobby tells him that he wasn’t good at anything until he found videogames and tells Shaun to not let anyone tell him what he can and can’t do.
Melendez finds Jessica waiting for him in his office, and he apologizes about his behavior to his father. He promises to make amends with him, but Jessica tells him that she doesn’t want to have kids. In the lobby, Glassman tells Shaun that he can’t avoid Bourne any longer and insists that he’s trying to help. Shaun suggests that Glassman is forcing this to make himself happy. Glassman gets frustrated and tries to drag Shaun out of the hospital, but Shaun makes a scene and yells that he wants to make his own decisions. He tells Glassman that he can’t order him around, and starts hitting himself. Glassman tries to pull his hands away, but Shaun strikes him and runs out of the hospital.
Claire confronts Jared about fighting her battles for her, but Jared tells her that he’s been fired for assaulting Coyle. Glassman and Bourne go to Shaun’s apartment, and find it deserted. Upon seeing that Shaun’s photo of his younger self and Steve is gone, Glassman explains that it means that Shaun is never coming back.