The Good Doctor Season 3 Episode 12 Review: Mutations

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Why does The Good Doctor have to be so sad?

It isn't all the time, but The Good Doctor Season 3 Episode 12 certainly was.

If you ever needed proof that cancer sucks, Angie's story was it.

(TALL) Severe Swelling - The Good Doctor Season 3 Episode 12

The whole story was one big helping of life is unfair, but the worst part of it was how caught up I got in Angie's relationship drama with her mom.

For most of the hour, it seemed like Angie's mom was keeping Angie and Ryan apart for no good reason.

Claire: Never mind. I shouldn't want to speed this up just so he can take his girlfriend to prom.
Melendez: Are they crazy about each other?
Claire: Head over heels in love.
Melendez: Idiots.

When a parent interferes with two obviously-in-love teenagers, the parent automatically becomes the bad guy.

Claire felt it too, which is why she tried so hard to get Angie and Ryan together one last time.

Filling Out Paperwork - The Good Doctor Season 3 Episode 12

Claire's plan didn't make a lot of sense, but what made even less sense was that Angie's mother relented when she saw them together.

She didn't have even a hint of anger. I guess she was happy to see Angie happy and dancing like a normal teenage girl even though she was anti-Ryan before that.

Anyway, that scene made the double blow of Angie's tumor being inoperable and Angie's death hurt twice as much.

It was a good thing that Angie's mom relented because her daughter had one last happy memory before her death.

And when Angie died, it changed my perception. The whole hour, I'd been angry at Angie's mom for her interference, but all of a sudden she was a grieving mother with no daughter.

Lim Checks A Patient - The Good Doctor Season 3 Episode 12

She had more important things to worry about than her daughter's choice of boyfriend, and maybe she had her reasons for keeping the kids apart. The backstory wasn't explained, so we'll never know.

But I felt so guilty about being irritated with her after that unfair loss. 

Claire: How are you doing, Shaun? Since your father passed away?
Shaun: I don't think about him very much.
Claire: My mom died recently. I don't know if you knew that. She pops into my head all the time. Not the nicest thoughts.
Shaun: It's okay not to love them. They didn't make us who we are.

This story was a great vehicle for Claire, too. 

She was almost like the old Claire, going out of her way to make a patient's life easier even if it could get her in trouble.

Needing Carly's Help - The Good Doctor Season 3 Episode 12

Of course, Claire tends to focus on helping other people to distract from her own pain, and this was no exception.

Claire had two stand-out scenes during The Good Doctor Season 3 Episode 12.

Her scene with Shaun in the lab where he told her that it was okay not to love an abusive parent was interesting. Claire seemed to be looking for comfort by trying to comfort Shaun, who wasn't even thinking about his father's death.

And her scene with Melendez was nothing short of outstanding. 

Melendez is almost a better therapist than Claire's therapist. He continually pinpoints the root of Claire's problems, which is a lifetime of taking care of her erratic mother, only for her mom to die.

Stopping the Swelling - The Good Doctor Season 3 Episode 12

The Claire/Melendez relationship is one of the more dynamic relationships on The Good Doctor. As mentor/mentee relationships go, it's second only to Glassman and Shaun.

Speaking of Glassman, it was an interesting coincidence that he ended up consulting on Angie's case minutes after Morgan tried to convince him to return to being a neurosurgeon.

How long are you planning on doing rectal exams and clipping diabetics' toenails?


Morgan brought it up in typical condescending Morgan fashion, so it was unsurprising Glassman wasn't interested. Besides, if he quit the clinic, who would Morgan go to for her secret RA treatment?

A Patient Suffers - The Good Doctor Season 3 Episode 12

Morgan seemed to be more annoying than usual, maybe because she was sick...or because she was trying to hide it.

That hasn't been working for Maggie on Chicago Med Season 5 and it's not working any better for Morgan.

Andrews: It's a little early in the morning to suck up, Reznick.
Morgan: I like to get a jump on things.

She was in the bathroom when she was needed in surgery, and resolving the problem by going on a liquid diet was no solution.

Hopefully, the new medication works better. Now maybe Glassman can get her to confide in someone other than him about her condition.

Dealing With A Crisis - The Good Doctor Season 3 Episode 12

Shaun and Carly's case was compelling in its own right, but it was made even more so by their personal conflict.

Shaun: Lea moved out this morning.
Carly: Thank you.
Shaun: Can you come over tonight?

Shaun was in a hurry to get back on track and thought that expelling Lea from his apartment would solve everything, so it wasn't surprising that Carly wasn't ready to be intimate with him.

Lea was the symbol of the real problem, which was that Carly felt rejected by Shaun's previous difficulties being physical with her. The ease with which he lay down with Lea just poured salt in that wound.

But stories where lovers on the rocks have to work together are almost always fun, and this was no exception.

Carly's vulnerability and Shaun's ability to comfort her in his weird Shaun way brought them back together. Only Carly would accept Shaun telling her that her feelings are "dumb" as part of his pep talk.

Carly's desire to be in the lab rather than dealing with people showed that she and Shaun had social anxiety and difficulty with dealing with painful situations in common, too.

They also both can come up with unorthodox solutions to medical problems. Carly's zebrafish idea was as unique as anything Shaun's come up with.

And thank goodness the medication Carly chose worked. Angie's death was depressing enough without Shaun's patient dying too.

What did you think, Good Doctor fanatics? Did Angie's mother annoy you to the point that you felt bad about hating her, or was that just me?

Are there more rocky times ahead for Shaun and Carly?

And do you want Dr.Glassman to go back to neurosurgery or stay in the clinic?

Hit the SHOW COMMENTS button and share your thoughts.

Missed the episode? No problem. Just  watch The Good Doctor online right here on TV Fanatic.

The Good Doctor continues to air on ABC on Mondays at 10 PM EST/PST.

Mutations Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (20 Votes)

Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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The Good Doctor Season 3 Episode 12 Quotes

How long are you planning on doing rectal exams and clipping diabetics' toenails?


Ryan: How many kidneys do I need to go to prom?
Mr. Cooper: Ryan!
Ryan: Even if I have to have it removed, it's laproscopic. So I can still take my girlfriend to prom, right?
Park: That's not a purely medical question.