Spoiler alert! The following article contains spoilers from the season 2 premiere of The Good Doctor titled Hello.
The surgical team of San Jose St. Bonaventure is officially back in full swing after Monday night’s season 2 premiere of ABC’s The Good Doctor, and the episode was one that was filled with hellos and one heart-wrenching goodbye. There is a lot to unpack from this episode written by the one and only Freddie Highmore, so let’s get to it!
Within the first few seconds of the episode, we learn that Dr. Aaron Glassman is no longer President of St. Bonaventure. He kept his word from season one and has resigned his post to undergo cancer treatment. Dr. Marcus Andrews is now at the helm of the hospital for better or for worse. Dr. Andrews has just provided the hospital staff with their annual performance evaluation feedback, and the constructive criticism sure was flowing!
Dr. Shaun Murphy received feedback to work on his communication skills. Dr. Claire Brown was told to be more assertive in her work, and Dr. Morgan Reznick was told she needs to be more of a team player. Dr. Jared Kalu skipped his evaluation since it’s his last day at the hospital and he’s possibly being punished for it. He and Shaun have been sent to run a clinic for a homeless community in the city. The rest of the team remains back at the hospital awaiting their next surgical case.
A Piggyback Transplant?
Let’s talk about the staff back at St. Bonaventure first. Dr. Brown, Dr. Reznick, Dr. Park, and Dr. Melendez are faced with a very complicated surgical case. Their patient’s heart is working but weak. Rather than replace the heart entirely, the team plans to insert a second heart to act as support – a piggyback transplant.
As if the surgery wasn’t complicated enough, Dr. Andrews is using the procedure as an opportunity to gain publicity for the hospital and, mostly, for his presidency in the wake of Dr. Glassman’s resignation. He even tries to coerce Dr. Melendez into his way of thinking by hanging a proverbial carrot in front of his face, in this case, in the form of the Chief of Surgery role, but there’s an issue. The team can’t do the surgery which they had originally intended to do, and they have to come up with a new plan.
The complication leads to the first power struggle of the season between Dr. Brown and Dr. Reznick, however this time, Dr. Brown comes out the winner showing a rare burst of assertiveness. Perhaps Dr. Andrews may not be all bad. After all, his feedback finally caused Claire to step up!
The ending of this part of the episode, however, doesn’t give viewers much hope for the future under Andrews. Though the surgery is a success, Dr. Andrews wastes no time flaunting that fact to the media. Big publicity equals big money, and big doubt from Dr. Melenedez who is clearly not on board with the say Dr. Andrews is running things. Dr. Melendez has never been one not to say what’s on his mind, and we saw that earlier in the episode when he flat out told Dr. Andrews to get out of his office. It will be interesting to see these two go head-to-head as the season continues.
During the premiere episode, we briefly get to meet Lisa Edelstein’s, Dr. Blaize. She and Dr. Glassman have a stern discussion with each other over who knows best when it comes to Dr. Glassman’s cancer treatment. Her past battle with addiction seems like it might be a factor later on in the season, but other than their brief encounter, we don’t see much else from her in this first episode. Rest assured, you can bet we will as the season continues.
Dr. Glassman is about to begin his treatment as he sits in the waiting room for what seems like hours, and hours, and hours. He’s clearly nervous, anxious, and worst of all, alone. The reason he’s alone is that his support system, Shaun, isn’t quite sure how to navigate his feelings when it comes to Dr. Glassman’s diagnosis. Still clearly avoiding the reality in front of him, Shaun is elsewhere.
Hello! I’m Dr. Shaun Murphy!
Shaun and Jared are spending their day working out of a what looks like a mobile clinic treating the homeless for various ailments. We learn that it’s Jared’s last day on the job (cue my tears! seriously). As the two begin to talk throughout the day, Jared puts on his best “big brother” tone and tries to coach Shaun into realizing that Dr. Glassman is going to need his support and his friendship now more than ever.
Their discussion is interrupted when one of the homeless folks runs onto the St. Bonaventure mobile unit. There clearly something wrong with the man, named Harry (played by Raphael Sbarge), and he needs help. Knowing that Dr. Andrews looks down on the outreach program they are running; they still risk it by bringing Harry back to the hospital. There’s some back and forth over his diagnosis before landing on Schizophrenia, but eventually, Shaun discovers exactly what’s wrong.
Jared convinces Shaun that he needs to be there for Dr. Glassman, and Shaun comes to the rescue! He meets Dr. Glassman in the waiting room, and the two end up in a game of paper toss. Dr. Glassman has clearly been playing for a while based on the number of crumpled up paper balls on the floor. Shaun, on the other hand, takes the first paper ball and begins to analyze the angles and physics of making a shot. It’s then that he remembers Harry’s off depth perception. Harry isn’t schizophrenic. He has a brain tumor which is impacting his memory and his actions!
Jared and Shaun return to the area where they held their mobile clinic to try and find Harry. Shaun’s sensory sensitivity presents a challenge, but Jared calms him down. The two find Harry who appears to be having an alarming stressed out breakdown of his own. Jared isn’t able to calm him, but Shaun cleverly finds a way to connect and to communicate. Ultimately, they do get him back to the hospital, perform surgery and Harry wakes up remembering his old life with his wife and daughter present.
Hello, Goodbye, Hello!
Eventually, Shaun makes his way back to Dr. Glassman who is sitting in the cafeteria by himself. It’s that moment that Glassman tells him he doesn’t have to be there for him. This is his burden to bear and his journey to take alone. Shaun has decided he’s going to be there for Dr. Glassman and he will be the support he needs. He won’t let him face his fate on his own. It’s such a powerful and beautifully written moment in the story that is was difficult to watch and not tear up.
Jared gets an amazing send off in this episode with some truly heartfelt moments with Shaun and one particular moment with Claire at the end which undoubtedly had viewers in tears. We will miss you, Jared, but with each goodbye, however, comes another hello!
The big shocker of the episode was the very end when Shaun is returning to his home after the long, crazy day. He turns down the hallway to discover a familiar face waiting for him. Clearly stunned, he stops dead in his tracks. Lea is back! Though Shaun greets her with an appropriate, “Hello,” you can bet that things won’t be all sunshine and rainbows now that she’s back in the picture and previews of what’s to come from this season clearly shows tough times ahead.
Buckle up, buttercups! It’s going to be one hell of an emotional ride during The Good Doctor season 2. What did you think about the season 2 premiere of The Good Doctor? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
For more insider info on season 2, check out our exclusive interview with series star Nicholas Gonzalez!