Tuesday, February 06, 2018

"The Good Doctor": Shaun is blunt with a transgender patient, and then we see some visual paradox

The Good Doctor” ventured into the subject of gender identity last night in an episode called “She” (ABC link). That, by the way, was the name of a sci-fi film set in Egypt made in the 60s. 

The new episode, directed by Seth Gordon, introduces a teen girl whom Shaun examines and then blurts out (like me at Fort Eustis), “She is not a girl. He is a boy”.

Shaun quickly diagnoses testicular cancer. At the same time, the girl’s grandparents want to remove her from the parents because the parents are too supportive of her new gender identity.

Shaun, you think, could become more supportive with her, since he is different with autism. Toward the end of the episode, he is much kinder to her  The hospital debates whether to remove both testicles since she wants a gender reassignment anyway.  Then there is the ridiculous argument that she will never provide sperm for her own future natural children.

We also learn she was taking medication to delay puberty. She says she doesn’t ever want to have body hair, but Shaun makes the odd comment, “I have some body hair.”  But you can never see it. It’s all too easy for him to scrub his forearms for surgery.  Shaun also announces that he is not a good swimmer (ironically).

In the meantime, there is another male patient who has gotten into trouble by taking left-over antibiotics and become resistant to all of them. They do an appendectomy (even laparoscopically) confounding Jack Andraka’s 2016 “IV crticic” tweet at Stanford when he said online that he needed one (and seemed to be back to normal two days later, which is about right for normal full recovery).  

 But this patient (in the episode) gets sepsis and soon they are proposing a colostomy, for a man 40 years old.

A new female surgeon joins the staff, and she announces she sees the world as a zero-sum game. Soon she will taunt Shaun in future episodes.

“She” apparently comes out of trouble, and the episode concludes in Shaun’s apartment where a male neighbor comes over to watch TV.  You wonder if the (very cis male) neighbor (a new apartment super?) is gay. Shaun asks the neighbor to admit him to the heated pool (it’s winter and normally closed).  We see Shaun floating and meditating, upright, but his body is absolutely hairless. 

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