Friday, February 18, 2022

The Resident Season 5x13 Review: “Viral” (Pressure Building) [Contributor: Justine]

Original Airdate: February 15, 2022

The Resident’s fifth season continues to be all about the past returning. Bringing newer characters into their own while resolving stories of characters who have been there from the beginning is a constant balancing act. The female characters of this show have always been among the strengths The Resident has to offer, and it’s so great to see them getting so much time in the spotlight. It’s what they deserve.

The episode started with a gender reveal party for Jessica’s (Jessica Miesel) sister, who in so many ways is our favorite OR nurse’s polar opposite. Jessica is an underrated gem of a character in this show. Her absolutely correct assessment that gender is a social construct, and therefore a gender reveal party is unnecessary, is perfect. This party, and Jessica’s brother-in-law, were doomed for the start. As soon as the canon came out, disaster was inevitable. Thankfully, Jessica’s sister and her family all got a happy ending in spite of their harrowing experience which, to be fair, they brought upon themselves.

Leela (Anuja Joshi) was the absolute star of this episode. Devon (Manish Dayal) had better get on board with supporting her lofty dreams to become double board-certified in neurosurgery and cardiothoracic surgery. Even if these dreams never come to fruition, he needs to support her rather than undermining her. Even when Leela is told no by her mentor Billie (Jessica Lucas), she holds her ground and never sacrifices her sense of self. She proved her surgical skills by guiding Billie during an incredibly complex neurological procedure. Her heart-touching moment with Bell was just a sweet moment for a character who is fast becoming the most compelling character in this series.

Conrad (Matt Czuchry) remains at his best when he’s in the father role. His difficulty accepting Gigi growing up and having trouble watching her reach perfectly normal milestones was so relatable (little Gigi absolutely gunning it away from her father when arriving at daycare was equal parts hilarious and heartbreaking as a reminder of how fast babies grow up). His role has gradually shifted from being the series’ focus to more of a supporting role, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. He can still be the amazing diagnostician he is and have most of his focus on being a father to Gigi. 

The medical mystery of the week followed a woman who received a botched Brazilian butt lift. Conrad, A.J. (Malcolm-Jamal Warner), and Trevor (Miles Fowler) got caught up in finding out who this woman really was. She happened to be a TikTok star, which initially prompted derision and judgement from the medical dream team. The truth is that the decision to undergo cosmetic enhancements is usually never as simple as someone wanting to look better for more followers. What ensued was an accurate and surprisingly heartfelt discussion about social media and the risks and benefits it entails. The revelation that Nolan (Michael Hogan) is himself a major TikTok star was absolutely perfect, and I for one would subscribe to his channel immediately. 

After Bell (Bruce Greenwood) was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, we get another update. Thankfully, he’s told he has no new lesions and that the medication he’s on is working. Although MS can’t yet be cured, the progression of the disease can be slowed with the right medication regimen. It was recommended that Bell have surgery as a next step. Bell expressed concern about his safety to return to surgical duties.

The capstone of the episode was Billie confronting the man who assaulted her as a child. The fact that Billie’s confidential report of this man’s pedophilia to the Georgia State Medical Board was released to the person she was complaining about is a sadly true commentary on what so many survivors of violence experience. This man can’t possibly stoop any lower and threatens to reveal Billie’s past. Billie’s courage is a credit to her character, and it’s clear she’s ready for a fight. This story is just beginning, and it will be.a rough journey.

The Resident’s fifth season has already been chock full of emotional storylines and deep character development. We get to see just enough of these major plot points each week to keep us engaged and on the edge of our seats to find out what happens next. The strategy of slow-burning to the finish line is working so far. 

Other Things: 

  • If anyone could pull off presenting dry research data, it’s Devon. I for one would be first in line to hear his presentation, and could definitely see him doing the conference circuit
  • It’s honestly scary to think about how many cosmetic clinics are unregulated. The fact that any licensed physician can perform cosmetic procedures, regardless of if they’ve trained in that area in the state of Georgia, is TERRIFYING. (It’s also true. I looked it up.)
  • “Never underestimate the draw of your geeky clinical trial sexiness.”
  • “You can't destroy me. You killed a part of me I can never get back. You can never hurt me again.”


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