"Point Three Percent" is the most emotional episode of The Good Doctor yet, with a devastating but ultimately satisfying ending.
On The Good Doctor Season 1 Episode 5, Dr. Shaun Murphy meets a young boy named Evan in the ER who looks exactly like his deceased younger brother Steve. Meanwhile, Dr. Jared Kalu bonds with a sick father and his son, who have a turbulent relationship.
Dylan Kingwell, who has previously appeared on The Good Doctor in flashbacks as Shaun's younger brother Steve, plays Evan, a young boy with terminal cancer who bonds with Shaun.
As young Steve, Kingwell has never really blown me away with his performance. He has been fine but not exceptional, especially since he is often overshadowed by Graham Verchere's work as young Shaun.
In "Point Three Percent," though, Kingwell's performance as Evan was sweet to watch. It's the first time we have seen Shaun truly connect with a patient, and I loved watching Shaun have conversations with Evan that he might have with his brother if Steve was still alive.
No, he's not Steve. Steve is dead.Dr. Shaun Murphy
Their bond was undeniable, but I do wonder if the creative team needed to be so overt about Evan reminding Shaun of Steve.
Sure, his similar look to Steve is what made Shaun approach the young boy in the ER in the first place. It seems, though, that the writers and director still do not completely trust Freddie Highmore to connect the audience with Shaun's past.
Rather than cast the same actor for the role, the creatives behind The Good Doctor could have built the emotion using just words and Highmore's superb acting skills.
Almost as if they read my review of The Good Doctor Season 1 Episode 4, Richard Schiff's Dr. Aaron Glassman was featured more prominently in this episode.
We finally got to see Dr. Glassman step into the operating room. It was a treat to see him shine in the OR, something he doesn't get to do often as president of the hospital.
If this were Steve, if this were your brother, would he want to know the truth?Dr. Aaron Glassman
We also got a glimpse at Dr. Glassman's growing frustration with Shaun. He's still Shaun's biggest cheerleader, but he is clearly struggling to teach Shaun how to be a doctor.
Only an actor as talented and nuanced as Schiff could pull off this delicate balance without making it seem like Aaron is completely giving up on Shaun.
This was Chuku Modu's strongest performance as Dr. Jared Kalu on the series so far.
Viewers got information about Jared's past when he shared his story about leaving behind the family business to become a doctor.
It's a tender moment for a character who has otherwise appeared tough and egotistical.
As a wise person once said, holding a grudge is a stone in your heart.Dr. Jared Kalu
For the first time, we also got a true understanding of his feelings for Claire. In past episodes, Jared has asked Claire to officially date him, but each time, she has turned him down.
We knew that Jared liked Claire. In that brief moment, though, where he told the sick father what a wise person (meaning Claire) once said about grudges, Modu gives away Jared's deep feeling with just a slight smile.
His affection for Claire actually felt genuine and worthy of screen time, even though Claire was not even in the same room as him at the time.
Unfortunately, the story between the father and the son did not really land for me. While I found the rest of the episode to be enjoyable and emotional, I did not feel a strong connection to either of these men.
I appreciate what their story did for Jared's character development, but it ultimately underwhelmed me.
It's not about how small or how big the venture is. It's about doing something that's yours.Dr. Jared Kalu
The interactions between the father and son felt rushed, particularly their concluding scene. While you cannot expect to know each patient intimately on a medical drama, the father and son were lackluster compared to the well-rounded character of Evan.
The theme of the episode was truth. Evan's parents refused to tell their son about his cancer diagnosis, while Evan taught Shaun how to lie. Elsewhere in the hospital, the son struggled to tell his father the truth about why he ran away from home.
Keeping with the spirit of the episode, I will tell you a potentially unpopular truth: I'm actually glad that Evan's diagnosis was not wrong. The formula of Shaun saving the patient or solving a medical mystery "deus ex machina" style in each episode was getting old quickly.
When it looked like Shaun was going to save Evan from his cancer diagnosis and impending death, I was instantly annoyed that Shaun was yet again the answer to everyone's problems.
No one can be right 100% of the time, and Shaun is only a surgical resident. He still has a lot to learn, and by having him solve every medical case that came through the doors of St. Bonaventure Hospital, it was asking the audience to suspend their disbelief a bit too much.
The ending to Evan's story was heartbreaking. Shaun and the audience know Evan's fate, even if we don't watch him die in St. Bonaventure Hospital. We don't need to physically see the moment to get the emotional impact.
Instead, we see Shaun bond with a patient for the first time. He reads Evan a passage of his brother's copy of To Kill a Mockingbird, as he chokes up with grief for both Evan and his brother Steve.
It was a tear-inducing moment that would not have been nearly as satisfying to watch if Shaun had perfectly solved Evan's medical problems.
You can watch The Good Doctor online. After you do, share your thoughts with us! Did you love Evan's story and his connection with Shaun?
Kaitlynn Smith was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in May of 2018.