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Friday, January 20, 2023

The Resident 6x13 Review: “All Hands on Deck” (The End?) [Contributor: Justine]

“All Hands on Deck”
Original Airdate: January 17, 2023

The Resident feels like it’s at a natural end point and it’s frankly heartbreaking. The season finale wraps up so many stories and leaves the potential for characters to simply walk off into the sunset. In a way, it’s satisfying to give so many characters fitting endings after all everyone’s been through. It’s also very sad to think that this could possibly be the end of the Chastain story. 

The show is moving a little fast with Billie being Gigi’s mom. Sure, it’s adorable and sweet. Anything that makes Gigi happy is the right choice. However, this story with Billie being suddenly cast in the role of mom rings hollow when it should be heartwarming. The finale is proof that the show had a good idea in developing the relationship between Billie and Conrad but just hasn’t spent enough time on it. It’s a shame because there’s chemistry between these two. 

Sammy is back but unfortunately under less-than-ideal circumstances. It’s always great to see Bell’s family, but not in the middle of a medical emergency. It’s too bad that the show hasn’t given us more of Bell’s family this season. They are so lovable, and it would be so great to get to know them better. Thankfully, everything works out for Sammy thanks to a top-notch medical team who was never going to let her down. 

The Resident remembered that Andrew McCarthy was hired as a series regular this season and brought him back for the big finale. This fakeout would actually be very humorous, if Ian wasn’t needed for such an essential purpose. It also has to be said: from a healthcare regulation standpoint, the decision to not report Ian is at least ethically questionable. Sure he’s given his scouts honor, but addiction requires support and hopefully he’ll get that at Chastain. 

The season finale also featured Conrad all over the place, being the diagnostician that he hasn’t been able to be for a while. This whirlwind is a little bit much at times but this is where Conrad shines as a clinician. While the show’s recent focus has been on the relationships between characters as opposed to actual medical drama, this finale was a nice effort at restoring balance. The character of Conrad wouldn’t be complete, of course, without plenty of dad-related storytelling. 

AJ’s Michael Jordan approach to surgery is just such a perfect way to show that he is and will always be The Raptor. This dogged determination is what has made this character magnetic since his introduction. Sure, it’s been nothing less than enthralling to see this character’s softer side, and both aspects of the character work together to form a man who’s always easy to love. As he starts his fatherhood journey in earnest, he remains worth cheering for. 

Leela absolutely gets her moment on this episode. It’s a shame that the rest of the season hasn’t delved more into what makes her character great. This season she has largely been in the background. While she is a wonderful source of support, she hasn’t fully been able to shine until this moment. Better late than never perhaps. Hopefully if the story is to continue, this is a new beginning for Leela to step into a leadership role and show off her abilities. 

Finally, even though he has also been mostly in the background this season, Bell steals the show on the season finale. It can’t be emphasized often enough: this character has had one of the best redemption arcs on television. Now he gets to end his surgical career on his own terms and pass the torch to his successor. 

This could very well be the end of Chastain’s story... at least officially. The finale does an excellent job of serving as a satisfactory conclusion to many character arcs. But at the same time, the door is left open for more stories to be told. The season finale serves as an inspiration to begin the series fresh and perhaps revisit the show’s source material. Whatever comes next, this show has made a massive impact and has provided viewers, characters, and stories that won’t soon be forgotten. 

Other Things:

  • The secondary romance is charming enough. Cade always deserved better and hopefully this is the start of her finding happiness as well. 
  • Devon. That proposal was always coming, but still, heart eyes all around!
  • It’s great that Padma’s doing better. Hopefully she can continue on this trajectory of recovery.
  • The pathetic press conference feels like an appropriate way to wrap up the governor storyline. Count on Kit to look like the boss she is next to a politician who has his tail between his legs. 
  • “You know what you taught me from my very first day at Chastain: that if the answer isn't on this whiteboard —” “Go back to the patient and the initial exams. Have I ever told you you're the best intern I ever had?” “Well, I had the best teacher.”
  • “You're the lead surgeon; patient couldn't be in better hands. So if you don't mind, I will leave you to it.”
  • “You know Padma, when my mom died, I felt lost and alone. I know no one can ever replace her, but my heart feels full. And now I have a family, and I'll never be alone again. And it's thanks to you.”

