NOTE: this post contains spoilers for The Good Doctor season 6 episode 8, "Sorry, Not Sorry."
There's an intricate exploration about working through painful and traumatic emotions and events in The Good Doctor episode "Sorry, Not Sorry." There's also discussion about responding to and recovering from sexual assault.
Dr. Lim (Christina Chang) is finally in a relationship where she appears happy. She however hasn't forgiven Shaun (Freddie Highmore) yet for performing the surgery that caused her paralysis and harbors some resentment. When Shaun seeks out her help for a surgical consultation for a patient that had a surgical towel mistakenly left in them, causing sepsis, she rebuffs him and his attempts to mend their situation.
As far as how the towel was left in the patient's body, her wife was a nurse during the procedure and so she blames her for not taking enough care. Medical complications require a complete hysterectomy. The patient is unconscious so the decision falls to the wife, who agonizes over the decision since she knows her partner wants to carry a pregnancy. Shaun sees the parallel between their relationship and his with Dr. Lim. A decision is needed with the option being saving a life or depriving a loved one of something important to them.
Jordan (Bria Henderson) and Daniel (Brandon Larracuente) have decided to be friends, spending lots of time together, even sleepovers while working. Asher (Noah Galvin) warns her that Daniel may be stringing her along to keep her present in his life while not fulfilling her needs and worrying Jordan may be settling. Jordan brings it up with Daniel, who responds in a non-committal and evasive manner, further confusing Jordan. After their patient's successful surgery, Jordan decides to leave Daniel. But when he kisses her, it leaves her even more confused and invested.
Dr. Andrews (Hill Harper) takes on the surgery of a teen girl dealing with facial malformations. She's hesitant about getting the surgery because she doesn't want scars and to shave her hair. Dr. Andrews explains his procedure to avoid this and she agrees. He later tries to hand the surgery off to another doctor because of a conflict in his schedule. His head nurse refuses, saying the patient trusts him and that he has to tell her in person why he can no longer perform her surgery. He threatens to use a different nurse going forward but the nurse tells him about the impact his personal attention made in her own recovery from surgery. Dr. Andrews relents, doing the surgery himself and even braiding his patient's hair post-op. The experience reminds him of why he went into medicine and he thanks the nurse for the nudge.
Elsewhere, a disoriented patient suffering from physical trauma wanders into the ER. Her care team comprises Dr. Alex Park (Will Yun Lee), Dr. Reznick (Fiona Gubelmann), Jordan and Daniel. As a recovering addict, Daniel interprets her pupil dilation and loss of memory for drug use. Dr. Reznick reprimands him, advising he wait for the results of a tox screen. Initial examination by Jordan reveals extensive bruising across her body but the patient doesn't remember how she got them. After scans, Dr. Park realizes she needs emergency surgery and during cathether placement, Jordan discovers extensive pelvic trauma and bruising, which may indicate rape.
Shaun goes to Dr. Glassman (Richard Schiff) for a surgical consultation about the sepsis patient. Noting the irregularity of the consult, he asks Shaun why he didn't speak with Dr. Lim. Shaun's response reveals how much he's struggling with being estranged from her. Dr. Glassman joins the operation at Shaun’s request, where he observes how Shaun pauses before doing the hysterectomy — even after getting approval and knowing that it's needed to save the patient's life. Dr. Glassman encourages Shaun to speak with Dr. Lim so they both can resolve their concerns and feelings.
The sexual assault survivor needs a second surgery, which the care team discovers when she has an nervous episode as pieces of the memory of her assault come back. Dr. Reznick tries to convince her to do the rape kit before the surgery, but the patient asks to have her removed from the case. Dr. Reznick goes to the patient, apologizes for pressuring her, then shares her own story of sexual assault and regret about not trying to hold her attacker accountable. The patient agrees to the rape kit, with Dr. Reznick by her side through the entire invasive and traumatic procedure.
The episode concludes with the doctors working through emotional minefields that they're living with. Shaun witnesses how his patient's wife acknowledges her decision to do the surgery hurt but that she prioritized saving her life, preferring to have her alive even if it meant not being in her life. Shaun learns from this, explaining to Dr. Lim he saw his own brother when he was supposed to operate on her and that he was afraid of losing her. He didn't know the consequences but prioritized saving her life. He also admits that he misses her. Dr. Lim acknowledges still being angry but that she misses him too.
Dr. Lim visits Dr. Glassman to thank him for interceding with her and Shaun. Dr. Glassman observes critical movement that may indicate that Dr. Lim may walk again, sharing this with Shaun.
New episodes of The Good Doctor season 6 air on Mondays at 10 pm ET/PT on ABC, streaming next day on Hulu.
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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.