The Good Doctor season three ended with the heartbreaking death of Dr Neil Melendez (played by Nicholas Gonzalez) after a tragic earthquake. In one of his final scenes, he and Dr Claire Browne (Antonia Thomas) exchanged ‘I love yous’ – but some fans think this may not have been the truth.
Did Melendez really love Claire in The Good Doctor?
In the lead up to his death, many fans had begun to notice a growing connection between Melendez and Claire on the show.
However, this came to an end abruptly in the season three finale when Melendez succumbed to his internal injuries from falling rubble in a brutal twist.
Fans of the relationship were given a final moment between the pair as it was Claire who had the final goodbye with the character.
In their final scene together, they admitted they loved each other with Claire saying it first.
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Melendez said “I love you too” before they cuddled each other for one last time.
The reactions to the scene from viewers were mixed with some feeling it was romantic while others were less convinced.
Posting on Reddit, user Gobucks314 wrote: “I bought Claire’s ‘I love you,’ but Melendez’s… not so much.
“I think we witnessed Claire falling for him – even fighting for him with the whole ‘We can’t hang out as colleagues?’ argument, but I don’t think we saw his side of the romance enough.
“I think he was just starting to realize that there may be something, but not a full blown declaration of love.”
Fan Jeljel89 added: “His ‘I love you’ was a little weird. Felt it was strange he’d just told Lim he wanted to spend his life with her.
“Maybe he was just overwhelmed with Claire and felt some feelings, but wasn’t quite ready to say it.”
A third named CeruleanTresses wrote: “‘I love you’ doesn’t have to be romantic.
“I don’t think we saw him develop romantic feelings for her, but I think we have seen that he loved her.”
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The Good Doctor: What did Nicholas Gonzalez think of Melendez’s fate?
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However, speaking about his death scene, actor Nicholas Gonzalez revealed more to TV Line about the moment with Claire, adding the feelings were genuine.
He told the publication: “Melendez is really discovering how he feels.
“It really wasn’t until all of this that he accepted how he felt about her, because I think it’s something that really snuck up on him.
“He can think she’s cute, he can think she’s smart, he can be intrigued, but he knows he’s not going to get involved.”
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The actor also went on to reveal how he did feel conflicted about the dynamic as he was her boss in the show.
He added: “For me, I always felt like maybe that was a long burn that could always kind of be there.
“There are two people that respect each other, have grown to love each other as human beings, as people and as friends, but the idea of going after [that] was never something I was totally comfortable with because I felt like we had created this very morally upstanding character in Melendez.”
However, he did admit if his character had lived, he thinks he would have pursued the relationship further.
Gonzalez said: “I think he would have, of course, given [into his feelings], but I think him navigating his way out of that and figuring out what the right thing to do is would have been as interesting.”
The Good Doctor will return with season 4 on ABC.
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