After a wildly successful and acclaimed first season, The Good Doctor Season 2 Episode 1, “Hello,” falls a little flat.
Going into the premiere, there was a high level of anticipation for greatness. While the episode does deliver on the depth and character development we’ve come to expect, overall, it isn’t really all that exceptional.
“Hello” is Dr. Jared Kalu’s goodbye. While that is certainly heartbreaking and creates quite a few emotional scenes, it doesn’t really leave us caring about these doctors any more than we did after the The Good Doctor Season 1 finale.
It is expected with each new season that a show will expand and build upon character developments previously established. Unfortunately, The Good Doctor merely stagnates in its new season’s debut.
Part of the problem could be Freddie Highmore taking the reins as a writer for this episode. Another issue could stem from the lack of direction for growth in general.
Dr. Kalu leaving makes me sad, but it also makes me angry. This show is really great at demonstrating growth in many of their characters, but Dr. Kalu never got the opportunity to be anything more than what he started out as.
All last season, his development was sidelined in favor of more compelling characters, like Dr. Browne and Dr. Melendez. While I don’t begrudge these characters (in fact I love them), I do begrudge the unfair amount of focus they received.
It is clear in “Hello” that Jared could have been a great friend and mentor to Shaun and his other peers if given the chance.
The writers clearly try to rectify this mistake both in “Hello” and on The Good Doctor Season 1 Episode 18, “More.” Regrettably, it is too little too late.
While I love the dynamic between Shaun and Dr. Browne, I would have preferred the one between him and Jared. Is it bad I kind of want Shaun to follow Jared to Denver?
It’s just that Jared has always had Shaun’s back — no matter what. He’s one of the few people who have.
Jared: I couldn’t be prouder to back him. Because he sticks to his gut.
That faith in Shaun carries over into Shaun’s faith in Jared. All through Season 1, we saw glimmers of Shaun’s trust. It was never fully realized, but the glimmers were there just the same.
Now, here we are at the end of Jared’s time, and we finally get a moment of real communication between them. They only thank each other, but the level of love and trust is so thick it gives me hope that the episode isn’t a complete wash.
After all, Dr. Andrews’ chief complaint about Shaun is his lack of communication skills. If anything, this episode proves he is more than adept at communicating, even if it isn’t always verbal.
Shaun: Don’t worry, Jared. You’re young. You have plenty of time to realize your potential somewhere else.
In his own way, Shaun finally tells Jared just how much the young doctor means to him. It is just enough connection and compassion to save “Hello” from being entirely unmemorable.
Even the introduction of Lisa Edelstein as Dr. Blaize couldn’t brighten the episode enough to save it. She, of course, is incredible, but The Good Doctor has yet to give us a reason to care about her.
Based on what we’re given, she’s just another face in a sea of doctors. The line about her past addiction problem seems out of place and unnecessary.
We are left wondering, why does Dr. Blaize matter? What makes her worth our time? Hopefully, the show will begin to answer that soon.
Honestly, the entire episode feels like it’s the writers saying, “What character have we not talked about lately? OK, let’s put them in there.”
Dr. Kalu is leaving? Let’s give him a fantastic send-off to show how great a doctor and friend he is.
The fans felt cheated with him? Oh, well. We at least gave you something!
Dr. Glassman needs an oncologist? Okay, let’s give him an ex-addict who is the top in her field but not give even one reason why we should trust her.
Things aren’t chaotic enough in Shaun’s life? Let’s have Lea drop back in on the worst possible day.
This is not to say I don’t like and appreciate Paige Spara or Lisa Edelstein. I just don’t appreciate the lack of care the writers and creators seem to have given their characters.
There is still a full season ahead of us, so I am not going to completely count The Good Doctor out just yet, but I’m definitely going into the next episode with a bit more skepticism.
- The chemistry between Richard Schiff and Freddie Highmore is still very much alive. Without words, these two can speak volumes.
- Dr. Andrews needs to take a step back and re-evaluate his priorities. Becoming president has made him less compassionate.
- “It’s hard saying goodbye. Doesn’t mean it was a mistake.” Words to live by, courtesy of one Dr. Jared Kalu.
- Dr. Melendez basically telling Dr. Andrews to shove it is oddly satisfying.
What did you think of this episode of The Good Doctor? Share your thoughts in the comments below! Catch up with our review of The Good Doctor Season 1 Episode 18, “More,” right here.
The Good Doctor airs Mondays at 10/9c on ABC.
Want more from Tell-Tale TV? Subscribe to our newsletter here!