It seems like dealing with an annoying boss is the new trend in 2021.
Law & Order: SVU, Blue Bloods, New Amsterdam, and now The Good Doctor have all featured storylines with a boss that interferes with the way things should be and needs to be put in their place.
And on The Good Doctor Season 5 Episode 3, Salen made it clear she’s not anywhere near done forcing the hospital in a new direction despite her attempts to work things out with certain staff members.
Glassman was the star of the hour even though he didn’t want to be.
He kept trying to act like he was retired and was working in his woodshop or garden, but every time he turned around someone wanted his advice about something.
No, no! I told you I don’t like it and I don’t think you do either. You don’t like stomping grapes or tying fish flies, but you used to like doing your job.
The biggest change the staff needed to deal with was that Glassman was no longer in the advice-dispensing business. He was focused on telling everyone that they could figure things out themselves so he could get back to puttering around his yard.
Shaun wasn’t buying it, though, and with good reason.
Glassman was giving off major signs that he was depressed. Despite keeping himself busy with all sorts of activities, he kept saying that he felt defeated, that he wasn’t a hero, and other things in that vein.
Is this leading to a bigger storyline involving Glassman’s mental health? He got drunk at Shaun’s engagement party and gave a bizarre toast about relationships not lasting, is withdrawing from the hospital, and seems to be trying to distract himself with his new hobbies.
That can’t lead anywhere good. Isolation is the last thing someone who is depressed needs, and Glassman has lots of reasons to be down.
The hospital is under new management that doesn’t have the same values he does; his wife recently left him, and he’s struggled for years with his guilt and grief over his daughter’s death.
Hopefully, Glassman won’t slip through the cracks and we’ll have a moving story about his depression sooner rather than later. This could also be an effective PSA about depression in senior citizens, something which is too often overlooked in real life.
It may be hard for anyone to pick up on this though. Glassman himself is pushing everyone away and Salen made it clear that she thinks going to him about hospital-related issues is a way of undermining her.
So most people may give up visiting him, which could increase his sense of isolation as well as make it harder for them to realize what’s going on with him.
Elsewhere, I was thrilled that Shaun’s visualizations were back.
Shaun figuring out innovative solutions to medical problems by visualizing body parts, textbook pages, and words used to be a regular part of The Good Doctor. It was meant to illustrate how his Autistic mind works and did so effectively.
But recently, that disappeared and the series began to get out of balance, focusing too heavily on Shaun and Lea’s relationship to the exclusion of the medical storylines that made it compelling.
Happily, the series is finding its way back now.
It’s at its strongest when Shaun butts heads with someone with more power. In most cases, that person is prejudiced against him because he is Autistic. In Salen’s case, it’s more subtle but still annoying.
She sees a kinship with Shaun because she is also neurodiverse, despite the differences between their two diagnoses. If she were sincere about finding common ground, that would be okay. She could learn the ways that ADHD and Autism are different and what they have in common.
But her attempt to build bridges wasn’t sincere. She sees Shaun’s Autism as something to exploit, as evidenced by that awful poster she put up advertising the hospital as a place where differences are accepted, using Shaun’s likeness and words without his permission.
And she was worried about PATIENTS suing the hospital? Appropriating someone’s photo, never mind their words too, is grounds for an infringement suit.
I’m curious as to where this goes and whether it will lead to Salen’s downfall.
Meanwhile, Salen’s interference in the medical storylines was irritating, but not as annoying as the side stories.
Way too much time was dedicated to whether or not Morgan was willing to fart in front of Park. I don’t enjoy that kind of humor and found it childish.
And the constant sniping between Asher and Jordan over Asher’s disdain for religion was so aggravating that I cheered when Lim told them to stop it.
Asher has been my least favorite resident for a while. He’s about as opinionated and intolerant of anyone who disagrees with him as Morgan is, and this was no exception.
He was the worst kind of atheist, the kind who tries to convert everyone to atheism and looks down on anyone who has any religious beliefs at all. That’s as annoying as evangelical proselytization and I didn’t blame Jordan for being upset.
Getting back to the medical storylines, Lim and Andrews demonstrated opposite ways of dealing with the Salen problem.
Andrews took the political approach, trying to develop a mutually supportive relationship and stating his point of view in a way that was palatable to Salen, while Lim took the adversarial approach.
I admire Andrews for being able to be diplomatic here. It’s not something I would have the stomach for. There are times where both approaches are needed, though, and I think Lim should have pointed out that she wouldn’t have to go to Glassman if Salen would be at all reasonable.
Your turn, The Good Doctor fanatics. What did you think of everyone’s clashes with Salen, the side stories, and Glassman’s possible depression?
Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know!
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The Good Doctor airs on ABC on Mondays at 10 PM EST/PST. The next new episode will air on October 25, 2021.
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.