In the The Good Doctor Season 1 pio we see a young man getting ready for his day. He's washing his hands, brushing his hair, and wrapping up a plastic play knife in a piece of a cloth. He leaves his home and walks through his town.
On his way, he passes a schoolyard where he sees a memory from his childhood. He's being beaten up by bullies until another boy comes over and stops them.
The young man then gets onto a bus headed for the Cheyenne Regional Airport. Here, he boards a plan to San Jose for his new adventure. At the San Jose airport, we get a glimpse into the mind of this young man. He hears amplified noises and seems to overstimulated by the world around him. So, he rubs his plastic toy knife for comfort.
Some men doing construction work in the airport knock over a large sign that hits a directory and a TV screen. The glass shatters and seriously injures a small boy. A doctor steps up from the crowd to help. He asks for a clean cloth, and the boy's mother gives him a clean shirt.
The doctor places the clean shirt on the jugular vein. The young man from earlier is watching the scene unfold and tells the doctor that he is doing it incorrectly. The doctor begins to argue with him, but Shaun explains that he is putting pressure on the wrong part of the boy's body, which is cutting off his air supply.
The young man is correct, and when the doctor asks who he is, he replies with "I'm Dr. Shaun Murphy. I'm a surgical resident at San Jose Bonaventure Hospital."
At a special board meeting, president of the hospital Dr. Aaron Glassman is arguing with the hospital's board of directors about why Dr. Shaun Murphy should be hired as a surgical resident when he has autism. Dr. Glassman explains that he is high-functioning and even excels in other areas. He passionately argues that the would make a great addition to the team while Dr. Marcus Andrews expresses his concerns.
We learn that Dr. Glassman has known Shaun since he was 14 years old. Dr. Andrews begins to argue that it is nepotism for Dr. Glassman to hire Shaun since Aaron sees him as a son. However, board member Jessica Preston comes to Dr. Glassman's defense and reminds Marcus that he has a nephew who works in bookkeeping.
In an on-call room, a doctor enters and turns on the light to look for another doctor named Claire. A shirtless man, Dr. Jared Kalu, asks why she needs Claire and asks her to turn off the lights when she leaves. After the woman leaves, we learn that Claire was hiding under the covers behind him during the entire exchange.
Jared wants to know why he and Claire are hiding their relationship. Claire tells him that they are just messing around and that they do not have a relationship.
Back in the airport, Dr. Murphy continues working on the young boy. He realizes the boy's veins in his arms are popping. The other doctor argues with him. He doesn't see the popping veins, but Dr. Murphy swears the boy's lungs are in distress. He orders the other doctor to start artificial respiration and walks away.
At the hospital, Dr. Claire Browne is trying to convince a patient that he needs to have bypass surgery immediately. She is unsuccessful. He wants a second opinion, and she tells her superior Dr. Neil Melendez that he won't agree to the surgery. Dr. Melendez asks Jared to talk to the patient. Jared agrees to talk to the patient and loudly proclaims that if he has to choose between siding with his boss or the woman he's "screwing," he's going to pick his boss.
At the airport, Dr. Murphy is asking a TSA agent for a knife that a passenger may have left behind at security. The TSA agent refuses to give him a knife, but Shaun steals it and runs. The TSA agents catch up to him and tackle him to the ground. They are about to arrest him when the boy's mother tells them that Shaun is saving her child's life.
Shaun goes to the boy with the knife, some alcohol from the duty-free store, and a tube he got from the back of a vending machine and performs makeshift surgery on him. He saves the boy's life and is treated to applause from the crowd and hugs from the boy's parents.
During this ordeal, Dr. Glassman is calling Shaun and asking him to come to the hospital for the board meeting. Shaun doesn't hear his phone, but we do see him in an ambulance with the boy as they make their way to the hospital.
In another flashback, Shaun and the young boy who saved him from the bullies (his brother) are at home. Their parents are fighting about Shaun getting kicked out of school. Shaun is rocking back and forth while petting his rabbit.
