The Good Doctor” is ramping up to next week’s Part One of the Season 3 finale, and the stress levels for the characters and the faithful viewers of the medical drama seem to be rising together. In the March 2 Episode 17, “Fixation,” Dr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore) is determined to apply the same steadfast study and determination to his relationship with Lea (Paige Spara) as he does to his skill with medicine. The major problem with this approach for “The Good Doctor” is that ill patients are much more willing parties than some romantic partners, and Lea isn't budging.

While “The Good Doctor” ultimately determines the condition for a patient who has confounded a multitude of medical experts, Dr. Park (Will Yun Lee), Dr. Reznick (Fionna Gubelmann), Dr. Melendez (Nicholas Gonzalez), and Dr. Lim (Christina Chang) are grappling together to save the life of a man living to save the lives of troubled youth, but who now can't seem to catch a sliver of a medical break.

‘The Good Doctor’ wants to dive into relationship talk

Shaun is clearly consumed by his rejection from Lea, but he is not ready to admit to himself or anyone else that he has been spurned.

In typical fashion, he asks Dr. Melendez how he “made” Dr. Lim love him. The surgeon spells out that love cannot be forced and tries to steer the conversation back to the matter of their patient, Alice (Ever Carradine). She is so consumed in pain and weakness that she cannot stand, walk, or hold her young daughter (Alix West), another of the recent younger scene stealers. Her husband (David Cubitt) and her latest diagnosis lean toward psychosomatic symptoms.

The Good Doctor” declares that talking about his relationships helps him to focus on medicine. As the team is talking, Dr. Park’s son comes in, looking for his dad. Dr. Murphy rudely tells them that they are talking about something “important.” Dr. Melendez cautions Shaun on his rudeness and tells Kellen that his father is in surgery, and it will be a few hours. Dr. Murphy gets an idea to help Alice, but his first intuitions are not correct.

After a risky test involving pressure on the brain and spinal involvement, Alice’s husband pleads with his wife not to stay in the hospital.

“There's good in the life we have,” he implores. He insists that their daughter needs a mother at home, even one holding her in bed, instead of one in a hospital. Alice agrees to be discharged, but on their way out of the hospital, “The Good Doctor” proposes a way to drain an adrenal gland without removing it completely. Dr. Murphy discovered that the gland itself was behaving like a tumor, and the first-ever operation will allow her to function normally if successful.

She and her family agree, and she is able to stand and walk, and hold little Ruby all on her own.

Beans out of order and courageous measures to save a father figure on ‘The Good Doctor’

Shaun gets counsel from his colleagues that a partner should be accepted, faults and all. They tell “The Good Doctor” that love is about accepting the things he likes and those he doesn't like in his partner. He immediately texts Lea.

Lea is none too thrilled to rush to Shaun’s apartment on her lunch hour for a “time-sensitive” issue, only to find that “The Good Doctor” wants to show off that “the pinto beans are next to the tomatoes-- that's not alphabetical order.” He also wants to prove his concession in turning the toilet paper roll so that it is closest to the wall.

Fans will well remember “Two-Ply” from Season 2. He is more than meeting her halfway, from his vantage point.

For Lea, of course, these measures fail to impress. She lets him know that this is “not enough” to prove they can be a couple. She leaves, quite perturbed.

Dr. Park and several of the staff at the hospital are involved in the rescue of Wes Keller (Harold Perrineau) from a heavily forested area. This character and the moving portrayal by Perrineau are among the most memorable of this season on “The Good Doctor.”

Keller is a youth leader who tries to turn a group of young men away from life on the streets.

He understands because he lived the same life. He was leading an outdoor adventure when he was seriously injured and had to be airlifted to the hospital. No matter the consult or the time of day, Wes Keller’s band of devoted “hoodlums” are parked outside his door or in his room. He has to shoo them away to get private information.

Keller's devotion, like that of his youth, knows no bounds, but his body is failing. During a heart procedure, a fistula weakens the muscle. Signs of renal (kidney) failure soon follow, and the team tells him that he must have a kidney transplant. Family donors are not much of a possibility, because Wes was in jail on and off for many years, along with doing drugs.

His commitment to his changed life and his courage in sharing it doesn't reap the thing he needs most—time.

Each member of Keller’s youth group gets tested as a potential match. Only one, Max (Luke Slattery), declares that he is. He implores Dr. Lim and the medical team to approve him as a donor. He presents powerful evidence of all the times that Wes cleaned up his blood after fights, attended the funeral of the young man's sister alongside him, and simply was “there” as the only person who cared.

Even though Max is emancipated, Dr. Lim delivers the decision that he cannot be the donor. She also informs Wes, who says “it's the right call.” In the evening, Lim listens in on Keller giving a lesson about the North Star to the group.

Max demands everyone's full attention. Keller directs that “this will get you home, no matter where you are.” Max breaks down with Dr. Lim in the chapel. Wes accepted himself for who he was, and the real-life people like this character will never know the legacy they plant within generations of lives.

It turns out that Kellan Park was also caught with one of Wes’ boys—vaping THC on hospital property. After containing his initial dad's response of “you're not that stupid,” Park witnesses his son having a panic attack, and realizes the root of the problem. Long-distance parenting is virtually impossible, even with the best of intentions.

He makes a pledge to be a more present parent to Kellan, and this time, it will stick. Time after time, Will Yun Lee delivers one of the most refreshing characterizations on the drama. The strength of the father-son bond was seen in “The Good Doctor” two-parter “Quarantine” last season.

One date on, one date off for ‘The Good Doctor’

Claire (Antonia Thomas) is torn about accepting a date from the widower of a deceased patient, but with prompting from Dr. Melendez, who notes that “you lit up” in his presence, she accepts.

She tries to prepare a recipe from the woman they both cherished, and the result was none too tasty, but the night still ended in laughter.

Dr. Murphy also had a date in mind, but the result for him was far more unsuccessful.

“I think we should go on a date--a real date,” “The Good Doctor” proposes to Lea at the end of their shifts. “I can fix this,” Shaun further insists, “you need to let me try.”

“You’re autistic. You can’t fix that,” she returns. “I am who I am, and you are who you are, and the two of us will never work.” “The Good Doctor” turns and walks away, with even his effort refused. The woman who taught Dr. Murphy date etiquette, karaoke, and “tequila STAT” seems to have lost all tolerance.

The final scene shows “The Good Doctor” turning the toilet paper away from the wall again.

The Season 3 finale begins next week with “Heartbreak.”

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