Mina Okafor and AJ Austin are one of the greatest ships on TV. I said it. The Resident 2×15 “Queens” proves that AJ and Mina are a slow, but forceful burn, and it’s only getting better. Mina and AJ aside, this episode was one of the best we’ve seen yet on this show.
We’ve heard it all before: follow your heart; the heart wants what it wants; the head and the heart want different things, etc. It seems that The Resident 2×14 “Stupid Things In the Name of Sex” was out to prove that the head generally wins on Valentine’s Day.
Poor Gertie. In the beginning of the episode, viewers are introduced to Mina’s sweet and very active geriatric neighbor, Gertie (BettyLynn Allison). She’s a sweet, gluten-free cookie-baking, pilates loving woman, who has even agreed to care for Julian’s cat. Devon has brought flowers for Gertie to thank her for caring for the abandoned (orphaned?) feline.
Later at the hospital, paramedics wheel Gertie into the emergency room where she is pronounced dead. Mina and Devon are devastated and are puzzled as to how this happened after just seeing an alive and bubbly Gertie hours before.
Mina and Devon are then tasked with breaking the news to Gertie’s only living relative: her niece, Nora (Shanley Caswell). Prepared for tears and a solemn encounter, Devon and Mina put on somber faces and offer a box of tissues to Gertie’s niece. Clearly, breaking the news to the loved one of such a sweet woman would be devastating. Devon and Mina are shocked to find a cold and impervious woman more interested in the insurance money than the truth behind the death of a healthy and active 70 year old relative. Nora reveals that her aunt was sweet, but not to her and was especially critical of her relationships. Nora just wants to move to Portland. Manish Dayal and Shaunette Renee Wilson are hilarious in this scene as they stare open-mouthed and astonished at Nora’s callousness.
This is the second time within this season that The Resident has painted a horrifying picture of mishandled or purposeful negligent autopsies. Devon turns to Bell and asks for an autopsy of Gertie due to the sudden nature of her death. Bell informs Devon that autopsies are too expensive and that the cause of death will just be listed as a heart condition. He carelessly adds that the heart is always a cause of death. Truer words could not be spoken.
Bell, however, is not the only one who fails Gertie’s legacy. Her primary care physician ultimately lists her cause of death as having to do with her heart. But this episodes’ dynamic duo, Devon and Mina, find a creative way to find out the truth: they convince the niece to donate Gertie’s body to science by telling her that she won’t have to pay for Gertie’s funeral. Yes, this character is that vile.
And with a request to the self-proclaimed “Doctor of Love” himself, Dr. AJ Austin, Gertie’s autopsy is a ‘go’. Would AJ actually decline a request of Mina’s? With an audience of Dr. Austin’s overachieving medical students, AJ, Mina, and Devon discover that Gertie’s cause of death was actually a brain aneurism. They also discover that Gertie had been living with polycystic kidney disease. Devon remembers that the niece had mentioned having headaches. With convincing, Mina insists Nora should be tested which leads to Mina’s first brain surgery. Nora had two brain aneurisms that could have burst at any time.
After Devon and Mina essentially save her life, Nora baffles them once again — thinking with her head — and starts inquiring into her aunt’s death certificate to obtain insurance money so that she can finally move to Portland. If only this lady had any heart.
In Their Own World
Otto and Andre are the couple that I never knew I needed in an episode of television. There was a serious depth to this couple in a way that did not feel forced or overbearing. Conrad is first introduced to Otto and Andre in the emergency room, when Otto arrives with some minor symptoms of dizziness and fatigue. The couple is playful and sweet. They are joking about their Valentine’s Day plans and their plans for the future. Andre insists that they need to save their nickels. Otto says that he already made a “rezzy”. How freaking adorable. After preliminary tests, Otto is admitted for low sodium and anemia. He also has signs of kidney failure.
There’s subtle hints to this couple’s past. Otto says he’s 20 years sober in his initial contact with Conrad. He was once a med student but now is a substitute teacher. Andre looks confused at points when Otto is speaking, as if Otto isn’t making sense to him. After more testing and a dramatic situation of Otto needing to be intubated as blood filled his lung, Conrad and Dr. Nolan (known to me as Dr. Douche) determine that Otto is suffering from an autoimmune disorder. Nolan tells Andre that he and Otto can go back to their normal life.
“Normal life.” Andre retorts.
At the sudden sign of human emotion, Dr. Douche is out leaving Conrad to console Andre. Andre fears that Otto is drinking again. He explains that when he met him he was a hot medical student, but eventually had to drop out because of his drinking. He tells Conrad it was worth it because he loved Otto. But Andre reveals that Otto is telling lies again, causing him to think that he’s drinking again. He never made them Valentine’s Day reservations, despite claiming to have made them. He talked about having been on trips that they never went on. Conrad says that Otto didn’t show signs of alcohol abuse. And because Conrad always knows, he looks into this further, and discovers that Otto has dementia as a symptom of all of his years of alcoholism.
Andre takes this news hard. He says that they talked about traveling the world. They dreamt of Paris. Conrad gently explains that they can be together, but that they have to be together in Otto’s world. As Andre thinks, Otto awakens and happily waves to Andre through the glass. I can’t tell you enough about the level of perfection of Ron Simons as Otto and Carlos Lacamara as Andre. These two guest stars exemplified true love and sacrifice.
And in quite possibly, the best scene in this show, Andre shows stock images of Paris and Spain to Otto. When Otto asks if they went to Paris, Andre explains that they did go and they kissed by a fountain for hours. Otto smiles, “I remember. It was so romantic.”
