[The following contains spoilers for the Season 4 premiere of The Good Doctor. Read at your own risk!]
The Good Doctor is back! And while we are happy to see Dr. Shaun Murphy back to treating patients and the doctors of St. Bonaventure Hospital making us feel safe on a weekly basis, the premiere was an anxiety-fueled look at what real-life doctors have been dealing with for the majority of 2020 as they work on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. Starting the season by addressing the biggest health crisis of the modern age was very intentional on the part of the creative team behind the show.
“The world has changed dramatically since since we last saw The Good Doctor, since the last episode aired. Of course, we felt and David [Shore, executive producer] felt like he wanted to reflect that reality on the show,” series star and executive producer Freddie Highmore said of the season’s opening episodes. “I think for all of us, and certainly for me, the most important thing that we are doing by having the coronavirus be a part of these first two episodes is paying tribute to the real doctors. I think we’d be doing a disservice to them and the reality that they’ve lived over the last few months if we were to just somehow ignore it and continue on in a different world. It really is put into perspective, the fact that we only are pretending to be real doctors, but the people who are genuinely putting their lives at risk every single day deserve that tribute and deserve to be recognized for this huge undertaking that they’ve been forced to deal with over the last few months.”
Each doctor on the show faces different difficulties due to the virus. Lim (Christina Chang) as Chief of Surgery is in a constant battle to get medical supplies for testing and treating patients. Claire (Antonia Thomas) struggles with all of the death around her, reminding her of losing Melendez (Nick Gonzalez) mere weeks before the pandemic really set in. Glassman (Richard Schiff) has to act as president of a hospital in crisis while unable to leave his house because he’s part of an at-risk age group. Morgan (Fiona Gubelmann) adjusting to life as an internist instead of a surgeon. Andrews (Hill Harper) returns home every night to sleep in the garage to avoid the risk of passing the virus to his wife. Shaun, too, deals with trying to balance a new relationship where he’s not allowed to see his girlfriend due to his risk of exposure.
Even though the virus is affecting every aspect of the lives of the doctors at the hospital and the people closest to them, Highmore says the pandemic will not be the central storyline for Season 4.
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Freddie Highmore, The Good Doctor
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