The second season of The Good Doctor is less than a week away from hitting the airwaves, and all the news over the summer pointed toward a very different status quo at St. Bonaventure Hospital when the action picks up again. It was announced way back in April that the show would be losing a series regular from the first season, and that one departure already meant changes to the way the team worked. Now, with only days left in hiatus, news has broken that one more series regular will depart in the second season: Beau Garrett.
Beau Garrett played Jessica Preston in The Good Doctor Season 1. TVLine reports that Garrett will not return to The Good Doctor, which definitely comes as a surprise, although in hindsight, it's worth noting that she doesn't appear in the Season 2 trailer. As the hospital's attorney, Jessica was frequently involved in Shaun and the other doctors' cases. The docs at St. Bonaventure liked to push the envelope in Season 1, and Shaun in particular had an unorthodox way of approaching cases that occasionally raised legal questions.
Jessica was also important to a couple of the characters from a personal place. Jessica had been the best friend of Maddie, a.k.a. Dr. Glassman's daughter who died before the show even began. Glassman's diagnosis of potentially deadly brain cancer at the end of the first season seemed to open the door for him to spend more time with Jessica, since he could not spend time with his daughter in his difficult time. She was also important to Dr. Melendez, as they were in a very serious relationship until they ran into an insurmountable issue: Melendez wanted to start a family, and Jessica didn't want children.
At least the breakup between Jessica and Melendez means that The Good Doctor won't have to try and explain away her sudden absence from his personal life, as Chicago Fire is going to need to do thanks to the departure of an actress after the previous season had already aired its finale. No details are currently available about why Beau Garrett has left The Good Doctor or why the news was not released until so close to the Season 2 premiere when Chuku Modu's departure as a regular was announced months ago.
The good news is that fans may not feel too much of a hole in the ensemble even without Beau Garrett and Chuku Modu (although the latter will appear in at least one upcoming episode). A number of cast members have been bumped up to series regular status, including Paige Spara as Shaun's lovable lady love Lea. House alum Lisa Edelstein is on board as well to play a character who will be instrumental in Dr. Glassman's prognosis.
To see what's in store in The Good Doctor Season 2, tune in to ABC on Monday, September 24 at 10 p.m. ET. It's only one of many shows debuting in the fall TV lineup, so be sure to figure out what you want to watch and when to watch it.