Thursday, November 24, 2022

The Resident 6x08 Review: “The Better Part of Valor” (The Worst Callbacks) [Contributor: Justine]

“The Better Part of Valor”
Original Airdate: November 15, 2022

Before the episode takes another brief hiatus, The Resident tries its best to cram in as many storylines into a single episode as possible. Some of it works and some of it... not so much. There is a lot of content, and there are a lot of possibilities to set up future stories. Unfortunately, everything just ends up feeling incredibly rushed. Not every story is given the focus that is necessary to bring everything together in a compelling way. The governor is going nowhere fast, and he’s dead set on targeting Bell. 

Bell’s past was always going to come back to haunt him. Although he’s had a character arc for the ages, he still has a dark history that needs to be reckoned with. If you thought HODAD was long gone, this episode gives fans a jarring reintroduction to that character. It’s a testament to how far the character has actually come because rather than denying his past, this version of Bell is ready to face the music. 

The entire deposition process is unsettling. The intentional mispronunciation of Devon’s last name just comes across like a slap in the face and is played as a tactic to throw Devon off completely. Devon not rising to take the bait is a credit to his character. It’s also infuriating that he’s put in this position. This entire process isn’t even about him, and yet he gets subjected to that. It’s garbage, frankly.  

The way that Kit reacts to Bell being targeted by the governor is a major misstep. Kit as a character would know that confronting the governor is the wrong choice. Instead, it’s clear she’s so heartbroken by the fact that the man she loves is being singled out in this way that she’s willing to let her emotions lead her response. Thankfully she’s able to rally. In a way, this response humanizes Kit and shows that she isn’t a machine running a hospital. She’s a flawed woman who just wants to do right by the love of her life, her staff, and her patients. 

The main medical storyline involving a mass-overdose event is alarming to say the least. So many medical shows these days are handling the reality of an epidemic that is still so misunderstood. The Resident’s perspective on the pandemic is an interesting one. While this may be an exaggerated, it’s definitely true that so many in the younger generation lack basic knowledge when it comes to drugs and safety.

Perhaps the strongest element of this episode is Cade’s story. It’s surprising because this character still gets so little development. However here, she sets incredible boundaries. Children of those living with addiction often exist in a uniquely precarious situation. Cade embodies this. She also embodies those who do the inner work and develop skills to be able to set boundaries with their loved ones who are living with an addiction. While it’s good to see Cade shown outside of her relationship with Conrad, hopefully she can also be shown more on her own in the future. 

And hopefully, this is also the beginning of a recovery journey for Ian. Unfortunately it seems like he is not in a place where he recognizes that his life has become unmanageable. This could be a moment of reckoning for him. It could also be a moment for him to push back and dig deeper into bad habits. Whatever the case may be, it was clear he was heading toward disaster, and he needs to step away from everything, at least temporarily. 

The Resident is trying to do a lot with a lot of different characters. It’s a struggle to balance all of these, especially within a one hour episode. Combining the medical dramas with an attempt to give each character their own compelling arc can get very chaotic very quickly. Some characters absolutely work better in the background, even if they’ve been main characters for a lot of the series. Others are just getting started. There is still plenty of time to strike a balance that works. 

Other Things:

  • I still hope Padma is doing okay with the twins. I also hope Leela and A.J. are pitching in.
  • There still isn’t enough screentime with Billy and this new love interest. If the show wants to commit to it, they should.
  • We all need Jessica to save the day. She’s the hero we deserve.
  • “What are they looking for?” “The more important thing is what are they going to find?”
  • “Kids are supposed to learn from their mistakes, not die from them.”
  • “If you go to rehab, I won't tell anyone. Even Conrad. I will lie for you one last time, then I'm done.”


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