The Good Doctor Season 6 has struck the perfect balance between compelling medical aspects and personal exploration with Dr. Audrey Lim’s storyline.
Many medical dramas spend more time delving into interpersonal relationships than the medicine. ABC’s The Good Doctor has proven it can strike the perfect balance between compelling medical aspects and human storytelling. With six seasons and counting, the series is proof that a medical drama can still be about medicine while also exploring the personal lives of its characters.
Season 5 ended with a cliffhanger that left the fate of Dr. Audrey Lim hanging in the balance after she was stabbed. Season 6 showed the aftermath of the attack — revealing Dr. Lim to be paralyzed. The season thus far has shown Dr. Lim struggling to navigate her condition as well as Dr. Shaun Murphy battling the idea that his surgical choices caused it. The Good Doctor has remained loyal to its equilibrium between inside and outside the hospital by portraying the way the close relationship between Lim and Shaun has changed along with her ongoing recovery.
Lim’s Recovery is Central to Season 6
Lim is not in a good place during Season 6, lashing out at Shaun and even going so far as to say she would rather be dead than confined to a wheelchair. Her response does, however, highlight the vulnerability someone in her position feels by having Audrey project her frustration on the easiest target: Shaun. It also creates dramatic tension because the choice Shaun made during Lim’s surgery is the same choice that Lim might have made herself.
Season 6, Episode 5 “Growth Opportunities” shows that Dr. Aaron Glassman also holds Shaun accountable for what happened to Lim; however, the two manage to work together to present possible solutions to Lim, who declines. This furthers the tension in the relationship between Lim and Shaun. But Lim’s storyline isn’t limited to what happens in the hospital; Season 6 also sees her venting to a neighbor about her situation and trying to nurture a potential relationship with him. And it explores Shaun’s reaction to Lim ending their friendship and the effects that has in his life.
Exploring Lim’s trauma, her response and Shaun’s response has provided a new layer to The Good Doctor. Fans are invested in the relationship that has formed between Lim and Shaun, and the storyline feels well-written and thought out with character development in mind, which is different than other medical dramas like Grey’s Anatomy, which tends to drag out its plotlines and is now adjusting to less Meredith Grey. The Good Doctor’s only concern is not turning Lim into an antagonist for the remainder of the season; the show can’t lose sight of who she is or make her hard to root for.
Lim’s Emotional Journey is a Compelling Watch
Lim has been going through all the stages of grief in Season 6, which could be a very compelling plot device for the remainder of the season. Viewers know Lim to be tenacious and diligent in her work. In Season 4, Episode 9, “Irresponsible Salad Bar Practices,” she said, “Life is uncomfortable; it hits you with tough situations and you muscle through them.” But despite months of continuous effort she remains paralyzed, and the awkward encounter with her neighbor has not helped her come to terms with her situation.
Wat makes the whole plotline engaging is the fact that Lim has always been seen as Shaun’s protector. To have her turn on him to the point of saying she hates him adds layers of their relationship. Both characters have been on The Good Doctor since Season 1 and viewers have watched their dynamic evolve, which contrasts Chicago Med’s apparent retcon. It also makes this storyline even more upsetting but also hopefully more rewarding in the end.
The success of The Good Doctor is a result of its balance between medical storylines and human aspects, which Lim’s plotline has highlighted. The series is allowing the storyline to run its natural course and truly exploring the subjects involved. The resulting arc is gripping, emotional and proves the ABC medical drama is superior to its competition.