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Thursday, January 20, 2022

The Resident: Season 5 So Far [Contributor: Justine]

The Resident returned for its fifth season in September 2021. Before the show comes back from its mid-season break on February 1st, let’s have a look back at what we’ve seen in this season so far and where the staff and patients of Chastain Memorial Hospital are. 

Season five started off with Chastain being hacked by cyberhackers — one of the major challenges Dr. Kit Voss has faced as hospital CEO. This saga gave us another look at the relationship between Voss and Dr. Randolph Bell, who are dubbed “KitBell” by the fandom. This has been an interesting relationship to see develop to say the least. There’s been a lot of set-up in the first half of this season to indicate that the showrunners are all-in on this relationship, and we’re going to see a lot more development in the second half of the season. 

The biggest shakeup so far in this season of The Resident was the death of Nurse Practitioner Nic Nevin, a series lead for four seasons. (Actress and Marvel alumna Emily VanCamp announced the birth of her first child on Instagram in August 2021.) Nic’s death was absolutely devastating, and each main character got a chance to reflect on what she meant to them and how she’d impacted their lives. Conrad, the show’s titular resident, was left reeling and searching for answers. Nic’s death was seemingly senseless — a car accident with no obvious cause. Conrad’s intensive search for answers when there were ultimately none was a poignantly accurate look at the grieving process.

One controversy among fans in this season so far was the time jump in the wake of Nic’s death that came at the end of the Halloween episode. The entire show was fast-forwarded three years: Conrad had left Chastain Memorial and went into private practice to have more time to raise his daughter Gigi. He’s eventually convinced by his friends and colleagues to resume his career at Chastain (this following an incident where a private practice patient held staff hostage in search of a supposed miracle drug for his cancer). Conrad also began the process of moving on, and had the first hints of returning to romance in the first half of the season. 

Season five brought more character development for Dr. Billie Sutton, who was named Chief of Surgery. We were also introduced to her son, Trevor, who Billie gave up for adoption after she had him as a teenager. The trauma of the past is evident in them both. After the three year jump, it’s revealed Trevor has completed medical school and is completing his internship at Chastain. After a less-than-ideal start where he gave alcohol to an alcoholic patient, he has come a long way. Although he’s rough around the edges, he’s clearly willing to learn and it will be interesting where his character goes the rest of the season. 

Dr. A.J. “The Raptor” Austin also has a lot happening for him this season so far. He continues to care for his biological mother, Carol, as she continues to battle cancer. He and Bell are also taken down a peg by Dr. Voss, who hires a surgical coach to work with them both. It was an absolute joy to see two men with such giant egos meet their match. It’s revealed Trevor’s internship at Chastain is thanks to A.J.’s recommendation. A.J. is clearly trying his best to support both Billie and her son. 

Dr. Devon Pravesh began season five with a medical emergency of his own when he tried to rescue himself and hospital social worker Winston from a toxic gas exposure. His relationship with surgical intern Dr. Leela Devi continues to advance, and after Devon's medical crisis, they made the decision to take their relationship to the next level and move in together. After the time jump, Devon is an attending physician at Chastain and honestly, he deserves it.

Finally, season five of The Resident may finally be bringing reckoning for Dr. Bell. During the Halloween episode, he had a brush with a serial killer who was hitchhiking and gave him a ride. In the course of their interactions, Bell admitted and reflected on the fact that he killed a patient during a routine appendectomy (shown in the series premiere). He’s been concealing his own personal health issues, which have impacted his work as a surgeon, and that finally seems to be coming to an apex. After asking Conrad to clandestinely run medical tests, Bell was confronted with the results. This left fans wondering if the show is about to reveal a serious medical issue.

The Resident, in addition to telling stories of compelling characters, has always been meant as a commentary on the economic realities of the U.S. healthcare system. Based on the book Unaccountable by Marty Mackary, we have seen the show tell stories of corruption within a system meant to help people at their most vulnerable moments. Hopefully The Resident will continue to be rooted in that and give us more of the characters we love, and those we love to hate. 

Other Things:

  • Leela confronting her parents was such an awesome moment. Hopefully we see more of her and her twin sister, Padma, since they’re so clearly opposite sides of the same coin.
  • Who is the new doctor we were introduced to in the latest episode? She was clearly a gifted ER and ICU physician. There are hints of a mysterious past and it will be interesting to see how she fits into the Chastain dynamic.

The Resident returns to Fox on February 1, 2022.