One of the things that “The Good Doctor” does best is merging the humdrum and minutia of life with exquisitely touching examples of selflessness, humor, and hope. The opening of the 18th and final episode for Season 2 finds Dr. Melendez (Nicholas Gonzalez) and Dr. Lim (Christina Chang) being subjected to interviews over the totally natural, but professionally dangerous condition of a love affair. Their responses to the HR psychologist’s questions on subservient roles alone are subtle and dazzling at the same time, as both surgeons await the verdict before the setting abruptly switches. Love wins in this one-- it just takes a while.

From brutality to blossoming love

Faithful fans of “The Good Doctor” hadn't found Dr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore) in a bar since last season’s pivotal “Islands” episodes. It is a reminder from the escape on the road, drinking tequila “STAT” with Lea (Paige Spara), singing karaoke, and experiencing a good-night kiss that provokes trouble for “The Good Doctor.” In the March 11 Season 2 finale, “Trampoline,” Shaun is ducking a job interview arranged by Dr.

Glassman (Richard Schiff) at another San Jose hospital. He asks the only other drinker, a man at the end of the bar, “Why are you sad?” When the patron (Greg Calderone) protests, the resident inquires “Is there any other reason to get drunk at 10 in the morning?”

The almost lyrical, and always incisive dialogue of the script, with creator David Shore as co-writer is gripping, funny, warm and real line by line in this gem to the treasured for the ages.

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Shaun is in no mood to shut up and swallow any orders in the wake of his recent emotional and professional trauma, and doesn't pick up on the rising ire of the customer as he declares “You’re not fun, Lea is fun.” With a menacing approach, the man orders Shaun to “Shut up” with a push. The resident not only declares his right to speak but also that he doesn't like to be touched. A powerful punch and savage kicks follow for the Savant surgical resident, down on the floor.

The force is audible and so strong that it throws the assailant backward. He suffers a traumatic head blow, as Shaun rises to his feet.

The following action captures movie-making magic and the best of humanity, as the bar fighter, Zach, enters the ER, with a detailed outline of injuries and treatment proposed by Dr. Murphy, who is outside the area. When Claire (Antonio Thomas) comes to tell him that the treatment team needs to have his description of all that happened, he replies that he is not a doctor in this facility, so he cannot enter.

Dr. Brown caringly assures “you're still a doctor, Shaun.” She tries to buoy his spirits, explaining that he is a good friend, and so much more than his profession.

When he asks what she wants in life, she responds with “I want my life to matter, I want to have fun, I want to fall in love.” Shaun replies that he doesn't think he can fall in love, but does think he can be a good father, considering the abuse of his own.

“I'm sure you will be,” Claire affirms. A delightful exchange occurs between Shaun and Dr. Lever (Jasika Nicole) who tells him “I wish you were back in Path (pathology).” “I don't want to be back in Path,” he candidly replies.

Time stands still with Dr. Lim’s news that “we're approved” to Dr. Melendez. Etta James and a lovely 360-shot of their passionate kiss mark the first punctuation in love, topped with the gentle smiles from Dr. Murphy and Dr. Brown.

Claire doesn't realize until Shaun divulges clues about Zach’s intoxication and the trauma that “The Good Doctor” hasn't been truthful about finding the patient injured. Shaun is terribly beaten and bruised and coughing up blood. He tries to submit a sample for analysis to Dr. Lever, who knows by every that he is the patient. She gives him a prescription for immediate use.

Oscar-winning actress, June Squibb, known for her authentic and unforgettable role in the Bruce Dern film, “Nebraska ” is irrepressible and wonderful as Ida. Ida is a patient who never seems to get quite well, and Dr. Park (Will Yun Lee) pegs the problem right away, sensing her situation of senior loneliness and seeking the nurturing of the hospital. Dr. Reznick (Fiona Gubelmann) insists on doing due diligence, supported by Dr. Melendez. No other actress could bring such a complete story to her opening line: “I farted, I peed, I pooped.” Her stories are a mix of real and embellished, while her plight of elderly isolation with “less credit” is very real.

The joy of yes

Claire tutors Shaun in a crash course of first date etiquette, using a box of gloves and a stapler. Along the way, she convinces Shaun that falling in love, heartbreak, and even losing his job are all part of life, and that love and finding someone special is still worth the risk.

Dr. Glassman takes a risk of his own, presenting Debbie (Sheila Kelley) with a model car of the Model J Duesenberg that was so enticing on their first encounter. She finds a ring when he tells her to look under the hood, but declines being ready for this commitment. He later returns to her door with the loveliest pledge of the night in his marriage proposal, harkening that Duesenberg and days of sun, laughter, Gruyere cheese, and the Pacific Coast Highway. He assures that is ready to live every moment he has with her, and she says yes.

Freddie Highmore’s portrayal could not be more empathetic or riveting than when Dr. Murphy goes see Zach, pondering his diagnosis, but mostly pouring out his heart, asking why he can't “just be sad, and angry, and confused,” and all the things any person would be in a similar situation. He collapses before he can explain the full meaning of the title word “Trampoline” as the essential treatment to save Zach. Dr. Brown and the team try their best to decipher the meaning of the single word. Dr. Brown goes to Zach’s room, assuming the exact position, and re-creating every detail, down to the lighting, before Shaun’s collapse. For a moment, she works to transfer her mind and visualizations to those of Dr. Murphy and realizes the treatment, stemming from tertiary syphilis.

A triumph of the heart

Lea and Dr. Glassman are at Shaun’s bedside and use immediately consumed about Zach upon waking. Dr. Brown relays the message that treatment is underway, and Zach will be fine. Even though Dr. Glassman appreciates Lea for her caring and understanding of Shaun, he also lets her know that she will break his heart, too. When Dr. Andrews (Hill Harper) urges Shaun to “face reality,” the resident recalls his brother, saying that those words come before the insistence to do something wrong.

While Shaun and other patients are getting better, Dr. Han (Daniel Dae Kim) receives a fatal career decision from the hospital board. Dr. Glassman gives an impassioned defense of Shaun, describing how he had “made a better doctor” above and beyond his altruistic measures for Zach. Despite Dr. Han’s description of Shaun as “out of control” and insisting that he had to control his staff, Dr. Andrews acts as president to fire Han and keep Dr. Murphy. Great leaders never control, instead, they elicit the best abilities and characteristics in those who are led. It's another yes for “The Good Doctor.” Dr. Melendez lays the groundwork for Dr. Lim to become chief of surgery, another choice of surrendering self, out of love.

Lea is surprised to see Shaun in a suit and holding a bouquet and chocolates when she walks through the door. He announces that he has his job back. The one question he has for her is “Do I look nice?” She replies that he looks “very nice,” and her expression conveys that she fully expects to be the lady on the receiving end of the grand gestures. Shaun, however, leaves without so much as a thank you for her opinion and arrives at the door of Dr. Carly Lever. She waits in surprise as he gets out the words to say “You have nice hair” (to which she responds “Yes, fabulous!) and asks her to “eat dinner.” When she asks if this is a date, he responds “Yesss” in the Murphy manner. After her answer of “I would love to,” Shaun turns, still holding the bouquet and chocolates, and walks down the sidewalk with a joyful leap and yelp.

With Season 3 already a sure thing, this finale for “The Good Doctor” could not have been more satisfying. Even when life yields the deepest scars, the healing promise of love never loses its power.

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