The Good Doctor Argentina on Twitter (@TheGoodDoctorAr) is currently running a ’20 Days Countdown to The Good Doctor Season 5’, and on Day 14 it’s time to take a closer look at episode 4×14 Gender Reveal.
Patient #1 is Bradley “The Body” Vargas, an MMA Weight Class fighter who comes in with a rather sizeable contusion to this chest. He’s being seen by Morgan, Alex and Asher. Morgan wants to drain the haematoma, but he asks to do it somewhere private, for the simple reason that he has peck implants that he doesn’t want anyone to know about.
They find out that Bradley has breast cancer, which should be taken out and followed up with chemotherapy. Bradley is worried about having to remove his peck implants, because it would have a negative effect on his career. During the course of treatment, they conclude he will have to have a full mastectomy, and Bradley isn’t happy about it. He’ll lose his sponsors, and his career will be over if he can’t have the peck implants. He refuses the surgery.
Park makes a stand and gives Bradley an inspiring speech that he’s not letting down his fans by being honest about the real fight he’s now fighting, and it resonates with Bradley. He finally agrees to the mastectomy. Because sometimes you have to do what’s better for yourself than what’s better for your fans or your career. And the two don’t always have to be mutually exclusive.
Patient #2 is Jean Starzak (Diane Farr ftw!) who is in the hospital for hip replacement surgery. She’s a Navy fighter pilot and there with her pregnant daughter Tory. Her blood pressure inexplicably drops during surgery, and they try to figure out why.
They can’t find a cause, however, but Jean’s blood pressure bottoms out again when she tries to walk on her new hip. During a subsequent exam, Jean starts to seize as well, and her symptoms are getting more confusing because all her tests are normal. She had some other symptoms in the past, but her internist attributed them to menopause and didn’t deem them important enough to even note in her chart.
Shaun then seeks out Jean’s internist and confronts him about Jean’s symptoms. There’s two others patients there who can listen to the whole exchange, as well as the receptionist. Yo, Shaun. We know you must know what HIPAA is. What are you doing? Shaun should really know better than to disclose medical details to others without the patient’s consent, especially if the patient’s name is mentioned. Not cool and clearly a breach of work ethics.
During their research, Jordan comes across posts on Reddit that talk about symptoms similar to Jean’s, and that prompts Claire, Jordan and Shaun to look on social media and in blogs for answers, rather than official literature. In the healthcare sector, we call that Real World Evidence these days, and data mining like this can be a powerful tool.
Claire finally finds an answer on social media: Parkinson’s disease. And that’s a really huge blow. It’s a diagnosis you really don’t want to hear. Incurable, slowly progressing, and continuously taking away control over your own body. Sure, it’s manageable, but I feel for Jean and her daughter. They have a hard path ahead of them, and it also means that Jean has to give up her career as a fighter pilot.
Jean’s story has parallels with Shaun and Lea’s situation in this episode. Jean is as much a strong and independent woman as they come, to the point where her daughter felt that showing weakness was not acceptable in their household. Raising your daughter to be tough and autonomous is never a bad thing, but there needs to be a balance.
At the same time, Shaun sees her as somewhat of a role model. He would like his daughter to be like Jean, to have the power to stand up to men and reach all the goals she might set for herself. At the end, when Jean’s daughter allows her mother to accept the help she needs, he decides that he needs to let Lea get the help that she needs for the birth of their daughter.
Shaun & Lea
Shaun and Lea get ready for their day (domestic Shea is so much my jam!), and while Shaun is finishing what we can only assume is cereal, Lea reminds him that they have birthing class that evening. I love the Shaun dialogue here. “… the birthing class that I don’t need on account of my OB rotation in medical school… but where I will learn how to give you the support you need while giving birth to our child.” Chef’s kiss. 👌
While they’re talking, Lea gets an alert that the results of their baby’s blood tests are in. “This will tell us the sex of the baby!” she exuberantly tells him. “I know, on account of my OB rotation in medical school.” Oh Shaun. I love your sense of humour so much!
Shaun isn’t that excited, though, because there can only be two outcomes, and he’s fine with either. What’s so well written here is that, instead of Lea being irked by his indifference, she naturally bridges the gap that Shaun’s autism sometimes presents, and communicates very clearly and positively that she’s excited and wants to share the moment with him, even if he doesn’t feel the same way.
