Whoa. Every week The Resident takes television to a whole other level and I cannot get enough. The episode is appropriately titled “Heart In A Box” and most of our beloved characters have put their hearts out there this week for our viewing pleasure.
Truth or Dare with the Devil
Dr. Lane Hunter (Melina Kanakaredes) is back and just as foul as ever. After finding out in a deposition that Lane Hunter has revealed their relationship, Dr. Bell (Bruce Greenwood) goes to visit his former lover in prison. In an obviously Dr-Hunter-is-evil way, she threatens to blame the cover up of her scandal on Bell and Chastain if he does not post her bail money, and secure her a top-notch attorney. Is Lane Hunter really going to be released back into the world?
In a much more surprising revelation, Bell reveals to Lane that he still cannot stop thinking about her and that he actually cared deeply for her. I appreciate that the writers are trying to bring some humanity to Bell, but I still find this whole idea that he loved Lane Hunter a little far-fetched, considering his lack of emotions in any aspect of his life. As Hunter said herself, Bell only cares about himself. Why should anyone — especially the viewers — believe that he cared so much for her? If the whole seeking out the look-alike prostitute was supposed to feed us that sentiment, then the writers have not done their job here.
Conic’s Elephant in the Room
Conrad begins the episode by being support and personal coach to Henry, the little boy who recently lost his brother to cancer in 2×05 “The Germ”. During little Henry’s baseball game, Henry’s mom and Conrad cheer on the young boy. Conrad shows him how to hold the baseball bat and after making it to second base, Henry has a seizure on the baseball field. Hasn’t this family been through enough, The Resident?
Nic tells Conrad to be careful because he’s spending a lot of time with the family and getting very emotionally invested. He plays personal off-the-clock consult to Henry’s mom and stays with Henry through his painful medical test. Nic watches Conrad with the boy lovingly, but clearly cautious.
Later, she reveals to one of her patients — a man who literally suffered from a broken heart — that she understands the complexities and severity of grief. Was she referring to her parents or her miscarriage? With the little hints about her devastating miscarriage and the panic attack on the floor of Mina’s apartment during the Halloween party, I see a big flashing sign of foreshadowing for our poor, Nic in the future.
Will she have a breakdown? Will the potential for children (or the fear of another miscarriage) be the catalyst for another CoNic split again? I worry for precious Nic because she has the biggest of hearts, but carries a lot of weight of perfection on her shoulders. I hope the ‘King and Queen’ of medical drama ships can sail on.
When Henry is brought into the emergency room for the seizure, it is serious and the doctors can’t seem to stop it. Conrad calls in a pediatric neurologist to handle Henry’s case. The specialist immediately recommends that Zoey, Henry’s mom, allows him to prescribe another medication to stop the seizure, so that they can run tests to figure out the cause of Henry’s condition.
And then in this interesting little point-of-view twist, viewers see the doctor prescribing the meds, the pharmacist getting the prescription via computer, the insurance company getting the notification for the prescription and approving the payout, and ending with some insurance hit poacher notifying Julian Booth (Jenna Dewan) of Quovadis of the potential for a patient that would be a good candidate for a new nerve stimulator. This whole point of view to how the prescription works was interesting. I hope they show these kinds of insider view into the medical world again.
Julian is still struggling with her uncertainties with medical devices after the last episode’s patient almost died from a malfunctioning hip replacement. This particularly struck home for Julian due to her own hip replacement. She had confided in Devon (Manish Dayal) that the reason she was in the medical device business was because of the changes it made for her life as a dancer when she needed a hip replacement. When the CEO of Quovadis, Gordon Page (Michael Weston) encourages Julian to start searching for candidates for his new nerve stimulator, Julian questions what his stance is on ethics and putting out products that are researched and safe.
She somewhat surprises him with knowledge of him having formally worked for the company that put out the metal on metal hip replacement that nearly killed the patient from 2×07. Gordon reassures her that product quality and safety is his highest priority. He was just an intern at that company. Of course he strives for better products. He explains that Quovadis devices are manufactured in Atlanta and are not outsourced to China like other medical device companies. This ensures quality products that are safe. She tells Gordon that is all she needed to hear. Sounds a little too good to be true to me.
However, Julian still seems to be hesitant pushing the brand new nerve stimulator into a pediatric patient despite his reassurances. Gee, I wonder why the billionaire CEO would lie to you, Julian. Gordon again reassures her that Quovadis has even conducted their own research of the product. She eventually tags along with Bell to push the product during a meeting with Zoey, Conrad, and the pediatric neurologist. Zoey disregards Conrad’s hesitation with a fresh to the market device only recently approved by the FDA and allows the device to be implanted into Henry when there are little options for his seizures anyway.
Julian reveals to Devon later that she is afraid that she is part of the problem rather than a much need solution in healthcare. Devon spouts out this very generic response about how ethical she is and blah blah blah but uses one key word that stands out: whistleblower. She eventually sweet talks her way into the warehouses of Quovadis and sees workers removing Quovadis products from boxes labeled ‘Made in China’ to new boxes claiming that the products were manufactured in the USA.
First of all, do medical device companies really poach insurance claims to find eligible candidates for products? No wonder why our healthcare system is crumbling if any piece of this information is true. That is absolutely absurd. I do love that this show reveals these eye-opening dirty laundry details of healthcare.
