The Good Doctor Episode 7, 22 Steps, recap: Dr. Shaun Murphy drops a mic bomb


Photo credit: ABC/Jack Rowand via ABC Press/ The Good Doctor

In this week’s The Good Doctor, Shaun faced prejudice, Kalu played hide and seek and Melendez showed his true colors.

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The Good Doctor picked up where it left off in the previous episode. Dr. Claire Browne (Antonia Thomas) is being consulted by Dr. Aaron Glassman (Richard Schiff) over how she is doing in the aftermath of that midnight trauma. Claire, despite saying she is all ok, is still suffering from the fact that even though she did everything she could to save a life, it was all for nothing due to a minor mistake caused by herself.

Glassman clearly recognises that Claire is in complete denial and recommends she sees a grief counsellor. Claire attempts to brush this off but Glassman makes this very clear that this is not a request. That she will be pulled from surgery if she fails to attend.

Number 28 and 73 begin their long journey

Dr. Jared Kalu (Chuku Modu) is shortly introduced to his patient Glen who is suffering from severe chest pains and is very clearly needing urgent assistance. Kalu takes charge and he soon learns that this will be no easy day for the young surgical resident.

After informing Glen that surgery will need to be performed, including the fitting of a pacemaker, Glen soon decides to pull a Houdini and disappear from his hospital room.

Code Green everyone.

Poor Kalu, he spends a good part of this episode looking for his missing patient and Claire can’t help but get a dig in over how he lost him.  He has a talk with security over the possibilities of where he could be hiding because as far as they can tell, he hasn’t left the building.

Security explains that there are several places in the hospital he could be hiding as they don’t have CCTV in those areas, one of them being the basement. Kalu heads down there to check, begging the question, why isn’t security doing their job properly?

Kalu discovers Glen face down on the floor of the basement. He attempts to help him back to his room but Glen has other ideas. The cat is finally out of the bag as he reveals that he doesn’t actually want any treatment, he wants to die.

Definitely not what Kalu was expecting to hear. It certainly put him in a very difficult position because if a patient refuses treatment he can’t do anything.

That is unless the patient is unable to give consent and is in need of life-saving treatment. Kalu obviously knows this and gets himself comfy while he waits for Glen to pass out and hopefully get him upstairs in time.

This is worse case scenario. While waiting for this to potentially happen, Kalu attempts to talk him out of it. They discuss their different past lives and we begin to learn much more of Kalu’s life and how it was not that simple. That even though he had come from money it was no easy picnic for him.

All of this talk seems to do the trick as Glen eventually decides to come back up to the hospital and get himself treated. It doesn’t last very long though as he ends up pulling another Houdini and the hunt for Glen is once again back on.

He is eventually found, this time on the roof of the hospital. Glen is certainly determined not to be treated and his reasoning behind is fairly logical.

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He knows that he won’t cured. That things will just get worse and he will live in daily pain and eventually will end up exactly where he is now. While Kalu can sympathise with him and understands his view he still tries to convince him out of it.

Glen is having nothing of it and gives him very little choice;

Kalu eventually succumbs to Glens wishes but he has a very different opinion on being unable to help.

In a final act together Kalu helps Glen move on by easing his pain and suffering. A very emotional scene between the two plays out showing that while Kalu could not help Glen surgically he was still able to help him.

The journey of number 28 and 73 comes to an end.

Shaun delivers a Mic drop

While all of this was going on for Kalu, Dr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore) was dealing with his own situation along with Claire and Dr. Neil Melendez (Nicholas Gonzalez).

Shaun finds a commotion going on in the emergency department as several members of the staff are trying to restrain a patient who is lashing out while another staff member is trying to sedate him. Shaun can see that he is scared and distressed and it is because of everyone touching him that he is like this.

The staff member trying to sedate him tells Shaun that he is psychotic, but that is not the case. He is called Liam (Coby Bird) and is in fact Autistic. Shaun manages to calm him down and so begins a journey that will see Shaun come face to face with prejudice and a dislike for others like him.

Trying to diagnose Liam will be anything but easy. His symptoms could relate to many different conditions and as he is struggling to remain calm it is very difficult to examine him. Shaun recruits Claire to help him out with this particular case.

Both of them perform an examination on Liam but it is anything from straightforward. Liam reacts to the drugs in a bad way and when they try to place the camera down his throat they discover that what they are looking for is not there and things are actually much more serious.

This then leads to an even bigger problem. To figure what exactly is wrong with Liam and what the cause for all of this is a CT will be required. The problem with performing CT is that you need to lay perfectly still and Liam is unable to do that. They can’t knock him out either as he reacted badly to the drugs earlier and if this happened during the CT they would be unaware of it and he could die.

Melendez talks this over with both Shaun and Claire and even though there is no easy way to do this they need to figure out something. Shaun turns and leaves the room leaving both Claire and Melendez with the assumption that Shaun has had an idea.

