The Good Doctor's fall finale is a strong episode, but unfortunately, there is one storyline that fails to live up to its potential.
On The Good Doctor Season 1 Episode 10, Shaun and Jared work with Drs. Melendez and Andrew on a VIP case, and Shaun tries to hide from the therapist Dr. Glassman has hired for him. Meanwhile, Claire must work with an attending who makes her uncomfortable.
Shaun had his first major panic attack of the series, and Freddie Highmore was incredible in that climactic scene between Shaun and Aaron.
The audience was able to see Shaun slowly building to this meltdown as the episode progressed, but the final scene was even better than I initially thought it would be.
Highmore was explosive and emotional. It was his strongest performance on the series thus far. The meltdown was believable, frustrating, and heartbreaking to watch.
I'm hiding from my therapist. I am not going to get a surround sound speaker system, but I am doing whatever the hell I feel like doing.Shaun
Richard Schiff did a phenomenal job of playing off of Highmore. The audience could see his patience slowly waning as Shaun continued to refuse help.
Aaron has been heading towards his breaking point in recent episodes. He still clearly cares a great deal for Shaun, but it was easy to see how this moment would cause him to lose it as well.
This is the perfect episode for an Emmy submission, and I definitely would not be surprised to see Highmore's and Schiff's names on the list of nominees next September.
The other star of "Sacrifice" was guest actor Manny Jacinto. He stars as Jason Mendoza on the wonderful show The Good Place, and I let out a squeal of delight when I saw him on this episode of The Good Doctor.
As the VIP patient, Bobby, Jacinto was basically playing a successful version of the goofy but lovable Jason Mendoza, but he had the opportunity to show off his dramatic chops when Bobby learned that his tumor was inoperable. He actually brought me to tears, which I never expected from him.
Don't ever let anyone tell you what you can and can't do.Bobby
Bobby was boisterous and hilarious, but he was able to connect with Shaun in such a tender way. This relationship was my favorite of any that Shaun has developed with his patients so far.
Jacinto is capable of so much more than that ditzy persona we see on The Good Place and in his earlier scenes as Bobby. He is a serious actor, and I hope to see him in more things in the future.
In "Sacrifice," we also learned that Jessica does not want children. I assume this is because of two things: 1) her rocky relationship with her father and 2) because she saw what happened to Dr. Glassman's daughter and knows how much that hurt.
Melendez, though, did not look happy. I cannot say I blame him. It is a major part of a relationship that probably should have been discussed before they got engaged. I imagine, and kind of hope, this is the end of the road for these two. I was never invested in their relationship, and I am not really sure the two of them were either.
Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see this play out after the show's hiatus.
Claire's storyline of workplace sexual harassment was particularly timely amid the recent allegations against so many of Hollywood's most powerful stars. Unfortunately, I was ultimately disappointed in how the writers handled the storyline.
I loathed the scene where Jared went to the locker room to threaten Dr. Coyle. In fact, my eyes rolled so far back into my head that they hurt.
During her scene with Jared in the cafeteria, Claire made excellent points about the treatment of women who come forward with sexual harassment allegations.
I do that, and I get labeled hostile and difficult, neither of which work with my complexion or gender.Claire (about telling HR about the sexual harassment)
Jared clearly felt guilty for his initial reaction to Claire's discomfort, but rather than have him apologize to Claire and let her decide what to do, the writers sent him to threaten Dr. Coyle on her behalf.
Claire deserved better. She needed someone to listen to her and support her, especially someone she is intimate with like Jared.
The writers should have allowed him to play the role of supportive boyfriend without him having to "rescue" Claire. Now that he got fired for his actions, my guess is that she will forgive him and show him sympathy for losing his job. This moves the storyline away from what actually happened to Claire and onto Jared, which is not fair to Claire or anyone who has been harassed.
Doing whatever the hell you feel like doing is always an option.Bobby
The fall finale left us with many unanswered questions: 1) What will happen between Melendez and Jessica now that Melendez knows she does not want children? 2) What will happen between Jared and Claire? 3) Will Jared get his job back? 4) Most importantly, where did Shaun go?
I am already looking forward to seeing what happens next, but until then, I am excited to read all of your theories in the comments!
Be sure to watch The Good Doctor online and share your thoughts with us!
Kaitlynn Smith was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in May of 2018.