Spoilers ahead for The Good Doctor Season 3 finale, called “I Love You.”
The first installment of The Good Doctor’s two-part season finale saw San Jose struck with a deadly earthquake, and Dr. Neil Melendez seemed to be doing fine enough before he collapsed at the end of the episode from internal bleeding. The promo for the Season 3 finale had teased a looming death, preparing viewers for the worst, and unfortunately, the tragic turn of events saw Melendez succumb to his injuries. In saying goodbye to his character, star Nicholas Gonzalez revealed that he thought The Good Doctor’s big death came too “early.”
It’s hard to make it to the other side of a catastrophic event on a medical show without any major repercussions befalling a series regular character. Even The Good Doctor showrunner David Shore believed that “horrible decisions” were made on the road to kill off Melendez. Asked what his own reaction was when reading the Season 3 finale script, Nicholas Gonzalez revealed that it wasn’t easy coming to terms with Melendez’s death. Here’s what he told TVLine:
That’s incredibly thoughtful. On a slightly brighter note, Melendez at least found out he was dying early enough that he got some heartfelt conversations with Claire and Lim before passing away, with Claire finally declaring her love for him. Unlike what other shows may have done, The Good Doctor’s Season 3 finale didn’t end on a massive cliffhanger that would’ve left fans up in arms wondering whether Melendez was actually dead or not. It's the little things that count, I suppose.
That said, Nicholas Gonzalez believed that there was still a lot more story left for Melendez. The actor didn’t think he’d done everything he’d set out to do with the character. In his words:
That’s it for Season 3 of The Good Doctor. The medical drama has already been renewed for Season 4, but stay tuned to CinemaBlend to see whether the coronavirus pandemic will heavily impact the show next season. In the meantime, stay updated with our updated TV list regarding series delays and shortened seasons.
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