To get Shaun's attention, the dad grabs his face and forces him to make eye contact. Shaun's brother is distressed by this and immediately tries tackling their father to the ground. The father pushes the brother to the ground before he slaps Shaun and throws the bunny across the room.
Back in the present, Shaun notices some amplitude changes on the boy's heart monitor, even though his blood pressure number is not changing. The paramedic tells him he is wrong, but Shaun insists that something is wrong with him.
In the operating room, the patient who was refusing the surgery has now agreed. However, during surgery, the man has an abscess under his heart that explodes. Dr. Melendez yells at Claire for wanting to follow the patient's wishes and wait for the surgery. He would have been dead if they had. He says the patient will be fine, but then he kicks Claire out of the operating room to meet the boy from the airport.
As they wheel the boy, Shaun is trying to convince Claire that he needs an echocardiogram. She refuses, saying nothing in his vitals requires an echo. She is quite rude to him, and because of his insistence, security removes him from the hospital.
In the past, Shaun, his brother, and Dr. Glassman meet for the first time when the young boys bring the rabbit to Dr. Glassman. Dr. Glassman informs them that he is not a vet and that the rabbit is dead but is clearly quite moved by these boys. The brother states that they will not be going back home. Instead, they are never going to be hurt by their dad again.
At the board meeting in present day, Marcus is arguing that Shaun won't be able to communicate sympathy and empathy with his patients. Dr. Glassman, though, argues that his differences are what makes him special and the he can bring something unique to the hospital.
In the operating room with the young boy, Dr. Melendez notices something unusual about the boy's amplitude on his heart monitor. He asks Claire why she wanted an echo, and she explains that a "really weird" guy told her he needed one. Melendez orders one while he goes to look for "the weird guy."
Dr. Melendez and Claire find Shaun outside and ask him why the boy needed an echo. Shaun explains the unusual amplitudes on the monitor, but Melendez gets a phone call that the echo was normal. They take Shaun inside to show him the results. Shaun watches the echo multiple times before finding the a subtle concave in his atrium.
The doctors say that Shaun is wrong about the concave, but Claire stands up for him. She explains that a small piece of glass could have gotten into his blood stream, which would cause the concave. Dr. Melendez goes back into the OR and finds a small piece of glass, just as Claire predicted.
At the board meeting, almost everyone votes against hiring Shaun. Then, a woman dramatically enters and exclaims that they need to go online to find the video of Shaun saving the boy's life.
In another flashback, we see Shaun and his brother living in a bus. Shaun's brother gives him a toy surgical kit, with a small plastic scalpel. It's clear that Shaun has kept this as a comfort to him ever since that day.
In the hospital cafeteria, Dr. Glassman is giving Dr. Murphy some food before he goes to talk to Dr. Melendez about Shaun. Dr. Melendez tells Aaron that he does not think Shaun can handle the pressures of being a surgeon.
Claire comes up to Shaun in the cafeteria and is very friendly to him. She asks him if he needs help getting used to his new place, but Shaun only has one question. He wants to know why she is suddenly being nice when she was so rude earlier. Dr. Glassman comes to get Shaun for the board meeting before Claire can answer. She is obviously upset by the question.
In the board room, Marcus is upset that they are reopening the vote when everyone agreed that they would not hire Shaun. Dr. Glassman says that if Shaun doesn't prove himself within 6 months, he will be fired and Dr. Glassman will resign as president of the hospital.
Another board member asks Shaun why he wants to be a surgeon. In the final flashback of the episode, Shaun and his younger brother are playing in an abandoned warehouse with other boys. Shaun and his brother climb on top of a train car, but the brother slips off and falls to his death.
Shaun explains that he wants to be a surgeon because he couldn't save his rabbit and his brother, but he wants to save others. He also wants money so he can buy a television. The board hires Shaun, and Shaun appears overwhelmed with excitement.
In the final scene, Dr. Melendez is going into surgery. Shaun is able to scrub in and helps him suction. However, Dr. Melendez tells him that is all he'll ever be able to do in his OR because he doesn't think Shaun belongs at the hospital. Shaun asks him if that arrogance helps him as a surgeon or hurts him as a person.