‘The Good Doctor’ Finale: Creator David Shore On Tragic Twist & Coronavirus’ Impact On Medical Drama’s Future

SPOILER ALERT: This story contains particulars from tonight’s season finale of ABC’s The Good Physician. 

In tonight’s Season Three finale of The Good Physician, the workers at St. Bonaventure Hospital continued sifting by the ruins of the huge earthquake that rocked San Jose—and as promised, not everybody on the ABC collection made it out alive.

A number of characters’ lives hung within the stability through the two-part finale, which started airing final week with Episode 19, “Damage.” In the long run, it was Dr. Neil Melendez (Nicholas Gonzalez) who didn’t make it, in a tragic accident. Within the penultimate episode, Melendez was knocked down by rubble, with what gave the impression to be solely minor accidents. Persevering with to assist the injured for so long as he might, Melendez finally ended up in a mattress at St. Bonaventure, succumbing to a quickly advancing case of ischemic bowel.

Whereas the attending surgeon was tonight’s solely casualty among the many principal solid, the occasions of Episode 20, “I Love You,” forecast numerous main adjustments to return in Season 4. Bonding with a dying younger man within the finale, Dr. Alex Park (Will Yun Lee) indicated at episode’s finish that he’ll be shifting away subsequent season, to be nearer together with his household.

Then, there’s Dr. Morgan Reznick (Fiona Gubelmann), a surgeon who grappled with a prognosis of rheumatoid arthritis for a lot of Season 3, hiding the information from her superiors. Enduring a dramatic surgical procedure late within the season in hopes of saving her fingers—and her profession—Reznick performs surgical procedure whereas nonetheless therapeutic within the finale, sacrificing her capacity to work in that area, so as to save a life at a time when nobody else is offered to assist.

Lastly, there’s Dr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore), the younger surgeon with Savant syndrome, who saves the lifetime of a lady impaled by metal rebar, whereas reeling from the rejection of his longtime love curiosity Lea (Paige Spara). Coming to grips with Lea’s resolution whereas coping with a life-or-death disaster, Shaun is shocked to seek out Lea ready for him as soon as he emerges from the depths of a destroyed brewery, kissing him passionately and telling him, “You make me extra.”

So, what’s going to the occasions of tonight’s finale imply for the subsequent season of The Good Physician? In an interview with Deadline, collection creator/govt producer David Shore broke down the emotional finale, defined why Melendez needed to die and teased what’s to return in Season Four and the fates of Park and Reznick. A showrunner with an extended historical past in medical tv who additionally created Fox’s Home, Shore additionally touched on the still-unfolding coronavirus epidemic, discussing the affect it might have on the route of the subsequent season, and on the way forward for tv at massive.

DEADLINE: How lengthy have you ever had the ending for The Good Physician’s third season in thoughts?

DAVID SHORE: That’s a troublesome query to reply, imagine it or not. We at all times needed Shaun to wind up with Lea. Jasika [Nicole] was so nice, and the Carly function was so nice that we needed to second-guess ourselves every now and then, which was precisely what we needed. However we at all times needed to get in direction of that. We needed to do one thing large to finish the season and put a whole lot of lives in jeopardy, for all the apparent causes.

The explanation we do a medical present is due to life-and-death stakes. Right here, we’ve a chance to essentially put that entrance and middle, and it’s thrilling. It was enjoyable to movie. The specifics of it began rounding into place simply a few months, in all probability, earlier than we filmed it. So, notionally, we had a few of this in thoughts. However as with all the things, the specifics take a very long time to formulate.

DEADLINE: Did you think about any options, so far as particular facets of the finale? Have been different prospects evaluated, in figuring out who would stay and die?

SHORE: No [laughs]. I don’t have a superb reply. I imply, once you do a narrative like this, you need to be sincere. If you do a collection like this, you need to confront mortality. That’s what the collection does. You want unhealthy outcomes each on occasion to maintain issues sincere and maintain the viewers believing that unhealthy issues are going to occur, simply since you need to be sincere, and since you need to put folks in these positions. You need to see how folks react to unhealthy information, in addition to good. So, you need, each on occasion, unhealthy issues to occur, and to see the fallout from it. That’s what you need to discover as an viewers; that’s what you need folks to really feel.

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I imply, we’re an unabashedly emotional present. The specifics of it had been a whole lot of room dialogue, a whole lot of back-and-forth, a whole lot of mind-changing, and I don’t have a solution for you that’ll make everyone go, “Oh, I see. That’s nice.” There are going to be those who hate it, and a part of me struggles with it. Nick was so nice, however you need to go the place the tales take you.

DEADLINE: So, there was no particular purpose Dr. Melendez ended up on the chopping block?

SHORE: I’d moderately not go into it, significantly. None of it’s private. You already know, Nick was improbable, and there’s nothing I can say to you that can make you go, “Oh, yeah. Okay. It needed to be that means.” We needed to lose a personality that we’d really feel one thing about, and really feel ache about, and definitely, he’s a personality that so a lot of them have been in contact with. Lim had a relationship with him; Claire was beginning a relationship with him; Shaun clearly had his factor with him, though their paths don’t actually cross within the finale. I believe that will have been largely true for any of our characters, however it’s significantly true for him.

