I’m glad The Good Doctor is addressing gender expectations.
I’m not a fan of gender reveals because you don’t know yet whether your child’s birth-assigned gender matches their gender identity, and anyway, people tend to start putting those expectations on kids as soon as they learn their gender assignment.
But The Good Doctor Season 4 Episode 14 did its best to turn that irritating habit on its head by having Shaun discover more and more how prevalent sexism is as time went on.
Shaun’s constant attempts to interview everybody about their experiences irritated me more than usual, though.
Many of the conversations in the OR or elsewhere on The Good Doctor tend to border on inappropriate, and I’ve often wondered if real-life surgeons have such personal discussions while working on patients.
But patients’ needs seemed to totally take a back seat to Shaun’s curiosity throughout most of the hour, and even though I know that was supposed to be a manifestation of his Autism, I found it irksome.
Until they find a way to put uteruses in men, women in this profession have to make sacrifices that men don’t.
On the other hand, he did click back into doctor mode when Jean’s blood pressure suddenly dropped, and later Jean didn’t mind his questions while he was examining her.
So maybe it was just me.
Jean’s case was a great example of sexism in action, though.
The medical establishment is not interested in women like Jean. They’re ignoring her symptoms.
Not only did her original doctor dismiss all of her symptoms as menopause, but he doubled down on his diagnosis when Shaun questioned him!
Of course, it would have helped if Shaun had agreed to talk to him privately. Maybe he would have been more open to listening to Shaun’s concerns if he wasn’t being grilled in front of other patients.
But still, his insistence that the blood pressure drop was due to anxiety without any evidence whatsoever was irritating, but also an example of how some doctors refuse to take women’s health issues seriously.
When Claire said they couldn’t do anything to arrest the disease’s progression because of the delay in diagnosis, I wondered if there was anything they could have done if it had been caught earlier.
But in any case, Jean’s reactions showed the other side of the sexism coin.
Jean was so determined not to give in to stereotypes about women that she adopted the same unhealthy ideas about grief and pain equalling weakness that many men do.
She missed out on her daughter’s childhood in an effort to teach her how to be strong. No wonder Tori rejected her mother’s ideas as antiquated and ridiculous.
There was a definite parallel between Jean and Park’s patient, too.
I have breasts. How can I have breast cancer?
Vargas was completely consumed with fear of ruining his image as a fighter if he had to have surgery to treat breast cancer.
The unspoken problem, of course, is that breast cancer is considered a “woman’s illness” (despite the doctors explaining that men can get it too.) That was probably what was behind all the noise Vargas was making about how he had to preserve his image as a fighter.
Of course, there’s also the issue that athletes of any gender are under a lot of pressure to look and be a certain way, and he was involved in a sport that is associated with hypermasculinity.
MMA Fighter: I’m gonna get through this.
Park: Doesn’t mean you should. This is dumb. You”re acting like an idiot because you’re less afraid of pain and nausea than of being exposed.. You’ve built up a perfect facade and you’ll kill yourself trying to maintain it. Come on. It’s not the body that made you strong.
MMA Fighter: Tell that to my fans and my sponsors.
Park: I think you should. Come on, man, you were brave when you were that fat little kid who was getting picked on and decided to do something different. Don’t let that kid down now.
That’s why I loved what Park said to him. He spoke to him man-to-man, using language Vargas would respond to, and got his point across at last.
I also got the sense that Park was talking to himself, or at least, about what he had learned through that stupid conflict with Morgan.
Andrews had said something similar to Park, and it was about the only worthwhile part of the Morgan/Park story.
I get the sense that the writers think Morgan and Park’s relationship is comic relief, but it isn’t. It’s just purely irritating.
Clearly, Morgan has intimacy issues. That’s understandable, but her way of dealing with it grated on every one of my nerves.
Her continual insistence that Park date other people and attempts to take over his dating profile were played for laughs, but there was nothing funny about it whatsoever.
I’ve never been much of a Park/Morgan fan, mostly because I’ve never been a Morgan fan. I don’t know what Park sees in her, but I’m glad he finally decided to move on.
For now, anyway. I’m sure Morgan will suddenly be jealous.
Glassman: So you are really bad at everything she needs done but you want to do it.
Shaun: Yes. How do I do that?
Glassman: I’m not sure it can be done. It’s like everything you need is in a red shirt but you need it to be green.
That thing that Glassman said to Shaun about wanting the impossible applies equally well to Morgan.
She wants Park to date around and not be attached to her, but she’s jealous of other women he’s with.
Maybe The Good Doctor is going for some sort of story in which Park dating other people makes Morgan realize she does want to be exclusive with him, but right now I feel like it serves Morgan right if she loses him.
She’s known from the beginning that he has feelings for her, and she’s been trying to distance herself from him because of it.
Up until this point, her terms have been that they are sex buddies ONLY and that anything resembling a meaningful relationship is off-limits.
If that’s not what Park wants — and it doesn’t seem like it is — he SHOULD move on, and if that makes Morgan realize that she threw away the guy she wanted to be with, too bad.
Your turn, The Good Doctor fanatics.
Am I being too hard on Morgan? Which storyline did you like best? Do you think Shaun will be able to let go of trying to control every aspect of Lea’s delivery?
Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know your thoughts about that and everything else that happened on The Good Doctor Season 4 Episode 14.
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The Good Doctor airs on ABC on Mondays at 10 PM EST/PST.