Parents-and-their-children week. A man in his 50s is brought into St Bonaventure by his estranged son. They don’t bond until the man is close to death. Then they do a bit. This is generally inconsequential, although the bit where Dr Glassman pops a cyst out of the man’s brain is kind of cool.
The main action this week centres around Evan, a boy with a broken arm, who resembles Shaun’s late brother Steve. (Both are played by the same actor, Dylan Kingwell.) Shaun quickly diagnoses Evan as having cancer, but it turns out that Evan’s parents know this; Evan has a few months to live, and they’ve decided not to tell him. This poses a couple of problems for Shaun: as well as the ethics of the situation, he’s a terrible liar. So he blurts the truth out to Evan, who’s unsurprised; he guessed this months ago, but hasn’t let on to his parents. Shaun was, of course, unable to save his brother, and is determined to find a way to help Evan. He comes up with an alternative diagnosis which seems remarkably improbable, but he wants to pursue it anyway, although he’s warned about giving Evan and his parents false hope.
In many ways it’s a breathtakingly cynical storyline, designed to push the viewer’s emotional buttons. But I’m a parent, and I therefore have these particular buttons readily available for pushing; in addition, Dylan Kingwell’s performance is fresh and unforced. It’s another good episode.