Freddie Highmore as Dr. Shaun Murphy and Richard Schiff as Dr. Aaron Glassman in The Good Doctor
(ABC)

‘The Good Doctor’ Wraps Its Seven-Season Run With an Emotional Series Finale

After a seven-season run, The Good Doctor has officially come to an end on the ABC. Here’s where the series finale left the doctors of San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital.

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The Good Doctor received a shortened final season consisting of just 10 episodes instead of the usual 18 – 20. However, it managed to build up quite an emotional story arc before the final episode, “Goodbye,” aired on May 21. Leading up to the finale, Dr. Aaron Glassman (Richard Schiff), who has long served as a father figure to Dr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore), revealed that his brain cancer had returned and was terminal. Meanwhile, Dr. Claire Browne (Antonia Thomas) returned from Guatemala to appear in the final episodes of season 7. Unfortunately, upon her return, she receives a diagnosis of breast cancer. Although it is in a very early stage and operable, Claire begins to suffer complications shortly after a biopsy.

As a result, viewers prepared for a deeply emotional finale in which the St. Bonaventure Hospital would have to deal with treating and potentially saying goodbye to two close friends.

What happens in The Good Doctor series finale?

Freddie Highmore as Dr. Sean Murphy in The Good Doctor
(ABC)

After the penultimate episode ended with Dr. Glassman’s diagnosis and Dr. Browne suffering a medical emergency, the series finale begins with Dr. Murphy struggling to cope with the news. He initially refuses to accept that Dr. Glassman’s condition is terminal and employs the aid of Dr. Alex Park (Will Yun Lee), Dr. Morgan Reznick (Fiona Gubelmann), and medical students Dom Hubank (Wavvy Jones) and Charlie Lukaitis (Kayla Cromer) to find an experimental new treatment.

Even though the team eventually comes up with a treatment option, Dr. Glassman is adamant that he will not undergo any surgery or chemotherapy, wishing to spend his last months surrounded by family without the potentially devastating impacts of surgery or chemotherapy side effects. Unfortunately, Dr. Murphy refuses to accept this and continues searching for a new treatment, but he’s stretched thin as he must also find a treatment option for Dr. Browne. Her condition rapidly deteriorates as she suffers a bacterial infection and goes into septic shock. Dr. Jared Kalu (Chuku Modu), who recently rekindled his romance with Dr. Browne, makes the difficult call to amputate her arm, but it’s only a temporary solution.

Soon, Dr. Murphy devises a plan to combat her infection with an unconventional bacteriophage treatment. The experimental nature of the treatment means it requires approval from the Food and Drug Administration, but the organization rejects his request to test it on Dr. Browne.

Who dies in The Good Doctor series finale?

In the end, Dr. Murphy accepts Dr. Glassman’s wishes not to pursue treatment. However, he doubles down on his desperation to find a cure for Dr. Browne, ultimately deciding to give her the unapproved treatment anyway. Dr. Murphy accepts that he will lose his medical license and never be a doctor again if he does so. Fortunately, there’s a much simpler solution to the problem: Dr. Glassman administers the treatment since he is already leaving his medical career behind. The treatment proves successful, and Dr. Browne makes a full recovery.

However, Dr. Glassman sticks to his plan to forego treatment. He spends several months making memories with Dr. Murphy before passing away. Although his death is not shown, it is mentioned during the episode’s epilogue.

What happens to The Good Doctor‘s main characters?

Shortly after Dr. Browne receives her life-saving treatment, The Good Doctor series finale jumps ahead 10 years to an older Dr. Murphy giving a TED Talk. During his speech, he revealed that six months after Dr. Glassman passed away, he started Dr. Aaron Glassman’s Foundation for Neurodiversity in Medicine in his honor.

In attendance at the speech are all of Dr. Murphy’s friends and family, as the show briefly reveals what happened to them. Dr. Browne and Dr. Kalu married and had a daughter. Dr. Park and Dr. Reznick, who were married in the penultimate episode of season 7, have officially adopted their daughter, Eden. Instead of taking over as President at St. Bonaventure Hospital, Dr. Audrey Lim (Christina Chang) opted to offer her medical services to Ukraine. Dr. Jordan Allen (Bria Samoné Henderson) and Jorem Martel (Giacomo Baessato) are also briefly shown, revealing that Dr. Allen married Danny Perez (Brandon Larracuente), and Martel has a new partner after losing his fiancé, Dr. Asher Wolke (Noah Galvin). It is also revealed that Dom has opened his own medical clinic, while Charlie is now a surgeon at St. Bonaventure Hospital.

Dr. Murphy and Lea Dilallo-Murphy (Paige Spara), who were married and welcomed a baby, Steven, prior to season 7, have continued growing their family and now also have a daughter. The finale ends with Dr. Murphy, Dilallo-Murphy, and their children happily leaving the TED Talk while holding hands.


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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.