Dr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore) is scoring on many levels in this week's October 21 Episode 5 of Season 3 of “The Good Doctor,” “First Case, Second Base.” The surgical resident’s romance with pathologist Carly Lever (Jasika Nicole) is moving along swimmingly, so much so that she proposes adding sensual touches to their “kissing during commercials” routine. Not surprisingly, Shaun is thrown off by this additional dimension, especially when added contact is part of the connection.

On the same morning that he describes the pleasant dilemma to Lea (Paige Spara), he gets the call that he will have the lead surgery of an esophageal resection for a cancer patient.

Both he and his roommate rejoice in a familiar jumping ritual, seven times, before he rushes off for the day, declaring: “I will rock it!” As verified by Newsweek on October 22, the surgery isn't t the only thing that rocks Shaun Murphy's world. Carly has a secret motivation.

The Good Doctor” continues to evolve, grow, and learn in this penetrating installment, and has many mentoring encounters along the way.

Hello, my friend

Dr. Andrews (Hill Harper) is astounded that Dr. Murphy's patient, Beth (Stacie Greenwall) is the most welcoming on all the earth to her surgeon. She is not daunted by his challenges or his age, and his frankness in laying out the possibilities doesn't dissuade her. She is determined to grab this new chance at life after facing cancer.

Shaun tells her that she probably won't need a permanent feeding tube, and she is full of hope for the future as a chef.

Dr. Andrews accuses Dr. Lim (Christina Chang) of both “ruining” Dr. Murphy and coddling him by selecting a supportive patient and team around him. She counters that she can always “tough love his a** next week.” For now, she defends her supportive stance as a means of keeping the brilliant savant surgeon.

When further examination reveals far more expansive scar tissue from a childhood surgery, Dr. Murphy realizes that his promise of no feeding tube has to be broken. He also realizes that patient communication is his most prominent deficit as a doctor. He could lose his surgery if the patient pulls out. Dr. Lim tells Dr. Park (Will Yun Lee) to inform the patient about the surgical changes.

On the spot, in the patient's room, however, Dr. Andrews insists that Shaun has to give the details, and Beth opts out. Dr. Lim still pitches for Dr. Murphy, telling him that everything is about learning from mistakes at a teaching hospital. She and “The Good Doctor” offer that the choice for Beth is to let Dr. Murphy be her surgeon or have the procedure at a different hospital. She agrees to go forward with Dr. Murphy. The scenes have the same feel as in Highmore's riveting insistence that “I am a surgeon!” as his character with Dr. Han last season. A person with a disability never escapes the certainty that they must perform and work ten times harder and better than anyone compared to them, and he determined to rise to his moment.

Dr. Brown (Antonia Thomas) expresses gratitude and support to Dr. Reznick (Fiona Gubelmann) for her help with fulfilling her mother's final wishes. Nonetheless, Dr. Reznick knows full well that Claire is in denial and the “bitchy” stage of her grieving. She has not come to any stage of forgiveness for herself, her mother, or the past.

Everything about Claire's pain comes to the forefront in their case, dealing with a man who fell from a chimney while intoxicated (Aidan Kahn). He shows all the signs of being an alcoholic but swears he hasn't drunk in years, even providing the exact date of his sobriety. His wife (Nefetari Spencer) comes completely to her husband's defense, relating the entire story of how they met at band camp as teens when he lost both parents.

His drinking came as part of his coping mechanism, and the two “grieved and fell in love” together. They did not exchange vows until he was completely sober and determined to stay that way.

Bring on the heat

Aaron Glassman (Richard Schiff) is delighted to learn every detail about his new bride, Debbie (Sheila Kelley), my current throwing speed in softball. Another discovery, however, has him at his wit's end. He finds her pistol, “Wally,” kept closely at her bedside table, properly secured. Sharing the security code doesn’t satisfy Aaron, who can hardly fathom anyone he loves owning a gun. He polls the residents about their experiences with partners and gun ownership. They are all different, with deep consequences.

Claire playfully asks: “Do you have someone you want taken out?” when Glassman poses the question. From Debbie’s perspective, her reasons don't matter, whether the connection to her father to just being “fun to shoot.” She is responsible, an adult, and her choice of protection shouldn't interfere with her marriage.

Carly gives Shaun some heated special encouragement just before surgery. Besides a good luck kiss or two, she offers her bosom as a boost. Shaun is pleased to oblige, and checks for lumps. Carly agrees with Lea’s counsel that they should each tell the other exactly what they want, and it's fine with her to go one body part at a time.

The most moving aspect of the episode is the return of Dylan Kingwell in his role as Steve Murphy.

Steve comes to Shaun in the night, reminding him that when things get crazy, they “blow out the candles.” Shaun needs three candles, and his three slow breaths calm him. “Easy peasy” Steve reminds.

Another token of mentorship comes from Dr. Glassman, who gives Shaun the orange surgical cap he wore during his first lead surgery. The journey of learning is depicted throughout this masterful story. Dr. Murphy is completely at ease and in control when he asks for the 10-blade to begin surgery. When he sees less scar tissue than expected, however, he recoils, pulling off his mask and shouting “No” repeatedly. Dr. Park sees that this is not a meltdown for “The Good Doctor.” Instead, it is a struggle for him to communicate what he needs.

After three more “candles,” Dr. Lim, Dr. Park, and Dr. Andrews understand that Shaun knows a procedure thoroughly that will keep Beth from needing a feeding tube, but it is more complicated than he can perform. He can guide the team through the Japanese procedure, and it is a success. Dr. Andrews still wants to call it a fail for Dr. Murphy, while Dr. Lim reiterates that “none of us do this alone,” and his decision is the reason Dr. Murphy is still at the hospital. She parts with a “Yay team!” It wasn't a lead surgery, but without “The Good Doctor,” Beth’s life and her dream could not have been saved.

Dr. Park goes from dejection to delight as well, when the surgery is directed to attend in the middle of Dr.

Murphy's procedure becomes his lead surgery on appendicitis.

Dr. Brown and Dr. Reznick discover a tumor in their patient during an endoscopy, which explains the patient's production of alcohol in his own body from fermented carbohydrates. His surgery is a success, and his wife's stalwart faith is validated. Morgan reminds Claire not to give up on that 99.9% of the unexplainable in life because that is the evidence of hope, which no one can live without.

Shaun boils down Dr. Glassman's gun standoff with Debbie in simple terms. If the woman you love allows her breast to be touched, then everything else isn’t such a problem. Dr. Glassman tests the hypothesis himself later that evening as a measure of compromise.

Dr. Murphy was beaming at Carly's door, happy for the way his day ended and more delighted to have another breast to check.