[Warning: The following contains spoilers from the Season 3 finale of The Good Doctor. Read at your own risk!]
Disaster has hit San Jose on The Good Doctor, and no one is safe as we head into the second part of the Season 3 finale next week. The staff of St. Bonaventure was called to action when an earthquake hit the city, and more specifically brought down a brewery opening that Melendez (Nicholas Gonzalez), Glassman (Richard Schiff), and Lea (Paige Spara) were all attending. While Melendez and Glassman made it through the first wave of the quake relatively unscathed, Lea fell through the floor and was trapped under the rubble when Lim (Christina Chang) and the rest of the team were called in to help.
When Shaun (Freddie Highmore) realized that Lea was in danger, he leaped into laser-focused action to save her, despite the fact that the last time he saw her, he had screamed in her face that she deserved to be alone forever. Instead of finding his ex-roommate though, Shaun found another woman deep beneath the rubble, and she was trapped with a steel rod going through an artery in her leg. Shaun couldn’t move her without risk of the patient bleeding out, so they spent a lot of time making small talk, including Shaun explaining why he was so dogged about his feelings for Lea and everything she had done for him — a confession Lea heard over a walkie-talkie belonging to rescuers who found her in a separate part of the brewery. However, things became dire when Shaun radioed over that water had started to flood his whereabouts, and there was no escape in sight.
The eponymous good doctor wasn’t the only one in immediate danger at the end of the episode. Melendez thought the initial shock of the quake only bruised him, and he spent most of the episode saving other patients. However, he was internally bleeding the entire time, and he collapsed as the aftershocks of the quake arrived. He was still unconscious as the episode came to a close, with Claire (Antonia Thomas), who only just realized she’s in love with him, screaming for help over his body.
If you thought it was any safer back at the hospital, think again. Morgan (Fiona Gubelmann) was left to handle the ER as Glassman and Andrews (Hill Harper) handled incoming surgeries. With no other surgeons available, Morgan was forced to unwrap her bandages from her recent arthritis surgery to scrub in on an ectopic pregnancy gone very, very wrong. The rash move may end up costing Morgan her entire surgical career if she does permanent damage to her fragile hands.
With everyone’s fates up in the air, TV Guide spoke to The Good Doctor executive producer David Shore about who we should be the most worried about and what we can expect from the season’s final episode.
Who should we be the most worried about right now?
David Shore: We are throwing a lot of crises at you, and there are four crises that are still ongoing as the final episode of the season starts. I’m not going to tell [which one is worse]. They’re all crises, and they all could turn out very badly. They all are opportunities for people to be heroes. That’s as much as I’m going to say.
Lea heard Shaun’s speech about her over the walkie-talkie before the water started pouring in. Will that spring her into action in the way Shaun jumped to save her in the first half?
Shore: He threw a lot at her in the episode before this crisis. She has to ask herself a lot of questions about herself, but also about Shaun, about who Shaun is, and the fundamental questions in this series. What are Shaun’s weaknesses? What are Shaun’s strengths? I think that’s what we’re constantly asking ourselves about ourselves, about the people we love, and about people that we might love. What are their weaknesses? What are their strengths? What can they offer me? What can’t they offer? What do I need in a relationship? What can I get, and what can I offer? Seeing Shaun in this setting, and seeing what he is facing, and seeing how he responds, and feeling her reaction to it, helps her answer those questions.
Melendez collapses at the end of the episode. What is that going to do to Claire, who has just accepted her feelings for him?
Shore: Confronting these moments and confronting so many issues of mortality — as we saw in the first half, and we’ll continue to see in the second half — pushes things to the fore and forces Claire to deal with her feelings. I know that sounds vague…We’ve been hinting at that for a long time. We all sit around and hem and haw and wonder, “Should I do something? Should I make this change? Should I do that?” It’s all well and good to think about that and go to work in the morning and come back and think about it some more. That can go on for months and months, but sometimes something happens in your life that makes you realize you have to do it now.
This emergency is touching every member of our staff. How is this earthquake going to change the doctors at St. Bonaventure?
Shore: Well, that’s Season 4. You got to tune in, and we’ve got to sit down and map it all out. But absolutely, this is bringing an awful lot of stuff to the fore. I think it’s going to change the dynamics between a lot of people going forward. Andrews and Morgan were dealing with stuff. I think that Lim and Claire…it’s going to just change who they are individually and who they are in relation to each other.
Knowing that you’ve been renewed for Season 4, are we going to have a huge cliffhanger in the finale, or is this earthquake situation going to be resolved?
Shore: It resolves things, but in a way that is less about the resolution and more about what’s next, and setting up the questions that we want to deal with next year.
The Good Doctor continues next Monday at 10/9c on ABC