The Good Doctor has achieved such great success in its freshman season in large part due to its hopeful message. It's a feel-good hour of television — unless you watched the penultimate episode.
Heading into Monday's season finale, The Good Doctor fans are stressed. The previous episode ended with Dr. Glassman (Richard Schiff) having some sort of episode while out on a date. The promo for the finale, "More," reveals that Glassman has "the most aggressive kind of brain cancer," which does absolutely nothing to comfort those watching at home.
TV Guide was able to catch up with the cast before their panel during the 2018 Paley Festival to ask them a few burning questions before the big episode. We were able to get some comfort out of them, but this episode is still going to be a rollercoaster ride for everyone watching at home.
How worried should we be about Dr. Glassman?
Richard Schiff (Dr. Glassman): Very...We want you to wonder what's going to happen. It's life or death. It might go well and it might not.
No, really. How bad is it?
David Shore (Executive producer): We want you to worry. He's not going to be dead by the end of the last episode...As I do with all the challenges on the show, I want to treat them seriously. I want them to be real crises for our people and to deal with them. I love Richard Schiff and I want to keep him on the show for a while, though. I'll say that.
Phew. But how is Shaun going to deal with the news?
Shore: That's the question we start the episode with. I've wanted to challenge Shaun throughout the year. When would he make a mistake? What would cause him to make a mistake? What would be too much for him? This is that crucible that we put him on. [Glassman] is the most important man in the world to him and he's being asked to face the mortality of that man.
Freddie Highmore (Dr. Shaun Murphy): It's a personal trauma for Shaun We haven't quite seen him in the present day deal with something emotional on that level. It's interesting to see how he'll react to that...In terms of the finale, we've said all along throughout the year that Shaun is not a superhero. He will make mistakes and at the same time see things that others won't. I think the finale will show two sides of Shaun: the error side of him and also the insightful side.
How is the diagnosis going to disrupt the team?
Antonia Thomas (Dr. Claire Browne): Claire finds out about Dr. Glassman's cancer in the season finale so it's a bit of a bombshell for all of the residents. Going into it, she's currently dealing with the arrival of Morgan and the friction of all of that, the constant friction that she gets from her. [Claire] is deep in that mode when they hear about Dr. Glassman's diagnosis. Then her worry shifts quickly to Shaun and how Shaun is going to deal with that.
Nicholas Gonzalez (Dr. Neil Melendez): In many ways [Glassman] is connected to so many characters. That's a tough loss. Everyone is nervous. This isn't just the president of the hospital. Even Hill's character, Dr. Andrews, who has already had these fights with Gassman, he by no means is in no way happy about this either. What you're going to see in this finale is a team of doctors coming together to try and save their own even when it's terminal and all the odds are stacked against them. I don't see anybody giving up at least.
Will Dr. Andrews use Gassman's diagnosis to try and take over his job?
Hill Harper (Dr. Andrews): He's ambitious, at the end of the day. There's nothing wrong with that. If the opportunity presents itself for him to achieve his goals he will have to do what he needs to do to achieve those goals. People try to say that he's the mean doctor or the bad doctor on The Good Doctor but he's just an ambitious doctor and he thinks he would be the best president of the hospital.
The season finale of The Good Doctor airs Monday at 10/9c on ABC.