'The Good Doctor': Shaun's Reaction to Lea's Return Leaves Fans Conflicted

The Good Doctor fans were divided over Dr. Shaun Murphy's surprising reaction to Lea coming back into his life during this season's second episode, "Middle Ground."

At the end of the season premiere "Hello," Lea (Paige Spara) suddenly showed up at Shaun's (Freddie Highmore) door after spending the second half of season one away.

Lea was the first woman Shaun ever kissed and was left devastated when she decided to leave San Jose for Pennsylvania to take over her father's body shop. Shaun had the opportunity to go with her, but he chose to stay at St. Bonaventure Hospital instead.

While some fans might have expected Shaun to welcome Lea with open arms, this was not the case. He felt betrayed by her decision, reminding her that she was the one who left him after they built an emotional bond. Later, Dr. Claire Brown (Antonia Thomas), who convinced Shaun to stay in San Jose, told Shaun he is treating Lea poorly.

At the beginning of the episode, Shaun left his apartment early so he did not have to even talk to Lea in the morning. When he told Claire about Lea's return, she was surprised Shaun was not more excited. As the episode went on, it was clear that Shaun was staying at work longer to avoid seeing Lea.

This plan did not work out so well. Lea showed up at the hospital and asked if he had time for lunch. He told her he did not.

Claire confronted Shaun in the hallway to tell him she did not understand why he was pushing her away.

"I don't know how I feel," he admitted. "I can't be honest because I don't know how I feel."

Some fans thought Lea was the one who made the mistake.

Another fan understood why Shaun would be angry.

Other fans are hopeful that Lea can find a way to reach Shaun.

At the end, Shaun finally talked to Lea. He surprisingly told her to go back to Hershey, telling her she would leave again and hurt him even more. He even gave her back the baseball she gave him before she left. Shaun then picked up his bag and left for work, leaving Lea in tears.

In an interview with TVInsider before the season started, Freddie Highmore prepared fans for an unhappy reunion for Shaun and Lea.

"It might not be the happy reunion people are expecting. Lots happened during their time apart, and it will take Shaun a while to process that she seems to want to stick around," Highmore said.

The new season will also feature a more mature Murphy. He has now been at St. Bonaventure for a year. He also has to watch his mentor, Dr. Aaron Glassman (Richard Schiff) go through cancer treatments.

"This season is also an opportunity to explore the reality that Shaun can be very frustrating, especially when others express a differing opinion that he refuses to accept. He'll have to learn the art of compromising," Murphy told TVInsider.

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New episodes of The Good Doctor air on ABC at 10 p.m. ET on Mondays.

Photo credit: ABC