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Thursday, September 22, 2022

The Resident 6x01 Review: “Two Hearts” (Returning With a Bang) [Contributor: Justine]

“Two Hearts”
Original Air Date: September 21, 2022

The Resident is back, and Chastain has never had more chaotic energy. After season 5, which featured so much grief and loss, this is a moment for these characters to experience new beginnings. The overall tone may have shifted from when the show started, but there are still clearly more stories to tell with these characters. Some set-ups make sense, others... not as much. But this premiere sets the tone for the rest of the season. 

Right out of the gate, this love... shape is a mess. It can’t be classified as a love triangle: if Cade and Billie were into each other, in addition to anything with Conrad, that’s a love triangle. Setting Conrad up as having to make some kind of choice between Billie and Cade doesn’t work for many reasons. As mentioned last season, Cade has had too little character development thus far to make her compelling enough, let alone putting her with a romantic partner. 

If anything, there could maybe have been a romantic storyline between Billie and Conrad. There’s definitely history here, and a relationship between them could go sideways. However, if it is done right, this could be a very sweet friends-to-lovers tale. It’s a good thing that Billie has a friend like A.J. she can turn to for guidance. Frankly, we could all use a friend like The Raptor from time to time. This is the honesty that the show needs more of. Hopefully Billie and A.J.’s friendship continues to be in the spotlight. 

Padma’s obstetric troubles make for compelling drama, but it’s not easy to watch. It feels like the show is doing wrong by this character, making her suffer through this. It’s harrowing and yet not unexpected. The drama doesn’t feel earned, however; it just feels like a way to use a pregnancy for an easy, built-in medical emergency. This storyline does give Leela the chance to prove what a phenomenal sister she is. She is going to make such an amazing aunt to those babies. 

Ian is back to his clownery, operating under the influence. The other doctors and medical students refer to him as “a miracle worker touched by the hands of God.” A little dramatic, no? A doctor living with an addiction can also make for magnetic television. Unfortunately, this is an all-too-real situation that plays out every day. Handling a story like this requires delicacy and sensitivity. This entire situation is incredibly volatile, and it would be a mistake to think this is the last we’ve seen of it. 

The set-up with the governor who pledges to cut healthcare funding reads like vintage The Resident. In fact, this storyline could very well be a return to this series’ source material, Unaccountable by Marty Makary. In addition to detailing harrowing stories of corrupt and incompetent physicians, Makary speaks extensively about the perils of underfunding healthcare systems. If done right, this could be an authentic look at the perils of privatized medicine. 

The KitBell content is minimal here, and it’s for an apparently heartbreaking reason. It seems that Bruce’s MS is going to worsen and that this will be a major feature of this season. This is a couple worth rooting for, always. Regardless of the challenges they face, hopefully the powers that be will allow them some kind of happiness. A KitBell wedding is coming and it can’t be soon enough. 

The Resident seems to be at a crossroads. The show could recapture its original feel, and tell compelling stories of doctors saving lives while seeking justice for their patients. Alternatively, the show could become bogged down in setting up a love "triangle" that no one asked for and sidelining characters who have always deserved the spotlight. The season is just getting started and there is ample time to get things right or wrong. 

Other Things:

  • Gigi remains adorable. You already knew that though.
  • Devon’s research is continuing to place him in the background. Perhaps this is so that Manish Dayal can turn his focus to directing more episodes?
  • The 100th episode can’t come soon enough. The social media teases have been epic, and it’s closer than ever.
  • Dr. Lee is the real MVP of this series. I will hear nothing else. 
  • Those new opening credits are giving major E.R. vibes. 
  • “I don't know what I would do without your support.”
  • “It's never too late to win the love of your life back.”
  • “Their hearts don't sound the same. They're identical, their hearts should be identical.”