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The Good Doctor Season 4 premiere: How did [Spoiler] return?

Two characters returned to The Good Doctor in the Season 4 premiere, and one was more surprising than the other.

Caution: There are spoilers in this post for The Good Doctor Season 4 premiere.

The Good Doctor was the first of the fall dramas to return to ABC, and it did not disappoint. The Season 4 premiere was set in the time of the pandemic, the early days when medical staff struggled to deal with the influx of patients. Claire became overwhelmed, but there was someone by her side to help her through.

Two characters made a return in The Good Doctor Season 4 premiere. One of those was more surprising than the other. After all, Beau Garrett’s return as the hospital’s in-house attorney, Jessica Preston made sense and had been teased. She returned through a Zoom call to help with the legal side of the current situation.

The surprising return was Nicholas Gonzalez at Neil Melendez.

The Good Doctor
The Good Doctor Season 4 — Image courtesy of WDTV Press

Didn’t Melendez die in The Good Doctor Season 3 finale?

Yes, when the building partially collapsed, Melendez succumbed to his injuries. It was shocking for all of us to watch, but heartbreaking for Claire.

With a medical drama, it’s easy to assume that dead characters won’t return unless through flashbacks. However, The Good Doctor has managed it in the past with Shaun’s brother, so bringing back Melendez wasn’t a complete jump the shark moment.

Melendez turned up when Claire was getting overwhelmed. He was the voice of calm in the middle of the storm, giving her the boost she needed to continue.

And this is something that happens in times of stress. Humans can see their deceased loved ones. The Good Doctor certainly isn’t the first TV show to do something like that.

It’s a chance for Claire to grieve more; a chance for her to help other patients who are also losing their loved ones. Melendez wasn’t actually there, but she felt like he was. Sometimes, that’s all we need as people.

Good Doctor, The (2017) – Season 3

Will Melendez return on the series?

Naturally, fans of the doc want to know if he’ll be back. It’s unlikely.

This was a one-off. It was a chance for Claire to grieve and move forward. Unless the series really wants to jump the shark, there’s no need to bring Melendez back again.

However, it’s worth noting that this was just the first episode of a two-part premiere. The second episode in the midst of the pandemic will air next Monday. Since there will still be the high-stress situation, there is a chance Claire will see her deceased lover again, but once the pandemic is over, it’s unlikely.

This isn’t Grey’s Anatomy with an over-the-top brain cancer storyline where dead people come back as ghosts.

MORE: All the broadcast premiere dates in November 2020

What did you think of Melendez’s return on The Good Doctor Season 4 premiere? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

The Good Doctor Season 4 airs Mondays at 10/9c on ABC.