The Good Doctor Season 4 Episode 8 Review: Parenting

Movies/TV

Whew! After a few lackluster stories, The Good Doctor is finally back on track.

I have to admit, I wasn’t sold on a Lea-centered hour, especially when the trailer made it appear that The Good Doctor Season 4 Episode 8 would focus on Shaun meeting Lea’s parents and nothing else.

But this turned out to be one in a series of stories about letting go, worrying, and what it means to be a good parent (or a good friend.)

Lea’s dilemma, on its own, would not have made for strong or interesting drama.

Lea: Remember how I told you my parents drop in unannounced?
Shawn: Hmm
Lea: I just got a text that they’re coming over tomorrow.
Shawn: Okay.
Lea: No, it’s not okay. This isn’t a visit. It’s an ambush.

For one thing, the overbearing parents hating a character’s new boyfriend is an overused trope.

Almost every drama has done it in one way or another, some better than others, and Shaun and Lea struggling with her parents texting her that they have “concerns” wasn’t overly dramatic.

It’s not like they were doing anything to interfere with the relationship. Lea’s feelings were hurt, but she could have ignored their opinion, thanked them for their concern without acting on it, or otherwise just gone on with her life.

So maybe it makes me callous and unempathetic, but Lea’s feelings being hurt that her parents said something she didn’t agree with doesn’t rate highly on my list of dramatic concerns.

And while I don’t think her parents should get to dictate who she goes out with, I do tend to agree with them that she’s not mature enough to be in a serious relationship.

Shaun: Lea, people who meet me are usually uncomfortable and that doesn’t go away.
Lea: How do you deal with that?
Shaun: I try to be patient. Sometimes that works.
Lea: Maybe you’re a more mature person than me because that won’t work for me.

I mean, if she’s going to freak out because her parents have a negative opinion of Shaun after one 20 minute meeting, she’s not independent enough. Sure, it’s annoying, but it’s not the high level drama she’s making it into.

She’s not a teenager anymore and she needs to learn not to let her parents’ opinion matter so damn much.

I did like her conversation with Glassman, though, especially her acknowledgment that he’s the closest thing Shaun has to a father.

And Glassman responded like a father would, too, about how he knows he’s being irrational but he can’t help worrying about Shaun after knowing everything he’s been through.

That’s the best Lea’s going to get, and she should accept that instead of trying to change it.

Olivia: Uncle Marcus, we had a deal. No special attention.
Andrews: That deal is off. You’re struggling.

Lea’s story worked quite nicely as a part of an episode dedicated to the theme of people finding it hard to let go of those they care about, though.

To a degree, Olivia was having the same problem. Andrews was determined to mold her into the kind of doctor he thought she should be, and she went from trying too hard to emulate Jordan to realizing she needs to be her own person.

It’s a shame she needed advice from the always-obnoxious Morgan to figure that out, but eventually she stood up to her uncle in a way that was respectful yet firm, and I applauded her for it.

Olivia’s relationship with Jordan is complicated by their rivalry, too. They are friends and colleagues, yet Olivia is always compared to Jordan and until now has always come up short.

I’m curious about how Olivia’s new attitude will affect her relationship with Jordan and where that goes from here.

I’m also thrilled with the direction The Good Doctor is taking Lim’s post-COVID story.

PTSD is such a misunderstood illness, especially as far as TV writers go. Many writers know little about it other than the fact that combat veterans often develop it, and as a result PTSD stories often end up being based on stereotypes.

In some cases, the writers veer far from the truth, throwing in hallucinations and other things that have nothing to do with PTSD (Yes, I’m looking at you, Days of Our Lives!).

But not here.

Lim’s PTSD was caused by the war-like conditions during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic and her symptoms are subtle enough that the uninitiated person might reasonably assume she’s fine and Claire is being overbearing.

Despite Lim’s mood swings and insistence she’s fine when she clearly isn’t, I’m not sure Claire did the right thing.

Lim seems to be functioning fine at work, for the most part. Claire should avoid going to bars with her and other situations where Lim is likely to get herself into trouble and trigger Claire’s memories of Claire’s mother, but reporting her seems extreme.

Glassman was right that Claire was breaking Lim’s confidence. If there’s substantial reason to think Lim will harm herself or her patients, that’s sufficient grounds to do that.

But despite Lim’s bike accident and her drunken behavior, I’m not sure there is enough proof she’s a danger to anyone for Claire to take that step.

Claire seems to be overstepping, even though she’s right that Lim needs help that she refuses to get.

Lim is not wrong that Claire goes around trying to save everyone, and Claire’s insistence that Lim is just like her mother concerns me.

I’d have rather Claire talked to her own therapist about her worries instead of Glassman. Then, if her therapist encouraged her to report Lim’s behavior at least there would be some basis for it!

The way Lim handled the teenage girl who wanted to be emancipated was clever. Yes, it upset the child, but someone had to show her what emancipation entails.

Despite the poor dynamiocs between her and her father, Daria’s decision to rebel against her dad the second he didn’t give in to what she wanted is fairly typical of adolescents (though most of them don’t have the resources to hire lawyers and try to get themselves emancipated over such disagreements!).

Lim used her knowledge of adolescent psychology to show Daria what being an adult meant in terms of decision making, and that helped wake Daria up.

Good for Lim. There was no need for Claire to confront her over doing her job just because her behavior the night before had been less than admirable.

What do you think, The Good Doctor fans? Is Claire putting her nose in where it doesn’t belong or helping a friend who has become a liability? Did Lea’s parents have a point? And did you enjoy the way Olivia stood up to Andrews?

Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know!

Want to refresh your memory? Just  watch The Good Doctor online right here on TV Fanatic.


The Good Doctor airs on ABC on Mondays at 10 PM EST/PST.

Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on Twitter.

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