Just when it seemed we were safe from a possible Lea/Shaun 2.0 ship, The Good Doctor Season 3 Episode 10 went there.
It's great that Lea was able to calm Shaun down when he was having an Autism-related meltdown, but can we not?
Shaun's relationship struggles with Carly have been one of the strongest aspects of The Good Doctor Season 3 so far, but now it seems that Carly is going to be the losing leg of an unnecessary love triangle.
Lea was the one who Shaun turned to for support during one of the most difficult times of his life, and she was the one he lay with after his grief hit him hard.
That's all fine if they stay in friend territory.
But judging from the promo for the winter premiere, Shaun is going to find it a lot easier to cuddle with Lea than Carly and possibly conclude that it's because Lea is his "true love" or some such nonsense.
Maybe it's easier for Shaun to let Lea hold him because he knows her better, he's used to her, and entering a new relationship is harder for him than re-entering an old one.
Let's hope that's where this is going, because Shaun's difficulties with his relationship with Carly were supposed to be due to his Autism. And suggesting it would be easy if she were the right person makes a mockery out of that.
Shaun, it's okay. Just because your dad's dying doesn't mean he deserves to be forgiven. And if he dies before you are ready to listen to what he has to say, that's his fault, not yours. His.Lea
The unnecessary Lea/Shaun pairing aside, this was a solid story.
The real question was whether Shaun should have forgiven his father or not.
On the one hand, holding onto anger and resentment generally doesn't help anyone's mental health.
But on the other, Shaun's father was abusive, and forgiving him just allowed him to abuse Shaun one last time.
Lea was right when she told Shaun -- and later Glassman -- that Shaun was not obligated to forgive someone who was so horribly abusive to him.
Many survivors of childhood abuse find forgiving their abuser to be helpful to their healing, but just as many survivors find the opposite.
Forgiving an abusive parent sometimes feels like negating the abuse and continuing to deny the boundaries that the survivor needs to set as an adult for self-protection.
And in Shaun's case, his Autism made this decision even more difficult. Shaun takes things literally and has a hard time contextualizing, so it will be harder for him to let go of those harsh final words than it would be for a neurotypical person.
Besides, even if his father's tirade was morphine-induced--which could easily have been an excuse his mother invented--it was just as hurtful as the drunken tirades Shaun endured as a child.
For Shaun, it must have felt as if his decision to forgive his father was pointless.
The juxtaposition of Shaun's story with the story at the hospital was interesting.
This is stupid. Athletes get paid millions of dollars while people with jobs that actually matter... teachers, cops, doctors, can barely pay their student loans.Claire
Shaun now has something major in common with Claire, since they both lost a parent with whom their relationship was super complicated.
Claire seemed to resent the NFL star patient for the amount of money he made. That must have been about the way financial pressures are adding to her distress because that's the only thing that makes sense.
Her thoughts were a strong message about the income inequality that plagues most of America, but they weren't particularly relevant.
It's not like this is New Amsterdam, which often addresses the way income inequality affects health care access.
Anyway, it was ironic that the star didn't want that lucrative career, considering how much Claire resented him for possessing it.
But it allowed her to finally use her problems with her late mother positively, advising him to put his own needs first and not continue to be self-destructive to get what he needed.
I get that you want to do stuff on your own, for people to mind their own business. But whatever pressure you're feeling is still there, and if you don't seek help, you will fail.Park
Claire's struggle with whether or not to see a therapist was well done.
The Good Doctor made it seem like she was texting one of her one-night-stands when she begged someone to leave her alone, and she was super resistant to Park's insistence she needed help.
But when she met with her therapist at the end of the hour, it made total sense.
Claire was making some positive changes in her life, like working out instead of continuing to drink and have sex with random guys.
That didn't happen in a vacuum. It was the result of the therapy she was ambivalent about pursuing.
Oddly, The Good Doctor Season 3 Episode 10 was missing a few people.
There wasn't too much of Morgan, and Lim was absent altogether.
We certainly didn't need any more of the on-again-off-again Lim/Melendez stuff, but it was weird that she wasn't around at all.
Isn't she supposed to approve Melendez's procedures, especially since Morgan's idea about how to treat the NFL star was not the standard protocol?
As for Morgan, the less she's around, the fewer opportunities she has to be annoying and obnoxious, so there's that.
The stories were interesting, and I want to know where Shaun will go from here now that his father is dead -- besides into Lea's arms, that is.
But for a fall finale, it didn't pack much of a punch.
Shaun and Claire made decisions in their personal lives, but everything was pretty much a standard episode of The Good Doctor.
Nevertheless, I'm looking forward to the series' return in the winter.
What about you, Good Doctor fanatics?
Do you ship Lea/Shaun or would you rather Shaun stick with Carly?
Were you surprised Claire was seeking therapy?
And what did you think of the one medical case?
Hit SHOW COMMENTS and share your thoughts.
Missed the episode? No problem. Just watch The Good Doctor online and come back to share your thoughts afterwards.
The Good Doctor continues to air on ABC on Mondays at 10 PM EST/PST. It will return on January 13, 2020.
Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.