The Good Doctor Season 4 Episode 17 Review: Letting Go


It’s never easy when your hero falls from the high pedestal you’ve put them on in your mind.

On The Good Doctor Season 4 Episode 17, both Claire and Andrews had to cope with someone they admired turning out to be more frail than they cared to admit.

Elsewhere, Shaun’s refusal to deal with his grief led to one of the most compelling The Good Doctor Season 4 medical storylines.

Claire ought to know by now not to idolize anyone.

She tends to see the best in people and is always shattered when they turn out to be merely human, and this time was worse than ever because it was someone she had idolized for years.

Marian lives in a world of spin and preserving optics above all else, so she and Claire were never going to speak the same language.

But discovering that hurt Claire more deeply than it should have.

To a certain extent, it was inevitable that Claire’s value system would clash with her one-time hero’s.

Claire: I think a lot of people would have sympathy for you.
Marianne: We don’t vote for people based on sympathy. We want strong leaders.

The writing was already on the wall when Claire butted heads with Marian over whether or not to leave her twitch alone.

Marian was so convinced that it would ruin her image with potential voters that having any kind of minor imperfection wasn’t an option for her.

It was sad that Marian felt such pressure to be perfect, but it was understandable given the media scrutiny she’s under.

We’ve all seen stories speculating on politicians’ health based on minor issues, and she didn’t want to risk her career getting derailed.

Stories like this make it glaringly obvious that The Good Doctor needs a staff psychiatrist.

If this were Chicago Med or New Amsterdam, there probably would have been a psych consult as part of her decision to go ahead with a risky surgery rather than live with a minor issue.

Instead, we were left with Claire’s attempts to play counselor with Marian, which went nowhere.

Claire was probably right about the state of Marian’s marriage, but Marian will never admit it. And if she feels fulfilled in her life, who’s to say that her choices are wrong, even if they aren’t how most of us live?

Of course, most of Claire’s discontent would have been prevented had Marian not chosen to tell an unnecessary truth. Claire didn’t need to know that the little girl with facial deformities didn’t really exist.

How weird was it that the master of spin and lies blurted out an inconvenient truth that caused Claire internal angst?

Was she supposed to be loopy from the anesthesia or what?

I’m not sure how I feel about Marian’s justification for making up that story about Evie St. Clair.

Fictional lives can save real lives.


As someone who writes fiction to empower others, I applaud her sentiment about stories being a powerful tool for change. But fiction disguised as fact is not the same thing.

On the other hand, what difference did it make now? The story inspired Claire and now she’s a doctor.

It’s not like she’s going to change careers because there was no child with a severe disability insisting on getting an education. Besides, even if that story was made up, I’m sure there is a real child in the world somewhere who has struggled with that exact issue.

And Marian’s made-up stories were meant to inspire, not harm anyone. So it probably would have behooved Claire to just let it go.

As usual, Morgan was a sanctimonious pain in the neck whose opinion wasn’t wanted or needed. I still don’t quite get the point of this character, but at least she wasn’t bugging Park this time.

The storyline with Park, Shaun, and Andrews was in many ways more compelling than the Claire storyline.

Shaun may have been using the hospital to run away from his and Lea’s grief, but it led The Good Doctor back to its roots: Shaun vs. established doctors who don’t understand him or his methods.

The original premise of the series has been lost somewhat and instead, the series focuses on the new first-years while Shaun’s stories are usually Lea-focused.

But not this time.

The new residents had little to no presence for once and Shaun’s grief caused him to revert to his blunt, accidentally offensive manner and to insist he was right no matter who it annoyed.

Who else winced when he suggested that Dr. Nakano was too old to see the truth? I just knew that faux pas was going to cause trouble.

In a way, though, Andrews was in a similar situation to Claire.

Nakano was his mentor, who he very much admired, and that made him twice as hard on Shaun, though it was interesting that he defended him in private to Nakano.

I also liked that Nakano wasn’t a total ass who purely hated Shaun. He didn’t like that Shaun was disrespectful, but Shaun’s assessment that he would be forgiven when proven right turned out to be correct… just not about his initial diagnosis, which was off-base.

And of course, Shaun would have gotten further if he’d suggested the aortic dissection as a possibility instead of insisting that that Nakano screwed up, but that’s not in Shaun’s nature.

It was ironic in a way that Nakano decided to retire because he made a minuscule error after fighting with Shaun over whether he’d made a bigger one, and doubly so that Shaun told him a small mistake shouldn’t matter.

It’s a shame he didn’t stick around, as he would have been a great addition to the hospital and Andrews could use a friend who is his equal.

Your turn, The Good Doctor fanatics!

Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know what you thought about Claire’s shattered trust in her idol and Shaun’s butting heads with Nakano.

Want to refresh your memory first? Just watch The Good Doctor online right here on TV Fanatic.

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

Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on Twitter.

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