The Good Doctor season 1, episode 2 recap: Dr. Shaun Murphy’s first day


Photo Credit: The Good Doctor/ABC, Eike Schroter image Acquired from Disney ABC Media

The Good Doctor returned tonight on ABC with Dr. Shaun Murphy undergoing his first day in San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital.

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Last week’s premiere episode focused on introducing Dr. Shaun Murphy by giving us an insight into what he is capable of and what events happened in his life leading up to this point. We also got glimpses into the other characters who are going to play a significant role in Shaun becoming a fully fledged surgeon.

This week’s episode plays out over the course of an entire day from when Shaun wakes up, to the events that happen during his first day at San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital, to when he finally goes to sleep. We are also introduced to another new character within the hospital this week, while continuing the development of the other characters while also tackling some pretty significant questions.

Last week could almost be broken down into three significant categories: Shaun himself, Shaun’s past, and the board (aka Shaun’s possible barriers). This week followed that same category type style, but with fewer flashbacks.

A day in the life of Dr Shaun Murphy

The episode opens up with Shaun waking up, sort of, it looks like he may have possibly not gone to sleep, as he is lying staring at the roof waiting for the alarm to go off. Once it does, we get a glimpse into what can only be described as a military-style morning routine.

His timed-to-the-second routine involves morning exercise comprised of skipping and push-ups, having a wash and making the bed.

Once the routine is complete he is off to work. Sadly he arrives late, which his fellow doctors happily point out. Shaun replies very calmly and openly that it is the bus that was late therefore not his fault, at all. A wonderful scene unfolds where Dr. Neil Melendez and Murphy argue over who exactly is at fault; Dr. Murphy or the bus.

Photo Credit: The Good Doctor/ABC, Eike Schroter image Acquired from Disney ABC Media

His day doesn’t get that much better, however, as he gets a harsh lesson in bedside manner. While Shaun may be a genius and an extremely upfront and honest person, unfortunately, that level of honesty does not do well for patients.

Due to this Shaun is given the horrible task of scut work, which for those who may not be aware involves doing all the work no one wants to do, i.e. paperwork, lancing boils, discharges, looking at sick etc.

However, this starts to become a problem for others, as Shaun starts to order significant, and in some people’s eyes unnecessary, tests. This leads to a lesson into both lying to patients by sometimes having to tell them what they need to hear.

On a side note, this highlights a very good and very real point on a problem that hospitals face every day, how to know when to run and not to run a test. Murphy points out at one stage of the episode that how can know not to run the test until the test is run.

Well, that is something hospital staff have to decide every day. In an ideal world I am sure they would love to run test after test but unfortunately, this is just not possible for a variety of reasons.

Anyway, back to the episode, Dr. Melendez decides to form the best duo on the show so far, Shaun and his nurse. Shaun’s boss for the entire day is his nurse and he is not to order any more tests without her ok.

Hilarious scenes then follow as these two go to the hospital seeing to patients for Shaun to be routinely told that he can not order such a test and why;

Shaun: “It looks discolored it could be…,”

Nurse: “He’s 82 years old, everything is discolored,”

Photo Credit: The Good Doctor/ABC, Eike Schroter image Acquired from Disney ABC Media

As the day goes on Shaun is then suddenly called to the OR, sadly not to perform surgery but to go chase up test results for the patient that is lying open on the OR table. When he arrives there to get the results he is confronted with Carly, the lab technician, who is clearly harassed and rushed every day by doctors, as she informs Shaun he will get when she gets to it.

Shaun tries to be nice by offering his assistance in assessing the cases on what is most important but when that fails he tells her he will throw a rock through her window.

Clearly shocked and slightly amused/impressed by what he said she gets it to him in the next 15 minutes. Sadly the results don’t look good for the patient, as upon his return all the surgeons including Shaun agree that it is not good and will most likely end in her death.

However, Shaun is the genius and his mind works differently. He can see one possible option, remove a very healthy kidney, after all we humans only require one, to get a better look at the a tumour; a suggestion that he even admits would still make the surgery difficult and upon his revelation to what they could do he gets up and leaves to go lance a boil.

