Is Glassman leaving The Good Doctor? Another significant death in The Good Doctor’s final episode brings fans to tears

The Good Doctor concluded its final case and aired its final episode after seven seasons, leaving viewers inconsolable over the death of a key character.

It was announced in January that the popular US medical drama would be ending this year, concluding the story of Dr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore), a gifted surgeon with autism, and his colleagues at Saint Bonaventure Hospital.

Its final episode aired in the US on Tuesday evening (21 May), and included callbacks to previous seasons, triumphant plot shifts, and saying goodbye to another fan favorite. 

Is Glassman leaving The Good Doctor?

Yes, Glassman is leaving The Good Doctor.

RIP, father figure and mentor Dr. Aaron Glassman (Richard Schiff), who battled to get Shaun a job at San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital seven seasons ago. In the penultimate episode of May 14, Glassman’s brain cancer reappeared; in the finale, the accomplished neurosurgeon passes away.

“The finale presented one case where the solution was found due to Shaun’s refusal to give up, and one case where Shaun needed to accept what he couldn’t help,” says executive producer Liz Friedman. “The most challenging thing for Shaun is letting go of the idea of helping Dr. Glassman medically and simply being there for him emotionally.”

What happens at the end of the ‘Good Doctor’ finale?

There is no Glassman death scene or funeral. In a sequence of images, Shaun rides the merry-go-round once more with Glassman. Subsequently, Shaun appears shot after shot without his mentor—initially by himself on the ride, and finally with his wife and two kids.

In the finale, which takes place ten years later, Shaun (currently the chief of surgery) gives Glassman a kind of eulogy in a TED Talk that he dedicates to his mentor. The audience is seated in front of Glassman’s Bonaventure Hospital family, which includes Browne, who is seated with her partner, Dr. Jared Kalu (Chuku Modu), and their daughter.

The surgeon gives Glassman credit for saving patients whose names are displayed on the TED Talk screen. “He taught me that when you touch one life, you don’t just touch one life,” he says. “Every life that life touches is touched by you.” 

Claire’s is the last name to appear on the screen. The following slide demonstrates how Shaun, along with Browne, has honored the life of his mentor by founding the Dr. Aaron Glassman Foundation for Neurodiversity in Medicine.

Following the round of applause, hospital staff members exit the TED Talk venue and give each other big hugs. Shaun gives a farewell voiceover to his mentor. He says, “Dr. Glassman gave me a family and a lot of friends.”

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