When the sixth season of The Good Doctor began in October 2022, the hospital was under attack and on lockdown. Dr. Audrey Lim (Christina Chang) nearly died from stab wounds, Dr. Sean Murphy (Freddie Highmore) performed a risky surgery that saved Dr. Lim's life but paralyzed her, Dr. Asher Wolke (Noah Galvin) was held hostage, and Dr. Morgan Reznick (Fiona Gubelmann) and Dr. Alex Park (Will Yun Lee) broke up.
So maybe it's not a surprise that the ABC drama celebrated its 100th episode not with a bang but with a relatively subdued heat wave. As temperatures skyrocketed above 100-degrees (get it?), St. Bonaventure was overrun by 32 members of a senior living facility — one of whom was turning 100 years old (get it now?). "Blackout, schmack out. We got to celebrate us! 100!" he says as he's wheeled by holding a cake that says "Happy 100th Birthday" right before the opening credits rolled. (Seriously, do you get it?)
Getting to the 100th episode is a major accomplishment for a network series in general, but it's particularly notable in the current TV climate. Broadcast series (as The Good Doctor is) are not guaranteed a 22-episode season order every year. More commonly, they get an order for 13 episodes, with only a few of them receiving the back-nine episode order to bring the total to the one-traditional number. Ten to 13 episode-seasons are standard on streaming and even cable, but some seasons are as short as three or six episodes. And with the plethora of options to choose from on an ever-increasing number of platforms, shows have very little time to capture the viewer's attention. But since its debut in September 2017, The Good Doctor has been a solid performer for ABC. And that's certainly something to celebrate.
Not all shows that make it to 100 episodes mark the occasion on-screen as cheekily The Good Doctor did, let alone at all. But it didn't just have fun with its industry milestone, it also moved its characters along in important ways. Let's take a look at where things left them with "Hot and Bothered."
Dr. Danica Powell (Savannah Welch) and Sean have clashed since Dr. Powell arrived at St. Bonaventure. On her first day at work, she refused to participate in using a pig's heart to save a patient's life. Sean still can't find anything the two of them have in common (not pancakes, not watching the weather) and he still thinks her suggestions are wrong.
"I don't need your bad ideas," he barks at her. But Sean's patient encourages him to see the value of having a doctor who challenges him. Sean still may not be convinced, but at least Dr. Powell does stop using the almond hand lotion that was really bothering him.
Dr. Powell, who lost her leg while serving in the Navy, tries to help Dr. Lim begin to see all that she can do despite being in a wheelchair. "I see a healthy, fully capable woman sitting across from me. At some point you need to start seeing yourself like that too," she tells her. She brings Dr. Lim to a wheelchair basketball game at the VA gym where Dr. Lim enjoys a few flirtatious moments with the team captain (guest star Michael Patrick Thornton).
"Maybe it's nice being treated like a normal person again," he tells her.
While Dr. Lim isn't convinced she will return to basketball, Dr. Powell tells her that she also plays tennis every Saturday.
Asher and Morgan spend the day looking for an elderly man who is missing from the hospital. They think they find him wandering the streets but when they bring him back to St. Bonaventure they realize they have the wrong geriatric patient. Asher and Morgan use this quality time to discuss Morgan's not so fantastic dating life since she and Alex broke up. And Morgan has an epiphany.
"That hole in my life is not that I want a boyfriend. I want a child," she tells Asher..
Dr. Jordan Allen (Bria Samoné Henderson) and Dr. Danny Perez (Brandon Larracuente) helped a dying woman (guest star Susan Ruttan) visit Paris via the magic of virtual reality. Despite the genuine spark between Jordan and Danny, in the last episode, Danny told Jordan he can't make room for romance in his life right now. He's five years into his recovery and he's worried adding a relationship into his life will test the limits of his sobriety. But after helping this week's patient, Danny tells Jordan, "You're an amazing person." So it's possible his "no romance" stance may be softening.
While the doctors are treating patients, Sean's wife Lea (Paige Spara) is trying to keep the hospital's servers from completely crashing in the midst of the heat wave — and she manages to save the day by leveraging solar power.
As the episode wraps, everyone enjoys a piece of cake, tying the celebration in a nice, neat bow.
The Good Doctor Season 6 airs new episodes at 10 p.m. Mondays on ABC.