Television

The Good Doctor Season 6 Episode 14 Review: Hard Heart

I was dreading Park’s storyline.

For once, he wasn’t sniping at Morgan for an hour, but his case sounded like it would be as bad as it gets: a young child with a serious brain condition.

But on The Good Doctor Season 6 Episode 14, Nathan’s case had a happy ending, and the story itself wasn’t as emotional as I’d expected.

A story about a young child’s serious illness could have been chilling.

I had a distant relative who had his first brain tumor at five and died in his early 20s, and I expected this story to be as tragic and scary as that. But it wasn’t.

Nathan’s parents were scared for him, especially his father, but The Good Doctor barely focused on them.

Nathan’s Dad: What if it’s the last time I ever talk to him?
Park: I promise I will be as careful with Nathan as if he were my own son.

Nathan’s father worried he would never get to speak to his son again, and his mother was sad that her kid had to sit in a hospital room playing with pill bottles instead of his birthday presents, but these were blink-and-you-miss-them moments.

If anything, the parents’ reactions were understated. Nathan’s mother dealt with his illness mostly on her own, while his father debated whether to leave his volunteer job helping tornado victims in Alabama to come to the hospital.

Even when Rick (Nathan’s dad) had trouble getting home, little emotion was attached. He matter-of-factly told his son that he’d be on a later flight, and that was that.

Maybe this is how it always is in Nathan’s family, and they’re used to Rick being away for long periods. Still, if there’s any time you should drop what you’re doing and be upset if you can’t get home right away, it’s when your four-year-old needs brain surgery.

Nathan’s near-death experience should also have made his parents re-evaluate how they lived, especially if they weren’t spending time with him.

Similarly, while it wouldn’t have been good for Park or Shaun to be so emotional they couldn’t be objective, I expected some feelings about the situation from one or both of them.

Shaun is about to be a father. Park was an absent one similar to Rick. Yet neither had much reaction at all to Nathan’s plight.

The story lacked the sense of urgency and pathos it should have had. The idea was compelling, and I was rooting for Nathan to come out of it all right, but something was missing because the emotions weren’t there.

The moment that stuck most in my mind from this story was Park encouraging Shaun to give into Nathan’s fantasy that his toy dog was having surgery too. That was the strongest display of empathy throughout Nathan’s ordeal; we needed more.

Park got a hug and undying gratitude from Nathan’s parents, but it wasn’t fully earned after the subdued way this story had been handled.

Jordan’s story with her grandmother was more riveting because it had that emotional element that the Nathan story lacked.

Jordan was so desperate to please her grandmother that she undermined Lim’s surgical plan.

Lim: You do not present a patient with a surgical option that I do not think is viable.
Jordan: You’re right. I thought you were being a little too conservative but –
Lim: You are a resident. You don’t get to decide that.

Lim was right to be mad, although she came off as not open to residents’ ideas when she spoke to Jordan. Jordan’s lucky she’s not the next one on probation after the stunt she pulled.

She knew she couldn’t treat her grandmother, but that didn’t stop her from trying or contradicting Lim’s instructions. That’s a serious problem!

Jordan’s grandmother adored her, but her attempt to prepare her for the realities of racism in the workplace made Jordan feel that she wasn’t good enough for her. That was sad!

I’m glad that Perez listened to Jordan’s grandmother and started his own NA meeting, though it will take time to grow.

But what was that ridiculous sequence while he rushed to work at 8 AM instead of 8:01 AM? All that running, dodging, and jumping looked like one of JD’s fantasy sequences from Scrubs!

Also, someone needed to explain to Shaun that being one minute late is not a big deal.

Yes, it’s a hospital, and in the OR, every second counts. But there’s no reason someone arriving less than 60 seconds later than scheduled should be penalized; for all anyone knew, Shaun’s watch was wrong, and Perez was on time!

Still, if his inability to be sixty seconds earlier led to him starting his own Narcotics Anonymous meeting, then Shaun did Perez a favor. Hopefully, word’ll spread and he’ll be able to get more people participating soon.

Finally, Glassman got his own place — right down the hall from Shaun and Lea.

It was time for him to move out. If nothing else, the silly sitcom-like plots needed to go.

This one was especially ridiculous. Glassman took it upon himself to baby-proof the house, and the last straw was Lea being unable to open the toilet when she had to take a late-night pee.

Are childproof toilet locks really that adult-proof? I know pill bottles are, but if adults can’t easily open the toilet, baby-proofing it is counterproductive.

What did you think, The Good Doctor fanatics? Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know!

Don’t forget you can watch The Good Doctor online whenever you’d like.

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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