Tuesday, April 12, 2022

The Resident 5x17 Review: “The Space Between” (A Broken System) [Contributor: Justine]

“The Space Between”
Original Airdate: April 5, 2022

The Resident returned for a second week in a row and continued this season’s trend of turning up the emotional damage for the characters. It wasn’t all bad, however. The sweetness too was dialed up to an alarming level. Both worked to near perfection.

This season has seen Conrad (Matt Czuchry), who once was the show’s central focus, take a more supporting role. This arrangement has worked well, allowing other characters on the show to have their own stories and take center stage. This episode, however, was different. Conrad returned to a starring role, and it was good to have him back.

Conrad’s new primary job as a dad to Gigi suits him incredibly well. It’s always hard to see a child sick or in pain. It was clear by how fiercely Conrad advocated for his young patient that he was exactly what the little boy needed at that moment. The case gave Conrad a chance to flex his diagnostician muscles, which we haven’t seen in a long time. It was also a timely reminder (as if we needed one) of how much we love Gigi and how her personality grows by leaps and bounds every time she appears on the screen. 

This episode was also a close look at an issue that affects millions around the world, mainly senior citizens. Polypharmacy is defined as a patient taking five or more medications daily. Sometimes patients need this. Other times, like what we saw in this episode, it can cause a catastrophic chain of events that can mask serious health issues. Taking the Chastain residents on a field trip to a long-term care home was exactly what they needed. 

This episode did a fantastic job of systematically breaking down exactly how polypharmacy happens at the individual patient’s level and the damage it causes. Too often, the prevailing wisdom of treating the elderly in particular is simply to keep medicating them for symptoms without investigating the root cause. It also was a reminder for fans of the show that Devon (Manish Dayal) does in fact have a bedside manner and can be an excellent teacher when he wants to be. 

Relatedly, who knew that Zach (Alan Aisenberg) would end up being the hero this episode needed? This group of residents was introduced already in a really smart way, but they haven’t been seen very often in the second half of this season. Especially Zach, who arguably is portrayed as the most lost of the residents we’ve seen so far. So it was great to see him find his stride. Even though he had to face the tragedy of losing a patient, he was clearly able to self reflect and realize that the medical specialty of gerontology is woefully understaffed.

This gerontology storyline gave viewers a chance to see George Wyner guest star as Dr. Arthur Kravitz. His relationship with Gloria (The Carol Burnett Show alum Vicki Lawrence) was so sugary sweet. As sad as the ending was, it was so wonderful to see a love story between two elderly people who clearly had so much more love to give. There was the added benefit of  having an adorable look at a KitBell future, sure to make shipper fans rejoice. 

Finally, the Leela (Anuja Joshi) and Padma (Aneesha Joshi) egg donation story still isn’t done. This episode did do a good job of showing how quickly this can get complicated. Although in real life this process does take a very long time and requires many thoughtful decisions, hopefully this story can come to a satisfying conclusion for everyone involved sooner rather than later. As an aside, Padma and AJ (Malcolm-Jamal Warner) do make an adorable couple, even if they’ve already gone their separate ways.

This week’s The Resident episode was another return to its source material. This is where this show shines, shining a spotlight not only on corruption in the medical profession but also spotlighting the very real people who fall through the cracks of a broken system. Pair this with lovable characters and delicious ships, and you have a recipe for success. With the countdown to the end of the season ticking away, hopefully The Resident can maintain its focus on the best it has to offer.

Other Things:

  • I thought that the Cade (Kaley Ronayne) thing was DONE done at this point... until I watched the preview for the next episode. Truthfully, it’s unclear what else there is to be done with this story. I desperately hope I’m wrong.
  • Still no Trevor (Miles Fowler) either. This character was set up to be part of the main cast this season, but he’s still conspicuously absent. Clearly there’s more to tell here too. 
  • As was the case in the last episode, this episode didn’t feature nearly enough Leela and that’s just sad. She’s the shining star of the series at the moment and deserves far more of the spotlight.
  • “Do you think we'll still be that in love when we're their age?” “Why wouldn't we be?”
  • “Gloria wasn't just another fragile old lady. She was strong and loved. She deserved more time. But every doctor looked at her like she was just another lost cause. No one cared enough to see that by just treating her symptoms, they were actually making her worse.”


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