'The Good Doctor' Season 1, Episode 12 'Islands Part Two' Recap: Crucial Decisions and New Beginnings [SPOILERS]
BY David Riley
Published 6 years ago
In yet another heartwarming and emotional episode of “The Good Doctor,” titled “Islands Part Two,” the resident surgeons of the San Jose Bonaventure Hospital faces another dilemma after the twins Jenny and Katie Kunkler (Emily and Elizabeth Hinkler) suffer numerous complications from the last episode’s surgery. Meanwhile, Dr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore) returns to the hospital after a life-changing road trip with Lea (Paige Spara). However, things seem a bit awkward for him and Dr. Aaron Glassman (Richard Schiff), because as soon as Shaun returns, he also gives his team two weeks’ notice.
Elsewhere, Dr. Jared Kalu fights to get his job back by suing, while Dr. Neil Melendez (Nicholas Gonzalez) and Jessica Preston (Beu Garrett), his fiancée and the hospital’s legal counsel, encounter a problem with their relationship. “Islands Part Two” is arguably the best episode of the hit ABC show so far, and the cast never fails to deliver a stellar performance. That and the number of tears you’d have to hold back.
Shaun returns to duty
The episode starts with Jenny waking up after the operation. Dr. Claire Brown (Antonia Thomas) looks after her and does a test to see if her brain will respond well. Jenny passes the exercise and asks for her sister Katie. But since she woke up before Katie, it’s hard to tell how her condition is. Later, Dr. Melendez, Claire, Dr. Marcus Andrews (Hill Harper) and Dr. Koh (Necar Zedgan) examine the twins’ brain activity. There’s no alpha or beta brain activity with Katie, and Dr. Andrews thinks that they must’ve missed something during the surgery. Everything seemed okay during the procedure, and it’s a mystery as to why Katie is still in a coma.
Dr. Koh thinks that a problem with Katie’s blood flow during her graft might be the one causing problems. Just as Dr. Melendez calls for an Angiogram, Shaun walks in to greet them. The staff is surprised as Shaun tells them that he came from a road trip with his girlfriend. Dr. Melendez is visibly pissed because Dr. Glassman lied to them about Shaun handling a personal matter. He has Shaun and Claire do the angiogram while Melendez goes to confront Dr. Glassman about Shaun.
Later, Claire and Shaun look for clues in Katie’s scans. Shaun notices the middle cerebral vein has a low flow out of the brain, meaning it isn’t getting enough blood. As they push through with the angiogram, Claire asks Shaun about his road trip. He tells Claire that he kissed Lea and that Shaun thinks that Dr. Glassman is mad at him. As if on cue, Glassman walks in to talk to Shaun. He tells Shaun that Melendez is angry at both of them for lying about where Shaun was. Glassman then asks Shaun if the trip with Lea helped, to which Shaun said yes and then gave him a two-weeks’ notice.
A complicated situation
Jenny asks her mom for more ice chips as she rests. As soon as Mrs. Kunkler (Kerry Sandomirksy) leaves, Jenny feels alone for the first time. She’s not used to it, and Jenny suffers a minor panic attack. Mrs. Kunkler comes back and assures her that Jenny will like being alone some day.
The surgeons examine Katie’s angiogram scans to figure out how they can restore the blood flow to Katie’s brain. Shaun uses his photographic memory to propose intravascular stenting. Dr. Koh sees how they could stent the middle cerebral artery to restore blood flow. It’s an unusual solution, but it’s the only one they’ve got since they can’t find any more ideas other than Shaun’s. By using this procedure, Dr. Andrews believes it could lower the danger of stroke. Dr. Koh then asks Shaun to assist her.
Later, during the stenting operation, Dr. Koh tells Shaun that he makes people nervous. Dr. Koh observes that the surgeons are a little bit threated of his gifts, and surgeons judge themselves against their peers. Right now, Shaun is winning. As they push through with the stenting, Katie’s blood pressure drops, forcing them to cancel the procedure. They’re now back to where they started.
