The Resident‘s “The Prince and the Pauper” started with a peek into the intimate lives of the doctors of Chastain. Mina (Shaunette Renee Wilson) and Micah (Patrick R. Walker) share a conversation about sticking together in his recovery after open-heart surgery. CoNic nibble on vegetable kabobs and dance on a twinkling rooftop while they try to have a distraction-free evening together outside of the hospital.
Dr. Bell (Bruce Greenwood) sits dazed in a bar and reveals to a stranger that “the love of his life” was a psychopathic doctor who poisoned her own patients. He then seeks out the companionship of a scantily-clad prostitute that resembled Dr. Lane Hunter (Melina Kanakaredes) only to learn that the prostitute was actually an undercover police officer. After his arrest, he tries to get the charges for patronizing a prostitute dropped and worries about having to report the arrest to the medical board.
There are two main medical storylines occurring during this episode. The first observed patient is a young pre-teen boy that is injured while rollerblading. After three helicopters fight over transporting the boy, he is brought to Chastain where he receives emergency surgery to remove his spleen. Conrad (Matt Czuchry) quickly learns after the surgery that something still isn’t right and realizes that the boy has early-stage pancreatic cancer.
There is a nail-biting second surgery to remove all of the cancer and becomes even more intense when the incredible doctors of Chastain have to put the life of the boy in the hands of the negligent Dr. Bell. After pulling off the surgery, Dr. Bell and Conrad explain to the boy and his parents that after the complete removal of his pancreas, the boy will be diabetic for the rest of his life. Conveniently waiting outside of this patient’s door is recently cast Jenna Dewan as Julian Booth, a medical device sales representative. Julian manages to sell the boy’s father a high-end insulin pump at a whopping $10,000.
The other storyline involves a young girl seeking medical assistance, who also happens to be diabetic. The nurse taking her vitals informs the girl to await the arrival of a guardian in the waiting room before she can be treated. This girl spends the first part of the episode secretly stealing insulin and other medical supplies. After getting caught by Nic (Emily VanCamp) and running away, she is later located unconscious alone in a hospital room, after she unsuccessfully tries to inject insulin into her body.
After a mistake by one of the new residents (in an ironic circle of life-type encounter), the girl is intubated and her outcome is unknown. In a touching speech to Conrad’s father, who just inquired why the hospital would be footing the bill for an uninsured patient, Nic reveals that the girl’s mother cannot afford the ever-increasing price of insulin. Her mother was working two jobs to pay for the girl’s medical needs but due to the price increase the young girl took it upon herself to ration the insulin to protect her mother from paying for insulin that is only growing more and more expensive.
The parallels are obvious. The child with well-off parents does well, gets an expensive insulin pump that insures his quality of life and care, and thrives despite complications with a surgery resulting in a lifetime of diabetes. The child that is uninsured and that has a parent that struggles to pay for the necessary means to survive ends up sacrificing her own health and well-being because she cannot bear the financial burden on her mother. What I love about The Resident is that these parallel stories were not so in-your-face, but subtle and revealing in a natural storytelling way.
As entertaining as it was that Dr. Bell was arrested for trying to pick up a hooker Pretty Woman style (rich man with nice car in crisis seeking last-minute desperate companionship), the whole arrest in general was somewhat iffy. Generally, in order to arrest for patronizing a prostitute there needs to be an amount of money decided upon and a specific act agreed to in order to insure conviction. For all we know, a woman donning a barely-there dress got into the car of a stranger and he handed her a couple of hundred of dollars and asked her not to speak (by the way, ew). But I am willing to let this all go because it was pretty entertaining seeing a mugshot of sociopath Dr. Bell.
Speaking of Dr. Bell’s loneliness, I thought the whole being lonely and depressed in a bar over the loss of “the love of his life” was really strange. Dr. Hunter picked Bell as her beau so that she could get away with what she was doing in the first season with her cancer patients, and though Bell was smitten and occupied by the company of Lane Hunter, I never really got the vibe that he was absolutely in love with her.
Jenna Dewan and the Plastic Sphincter
Julian Booth. I like Jenna Dewan. I have probably watched Step Up way too many times and should be embarrassed by it, but I do not like her latest character that has joined the cast of some of the best television doctors. First of all, Julian needs to stay away from Dr. Pravesh (Manish Dayal). That man has a sweet relationship with a sweet girl and they are going to have a sweet wedding. Did I overemphasize my love of Devon and Priya enough? Julian Booth has trouble written all over her and I hope for the sake of Devon’s relationship that he stays away from the alluring sales rep and her fancy plastic sphincter. Not a fan of the character simply brought in just to stir up trouble.
Obnoxious. Come on, writers. The Resident is too good for stereotypes! I did not enjoy this weird homage to every stereotypical nerdy med student to display Julian Booth’s self-proclaimed psychic abilities and to give us the circle-of-life story. I am very skeptical of everything Julian Booth right now so I may be biased but her whole bit about knowing a doctor’s specialty was lame. We get it, you can read people. Now get away from Devon. The pushy go-getter messing up on his first day was a nice device to see how far Devon has come since the Pilot episode.
I did enjoy the heart-to-heart between Irving (Tasso Feldman) and Devon, where Dr. Feldman advises Devon to be empathetic to the kid who messed up on the first day. After all, it was Devon who messed up on his very first day and it was that incident that opened his eyes to the reality of what being a doctor really meant.
Money, Money, Money
I thoroughly enjoyed the nitty gritty of the numbers of this episode. I am NOT a numbers person and I am definitely not someone who understands insurance, but I liked that this episode brought light to serious problems going on in the healthcare industry today. We first see some weird activity going on in the very beginning with the teen that gets injured roller blading. There are dispatches to three helicopters and poaching of calls. Is helicopter ambulances really a thing now? Are they really charging people thousands of dollars for a transport that could’ve been handled by an ambulance?
The cost of drugs such as insulin and Epi-pens has been all over the news lately and The Resident tried to show viewers the real problems of the spike in costs of these necessary medicines. This episode even showed viewers the drastic differences of outcome for two similarly aged teens with different financial statuses.
Conrad is called into Bell’s office to discuss issues with patient care with Marshall Winthrop (Glenn Morshower) or better known to Conrad as ‘Dad’. There is a very candid discussion about Bell’s million dollar CEO salary as opposed to the average CEO salary of $600,000. Bell refers to the costs of running a hospital and says that he deserves the high-paying salary to keep the hospital afloat. Conrad argues that the money that the hospital is over-paying Bell could be used to help patients. Winthrop then informs them both that there has to be a balance of running the hospital as a business and quality patient care.
I really enjoyed all of the candid discussions about money, costs of the hospital and the ways that patient care is put on the back burner to keep profit up. The Resident is definitely not holding back this season on hard truths.
AJ Austin’s quip about how he’s board certified in three different types of surgery, flying a 2-engine jet and being certified to scuba dive up to 150 feet was classic Dr. Austin humor that I have learned to look forward to in this show.
Devon and Mina racing scooters to work was super adorable. Devon (or newly-nicknamed Conrad 2.0) is truly part of the gang now.
I love all things CoNic, but I really enjoyed the scene where Nic is trying to calm Conrad’s insecurities with his father. I am really hoping to see more about their relationship this season; especially with what went wrong the first time around.
I love the softer side of Mina and how gentle and supportive she is of Micah. I am definitely curious about Dr. Austin’s apparent obsession with her. Does brash Dr. Austin have a soft-spot for the brilliant Dr. Okafor?
The Resident airs on Mondays at 8/7C on FOX.