"Pipes" was a gentler episode than the last, but it accomplishes a lot without all of the extra drama.
On The Good Doctor Season 1 Episode 4, the doctors are faced with some ethical dilemmas when a husband and wife disagree on medical treatment for their unborn child.
The ethical questions in this episode could have easily turned preachy and annoying.
The writers explored the legal and ethical issues of performing surgery on a fetus and endangering the life of the mother without turning it into the easy pro-life versus pro-choice arguments.
Rather than preach to the audience about how the questions should be answered, the doctors argued all of their ideas well and showed us just how complicated the issue is.
The doctors ultimately decided to do the fetal surgery, but the solution was presented to the audience in a way that did not push a specific belief on them.
I volunteered at a shelter for runaway teens when I was in high school. I got to know a lot of sex workers. They're not all the same, but they do have the same armor.Dr. Claire Browne
The doctors also operated on a young woman who performed in porn movies.
This patient was fascinating, and I felt like I understood who she was as a person by the end. Most people have judgments about sex workers, but seeing this young woman struggle with her inner conflicts reminded us that they are human too.
I was excited to see more of Jessica Preston and Allegra Aoki. Claire, so far, has been the only woman to have a significant role in the storylines.
I connected with Jessica and Neil's relationship in their scene in bed. It felt genuine, and even though they were arguing, they seem to actually be in love.
I'm not desperate. I'm confident, which should make you feel better.Dr. Neil Melendez
I do wonder, like Neil, if Jessica is hiding something from him. It was bizarre that she sidestepped his question about having children, and in previous episodes, I've wondered if her relationship with Dr. Glassman is more than professional.
Jessica and Neil's relationship is finally compelling enough to make me care, though. I'm looking forward to finding out why she refused to answer the question and what her connection with Dr. Glassman is.
Hill Harper was also fantastic. It was, by far, his strongest appearance yet.
Dr. Andrews' praise of Shaun and Claire in the operating room was touching and finally showed us that he is a human being with feelings.
I'm guessing Melendez doesn't let you know this enough, but you both are doing a great job, and if either of you need anything, even just to talk, my door is always open.Dr. Marcus Andrews (to Claire and Shaun)
I knew he had to be somewhat compassionate since people generally become doctors to help others, but his past behavior has not been pleasant.
Because of this, I can't help but still be a bit suspicious about his motives for keeping his door open to Shaun.
He seems to have changed his mind about Shaun working there awfully fast. I hope that his intentions are true and that he is not trying to trick Shaun in any way, but only time will tell.
Freddie Highmore is getting better and better as Dr. Shaun Murphy. Shaun had a few emotional outbursts in this episodes, and each time, Highmore's performance was heartbreaking.
He is completely believable in the role. All of the actors on The Good Doctor are talented, and the ensemble finally feels cohesive and on the same page about what the show is.
Highmore, though, continues to outshine the other actors when he is on screen.
Richard Schiff is a fantastic scene partner for the talented Highmore. He's the only one who can completely match Highmore's performance.
Unfortunately, I do not think The Good Doctor is utilizing Schiff enough. He is a wonderful actor who won a well-deserved Emmy for his role on The West Wing. He is subtle with his emotions and completely captivating to watch.
In the few scenes he is in, I find my attention gravitating right to him.
The writers have a tremendous actor on their hands, and Dr. Glassman is a compassionate and interesting character. I desperately want to know more about him, and Schiff deserves the opportunity to truly showcase his talent.
Dr. Claire Browne: We’re all on the same team.
Dr. Neil Melendez: Yes, but you’re all quarterbacks. And when training camp is over, there’s only going to be one starter.
I'm glad the writers are using the flashbacks sparingly.
The moment when Colleen tricked young Shaun so that the other kids could make fun of him was painful to watch. Because it was one of only two flashbacks in the episode, it made the scene even more emotional.
These flashbacks provide needed insight into Shaun's backstory, but they need to be employed responsibly by the writers in order to really land. Otherwise, they could become trite.
The Good Doctor Season 1 Episode 3 was full of dramatic moments and adventure for Shaun. Episode 4, though, was subtler with its storylines, which allowed the audience to emotionally connect with the characters.
Both were captivating in their own ways, and I'm excited the show continues to improve with each new episode.
I loved seeing Shaun go out with Claire and Jared at the end of the episode, and I hope these three residents develop a nice rapport soon.
You can watch The Good Doctor online! Once you do, share your thoughts with us in the comments section.
Kaitlynn Smith is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.