Multiple births are a strong source of drama for a medical series.
The babies are often premature and need to be whisked away to the NICU right away, and sometimes parents don’t know whether the children will survive or what kind of disabilities they may have.
The Good Doctor Season 6 Episode 7 tackled this issue in a single-storyline hour in which all doctors helped care for six babies with serious health problems after being born 11 weeks premature.
The story was more or less a feel-good story in which the doctors saved all six babies and sent them home.
The babies’ ordeal wasn’t entirely realistic, and there was no way that seriously premature babies would all go home at once or be released within days of their birth, especially not when some of them were recovering from surgery. Still, the story worked if you overlooked these inaccuracies.
While each of the babies had medical issues that their doctors were trying desperately to address, the episode mostly revolved around how working with the infants forced the doctors to face their own issues.
The storyline that came closest to a bona fide medical story was Glassman and Jordan’s. Goodness, Glassman’s attitude was irritating!
Glassman: I shouldn’t have let you talk to them.
Jordan: I was direct and honest.
Glassman: Honest? Really? Talking about miracles? You made them think there’s hope.
Jordan: There is. As long as there’s nothing wrong with her heart and brain, there’s a chance.
Glassman: 11 weeks premature, lungs filled with fluid, she has a birth defect. Chances are, she’s not going to survive. You need to stop being a cheerleader and start being a doctor.
He spent over half the episode trying to convince Jordan that it was cruel to offer the parents any hope that their daughter would live. Ugh.
Yes, the chances were that baby girl E wouldn’t make it. She had severe health issues, was 11 weeks premature, and had already been through surgery once.
But Jordan had explained that to the parents, only for the mother to say she wanted the doctors to keep searching for a solution. That mother would not have been receptive to Glassman’s point of view.
Furthermore, as Jordan pointed out, the baby’s brain and heart were working; it wasn’t as if she’d been born brain-dead or with such severe disabilities that she could never survive. Finding a way to drain her lungs was going to be difficult, but that didn’t mean the solution was to give up and let her die.
Glassman would probably label himself a realist, but he’s a pessimist convinced that his skewed view of reality is objective truth. That’s why he didn’t want to do the procedure on Lim that Shaun had recommended and why he wanted to give up on this baby.
In both cases, he was wrong, but he will likely be back with another pessimistic viewpoint soon.
And why had he never heard of waking up with new insights into a problem you’re working on when you go to sleep? I’ve heard that idea my whole life, even if I didn’t know it had a scientific name or peer-reviewed studies backing it up.
Is Glassman bitter and negative because he never got over his daughter’s death? His attitude makes me glad he’s not my doctor!
Perez: Good luck with the appointment. You’ll make a great dad.
Shaun: You are not qualified to make that assessment.
Shaun and Lea’s news was heartbreaking. Thank goodness Lea didn’t have to be at the hospital during the sextuplets’ delivery. It would have been cruel indeed for her to witness six babies being born to another woman when she can’t safely carry a baby to term.
On the other hand, that might have added another dimension to the drama over the babies’ health.
Shaun lashed out at Perez’s mistake partially because he was upset about the OBGYN’s news, but that was never addressed. Instead, the whole issue was backburnered until Lea cried in Shaun’s arms at the end of the hour.
I’d have liked more of a connection between Shaun’s drama and these babies’ birth. For the most part, these storylines ran parallel to one another.
Shaun did freeze momentarily when delivering one of the boys, and he and Perez had a few words. Still, the babies should have been a bigger deal considering that Shaun and Lea couldn’t have any of their own.
Similarly, I’d have liked more angst from the parents.
Their faith was admirable, but any parent who had six babies in the NICU should have had a myriad of emotions: Anxiety over the babies’ conditions and about how they would do this once the kids were home; excitement that they were parents; love for each other and their children.
We got almost none of that.
A more realistic story would have also depicted parents’ difficulties when their babies are premature.
For example, NICU babies must stay in isolettes most of the time, so parents can only hold them for a minute or two. Or eventually, one or more babies may go home while the others are still in the hospital.
These were natural sources of drama that The Good Doctor didn’t explore. Instead, the babies had serious issues that were solved by the end of the hour, and everyone went home at once.
Park and Morgan’s story was the most unnecessary. The more time goes on, the more I wish Morgan had gone to New York as she’d originally planned. Her constant sniping at Park wasn’t cute when they were a couple, and it’s unbearable now.
Park: Are you sure you want to have a baby?
Morgan: Why? I’m too ambitious to be a good mother just like I was too ambitious to be a good girlfriend?
Park: No, you’ll love this baby more than anything and put it before everything. I did with mine. But if you have the baby before you get the guy, it can be hard to find the guy after.
Morgan: So I shouldn’t have a baby because I won’t be able to get a man? Okay, caveman.
Park’s concerns about Morgan’s plan to be a single mother were out-of-line, but so was Morgan’s super-offended response. And now that they’re looking at potential baby daddies together, we’re probably in for even more torturous Morgan/Park scenes.
Asher and Jerome’s talk about having kids was one of the more realistic aspects of the hour. This was an arc that could easily have stretched over several episodes.
Asher fell in love with Jerome’s singing to Abigail, which got her breathing correctly again. This set Asher on the road to rethinking his child-free stance.
That felt rushed, but their conversation about their parents embarrassing them was cute.
How did you like this tale of six babies, Good Doctor Fanatics? Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know!
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The Good Doctor airs on ABC on Mondays at 10 PM EST / PST.