The Good Doctor” has teased for weeks that the Season 3 finale would be like no other, thus far, in ABC megahit medical drama’s history. Considering the high bar set with the Season 2 Winter Premiere and Fall Finale, “Quarantine,” that's more than a hard act to follow for the cast, writers, and showrunners. Sure enough, though, March 23 part one of the Season 3 finale, “Hurt” held suspense from the opening 30 seconds to the final frame of this offering of “The Good Doctor.”

Mother nature threw a wallop of a first punch with an earthquake to interrupt a pleasant night schmoozing at the Bold Statement Brewery in support of cancer charities.

Lea (Paige Spara) swipes the invitation that she didn't think her boss Dr. Glassman (Richard Schiff) needed. She's just started drinking for two when the introductions started and a tour of the place becomes pure terror when the quake takes the floors and the kegs down one by one.

Even before Dr. Lim (Christina Chang) hears from Dr. Melendez (Nicholas Gonzalez) that he and Dr. Glassman are OK, she has assembled the Hospital Emergency Response Team (HERT) from St. Bonaventure Hospital, taking Dr. Murphy (Freddie Highmore), Dr. Brown (Antonia Thomas) and Dr. Park (Will Yun Lee) with her for victim treatment and assessment. She places the hospital on full trauma alert and, even though Dr. Reznick (Fiona Gubelmann) is still in bandages from her hand surgery, she convinces the bosses that she can direct the staff even though she “can't cut.” She has all the rapport of a sledgehammer and politeness has no place in her protocol.

“The Good Doctor” is greatly relieved to hear that his mentor is alive, but he will soon face every fear to rescue the victim that he didn't even realize would be there, and save more in the process.

‘The Good Doctor’ gets unexpected news upon arrival

Dr. Glassman greets Shaun when the team arrives, telling him that Lea was there.

When “The Good Doctor” asks where she is now, his mentor replies that no one has found her. Dr. Murphy resolutely enters the building on his own search to save her. On the way, Shaun’s unique skill of visualization allows him to save another life.

Marta (Lesley Boone) and her wife, Noreen (Kim Hawthorne) were hosting the event at their newly opened brewery in celebration of Marta’s story of cancer survival.

Dr. Melendez had removed a tumor and saved her life through the ordeal. The experience made her stronger and enabled her to let go of her fear and shame and live as her true self. She and Noreen met at church but quickly lost their membership status due to being openly gay. Marta has been critically hurt with a spinal injury before she is moved, Shaun alerts Melendez and Brown that a screw placed in the prior surgery is putting pressure on the spinal cord, and “she could die.” She cannot be moved. Melendez decides that an on-site surgery to remove the screw is the only way to stabilize Marta.

Medical dramas have made a roaring comeback on the back of the success of “The Good Doctor,” and still, this drama stands out among TV Shows of its kind.

The difference is not only the superb cast but also storylines and dialogue that grip real-life situations so authentically. Noreen doesn't want Marta to have the surgery, and her pledge to “push you around” (from a wheelchair) and “wipe your mouth” echo with such depth of love that no one watching could look away. Just as moving is Marta’s request to “believe with me” that Dr. Melendez can save her again.

While Dr. Reznick is doing away with all semblance of courtesy, demanding that all the nursing staff call her “b*@%h” with gusto, and reminding them that “please” and “thank you” are not featured in her trauma-level vocabulary, Shaun is crawling deeper and deeper through piles of beams, cement, and cinderblocks.

One of the centerpiece dialogues occurs between “The Good Doctor” and his brother, Steve.

Steve cautions Shaun about Lea in a clenching talk on ‘The Good Doctor’

Dr. Murphy is repeating “I am not afraid” in-between calls to Lea as he digs further. Steve (Dylan Kingwell) comes to him in a vision, as the brother often does in crucial times, like his first surgery and other moments. This time, however, Steve is not so comforting to “The Good Doctor.” He tells his brother that the effort is “stupid scary” and likely futile. He confesses that even though he believed in Shaun because of their love, “you're not her hero.” He says that Shaun is “limited,” and not someone Lea can accept. Shaun continues on and hears another voice responding to his calls.

