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‘The Good Doctor’ Season 4, Episode 5 ‘Fault’ Recap: First Loss

BY Stephanie Larson

Published 2 years ago

'The Good Doctor' Season 4, Episode 5 'Fault' Recap: First Loss

It has been so long since Shaun (Freddie Highmore), Claire (Antonia Thomas), and the others were on their first rodeos in The Good Doctor that I almost forgot how emotional the “firsts” are. And since, obviously, these new freshies are starting to grow on us, this week’s episode hit somewhat like a surprise of sad nostalgia. The only difference is that it’s also a first for Shaun and the others as mentors and that also hits differently.

This week on The Good Doctor “Fault,” Asher (Noah Galvin) takes the spotlight among the new intern crew. After two weeks in St. Bonaventure, he finally gets to meet his first patient, Carlo (Carlo Lacamara). Unfortunately, Asher makes a misdiagnosis. Meanwhile, Enrique (Brian Marc) and Jordan (Bria Henderson) under Claire (Antonia Thomas) manage to show off their people skills trying to mediate between a tragic love triangle. And in the background, Morgan (Fiona Gubelmann) and Park (Will Yun Lee) bond over their failed relationships as new and hilarious roomies.

Now, without further ado, let’s get into The Good Doctor season 4, episode 5.

Teacher, teacher

You know those helicopter parents who just can’t seem to trust that their child can do anything on their own without them? That’s Shaun a tiny bit. He just can’t seem to trust that his charges, Asher and Olivia (Summer Brown), will be able to do fine. So, he hovers up until Lim (Christina Chang) tells him to just “go away” and at least act like he trusts them. Shaun immediately demands a full report the second they finish taking symptoms though.

Asher’s patient, Carlo, is complaining of back pain and Asher thinks it’s related to a spinal condition. At that moment though, Shaun takes more interest in Olivia’s patient who he immediately recognizes is having a stroke without feeling it. After stabilizing her, Asher asks if Shaun wants to recheck his patient and his diagnosis again but Shaun declines. Autonomy, right?

Noah Galvin and Carlos Lacamara in The Good Doctor Season 4 Episode 5

Jeff Weddell/ ABC

Later that day, as Carlo was being discharged, he tries to empathize with Asher’s choice to distance himself from his family and faith, however, Asher rejects it. Before Carlo can respond, he’s gripped with intense pain in his abdomen.

On the operating table, they find out it was an aneurysm that was the very root of Carlo’s pains. And it ruptured while he was being discharged. Asher missed it.

While Lim was taking it easy on him, Shaun wasn’t. That’s when Lim makes it clear that they’re both responsible for it. Just because Shaun was giving them autonomy doesn’t mean that he should ignore their calls for help.

Changing Tactics

That night, Shaun studies up on leadership books and ted talks. The next morning, he has prepared lists of skills particularly related to their cases for Asher and Olivia to learn. In return, he only asks for date night advice. Their answer: movies.

Sadly, Shaun didn’t get his date night with Lea. Asher discovered that Carlo has jaundice. His liver is now being damaged by a new aneurysm. And most of their options would simply cause a new aneurysm to form. In their brainstorming session, they conclude that an aorta to celiac bypass would be the best course of action using a vein from his leg to rebuild the celiac.


Jeff Weddell/ ABC

Before his operation, Carlo asks Asher to be completely honest with him. Although he doesn’t explicitly say it, Asher admits that no matter what they do, it’s bad. Despite that, Carlo is grateful and tells Asher that he’s honored to be his first patient. Because of that, Asher confesses his misdiagnosis. He takes responsibility for it.

Instead of blaming him or throwing him out of the room though, Carlo asks only one thing from Asher: to pray for him. They’re both non-believers but at that moment, it seemed right.

Most of the operation goes smoothly. There was a clear path to success. But at the last minute, Carlo’s body betrays him. He starts bleeding all over and none of the doctors could do anything about it. Asher desperately tries to resuscitate him until Shaun finally tells him that Carlo is dead.

Loss in Two Ways

Asher is painfully distraught. He knows what he missed and he’s fully aware of the responsibility he has to carry. But he’s not alone.

Shaun also fully realizes the responsibility he holds as a mentor. After the operation, he goes to Glassman (Richard Schiff) and admits his shortcomings as a mentor. Particularly, he blames himself for Carlo and fears that his inadequacy in communicating what he really needs will lead to more deaths like him.

Noah Galvin and Freddie Highmore in The Good Doctor Season 4 Episode 5


Glassman tells him that he’s going to make mistakes like that. Some days will be better. But on the days that aren’t, Glassman advises him to “go home, be with the people you love, take comfort in that and you wake up tomorrow and start all over again.”

