I didn’t see that one coming!
If anyone was going to stay in Guatemala at the end of The Good Doctor Season 4 Episode 20, I figured it would be Lim. After all, she has a new boyfriend who kept insisting they couldn’t have anything real since she would only be in the country a week.
But instead, Claire took a job at the clinic in Guatemala. If she had to go, at least it was for something positive rather than another unnecessary character death.
Like Shaun, I have mixed feelings about Claire leaving.
For one thing, The Good Doctor Season 4 seemed like it had gone far afield of the series’ original premise, and Claire departing confirmed that it was never going back to the way things were.
When Shaun first arrived at St. Bonaventure and Andrews, and some of the other board members weren’t sure about hiring him or retaining him, Claire was in his corner.
She was the one who always explained things he didn’t understand and encouraged him to keep going when he worried that his difficulties made it too hard for him to be a doctor.
Claire leaving signifies the end of that era.
On the other hand, the writers have taken her character as far as they could take it. She’s overcome her mother’s death, dealt with PTSD, somehow or other maintained a friendship with Morgan, and argued with Lim about whether Lim needed therapy too.
There wasn’t much else to do with her unless they dragged out her conflicted feelings about her dad, so it makes sense for her to leave.
The entire Guatemala trip seemed to be about life changes for everyone anyway, so much so that if I didn’t know better, I would have thought this was a series finale instead of a season finale.
Glassman telling Shaun that Shaun was much more able to stand on his own two feet nowadays seemed, especially like an end-of-series declaration.
Shaun: Lea is sad and I don’t know how to make her less sad. Do you?
Glassman: I don’t think I’m the right person to ask about this right now.
Shaun: Why not?
Glassman: I don’t think… I am flattered that you always ask me for advice and I hope you always will, but I’ve noticed that over the last few months, you need me less and less. It makes me think of what Steve said, that you’re the smart one. You can do this. You’re better than you think.
Glassman and Shaun’s relationship dominated the early episodes of The Good Doctor, with Glassman being the only board member solidly on Shaun’s side and needing Shaun more than he admitted, too.
Four years later, Glassman more or less said goodbye to that relationship dynamic. It was moving and inspiring, but at the same time, it did make me wonder what’s in store for The Good Doctor Season 5.
It wasn’t just that Shaun is more independent now. He and Lea are getting married and will probably try for another baby (and hopefully carry to term) some time in the future.
And everyone else’s relationships are wrapped up neatly for the moment, too.
Morgan: I’m sorry I’ve been weird for a year. I really do care about you. I wish you and Heather the best.
Park: It’s too late for that. I broke up with Heather last night.
Morgan: You did? Because you think you love me?
Park: I do.
Morgan: I think I love you too.
Morgan managed to not only openly care about patients’ fates and grieve that she can’t be a surgeon anymore but also apologized to Park and admitted she loved him.
Part of me wishes she was the one who stayed in Guatemala, but if she’s going to lose the obnoxiousness, maybe she’ll finally be tolerable.
Anyway, that was supposed to be the beginning of something for Park and Morgan, but it could have just as easily been a resolution to their constant bickering and pushing each other away, leaving the rest of their love story to viewers’ imaginations.
And Lim not only began a new relationship but opened up to her new boyfriend about her PTSD. And surprise! Dr. Non-Committed wanted to clear up his legal problems so he can come to visit Lim in San Jose.
So if this had been a series finale, it would have been perfect. Everyone figured out their next move, Shaun no longer depends on Glassman, and life goes on.
Since The Good Doctor is returning, it begs the question of where the series is going to go.
It’s clearly no longer about an Autistic resident learning how to manage the social aspects of his job, so is it going to become just another doctor show, focused on the new crop of residents while Shaun works on his relationship with Lea?
At the beginning of The Good Doctor Season 4, Shaun was having a hard time teaching the new residents, and that would be a viable direction to go in if the series wants to continue following his journey.
As for the season finale itself, the cases in Guatemala mostly took a back seat to relationship stuff.
Sure, there were emotional moments, like Lea connecting with the mother of a sick baby and Claire having to decide between trusting her intuition or going with Shaun’s opinion.
Andrews: Maybe we should wait a few more minutes to see if the lights come back on.
Shaun: I do not think that’s a good idea. I can feel the tumor under my fingers.
Andrews: Good work, Dr. Murphy.
[The lights come back on.]
Shaun: I guess maybe we could have waited.
And Shaun got to do his visualization thing when the power went out for all of five minutes.
But there wasn’t nearly as much emphasis on the poor conditions in Guatemala and how difficult it was to work without proper equipment. That stuff was there, but it wasn’t a big focus.
And I had to laugh at the episode description referencing Shaun operating without electricity because that was such a tiny part of the overall story. I kept expecting the power to go out again because the power failure seemed like it was too easily resolved.
Your turn, The Good Doctor fanatics. Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know what you thought of The Good Doctor Season 4 Episode 20 and what your hopes are for The Good Doctor Season 5.
Want to refresh your memory first? No problem. Just watch The Good Doctor online right here on TV Fanatic.
The Good Doctor airs on ABC on Mondays at 10 PM EST/PST. It will return sometime during the fall of 2021.