The Good Doctor – Seven Reasons
By: Jessica Wolff
As Dr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore) leaves his apartment, he knocks on Lea’s door and leaves. At the hospital cafeteria, he looks for Dr. Aaron Glassman (Richard Schiff) but is forced to eat his pancakes alone. Tessa (Chelah Horsdal) assures her son, Payton Carpenter (Keoni Rebeiro) that things are going to be okay as her husband, Cole Carpenter (Art Kitching) is brought into the emergency room. Dr. Lim (Christina Chang) tells them that he had a ruptured aneuryism and Dr. Claire Browne (Antonia Thomas) assures them that they’ll take good care of him.
Dr. Marcus Andrews (Hill Harper) gives Shaun and Dr. Jared Kalu (Chuku Modu) their next patient, Naja Modi (Hina Abdullah), who burned herself in a cooking accident. Shaun questions if he and Jared are being punished since the case is uninteresting, and Andrews reminds him that he’s getting the opportunity to work with the head of surgery. The three check on Naja, and Andrews assures her the burn should heal quickly. However, Naja starts gasping and claims she’s having a heart attack. Andrews gives them instructions, but Shaun notices that her vitals are stable.
Claire and Lim work on Cole, and Lim informs Clarie during their conversation that Coyle was transferred but given a raise. Shaun tells Naja that she didn’t have a heart attack, and Jared asks if she inhaled smoke during the grease fire. She suggests that it’s possible and asks Jared not to touch her when he puts a comforting hand on her arm while explaining the procedure. Outside, Shaun claims that Naja’s story is suspicious, but Jared believes her.
Claire asks Allegra Aoki (Tamlyn Tomita) why Coyle wasn’t fired and she explains that his story was different than hers. While Aoki says she believes her, there is no solid proof and Jared assaulting Coyle removes any possible leverage. Claire is annoyed that he is facing little consequences, and Aoki challenges her to put forward any suggestions. Lim tells Tessa that Cole is going to be okay, and that they will keep him for more observation. Later, Claire informs Lim that she found another aneuryism.
During surgery, Jared tries and fails to get back into Dr. Neil Melendez’s (Nicholas Gonzalez) good graces. Shaun asks Melendez if breaking up with his fiancee was traumatic, and suggests that he go home. Melendez finds no sign of smoke inhalation and Shaun believes his suspicions are confirmed. As Melendez moves the camera down further, he finds that Naja is hemorrhaging. Jared attempts to asks Melendez a question but he ignores him. Shaun insinuates that Melendez and Jared are even now that Melendez has made a mistake as well. Melendez asks what his mistake was, and Shaun replies that the hemmorhaging was his fault.
Shaun confronts Glassman about not showing up for their weekly breakfast meeting, but Glassman brushes him off. Shaun then tells him that Melendez made a mistake during surgery and asks if he should report it. Glassman tells him he should make all of his decisions himself from now on, since they agreed he would back off. Lim asks Andrews for someone more experienced in dealing with aneurysims, and he tells her that the only one is Coyle. Upon hearing about it, Claire insists that Coyle should not be brought back for the surgery. Lim argues that their duty is to the patient, but Claire argues that it would send a bad message to bring him back.
Jessica Preston (Beau Garrett) asks Melendez if he was upset during the procedure, revealing that Shaun reported him. Melendez denies being upset, but Jessica reminds him that she is required to question him. He tells her that their break-up isn’t clouding his judgment before storming off. Shaun asks Naja why she lied about what happened, telling her that there was no evidence of smoke inhalation. As Naja insists she didn’t lie, she starts gasping and complaining of stomach pains. Shaun gives her a barf bag and Jared requests a blood test.
Claire and Lim explain the surgery to Tessa, telling her that Cole will die without the the surgery. Tessa refuses to consent to the surgery, arguing that the recovery will be difficult on Payton and that Cole would not want to live paralyzed. Shaun thanks Claire for having breakfast with him and explains that he’s worked out seven possible reasons that a person would lie. He notices that Claire seems distracted and moves to the other table, claiming that she is lying about wanting to sit with him. She apologizes and tells him about Tessa’s request. Shaun insists that Tessa is lying about loving Cole, arguing that she would do anything to prevent his death if she loved him.
Jessica tells Melendez that she’s bringing in a third party to conduct the investigation, as she has a conflict of interest. He accuses her of letting her emotions cloud her judgment and is angry that she’s trusting Shaun over him. She accuses him of being unable to admit he’s not perfect, and he admits it. However, he insists that this incident was not his fault.
Claire visits Tessa, and comments that she must love Cole very much. She doesn’t answer, and Claire presents her theory that she hates him enough to let him die. Tessa denies it, and Claire shares her story of harrassment. Claire asks Tessa what Cole did, and she insists that he’s a good father and that Payton doesn’t know about the abuse. Handing Tessa domestic violence brochures, Claire suggests there is another way out of her marriage. However, Tessa insists that Payton deserves the memory of a loving father and requests that Claire let him die.
Upon seeing that Naja has methanol in her system, Shaun concludes that she was exposed to certain chemicals. Shaun tells them he figured out that the chemicals can be used to make chemical weapons, declaring that Naja must be a terrorist. Claire tells Lim about her conversation with Tessa and Lim argues that it’s unethical to kill Cole against his wishes. Lim tells Claire to convince Tessa to give consent, and Claire expresses her hesitation of sending Cole back to abuse Tessa. After Lim questions Tessa’s honesty about the abuse, Claire promises she’ll get the consent.
