Spoilers ahead for the winter premiere of The Good Doctor Season 6, called “Quiet and Loud.”
The Good Doctor finally returned to ABC with its winter premiere, weeks after many other of television’s biggest shows already made their 2023 debuts. Whether or not it was worth the wait will undoubtedly be up for debate as the second half of Season 6 picks up, as the fall finale back in December ended on a number of suspenseful unanswered questions, including one life-or-death cliffhanger. “Quiet and Loud” addressed those questions and very quickly resolved the cliffhanger, but now that it’s over, I find myself thinking that the show missed an incredible opportunity because of one big move: jumping ahead in time.
The fall finale ended on the reveal to Shaun that Lea was pregnant despite recently learning that conceiving could be deadly to both her and the child, as well as Lim getting a proposal as she headed into surgery to hopefully restore her ability to walk. Last but certainly not least was Jordan discovering that Perez had overdosed on drugs when he was supposed to be cooking for their first real date, and if not for the news that actor Brandon Larracuente was promoted to series regular, there would have been real reason for concern that the character died.
All in all, it was a doozy of a finale with cliffhangers to keep fans on the hook for the winter finale in the new year. For the resolution, I was expecting something like how The Good Doctor went from channeling ER in the Season 5 finale to going full Grey’s Anatomy in the Season 6 premiere, with the latter picking up immediately after the former to show the full aftermath of what had happened before the cliffhanger.
I didn’t think that the consequences would be as dire as what followed from the Season 5 premiere, but I was expecting at least a little suspense on one or two of the storylines, particularly Perez. Plus, after all the drama following Lim’s post-stabbing surgery with Shaun, it would have been nice to get a scene between them before so much time could pass.
The time jump taking the story months ahead from where the fall finale ended left me scrambling at the first commercial break to make sure that I hadn’t somehow missed the real winter premiere, because “Quiet and Loud” felt more like a second episode back than a grand return from a hiatus.
The stakes were of course plenty high when Lea’s first surgery seemingly caused complications that were bad enough that not only would she lose her pregnancy, but Lim would have to do an emergency hysterectomy. There was even a touching scene of all the doctors who weren’t in the surgery joining Shaun outside of the OR to wait for word with him. Luckily, it turned out that Lea’s emergency wasn’t due to a surgical complication, and she and the baby survived.
And that sequence worked for me, because I truly found myself wondering if Lea would have to undergo an emergency hysterectomy, so kudos to the show for building that suspense. I just wish that the winter premiere hadn’t squandered all the tension and suspense from the fall finale, and taken the opportunity to deliver on the dire promise from the end of 2022.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m glad that Perez is okay and back to work, and it’s great to see Lim recovering and moving forward in her relationship, not to mention Lea on the mend. It just would have been nice to be shown instead of just told about what happened that sounded so interesting over those three unseen months.
Of course, the winter premiere did set up storylines for what comes next. Lea is past the first trimester of her pregnancy, and I wouldn’t be surprised if another time jump is in store for her to give birth right in time for spring finale season. Plus, the backdoor pilot for the prospective legal drama spinoff is set to air in March, with Felicity Huffman starring in her first TV role since the college admissions scandal. On top of that, Morgan is actively working on getting pregnant, so there may be two characters with buns in the oven before the end of Season 6.
Now that the medical drama has return in the 2023 TV premiere schedule, keep tuning in to ABC on Mondays at 10 p.m. ET for new episodes of The Good Doctor. You can also revisit earlier episodes of the series streaming with a Hulu subscription