Second of all, it pains me to even say it, but I am beginning to soften up to Julian. At least viewers can see her as something besides a sleazy sales rep now and as someone with a moral conscience. I mean, she did let that little boy be implanted with a barely tested medical device, though, and I can still hate her for that.
As Priya is asking Devon to really consider moving with her to San Fransisco, lover boy is daydreaming of his intense kiss with Julian. There’s your first sign, Devon. Priya breaks into a speech about how he can work on his medical device idea in Silicon Valley and worry about finishing his residency later.
Okay, Devon, I am somewhat understanding your shady shit, but you’re still not off the hook. You are still engaged to this woman that you had a life with before you became a doctor and you’re daydreaming about the sales rep. But, let’s face it, it is not really cool that Priya told him during their last conversation about her offered position in San Fransisco that they would find a way to make the distance between them work. Now, all of a sudden she wants him to leave his medical residency behind because it’s their first year of marriage? Doesn’t seem like there’s any mutual support going on here in this relationship. Bad things are coming for these two in the mid-season finale.
Meanwhile, Devon took a beating at work. He was vomited on, racially stereotyped, scolded by an attending, cried after calling a code, and then took the ultimate blow when he is punched in the face by a patient that was under the influence of meth. He later tells Priya that he cannot move to San Fransisco because, despite his black eye and his worst day, he wouldn’t trade his worst day because of his love of being a doctor. Despite all of his drama with Julian and Priya, I actually liked this whole bad day in the life of a doctor plot the writers gave us. The Resident doesn’t shy away from taking everyday viewers to the authenticity of medicine — even the vomit-filled place of it.
Heart in a Box
Nic and Mina’s patient this week is a man named, Wallace that is in need of a heart transplant. They reveal that when his wife was sick, Wallace would walk three miles back and forth everyday to Chastain to be with her until she passed away. That’s sweet. Wallace, now suffering from “Broken Heart Syndrome” needs a new heart to survive. An episode theme of grief causes Nic and Wallace to have a heart to heart (no pun intended) about how he deserves a second chance at life to share his wife’s beauty with the world to people who never got the chance to meet her. This brings us to quite possibly my favorite scene ever of this show. Viewers learn a new story of grief from the cold, and often distant, Mina.
AJ and Mina go to another hospital to harvest Wallace’s new donor heart. When they are in the ambulance on their way back to Chastain with the heart in a box, beating away between them (you writers are so so good), AJ asks, somewhat rhetorically, “Could you imagine loving someone so much it could literally break your heart?”
Mina, of course, responds quickly with a “no.” When AJ asks about whether Micah could break her heart like that, she tells him that she would never allow any man to break it. AJ inquires as to what could have possibly happened to her that she is so cold and closed off from the world. And then Mina breaks every viewers’ heart with a story from when she was growing up and was responsible for her two younger sisters while her mother was a surgeon in Nigeria. When she went to go nap after getting her sisters food, she explained that a nap turned into a deep sleep and when she awoke the entire house was on fire. She had left the oven on.
“Grief and guilt consumed me.”
AJ looks at her in horror and says he’s sorry, as Mina turns to look out the window and says she never wants to talk about it again.
God, Shaunette Renee Wilson is freaking amazing. She kills me every week with revealing this whole new depth to Mina that viewers couldn’t possibly expect to feel from just one character. But every week, she shocks and awes us. Malcolm-Jamal Warner is also an absolute treasure to this show. This scene left me speechless.
Together, Mina and AJ repair the heart in a box and save the man from his own grief. I’m getting chills just typing this all out because the writing on this show is just so ridiculously good. As Mina tends to Wallace, AJ looks on adoringly from the hallway. Nic walks up and asks him if Mina knows he’s in love with her. AJ acts surprised, but doesn’t actually shy away from the accusation. He tells Nic that he is her teacher and her mentor – a relationship would be highly inappropriate — but then says with that AJ Austin smirk that someday she will be his equal. He does ask Nic to keep the conversation between them.
And that right there will probably be one of my favorite ships ever because those two have some chemistry. And I love everything about them and their dysfunctional friendship turned something more. I’m sorry, Micah. You are a sweet dude, but Mina only has eyes for the Raptor.
- I love sweet Mina. We all know that she has eyes for AJ and just isn’t admitting it yet, but when she’s checking Micah’s pulse while he’s sleeping it’s adorable.
- Speaking of sweet and tender moments, I cannot praise The Resident enough for having deep, well-rounded characters. It says a lot when some of the most self-aware, sensitive, and tender characters are men. But in contrast, the female characters are not portrayed as these hard, cold, meaningless careerists without their own feelings and humanity. Mina started out that way in Season 1, but we have learned a lot about her recently, and this season has far surpassed the first in great content.
- Lane Hunter looks awfully good for being in prison. We couldn’t lighten up on the make up?
- “I hate waking up and not having you next to me.” Conrad, I love you.
- These doctors are really touchy sometimes. They hold hands and hug and look you straight into the soul. I can honestly say I’ve never had a doctor like Conrad or a nurse like Nic. That’s for sure.
- What is the ship name for AJ and Mina? Please someone share with me.
The Resident airs on Mondays at 8/7C on FOX.