Jared and Shaun tell Melendez that Naja refused the alcohol treatment due to her Muslim background, though Shaun states that she already has alcohol in her system. Melendez tells Shaun to stop accusing Naja of being a terrorist, as many Muslims are not terrorists. Shaun argues that her being a terrorist explains both her symptoms and lies. Melendez replies that there are many reasons why people lie, but Shaun insists that there are only seven. Shaun asks why they aren’t reporting the potential making of chemical weapons, and Melendez replies they can’t report people with unfounded accusations. Jared explains that people have prejudices, and Melendez calls him out for playing the race card to get his job back. Melendez tells Shaun he’s wrong and to monitor Naja.
Claire sits down with Tessa and tells her that she needs to consent, and insists there’s a better way. She tells her to leave him and start a new life, and Tessa admits she’s afraid. Claire tells her that they will have to bring the case to court if she doesn’t consent, and Tessa is mad at her for using what she told her in confidence against her. Claire tells her Cole is her patient, and that Tessa has no choice. Reluctantly, Tessa signs the form and Claire tells her that she’s stronger than she thinks she is.
Shaun approaches Naja and confronts her with his theory that she’s a terrorist. She comments that she thought he was different, and he replies that he’s autistic. Naja questions if he’s experienced bigotry, and he says he has. She explains the racism she’s experienced as a Muslim, but Shaun insists that he’s not prejudiced and that he’s going off of evidence. Naja comments that everyone has evidence and she’s always brown. He notices that she’s sweating and insists that it’s a sign of dishonesty. However, the monitor starts beeping and Shaun believes she’s having a heart attack.
Melendez answers questions on the situation and Zoe Salter (Hayley Sales) thanks him for his time and thoroughness of his answers. She comments on his break-up with Jessica and that he seems to be getting over it better than she is. Claire and Lim operate on Cole, but they are forced to abort when his blood pressure starts rising. Lim tells Claire to figure out what went wrong, and Melendez questions why Naja would have a heart attack. Shaun believes that the chemicals are causing her heart to burn and that Melendez didn’t actually make a mistake.
Jared starts to suggest something and then stops as he fears Melendez’s wrath. Melendez demands he share and Jared suggests that bacteria could be the cause. Shaun points out that the two theories are opposed and being wrong either way could kill her. Jared suggests bringing in an objective consultant to help make the decision, and Melendez accuses Jared of not believing he could be objective. He makes a decision, and Shaun tells him making a decision based on the possibility of him being wrong is wrong. Shaun calls him arrogant, but that it makes him a good surgeon.
Claire and Lim tell Tessa that they’ve figured out that Cole hasn’t been taking his medication. Tessa believes that it’s not like him, and rejects the insinuation that she had anything to do with it. She insists that she’s not strong enough to kill him, and Claire questions if Payton knows more about the abuse than she thinks he does. Shaun insists that Jared was right, but Jared notices that Naja’s blood pressure is going the wrong direction. Jared switches treatments, and Shaun warns him that Naja could die if he’s wrong.
Melendez checks in and Jared tells him of the switch. Melendez gets angry at him and Shaun defends Jared and insists that Melendez should thank him for saving Naja’s life. Reluctantly, Melendez thanks him and walks out. Claire observes Tessa talking to Payton and embracing him. Shaun knocks on Lea’s door and the new Neighbor In Apartment 34 (Chris D’Elia) answers. Shaun introduces himself, and turns down the neighbor’s offer to come in for beer.
Lim and Claire congratulate each other on the surgery, and Claire comments that this is the first time she hasn’t wanted to report that the surgery went well. She goes to the waiting room, but smiles upon finding it deserted. Jared assures Naja that she’ll be fine, and Melendez tells her that the successful treatment meant that she was working with the chemicals. Shaun asks if she a terrorist, and Naja explains that her brother works for a drug company and secretly provided her chemicals so she could make perfume. She lets Shaun smell a sample, and he tells her that it’s beautiful but stupid. Melendez questions if Shaun believes her, and he states that protecting someone is one of the seven reasons people lie.
Outside, Jared asks Melendez if they’re good and Melendez tells him that he’s going to have to take on Coyle’s residents due to his transfer and that he will be working with another surgeon. Jessica tells Melendez that he was right and apologizes. Melendez admits that breaking up with her has been difficult for him, and Jessica suggests that they might have made a mistake. However, Melendez argues that it was the right thing for them and comments that while arrogance makes him a better surgeon, it doesn’t make him a better husband.
Claire approaches Kristen (Sarah Troyer), introduces herself, and asks her about her experience with Coyle. She admits that she was also harassed by Coyle, and suggests they work together to do the right thing. Shaun tells Glassman about his new neighbor and asks to have breakfast with him tomorrow. Glassman turns him down, reminding that him that Shaun wanted him to back off. Shaun insists that he doesn’t need a father, but a friend. However, Glassman doesn’t believe he’ll be a good friend and that they can’t change their relationship. Shaun tells him that they should be friends, but leaves when Glassman doesn’t respond. At home, Shaun pulls out a pine tree car freshener and sniffs it, thinking of Lea.