The Good Doctor Season 2 Episode 15 Review: Risk and Reward

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Dr. Haan is all about embracing change. 

The Good Doctor Season 2 Episode 15 found executive producer Daniel Dae Kim stepping in front of the camera, and if one thing was made certain, it's that changes are coming to San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital. 

Shaun's Turmoil - The Good Doctor Season 2 Episode 15

Ever since the investigation into what happened during the quarantine, it's been clear that there was going to be some blowback on Shaun. 

If you watch The Good Doctor online, you will recall him breaking down as a result of the overhead lights in the E.R. making noise. Shaun's condition makes him hear sounds on a much larger scale. 

Related: The Good Doctor Season 2 Episode 12 Review: Aftermath

There's no getting away from that. Haan did all the digging he needed on his staff members before starting the job, so he knew that. Putting loud music on in the O.R. was a calculated move to assess Shaun's strengths and weaknesses. 

However, it seemed more like Haan wanted Shaun off his team without so much as laying eyes on the young man who has proven to be a force in the medical field. 

Haan is under the impression that Shaun is getting a free pass because the hospital wants to have a diverse array of staff members. Shaun is a passionate and caring young man who would not willingly put someone in danger. 

Dr. Haan Arrives - The Good Doctor Season 2 Episode 15

The rest of the staff at the hospital have adapted to Shaun's way of working, and that's commendable. For Haan to show up on the scene and ridicule Shaun, well, that was a sucky thing to do. 

New leaders of teams typically want to make their mark. It's not uncommon for someone to get fired, or demoted. That's just the way the cookie crumbles. Shaun made a mistake by speaking to Percy's parents. 

There's no getting away from that fact. The mother was looking for reassurance that she did not willingly harm her child. Shaun tells the truth, so he called it like he saw it and he should not be put on blast for that. 

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When you think about it, Shaun's diagnostic skills are his strong point. His mind has a beautiful way of thinking about what's going on inside the human body. Those graphics that appear on the screen have shown us that on countless occasions. 

Moving Shaun away from a patient-facing environment and the people who have adapted to his way of working would be a huge setback. I wouldn't be surprised if the likes of Park, Reznick, Brown, Lim, and even Melendez do something to help keep Shaun where he's most comfortable. 

Dr. Lim Is Infected - The Good Doctor Season 2 Episode 10

Lim stepping in when Haan was talking down to Shaun was perfect. Our surgeons on this show are great judges of character, and there's no way they would allow Shaun into a situation in which he couldn't perform to the best of his ability. 

The fundamental issue here is that Haan made his mind up about Shaun before he met him, and that's not okay. I'm sure he could come up with a lot of reasons to oust Shaun on paper, but he just wanted the young man well away from his team. 

Shaun: I am a surgical resident.
Haan: You were.

Shaun is not going to take this well, so let's hope he finds a way to remain with the people who actually understand him. At this stage, I'm not sure if Andrews would be able to sway Haan's mind. 

If you recall, Andrews was similarly skeptical of Shaun's abilities back when the series debuted. Shaun has proven on a lot of occasions that he's a great surgeon, but there's no telling whether the board would side with him. 

Related: The Good Doctor Renewed for Season 3!

The case with Percy was a refreshing one. Touching on birth defects and whether a mother's prescription medication could have caused problems is risky business. 

Claire's Decision - The Good Doctor Season 2 Episode 15

The mother and father got presented with some downright harrowing decisions to make. Making the call to end your child's life is not something you think will ever happen when you bring a child into the world. 

Shaun: I've been working with the new Chief of Surgery.
Glassman: How's that going?
Shaun: Not very well.

I particularly liked how Brown managed to help the mother recognize that taking the antidepressants was her way of making sure she was better for when her child got introduced to the world. 

Brown is still trying to impress her peers after being ruled unassertive. Her words struck a chord with Haan. There was no way he would have been able to put "turning off the machines" into more agreeable terms. 

Related: The Good Doctor Season 2 Episode 13 Review: Xin

The only niggle with the Percy plot was that the timing of switching off the machines came well before the hour's conclusion. That's generally a dead giveaway that there's going to be a miraculous 11th-hour revelation. 

The plotting of some of the cases needs some work, for sure. 

Still, I enjoyed the rich man's quest to find out exactly what was wrong with him. Preventative medicine may not have been what Melendez planned on doing, but there's a chance he saved a life in doing so. 

Melendez on a Mission - The Good Doctor Season 2 Episode 13

Removing the tumor from the back meant losing the feeling in one foot. That's a big thing, but what was most intriguing was that we didn't learn whether the tumor was cancerous. 

The man had already lost the feeling. There was no magical way to put the nerve back in place so he could regain feeling. 

Deep down, the patient would have probably regretted the surgery if it turned out the tumor was non-benign. 

Hopefully, this case helped give Neil another outlook on preventative medicine because his skepticism was quickly kicked to the curb, and there's a good chance he saved a life in the process. 

Away from the action was Glassy. His journey from an introvert who was not about talking to anyone about his condition was a highlight of "Risk and Reward."

Related: The Good Doctor Season 2 Episode 14 Review: Faces

I never stopped to think that the best thing for him would be to join a cancer group. He's struggled ever since his diagnosis. He's been pushing people away, presumably because he can't cope with his diagnosis. 

Glassman's Prognosis - The Good Doctor Season 2 Episode 1

Now that he's embracing the fact that there are others like him, it shows that he's starting to come to terms with what's going on. 

We're tumor twins.


Glassy's chemotherapy sessions will no longer involve putting headphones on to drown out his surroundings. 

That's a good thing!

"Risk and Reward" was a decent episode, but some parts of the narrative felt out of place. For a show that's about to wrap its second season, it feels like one that's trying to find its footing. 

That's problematic. 

What are your thoughts?

Hit the comments below. 

The Good Doctor continues Mondays at 10/9c on ABC. 

Risk and Reward Review

Editor Rating: 3.75 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (13 Votes)

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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The Good Doctor Season 2 Episode 15 Quotes

I'm Jackson Haan. Your new Chief of Surgery.


Shaun: I've been working with the new Chief of Surgery.
Glassman: How's that going?
Shaun: Not very well.