Shaun comes to Vera (Marin Ireland), a victim pinned by impaled rebar in her chest and legs. He lets Dr. Lim know that the leg wound is too treacherous for removing the rebar, but he can do the chest because her lungs and heart are clear. Of course, immediate help is essential. In the meantime, Dr. Lim has located Lea, standing up and seemingly unhurt at a lower level. She is waiting in an ambulance, and hearing “The Good Doctor” give radio messages, unbeknownst to him.

Vera has heard Shaun’s calls to Lea for some time, so she knows how important this victim is to “The Good Doctor.” She relates her own story of being at the brewery because of being “hung up” on her old boyfriend. When Dr. Murphy explains that he still wants Lea to be his girlfriend, Vera urges that he is better than she deserves and that they both should “move on” if they survive this disaster.

In another piece of masterful dialogue in “The Good Doctor,” Dr. Murphy details that Lea makes him “more.” He describes how driving a car, taking those tequila shots “STAT,” and singing karaoke, among their other highlights, have forged him into a whole person. On the other hand, he feels that he does not make her “more,” as Lea listens. Sometimes, the adventure of love is worth the hurt.

Saving lives at all costs on ‘The Good Doctor’

Dr. Melendez suffered a severe abdominal blow, as Dr. Brown discovered when she arrived. He dismisses it for later, attending to Marta’s surgery instead. Dr. Brown intercedes with an incredible invention, using a beer tap to pump the patient's own blood back into her.

When Noreen compliments the idea as “incredible,” Melendez praises that “with Dr. Brown, you get used to incredible.”

As they load Marta into the ambulance with Noreen, a hand squeeze lets the surgeons know that they have been successful. Right after another aftershock, Melendez vomits suddenly and collapses, as Claire calls for oxygen. The brilliant surgeon may be the sole fatality from the disaster on “The Good Doctor.”

Dr. Glassman did a “cowboy move” of his own, as he likes to say, shoving his dislocated shoulder back in place with a slam into a doorway. He's no delicate senior. He goes to the hospital, where he and Andrews (Hill Harper) are doing procedure after procedure, and no simple stuff.

Morgan Reznick gets a deserved verbal beat-down from Nurse Petringa (Karin Konoval) about “biting the hands that are your hands.” Reznick tries desperately to find a surgeon to help her teen patient with an ectopic pregnancy, but none are available. “I'm a surgeon,” she tells the nurse, unwrapping her bandages.

Dr. Park feels immediate intimacy with the teen victim, Casey (Bentley Green). Park possesses a gift for breaking the ice, and he reaches out with a parent’s heart when Casey tells him he was there trying to sneak beers at the bar. “My dad thinks I'm a screw-up,” Casey tells the doctor. This prognosis is not so good on “The Good Doctor.” The huge beam across Casey's midsection has severed his spine.

He will bleed out when the beam is removed. Dr. Lim says they can only try to get his father to the scene “before it's too late.” Dr. Park asks to do a last-ditch effort to spare the aorta and Casey's life when the aftershock comes.

It is impossible to watch this episode without thinking of the multitude of real-life doctors, nurses, and technicians across the globe facing death every day in treating patients under the COVID-19 siege. They may not all be surgeons, but they are making life-and-death decisions and sacrificing their own human safety and needs for those of others, 24 hours a day. Every one of them is a hero in every sense and an emblem of selflessness. The weight they are carrying is unimaginable.

As this first part of the season-ender for “The Good Doctor” approaches, Dr. Lim radios Shaun to check-in. “I'm doing okay,” he tells her, “except for the water.” The roar and rushing water from a ruptured pipe surround “The Good Doctor” and his patient. “Please hurry!” he calls.

Part two of the Season 3 finale of “The Good Doctor” airs next week, March 30, with “I Love You.” The three little words find lives in the balance.

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