Why Did Nick Gonzalez Left ‘The Good Doctor’?

In the series “The Good Doctor,” it is a trend to write off some of the beloved characters. Since 2017, this trend has been going on. Reasons may differ, but characters are out of the show often. David Shore created the ABC medical drama ” The Good Doctor.” It follows Shaun Murphy, a surgeon with autism and savant syndrome.

This show revolves around Shaun and how he interacts with other surgeons and the daily struggles of a surgeon. Here, Shaun Murphy is played by Freddie Highmore. He wants to make a name for himself in San Jose St. Bonaventure hospital. There he comes across several colorful surgeon characters.

This drama revolves around their different interactions. Among those memorable characters, there was Dr. Neil Melendez, played by the incredible Nicholas Gonzalez. Nicholas’s character was in charge of monitoring the hospital. Quickly, this character began to influence Shaun and us, viewers.

Nick as Dr. Neil

Character’s Journey

In the season 3 finale, Dr. Neil Melendez died. This episode was named “I Love You.” Nicholas Gonzalez’s character dies because of severe internal bleeding. He had a relationship with Christina Chang’s character Dr. Audrey Lim in the show. This episode gave them closure. Nicholas’s character also had feelings for Dr. Claire Browne. At the end of Neil’s life, he expressed them to her.

She, too, had feelings for him. He died shortly after that, reminding us that even the best of characters die. Death is a constant in reality and in fiction. No matter how sad it makes “The Good Doctor” fans, death is imminent. And we have to accept this sad reality of this show.

Dr. Neil's death (ABC)

Why did Nick Gonzalez leave?

In an interview with a deadline in March 2020, David Shore said that “Nick was so great, but you want to go where the stories take you.” Here, the creator of the show was right. It is necessary to kill important characters in a show to make the show grounded.

After the end of a character’s journey or arc, it’s important to end them. Without that, the character’s become uninteresting. Their death makes them memorable. The writer of the show said that none of it was personal and Gonzalez was “fantastic.”

They just wanted to “confront mortality.” Shore also mentioned, “We wanted to lose a character that we would feel something about and feel pain about, and certainly, he’s a character that so many of them have been in touch with.” “This is the nature of these sorts of shows, I believe, is you go forward, and people come and go,” He added.


His journey with the show didn’t end there. He was and still is connected with the creative team. His character even reappeared in season 4 for two episodes. Obviously, not as alive but as flashbacks. This reappearance didn’t ruin his character’s journey in any way. But this made the fans happy. Death doesn’t have to be the end. But yes, we have to respect Nick’s character’s journey and their end.

Dr. Neil in "The Good Doctor" (ABC)

Future Prediction And Importance Of Character’s Death

Any character should not be bounded by their popularity. Every story wants to tell a proper character journey that shows us their growth. If the character’s journey is predicted by the viewer’s demand, then the story can become uninteresting in the future because the writer doesn’t know what to do with the character.

Thus they become less dynamic and hence uninteresting. So, characters should get proper closure. No matter how much it hurts us, viewers, there should be an end. In a drama series like “The Good Doctor,” characters are an important part of the story.

A medical drama show, or even a drama , revolves around character interaction. So, to answer the question of why Nick Gonzalez left the show, we have to know his character’s journey. His character got a proper ending and closure. This is why he “left” the show.

What can we expect?

As we discussed before, death always doesn’t have to be the end. He came back in season 4, but he will never return as a live character in the show. We know that death is important, but he can still influence other characters in the show and their actions. We can still see him and his influence through flashbacks. We will miss his character, but this is the best outcome of his character.