At the end of The Good Doctor season 2, we saw Dr. Shaun Murphy make the biggest move we’ve seen from him in some time when it comes to his romantic life — he asked out Carly! It was a bit of a surprise both in terms of the season-long arc and then also the finale itself, which felt as though Shaun was either going to ask out Claire or Lea, who really holds that position of “first love” for him. He’s pined away for her for the better part of the season, culminating in some tough conversations and Dr. Glassman chiding her for potentially breaking her heart.
So where are things going to go from here? Is Lea someone who is still on the board as a relationship option? We feel like many of you out there have watched enough television over the years to know that pretty much any relationship is far from permanent. Maybe Shaun and Carly do go the distance, but it’s doubtful. Few TV relationships do, especially ones that seem to come secondary to the one that was initially established. Even executive producer David Shore himself notes via IndieWire that the writers had a long debate about who Shaun would ask out, and Lea was very much in consideration for that:
“There were multiple, viable choices for who he would ask out for his first date. Lea was certainly an option. I think Lea is the one that most of us are rooting for the relationship … But we like Carly and we like Claire, and they like Shaun and they accept Shaun. When [Carly] first came on the show, there was almost an instantaneous connection between her and Shaun in Season 1 and we got to explore her character when Shaun was working with her for a few episodes.”
Odds are, this is a relationship that will carry over in some form in the upcoming third season, as we don’t envision the writers went so far out of their way to set up this relationship for them to just be like “okay, never mind” at the start of season 3. We don’t envision too much of a time jump between seasons (at least not right away), as these two get an opportunity to have an actual first date. Shaun will have a chance to experience the highs and lows of being in a relationship and also trying to deal with being a doctor once more.