The Good Doctor teased that its Season 3 finale would kill off a major character. Did all of the hype surrounding the deadly twist pay off for the medical drama in the ratings? The Good Doctor split the lethal finale into two parts, and this past Monday (March 30), the second half bowed. Did a lot of people tune in to find out who got killed off? Yes, they did indeed.
The Season 3 finale garnered 7.6 million viewers and scored a 1.1 rating in the networks’ much-coveted 18-49 demo. Those numbers gave Part 2 a 12% boost over Part 1. Since The Good Doctor’s previous episode set-up the deadly twist that spared Claire and Lim, it makes sense that anticipation would have surged for the second half.
Who did viewers tune in to learn The Good Doctor had decided to kill off in the Season 3 finale? Series showrunner, David Shore, explained that the twist was part of the “horrible decisions” that have to be made when making a TV show. In the end, those tough calls led to Nicholas Gonzalez’s Dr. Neil Melendez departing the medical drama.
Melendez succumbed to the internal injuries he suffered from the earthquake in the second half of the Season 3 finale. Nicholas Gonzalez has since reflected on his exit from the series, saying it was tough for it feel “good enough.” Gonzalez was an original cast member, who had been a part of The Good Doctor since the first episode. So, this was a massive loss for long-time fans of The Good Doctor.
Following the Season 3 finale, it was revealed that Nicholas Gonzalez would not be the only change to the cast when it returns for Season 4. Jasika Nicole, who has played Dr. Carly Lever, since the first season will not be back as a series regular when The Good Doctor resumes.
Carly had been in a relationship with Shaun during Season 3, only to break-up with him after she realized the depth of his feelings for Lea. Speaking of, Lea and Shaun did end up making huge strides forward in their relationship in the Season 3 finale. So, viewers tuning in to find out who would die also saw that relationship make a turn from a dire place.
In the end, The Good Doctor benefited from something that has, arguably, helped many other shows in the ratings. A deadly twist especially works to bring back viewers who may not have tuned in for a while. They are familiar enough with the characters to be curious and devastated when everything goes down.
Hopefully, deadly finales do not become too much of a trend. The Good Doctor will return for Season 4 on ABC at a future date. For now, you can try to salve your broken heart with this spring’s premieres.