The Good Doctor Season 1, Episode 4, Pipes recap: Dr. Shaun Murphy finally makes friends


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

When you have to choose between a mother, an unborn child or the possibility of being sued what would you choose?

A strong contender for the best episode of the season, The Good Doctor “Pipes,” tested the ethics of every character within the show.

Last week we saw Dr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore) and Dr. Claire Browne (Antonia Thoma) go on a field trip. This week the two had a patient with an interesting lifestyle.

More from Hidden Remote

Dr. Neil Melendez (Nicholas Gonzalez) had a pregnant patient that would prove to be one of his biggest tests yet. Dr. Jared Kalu (Chuku Modu) pretty much saved the day with one of the strangest ideas ever.

Dr. Marcus Andrews (Hill Harper) is beginning to pay more attention to Shaun and his potential and Dr. Aaron Glassman (Richard Schiff) is facing a difficult choice.

This week’s episode focused mostly on Melendez and his patient with Shaun mostly being a side story this week with few flashbacks to his childhood.

Melendez has his ethics put to the test

A pregnant lady who is having complications was Melendez patient this week. This case was especially difficult as this was not her first pregnancy. All previous pregnancies had sadly ended in miscarriage.

And to make things worse, this current pregnancy looked to be heading in the same direction due to a tumour forming next to her unborn child. The tumor is causing difficulty for the baby to grow and severe risk to the mother as well. Melendez recommends termination.

This doesn’t go down well with the mother who wants to do whatever she can in order save her child and it is why this is their third or fourth professional opinion. Shaun then announces that they could attempt another procedure undermining what Melendez had said.

This brings the consultation to a close as Melendez marches everyone out of the room. He then advises Shaun never to do that again.

It is decided later that they will attempt this very risky fetal surgery in order to save both mom and baby. Melendez then sends Shaun and Claire to undergo scut work while he and Jared handle the fetal surgery.

Neither are too pleased, especially Claire who is singled out because she comes to Shaun’s defence often and knows how to communicate with him.

However, before Melendez and Jared can get underway with the surgery it is suddenly pulled from under their feet as the board puts a stop to it. A legal concern is brought up by the husband/future father. He does not want his wife to risk her life and wants the surgery stopped. Of course, he cannot stop his wife from having surgery but he believes he can put a stop to the surgery on his child even though the child has not been born yet.

A test of ethics is put to the test as to what should and should not be done.

The surgery is put on hold as the board gather together to discuss what the legality is on whether to operate or not. They debate over how, on the one hand, the mother has the right to choose what she does with her own body. On the other, that once the child leaves the womb (which would be done to make this surgery possible) the unborn child can be argued as born and the father has the right to stop the surgery.

The board agree to side with he mother and the surgery is put back on track.

But, just before it begins Melendez is confronted by the patient’s husband. Melendez lays some hard truths on him by pointing out that it does not matter what he thinks. That he needs to step up and be supportive. That he understands that he is scared that he will lose both wife and child but if they survive he will be a father as well as a husband. That he needs to be prepared for that and not be so dismissive.

Things get going and the fetus is exposed. They get ready to open her up to extract the tumor when unfortunately their patient suffers a heart attack. They are stopped before they could even begin. They close her up and tend to the heart attack before waking her up with the news that they could do nothing.

Melendez then attempts to return to the plan of termination however now both of the potential parents are firmly against it and do not want to do his.

A new ethical dilemma has been created as they cannot ignore the patient’s wishes but believe if they do try the surgery she will certainly suffer another heart attack and die.

Arguments between the board members start as they discuss on what position this leaves them in both ethically and legally.

When it all looks bleak Jared appears to give them the lifeline that they needed.

"“what if we kill her before she kills herself.”"

The plan is to stop her heart and put her on bypass. That way the heart cannot have a heart attack if it is not beating. The bypass would still supply the blood to where it is needed effectively acting as her heart.

With this being the only real option they have, both parents agree and they schedule it first thing the next day.

Credit to everyone involved in creating this scene needs to be pointed out and given at this point. Watching this scene play out was magical.

Melendez and Jared perform the necessary fetal surgery where the baby is taken out from the womb, operated on and then placed back inside the mother.

The surgery is a complete success. Melendez gives the news to the happy couple when mom wakes up explaining that she will be bedridden until she comes to term but her son is healthy.

It’s not a perfect day though as Melendez did the biggest rookie mistake of them all, he gave away the sex of the couple’s child accidentally.

Shaun, a porn star and his mate ancestors guy

While this was all going with Melendez Shaun had a unique case of his own with Claire.

What at first appeared to be some simple scut work turned into something much, much more.

This was a good thing to happen as Shaun wasn’t off to the best start as while he was home he was unable to sleep due to his dripping tap, can’t blame him really. That prompted a DIY job in the middle of the night.

Unfortunately, Shaun had lost his screwdriver so got extremely agitated. Glassman then showed up to help which led to frustration between the two. This was the first time we had seen this happen between the of them and it was something that carried on to the next day where Glassman suggested that Shaun consider getting a helper of some sorts. Shaun does not take this idea well and they pin it for another day.

Back to the scut work. They discover that this simple procedure is not so simple. A cyst requires draining from inside her private parts. Claire explains this could be from an untreated STD and not flesh-eating bacteria which Shaun suggested earlier. The patient, while thankful that it is not flesh-eating bacteria, does not believe it is an STD as she is tested every 30 days for them. Claire learns to her surprise that their patient is a porn star which is why she is tested regularly.

Surgery is scheduled ASAP.

It was another case of surgery not going as planned however as it was much more than what they thought at first. A tumour, non-cancerous, was causing the true cause of the pain and it requires removal.  In order to do so, they need to cut a nerve resulting in the complete loss of feeling in her genital area.

The patient reacts by claiming it is God punishing her for being a porn star. Surgery is rescheduled for another day and the patient is left with her own thoughts.

Late at night while Shaun deals with his sink he realises a potential solution.  They can change the neural path so that she loses feeling in her thigh rather than her genitals.

Their patient happily agrees to the alternative treatments and it gets underway. Shaun finally gets off the suction duty by testing if they were successful or not by sending an electric pulse with the use of electrodes through the nerve. It works and Shaun’s idea to change nerves path is a success.

Dr. Andrews then turns to both Shaun and Claire and praises them for how well they are both doing.

The patient awakes a bit dazed to learn it all went well and that she will be fine.

As the episode closes Jared and Claire invite Shaun out for drinks to celebrate. He points out that he is not thirsty but both his colleagues convince him otherwise.

They go for several beers in a crowded bad. Shaun spots an attractive lady across the room only for it to trigger a flashback of when Shaun almost got a kiss from a girl. Sadly she was just leading him on in the cruelest fashion. To humiliate him amongst others.

The flashback ends leaving Shaun amongst his new-found friend.

Next: The Good Doctor Episode 3 Recap: Dr Shaun Murphy goes on a field trip

The Good Doctor returns next week Monday, Oct. 23 on ABC.