The Good Doctor” is well-known for its gripping one-word episode titles, and this week's February 24 Episode 16 for Season 3 is no exception. Fans should not be deterred by the stark and shadowy connotation of “Autopsy,” because this episode is one of the most meaningful and powerful expressions of love and honesty, in many forms, for the entire season of the medical drama. Freddie Highmore directed this memorable and thought-provoking installment with great deftness. Co-star, Jasika Nicole revealed in a February 24 Good Housekeeping feature that Season 3's finale will keep fans talking.

Throughout the ages, mankind has tried to reason love, and love is indeed a decision, for beyond a momentary, fluttery feeling.

Often, the love that is best, the one who makes us better a better human being and adds most selflessly to our lives, is not the chosen one.

The Good Doctor” is directed by almost everyone around him regarding how he should feel after Carly (Jasika Nicole) tells him that “I know what I saw,” and that he loves Lea (Paige Spara) more than her. He insists that he is fine, and there is nothing for him to “own” in terms of his feelings or responsibility. He is compelled to resolve a case in the loss of a “Jane Doe” before he can even attempt to resolve his own emotional dilemma. Only a few in his close circle give him the support he needs.

From socialite to the streets, and then a jail cell for ‘The Good Doctor’

Dr. Murphy, Dr. Park (Will Yun Lee) and Dr. Melendez (Nicholas Gonzalez) work valiantly to save the life of a woman found on the street (Jessica Van Der Veen), who has a major coronary event. Her carotid artery “blows” after the life-saving intervention, and the frantic scenes of the patient bleeding out are heart-wrenching.

Melendez pronounces her dead, but Shaun cannot let the cause of her death go unsolved.

During the procedure, Shaun relates that Carly broke up with him, and while he wishes she hadn't, he insists that he is fine. Park and Melendez do more than show appropriate empathy, they insist that “The Good Doctor” should break down and cry, mope, become despondent, and do all of the other expected behaviors of a dejected lover.

Shaun has always personalized his approach to treatment. Fans will recall the Season 1 Episode 3, “Oliver.” As Dr. Murphy and Dr. Brown (Antonia Thomas) frantically work to keep the transplanted liver viable with hours dwindling, Shaun has to know the name of the donor.

Persuading Dr. Park by evoking some of his police detective skills, Shaun solicits a trace of a tiny hummingbird tattoo on the victim. The results lead to a revelation that she is Maribel Vantene, once married to a wealthy husband. The happy couple hosted fund-raising soirées for the needy and had a cherished son, Jules. Since Shaun cannot persuade Melendez, Dr. Lim (Christina Chang) or other supervisors to grant him an autopsy, he and Park go to the family residence to find Jules.

When Park urges that it's time to move on, Shaun questions “How do you move on?”

Jules (Luke Camilleri) is at home when “The Good Doctor” and Park knock at the door, but Shaun's urgency and Park’s medical protocol have no effect. He answers: “I don't care how she died,” when told of his mother's death.

Shaun desperately makes another plea when he observes Jules leaving. He frantically accosts him at his car, with Park restraining him with all his strength. This time, Jules calls the police, and “The Good Doctor” is taken to jail. Thankfully, Park pulls some strings, and Dr. Glassman (Richard Schiff) comes to get “The Good Doctor” released. Park reiterated that this behavior was about letting Carly go, not an autopsy.

The connection could go deeper. Jules’ response is very much like Shaun’s response to his father’s death. There is every reason to think that “The Good Doctor” wanted to bring a more healing closure than his own. Glassman is the only contact in life who Shaun fully trusts, and he explains that he cannot do what Carly asked-- to tell Lea he loves her-- for fear of also losing her as a friend. Glassman faithfully lays out the options, without judgment, that there is a possibility that she responds with, “I love you, too.”

Shaun tries to talk to Lea late one night at the clinic, but the lingering autopsy issue will not allow him to speak. As a last resort, he goes to Carly's door, seeking her intervention.

He explains that he knows that Maribel didn't die from her carotid issue alone and that he cannot do what Carly asked until the autopsy is done.

