Goodbye to “The Good Doctor” – The Bittersweet Emotions Heading into Season 7

“For the rest of my life, I am going to have situations where I go, ‘Damn, I wish I had Dr.  Murphy to write for right now,’” The Good Doctor co-showrunner and executive producer David Shore revealed during a TCA press conference for the scripted drama, which will conclude with its 7th season. “I love that character, and I love all these characters, but that's the one that you want to throw him into any situation and see what he has to say about the rest of us. We always talk about that, that it's not a show about Dr. Murphy learning about the world. It's about the world learning from Dr. Murphy.”



Reflecting back, star and executive producer Freddie Highmore wasn’t looking for another TV role when Bates Motel ended, but within three days of that project wrapping, he was in a meeting about an American adaptation of a hit Korean drama. “What I've always loved about the way that [the show is written] is it lives in the small moments,” Highmore revealed. “Big things happen to Shaun and to all of the characters on the show, but ultimately, they're often explored through a hug with Shaun and Dr. Glassman, or a look between two characters, or something small and simple that actually speaks to something so much bigger. And I've always loved that about this, and I'll definitely miss that. And I think that this last season will continue to do that. There'll be some tragedy, there'll be some sad times, but there'll also be those little moments of hope, those little moments of optimism that I think we've always managed to find and mine in the show.”

Part of the show’s secret to success has been the departure and arrival of characters in Dr. Murphy’s orbit, with some of the cast recalling their first brush with the series. “I was in the hospital a lot with my son,” shared Will Yun Lee, who joined the cast as Dr. Alex Park at the end of the first season and found the hospital set difficult to be on. “I was getting ready to shoot a scene, and they were giving me a tour of the stages, and it was exactly the hospital. After the first episode, I was like, ‘I don't think I can do this show,’ and I was going to call my agents and say, ‘If they want to bring me back, I don't think I'll be able to finish the show.’ But I stayed, and at the end of the second season, David Shore was directing me [in] this scene where I literally cried for 12 straight hours shooting the scene. And he cured me of being sad and crying all the time. And so here I am, seven seasons later.”

“I remember coming in and being so excited and so nervous,” added Fiona Gubelmann, who plays Dr. Morgan Reznick. “I had watched the show before I ever auditioned for it, and I was a fan. I had a girlfriend who was in the second or third episode, and she talked about how amazing it was, so we started watching it. And I was hooked. So when I came on to set, I knew all the characters as the characters, and so it was a little intimidating. They were 13 episodes in, so they knew all the medical stuff so well, and I was trying to catch up and learn how to do it and fit in.”



A new member of the team will be added to San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital this season. “[Kayla Cromer] is the first actor with autism who we've had playing a doctor on the show, and she's going to be there for a number of episodes,” revealed executive producer and co-showrunner Liz Friedman. “We're bringing her in as a young med student who has ASD and actually a character who got into medicine because of Shaun Murphy because of being familiar with him saving that boy in the airport all those years ago. Seeing the way the two of them interact is really fun. I think it's going to be an interesting story for everybody.”

“We all kind of grew up on this show in different aspects in our life, professionally and personally,” shared Paige Spara, who plays Lea Dilallo, about the bittersweet mix of emotions as the series draws to a close. “There's a lot of integration when it comes to that. [We’re] really sad to say goodbye to people that you've built a life with for the past seven years and also really excited to apply all of the lessons that these people have taught us, and to apply that moving forward.”

“You feel so grateful for getting seven seasons,” executive producer Erin Gunn concluded. “My hope is that people, when they look at the total of the show, and you think where Shaun started, walking away out of that school bus, across that soccer field from the pilot and seeing all that he's been through in his life, both professionally and personally, that then, in the end, they feel like he had a good journey, that he sort of got what he wanted.”

The final journey for Dr. Shaun Murphy begins Tuesday, February 20th, at 10/9c on ABC. New episodes stream the day after they air on Hulu.

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Alex Reif
Alex joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and has been a lifelong Disney fan. His main beats for LP are Disney-branded movies, TV shows, books, music and toys. He recently became a member of the Television Critics Association (TCA).