‘The Good Doctor’: Season 4 Could Be the Show’s Downfall, According to Fans

The Good Doctor season 4 premiered to mixed reviews from fans on Nov. 2. Fans still aren’t over Dr. Neil Melendez’s death in the season 3 finale, and despite that he made an appearance in the first episode of the new season, people are demanding the writers bring him back. Melendez’s death, combined with season 4’s plot line and seemingly different production style, has many fans questioning where the future of the show stands.

The Good Doctor
The Good Doctor | David Bukach/Getty Images

People still haven’t moved on from Dr. Melendez’s death

In the two-part season 3 finale, San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital lost one of its most-valued doctors. Melendez, who was the cardiothoracic surgeon overseeing the medical students, met an untimely death with he suffered ischemic bowel disease after being injured in an earthquake. Dr. Melendez succumbed to his injuries at the close of the season, much to the surprise of fans.

When season 4 premiered, people still hadn’t moved on from the writers’ decision to cut Melendez. People took to social media to express their distaste with the decision, with the show’s Instagram filled with comments from fans asking for Melendez to reprise his role. Fans did get their share of Melendez in the first episode, though, when he appeared as a ghostlike figure while Dr. Claire Browne was in the stock room looking for a deceased patient’s necklace.

Dr. Neil Melendez
Writers killed off Dr. Neil Melendez in the season 3 finale. | Art Streiber/Getty Images

The coronavirus (covid-19) pandemic plot was met with negative reviews

The show opened with a woman coughing while paying for something in a store (presumably patient zero). The same woman went to the hospital concerned about having the novel coronavirus, but Dr. Morgan Reznik told her that her symptoms didn’t match coronavirus symptoms. Eventually the woman was diagnosed with covid-19 and ended up at San Jose St. Bonaventure, where she died from the virus.

The rest of the show focused on the virus as well, mostly highlighting its unpredictability and revealing some of its most confusing symptoms, mirroring the world’s reaction to the uncertainly of the virus in real life. But fans weren’t thrilled about reality spilling into their favorite TV show. “Glad this show is back but why does covid have to be in everything?” one user questioned on Instagram. “This season hits to close to home for a lot of people. I will not be watching,” another user wrote. Still, others were happy that the show recognized the hard work of the frontline workers.

'The Good Doctor' season 4 opened with the coronavirus pandemic
‘The Good Doctor’ season 4 opened with the coronavirus pandemic | Jeff Weddell via Getty Images

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Some users questioned the actual production of the show as well 

Another issue fans noticed with the show was in its actual production. Fans seemed to think the lines between the actors were basic, while others thought the filming seemed lower quality than past seasons. “This episode is so bad compared to the other episodes. It’s literally just talking about covid + dumb conversations between the characters,” one user wrote of the premiere. “This episode is garbage. What cameras or filters did you use? … This isn’t even the good doctor,” someone else wrote.

It’s unclear if the season’s entirety will focus on the pandemic, or if that was more of a PSA during the season premiere. So far, though, fans don’t seem thrilled by what they’ve seen. It’s too early to tell if season 4 will be the show’s demise, but there is certainly more negative feedback after this premiere than in any past seasons.