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

The Resident 6x12 Review: “All the Wiser” (Penultimate Peril) [Contributor: Justine]

“All the Wiser”
Original Airdate: January 10, 2023

The Resident’s penultimate episode of the season feels in many ways like the beginning of the end. At the very least,  it’s the story of characters facing their own crossroads. There’s little time left to resolve everyone’s arcs and give everyone a satisfying ending before the season finale. The fate of Chastain is also hanging in the balance. 

The steamy opening to this episode feels like it comes out of nowhere but it’s oddly sweet. As someone who has begrudgingly tolerated the Conllie storyline, this opening sealed the deal that maybe these two were meant to be together. Unfortunately this is also probably proof that the show should have taken their time to develop these two as a ship to cheer for. There’s chemistry here and a good friends-to-lovers story is always the right choice. 

Relatedly, Cade and James could have been so much more. It’s great that they’ve found each other after being dumped by their respective exes. However, with the shorter season, this arc feels incredibly rushed. It’s nice that they found happiness in each other even though there’s not much time left to see them together. It’s too bad the powers that be didn’t see these two as a couple to care about. 

Also, it’s more than a little infuriating to think that we could have seen Cade and Billie being best friends and incredible doctors from the beginning. While it’s great that they’re not pitted against one another, this is another relationship that should have been explored in greater depth. Adult female friendships are such a rare and precious thing. The show has an opportunity to lean into developing both of these characters on their own and then bring them together. 

Of course, the main medical drama of the episode is the helicopter crash with the idiot fictional Governor of Georgia. Karma comes for us all, and it’s come for the governor in a spectacular way. There was always going to be a moment of reckoning. This man has always been tempting fate by showing his contempt for Chastain, and for the provision of healthcare in general. 

Of course, The West Wing already did the storyline of an elected official lying about their health history. Let’s be honest: they did it best. However, it’s absolutely believable that a man who seems to be so viscerally awful would put the Chastain team in this position. This clearly isn’t over and this situation is going nowhere good. 

Unfortunately, while it’s nice to see Devon do some actual doctoring, this episode is proof that the show may have lost its way when it comes to this character. Seriously, Devon is terrific as a character but the back and forth between him as a front line doctor and him as a researcher is getting more than a little messy. He’s not given an anchor to hold on to, which would allow the character to grow and develop. Thankfully this episode finally gives us some enthralling Leela/Devon content, but of course it’s all too brief. 

Ian’s return is handled in a very bizarre fashion. The character seems destined to go the way of Trevor, in that the show found a way to simply write out a character who had been a lead. This story has fizzled out way before its time. It’s a shame that no one could think of a compelling way to end this story, at least for now. The addiction storyline had a lot of potential since so many people, including healthcare professionals, live with this health condition in real life. 

The very questionable ethical choices that are made on this episode are vintage The Resident. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen this Rebel With a Cause dynamic play out and it’s incredibly refreshing. Agree or disagree, these hypothetical decisions were not arrived at lightly. AJ and Conrad have considered the greater good and the consequences for doing so. 

As always, Kit Voss remains the absolute star of this show. She’s not afraid to call out flawed reasoning and bad decisions, even if she loves the people she’s calling out. She’s going to need this inner strength with Bell’s health on the rocks yet again. This power couple is going to need all the love and support to face what is ahead. 

Hopefully this penultimate episode of a short season does not signal the beginning of the end for The Resident. The stories told here position the series for an ultimate finale or to continue into at least another season. With only the finale remaining, the end of the season is sure to be a wild ride. 

