The Good Doctor kills off main character in final season

Viewers were left in shock as The Good Doctor said goodbye to a series regular in a surprise twist during its final season.

The medical drama, which began in 2017, stars Freddie Highmore as Dr Shaun Murphy, an autistic surgeon working at a hospital in San Jose, California.

In January this year, it was confirmed that the ABC series would be coming to an end following its seventh season.

Promotional material for episode five of the seventh and final season promised a “must-see” hour with a “heartstopping moment”, and fans were not left disappointed.

*Spoilers ahead!

In the episode, titled “Who At Peace” which aired on Tuesday (2 April), a veteran cast member is killed.

At the end of the hour, Dr Asher Wolke (played by The Real O’Neals actor Noah Galvin) suffers an antisemitic attack that ends his life.

Dr Wolke first appeared in the series in season three, episode four. Throughout the show, he is seen struggling to reconcile his religious views with his sexuality, but appears to have finally made peace with it by the time the tragedy occurs.

His boyfriend, nurse Jerome Martel (played by Giacomo Baessato), is seen waiting for him at a nearby restaurant where he plans to propose as a surprise on their second anniversary.

Freddie Highmore in ‘The Good Doctor' (ABC)
Freddie Highmore in ‘The Good Doctor' (ABC)

Devastatingly, however, Dr Wolke never makes it to Martel. After attending a patient’s wedding, he is seen driving the rabbi back home when they come across a couple of thugs vandalising a synagogue.

Dr Wolke asks them to leave, after which the first assailant asks: “What do you care?” while a second says: “He’s a Jew too.”

The doctor responds: “I am a Jew. A gay one, in fact, and I’m calling the cops.”

Jerome Martel waits to propose to Dr Asher Wolke as the tragedy occurs (Disney)
Jerome Martel waits to propose to Dr Asher Wolke as the tragedy occurs (Disney)

After believing the matter to be resolved and ended, the vandalisers return to hit Dr Wolke over the head, leaving him for dead.

A message at the end of the episode reads: “If you or anyone you know has experienced antisemitism, racism, anti-LGBTQ+ related incidents or hate crimes, or if you want to learn more about what you can do to stop hate, please visit”

“I was not ready,” said devastated fans on X/Twitter reacting to the heartbreaking scene.

“I just GASPED the way they just ended the most recent The Good Doctor episode,” wrote another.

Others expressed disappointment at the death, arguing that the character’s journey warranted a happier ending.

“I usually don’t like making criticism like this but The Good Doctor killing Asher is horrifying. I’m appalled they went with a storyline like this as he’s reconciled his religious views,” said one person. “It’s frustrating this keeps being the narrative for queer characters. It’s sick.”

The seventh and final season of The Good Doctor premiered on ABC on 20 February at 10pm EST. In the UK, the series is available to stream on NOW, with some seasons also streaming on Prime Video and Channel 4.