As the day goes on Shaun starts to learn more about the need for communication and how to put a patient’s mind at ease is a large part of being a doctor. A conversation with Dr. Glassman regarding how to speak to patients and how there is a large need to console them follow but it also reminds Shaun of what he was struggling with earlier: when to and when not to test.

His thoughts return to a little girl he had seen earlier in the day for what was perceived by others as a stomach ache. Shaun returns to visit Carly in the lab and asks her to run several tests that even she points out is a lot and questions over if he will get in trouble, which Shaun is already fully aware of.

Photo Credit: The Good Doctor/ABC, Eike Schroter image Acquired from Disney ABC Media

Results turn out ok nothing hugely significant, a small elevation in one area. That is still not good enough though and Shaun decides to go the extra mile and conduct a home visit, without hospital consent.

It is now the early hours of the next morning so unsurprisingly the parents are not too happy to see Shaun, especially when he points out that no significant evidence but is just concerned. They threaten him and call him a freak but Shaun stands his ground and wins them over to assess their child.

A good thing too, because she is lying in a pool of sick. Shaun’s suspicions turn out to be correct. They get her to the hospital fast to find she needs immediate surgery due to an intestine being twisted. His nurse points out he cannot make this call and he needs to have it verified. Brilliantly, Shaun ignores this because it is gone midnight, therefore it’s a new day and boss nurse is no more.

The little girl is successfully operated on and we see her later in recovery. Shaun stands outside observing her when Glassman approaches and tells him to go get the credit. Shaun asks why, why is such a thing so important, Glassman points out that those who get credit don’t get scut work.

Shaun upon realising this marches into the family, who at one point called him a freak pull him into thankful embraces.

A successful and interesting first day for Shaun, who finishes with it with some well-deserved sleep and rest.

The flashbacks

We got some more flashbacks this week; not as many as last week but we still got some.

This week focused on what Shaun and his brother had to do in order to survive, which involved lying to others to get money. Something which Shaun struggled to understand.

His brother tries his hardest to encourage him but it is clear he is not comfortable with doing this.

As the episode grew to a close we got one last flashback, which gives us some insight into Dr. Glassman’s involvement with Shaun. Shaun can be seen running as fast as he can in much panic when Glassman arrives after receiving Shaun’s phone call. Shaun tells him it is his brother. We next see Glassman driving as fast as he can with Shaun and his brother in the back seat, his brother with a very large head wound.

Photo Credit: The Good Doctor/ABC, Eike Schroter image Acquired from Disney ABC Media

For now, all we can do is assume that this follows on from when his brother fell to his death, not another separate incident, but time will only tell.

As with last week, all of these flashbacks tied into what was happening with Shaun right there and then when he had to lie and console a patient he thought of what his brother taught him about lying. When he needed the test results from Carly he thought of when his brother threw the rock at someone’s house who threatened them. When he was in the back of the car with the young girl he thought of his brother. All of these moments are connected in some way.

Everyone else

Further character development took place amongst the rest of the staff at St. Bonaventure Hospital but in particular, a lot of focus went to Dr. Melendez. We learned that he has nothing against an autistic staff member, but has a problem with having a member of his team unable to communicate effectively and scaring his patients.

We get some more insight into both Dr. Jared Kalu and Dr. Claire Browne. Kalu is one who is willing to take risks but is also willing to take credit as well as he passes off Shaun’s idea to remove a healthy kidney to access an inoperable tumor as his own. Browne is revealed to be a very caring individual towards her patients something which may cause a problem for her in the future.

Photo Credit: The Good Doctor/ABC, Eike Schroter image Acquired from Disney ABC Media

Dr. Marcus Andrews has still got his eye on Glassman’s top job and he certainly showed his hand this week by pointing out that by backing Shaun in the OR. If Shaun succeeds then Marcus backed the winner but if Shaun fails Marcus gets Glassman’s job.

Glassman himself is still Shaun’s biggest advocate and is arguing on his behalf that he more than anyone deserves to be here, but does realise that Shaun still has lots to learn and offers his own advice by speaking with him on how communicating with patients is so important.

Next: The Good Doctor Premiere Recap, Introducing Dr Shaun Murphy

The Good Doctor returns next Monday, Oct. 9 at 10/9c on ABC