If you’re a fan of Nicholas Gonzalez and his characters, his latest series regular roles have not made that easy. First, in The Good Doctor Season 3 finale, Dr. Melendez died as a result of injuries he sustained in an earthquake. Now, on La Brea, Levi was shot and killed saving his best friend Gavin (Eoin Macken). In both cases, his characters knew they had fatal wounds—and the actor knew those moments were coming in each case for a bit.
“Yeah, there’s a certain knowledge of these two knowing they’re going to die as well as an actor who knew for a long time that he was going to die when no one else did,” Gonzalez tells TV Insider. “It was something on La Brea that everyone knew a little bit earlier because it wasn’t the same sort of attachment. But with The Good Doctor, I was working for months with that knowledge without any of my co-stars knowing.” On La Brea, he was also supposed to die in the first episode of Season 3; instead, he survived until the fifth, the penultimate of the NBC series.
And in both cases, Gonzalez knows fans expect a last-minute save of some sort. “The fact that this isn’t in the [La Brea] finale, I think that there’s a certain sense that—not only [is it] triggering, but I think there’s going to be a lot of lot, ‘Oh, yeah, this is familiar,’ because as far as they know, time travel, anything can happen. Anybody can come back and we can go back and save—We’ve done it for Gavin, we’ve done it for Eve [Natalie Zea]. Why don’t we do it for Levi?”
Such was also the case on the ABC medical drama. “We saved everyone on The Good Doctor. Shaun [Freddie Highmore] found a way no matter what,” Gonzalez says. “To this day, it’s making its way around the world as the show does, and through different streaming platforms that people have access to. Right now, judging by my Instagram inbox, it’s in India because I’m getting tears and ‘How could you do this?’” And he shares, many follow the same trajectory when it comes to their feelings about Dr. Melendez, going from hating his character to him becoming a favorite to heartbreak over his death.
“‘You saved so many people, and how could they not do it for you?’” he recalls reading. “‘Nobody’s sad about it and talking about it, really. There’s a little bit, but then they’re over it and move on. And how is this not the biggest thing and how is there not a funeral?’”
He knows that La Brea fans are going to go through the same thing (especially considering how complicated Levi’s relationship with Gavin became, given his affair with Eve and the fact that he blew up everyone’s chance to leave 10,000 BC and return to 2021). “There’s that sci-fi element,” says Gonzalez.
Hey, there is still one more episode of La Brea to go. But if that was the last time we see Gonzalez on that show, there’s always what he does next. Guess we’ll have to tune in to see if that character dies tragically, too.