And an idea he does have, and it isn’t even a super genius level idea either. It’s simply talking to Liam and distracting him from everything that is going on and getting him to concentrate on something else. This way he would lay still enough enabling Shaun and Claire to get good images from the CT.

The plan is going well. Shaun tells Ian that it is only 24 steps from the ambulance to the ER, only for Liam to correct him. It is only 22 steps from the ambulance to the ER. Shaun keeps this method up and all is going well but eventually Liam begins to panic and they have to give up.

Despite the positive start, Shaun’s plan doesn’t work.

This is all beginning to take a toll on Shaun. He is clearly uncomfortable dealing with an Autistic patient. Something which Claire initially doesn’t pick up and assumes that it must be nice dealing with someone like him. Shaun puts her in her place pretty quick by asking why? why would that be nice?

He asks if she would like someone with Psoriasis. Claire tries to bypass the fact she has it but the point is made loud and clear. Just because I have something doesn’t automatically mean I like others who have it.

The failure of the CT plan just makes it worse. Claire manages to talk him around by pointing out that even if Shaun doesn’t like him he is probably one of the few that can truly relate and understand what he is going through.

At the same time Melendez is advising the parents that they must conduct an explorative surgery in order to find the root cause of Ian’s problems. This is something that comes with very heavy risks but they have very little choice now due to everything else being unsuccessful.

They agree and are getting Liam ready when he starts to panic. Shaun manages to calm him down by relating to him and talking about his own experience of being on a bus and how he got lost.

This works well and calms Liam down. This gives Shaun the chance to notice that he has red-eye. Shaun puts two and two together and knows what is actually wrong. No explorative surgery required.

Liam has been getting Kava Root. It can aid in the calming of an individual but side effects can occur and it is the cause of Liam’s pain. Shaun has successfully diagnosed him and they can get on with the surgery without the need of risky explorative surgery.

Liam’s parents are clearly happy and thank Shaun for everything but in a shocking and infuriating twist, both of Liam’s parents tell Melendez that Shaun cannot take part in the surgery. They hold the belief that an Autistic person cannot perform surgery.

Understandably no one is happy with this and Melendez, who has been against Shaun from day one, is especially unhappy with this decision. He consults Glassman on what to do who puts it to him straight. If you agree with the parents then do nothing, you have been against Shaun this whole time anyway. But, if you believe Shaun can do the surgery then make your case and convince them that they are wrong and Shaun is capable.

Melendez speaks to both of Liam’s parents about their request and, after being against Shaun all this time, admits that he is capable, that he has full confidence in him and that he can do this.

Sadly this is not enough and they won’t budge. They ask what happens now and Melendez informs them that they will be transferred elsewhere to have the surgery performed. They begin packing things up but Liam makes his voice heard.

He wants Shaun, he wants Dr. Shaun Murphy for the surgery.

Thankfully they listen to their son and agree to allow Shaun to take part. Shaun is very grateful for this as he shows up and thanks them for allowing him to take part.

Surgery gets underway. Melendez is checking both Shaun and Claire know what to do and once he is confident they are ready passes Shaun the scalpel to make the first incision. It’s a huge moment for him and he takes a second to appreciate it and even makes comment on what the scalpel is made of.

It’s not all smooth sailing however as they do encounter a problem. Shaun discovers an area that requires delicacy, precision and speed.

Thankfully everything ends well and Shaun is the one to give the good news to both of the parents. They both show their gratitude and tell them how sorry they are for judging him.

It doesn’t faze Shaun at all as he tells them it is because they loved him that they did what they did. That he never had this with his parents. Meaning that he was never given kava root so never got Hypereosinophilic Gastroenteritis. That’s right Shaun basically blamed them for their son’s troubles.

He then walks out of the room like a boss leaving both parents speechless and Melendez unsure whether to apologise or laugh.

Stay as long as you like

As the episode draws to a close Claire reflects on her grief counselling. She realises that she needs to talk but is obviously unsure how to. Kalu runs into her at this time and he too wants to talk about his patient. The two of them sit there in silence in the comfort of one another.

Glassman, after his talk with Jessica (Beau Garrett), accepts that he needs to let Shaun learn and let him make some of his own decisions. Glassman talks to Shaun about managing his finances with a new piece of software. The conversation is clearly going in one ear and out of the other as the two are too busy watching TV though.

All of a sudden a salesman approaches the two of them and advises that the store is about to close. Shaun points out that he wants to buy that TV. This prompts the salesmen to suddenly change his tune. Stay as long as you like.

Next: The Good Doctor Episode 6 Recap: Dr Shaun Murphy wants 4 pancakes, not 5.

The Good Doctor returns next Monday, Nov. 20 at 10/9c on ABC.

What did you think of this weeks episode? What was your favourite moment? Leave a comment to let us know your thoughts.