Faithful Monday night viewers of “The Good Doctor” had their dander up last week, when ABC opted for the medical drama opted to re-air the Season 3 premiere rather than a new episode. Nonetheless, this week's November 4 Episode 6, “45-Degree Angle,” definitely made up for the lost time in performance and meaning. This one is one for the keeper collection.

Dr. Murphy (Freddie Highmore) has his promised second chance at a lead surgery with a routine appendectomy, and with full approval from Dr. Lim (Christina Chang), he has the full contingent of available nurses for his rehearsal.

Dr. Andrews (Hill Harper) doesn't approve, suggesting strongly that “The Good Doctor” needs more “skinned knees” instead of set-up for success. The day of the actual surgery impresses Andrews enough that he is ready to give an apology to the chief of surgery until one errant, insistent request nearly brings the collapse of the gifted resident’s medical career.

Dr. Melendez (Nicholas Gonzalez) and his team prepare a young expectant couple (Tiffany Daniels and Quentin Plair) for a dangerous procedure to save their unborn child, at the mother's insistence. Despite his typical confidence, no one knows what will happen in an operating room, and this outcome brings tragedy and blessing, all at once.

Boyfriend dilemmas during surgery practice

However he tries to avoid them, Shaun Murphy is constantly assailed with inquisitions over his personal life, particularly since his relationship with Dr. Carly Lever (Jasika Nicole) has become open and established, per his honesty. He insists that he wants only “surgery-related questions” during the mock procedure, but of course, the conversation goes far afield.

If Dr. Reznick (Fiona Gubelmann) is pulling duty for Dr. Brown (Antonia Thomas), who is barely pulling herself together in any sense after losing (and not allowing herself grief) through her mother's death. Reznick declares that she is doing her best at portraying “compassion and caring,” but she tells Murphy directly that she is also displaying all the curiosity that Claire would show.

Shaun declares that “we make out a lot” as evidence of his solid relationship with Carly, but one of the nurses, Nurse Hawks (April Cameron) make the savant surgeon uneasy with their critique that not inviting Shaun to a get together with friends is not the treatment of a boyfriend. Murphy loses focus and abruptly says that “We have practiced enough,” despite other team nurses’ efforts to assuage his concern.

Shaun wants to talk to Carly, but his difficulties with communication and desire to maintain the relationship keep him procrastinating. Morgan appeals to Dr. Brown to talk to Carly so that Shaun can remain focused and prepared for his surgery. Instead, Dr. Brown takes the story to Dr. Lever as part of a lie about misplaced blood samples, and the pathologist is none too pleased.

Morgan sees that Claire is still living on the ragged edge, but Claire is dismissing that reality, simply “burying” the problems, as Morgan notes.

A mother’s worth

Patty and Andre Fields have a lot on their plate as a couple. They are still newlyweds, have a baby girl on the way, and are opening an eco-friendly toy store. Dr. Melendez has to deliver the news that the mother also has a cancerous mass around her baby, who does not have a high chance of survival outside the womb at this point in pregnancy. Dr. Lim demands the same protocol of notification in a change of procedure from the surgeon she loves as any other on her surgical team.

The husband pleads to save his wife, telling her they can have a baby later.

“I don't want this baby,’ he blurts out. In contrast, she begs that she wants the baby girl who has given her indigestion, insomnia, and constipation. These guest-starring performances are raw and memorable. The initial procedure appears well enough for now until the mother goes into a crisis. Dr. Melendez and the teamwork to pull the patient from cardiac arrest, doing everything, to no avail. The surgeon has the dreaded job that no doctor wants-- to break the news to the waiting husband. In a powerful following scene, the father is seen touching the tiny hand of his daughter-- now the only living legacy of his young wife. Dr. Lim offers her quiet shoulder to a weeping Melendez on their couch.

Not a standard request

Dr. Murphy successfully concludes his appendectomy procedure, ready to leave the closing matters to his capable team, until he asks for a certain clamp—one not delivered in his preferred way.

He declares to Nurse Hawks that she needs to leave the operating room immediately after presenting the instrument “wrong” to him. “It’s the only way I know how to do it, “ she insists. He cannot tolerate her infraction. Anyone who has ever had surgery knows that all surgeons have their particular idiosyncrasies, from no lights other than on the operating table to their preferred music playing, but in this case, Dr. Murphy did not explain, demonstrate, or allow anyone else to offer the clamp.

Dr. Lim made her displeasure abundantly clear, and demanded that Dr. Murphy apologize “and mean it.” She also told him that another incident would mean the end of his residency.

Shaun tracked Hawks in the cafeteria, and instead of an apology, he elaborated on the history of surgical instruments and technique, without one word of “sorry” or “I understand.” The nurse left and soon filed a complaint.

Dr. Glassman (Richard Schiff) drilled his prodigy with a mantra of compartmentalization. “Romance doesn't matter,” they rehearsed. “I'm a surgeon!” The mentor has his own issues in marriage, with Debbie (Sheila Kelley) pushing to work with him at the clinic since being fired from the snack bar.

Carly pushes Shaun to talk about how he feels with her, and not let her hear about them from Claire or other conveyors.

She tells him that her friends are “snarky and pull rude pranks” and that made her unsure about including him. He relates memories of his father's poker nights, and the teasing he was given. “I wasn't a good girlfriend,” Carly confessed, to Shaun’s delight. “Does that mean I'm your boyfriend?” he asks. “Yeah,” she confirms. He tells her that he has no interest in meeting her friends.

A bad day in surgery can lead to a steamy night for “The Good Doctor.” Professional communication lessons can wait one more day. Shaun is discovering more benefits of compartmentalizing.