Tuesday, February 15, 2022

The Resident 5x12 Review: “Now You See Me” (Past is Present) [Contributor: Justine]

“Now You See Me”
Original Airdate: February 8, 2022

After the emotional damage inflicted by The Resident’s midseason return, it was always going to be a challenge to match that level of intensity moving forward. However, this episode set the stage for what are sure to be important stories as the season goes forward, and... choices have been made. 

This week’s main medical case involved a child brought into the ER with unexplained injuries and a seeming inability to speak. The little girl bonded with Conrad (Matt Czuchry) almost instantly, and his role as a dad really jumped out. Honestly, it’s what the show needs more of. After all of the trauma Conrad has gone through this season, it was nice to see him show what a caretaker he can be. It also helps that he works at the mythical Chastain Memorial Hospital, where doctors have long stretches of uninterrupted time to spend solely with one patient. 

Also having an inordinate amount of time to spend on one patient was the new and still-unknown Cade (Kaley Ronayne). There’s still been no big reveal about who she is or where she’s come from, however the case of the week really seemed to strike a chord with her. The only concrete thing fans really came away knowing about the mysterious Cade is that she has the capacity for exceptionally poor judgement in the form of going out alone at night to search for missing people. 

After being given the devastating MS diagnosis in the last episode, one might expect Bell ( Bruce Greenwood) to stay at home as his past comes back to haunt him. Instead, he revealed that he was shortlisted for the state medical board of Georgia. This administrative role would see him out of the OR and that’s probably not a bad thing. Kit (Jane Leeves) encouraging him not to give up on surgery was admirable, if not slightly terrifying given his history. 

The medical B-story, which really should have been the primary focus, was Devon (Manish Dayal) trying to help a patient experiencing the worst fatphobia the medical profession has to offer. So much has been written about real life patients having multiple signs and symptoms dismissed outright due to their weight. It’s long past time medical dramas like The Resident handle this issue that impacts far too many. Devon enlisted A.J. (Malcolm-Jamal Warner) who initially was very clearly part of the problem. However, they both treated their patient with respect and dignity and provided her individualized care (more proof that sadly Chastain exists in a fantasy realm). 

The strangest choice by far in this episode was Devon being a terrible boyfriend and having a difficult time supporting Leela (Anuja Joshi) as she is a capable, world-class surgeon. We’re supposed to believe Devon has finally found a partner with whom he’s compatible, but if Devon doesn’t start getting it together soon and supports his partner in her quest for greatness in her career, there will no doubt be plenty of eligible people willing to take his spot in an instant. 

Finally, the set-up the show created for Billie (Jessica Lucas) to confront her past was a sobering one. Addressing the fact that this character’s assault resulted in her getting pregnant as a child will be a massive challenge for The Resident. With this massively triggering subject matter, there’s so much that the show could do wrong. Hopefully, the show will portray this storyline with the sensitivity it is due. 

Overall, this episode was definitely more of a set-up for future stories which will hopefully come to fruition as the season continues. The Resident is always at its strongest when it focuses on real issues facing the medical profession and the stories of the people who bear the brunt of the impact. Hopefully as the season continues, fans will get just the right mix of character storytelling combined with commentary that provokes thought and action in the real world.

Other Things:

  • Declaring a child hypothermic after registering ‘Lo’ on a contactless thermometer was the most unintentionally hilarious moment of the episode. Not even an attempt at getting a temperature via a different route because... medicine. 
  • Still no word on Billy’s son Trevor (Miles Fowler), but no doubt he’ll be back sooner rather than later. 
  • “She's choosing not to speak to feel safe. I've seen a lot of that recently.”
  • “The guy is like a picnic basket filled with cupcakes, and ponies, and sunbeams.”
  • “In my ER, you get what you need.”


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