Spoilers ahead for the February 22 episode of The Good Doctor on ABC, called "Decrypt."
The Good Doctor delivered a rough episode at St. Bonaventure when a cyberattack left a lot of much-needed information at risk of being permanently wiped, but the biggest change to come from the episode (directed by star Freddie Highmore) might actually have nothing to do with the cyberattack at all. Instead, the plot of the team treating an inspirational cancer survivor took an unexpected twist, and seemingly resulted in the departure of a St. Bonaventure doctor. But is Olivia's departure for good?
Shaun, Claire, and Olivia were treating a cancer survivor whose inspirational story raised a lot of money for charity, but the uplifting story took a downturn when he revealed that he'd faked his cancer years ago and lost the leg due to a drunken motorcycle crash. The doctors (with the exception of the more pragmatic Shaun, who focused on the charity work) were disgusted that their patient would lie to make money, with Claire even wanting to pass on treating him. The situation came to a head when one member of the team tipped off a journalist about the story, resulting in Lim declaring that she would fire whoever made the call once she found out.
With the heat on Claire (who hasn't had the easiest Season 4 so far), Olivia came out and told Lim that she was the one who had called the journalist, not Claire. Lim fired her, but that wasn't the end of the plot. Dr. Andrews confronted his niece about confessing to calling the journalist, with the reveal that he was actually the whistleblower. He still wanted to know why she destroyed her "whole career here," causing her to say that she never wanted to be a doctor and just wanted to burn all the bridges behind her, and he couldn't pep talk her back into her work at St. Bonaventure if she got herself fired.
So, Olivia is out as a doctor at St. Bonaventure, and the scene between Olivia and Andrews ended on a sweet note as he supported her in her decision and they shared a big hug. Under different circumstances, I'd think that The Good Doctor wouldn't have introduced and established Olivia just to fire her for good pretty early on, but Season 4 isn't being produced under normal circumstances, and the show explicitly said that Olivia's whole career was ruined at St. Bonaventure. If she does return to The Good Doctor, I don't see it happening as a doctor.
Personally, I'm a little offended on Olivia's behalf that Dr. Andrews is fine with letting her take the fall as the whistleblower, even if getting herself fired was her ultimate goal. It's not a great look on Andrews for him to let her ruin her career when he's the one who committed the fireable offense. After all, even if Olivia intends to be done with her work as a doctor, getting fired for breaking the rules like this can still follow her around, and she's not established in any field the way Andrews is.
I know The Good Doctor wasn't going to get rid fo Dr. Andrews, but I feel like he could have at least volunteered to confess and save her job before she explained why she did it. At the end of the day, Olivia is out at St. Bonaventure, and I'm guessing for good, while Dr. Andrews is sticking around. The good news coming out of "Decrypt" is that even if Olivia ruined her career, Lea went a long way in proving to the people at the hospital that she's as much of an expert in IT as they are in performing surgery, and the relationship with Shaun is still going strong despite obstacles.
As for what happens next on The Good Doctor, tune in to ABC on Mondays at 10 p.m. ET after the latest episode of The Bachelor to see what's in store for Shaun and Co. at St. Bonaventure. While the unconventional scheduling of the 2020-2021 TV season has meant some shows going into their extended winter breaks in February/March rather than November/December, The Good Doctor will air its next new episode on March 8 after only one week off. For some options that are debuting soon rather than breaking, check out our 2021 winter and spring premiere schedule.