Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Good Doctor 2x04 Review: "Tough Titmouse" (Personal Responsibility) [Contributor: Araceli Aviles]

"Tough Titmouse"
Original Airdate: October 15, 2018

The theme of this week’s The Good Doctor centered around parents finding the right way to be there for their kids. For the parents of kids in the hospital, decisions are made in the face of fear. However, what about the decisions you already made for a child? What if you regret a choice you made that changed the course of your child’s life? Or worse, what if you don’t, and living with the pain of doing the right thing is harder than anything else? Several parents found themselves in these positions, including one doctor who has kept a very tight lid on his personal life.

Shaun is the one person who could not understand the parental perspective, nor was his storyline directly related to this topic. Shaun’s biggest challenge was getting Lea to talk to him. However, Lea isn’t the only person Shaun has made angry. Dr. Glassman is perturbed, at the very least, when Shaun interrupts his very vivid hallucinations of his late daughter Maddie (The Americans’ Holly Taylor).

It’s difficult to say what would have been easier on Glassman: Shaun disrupting his mentor’s conversation with his dead daughter, or letting this guilt-riddled therapy session reach its conclusion. The latter is what happened, and it was painful to watch. Because as we finally learn the reason Glassman harbors so much guilt over his daughter’s death is because he feels he handled her addiction all wrong. Father and daughter go through the ringer dredging up every argument they ever had, just the way they would have had she survived.

The two main cases of the week dealt with opposite ends of the parent-child dynamics. Dr. Reznick and Brown technically deal with a young adult whose parents take drastic steps to keep their daughter from extreme sports. In that case, no one won because an arguable overreaction was in direct reaction to an underreaction.

Shaun deals with a teen with Fragile X Syndrome whose mother decides she no longer has the energy to take care of him on her own. But while this case seems more closely relatable to Shaun, especially given his flashbacks to his time in a foster home, the case is actually closer to Dr. Melendez. As we learn in this hour, Melendez also has a disabled sister who is also in a group home. True, she seems to receive the finest care he can provide her. But there’s no easy way to understand the pain both child and caretaker feel when your own best isn’t enough. Through his sister, we got to see a new depth to Melendez and why personal responsibility is such an important part of his character.

What this hour was really about is that personal responsibility doesn’t end when a child reaches adulthood, and it shows fewer discrepancies than we think between “healthy” children and those with a sickness or disability. That kind of weight stays with you. But taking full responsibility sometimes means admitting you can’t do it alone. Glassman made that mistake, and it took his daughter’s ghost forgiving him to finally regain a little peace.

By the hour’s end, Shaun had to admit his fears to Lea. Shaun was a little too honest with Lea about his pain. All he had to do was pepper his honesty with kindness. That Lea could understand. Still, my jaw was on the floor when Shaun told Lea he rented a two-bedroom for them to share! Go big or go home, right?


Post a Comment