'The Good Doctor': Outcome of Shaun's First Surgery Revealed

In this week's episode of The Good Doctor, Dr. Shaun Murphy finally got to lead a surgery on his own, but it was not easy. As expected, there were several roadblocks and setbacks on the way, with Dr. Audrey Lim and Dr. Marcus Andrews clashing over how Shaun would handle the responsibility. In the end, Shaun did get to see his dreams come true though.

"First Case, Second Base" began with Lim (Christina Chang) assigning Shaun (Freddie Highmore) to Beth Eckert (Stacie Greenwell), a patient needing esophageal cancer surgery. Lim thought this was an easy start for Shaun, since Beth was a genial patient and this was not a difficult surgery compared to other cases.

However, Andrews (Hill Harper) thought this was coddling Lim. She argued it was necessary because they did not want to overwhelm Shaun and force him to leave St. Bonaventure Hospital.

During some testing, Shaun and Dr. Alex Park (Will Yun Lee) discovered that Beth had some scarring from a previous surgery, which would make the first planned surgery method impossible. Now, they would have to perform a different procedure that would force Beth to use a feeding tube for the rest of her life.

At first, Lim wanted Park to tell Beth this, since talking with patients is not Shaun's strong suit. But Andrews ended up forcing Shaun to tell Beth anyway. Shaun's manner left Beth unhappy, and she asked for a new surgeon. Lim said she could give Shaun another case, but he wanted the one he prepared for.

Later, Lim told Shaun they are in the same boat because they are still learning. He disagreed, noting he has a developmental disability. Lim refused to let Shaun leave the hospital. Instead, she took Shaun back to see Beth. Lim told Beth she should go to a different hospital if she really is not comfortable with Shaun, but they could get the surgery done right away if she stayed. She agreed to let Shaun lead the surgery.

Overnight, Shaun spoke to his late brother in a dream. He worried about what would happen if he ran into trouble during the surgery and Andrews had to take over. Shaun thought this would make him a failure, but his brother reminded him of an important coping mechanism.

When he arrived at the hospital, Shaun told Dr. Aaron Glassman (Richard Schiff) he was definitely not nervous. Glassman told him he was, and reminded him that every doctor is nervous about their first surgery. Glassman told Shaun a story about how focusing on a red cap helped him through his first surgery and gave Shaun the hat.

Dr. Carly Lever (Jasika Nicole) also gave him a good luck kiss. She also told him they would hold off kissing because there was something else she wanted him to touch - her breast.

"You don't have any lumps," Shaun said as Carly laughed.

At the start of the surgery, Shaun took some deep breaths and began. Everything was going well, until Shaun suddenly got very nervous and began yelling, "No!" He took off his mask and ran out. Shaun tried to relax, and Lim came down and told Park to finish the surgery. Park realized that Shaun was not really having a meltdown, but he saw something. Park calmed him down, and Shaun began to explain.

Shaun realized that there was a technique from Japan that could give Beth the opportunity to live without a feeding tube. The real reason why Shaun suddenly stopped was he realized he could not pull off the complex move himself and would lose the case. So, Lim agreed to let Shaun talk them through to do it.

Later, Shaun successfully walked them through the surgery, while Park was told to help another doctor elsewhere. At the very last moment, Lim allowed Shaun to stitch up the site of the surgery. Park ended up getting the lead role on a case, while Lim assured Shaun he would get another shot.

"As a diagnostician, he did something wonderful," Andrews told Lim. "But as a surgeon... yes, he failed."

"We don't work alone, Marcus. Every time we have a good outcome, it's because everyone in the room did something right," Lim said. "Shaun came up with the idea. Park got it out of him. I approved the surgery and you... the only reason Shaun is working here is because you believed in him."

The last scene of the episode featured Shaun going back to Carly's home where she told him the events of the day.

"Can I check your other breast?" he asked as Carly smiled and let him in.

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The Good Doctor airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.

Photo credit: ABC

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