This scene could have very well ended in friction, but instead it plays out wonderfully upbeat and happy, and it just makes me smile, because it has one of all time favourite exchanges from season 4.
It’s also one of those moments where Lea challenges Shaun to step outside of his boundaries, only for him to find out that he didn’t feel or react like he thought he would (re. 4×08 Parenting: “Lea challenges me to try things, even things I know I won’t like, because it’s not always better to stop and think.”). Because it turns out Shaun does care about the gender of the baby. He’s just as enthusiastic and eager as Lea when they learn they’re going to have a daughter.
Cue my all-time favourite dialogue from this episode, possibly the whole season: When Lea tells him their baby is going to be a girl, he asks, “Would you like to paint the nursery pink?” Lea gives him a srsly? look. “No! This isn’t the 50’s!” The two of them here make me smile so much! (It’s so hard not to let this turn into daily Paige Spara and Freddie Highmore gushing extravaganza, but honestly, you two… Stop it.)
Also sweet that they changed the title theme music that immediately follows this scene to something fun and upbeat. They do that every now and then. It’s a lovely touch.
As sweet as this exchange is, things get real awkward real quick during birthing class. Shaun is the most terrible masseur, and Lea is clearly uncomfortable with what he’s trying to do when they ask the partners to massage the mothers’ backs. She eventually asks him to stop and just sit. The class instructor is doling out pieces of advice, which are repeatedly challenged by Shaun in his usual obliviously blunt manner, and it railroads the whole birthing class. He ends up getting both Shaun and Lea ejected for good. Whoops.
Lea starts looking into getting a doula, which Shaun absolutely isn’t comfortable with. He want to be there for Lea, he wants to be her support system. Why would she need someone else if she has him? So when Lea breaks the news to him, he isn’t receptive at all. Instead, he tries to somewhat misguidedly countersteer the whole thing by ordering all sorts of equipment and gadgets that can fill the void that he himself is not as adept at. Lea isn’t exactly thrilled.
Shaun goes on a little research spree and crashes an active delivery up in the obstetrics ward. He starts interrogating the patient in the middle of the birth with very personal questions about the delivery and the mother’s feelings, but the treating physician quickly intervenes. “Please page Dr. Glassman.”
The next scene is in Glassman’s office, so I think we can assume that Daddy Glassy had to come pick up disruptive student Shaunie to be taken to the principal’s office. This amuses me. Also means Shaun is well known around the hospital for sometimes being an obnoxious little shit, and that Glassman has taken him under his wing. Heh.
Advice from Dr. Glassman is only marginally helpful for Shaun, because he’s on Lea’s side in this. And what Shaun wants just doesn’t exist. “It’s like you want a red shirt really badly, but it has to be green.” Why can’t Shaun just give Lea what she needs? And if that’s a doula, then why not?
All of this makes Shaun eventually reconsider, because maybe it’s okay to not be good at everything, and maybe it’s okay to accept help for those things that you’re just not good at. He surprises Lea by inviting the doula to their home to talk about their birthing plan. Lea is really touched, and it’s another great moment that shows us how much Shaun has grown and keeps learning.
There’s more really touching dialogue here, because during all his conversations Shaun had with his colleagues, he’s come to realize that, even in today’s world, men are still more privileged and advantaged over women, be it societally or professionally. “The world is harder for women. I want to change that, but I don’t know how.” Lea looks at him reverently. “By being an amazing dad to our daughter. By letting her know that she’s loved and supported. We’ll raise her to be strong.” He gives her a long look. “Like you.”
Another small moment that stood out for me here, and that outlines once again how much Lea understands and can read Shaun, is when the doula asks her if they want her to use frankincense oil. Lea takes one look at Shaun, and even though his disapproval isn’t immediately apparent in his expression, she can tell he won’t like it. So she says no. God, I love them in this episode so much.
The First Year Residents
Asher gets all cute and gushy when they’re treating a very good looking MMA weight class fighter who comes in with a chest contusion. Asher with a celebrity crush is adorable, and I’m digging it.
Alex and Morgan are getting it on, and Morgan thinks their morning sex is almost as good as hot yoga. Morgan clams up when Alex wants to leave his phone charger for next time, but she rejects anything that might imply they could actually having a relationship.
Later on, she actually encourages Alex to date other women. And then, when he does, she gets jealous. Make up your mind, Morgan!