Morgan often adds little to the story and doesn’t do much besides snipe at Park.
And since she turned down a job offer in New York, she’s been even worse.
That may all change after The Good Doctor Season 6 Episode 8, though. According to spoilers, Morgan will have to face her traumatic past while helping a sexual assault survivor.
Television can make strong statements about sexual assault and how it affects survivors. But too often, shows use it as a plot point instead of telling a moving story about how the survivor deals with what has been done to them.
Let’s hope The Good Doctor does a better job than most. Medical dramas can depict the rape exam, the survivor’s emotional state, and how doctors can help protect against STDS and pregnancies following a rape; these aspects are often overlooked but can lead to compelling drama.
The Good Doctor loves to focus on how cases affect the doctors. That’s why Morgan will grapple with her memories of a prior assault while helping the patient.
This could be powerful drama, but it’s risky. Morgan isn’t a character fans are super-invested in, and The Good Doctor will also need to steer clear of negative messages, such as her trauma being an excuse for bad behavior.
Trauma can impact people in many ways, and after a sexual assault, it’s understandable that Morgan would want to protect herself from getting hurt again. It’s common for survivors to fear sexual intimacy after an experience like that.
That could explain why she has done this annoying push-pull thing with Park since they began dating, but she still needs to own her choices.
If Morgan realizes that she’s been acting defensively because she never dealt with her trauma, that could be a turning point for her character — if she chooses to work through it now.
On the other hand, if her self-reflection stops short of deciding she wants to change and continues to be sarcastic, annoying, and bossy with everyone, that would render the whole story pointless. Plus, it would fall squarely into the “trauma is an excuse” category and reinforce negative stereotypes.
Will Morgan confide in anyone about why she’s reacting to this patient the way she is? She often works closely with Glassman, but she’s unlikely to want to talk to a man about this, especially an old-school doctor like Glassman who embraces sexism as often as not.
Lea isn’t in a space to be supportive of anyone else unless significant time has passed since she found out she can’t have children, and Morgan’s bestie, Claire, is not even in the country anymore.
Lim has struggled with PTSD of her own and would be a good mentor for Morgan, but she’s still wrapped up in anger over her paralysis. That leaves Jordan — will Morgan allow herself to be vulnerable with a resident she doesn’t know all that well?
While Morgan is dealing with trauma, Shaun, Asher, and Glassman deal with a near-fatal error.
A patient develops an infection after someone leaves a surgical sponge in her abdomen. It isn’t clear whether the original surgery occurred at St. Bonaventure or another hospital; let’s hope it’s the latter.
It’s possible that a surgeon other than the main characters did the original surgery; in any case, the doctors have to resolve the infection now, or the woman will die.
That sounds too straightforward for a medical drama; there will likely be complications due to the error. In addition, will Shaun get sidetracked trying to track down the doctor who originally made the mistake so that he can confront them about their carelessness?
According to the spoiler video, this case will lead to another awkward moment between Shaun and Lim, as she is sticking to only talking to him about medicine and doesn’t think he needs her help with this case.
Glassman is supposed to confront her, leading her to admit she’s still holding onto anger at Shaun about her paralysis.
Can this please be the last time Shaun, Lim, and Glassman deal with this?
At this point, it doesn’t make much sense for Lim to continue to hold a grudge. Emotions aren’t always rational, and people can have mixed feelings, but it feels like she’s flip-flopping between building a life she’s happy with and being angry that Shaun’s surgery led to her paralysis.
According to the spoiler video, she will tell Glassman she’ll be angry as long as she feels like it. She has a right to feel however she feels, but that sounds like clinging to anger rather than still feeling it.
Shaun can’t be blamed if he’s bewildered by this. He tried to make amends, only for her to reject the surgery he offered that could reverse the paralysis.
It looks like she’s trying to have it both ways, even if the truth is more nuanced. Shaun isn’t good at picking up on nuances and won’t get this at all.
Shaun and Lim clearing the air could be good for both of them so that they can move on. But will Lim let it go after that?
Let’s hear your thoughts, Good Doctor fanatics! Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button to sound off about these spoilers.
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The Good Doctor airs on ABC on Mondays at 10 PM EST / PST.
Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on Twitter.