The Good Doctor Season 7 Episode 10 Review: Goodbye

Spoilers

I don’t know how to feel now that The Good Doctor is over.

The last five minutes of The Good Doctor Season 7 Episode 10 were everything I’d hoped for in the finale, but most of the hour was so depressing I was counting down the minutes until the end.

That’s not what a series finale should inspire in loyal fans who have stuck with a series for seven years.

Most of the finale was dedicated to Dr. Glassman’s refusal to consider further treatment for his brain cancer while elsewhere, Claire’s life hung in the balance.

Shaun was determined to save Glassman, who was determined not to be saved, and it seemed like the chances were the series would end with a double funeral after spending the last three episodes mourning Asher’s death.

That wasn’t entertaining or cathartic. It was unnecessary and cruel.

Glassman’s Cancer Return Seemed Contrived

Cancer can come back after years of good health, and when it does, it’s tragic.

One Last Hug - The Good Doctor Season 7 Episode 10

However, the purpose of getting yearly scans is to catch resurgences quickly and deal with them before they become fatal.

Sometimes, of course, that’s not possible.

Still, considering that Glassman had zero symptoms of brain cancer and had recently had scans when he was trying to convince Shaun he was competent to operate, it didn’t feel realistic for it to be terminal.

Additionally, it was unreasonable for Glassman to expect Shaun to accept that the battle with cancer was over when Shaun had successfully saved Glassman’s life the last time he supposedly had six months to live.

Shaun: There are new treatments. We just need to buy you time.
Glassman: I should never have told you.
Shaun: You are being selfish. You could have more time with me and Steve and Lea but you are giving up. You are a coward. You could keep fighting but you are not. If you are giving up on me then I will have to give up on you.

This felt like a cheap plot twist to explain why Shaun was memorializing Glassman in the last five minutes of the series.

It was unnecessarily manipulative and depressing.

The series could have achieved the same effect by jumping in time from when Glassman told Shaun about his diagnosis to after Glassman’s death.

It could have spent the last hour depicting Shaun obsessing over getting the opening of the Neurodiversity Foundation perfect and interspersing the story with flashbacks of Glassman trying the experimental treatments Shaun and Charlie found but failing, so eventually, they had to say goodbye.

Glassman Holds Steve - The Good Doctor Season 7 Episode 10

Did Glassman Give Up Prematurely?

The heartbreaking ending when someone refuses cancer treatment has become a tired TV trope, and in this case, it was so depressing it made the finale drag on — not a great final impression to leave.

It was understandable that Glassman didn’t want treatment that would leave him sick and in pain.

That’s sometimes the most rational choice, though I’d imagine that with brain cancer, the end would be painful anyway.

Shaun and Glassman were both too hardheaded. Shaun refused to accept Glassman’s decision, but Glassman also declined to entertain the possibility that there was a non-invasive treatment that could help him.

This is Shaun, whose trademark is finding innovative treatments no one has ever considered.

He already did that once for Glassman, so it wasn’t impossible for him to do it again.

Glassman Accepts His Fate - The Good Doctor Season 7 Episode 10

Glassman’s Final Act Was An Interesting Twist

It seemed like the finale was in danger of being a redux of the end of House when House went on the run with a dying Wilson. That was depressing enough the first time!

That’s where it was heading, though, with Shaun deciding the only way to save Claire was to illegally give her the treatment that the FDA refused to allow and then surrender his medical license.

Glassman coming to the rescue was a pleasant surprise, although the time jump afterward was abrupt and left me with one question: did he face any consequences?

Glassman was dying anyway, so there wouldn’t have been much point in prosecuting him, but the ethics board probably would have had something to say anyway.

If anyone suspected Shaun Murphy was behind it, that could have been a problem.

Shaun Searches - The Good Doctor Season 7 Episode 10

Instead, we jumped in time immediately after Glassman did the procedure, which was disorienting and made me think I’d missed something!

Was Claire’s Illness Necessary?

Claire’s illness made it seem like the series would end with two deaths, as if there wasn’t enough depression to go around with Glassman’s impending death.

It did offer an interesting parallel when Audrey Lim was arguing with Jared about treatment options and was determined to save Claire’s arm until Jared convinced her that Claire would survive with one arm.

However, an entire hour of Claire’s life hanging in the balance while Glassman’s was almost over was, if you’ll pardon the pun, overkill.

Shaun is Determined - The Good Doctor Season 7 Episode 10

There had to have been a better way to use Antonia Thomas’ final guest appearance than for Claire to be crying about the time she’d wasted and preparing for her death during an already depressing finale.

She could have convinced Shaun to let Glassman die with dignity.

She always had a way of getting through to him, and it would have been nice to honor her and Shaun’s relationship one last time instead of whatever this was supposed to be.

What About Charlie?

Newcomer Charlie Lukatis was also autistic and annoyed the hell out of Shaun for the first half of the season, then got lost in the shuffle.

She wasn’t even part of the unveiling of the Neurodiversity in Medicine Foundation!

Her only role in the finale was to assist Shaun with Claire’s treatment. What sense did that make?

Jared's Final Case - The Good Doctor Season 7 Episode 10

Instead of abruptly dropping the conflict between Shaun and Charlie, it should have continued throughout the season, with Shaun accepting Charlie fully and agreeing to be her mentor at the end.

That would have brought the series full circle, from Shaun being the resident that Glassman mentored to now mentoring Charlie.

It would have been the perfect way to honor Glassman’s memory.

Instead, Charlie became a minor character after her initial conflict with Shaun. The Good Doctor completely dropped the ball with this.

The Shortened Season Was Partially to Blame

Many shows had rushed, shortened seasons because of the delays caused by the strikes earlier in the year, and that could be part of why The Good Doctor’s finale was so disappointing.

If the series had had 22 episodes to wrap things up, maybe stories wouldn’t have ended as soon as they started to make way for the depressing finale.

Steve’s potential autism and Shaun’s mentoring Charlie got short shrift partially because there wasn’t enough time to develop them fully.

Morgan and Park Play With Eden - The Good Doctor Season 7 Episode 10

Similarly, if Glassman’s diagnosis had been given room to breathe rather than jumping from diagnosis to certain death in one episode, the story could have occurred in smaller doses and been less painful and annoying.

There could have been moments of hope followed by heartbreaking sorrow when treatment didn’t work, ending with Shaun having to accept that there was nothing more to be done.

That might have been a more moving story than how it was done.

What did you think, Good Doctor fanatics?

Did the finale feel too heavy for you, too?

Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know

The Good Doctor Season 7 streams on Hulu.

Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on X.

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