“The Germ” took viewers on an emotional, tear-filled ride. I thought that The Resident had done a number on my feelings with the Lily storyline in season one, but I was wrong and completely mentally unprepared for this episode.
Let’s just get straight to my biggest takeaway from this episode: this was Matt Czuchry’s best performance on The Resident. Czuchry has immersed himself in the role of Conrad Hawkins, who has become — hands down — one of the best doctors on TV.
“The Germ” refers to a game that the doctors of Chastain have created for Jasper, a pediatric patient, after they learn that he has a fatally aggressive cancer. Jasper’s dream is to become a police officer, and he adorably dons an “8 point” duty cap at all times. Conrad, Nic, Devon, Mina, and crew create a criminal case for Jasper to solve, complete with a wheelchair turned into a cruiser with flashing red and blues. Nic (Emily VanCamp) and a tactically dressed and handcuff-clad Conrad assist Jasper in finding a clue from Detective Okafor (aka Mina in a trenchcoat) and speak to a State Farm agent-looking witness named Bob (aka Devon). After finally locating “The Germ,” Jasper catches the bad guy by shocking him with a crash cart. While the whole hospital cheers for Jasper, viewers are forced to emphatically sob on their sofas knowing the fate of the adorable curly-haired character.
Czuchry’s performance as a heartbroken doctor, talking a mother and young brother through a dying pediatric patient’s death, stands out. This scene was so heart-wrenching, I was actually physically shaking at one point. Little Jasper then takes his last breath as his mother finally tells him that she loves him with Conrad’s coaching. For once, I have no words. There are no words to describe how I felt watching this scene as a mother, a former police officer, and a regular-old television viewer. I was gutted. Czuchry’s performance was painfully and brutally believable.
The New Lane Hunter
QuoVadis, Gordon Page (Michael Weston), and Julian Booth (Jenna Dewan) appear to be the The Resident season 2’s new focus. Page is the glamorous CEO of QuoVadis, and Julian (who I affectionately gag at every time she’s on screen) is the chosen rep at Chastain. Last season, Lane Hunter and her over-treatment of cancer patients with unnecessary chemotherapy was the season-long drama. This season, The Resident is focused on medical devices. Dr. Bell (Bruce Greenwood) makes a deal with Page to have his products at Chastain. With this new brand being used at Chastain comes disdain, protest, and feuding amongst the doctors. Dr. Austin (Malcom-Jamal Warner) cancels a surgery. Dr. Voss (Jane Leeves), elbow-deep in a body and splattered with gore, also protests the change in device. Though very different surgeons, and despite their butting of heads and opinions, Austin and Voss agree that they will both arrange to have patients side with them and get the devices that they prefer back into the hospital.
Voss explains to her patient that new medical devices are approved by the FDA before they are even tested on humans, that they are less regulated than pharmaceuticals, and that thousands of new devices end up being recalled every year due to harming the patients that they are supposed to help. Sounds like The Resident has picked another (swept under the rug) problem to shed light on in the medical field. When the patient questions whether or not the hospital would actually implant an untested device into a patient, Voss tells her that the hospital makes deals with medical device companies for profit and not for reliability. Conrad also voiced his opinion of the situation in the beginning of the episode by telling Julian that he didn’t believe medical reps should be in hospitals and stated that it was a conflict of interest. Of course, Conrad is uneasy with the sleazy, bribing medical rep. He reads people the best.
The Resident brings a new twist into the storyline by revealing that Dr. Abe Benedict (Mike Pniewski), AJ’s mentor, is also in the pockets of QuoVadis alongside Dr. Bell. AJ turns to Benedict for advice in determining whether or not the QuoVadis heart valve is reliable and is given a money-driven response as to why Benedict uses QuoVadis over the older, tested models. Benedict lies to Austin — for money. I am actually looking forward to where The Resident is bound to take this storyline and how many doctors will get swept up in the fallout of using untested medical devices.
- I was super happy to see Bradley back and in much better spirits. Despite getting a new heart valve, the gang treated him like the old days, and it was nice to see the reunion. He’s also clearly doing well to book the VIP suite for himself (we all know Bell didn’t get him a discount).
- Mina referring to Bradley as a “muggle” was the best one-liner of the series. Ever.
- Mrs. Kim (Emily Kuroda) was Dr. Voss’s patient! I am LOVING these mini Gilmore Girls reunions. I would’ve loved her yelling at Logan — I mean, um Conrad — a little bit. Let’s face it: Logan deserved to be yelled at by Mrs. Kim.
- Speaking of Dr. Voss: I love her. I will say that, at first, I thought they made her character a little too similar to the bone-breaking enthusiast, Callie, of Grey’s Anatomy; but the writers changed my mind in this episode. I most enjoy how she puts Bell in his place in the most delightfully intelligent and sly way. When I saw the male massage therapist, I actually laughed out loud. Well played, Kit.
- I’m still very confused by the “bomb” going off in Dr. Austin’s body. I understand what medical malfunction occurred to the unrelenting doctor, but I have no idea why this was a relevant plot. Was it just to prevent him from doing further surgeries until he got his medical devices back? I’m still confused. I guess it’s always quirks and antics with Dr. AJ Austin.
- Handcuffs magically appearing from Nurse Jessica (Jessica Miesel) and Irving (Tasso Feldman) was hilarious. The cast of The Resident has such great chemistry. They all were able to make this funny without even saying a word.
- Devon. Devon. Devon. At least viewers got some insight into Devon’s feelings on the wedding in this episode. Devon reveals to Bradley that wedding planning has become too stressful and has become an endless to-do list. When Bradley asks Mina what’s going on between Julian and Devon, she tells Bradley to mind his own business. She does reveal that she does not trust Julian — but she does trust Devon. I don’t know, Mina. I started out this season trusting Devon, too, but I’m nervous for his decision-making skills right now. I hope he discontinues walking down the path to the mistake that we are all anticipating him making.
- What was going on in Conrad’s mind as he sat in that empty hospital room? What’s the next steps for CoNic?
The Resident airs on Mondays at 8/7C on FOX.