Carly and Shaun come to a beautiful moment of their own. Carly questions what she saw with Lea, even though Shaun confesses that “I do love her more…” Once more, she puts aside her own needs and offers Shaun what he needs. “Thank you, Carly,” he says, as The Good Doctor” reaches to embrace her in a tender hug. Their faces speak beyond any dialogue, and the day is not done between them. Jasika Nicole divulged in a February 24 Good Housekeeping feature that “the season finale is going to blow people's minds” and keep people talking “over the whole hiatus” until Season 4.

With the luxury of a fourth season to come, nothing with the relationships has to come in a hurry. Nicole particularly would enjoy more interaction with Fiona Gubelmann’s Morgan and also with Paige Spara. There's plenty of time, now.

Risking jail again, Shaun goes to see Jules again, letting him know that he might have the same rare condition that took his mother. He also shares that his mother spoke his nickname, the word for hummingbird, as her last word. “The Good Doctor” also shared that Maribel had a tattooed hummingbird on her body, a reminder that “she loved you, she just might have been afraid to tell you,” to the son.

‘The Good Doctor’ admits ‘the professor’ and ‘the frat boy’

Morgan and Claire have to clear the air along the way as they treat a very personable college student, Aiden (Cameron Gellman) who doesn't realize he is a completely different person while he is sleepwalking.

Morgan confesses that she was the favoritism reporter, and Claire retorts that “to be so cynical, you’re so naïve.” Morgan agrees that things didn't work out as she thought. “Are you still sneaking around?” she asks of Claire.

Meanwhile, Aiden’s test results show an arachnoid cyst in his brain causing all his troubles, but at the same time, giving him the audacious “frat boy” side of his personality that possesses all the daring and fun that his dutiful “professor” side never allows. He is torn over what to do. “The frat boy” leaves a segment of video advice to “the professor,” which the patient views after surgery. Basically, the lesson is to embrace all sides of any person, including himself, and that a girl in his class, Staci, much prefers the studious Aiden to the super-partying side.

No person is ever perfect, in any dimension, and the deepest enjoyment comes from simply accepting that truth with humor and grace.

Claire does meet Dr. Melendez at the bowling alley, she insists that their clandestine efforts are “worth it.”

Little girl not so lost on ‘The Good Doctor’

Dr. Lim ends up in a pursuit of her own, after a little girl named Trinity (Ariah Lee). Most medical-themed TV Shows don’t throw in many sidelines, higher-thinking story arcs. "The Good Doctor" is an exception, and this one is sweet. The chief of surgery starts to think that she is hallucinating when she sees the young girl appearing and then vanishing in seconds.

She corners the girl in an elevator but, before any information or safety assurance can be gained, she's gone again.

Finally, Trinity gives the real story and makes her real request of Dr. Lim. She confirms that she was the baby girl left at the ER eight years ago, and Dr. Lim remembers her, “so sick and so small, but look at you now,” seeing how healthy-- and speedy-- she is,

“Can you adopt me?” Trinity asks Lim. She explains that her mommy has “a new daughter” now, and she needs to find another heart to love her. Christina Chang delivers the very touching dialogue about the ability within the human heart to always love more, and still love “with all your heart.” She describes the feeling of holding the human heart in her hands. She escorts Trinity to her mother, and the reunion is a magic assurance to the daughter.

At that same moment, Dr. Lim’s own mother returns her call. No one ever outgrows a parent’s love. The imagery clearly casts back to Lim’s growing years.

Shaun is waiting for Lea to close this episode of “The Good Doctor.” This time, there is no repeating of sadness over the breakup. Shaun tells her that he loves her, just as Carly asked him to do. No joy washes over Lea’s face. She replies with “I love you, too,” adding the looming “but.” She rightly confesses that she is “selfish and so, so needy.” She asserts that she would be “a challenge for anyone” but too much for Shaun. It declares that he is ready for her “selfishness, and neediness and messiness,” but she says that his need to live and work “in a certain way” would complicate their relationship.

The Good Doctor” connects the dots that he cannot be Lea’s boyfriend “because I have autism.” The true reason is Lea herself and her fears. She leaves him alone in the candlelit space as credits roll. The woman who prompted his “firsts” of embracing life is not willing to even attempt a try at love with “the best man I ever met.”

The final two weeks for “The Good Doctor” promise to unforgettable enough to be kept on repeat through the summer.

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