Monday, May 9, 2022

The Resident 5x21 Review: “Risk” (Difficult Truths) [Contributor: Justine]

Original Air Date: May 3, 2022

With two episodes left until the season finale, The Resident has its work cut out for it with wrapping up the remaining stories we’ve seen so far. Featuring a late introduction to a new character, the chaos in this episode is truly unmatched. So many characters have choices to make and the clock is ticking.

Devon (Manish Dayal) starts the episode off by getting real with himself, and it’s honestly the character growth he’s been missing for a lot of this season. His friendship with Conrad (Matt Czuchry) hasn’t been shown as much since this season’s three-year time jump. It was nice to see them have a sweet moment, with Conrad supporting Devon through his recent breakup.

Of course, as the preview tried to warn us, the main focus of this episode is Cade (Kaley Ronayne). As talented as Ronayne is, it’s been difficult to get a read on this character since she was introduced. Here, she’s up against the ropes and we’re asked to care deeply about her. Although there’s plenty of drama in the Medicaid fraud she’s gotten caught up in, we’ve hardly gotten to know her as a person. It’s sad that Cade hasn’t really been able to interact with other members of the Chastain Memorial family. Cade clearly has great chemistry with Feldman (Tasso Feldman) and Hundley (Denitra Isler). This hasn’t been shown nearly enough, however, and you can’t help but wonder if the majority of Cade’s character development has happened off-screen. 

Relatedly, Cade’s supposed romance with Conrad is still giving me questionable vibes; it feels less than genuine. The way even the dialogue is written, it’s as if the romantic elements of this story also have happened off-screen. While that may be true, it makes for less effective storytelling. Although it was weird choice to have Conrad deny being triggered by this after an entire season of him processing his grief, it actually made sense. This entire season has made a point of addressing the non-linear nature of grief. In reality, it’s completely understandable that a person in Conrad’s position probably would feel that initial denial. Every subsequent loss, or being faced with a loss, calls to mind all previous losses. Conrad is clearly experiencing this. 

The anti-vax podcast host storyline is infuriating because it is true to life. The smugness of the wife is almost too much to watch. It also doesn’t make sense that she wasn’t even the one with the anti-vax beliefs, and that she just allowed herself and her children to remain unvaccinated because of... a man? The fact that this patient was actually vaccinated, though, was perfect storytelling and a sign of the times. It’s a testament to the dishonesty that so many people are willing to embrace in the name of a tiny slice of fame. This entire storyline gave AJ (Malcolm-Jamal Warner) a chance to prove what a boss he is. 

It’s seems like the show is struggling with Leela’s (Anuja Joshi) character. Why set her up to be amazing surgeon who’s trying to pursue two surgical specialties, and... she can’t find a spleen? This episode also provided some strange hints that either Joshi or Dayal are going to be leaving the show. It will be interesting to see if Devon and Leela can come to an understanding that allows them to work together, even if a romantic reunion isn’t in the cards. 

Finally, Andrew McCarthy debuts perfectly as Cade’s father, Dr. Ian Sullivan. It’s already clear McCarthy is perfect for this role, as terrible as the character might turn out to be. I, for one, am along for the ride and welcome the weird, waxy absent father sure to cause even more chaos before this season of The Resident is over.

With two episodes left in the season, The Resident is in an interesting position. So many characters have unresolved arcs. It will be a tall order to wrap everything up in such a short amount of time. Hopefully Fox will confirm soon whether we can expect to see the Chastain Memorial family back for another season. At this point, we can only hope they will be. 

Other Things:

  • Cade’s right about one thing: Devon’s hair is always too perfect. 
  • Please don’t insult Devon by implying he’s comparable in any way to a certain TV grifter selling unregulated supplements and dreams.
  • The KitBell moments in this episode? Swoons and heart eyes all around! It’s sad that there weren’t more, but they’re busy planning a wedding. Hopefully we’ll get to see it before the season comes to a close. 
  • Two episodes left before the season finale, and still no Trevor (Miles Fowler). Seriously, where is he and what’s he getting up to?
  • "Were you going to say goodbye?" "Of course, I was."
  • “Donated organs cannot be wasted on patients who will not live to enjoy them.” -AJ, telling it like it is to his supposedly unvaccinated patient. 
  • “I'm very worried about Cade, but I'm also worried about you.” 


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