The Good Doctor shook things up between Shaun and Lea. Literally.
When several relationship storylines appear to have hit dead ends, what to do besides raise the stakes with a natural disaster?
The Good Doctor Season 3 Episode 19 was the first of a two part season finale involving the aftermath of a huge earthquake. Couldn't the series have done better than this trope?
The earthquake had all the elements a soapy disaster plot needs.
The stakes were super high -- doctors and regular patrons of the brewery alike were trapped and could die.
Lea was randomly among the injured, and naturally, nobody knew if she was alive or dead.
And Shaun was on the rescue team.
It was obvious from the get-go that this was going to be a vehicle to get Shaun and Lea back together.
Kudos to the writers for being semi-original about it, though.
The most obvious path to this was for Shaun to find and rescue Lea and for her to decide to give him a chance.
But as Steve pointed out in Shaun's latest fantasy, that wasn't going to work. Thankfully.
Vera: If we get out of this alive, let's promise to move on. You can do better than Lea. Not that I have any business suggesting that. I'm still hung up on Paul.
Shaun: No, I don't want to move on.
Vera: Shaun, she -
Shaun: I always knew I could be a good doctor, but before I met Lea I didn't know I could drive a car or do tequila shots or fall in love. I don't want to stop being the person I am with Lea. She makes me more. But I don't make her more. If I did, Lea would want to be my girlfriend.
Instead, Lea overheard Shaun's heartfelt declaration of love and cried... only for Shaun to be trapped in a flood a second later.
The danger Shaun found himself in made for an exciting cliffhanger, but come on.
The series revolves around him being a doctor with autism and has been renewed for a fourth season. So Shaun will have to be just fine, at least physically, for The Good Doctor to continue.
Shaun: I am not afraid. I am not afraid. I am not afraid.
Steve: Of course you are. You know why? Cause this is stupid scary.
Most likely, Shaun will have a close call while Lea frets and realizes how much he means to her.
It would be a cool twist if somehow Carly were the one waiting to tell Shaun how relieved she is that he's okay when he gets out of this, but that doesn't seem likely.
The disaster story wasn't all bad, though. Vera was an interesting character and I'd love for Shaun to develop a friendship with her outside of them being stuck in the same place after the earthquake.
And all of the medical cases resulting from the disaster were as compelling as any of the more traditional medical cases at St. Bonadventure.
Park's determination to save Casey was among the best of the medical plotlines.
Lim's news that Casey was going to die as soon as the bar was lifted off him was heartbreaking news indeed. This was a kid with his whole life ahead of him who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Park is at his best when connecting with patients. We don't get enough of this side of him because he's too often stuck in the background, bickering with Morgan over something stupid.
But not this time. Park kept a scared kid company, comforted him, encouraged him, and ultimately found a way to possibly save his life.
Lim was right to call Park out on Casey reminding him of his own son. But in a way, it didn't matter.
As a doctor, Park is supposed to do what's best for his patient, and if a long shot surgery was the only way to try to save Casey, then that was what he needed to do regardless of why he was motivated to save him.
I wasn't a big fan of performing surgeries in the middle of the rubble. How could that environment possibly be sterile enough to prevent infection?
But leaving that aside, Park's idea might have saved Casey's life, or at least kept him alive 'til his dad could get there.
Claire and Melendez went the full MacGyver route with the surgery they did on Marta.
On TV, doctors do surgery with household items more often than not (anyone remember Royal Pains?), and it's always hard to suspend disbelief for such things.
Noreen was right to be concerned about this operation, although if moving Marta prior to removing the screw would leave her paralyzed, they didn't have much choice.
Noreen: I will push your wheelchair, wipe your mouth. Whatever you need. And I will be grateful for it. Because you will still be alive. We will still be on our adventure. Five years isn't enough.
Noreen's wife: Thank you for taking care of me. Again. Five years isn't enough. However long I have with you isn't enough.
Noreen and Marta's conversation about the surgery was sweet, though. Talk about undying love!
Of course, the surgery itself was half a vehicle to bring Claire and Melendez closer together...only for Melendez to collapse at the last second.
Unlike Shaun, Melendez isn't vital to The Good Doctor. He's important to many of the residents, and to Lim, but his absence would be a source of drama rather than destroying the series' entire premise.
And it would pull the rug out from under Claire if Melendez were to die just as she was opening herself up to the possibility of having feelings for him.
Will The Good Doctor go as far as killing him off? I hope not, but I wouldn't be surprised.
Finally, the award for the stupidest decision goes to Morgan. No surprise there.
Morgan: Why are you using plaster?
Nurse: You said I had to cast her. You didn't tell me to -
Morgan: Use fiberglass which takes half the time and is twice as effective? I didn't think I had to instruct you to use common sense.
Morgan is generally annoying and often makes ridiculous decisions, which is why Andrews was right not to leave her in charge of the ER.
From the second she offered to do triage and not use her hands at all, it was obvious that at some point she was going to decide to do surgery when she's physically incapable of it.
There had to be SOME surgeon she could page to do the woman's surgery. There's no way that she can do it herself, and she's just opening the hospital up to a lawsuit by trying.
Of course, if she'd listened to the senior nurse earlier instead of insisting there was no way the patient could be pregnant, the ectopic pregnancy might have been caught before the patient needed surgery right that second.
Either way, this was a bad idea, and surely there will be major fallout from it.
Your turn, The Good Doctor fanatics.
Did you enjoy this natural disaster story, or would you rather have had a more traditional story involving cases at the hospital?
Hit SHOW COMMENTS and share your thoughts.
Want to see the episode again? No problem. Just watch The Good Doctor online right here on TV Fanatic.
The Good Doctor continues to air on ABC on Mondays at 10 PM EST/PST. The Season 3 finale airs on March 24, 2020.
Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.