The Good Doctor Season 2 Episode 9 Review: Empathy

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There were death, betrayals, engaging cases of the week, and some stunning twists thrown in for good measure. 

The Good Doctor Season 2 Episode 9 had all the makings of a midseason finale, but there's still one more episode to go before this ABC series says goodbye until the new year. 

The Good Doctor has proven time and time again that it is willing to take risks in its storytelling. Hell, a bunch of characters have been let go from the series over the last few months. 

A Crazy Case - The Good Doctor Season 2 Episode 9

The dynamic between Morgan and Claire continued to be a highlight as they each tried to make sense of what was going on with George. Focusing on a man who was happy to be castrated in the name of preventing him from preying on children was undoubtedly a shocking case. 

We might have just released a child molester.


As expected, Claire and Morgan had distinctly different views on how to proceed with helping the man. George may have been telling the ladies that he has yet to act on the urges, but how were they able to verify that? 

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It was a gray area for sure, but it will go down as one of the show's most significant cases to date. George felt like there was no other way, and that explains why he stabbed his scrotum. 

The back and forth between Morgan, Claire, and Melendez was needed to show how serious the topic was for the show to tackle. George flawlessly laid the breadcrumbs throughout "Empathy" that he would kill himself if there were no other way. 

This isn’t the way this should have ended. But I’m not so sure the world is a worse place than it was a couple of hours ago.


That's why it was unsurprising that he disappeared and ended his life by jumping in front of the bus. I figured that if he didn't find a way to off himself at his bed, he would have gone elsewhere. 

Morgan's Mistake - The Good Doctor Season 2 Episode 6

Morgan was more conflicted than Claire was because she struggled to show empathy. Claire was the polar opposite and was hesitant to label George a pedophile while Morgan had no qualms about throwing that term around. 

Despite their differences, I liked that the two doctors managed to work together as part of a team. There's no telling whether surgery would have been successful or not. 

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After a quick Google search, I found reports of offenders who were castrated reoffending down the line, so it could have been a short-term solution to a long-term problem. 

"Empathy" was an appropriate title for this installment. As you are well aware if you watch The Good Doctor online, Shaun has struggled to show empathy. Social cues are not his strong point, and it comes with being on the spectrum. 

With most of the doctors being able to show empathy, it was perfectly natural for Shaun to feel like he was inadequate as a doctor. His primary concern was that he was failing his patients. 

Billy's Pain - The Good Doctor Season 2 Episode 9

Billy's story was heartbreaking, and opening up about his father being the one to damage his forehead allowed Shaun to understand that the kid didn't get the best start in life. 

Initially, Shaun was quick to judge Billy because he was incarcerated, but he failed to take on board that it was for a crime that was no longer illegal. 

The growth for Shaun throughout The Good Doctor Season 2 has been astounding, and we witnessed him making some notable strides on "Empathy." 

From the get-go, it was evident Shaun was in for a rough ride. He knew the pitfalls of allowing Glassman to drive if he was losing his memory.

Park: What do you say we fix your forehead?
Shaun: I don't think so. It's not medically necessary.

Glassman was right that he was losing his independence, but I dare say he'll thank Shaun one day if his memory stops deteriorating. Shaun knew he was taking something vital away from the constant in his life, but he was compassionate about his decision by the conclusion of the hour. 

That's why he pressed on with learning to drive. If Glassman could no longer take himself from A to B, Shaun wanted to be the one to do it. I'm not entirely convinced about how quickly Shaun was driving the car, but it made for some cute scenes between him and Lea. 

Lea's Pain - The Good Doctor Season 2 Episode 6

Lea is growing on me a lot. At the top of The Good Doctor Season 2, it seemed like she was only back because she needed a place to crash and was out of options. 

However, she's adapted very well and is part of the reason why Shaun is going from strength to strength. Her analogy about the variables in driving compared to being a doctor was a good one. 

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Her tenacity to help her friend shone through, and I hope we get more scenes like this. My only hope is that all of this remains platonic. I can't be the only one tired of TV shows being bogged down by relationship drama. 

I have autism, which makes empathy very difficult. Does that mean I can't be a good doctor?


It was about time the Chief of Surgery storyline popped back up. On a more serious note: What the eff is going on with the characters disappearing for extended periods of time?

Allegra popping up to speak about Andrews leaving his team in the lurch seemed like a thinly veiled attempt to make an excuse for why they've both been MIA of late. 

It's good when there's a competitive nature between members of staff, but I was frustrated with Neil for stealing Lim's idea. It proved that the growing he's done since The Good Doctor Season 1 Episode 1 was not enough. 

Yes, he changed his stance on all of it eventually, but what sense did it make to have Andrews continue as Chief of Surgery? 

Is he going to give up the role he took over from Glassman? It wasn't fully explained. Either way, if it puts Andrews back in surgery and in the orbit of the other key players, then I'm all for it. 

That's all I got, The Good Doctor Fanatics!

What are your thoughts on the episode? 

Hit the comments below!

The Good Doctor airs Mondays at 10/9c on ABC. 

Empathy Review

Editor Rating: 4.75 / 5.0
  • 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.5 / 5.0 (31 Votes)

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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The Good Doctor Season 2 Episode 9 Quotes

Park: What do they call you?
Billy: Crater head.

This isn’t the way this should have ended. But I’m not so sure the world is a worse place than it was a couple of hours ago.