It takes courage to try to bridge the gap between political opponents these days.
The Good Doctor Season 4 Episode 15 made an honest attempt at depicting the common humanity most of us share despite our individual political views.
That in itself is a political position that might irk some viewers, but it was a different take than most as well as an important message.
The majority of the hour was devoted to the waiting room, where Lea was stuck with these two mothers who seemed to be at war with each other.
One of the things I liked about this setup is that we never found out what the protest was about or which side of the issue either woman was on.
Tarrin: You're one of them.
Tarrin: Get away from me!
Instead, we were treated to two grieving, scared mothers who could have supported one another except that their different perspectives got in the way.
If Karina hadn't been wearing that wristband, things might have gone very differently. Tarrin visibly recoiled when she saw it and later blamed Karina for their sons' conditions.
When someone disagrees with you, you have to shut them up? You couldn't let us wave our little signs in peace? You had to outshout us and when that didn't work you had to shoot us?Tarrin
It would be easy to chalk this up to political differences, or maybe to differences in backgrounds. Karina was Hispanic and Tarrin white. Karina was a widow and Tarrin a divorcee.
So all of those differences could easily lead to misunderstandings and each woman feeling the other stood for something heinous.
And Tarrin was so damn unlikeable most of the time that it was too easy to make assumptions about what her politics were, even though they were never stated explicitly.
But Tarrin softened noticeably after realizing that she could give Karina's son the blood he needed to survive.
So was her constant sniping and lashing out really about political differences? Or was it more that she was terrified for her son and felt powerless to do anything?
Donating blood might have helped her in two ways. First, she realized that despite their differences, Karina was a scared mother just like she was. And even though she couldn't do much for her own son, she could help save this other child.
And afterward, she was able to give Lea some advice instead of resenting her for being associated with Shaun, too.
I knew immediately before she volunteered that she would be a match for Mason's blood type. It was obvious and predictable, but I didn't care because transcending her and Karina's differences to save a life was more important.
The women's journey was mirrored by Claire and Asher's political debate.
Asher felt judged and disrespected for his political views, while Claire was bewildered by them.
He made an important point that all votes are compromises. But I'm glad that he and Claire are going to talk because the question is what you are willing to compromise on.
Claire is Black and it makes sense that she wouldn't see voting for someone who has a poor record with race relations and who supported policies that actively interfered with people like her living peaceful, productive lives.
So for her, Asher's idea of compromise is to put one foreign policy above issues that affect the lives of Black people.
He also voted for a candidate that has a poor record on LGBT issues even though he is gay, and I would have loved to understand that more.
But the point wasn't whether anyone agreed with either Claire or Asher's political decisions. The point was that they were talking at each other and not to each other.
I was glad that Claire offered to talk after the rough night was over because I think that honest communication is more important than agreement.
In this polarized climate, it's too easy to brand anyone with different political views as the enemy. Claire and Asher took a step toward fixing that.
The story wasn't all about political differences, of course. There was some bonafide medical drama, which I appreciated because sometimes the medical aspects get lost lately.
I didn't quite follow Park's logic as to how to get the fragment out of Ethan's brain, but I was glad that someone thought outside the box and found a solution.
I was also glad both boys survived. If either one had died, the tension between the two mothers would have become unbearable, plus nobody wants children to die senseless deaths.
I figured Shaun and Lea would both have a ton of feelings related to this case, too.
Glassman: This one's different, huh.
Shaun: Because he's a child?
Glassman: Yeah, because he's a child.
Shaun: No, I've lost children before.
Glassman: Every parent has just one job: to keep his child alive, to keep him from all the horrors in the world. And maybe because you can't protect Ethan...
Shaun: That is not rational.
Glassman: Maybe not, but it's worth it.
Shaun: It doesn't seem like it's worth it.
Glassman: You don't mean that.
Shaun: I came here to get surgical advice about Ethan and all you've given me is emotional advice about me.
Shaun is confused by his emotions, which are stemming from his realization that he is about to be a parent, while Lea has always been anxious about parenthood. But this situation certainly didn't help her any!
Lea's feared she wouldn't be strong enough to deal with a crisis of this magnitude. I'm glad Tarrin told her that this is rare, but underneath her fear must be another question: what kind of world is she bringing this baby into, and will the baby survive to adulthood?
All of that, of course, is set up for whatever happened with Lea's pregnancy now.
It's too early for a viable delivery, and it would suck if she had a miscarriage after all this.
From the trailer for The Good Doctor Season 4 Episode 16, it appears she needs some sort of surgery. The baby will likely survive, but will Shaun and Lea be able to deal with the stress?
Finally, some more good news: Park breaking up with Morgan.
I think we should stop seeing each other. You're good for me, but just sleeping with you isn't.Park
He was right that this booty call with no strings attached thing they have going on isn't going to work.
Morgan keeps looking both upset and shocked when Park walks away from her, so will she decide to pursue him or convince herself a real relationship isn't worth the trouble?
Your turn, Good Doctor fanatics!
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The Good Doctor airs on ABC on Mondays at 10 PM EST/PST.