Tuesday, December 04, 2018

"The Good Doctor" Season 2: "Empathy" and "Quarantine" episodes



I haven’t watched Season 2 of “The Good Doctor” after the “Hello” introduction, because of conflict with NBC’s “Manifest”, which in turn waited for some PBS POV films.
  
Last night the winter finale, “Quarantine” played, but in the DC area it was pre-empted (until 1:30 ASM) by Redskins football (a loss and another quarterback with another broken leg). So I watched Episodes 9 and 10 today on ABC. 

Episode 9 was called “Empathy”.  Because of the way Shaun’s brain works, his empathy is distant and intellectual.  He is “different” but not “special” and socially equal.  Yet, he still seems like a benevolent extraterrestrial, with more moral integrity than humans.

But as the episode begins, Shaun (Freddie Highmore) tells his mentor, Dr. Glassman (Richard Schiff), who is undergoing radiation for a brain tumor, that he (Glassman) must surrender his driver’s license.  That is indeed possible: a doctor can inform a state DMV that a patient is no longer fit to drive. Later in the episode, Shaun finally gets his own driver’s license and has trouble applying strict rules in practice when driving his girl friend.

The episode also features a male-female transgender patient who looks make. But the self-medication has created a life-threatening crisis, which creates more dilemmas in the plot that the Left will not like.  Physically, the only change that happens in the course of the episode is that his chest hair melts away. 
    
The pre-Christmas finale, “Quarantine” (the same as the title of a 2008 horror film (cf blog, Oct. 11, 2008) is a wild melee with a cliff-hanger at the end to return in 2019.


A couple of patients show up in the emergency room, having been on a long international flight. Shaun quickly figures out that they may have a contagious disease, and soon the entire emergency room and much of the hospital is quarantined and locked down.  One person is knocked out with a needle to keep him from leaving. The disease (despite starting with a psoriatic rash) turns out to be a kind of SARS (although the type of virus, a corona virus, that can cause it usually just causes laryngitis or mild bronchitis). Soon of the male doctors gets it and dies. There is also a young man waiting for a bone marrow transplant for leukemia, and the quarantine threatens him with the inability to do it after the whole body radiation to knock out his current immune system was done (on camera).

At the same time, there is another patient with a bowel obstruction. Shaun gives him a saline enema, which works for a while, but then the patient vomits over another patient.  On to graphic surgery, with part of the hospital cut off by quarantine.

The episode also shows that Shaun becomes distracted by a malfunctioning fluorescent light that no one else can hear – right out of a David Lynch movie.

They teach screenwriters to create dire situations with rooting interests!
  
I think that the writers should give Shaun a cat at home.  Maybe a bobcat should befriend him and want to look after him. Cats actually do this.

Update: Jan 19, 2019

The second half of the season (after the "All-Star Break") continued with "Quarantine Part 2" on Jan. 12.  Not much was said about the virus.  But Dr. Murphy completes a C-section and saves the baby (with the help of a non-medical person in the secured area) and mother (after refusing to choose the mother first), after having a blackout caused by flickering lights. 

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