ABC's The Good Doctor is the new feel-good show in town, delivering a healthy helping of heartfelt drama usually with a happy ending, or at the very least it leaves you feeling like you've learned something.
That winning combination has made it the breakout new show of the fall, and the drama's success is in large part due to Freddie Highmore's measured turn as autistic surgical resident Dr. Shaun Murphy. Each episode manages to deliver a few laughs as Shaun navigates the world of the hospital with communication skills that leave his bedside manner a bit wanting, but there's also an emotional pull in each hour that has led to some of the most rewarding TV moments of the new television season.
We want to celebrate those moments that have made Shaun a quick household favorite.
1. The airport quick fix
We figured out that Shaun was a talented doctor very early into the premiere episode — like the inciting incident of the pilot early. A young boy was knocked unconscious by a broken plate glass window. Shaun not only was able to correct the other doctor on site to adjust where he was holding the boy so the young man could breathe, but he also managed to put together a contraption with a bottle of booze, a straw and a knife stolen from TSA that saved the boy's life. It was then that Shaun proved even if he has his awkward interactions, he's a damn good doctor.
2. That time he noticed the terminal stomach ache
A lot of issues arise for Shaun because of his intense attention to detail and not being able to settle on a diagnosis. He cost the hospital thousands of dollars in Episode 2 to run tests to eliminate theories on patients, but his attention to young Martine's (Britt Loder) stomachache is what saved her life. He actually tracked her down at her house and if he hadn't been there to tell her parents there was something seriously wrong with her, she would have died. Once again, Shaun saved her life.
3. The time he bonded with a liver
There's a liver in that cooler and his name is Oliver, get it? Oliver was meant to save a life of one of Claire's (Antonia Thomas) patients, but it would have been good for no one if Shaun wasn't obsessed with its texture. Our genius doctor massaged that liver until he discovered a blood clot that was killing off the cells. The liver still didn't make it to Claire's patient, but it did eventually find a home once Shaun and Claire performed an emergency side of the road surgery to restore the liver.
4. The time he saved a porn star's sex life
Not all of Shaun's cases are life or death, and his intervention in a young porn star's (Sara Waisglass) case managed to save her future sex life. She thought she had a boil on her labia, but it turned out to be a cyst entrapping an entire nerve. To remove it would mean removing all feelings in her genitals — a practical death sentence for someone that enjoys the feeling of sex so much they've made it a profession. Shaun is maybe the last person you'd expect to have an idea to save a young girl's sex life, but he comes up with the idea that manages to save her career and her enjoyment of intimate company for the rest of her life.
5. The time Shaun was wrong
Even a surgeon with Savant Syndrome can't be right all the time. Shaun's most heartbreaking moment came in the episode, "Point Three Percent," when he became attached to a patient diagnosed with bone cancer that looked uncannily like his deceased brother Billy (Dylan Kingwell). Shaun became obsessed with the case in hopes of finding an alternative diagnosis to hopefully extend the young man's life. He found the alternate explanation for the symptoms, but there was only a point three percent chance that he was right. He fought anyway, and even though this was a battle that he didn't win, he stayed with his new friend and read him a passage from his brother's favorite book. It proved that The Good Doctor isn't just about Shaun being a genius despite his condition, but that he's a man growing up and figuring things out the same as everyone else. Sometimes he's wrong, but he's just trying to make the world a better place with the skills he has.
What's your favorite moment?
The Good Doctor continues Mondays at 10/9c on ABC.