The Good Doctor: Recap and Outlook

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The Good Doctor: Season 1 recap and Season 2 outlook


Season 2 premieres September 24 on ABC


Searching for a new medical drama to fill your time? Look no further than The Good Doctor, a budding series developed by David Shore (the mastermind behind House). The show is based on the award-winning South Korean series of the same name, and was rejected by CBS twice before being picked up by ABC. The Good Doctor has become one of the network’s most popular shows, alongside the reigning crowd favorite Grey’s Anatomy. Watch out, McDreamy! There’s a new medical professional in town.


The Good Doctor stars Freddie Highmore (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Bates Motel) as Dr. Shaun Murphy—a young surgical resident with autism and savant syndrome working at St. Bonaventure Hospital. Shaun struggles to connect with his patients and coworkers, but his sharp mind and unique medical insight intrigue and amaze the hospital team. After a tumultuous first season, The Good Doctor already has plenty of drama prepped for Season 2. But first, let’s recap Season 1 and make sure everyone is up to date!


Season 1 recap

Shaun leaves his rural Wyoming home to begin his surgical residency at St. Bonaventure Hospital in San Jose, California. The hospital board is hesitant to hire him due to his autism, but the hospital president, Dr. Aaron Glassman, convinces them to agree. Glassman serves as a guiding figure for Shaun throughout the series, and Shaun is determined to prove himself as a capable medical professional while adjusting to his complex new setting. He and his teammates face a variety of challenging patient conditions, some of which create moral dilemmas or require outside-the-box solutions. From malignant tumors to liver transplants, The Good Doctor serves up a healthy blend of medical conundrums while also diving into relevant topics like prejudice, racism, sexual harassment and emotional health.


Outside of the operating room (and sometimes inside it), audiences also follow the complicated personal lives of the hospital staff. Difficult medical decisions often lead to tensions amongst the doctors, and sometimes their external problems leak into the workplace. Of course, the surgeon life isn’t always scalpels and stress. One of the most exciting mid-season developments is Shaun’s budding romance with his neighbor Lea, whom he accompanies on an impromptu road trip and shares his first kiss with (we’re not crying, you’re crying).


At the end of Season 1, audiences discovered that Dr. Glassman has brain cancer. The cancer is originally deemed inoperable but turns out to be a low-grade glioma. It’s treatable, but still a sizeable threat to Glassman’s health. In addition to his health, Glassman’s job is also threatened after Shaun makes a major surgical error. In the pilot episode, Glassman promised to step down from his position if Shaun did not live up to the hospital board’s expectations. Unfortunately for fans, the season finale cuts off without revealing the consequences of Shaun’s mistake.


Season 2 outlook

While Shore has announced that Glassman will return for Season 2, he also stated that his role at St. Bonaventure could be quite different. We aren’t sure how Shaun’s surgical error will affect his or Glassman’s position at the hospital, but we do know that he’ll play a role in Glassman’s upcoming treatment. Although the older doctor’s cancer was revealed to be less threatening than originally presumed, Shore reminds fans that “he’s not out of the woods yet.” Uh-oh!


On a lighter note, audiences can expect more from the Shaun-Lea romance which sparked in Season 1. Shore has revealed very little about this development, but we’re glad to hear that it’s sticking around.


Besides acting in the show, Highmore will also be working with Shore to write and direct the second season! In fact, the first episode of the season called “Hello” was written by Highmore. A doctor and a writer? What a talented guy.


Who’s leaving?

As is the case with many shows, The Good Doctor will be making some alterations to its cast for the second season. Dr. Jared Kalu (Chuku Modu) will not be returning for Season 2. After his character punched another doctor for sexually harassing his girlfriend and fellow resident Claire Browne (Antonia Thomas), he was fired and then rehired but has ultimately secured a new job in Colorado.


Sad to see Jared go? Don’t worry—when one actor leaves, several more fill his place! Alex Park (Will Yun Lee), Morgan Reznick (Fiona Gubelmann), Dr. Audrey Lim (Christina Chang) and Lea (Paige Spara) will all be returning as series regulars. Plus, Lisa Edelstein (another House alum) will join the cast as Dr. Blaize, who will treat Dr. Glassman.


To find out what happens to Shaun, Dr. Glassman and the rest of the hospital staff at St. Bonaventure, watch the Season 2 premiere of The Good Doctor on September 24 on ABC. Catch all the hot new shows on your favorite networks with an entertainment package from DIRECTV.