The Good Doctor Season 4 Episode 16 Review: Dr. Ted

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What a sad hour of television.

Miscarriages happen, and sometimes on TV, they can lead to strong, emotional drama.

But did The Good Doctor Season 4 Episode 16 HAVE to pair Lea losing her baby with an elderly woman begging to die?

Pregnancy Complications / Tall - The Good Doctor Season 4 Episode 16

It wasn't that these weren't both solid, compelling storylines.

It was just too much sadness for one hour, much like the COVID storyline that dominated the early part of The Good Doctor Season 4.

The Shaun/Lea story didn't get sad until the last fifteen minutes, so there was that.

For the most part, it was a standard Shaun overreacting, Lea wanting him to be her partner and not her doctor-type story.

An Elderly Patient - The Good Doctor Season 4 Episode 16

Even after Lim barred Shaun from Lea's medical team and that opinion was backed up by pretty much everybody who had any say in the matter, Shaun still talked to Lea as if he were her doctor.

I'll give Lea credit for her restraint. She often gets frustrated with Shaun when he tries to micromanage her, but she managed to stay relatively calm and patient with him despite her own anxiety.

Shaun: We need to make a plan in case your water breaks at the mall.
Lea: I'm guessing that's a specific concern that someone -
Shaun: Dr. Parks said when his wife went into labor -
Lea: Stop talking to people.

Her response to Shaun's excessive anxiety right before she suffered the pulmonary embolism was equal parts bemused and funny, and that made the loss of the baby even more painful.

She and Shaun had finally found the right balance, and she would have brought that to their lives as parents too.

The Doctors Disagree - The Good Doctor  Season 4 Episode 16

When Claire gave Shaun the bad news with fifteen minutes still left in the hour, I was holding out hope for a miracle.

I could have sworn I'd seen a commercial advertising Shaun and Lea having their baby as part of the season finale, which obviously wasn't the case, and I thought there was still time in the hour to pull something off.

Sadly, there wasn't, and the last part was instead devoted to Lea's grief while Lim explained her choices now.

It was all incredibly heartbreaking, especially since the couple had agonized over whether or not to keep the baby in the first place.

Difficulty Coping - The Good Doctor Season 4 Episode 16

I'm interested in how they move forward from here.

Will Shaun push his feelings aside/move on quickly while Lea struggles with her emotions? It looks that way from the trailer for The Good Doctor Season 4 Episode 17, but it's hard to be sure.

Meanwhile, Asher's struggle to separate his feelings for an elderly patient from her desire to die made the hour even sadder.

It reminded me of Scrubs Season 1 Episode 3. In that famous episode, Scrubs departed from pure comedy for the first time as JD struggled to accept the choice of an elderly patient who refused treatment for advanced kidney disease, and this was a similar story.

Respecting a Patient's Wishes - The Good Doctor Season 4 Episode 16

Of course, the added layer here was that Mrs. Stanley reminded Asher of his late grandmother, who'd been special to him because she was more accepting of him than the rest of his family.

No one ever sat Asher down and told him directly that this woman was not his grandmother and that he couldn't make up for that loss this way. It would have been interesting and logical if someone had, but instead, it just... sat there.

Shaun: Why are you so upset about Mrs. Stanley refusing treatment? She has terminal cancer. She is dying anyway.
Asher: I know my family loved me, but they didn't see me. Except my grandmother.

I was also surprised that none of Maxine's family members had an opinion on her desire to end her life. She invited them all to the hospital to say goodbye, and they did so without having a single line of dialogue.

Maybe they'd had this conversation with her before, but it seemed strange that the only one who had any sort of feelings about it was a young doctor who barely knew her.

Asher came to the right conclusion mostly on his own, but not before pulling a Will Halstead (from Chicago Med)  and going against the patient's wishes.

Glassman handled that breach of ethics masterfully by making it clear Asher had made the wrong choice as well as insisting he makes it right.

And Asher, for his part, seemed to finally have made peace with Maxine's decision to let go of life.

I wasn't sure whether the DNR was depicted realistically. It's one thing not to take heroic measures to resuscitate, but did removing a pacemaker that was keeping Maxine alive really fall under that category?

That seemed more like actively helping her die than refusing to administer lifesaving treatment that her advanced directive forbade.

And again, how come her family was not involved in any of this until the last minute?

Talking to them earlier might have given some clarity as to what the DNR actually meant, and it would have made sense for Maxine's nephew or another family member to be pushing for her to stay alive along with Asher.

That doesn't mean this wasn't effective drama. I just felt there were a few plot holes that needed to be addressed and weren't.

Plus, the coupling of this with Lea losing her baby made the hour incredibly sad and harder to watch than it had to be.

Your turn, Good Doctor fanatics.

Was The Good Doctor Season 4 Episode 17 too heavy for you, too, or was the juxtaposition of these two storylines effective drama?

Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know your thoughts!

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The Good Doctor airs on ABC on Mondays at 10 PM EST/PST.

Dr. Ted Review

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Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on X.

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The Good Doctor Season 4 Episode 16 Quotes

Glassman: Shaun, you gotta relax.
Shaun: No one expecting a baby should relax. There are too many things that could go wrong.
Glassman: Okay, so then after the baby is born you can relax?
Shaun: No, because then it's going to need feeding and being taken care of.
Glassman: Okay, so after it can feed and dress itself...? Are you getting my point here?
Shaun: That I am never going to relax again?

I'm alive? Which one of you bozos did this?