The Good Doctor Season 5 Episode 13 Review: Growing Pains

Who is this woman who cares about her patient’s mental illness so deeply, and what has she done with Morgan?

On The Good Doctor Season 5 Episode 13, Morgan displayed surprising empathy for a woman with chronic pain and depression, while Shaun’s connection with a teenage patient could have ended in disaster.

Morgan’s character change is jarring, even if she is more tolerable now.

For the first four seasons of The Good Doctor, Morgan was so obnoxious that viewers often wondered why the hospital kept her on.

She was headstrong, sarcastic, and refused to listen to directions. Those didn’t seem like qualities anyone would want in a doctor, and the staff’s concerns about Shaun seemed misplaced when Morgan ran around doing whatever she wanted.

But now, Morgan seems to have matured into a decent doctor. She’s empathetic and uses her determination to help people instead of doing whatever she feels like.

What’s changed?

It’s not entirely clear what prompted this metamorphosis. She seemed to be on the road to changing for the better when she and Claire began hanging out, though she was only tolerable in her scenes with Claire and was still annoying at work.

Maybe her relationship with Park has softened her. She went from participating in the world’s most annoying banter war to being willing to cover Park’s rent so that he could move in with her. That’s a huge change!

Or maybe she didn’t fit in as a surgeon. Now that she can’t operate anymore, she seems calmer. Working with Glassman to get patients needed care appears to be a better fit for her.

Whatever the reason is, she’s far more enjoyable without layer upon layer of snark and not much else.

As for her case, I thought this would be another fictionalized version of Britney Spears’ real-life struggle to end her father’s power over her.

It seemed like it was going that way for a minute when Justin refused to consent to the surgery Kayla wanted, and Kayla screamed that it was her life and he needed to stop controlling her.

Does it ever seem to you that we go round and round but we always end up back at this sad place.


But this story turned out to be a different situation. Justin wasn’t cruel or controlling. He truly wanted what was best for his severely incapacitated sister and had taken care of her for years after their parents’ deaths.

Thank goodness! It was refreshing to have an executor of a conservatorship who truly had his family member’s best interests at heart, even if he was making decisions that felt unfair to her.

Morgan encouraged Justin to talk honestly with Kayla instead of taking matters into her own hands. Thank goodness! The old Morgan probably would have spent most of the hour trying to find a way around the rules instead of convincing a patient’s brother to do the right thing.

It was a shame that Kayla wasn’t able to tolerate the fMRI on the first go-around because that might have helped Justin understand what was going on in her brain and how the proposed surgery would stop it.

At least Justin was willing to look at Kayla’s records instead of rejecting the suggestion out of hand. That was impressive, considering how long he’s been taking care of her and how married he must be, at this point, to the idea that she can’t be cured.

Morgan and Shaun’s stories seemed parallel in some ways.

In both cases, we had someone who wanted a controversial procedure but first had to get over the hurdle of their guardian not consenting to the procedure.

This was the second week in a row that Shaun forged a connection with a patient. In The Good Doctor Season 5 Episode 12, he didn’t know what to do when a little girl attached herself to him.

But his connection with Trent was different. They shared an interest in so-called “biohacking,” in which a person replaces parts of their anatomy with technological objects.

Trent’s friend had such strong magnetism in her hands that it was no wonder that Trent wanted to emulate it.

But the connection Trent really wanted wasn’t with metal objects.

He was struggling to have a relationship with his mom. They both wanted it on their terms, and Shaun’s comments that Trent was lucky to have a mother that cared fell more or less on deaf ears.

Trent: You sound like my mom got to you.
Shaun: She tried, but she did not. But then my boss did.
Trent: I figured.
Shaun: It’s nice that your mom cares about you. Mine did not.

Trent’s mom turned the tables on Shaun, telling him that he had to talk to Trent because he was the only adult Trent had connected with within the hospital.

Shaun is often in trouble because of his inability to connect, so this was a major step forward for him. In the end, he was able to convince Trent and his mom to do an experimental procedure and then cut out any further biohacking.

I appreciated Shaun’s explanation of how he needed downtime after being forced to socialize all day at work. This is an aspect of Autism that often gets ignored: how draining it is to have to be “normal” all day long.

Shaun may have seemed like he was being rude to Jordan, but he needed to set those boundaries because after being “on” all day at work, he needed a safe space to come back to.

For the first time, his love story with Lea seemed believable. He could be as anti-social or anti-conventional as he wanted to be around her, which isn’t a luxury he has in most areas of his life.

That’s why he was rude to Jordan; he needed that alone time. Although he didn’t have to be rude about it, I could relate to his feelings of discomfort while Jordan was hanging out with Lea. Could you?

Your turn, The Good Doctor fanatics. Hit that big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and share your thoughts on the biohacking story, Morgan’s sudden turnaround, and more.

If you need to see the episode first, watch The Good Doctor online right here on TV Fanatic.

The Good Doctor airs on ABC on Mondays at 10 PM EST/PST.


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