The Good Doctor characters who left the show unexpectedly

THE GOOD DOCTOR - ABC's "The Good Doctor" stars Freddie Highmore as Dr. Shaun Murphy. (ABC/Art Streiber)
THE GOOD DOCTOR - ABC's "The Good Doctor" stars Freddie Highmore as Dr. Shaun Murphy. (ABC/Art Streiber) /

The Good Doctor has recently become something of an online sensation. Those were weren’t aware of the show previously have suddenly taken an interest, despite the fact that its been on ABC for six (!) seasons.

In that time, there have been plenty of shocking twists, unexpected developments, and character exits that made fans scratch their heads. With all these in mind, we decided to take a look back at the exits that surprised us the most.

Why did Neil Melendez leave The Good Doctor?

Neil Melendez (Nicholas Gonzalez) played a crucial role in the show’s first three seasons. He was the cardiothoracic surgeon who was in charge of the surgical residents, and he developed a unique dynamic with Dr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore) as a result.

Melendez seemed as though he was one of the untouchable members of the cast, and yet, he sustained massive injuries during an earthquake in the season 3 finale, and eventually died as a result. It was a great episode of television, for sure, but it was left viewers feeling as though there was lots of to Melendez’s character that was unexplored.

Why did Claire Brown leave The Good Doctor?

Claire Brown (Antonia Thomas) was something of a secret weapon within The Good Doctor‘s cast. Her can-do attitude made her a perfect foil to some of the more dour and troubling storylines, and her chemistry with characters like Melendez and Dr. Lim (Christina Chang) ensured that her scenes were consistently entertaining.

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She was also the de facto friend for Shaun, with her patience and understanding proving hugely important to the title character. It’s for all these reasons that Brown’s decision to move to Guatemala in the season 4 finale came as such a surprise. While her reasoning was predictably selfless (she wanted to help those less fortunate), her present has been missed ever since.

Why did Dr. Jackson Han leave The Good Doctor?

Dr. Jackson Han (Daniel Dae Kim) is not a main cast member, but his involvement in the show’s suddenly viral clip (the “I am a surgeon” scene from season 2) has newcomers confused. Kim is a producer on the show, so he’s been involved with The Good Doctor since day one, but as an actor, he only appears in a handful of episodes.

Dr. Han fires Shaun after he makes hurtful comments towards a patient, but he himself is fired when Chief of Surgery Dr. Andrews (Hill Harper) decides to reinstate Shaun. The decision, sadly, leads to Dr. Andrews losing his job. It’s a lot of unexpected turns in a short time span, but it does make for one of the show’s most memorable arcs.

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