Glassman’s mini-stroke shouldn’t have led to him realizing he couldn’t operate anymore.
On The Good Doctor Season 6 Episode 21, Shaun became a pain in Glassman’s ass, constantly standing over him and insisting he didn’t know what he was doing.
And then, when Glassman was too distracted by Shaun’s nonsense to verbalize his next step, Glassman concluded that Shaun had been right all along to want him to stop doing surgeries.
I get that the writers were going for a moving story about Glassman realizing he could no longer do the things he used to do, but they didn’t pull it off.
Glassman seemed 100% competent until the last second. That’s not a story. That’s the writers pulling the rug out from under us for the sake of the plot.
It would have been one thing if, throughout the season, we’d had a continuing arc involving Glassman seeming to have lost his touch or made mistakes that put his competency in doubt.
Instead, his only problems were minor things that didn’t matter, and Shaun came across as obsessed with proving Glassman’s brain wasn’t functioning well.
The biggest mistake Glassman made was not removing Shaun from the OR observation deck earlier so that Shaun couldn’t distract him. He did a complex surgery perfectly fine, even clamping a bleed that everyone else doubted was coming from where he said it was coming from.
Then Shaun demanded he prove his competence, and he froze. Was that dangerous for the patient? Yes. Was it because Glassman was no longer competent to do surgery? Not at all.
Glassman: I want Shaun off the case.
Lim: It’s his patient.
Glassman: I don’t want to crack someone’s skull open while someone is standing next to me who is waiting for me to screw up.
That happened because Shaun wasn’t leaving him alone, not because he could not do surgery when not distracted by an arrogant resident who was determined to prove him incompetent.
Lim even told Shaun not to observe, yet agreed that Glassman should verbalize his next step when she had been working side by side with him and saw he was competent.
Glassman’s takeaway from this should not have been that Shaun and Lim were right and that it was in his patients’ best interest for him to stop operating.
It should have been that his instinct to remove Shaun from the room was correct and that he should work for a different hospital where people weren’t rooting for him to fail for no reason.
This wasn’t about Shaun seeing something that no one else saw. It was about him being so determined to be right that he created the situation that “proved” his point.
The stupidest thing about this was that Glassman had lost interest in surgeries long ago, but he was pushed back into it.
He had been happy working in his clinic — if people had left him alone, he wouldn’t have been in the OR doing complicated surgeries again, and this issue would never have come up.
Glassman was angry that Shaun was “right but humiliated him.” He should have been furious that Shaun undermined him and made it appear he was incompetent when he wasn’t.
Now, Shaun is going to try to get Glassman to forgive him. So we’re right back where we were at the beginning of the season when Glassman was angry that Shaun didn’t listen to him about which surgery to do on Lim.
That time, Glassman was wrong.
This time, Shaun was.
Either way, this season has had more episodes involving Glassman giving Shaun the silent treatment than not. Can’t the writers find anything better to do with these two?
Shaun’s patient was parallel to the Glassman situation in a different way that was barely touched upon. The patient’s brain tumor had changed his personality for the better, and he didn’t want to have surgery even though Shaun thought that was best for him.
Glassman didn’t think he could do anything about the patient’s decision and initially advocated for him to have a shorter lifespan and a better relationship with his daughter.
It would have been fantastic for this story to help Shaun understand why he needed to leave Glassman alone instead of ending in the contrived way it did.
Glassman: He doesn’t want the tumor removed, so I see nothing to discuss.
Shaun: THe tumor is pressing on his frontal lobes so he is not competent to make that decision.
Glassman: You think I am not competent to be a doctor, so there’s that.
This story was juxtaposed with a depressing story about a terminally ill child and a father who didn’t want to let go.
I cringed when Andrews called Sebastian selfish. He was right, but those were harsh words for a grieving father. Couldn’t Andrews have gotten his point across in a more compassionate way?
The Morgan baby stuff was predictable but cute. I knew Morgan would feel overwhelmed when the excitement over adopting a baby subsided.
Anyone who has had kids could relate to Morgan’s frustration with Eden’s refusal to stop screaming and go to sleep. Morgan is not exactly known as the most patient person in the world, so it was refreshing that she found ways to bond with the baby despite the difficulty.
Park was at his best when telling stories about his experiences when his son was an infant. He and Morgan dropped the sniping, making their time together far more enjoyable.
They almost felt like co-parents. If they can stay like this, I might get behind this couple.
Your turn, The Good Doctor fanatics! Was I the only one who found the Glassman arc aggravating and contrived? Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button to share your thoughts!
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The Good Doctor airs on ABC on Mondays at 10 PM EST / PST. The season finale airs on May 1, 2023.
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.