Monday delivery of the good doctor marked the non-ceremonial (and off-screen) departure of St. Bonaventure’s final hire.
As TVLine reported exclusively on Oct. 25, Osvaldo Benavides is stepping down from his role as surgical treating Dr. Mateo Rendón Osma – although details of his exit story were kept secret at the time. Little did we know that his last episode aired later that night, on October 18.
Mateo was nowhere to be seen during the November 1 episode – and Benavides was no longer credited as a regular series. Early in Season 5’s fifth installment, titled “Crazytown,” Lim told Salen that Mateo had been called away on a medical mission in Guatemala. “It was urgent,” she explained, but he would return to San Jose in “a few more days.”
Mateo, meanwhile, had sent an uninsured patient from Guatemala, who happened to be his ex-girlfriend Rosa, to California, where she would be watched by his current girlfriend (and chief of surgery) Dr. Audrey Lim.
“I can’t quite picture Mateo here,” Rosa said to Lim. “Everything is very… nice. And shiny.”
Rosa continued to explain in detail why her relationship with Mateo ultimately failed. “He moves quickly when he knows what he wants,” she explained. “We practically lived together on our third date. Six months, maybe less,” she said. “But then there was a war in Congo, or an earthquake in Chile…. Someone needed him somewhere. But I’m glad he found a place to settle down. I wasn’t sure it would ever happen to him.”
But Lim had already gotten the impression that Mateo was gone for good. He’d left her a nice bottle of wine, along with a note—“Come back soon,” it said—but he hadn’t texted her back in the past three days.
Andrews eventually had Rosa transferred to a regional hospital to undergo surgery — and he did it without consulting Lim, who was still determined to do Mateo this favour. The chief eventually submitted a request to perform the operation herself, which Asher advised she to reconsider. He confronted his superior about Mateo’s unlikely return, telling her that he hates her risking everything she’s worked for for someone who wasn’t willing to do the same for her.
Lim decided to go ahead with Rosa’s surgery anyway, but was surprised to find that Rosa had been in contact with Mateo – especially since, as we mentioned, he hadn’t responded to any of Lim’s texts.
“He said he’d be back soon,” Rosa said.
“Hopefully,” Lim replied, knowing full well that she was a ghosted.
After Rosa’s surgery, Lim asked the patient how things had turned out between her and Mateo.
“He went on medical missions all the time,” Rosa recalls. “Sometimes without notice. I would wake up and find a small gift – like a book or a bottle of wine – and a sweet note. After a few days, or to soften, he would come back and all would be well. And then he didn’t [come back]. I’ve waited a long time. Too long.“
In the very last scene, Lim called Mateo and got his voicemail. She left him the following message: ‘Hello, it’s me. When you come back for work, I’ll see you Thursday. If you come back for me, do not.” And that’s how things ended.
Neither Benavides nor ABC have commented on the actor’s abrupt departure. Sony Pictures Television declined to comment on our initial coverage.
Benavides made his good doctor debuted as a guest star in the Season 4 two-part finale last spring, when Shaun and the surgical team flew to Mateo’s native Guatemala on a mission to help patients at a rural hospital. dr. Osma formed an immediate bond (and subsequent romance) with Lim, then uprooted his life to be with her in California during the season 5 premiere.
the good doctor has survived several waves of cast sales over the years. Chuku Modu and Beau Garrett left the show at the end of Season 1, followed by Tamlyn Tomita at the end of Season 2. Recurring guest star Jasika Nicole was promoted to series regular prior to Season 3, but was wiped out for Season 4, alongside original cast member Nicholas Gonzalez. To fill the void left by Nicole and Gonzalez, the medical drama added returning players Noah Galvin and Bria Samoné Henderson in Season 4; they were promoted to series regular status (along with Benavides) on Antonia Thomas’ exit, prior to season 5.
All told, the good doctor current cast includes Highmore, Harper, Chang, Galvin, Henderson, Richard Schiff, Fiona Gubelmann, Will Yun Lee and Paige Spara. Highmore, Harper and Schiff are the last remaining regulars of the pilot.