'The Good Doctor': Why Shaun's First Date with Carly Was a 'Disaster' in Season 3 Premiere

The Good Doctor Season 3 kicked off with a tense episode centered on Dr. Shaun Murphy's first date with pathologist Dr. Carly Lever. The date at a restaurant in San Jose was a "disaster," but it turned out Shaun's definition of the word was very different compared to everyone else's. In fact, the other doctors at St. Bonavenutre Hospital thought it went perfectly.

Between treating a woman (Sophia Lauchlin Hirt) for cancer the day after her wedding, Shaun (Freddie Highmore) told his colleagues all about the date with Carly (Jasika Nicole). Throughout his night with Carly, things went awkwardly, as one would expect for Shaun. Each step of the story included a possible disaster.

There was the time Shaun's dinner had a pickle on the plate, even though he requested no pickles. At another moment, Shaun told a joke that went terribly. Later, a woman was injured, and Shaun had to snap - literally - into action to help her. But the date ended with Carly giving him a goodbye kiss, despite the adventures.

For Shaun, none of these things was actually the reason the date was a "disaster." The date was terribly merely because he could not control every part of it.

"It was exhausting," Shaun said. "Everything was always out of control. Anything could happen at any time. Anything did. There was too much to remember to do. Too much to remember not to do and none of it made sense. It was hard, uncomfortable, unpleasant... I spent the whole evening doing unnatural things to make her happy. And I have no idea if she was happy and I know I wasn't happy."

"It was all a disaster," Shaun added after taking a deep breath.

At the very end of the episode, after the medical cases were solved, Dr. Claire Browne (Antonia Thomas) tried to tell Shaun the unpredictability of relationships would be worth it in the long run.

"This is why we do it, Shaun. Every date is a disaster. Every relationship is out of control," Claire said. "But, if you stick with it, you wind up with someone in your life who will help you when you need to be helped. Love you when you do not feel lovable, be with you no matter what."

"It's not worth it," Shaun said as he walked away.

The last scene of the episode showed Shaun going to the pathologists' lab. It looked like he would ask Carly out on a second date but he walked away instead. Carly spotted him. She looked disappointed that he did not talk to her and went back to work.

Carly was introduced late in Season 2, with the season finale ending showing Shaun asking her out on a date. Nicole was promoted to series regular, so we can expect to see more of her as the season goes on.


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

Photo credit: ABC/David Bukach