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The Good Doctor Season 7's Paul Lukaitis Tribute Explained

"The Good Doctor" returned with a new episode on February 20. The Season 7 premiere, titled "Baby, Baby, Baby," had quite a bit of ground to cover. That included the exit of Dr. Marcus Andrews, who Hill Harper played for many years until the actor decided to make a legitimate run for the United States Senate. However, Harper's absence wasn't the only one felt throughout the episode, as "Baby, Baby, Baby" ends with a card reading: "In Loving Memory of Paul Lukaitis."

According to an obituary posted to Today In BC, Lukaitis passed away on October 26, 2023. The tribute notes that he had cancer during his final year and that he leaves behind a wife, Margaret Yaworski, with whom he had a daughter. It also stated what a hardworking individual he was: "Tenacity, grit, kindness, and determination defined Paul, 'never be late' and 'questions are free' were part of his professional mantra." He worked as a production manager and unit production manager from Season 1 of "The Good Doctor" all the way up to Season 6, and it's clear he made quite an impact while working for the series. 

The Good Doctor appears to be honoring Paul Lukaitis in another way

Paul Lukaitis had numerous other credits to his name, going back to the 1990s. He originally worked as a location manager on various projects before moving to being a production manager for TV shows like "Wayward Pines" and "Timeless." However, "The Good Doctor" has certainly made up a good bulk of his work over the last few years, and it appears the show will pay tribute to him in yet another way.

In addition to the card at the end of the Season 7 premiere, the show's also set to introduce a new character by the name of Charlene "Charlie" Lukaitis, to be played by Kayla Cromer. Her casting was announced in January (per Deadline), and the fact the character has the same last name as Paul Lukaitis, who had only died a few months prior, certainly seems to suggest it's intentional. Charlie Lukaitis will be a third-year medical student who has Autism Spectrum Disorder, much like series protagonist Dr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore). It also sounds like in addition to being passionate about helping others, she's a hardcore fan of Taylor Swift.

New episodes of "The Good Doctor" Season 7 will continue to air Tuesday nights on ABC. Our thoughts go out to Paul Lukaitis' family and "Good Doctor" colleagues at this time.