Felicity Huffman has questions for The Good Lawyer.
The 60-year-old actress returns for her first television role in the proposed Good Doctor spinoff, since her involvement in the 2019 college admissions scandal, and ET has a new exclusive sneak peek from Monday’s episode.
In the backdoor pilot, Dr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore) seeks legal representation to help him win a case and puts his faith in promising, young lawyer Joni DeGroot (Kennedy McMann), who has obsessive-compulsive disorder. Described as “brilliant, funny and self-aware,” the young lawyer is relatively new to her prestigious law firm when she takes Shaun’s complicated case. Huffman plays Janet Stewart, a highly regarded attorney and partner at the law firm.
In ET’s exclusive clip, Joni arrives late for a scheduled session with Shaun and Dr. Alex Park (Will Yun Lee) as they gather information for their defense after Shaun is taken to court over his decision to amputate the plaintiff’s hand during a high-stress emergency.
“I thought you had this worked out?” Janet asks Joni as they walk briskly to meet the doctors.
“I know, I know. I’m sorry,” Joni apologizes, before making an excuse for her tardiness. “The bus stalled right in the middle of Hastings…”
But Janet knows that’s not the real reason. “It won’t happen again,” Joni promises, as her OCD begins to bleed into her professional life.
Later, as Joni begins her questioning of Dr. Park, she taps the table a few times — a habit she’s formed due to her OCD — and Janet comments that her tapping may be “distracting” him.
Shaun, though, doesn’t seem to mind. “I’m OK,” he says with a smile as Joni’s mind goes into overdrive. Watch the exclusive scene above.
The episode is co-written by The Good Doctor showrunners David Shore and Liz Friedman, and directed by Ruben Fleischer.
Joining McMann and Huffman in the backdoor pilot is Bethlehem Million, who plays Abbie, Joni’s compassionate, practical, slightly older sister. A voice of reason, she is Joni’s biggest cheerleader, roommate and best friend.
“I think my character is both a champion of Kennedy McMann’s character, Joni, but is also a lawyer and very realistic about what her challenges and what are her strengths,” Huffman says in a featurette previewing The Good Lawyer.
“I think it’s a really wonderful opportunity to get some insight into what people with OCD live with every day. I grew up with OCD, with debilitating OCD, and I’ve now recovered a lot since then. But it’s a huge part of who I am,” McMann said. “So to be a part of something that on this scale is representing OCD, I knew very early on I would love to be a part of it, to bring, hopefully, what is a genuine and nuanced look at what it’s like to live with OCD.”
The Good Doctor airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
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