Look, that is the character of those types of exhibits, I imagine, is you go ahead, and other people come and go. It’s a dynamic being, the present. New characters are going to return, outdated characters are going to depart, and we really feel the ache after they go away, and we really feel pleasure after they come. All of it’s designed to provide us a chance to discover totally different relationships.

DEADLINE: It looks as if we may be shedding one other character in Season 4, albeit in a special sense, with Dr. Park leaving the hospital…

SHORE: You’d have to attend to see on that one.

DEADLINE: Then there’s Dr. Reznick. Whereas she’s going to conceivably find yourself working within the hospital in a special function, it appears her days as a surgeon are gone.

SHORE: There’s going to be adjustments for that character. Look, I don’t suppose Dr. Park goes to be leaving. I don’t suppose Dr. Morgan’s going to be leaving, however there are going to be adjustments for these characters on account of issues which have occurred to them and the experiences they’ve had—in her case a bodily change, in his case an emotional change. However there will likely be adjustments for each of them.

DEADLINE: Is there the rest you’ll be able to share about what’s to return in Season 4?

SHORE: Not lots. I’m excited by the alternatives that all of us see arrange on this. I’m not a genius sufficient to know the place issues are going. That’s the thrill for me, too. I’m excited by the alternatives it’s presenting for me and the thrill for the viewers, however to an amazing extent, all that’ll be decided over the subsequent few months, as we sit down within the writers’ room, or sit down in our respective places of work, and be part of one another over the web, and put some flesh on the bones of those alternatives.

DEADLINE: Clearly, manufacturing throughout the business has been shut down as a result of ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It’s attention-grabbing to listen to that you’ll nonetheless have the ability to work collectively remotely, in writing the subsequent season.

SHORE: It’s not supreme, however it’s not supreme for anyone, clearly. We’re in discussions now. We haven’t began but, however I believe after we do begin, it is going to be by way of some form of video conferencing, and we’ll see how that goes.

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DEADLINE: The Good Physician is certainly one of a number of medical exhibits to have donated provides to medical professionals on the entrance strains of the pandemic. How did that come about?

SHORE: I imagine we did this on the finish of Home. It wasn’t the identical state of affairs, however we donated some provides, I imagine to abroad. Look, the world has a disaster. We’re pretending to save lots of lives, and individuals are on the market actually saving lives. We heard there’s a necessity for tools, and a few of that tools, we really had for our little faux factor, so it was type of a no brainer that we should always move that alongside and do what we will.

DEADLINE: How do you suppose the pandemic will creatively affect exhibits like The Good Physician, going ahead?

SHORE: That’s a extremely good query. I clearly don’t know the reply to it. My fundamental view once you’re doing a TV present, and this particular TV present, is it exists in the true world. It exists on this world precisely as it’s, apart from The Good Physician shouldn’t be on TV [laughs]. That’s the one factor that’s not in Shaun’s world.

Look, this can be a problem for society. Our little challenges are so trivial by comparability, however sure, we must make some choices about that, and I believe, to some extent, stay in that actuality. However we don’t know what that actuality goes to be. You already know, when the writers meet in April and Could and June to debate episodes that will likely be on the air in September, October and November, issues are altering so quick that it’s type of inconceivable to know.

DEADLINE: Do you suppose most showrunners must confront the query you posed—whether or not or not, or to what extent, their collection will immediately deal with this real-world pandemic?

SHORE: Sure, precisely. Exhibits in various realities gained’t should take care of it—sci-fi and stuff—however when you’re doing a authorized present, when you’re doing a cop present, the world simply appears totally different. We’re all hoping issues return to regular, however we don’t know when, we don’t how briskly. On the identical time, we don’t need to exploit the present state of affairs. However we’re telling tales concerning the world that we stay in, and that is a part of the world we stay in proper now.

DEADLINE: You could often seek the advice of with medical consultants, whereas engaged on The Good Physician. Have you ever spoken with any of them about what’s occurring on the planet now?

SHORE: They’re busy proper now [laughs]. So, if I occur to be talking with them, I’ll ask them, and I’m listening to the identical stuff that we’re all listening to, to some extent…I don’t have any inside info to provide you. We’re all apprehensive about it, together with our medical doctors.

DEADLINE: In the midst of your tv profession, you’ve lined fairly numerous pure disasters, The Good Physician’s disastrous earthquake being simply the latest instance. When you do determine to deal with the present pandemic within the fourth season, how do you suppose you’ll method it?

SHORE: We did a quarantine episode final season—a two-parter…a few respiratory sickness. For the folks concerned, it was very, very important, however it wasn’t world. These tales…you realize, we’re going to should face the truth of this, however these will not be the tales that I’m inquisitive about telling.

Clearly, we’re coping with the discussions of fictional tales I need to inform. I need to inform private tales, particular person tales, and so how a world pandemic impacts one household is the type of factor that I may be inquisitive about telling. How society at massive reacts shouldn’t be a factor I’m inquisitive about.

Clearly, I hope it’s not mirrored in my reply that I believe that’s not vital. It’s clearly extremely vital, however the tales I need to inform in my little TV present are about people and their reactions to the world’s issues.