Later, Shaun sees Asher alone still processing the loss. When Asher admits he just didn’t want to be alone that moment, Shaun wordlessly takes a seat beside him. And when Shaun gets home, he silently curls up with Lea.

Love on the Brain

On the other half of this The Good Doctor episode, Park and Claire along with Enrique and Jordan take up the case of Ellie (Lindsey Kraft) who came in with her new boyfriend Zane (Daniel di Tomasso) complaining of a migraine. And since this is The Good Doctor, that migraine turns out to be something more complicated. More specifically, Ellie has a bundle of teeth, hair, and fat beside her hippocampus. But guess what, there’s something more complicated than that.

As it turns out, Ellie is actually married and her new boyfriend Zane is all too aware of it. Since he couldn’t make any medical decisions for Ellie who needs surgery, Park and Claire are forced to call on her husband, Brendan (Ryan Kennedy).

Daniel di Tomasso and Ryan Kennedy in The Good Doctor Season 4 Episode 5


Brendan, of course, finds out the truth but he still makes the decision for Ellie. After the surgery, he confronts Ellie and it ultimately ends up with her answering his “Were you happy with him?” question with indecisive silence. Suddenly, just as he’s about to leave, Ellie whips around and asks who the doctors were.

Apparently, the operation left her with retrograde amnesia and they’d need to do another operation to fully fix the damage left by the teeth-hair-fat bundle. The only hitch is that it’d risk her losing more memories, specifically, those that she made with Zane who she is in love with. After explaining the situation to both men, it becomes obvious that both of them love Ellie and they’re both not willing to lose her.

Love and Forget

Since Ellie isn’t willing to forget Zane, Jordan suggests Zane appeals to her. As painful as it is, forgetting him is the only way she could survive. On the other hand, Brendan is torn as well. Ellie might forget Zane but the damage has been done and he’s not certain Ellie would be happy with him again. Fortunately, Enrique pulls through with an idea. He might be all for polyamory but he does value honesty after all.

Lindsey Kraft and Ryan Kennedy in The Good Doctor Season 4 Episode 5


After the operation, Ellie forgets Zane. He doesn’t fight it, however, and lets Brendan take over. After telling her he loves her no matter what, Brendan shows his wife the video she and Zane made before her operation for her to remember what happened (Enrique’s idea).

Afterward, Ellie admits that she loved Zane. She felt things with him she hasn’t felt in a long time. But she also deeply loves Brendan. In the end, she decides to stay with him. Seeing the couple reunited from the outside, Zane takes one final look at Ellie and leaves quietly.

A Little Bit of Jackassery and Moving On

Elsewhere in the episode, Morgan and Park are discovering new things about their roommates. More specifically, Morgan has decided that her new hobby would be going through all of Park’s things and teasing him mercilessly about it.

Her first target was his parrot sculpture wondering why out of all things, it’d be the item that he would choose to lug around. Park quickly dismisses it as a memento of his being a Parrothead but, of course, Morgan doesn’t leave it at that. She even sets his ringtone to a Jimmy Buffet song that Park fails to recognize.


Jeff Weddell/ ABC

When Park finally admits that the parrot was from his wife, Morgan’s teasing is directed to calling him pathetic for not moving on in various ways. As revenge, Park also goes through Morgan’s things and finds stuff from ex-boyfriends that she’s kept, proof that she’s also a sorry excuse for moving on. Morgan still does get the last word because while she’s still getting something from her ex (sex), Park is just losing.

In the end, they both agree that they’re sad sacks who aren’t really good at moving on. To celebrate that, they each toss the mementos they’ve been keeping from their exes, for Park the parrot sculpture and for Morgan, a jersey. Also, Park gets on Bumble and Morgan finally swipes right. Cute, right?

‘The Good Doctor: Fault’ Overall Verdict

In this episode of The Good Doctor, Shaun finally feels the full weight and reality of his responsibilities as a mentor. He realizes that not only are the patient’s lives in his hands but also his interns. They depend on him as much as the patients does. And this presents an entirely new kind of challenge and pressure not only for him but for everyone else as well.

On the other hand though, Asher’s first loss reminds me of the time when Shaun, Claire, and the others were in his position. They’ve come a long way from that and it excites me to see how their journey would now affect their relationship with the interns who are now going through the same thing they’ve gone through.

Also, I wouldn’t mind seeing more Morgan and Park moments on The Good Doctor. They’re hilarious I have to admit but maybe not as lovers. It’s still pretty early though so we’ll just have to see where this new bond goes.

The Good Doctor continues on Monday, January 11, 2021, at 10/9c on ABC.

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