Is The Good Doctor Setting Shaun And Lea Up For A Major Tragedy?

the good doctor season 4 waiting shaun and lea walking abc
(Image credit: ABC)

Warning: spoilers ahead for Episode 15 of The Good Doctor Season 4, called "Waiting."

The Good Doctor delivered a heavy hour of television with "Waiting" as the doctors tried to save the lives of two young boys who had been shot at a political protest, and the odds weren't looking great for them. The doctors were struggling with the weight of their decisions, the mothers lashed out, and Lea wound up in the mix in the waiting room. Everything seemed wrapped up nicely by the end of the hour, however, complete with both boys surviving. So, when Lea collapsed as a cliffhanger, it raised many more questions. The biggest: is The Good Doctor setting Shaun and Lea up for a tragedy?

While the ending before Lea's collapse was so unexpectedly uplifting (at least compared to the previous 50 minutes or so) that I perhaps should have been more aware of a possible unfortunate twist, Lea's seeming clean bill of health made her collapse while walking out with Shaun all the more surprising. She went from smiling and chatting with him to clutching her belly and falling to the ground, clearly in a lot of pain and very frightened as she curled up into herself. The episode ended with Shaun desperately calling for help, but evidently (and understandably) not willing to leave her lying on the ground to go get any himself, so the episode ended without dropping any details.

And unfortunately, Lea's collapse could indicate a miscarriage, which would deliver a serious emotional blow to her and Shaun (and plenty of viewers) as they've looked forward to becoming parents. The Good Doctor isn't really a baby-friendly show, so I've always wondered how it would work if the show gave them a child, but it's possible Shaun and Lea as parents isn't an arc that The Good Doctor intends to explore in Season 4. That said, there are significant reasons to be optimistic that the end of "Waiting" was not Lea losing her pregnancy.

And that is thanks to the promo for the next episode, as well as the official ABC episode description! Spoilers for the preview content lie ahead. The next episode of The Good Doctor is called "Dr. Ted" and will air on May 10, revealing that the show will be taking another week off in between episodes. According to the episode description, this is what's in store on the Shaun and Lea front:

Shaun struggles with his role as Lea’s partner after complications arise with the pregnancy and his instincts as a medical professional kick in.

Of course, "complications" arising with Lea's pregnancy certainly isn't a good thing, but the episode description also doesn't indicate that the hour is going to be one big tragedy for the couple. Besides, the show has been stressful enough this season! The description also doesn't give away any details about what happened to Lea at all beyond that it is indeed related to her pregnancy, and therefore not her appendix or anything else. The episode description not reading as a total tragedy is even more reassuring when combined with the promo for "Dr. Ted" that aired following the latest episode. Take a look:

Well, the good news is that Claire (who hasn't had an easy season herself) refers to Lea's pregnancy in the present tense in the promo, and Lea is upright and alert in her hospital bed, so she won't be in pain like she was at the end of "Waiting" in the whole next episode. Claire also confirms that Lea will need surgery, which is bad news for Lea but makes sense for The Good Doctor as a show primarily about surgeons. None of the doctors reveal what's wrong or why Lea needs surgery, but both she and Shaun are scared, and Shaun brought out the toy scalpel from his brother.

See what happens for Shaun and Lea in light of Lea's medical emergency when "Dr. Ted" airs as the next episode of The Good Doctor on Monday, May 10 at 10 p.m. ET on ABC. Hard as it may be to believe, the current TV season is almost at an end, so be sure to check out our rundown of major TV finale dates so far.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).