‘The Good Doctor’ Star Freddie Highmore Unpacks Claire’s ‘Moving and Poignant’ Return

EPs Liz Friedman and David Shore also tease how Episode 9’s cliffhanger sets up “two of the most important patients that they’ve ever had to treat”

Antonia Thomas and Freddie Highmore in "The Good Doctor." (Disney/Jeff Weddell)

Note: The following story contains spoilers from “The Good Doctor” Season 7, Episode 9.

“The Good Doctor” just set the stage for a potentially heartbreaking series finale.

The ABC medical drama took big swings during its penultimate episode Tuesday, bringing back fan-favorite Dr. Claire Browne (Antonia Thomas) as a patient instead of a visiting physician. While her prognosis was worse than originally expected, the episode followed as Claire managed to balance her usual confidant role for Dr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore) with reuniting with her former flame Dr. Jared Kalu (Chuku Modu).

“It was incredibly special to have [Antonia] back,” Highmore told TheWrap in a recent interview. “It was incredibly moving and poignant to bring things full circle during the [two-part] finale and to look back, both through the choice of patients and in terms of the emotion, just bringing everything full circle to remind us of how far everyone has come during the last seven years.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Aaron Glassman (Richard Schiff) hoped to help former patient Hannah (played by his real-life daughter Ruby Kelley) get off drugs, with an assist from Shaun. Though there were some ups and downs, Claire seemed to recover from her procedures and joined the rest of the doctors at Dr. Morgan Reznick (Fiona Gubelmann) and Dr. Alex Park’s (Will Yun Lee) wedding ceremony.

At the wedding, Claire and Jared seemingly rekindled their romance — as Dr. Jordan Allen (Bria Samoné Henderson) watched from afar.

“Jared and Claire have a connection that goes way back to the beginning of the show … there was always a connection there and they couldn’t quite resolve it,” series EP and showrunner Liz Friedman told TheWrap of the potential love triangle. “I know where I stand, but I leave it for the audience to make their own decision [on who to ship].”

Richard Schiff and Freddie Highmore in “The Good Doctor.” (Disney/Jeff Weddell)

But the wedding dropped two major bombs on the doctors of San Jose St. Bonaventure ahead of the series finale. After safely sending Hannah to rehab, Glassman revealed to Shaun that his cancer is back. And as they left the ceremony, Claire collapsed in Jared’s arms, forcing him to take her back to the hospital to see what went wrong with her treatment.

“You can expect to see our characters dealing with two of the most personally important patients that they’ve ever had to treat in the course of the series,” Friedman teased of the final episode.

“The finale is in a way about loss, but also about appreciating what we’ve had,” series creator and EP David Shore told TheWrap. “I think Liz has done a wonderful job of creating a story that allows us to do both of those things.”

The series finale of “The Good Doctor” airs Tuesday, May 21, on ABC. Past episodes are available to stream on Hulu.


One response to “‘The Good Doctor’ Star Freddie Highmore Unpacks Claire’s ‘Moving and Poignant’ Return”

  1. Dhfhjffj Avatar

    Isn’t she a sheboon

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