Will Shaun’s Decision About Carly & Lea Stick on ‘The Good Doctor’?
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 3, Episode 11 of The Good Doctor, “Fractured.”]
Shaun (Freddie Highmore) faced a major decision about his personal life in the winter premiere of The Good Doctor — but once he made it, does that mean that the potential love triangle is over before it ever began? We’re not so sure.
In the fall finale, Shaun had his best friend Lea (Paige Spara), not his girlfriend Carly (Jasika Nicole), return home with him to visit his dying father. Then it was Lea who comforted him, and despite being too uncomfortable when Carly held him, that was not the case here.
“Lying in bed with her, it felt different than it does with Carly,” he shared with Glassman (Richard Schiff) the following morning. Though he insisted he and Lea are just friends, Glassman suggested he figure out exactly what he wanted. But that was a question that Shaun struggled with answering.
As Morgan (Fiona Gubelmann) noted in their conversation, Shaun insisted he didn’t want to break up with Carly but didn’t say he didn’t want to be with Lea. It was Andrews (Hill Harper) who provided Shaun with the most helpful advice. As he explained, he knew his wife was the right woman for him because of “a feeling I had in the pit of my stomach every time I was around her,” he said. “I felt … excited. It’s a cliche, but my heart sped up every time I saw her.”
Off that, Shaun performed an experiment once he got home and sat next to Lea on the couch. It had no effect on his heart rate. Carly, on the other hand, makes him nervous (as he noted on his pros and cons lists for both women).
“It’s different,” he admitted to his girlfriend. “When I’m around you, I want to be impressive to you. I don’t feel like I have to impress Lea like I do you.” However, as she told him later, that doesn’t matter if he can’t talk to her. So, despite Lea suggesting that they not tell anyone she stayed in his hotel room all night, he told Carly what happened with his best friend. Carly needed space after that.
She was ready to speak after work, and they reflected on their first meeting. She was glad he told her the truth, but she admitted that he hurt her. “I worry something like that could happen again,” she said. “I want to be with you, Shaun, but I don’t know how this works if you’re still living with Lea.” Though she went to leave to give him time to think about it, he stopped her by grabbing her hand and telling her, “okay.” “I want to be with you,” he said. “I love you.”
But is Shaun really about to move out (or see if Lea will)? Was this all just pretty much resolved in one episode? Shaun’s patient of the week was hiding her past opioid addiction from her husband, even undergoing surgery without anesthesia because of it. “When you have lost everything but you still manage to find someone who makes you want to get up and live another day, you do whatever you can do hold onto them,” she said.
Is that what Shaun’s doing with Carly, especially since this comes after everything that happened with his parents when he saw them again and his concerns that everyone will leave him?
The Good Doctor, Mondays, 10/9c, ABC