Criticism: ‘The Good Doctor’, season 5 closes with Shaun Murphy’s “yes, I do” and a shocking cliffhanger

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Shaun Murphy and Lea Dilallo are finally husband and wife. After a season paving the way and putting the couple through one obstacle after another, The Good Doctor Had a wedding on your own terms and surrounded by their loved ones. The happiness did not last long, however: David Shore decided to surprise the audience with a brutal cliffhanger that will leave fans of the series with a bittersweet taste.

Let’s start with the good news. Shaun and Lea closed the most important horizontal plot of the season, and perhaps of the entire series: a sentimental story that shows that the protagonist can have a life as full as anyone despite autism. The Good Doctor it is a story about hopeas its creator has said on several occasions, but the scriptwriters have once again surprised us by squeezing the romantic life of their protagonist with interesting narrative results.

In season 4, the series dared to explore the illusion of an unexpected pregnancy that turned to tragedy when a health problem with the baby made it impossible for the fetus to reach term. The sequel to her decided to look back and revisit from a new perspective one of the most shocking and narratively conflicting moments of the series: the conversation in which Lea confessed that she did not want to be Shaun’s girlfriend because she was autistic.

Shaun and Lea’s wedding was the main plot of ‘The Good Doctor’ S5.

In his third installment, The Good Doctor put on the table a question that many were asking themselves from home: how do prejudices and fears work in a relationship between a neurodivergent person and a neurotypical person? The dilemma returned at the least expected moment, when Shaun and Lea agree to participate in a reality show specialized in atypical weddings with two objectives in mind: that the wedding is free and that the world sees that another type of love is possible.

The show-within-a-series plot served to breathe new life into the format and re-explore an unpleasantly human episode in Shaun and Lea’s relationship. The writers’ ability to maintain interest in the romantic plot main series for four years without abusing romantic triangles (which almost never go anywhere) or unnecessary twists it is worthy of applause and a surprise considering that Lea has almost always moved on the margins of the narrative universe of fiction.

The next natural step for The Good Doctor is to show how Shaun, a person marked by his traumatic relationship with his family, faces fatherhood. As usual in the series, autism is one of the factors that mark the path of its protagonist, but not the only one.

Hill Harper and Rachel Bay Jones.

Hill Harper and Rachel Bay Jones.

The almost total protagonist of the wedding plot in the second half of the season of the wedding of Shaun and Lea has counteracted the great gamble of The Good Doctor in his first half for the plot of the new owners of the hospital. The inclusion of the controversial figure of Salen (a playful character that Rachel Bay Jones met with a refreshingly wry, but never resentful look) was a narrative shock, albeit its hasty closure left a bad taste in my mouth.

With everything we’ve seen in his ten-episode arc, it makes no sense for Salen to throw in the towel so quickly when he discovers that even Andrews, his partner, is against his management. The closure of the story was not up to what was built up to then.

The wedding celebration brought Claire back after the voluntary abandonment of actress Antonia Thomas at the end of the fourth season. When she announced her departure, the Englishwoman insisted that she had left on good terms and that she would have no problem returning to the series in the future. We did not have to wait too long to meet again with the other heart of The Good Doctor.

Antonia Thomas returned as Claire in 'The Good Doctor'.

Antonia Thomas returned as Claire in ‘The Good Doctor’.

In addition to the reunion with her best friend, the script recovered the (supposed) Achilles heel that always haunted the doctor during her formative years: her kindness and empathy with patients. Audrey Lim, a companion in mourning after the death of Neil Melendez, questioned whether she had what it takes to occupy a leadership position at the head of a department as competitive and complex as Surgery.

That conflict served to tie in with the big final twist of the season of The Good Doctor, a series that historically has fled from that kind of fireworks more typical of Grey’s Anatomy: the savage assault suffered by Audrey and Villanueva by the nurse’s violent ex-partner while the rest of the hospital celebrates Shaun and Murphy’s wedding on another floor. Although the writers had paved the way for that ending during the last few episodes, surprise than the tragic turn remember both one of the most shocking moments of a classic and emergencies.

In the last moments of the sixth season of a series that is about to hit HBO Max, Deputy Carter and Resident Lucy were brutally attacked by a patient in similar circumstances. While workers at Chicago’s County General were celebrating a Valentine’s party, the two doctors were stabbed to death by a patient who didn’t want to be in the ER. Hours earlier, Carter and Lucy had argued over the treatment of their future attacker, leaving a feeling of tension between the two.

Villanueva and Lim star in the shocking cliffhanger of the season.

Villanueva and Lim star in the shocking cliffhanger of the season.

Changing a few minor details (the offender goes from being an ex-partner to a patient and the reasons for the tension between the two victims are different), the concept is surprisingly similar. How Shore and company handle the twist remains to be seen, but (assuming the character won’t lose his life in the attack) it’s surprising to see a series as bright as The Good Doctor giving such a strong trauma to Lim shortly after recovering from the post-traumatic stress disorder he suffered after dealing with the coronavirus crisis.

The end of This is us after six seasons he has left The Good Doctor as the last great phenomenon of active generalist fiction. Even though the medical series it has already passed its equator and the inevitable ups and downs of a fiction that has 94 episodes behind it at a time when the audience prefers shorter stories, Shaun Murphy remains reason enough to revisit San Jose St. Bonaventure next year..

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Criticism: ‘The Good Doctor’, season 5 closes with Shaun Murphy’s “yes, I do” and a shocking cliffhanger


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