During the summer break, I admit I’d forgotten the appeal of my favorite medical drama. I sat down to watch the Season Two premiere “00:42:30” of The Resident rather reluctantly. TV seems overwhelming right now with all of the buzz of a million new pilots.
There’s been a lot of medical dramas — and there’s been even more shows put out there with overused plot lines and ideas that just don’t seem to work once they hit the screens — but The Resident drew me in all too quickly once again. All I have to say is three words: Steamy. Sex. Scene. Literally, the show started off with CoNic in a shower. The chemistry between Conrad Hawkins (Matt Czuchry) and Nic Nevins (Emily VanCamp) is not only undeniable but it is everything that makes a TV couple lovable and — dare I say — desirable.
Season 1 left off with the arrest of Dr. Lane Hunter (Melina Kanakaredes) after treating healthy patients with unnecessary chemotherapy. Season 2 also seems to be delving into the plot heavy structure that viewers saw at the end of the first season. The episode kicks off with Chastain Park Memorial Hospital in the middle of a terrible storm. During the chaos, the hospital loses power and the backup generators seem to be failing the hospital as well.
For convenient dramatic effect, there is a couple at the hospital who has just welcomed preemie NICU twin brother and sister into the world; however, little Mabel requires heart surgery from Chastain’s own heart experts: Dr. AJ Austin (Malcolm-Jamal Warner) and Dr. Mina Okafor (Shaunette Renee Wilson). Naturally, the power goes out during the surgery of this petite preemie and, somehow (I’m still not exactly sure how he knew), Dr. Austin knows that they only have forty minutes to finish the surgery of little Mabel before the power goes out for good.
While this is all occurring, the twins’ father is experiencing elevated blood pressure and is checked out for possible stroke symptoms, and the hospital is trying to evacuate the twins’ mother because she is on oxygen and the hospital is now evacuating ICU patients. Dr. Devon Pravesh (Manish Dayal) ends up learning that the father is actually having an allergic reaction and has to be dramatically saved with an Epi-Pen.
Are you keeping up with all these plots?
After the trauma rooms are filled and surgery patients are being turned away due to the lack of power, an ambulance arrives with an 8-year old gunshot wound patient. As a nurse is trying to re-route the medic to another hospital, Conrad and Dr. Pravesh retrieve the patient and start trying to treat him in the middle of the ER. With his colleagues surrounding him telling him not to cut, Conrad makes an incision (of course, he doesn’t listen) to help the boy become stable. The attending surgeon, Dr. Nolan, arrives and scolds Conrad for cutting the boy open because there’s nowhere to now perform the surgery with all of the surgical rooms being unavailable with no power. Conrad and Devon thus construct a sterile ER and the team is able to save the boy’s life.
Meanwhile, Nurse Nic seems to be treating what seems to be a college-aged UTI patient with an overbearing older sister. Viewers are dropped subtle hints throughout the episode that the girl has dropped out of college, has outrageous medical bills, and is solely provided for by her struggling older sister. So when Nic discovers that the power outage is actually being caused by a hacker from inside of the hospital, she begins to question the girl as to the who, what, where, when, why’s of her departure from school.
And yes, surprisingly enough (or not) the girl is an MIT dropout forced to leave school from overwhelming medical bills. Though, the debt-burdened patient admits she was only trying to hack into the medical billing department and did not intend to hurt anyone in the hospital. She hands over a recovery file to Nic. Nic and Conrad negotiate a plea-deal type reprimand for the patient to Dr. Bell (Bruce Greenwood).
Dr. Bell goes from having panic-filled decision making processes and decisions during the storm, to yelling at all of the employees and then seeking revenge on Conrad, Nic, and anyone else he can be evil to. I get that Bell is evil, but Bruce Greenwood needs a little more here than just being the angry, evil CEO now.
Malpractice for Viewers
The Resident managed to perfectly reel me back into Fall TV because, despite all of its faults, the characters and acting is worth viewers’ time; however, the Season 2 premiere had way too much going on even for me — and I love plot-heavy content.
Dr. Feldman (Tasso Feldman) stuck in an elevator with a claustrophobic nurse? As much as I love Irving’s quirky and charming character, this was a strange additional storyline and was not comical enough to justify making the cut. Also, didn’t Grey’s Anatomy do the elevator thing?
Dr. Bell’s air-headed secretary was absolute nonsense. The Resident‘s characters are way too good for this stereotypical garbage.
As much as there was going on in this episode, I would’ve liked to see a little more about Lane Hunter and the aftermath of her big arrest — other than just a news broadcast about her arraignment.
More Devon Pravesh. Period. There was little interaction between my favorite trio. Devon, Conrad, and Nic make the show much more enjoyable when the three of them are scheming and treating together. I just hope Devon’s internship will not take the backseat to all of the drama going on at Chastain this season.
Give me more of Dr. AJ Austin and Mina Okafor during surgery. I will be the first to tell you that I did not like Dr. Austin’s arrival at Chastain when he appeared in Season 1. The Resident does quirky characters well and I should’ve known that they had a long term plan for him. I won’t even address the unquestionable chemistry between these two doctors – yet – because we clearly aren’t suppose to talk about it.
We are supposed to see it and know that it’s there but we are not quite at that level at this time. Their professional relationship, however, is TV worthy. Mina, unwavering confident badass from Season 1, is nervous during a surgery? Austin knows right away that it’s Mina’s hidden worry for her new beau, Micah (Patrick R. Walker).
Austin’s quirkiness has won me over as well. Malcolm-Jamal Warner rules the sassy one-liners that seem to endlessly leave the mouth of this expert heart surgeon. Dr. Austin’s naming of “Nervous Nurse” is hysterical and had me cracking up.
The softening and humanizing of Mina’s character is intriguing. I am incredibly happy that instead of keeping Mina cold and one-dimensional for another season, The Resident is already giving viewers the depth and likability that a character like Mina Okafor deserves. Not only is she in a relationship with someone that she clearly cares about, but Mina was the doctor to suggest placing those two little preemie twins back together after surgery (and yes, I may have shed a tear or two). And yes, we definitely saw that little look to Dr. Austin for approval from you, Mina.
The anti-technology theme
There are nurses complaining about how technology has ruined medicine. They have less time with patients, they cannot access medication in a power outage, and they don’t have access to paper charts. Technology actually brings a fully-functional hospital down to chaos and disorder. Kudos, The Resident. This was an overused theme, but tastefully and subtly done so that it wasn’t forced down viewers’ throats.
I cannot praise the casting of these two television alums enough. Czuchry and VanCamp not only bring these characters to a whole new level, but their chemistry is off the charts. Please begin and end every episode with CoNic love scenes – please, I beg of you.
The Resident airs on Mondays at 8/7C on FOX.