The Good Doctor season 6 episode 11 recap: what kind of parent do you want to be?

Freddie Highmore and Paige Spara kneel over a dog in The Good Doctor
Freddie Highmore and Paige Spara in The Good Doctor (Image credit: ABC/Jeff Weddell)

NOTE: this post contains spoilers for The Good Doctor season 6 episode 11, "The Good Boy."

Responsibility, love and the sacrifice that comes with parenting are the big lessons learned The Good Doctor season 6 episode 11, which originally aired on January 30.

Shaun (Freddie Highmore) and Lea (Paige Spara) witness a hit and run involving a dog while they're on Lea's babymoon. They take the dog to the vet, where they are told the dog needs surgery. Without the dog’s owners being present, Lea convinces Shaun to pay for the surgery. Dealing with a sick dog amplifies the anxiety that Lea has about becoming a mother, and also forces her and Shaun to confront the differences they have about parenting. 

Dr. Glassman (Richard Schiff) gets involved as a medical expert, suggesting alternative surgical options to repair the dog's incontinence. He also advises Shaun to talk to Lea about her underlying anxieties and insecurities about becoming a mother. The couple talk about patterning the parenting styles of their parents, discussing their own insecurities. Dr. Glassmans also talks to Lea, sharing his experiences with his own daughter and explaining that worrying as a parent is normal.

Eventually, the dog's owners are found. 

Back at the hospital, a father comes into the ER with multiple puncture wounds after an accident on the job. His only family is his 16-year-old son. The patient develops complications during the surgery and a lifesaving decision involving a possible amputation needs to be taken. Dr. Park (Will Yun Lee) and Dr. Reznick (Fiona Gubelman) decide to ask for his son's input, who suggests amputation if it gives his dad a better chance of survival. 

Dr. Park ultimately takes the riskier route, justifying his decision by explaining that as a parent, the patient would want to preserve the option to continue working so that he can care for his son. The father survives the surgery and retains the function of his arm. His son is swamped with guilt about suggesting amputation. The father responds by reassuring him that just being there for him is most important. 

Dr. Park apologizes to Dr. Reznick about his abrasive manner in vetoing the amputation. He confides he's feeling more like he's losing his son as he gains independence. Dr. Reznick in turn confides about her unsuccessful implantation of her IVF treatment. 

Dani (Savannah Welch) gets home after working a night shift to find a former Navy colleague at her doorstep suffering from a gunshot wound. Dani wants to follow procedure and take him to the hospital, but because of his parole stipulation, reporting the gunshot wound would likely trigger a parole violation and result in him going back to prison, meaning another lengthy separation from his daughter. The wound is more serious than Dani initially thought and she needs help treating. 

She calls Asher (Noah Galvin) for advice, ultimately having to confide in him about the situation. He tries to convince her to take her friend to the hospital to no avail. Dani's stubborn streak is on display, as she refuses to follow protocol in her quest to protect her friend. He agrees to talk her through the procedure. 

Dr. Lim (Christina Chang) shows up to check in on Dani and discovers the unauthorized surgical procedure in process. Dani confides that her friend was first on the battlefield when she lost her leg. After relenting, mainly out of gratitude to Dani for supporting her while she was wheelchair bound, Dr. Lim agrees to help. Talking with the patient, he explains how he is getting help for his PTSD and wants nothing more than a second chance with his family. 

The patient eventually develops complications and needs to go to the hospital. Dr. Lim bends procedure by misplacing the bullet, negating the need for involving the police. However, after consultation with Dr. Andrews (Hill Harper), she agrees that while Asher deserves a written reprimand, Dani needs to be removed from the surgical internship program. Dani accepts the repercussions with no regrets after finding out that her friend won't be going back to prison and can stay with his family.

The episode ends with Lea and Shaun feeling more confident heading into parenthood and Dani taking solace in seeing her friend bonding with his daughter post-surgery.

New episodes of The Good Doctor air on Mondays on ABC, then are available to stream the next day on Hulu.

Taayoo Murray

Taayoo Murray is a New York City transplant who is a full-time boy mom, freelance writer, and teen goal-setting coach. She's also a published author of the interactive workbook, "Making Me Happen." She has been published in Health, Business Insider, HuffPost Wellness, Livestrong, Yahoo Life and others. When not working, Taayoo enjoys hanging with her three best friends and drinking white wine.