‘The Good Doctor’ Premiere Recap & Review

Last night, the premiere of The Good Doctor aired on ABC last night. The show’s about Dr. Shaun Murphy, a young surgeon with autism and Savant syndrome. Savant syndrome, if you don’t already know is like having a rare genius trait that exhibits extraordinary skills as well as mental infirmities.

Full Recap

Shaun (played by Freddie Highmore)

The episode starts with Shaun leaving his apartment and arriving at an airport in San Jose. Then, he watches a construction worker accidentally drop one side of a sign. As it hits the other side, it, unfortunately, falls onto a young boy. As he watches everyone panic in silence, an older man comes to the kid to inform everyone he’s a doctor. Then, Shaun corrects the other doctor after analyzing the situation as he notices things the other doctor didn’t.

Shaun then realizes that the kid needs an incision to open up his airway. He goes off to find a knife in TSA but gets trampled trying to run off with it. But only because his social skills are a little different and the security guards are unwilling to just give him a knife. At least not without a reason. But he does end up saving the kid’s life. He makes an impressive one-way valve using piping from a soda machine. Then he proceeds to open the kid’s airway with the knife and alcohol from the store.

Dr. Glassman Advocates for Shaun

Dr. Glassman (played by Richard Schiff)

Meanwhile, the president of the hospital, Dr. Glassman, advocates for him to become a surgeon. Even though the rest of the hospital board opposes. And it’s all due to the fact that Shaun is autistic. He argues that Dr. Murphy has spatial awareness. He argues that Shawn has the ability to analyze things in ways other people can’t. And his limitations aren’t what they think they are.

Throughout the episode, we discover that Dr. Glassman has a bit of history with him. Apparently, he’s known him since he was 14. What we don’t quite know yet is to what extent. Flashbacks throughout the episode show Shawn’s past with his parents, who find it too difficult to deal with his autism. His father finds it so hard that he’s angry and violent. In one instance, he throws his pet rabbit against the wall, killing the poor bunny. Then, he and his younger brother take the rabbit to the vet where they meet, Dr. Glassman. It’s then when they decide to run away from home. But later on, we see his younger brother die from falling off of something in a warehouse.

Shaun Catches a Break

(from left) Dr. Melendez (played by Nicholas Gonzalez), Dr. Browne (played by Antonia Thomas) and Shaun (played by Freddie Highmore

Later when the kid is taken to the hospital, Shawn notices that the kid’s heart rate changes on the EKG. So he tries to make a case to do an echocardiogram. At first, it doesn’t go well for him. But then, Dr. Melendez, the top surgeon, notices the same difference. Apparently, a shard of glass traveled to his bloodstream. And Shawn was smart enough to theorize it when talking to another doctor, Dr. Browne.

At the end of the episode, Dr. Glassman makes the case that they’ll be better people if they hire Shawn because there is more than meets the eye. In the end, Shawn makes a case for himself as to why he wants to become a surgeon. He tells the board he watched his brother and rabbit go to heaven. Even though they should’ve grown up and become adults. But because they didn’t, he wants to be able to make sure other people get that chance.

Final Thoughts

Overall, this show delivers in emotion. Even though Shaun doesn’t have the ability to relate to people, as the synopsis of the show puts it. Freddie Highmore, the actor that plays Dr. Murphy, does a beautiful job with the little details. An example of this is when he doesn’t look people directly in the eyes. And if you didn’t know, it’s a common characteristic for someone with Aspergers. The visual detail in the way they show the way his brain processes was brilliant. The visuals give the audience insight into how, which is different than just hearing an inner monologue of his thoughts.

I also love that this is a show that is about someone with autism. It’s something that isn’t showcased on TV all that often. It’s even greater to me that it shows autism in a very positive light. Stereotyping that can come along with just the term autism really point out the negative. Just like how the hospital board members saw Shawn. But in reality, people with autism just have a different way of thinking and processing things. And that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Leave a Reply