Freddie Highmore as Dr. Shaun Murphy in The Good Doctor

‘The Good Doctor’ Returns With Season 7, Episode 7

Fans of The Good Doctor can rejoice: a new episode is coming. We’ve got all the latest details on The Good Doctor season 7 episode 7 release date and more for your reading pleasure.

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According to WFMZ, season 7 episode 7 of The Good Doctor will be released on April 30, 2024, at 10 PM ET on ABC. This episode is called “Faith” and will be centered around a kidney transplant. Shaun and Jordan are in a big bind: they need a kidney donor for their patient fast. They eventually find one, but his strong religious convictions may threaten to throw the entire surgery in jeopardy.

This will be the seventh episode of the show’s final season, wrapping up a medical drama that has been running since 2017. There’s no doubt an emotional time for most fans, who will bid farewell to the series. At least that’s how I felt when AMC ended Better Call Saul.

For those new to the story, The Good Doctor is a TV series remade from the original 2013 South Korean production of the same name. The series centers on Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore), an exceptionally gifted autistic surgeon. He eventually puts his hat in the ring for one of the most prestigious hospitals in the country: San Jose St. Bonaventure of San Jose, California.

Some may wonder if the TV show’s portrayal of autism is an accurate and respectful representation. Quite a large chunk of neurodivergent people have criticized the series as harmful. As Collider points out, Highmore worked with the infamous Autism Speaks organization in preparing for the role.

This is upsetting for many, many reasons. We’ve discussed Autism Speaks and its numerous controversies in a previous article. Autism Speaks paints autism as a dangerous disease, which is extremely ableist. The organization has promoted anti-autism propaganda for years and spread misinformation on the topic. Autism Speaks does not listen to people with autism nor represent them in any way. It is a fraudulent organization with the sole purpose of raising money from the gross exploitation of people with autism.

As mentioned in Collider‘s piece, most of Shaun’s extremely prejudiced behavior is directly connected to his autism. In the episode titled “She,” (season one, episode 14) Dr. Murphy is transphobic towards Quinn, a young trans girl. He misgenders her and says all kinds of harmful things about transgender people. He never listens to her corrections, and other doctors wave away his microaggressions as autism.

Shaun is also played as a stereotypical Rain Man genius character, whose brilliance stems directly from his autism. Usually, this trope implies that certain people with autism are extremely good at one specific skill, but very bad at everything else, including socialization. This matches Shaun to a T and is a fairly offensive portrayal.

Unfortunately, despite good intentions, The Good Doctor struggles with autism representation. As the show wraps its run, it will forever be remembered by many people with autism as yet another offensive caricature of their lived experiences.

(featured image: ABC)


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Author
Michael Dawson
Michael Dawson (he/they) writes about media criticism, race studies, intersectional feminism, and left-wing politics. He has been working with digital media and writing about pop culture since 2014. He enjoys video games, movies, and TV, and often gets into playful arguments with friends over Shonen anime and RPGs. He has experience writing for The Mary Sue, Cracked.com, Bunny Ears, Static Media, and The Crimson White. His Twitter can be found here: https://twitter.com/8bitStereo