Tuesday, April 19, 2022

The Resident 5x18 Review: “Ride or Die” (We Are Family) [Contributor: Justine]

“Ride or Die”
Original Airdate: April 12, 2022

The Resident continues to make a valiant effort at wrapping up all of the stories that have been introduced in its fifth season. This season has essentially been unrelenting when it has come to putting characters through some of the most significant challenges they’ve ever faced. This episode featured the beginnings of the ends of stories fans we’ve followed in the second half of the season. Some characters were put center stage after a long time in the background, and others didn’t get nearly enough screen time. 

The first story that seemed to be on hiatus, if not discontinued entirely, was the mob story. In many ways, this story was, up until now, confined to the abstract. This episode dispelled any doubts of the dangers of the mob. The danger of those committing medicare fraud, and manufacturing fake prescriptions in Conrad’s (Matt Czuchry) name is never in doubt. After being in a supporting role for most of this season, Conrad was in a starring role as more of a detective. It suited him. 

For Cade (Kaley Ronayne) and Conrad, it was back to the beginning of when they first met. Since Cade’s been introduced, it’s sometimes been confusing to get a firm sense of where this relationship is supposed to go. Were they meant to be good friends? Lovers? It’s been murky. However, this episode gave viewers more clarity: Conrad realizes that Cade is just a version of him. That’s why their dynamic works so well sometimes, but falls flat at others. The show is simply trying to recreate a character that we’ve already come to know and love.  

After making a big impact in episode 17,  Zach (Alan Aisenberg) faced a trial by fire. He’s so imperfectly human, and one can’t help feel sorry for him. The teamup between Zach and AJ (Malcolm-Jamal Warner) wasn’t one we thought we needed, and yet it was played to perfection. AJ was a vintage version of The Raptor this episode, and it’s been far too long since we’ve seen him in action. He’s always been a fantastic mentor, if his teaching methods are slightly unorthodox. He shows he actually cares about patients and the resident doctors under his charge by demanding excellence from himself and those he mentors.

On a more heartbreaking note, AJ’s mom, Carol (Denise Dowse), in the final stretch of the her illness. It’s been a long and winding rode for her and her palliative care journey. The Resident deserves so much credit for not only shining a spotlight, but portraying positively an aspect of healthcare that is still so misunderstood and made taboo. The essence of palliative care is living life to the fullest, and distilling what is really important to patients in the midst of their illness. It’s in these moments that the staff at Chastain prove how much of a family they have become. AJ is in excellent hands, being loved and supported by those around him as he loves and supports his mother who is approaching the end of her life. 

On a happier note, this episode unlocked a new character that is already so lovable. New anesthesiologist Jayci (Jeena Yi) is completely whacky in the best possible way. She proved her chops as a physician working overnight. Only the best healthcare providers prefer the nightshifts. It takes a special person to have that kind of commitment. Jayci is for sure going to be an excellent addition to the family. 

Finally, KitBell shippers got a lot of content this episode. Bell (Bruce Greenwood) is still clearly getting used to navigating his professional life with a disability. It was so admirable to see Kit (Jane Leeves) insist on the love of her life being accommodated so he was still able to perform surgery. Seeing these two work together is always such a joy, and the two of them opting for the night shift when they’re such senior staff gives them a whole new level of respectability. 

One of the challenges The Resident has is having just so many compelling characters who can realistically be the focus of an episode that some things get lost. This episode was no exception. Other equally compelling characters were left on the sidelines, while their just as enthralling co-stars had the limelight. It’s always a tough balance to strike. As a benefit, fans can certainly look forward to more character-driven storytelling from this very deep talent pool. The final episodes of the season are shaping up to be a wild ride. 

Other Things:

  • Devon (Manish Dayal) again proved he does in fact still have a bedside manner. Is it just his girlfriend he feels the need to put down?
  • On that note, this episode didn’t have nearly enough Leela (Anuja Joshi). We’ve had so much setup to watch her change the world. It’s a shame these last couple of episodes haven’t let her character grow and shine.
  • Still no Trevor (Miles Fowler). Every episode he isn’t in, I get more nervous when I think about what he could possibly be up to. I have a distinct feeling they’re saving this story for the big finale. 
  • “I got this Boss Voss. Oh, no, there goes my snow bunnies. They're brand new!”
  • “You need my help. Prescription drug scams are favored by the mob. They kill people who threaten their revenue stream. That's why we handed this over to the FBI.”
  • “My mother and I want to thank you for the exceptional care that you provided. You've been nothing but remarkable. You've helped with some really tough decisions ... and I just want you to know that it means a lot. It makes all the difference in the world. I know my mother will hold all of you in her heart for the time that she has left.”


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