Faithful fans of “The Good Doctor” had to feel as though eons had passed since the December 3 first part of "Quarantine" left San Jose St. Bonaventure hospital reeling from a virus that not only took the lives of patients in record time but also struck Dr. Lim (Christina Chang). Dr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore) was overwhelmed, not just by the chaos and desperation of the critical situation, but by the constant irritation of a buzzing light fixture. He was last seen on the floor in a fetal position, surrounded by patients pleading for help.

January 14’s “Quarantine Part 2,” the Season 2 winter premiere, picks up in that precise ER chaos, with Dr.

Park (Will Yun Lee) frantically trying to enter the area to help his son, Kellen (Ricky He), in the grips of a deadly asthma attack. As everyone wonders what can be done about, not just for Dr. Murphy, Dr. Morgan Reznick (Fiona Gubelmann)has her own expertise tested in treating Dr. Lim but pauses long enough to offer that the details of “Santa Pete's” surgery will possibly snap Shaun back into focus. She has often been vocal about her feelings that Dr. Murphy does not belong as a surgeon, but she knows this is a time for “all hands on deck” as she tells him.

Life arises even out of death in this episode, and even though the real world has come into the New Year, it's still Christmas on “The Good Doctor.”

The blessing of improvisation


Reznick’s advice regarding giving Shaun a reset works and Dr. Murphy not only gets up to continue the surgery but has a new idea for a graft to stop a bleed to the belly. The jolly patient (Rell Battle) is soon recovering and chomping ice bits generally served by another Samaritan, Esther.

Dr. Park breaks protocol and every hospital policy to enter the restricted quarters and create his own nebulizer apparatus for his son.

His police background also provides a distinct way of insisting that the displaced crowd “shut the hell up” and hold off on questions for the moment. Kellen’s breathing is restored, but he has hard questions for his father.

Dr. Lim is teetering between life and death, recalling how she always thought she would be at the hospital until she died.

She also remembers not calling her mother on her birthday, one of those promises on the “meant to do” list that escapes so many of us. Dr. Reznick hardly moves from her side and intercedes to save her when her blood fails to be oxygenated sufficiently, devising an “outside the body” echo system for the task. When the urgent sound comes from her bedside again, Reznick races in, delighted to know that the only need is water for her patient. Morgan truly proves that she possesses the right stuff in this one, even after zipping Tyler up in a bag. She gives all she has.

On another front, Dr. Melendez (Nicholas Gonzalez) and Dr. Andrews (Hill Harper) devise an ingenious way to accomplish a bone marrow transplant for Chris, the son whose donor dad waits in quarantine.

They use a janitor closet and linen storage room for the recipient and donor procedures, utilizing the laundry chute as a transfer system. For the first time, Dr. Andrews makes this team a priority over high prestige for his hospital. The procedure is a success for Chris, but sadly, his father suffers a heart attack after completion. He hoped that his son would hold something worthy of his remembrance after his earlier failings as a father. The ever-helpful Esther steps in again with the procedure, being a retired veterinarian, and she urges Chris to simply live in gratitude for his father's final gift.

Dr. Park and his son finally have the needed “come to Jesus” kind of talk that had been stalled for so long, The father relates how the creed of “Never cry, be like stone,” passed down from his father, created strength and isolation.

He couldn't take down his own inner walls in time to save the home and family he hoped for, but he assured his son that he was making his father's mantra go away and that he always will love him. They share a forgiving embrace.

Dr. Park does a tremendous favor for Shaun, simply knocking out that buzzing light fixture with one blow. This day with “The Good Doctor” would have been totally different if someone had had the gumption to do that earlier.

A miracle and meningitis

Lea (Paige Spara) and Dr. Glassman (Richard Schiff) have been together for hours by now, and he is determined not to tell Shaun that his cancer is back. Lea counters that a “smart and caring” friend is exactly what Glassman needs right now, and insists that Shaun can handle the truth like an adult.

A phone call brings news that meningitis, not cancer, is causing the brain issues, but surgery is required immediately.

Kellen appreciates the blunt way that Dr. Murphy has with the truth, and when the water breaks for the expectant mom in quarantine, the teen is called in for vital service. Shaun suspects that mom, Viola (Camille Guaty) has preeclampsia, and feels confident about doing a C-section, but not so much about delivering a baby. Conditions will not allow the C-section, per instruction of the attending nurse, so the head of obstetrics comes in to supervise. During the process of turning the baby, mom starts to hemorrhage, and Dr. Murphy improvises in a remarkable way again, creating a balloon insert to stop bleeding.

The baby, however, is not breathing. The physician is torn, but per protocol, must turn his efforts to save the mother.

There is almost another crisis of focus Shaun at this juncture, but instead of falling out, his cry for quiet helps him maintain stability.

Kellen comes in, performing CPR on the baby, but there is still a breathing emergency. The sound of crying assures Dr. Glassman and the waiting father that he has “a new alarm clock.” The real baby in Highmore's arms is a refreshing switch from the prop infant, ala “American Sniper,” and a nice way to this aspect of the saga, to cheerful applause.

The real-life wife of Will Yun Lee, Jennifer Birmingham Lee, portrays Mia Park, greeting her son and ex-husband at the end of the long day.

With very different stories, they leave the hospital arm in arm.

The face of Dr. Morgan Reznick captures more than any script can convey as she walks away, looking at Tyler's body being loaded into a CDC van.

Dr. Glassman divulges the full truth of his condition, and the best outcome predicted in Dr. Murphy's matter-of-way is that his mentor will get his driver’s license back. Lea proposes that the two share a hug before going for pancakes.

One of the most touching last scenes is between Dr. Melendez and Dr. Lim. He tells her that the thought of “you not being around is not okay with me.” She reminds him that “my bourbon days” are behind her for a while, but another future toast is sure to come.

There is no manual in this life. Every person turns to his or her own tools to improvise. Some toolboxes are better equipped than others. With effort and time, good things can still happen, but never perfection.

The holiday spirit doesn’t stay long on “The Good Doctor ." Suspension threats loom in next week's episode.