Dr. Andrews and Claire meet with Jenny as she demands to see Katie. They can’t allow her to stress herself out because Jenny needs to focus on her healing. Dr. Andrews informs Mrs. Kunkler that Jenny needs a cardiac catheterization test to see how her heart is performing. Later, during the procedure, Dr. Melendez find out that her heart isn’t working well. In a conference room, the surgeons again gather to look for ideas on how they can fix Jenny’s heart this time. Dr. Koh sees that the only way to fix this is to give Jenny a new heart. Shaun then proposes to use Katie as the donor. This idea shocks all of them, but Dr. Koh thinks this is the only way as there’s no way to return blood flow to Katie’s brain. To her, Katie is clinically dead. Dr. Koh, Dr. Melendez, and Dr. Andrews propose Shaun’s idea to Mrs. Kunkler. Left with no other choice, Mrs. Kunkler signs the papers in tears to subject Katie to euthanasia.
Meanwhile, Dr. Melendez hands over to Dr. Glassman the recommendation letter that he made and signed for Shaun. He thinks it’s a ridiculous idea, but Melendez also feels that Shaun needs to go after what he wants without anyone telling him what to do. Claire catches up on Dr. Glassman in the elevator and says to him that if Glassman doesn’t sign the recommendation letter, it reinforces what Shaun thinks of him. But if he signs, it lets Shaun know that Glassman believes in him.
Later, Dr. Andrews has Mrs. Kunkler inside Katie’s room as they are about to pull her off life support. But as they do, something miraculous happens—Katie appears to be breathing on her own. Her organs are working correctly, but her brain is the only thing without response.
Again, the surgeons figure out yet another way to fix Jenny’s heart. Given Katie’s vegetative state, there appears to be no way to help Jenny regain normalcy. Shaun again uses his photographic memory to propose a crazy idea—reconjoin the twins through their thighs (the femoral vessels). By re-attaching them, Katie’s heart will beat for Jenny. When Katie dies, they can sever the femoral connection and transplant Katie’s heart to Jenny.
Again, they bring this idea to Mrs. Kunkler, but with Jenny’s approval this time. However, Jenny went furious when she found out that Mrs. Kunkler agreed to subject Katie to euthanasia.Despite Dr. Andrews’ explanation, Jenny didn’t agree with the proposal to reconnect them. Later, Claire tells Dr. Andrews that they should consider putting the twins in the same room; that way it might convince Jenny to agree to the operation, seeing how Katie is unresponsive. It could backfire, but Andrews allows it.
The next day, Jenny finally agrees to the reconnection procedure. She couldn’t sleep that night, and she only had to feel Katie’s heartbeat. Seeing how Katie’s heart will become hers eventually, Jenny sees that her sister will always be with her. The operation commences smoothly, and in the end, it turns out a success. The team is relieved, and Dr. Koh congratulates Jenny for doing great.
Later, Glassman sees Shaun and asks why he wants to move to Hershey, Pennsylvania. Shaun admits that Lea is going there. Glassman then says to Shaun that he brought him to San Jose because he thought that Shaun needed him. Glassman signs the recommendation letter and hands it over to Shaun. Glassman then gives him a deal that if Shaun stays, he’ll back off.
Inside the twins’ room, Katie finally wakes up, It’s a shock to all of the surgeons, and no one can explain how it happened. They meet Mrs. Kunkler and tell her about the news. It’s good news, but the issue has become Jenny and her heart. But now that Katie is alert, there isn’t enough heart for both of them. Dr. Melendez says that they’re already doing a test and he’s not sure how long Katie’s heart can continue the circulation to Jenny’s body—making the need for a donor of utmost importance.
Meanwhile, Claire and Shaun wait for Jenny’s test results. Claire asks Shaun if Lea is the reason for his desire to transfer to Pennsylvania. Shaun tries to deflect his answer by saying Lea makes him happy. She asks if Lea knows that Shaun is moving because of her. Shaun insists that he isn’t, but it’s clear to everyone that he is going there for Lea. Claire that says that she will miss Shaun—to which Shaun mulls over. The results finally come, and Shaun sees that Katie’s heart is killing Jenny.
The surgeons rush to the operating room to separate the twins. As they all prepare for the surgery, Jenny flatlines and ultimately dies, despite all attempts to revive her. Claire goes to Mrs. Kunkler to inform her of Jenny’s death and that Katie won’t allow them to separate her from her sister. They need Mrs. Kunkler’s intervention. She goes to Katie and assures her that she will be okay, and they need to let Jenny go. Still, Katie refuses. Mrs. Kunkler then tells Katie to look at her dead sister and says she can’t lose both of her daughters.
