Where Did We Leave Off on ‘The Good Doctor’?

Richard Schiff and Freddie Highmore, The Good Doctor
ABC/Art Streiber

The Good Doctor will see you now. The ABC medical drama’s fourth season resumes January 11 with “Lim,” focusing on the eponymous doctor’s struggles with the emotional ravages of the COVID-19 crisis. To help you catch up, we recap all the complications of November’s midseason finale, “Fault.”

In that episode, Shaun (Freddie Highmore) gives the newbie residents Olivia (Summer Brown) and Asher (Noah Galvin) some independence — arguably too much independence — at the advice of Lim (Christina Chang). Asher, distracted by Olivia’s stroke patient, fails to notice that his own patient, a middle-aged ballet dancer named Carlo, has an aneurysm. Carlo’s aneurysm ruptures just as Asher is discharging him, and the team has to rush the guy into emergency surgery.

Shaun, frustrated by his leadership misstep, spends that night reading management books and watching TED Talks, and he returns to the hospital with a long list of skills for Asher and Olivia to learn.

Asher ends up bonding with Carlo, who is also a gay man with a religious past — and who even says he’s honored to be Asher’s first patient. Racked by guilt, Asher confesses his misdiagnosis to Carlo, but Carlo doesn’t seem mad. He simply asks him to say a prayer on his behalf. Carlo has to go under the knife again when he develops a second aneurysm, and despite Asher, Lim, and Shaun’s best efforts, he dies on the table.

Afterward, Shaun commiserates with a distraught Asher and seeks counsel with Glassman (Richard Schiff), who tells him that there will be days when he’s not successful as a mentor or a doctor. Glassman offers Shaun simple advice: “You go home. You be with the people you love. You take comfort in that. And then you wake up tomorrow and start all over again.” With that in mind, Shaun goes to the home he now shares with girlfriend Lea (Paige Spara), curls up with her in bed, and tells her he’s glad she’s there with him.

During all this drama, Park (Will Yun Lee), Claire (Antonia Thomas), Enrique (Brian Marc), and Jordan (Bria Samoné Henderson) are treating a patient named Ellie, whose intense headaches turn out to be a symptom of the dermoid cyst — a bundle of teeth, hair, and fat — in her brain. The docs remove the mass, but the operation leaves Ellie with retrograde amnesia. And she loses even more memory in the follow-up operation — so much so that she forgets all about her relationship with a man named Zane, whom she’s been seeing during her marriage to a fellow named Brendan. After the second operation, Zane leaves Ellie, and Brendan decides to forgive her and try to rebuild their relationship.

Oh, and speaking of Park, he and Morgan (Fiona Gubelmann) spend the episode investigating each other’s romantic histories now that they room together. They both find mementos from each other’s past relationships: a stuffed parrot belonging to him and a Gronkowski jersey belonging to her. In an effort to move on from their pasts, they set fire to the parrot and the jersey. (No stuffed animals were harmed in the making of this episode, we presume.)


The Good Doctor, Season 4 Winter Premiere, Monday, January 11, 10/9c, ABC