Other Things:

  • Poor Padma just can’t catch a break. Hopefully this is her turning a corner and getting the help she needs. 
  • It’s unclear whether this guy obsessed with immortality is meant to be a joke or whether he’s supposed to be taken seriously as a plot device. Honestly, neither are working. 
  • If anything, and I mean anything, happens to Sammie, there will be riots 
  • “It's like musical chairs around here.” 
  • “It's hard to predict which patients we'll get attached to. But you know, a lady chopper pilot? That's pretty badass.” 
  • “I don't know how I managed without you. I'm serious. You came here all those years ago, and you changed my life. I love you, Leela Devi.”

Saturday, January 7, 2023

The Resident 6x11 Review: “All In” (Muddled Love Stories Everywhere) [Contributor: Justine]

“All In”
Original Airdate: January 3, 2022

The shorter season of The Resident is rapidly barreling toward the end. Truths are coming to light, and the future of Chastain has never looked more precarious. Many of the stories are limping toward the finish line as characters don’t know which way to turn. There are plenty of “I told you so’s” to go around in this episode. 

Padma remains the character who always seems to get the shortest straw. This is super disappointing, because postpartum depression is a very serious illness that remains stigmatized. We’re all supposed to be okay with her just being locked away? No. Thankfully Padma will always have Leela. It’s just too bad that we don’t get to see more of this connection actually playing out on screen. 

Conrad needing to come clean to Cade was, well, uncomfortable to watch. Thankfully this story didn’t involve cheating, and Conrad was essentially dating two women. There may not have been any better way to resolve this. It’s clear that these characters were never meant to be together; it’s unclear if the show’s big solution is to just switch the partners around and pretend that nothing happened. Fans really haven’t gotten to know Cade or James in the same way we’ve gotten to know other characters. 

Billie is another character who has so often been short-changed by this series. Even if one were to believe the fact that she would return to work a day after being violently attacked by two members of a patient’s family, her story here is a bit of a stretch. Obviously, continuously putting Billie through violent trauma is not the right answer. However, just glossing over her attack and immediately focusing on her as a love interest for Conrad feels like a disservice, at minimum. 

The strength of this episode, arguably, is the main medical storyline involving one of the most renowned cardiac surgeons needing treatment at Chastain. This was A.J.’s chance to shine as the top-notch surgeon that he is. It’s nice to see a glimmer of this former Raptor, who always fought for his patients with such strength. It’s not just about pushing ahead to make drastic surgical saves, however. Sometimes the strength a patient needs is to be accompanied by love and compassion in their final moments. 

We may have only known Dr. Leonard Perry for a few moments of this series, but his legacy is clear by seeing all of the medical students and doctors he trained throughout his career. It’s equally sad and poignant that his students were always his family. His legacy will always live on in the work of surgeons who came after him and who will continue to save countless lives. 

Finally, we need to talk about the tour de force that is Kit Voss. It’s always a testament to just how good of a boss she is that she’s willing to scrub in and perform surgery even while she’s acting as CEO. It’s a testament to her leadership too, that she isn’t willing to give up on her hospital without a fight. 

The future of Chastain and the Chastain family hangs in the balance. With only two episodes remaining this season, it’s difficult to imagine that all of these storylines can be wrapped up in a satisfactory way. Additionally, so many of the established relationships continue to feel rushed. Here’s hoping that the finale can tie a bow on the season and leave room for the potential of more growth... which a lot of the characters still need. 

Other Things:

  • Feldman’s exposition is hilarious. If the show needs an exposition guy, he should be the go-to. 
  • “Do not give his care over to nurses.”Pardon?! Countless nurses accompany patients in their final moments every minute of every day.
  • Where the heck is Ian? It’s unsettling having him off screen. Who knows what kind of trouble he’s getting up to. 
  • People were weirdly judgy about the idea of an ER with no traumas. Sure, it’s not the most exciting. The reality is, though, the vast majority of ER complaints in real life are “non-specific abdominal pain” and other often vague symptoms. That’s the job. 
  • “I haven't been honest with myself or you about my feelings for Billie.” 
  • “There's nothing to say. I just wish you were honest with me a long time ago.”
  • “What will I ever do without you?” “You'll never be without me, and I can't be without you either.”