Jared sues St. Bonaventure for wrongful termination
Elsewhere in the episode, Jessica Preston receives a complaint from Jared’s lawyer (Robert Moloney). Jared filed for wrongful termination, but Jessica doesn’t see a firm footing for him to push through with the suit, given Jared’s dismissal for assault. However, there’s more to the story. The lawyer asks Jessica to read the file—to her shock.
Jessica goes to the hospital foundation’s chairperson, Allegra Aoki (Tamlyn Tomita), to inform her of the suit and the previous assault incidents in St. Bonaventure that Jared’s lawyer found. There’s a lot of them, but they were all settled and the assailants reprimanded—no termination involved. Aoki explained that one of the accused was the Chief Oncologist and one of the best doctors that bring in more money for the foundation. To Jessica, Jared’s termination would look very bad, seeing how the others before him were only reprimanded and still kept their job. And not just that, these doctors were white, and it could also seem that Aoki was a racist for allowing Dr. Andrews to fire Jared. She then instructs Jessica to settle.
Jared’s lawyer brings the settlement agreement to him. However, Jared refuses, saying that he wants to get his job back. The settlement sum is a considerable amount that even CEOs would take, but Jared remains adamant about getting his job. Jared then tells his lawyer that he will pay him a third of the settlement because he wants to go back. With Jared refusing to accept the agreement, St. Bonaventure was forced to bring him back in.
“Islands Part Two” also comes with significant revelations when it comes to the love lives of our characters. For one, we see Shaun helping Lea pack her things. As he does his thing, Lea wants to make sure that Shaun is not doing the transfer to Pennsylvania so he could stay close to Lea. Shaun answers no and tells her that he wants a life that he can control, with no one helping him. “But what if you need help?” Lea asks. Since Shaun is inwardly conflicted, he asks her how he can know that he needs to stay.
Meanwhile, Dr. Melendez engages in a playful folding fight with Jessica. It’s a relief for both of them since their entire day involved problems that didn’t seem to have a solution. Melendez tells Jessica that she is the only good thing about his day. Jessica is unquestionably uncomfortable with that idea—something about it is bothering her.
A new beginning—both good and bad
Katie finally agreed to the separation procedure. However, before the operation, we see Jared back in his quarters preparing for the surgery. He chances upon Dr. Andrews who frankly tells him that he doesn’t want him there. Andrews believed that Jared compromised his integrity. It pisses him off that Jared misrepresented racism for something that it’s not. Later, Jared comes into the operating room, and Melendez puts him on suction duty—echoing Melendez’s distaste for Shaun back in the first episode.
The operation turns out a success, with Katie surviving well. It’s a significant loss for both her and Mrs. Kunkler, but everything seems to be okay. Meanwhile, Shaun knocks at Glassman’s office and leaves the recommendation letter at his desk. Glassman then proceeds to keep it in his drawer. On the other hand, Jessica decides to break up with Melendez, saying that she wants him to be a father, but not with her. Melendez previously agreed to have foster kids, but Jessica believes that he can be something more than just a foster dad.
Finally, Shaun sees Lea off as she hands him a signed baseball in a glass case, saying that he’s only borrowing it. Lea made Shaun promise to visit her in Hershey. Shaun assures her, saying that he likes Hershey because Lea is there. Lea hugs Shaun and kisses him one final time. As Lea leaves, Shaun goes to his room, removes the baseball from its case and puts it beside a framed picture of Shaun and his brother.
‘The Good Doctor: Islands Part Two’ Overall Verdict
“Islands Part Two” is my personal best episode of the show, next to “Apples.” It’s where we see conflict reach its peak, and where there is no solid happy ending for most of the main characters. Directed by Cherie Nowlan, it’s an episode of “The Good Doctor” that further sets the show in as one of the best medical dramas out there. I can’t wait to see more dilemmas and complicated mess to come to the entire surgical crew of the St. Bonaventure Hospital.
“The Good Doctor” continues next Monday, January 22nd, with “Seven Reasons” at 10/9c on ABC.