Could this show get any better?
Thinking with Your Head
After Irving predicts that it will be a Valentine’s Day full of strange happenings, Dr. Voss is introduced to Chet (Paul Skye Lehrman). Chet is literally attached to a vehicle door in the emergency room. When he is removed from the door, Chet reveals that he was being intimate with a stranger that he met online in his car.
This storyline was strange to me. I understand the purpose of having the Valentine’s Day fling in there but I felt like this whole thing took up too much screen time from an already really good episode. With the exception of a few funny lines and demonstrations of sexual positioning, I found this storyline obnoxious; especially obnoxious when the Valentine’s Day hookup shows up at the hospital to have hospital sex and thus causing Chet to need surgery.
This then led to an awkward scrubbing in conversation between Bell and Voss about attending the same event later in the evening. And oh, well, why should they bother taking two cars if they’re going to the same event. I like Kitt (Jane Leaves), but I’m not sure how I feel about such a badass doctor falling for Bell. I get it. She humanizes him. She even took him back to a time when he was a surgeon for the medicine and not the money, but he’s gone so far down the evil path that I’m not sure there’s a point of return for him. And Kitt Voss deserves better than the evil Bell.
Irving (Tasso Feldman) had his own Valentine’s Day mishap when he refused to acknowledge that he and Nurse Jessica were actually a couple in front of their colleagues. I’ve always enjoyed the little Dr. Feldman/Nurse Jessica interactions as the comedic relief in the episode that they were, but this was a nice addition of substance to the couple. But Feldman redeemed himself when he set up a table in the elevator that started it all for them and revealed that he was afraid Jessica was going to be ashamed of him. When he turned to his heart, he saved face and extended a really sweet gesture to his lady.
But the two couple highlights for me this episode were Conic and … AJ and Mina. Yes, I know that this episode was about Mina and Micah’s (Patrick R. Walker) Valentine’s Day but there was so many sweet AJ and Mina moments.
Conic started out the episode with an intimate scene that was everything Conic fans could have ever wanted. Conrad surprises Nic with reservation that he made at a fancy and popular restaurant. When she asked how he was able to make reservations at such a popular place, he says that he made them 8 months in advance. 8 months in advance, people. But when Nic has to stay over night at Jessie’s rehab for an early morning group session, they have to give up their reservations.
Conrad still surprises Nic in the parking lot of rehab with a cheese stick, apples, and sparkling water in quite possibly the sweetest last minute Valentine’s Day date ever. Because clearly after watching Otto and Andre find a way to be together, Conrad had to be with Nic that night.
Conrad gifts his reservation to AJ and tells him that he hears that he’s quite the romantic. When AJ tells Conrad he’s going to pay the reservation forward, Conrad asks who the recipient would be. AJ responds, “To someone already in love.”
And yes, AJ Austin gives his reservation to Mina and Micah, who he had overheard making last minute plans for dinner on Valentine’s Day. This was after AJ checked in on Mina, knowing that she had just lost her neighbor. This was after they worked together to determine the cause of death for a woman who deserved the correct autopsy findings on her death certificate. Because AJ knows Mina and knows what excites and inspires her. He knows when she is hurting and he knows her heart.
At dinner, Mina thinks that Micah is having a heart attack when in actuality he was just trying to get a ring out of his chest pocket to propose. Viewers are left with a nervous Micah on one knee and a flustered Mina with no response.
As much as I love Micah’s sweetness and big heart, I don’t think he is right for Mina and clearly doesn’t understand her disdain for surprises or grand gestures.
The Resident shows us that on Valentine’s Day, in medicine, or in matters of sex sometimes the head wins over the heart.
- That sex scene, though. Conic has chemistry.
- Mid-sex scene, in regards to Nic going to see Jessie in rehab, Conrad asks Nic so lovingly, “Do you need anything?” This guy.
- Mina doesn’t want flowers or candy for Valentine’s Day. She sure as hell doesn’t want a ring either.
- “No drama. No surprises.” Well, you spoke too soon.
- Grayson’s obsession with hooking up his mother with Bell is a bit strange.
- Poor Devon. He’s still not giving up on Julian.
- “Everyone’s moved on except me.” Until she comes strolling in with some feds.
- AJ Austin: Doctor of Love. I find it of no coincidence that he picked up the candy that read “Real Love”.
- “Wink wink. High literature indeed.” Mina kills me every time.
- Gertie’s niece might actually surpass Bell in evil ranking.
- When Irving says “License and registration” as he reveals Chet stuck to the door, I nearly spit out my drink.
- “Not out in the open. We’re not animals.” Yeah, okay.
- AJ listening to Mina tell Micah she loves him. God, he loves her so much.
- I love that Conic FaceTimes. Cute.
- Dr. Douche can’t handle a little human empathy. Douche.
- “You, coupon cutter.” Nearly in tears at this line.
- “You just sexed yourself into a fracture.” Funny line. Bad storyline.
- “Who does their business in a hospital?” Um, half of your colleagues…
- “I wish there was more I could do.” “But you being here makes it all better.” Oh, they are so perfect in all their Conic perfection.
- Say “NO!” Mina!!
The Resident airs on Mondays at 9/8c on FOX.
If you have not watched The Resident 2×13 “Virtually Impossible”, then you definitely need to drop whatever you are doing, and watch one of the best episodes that this show has graced us with.
This show truly gets better and better due to one key thing: character investment. We are absolutely 100% in love with these characters. Throughout season one, we fell in love with Conrad and then Nic. And we fell in love with their love and respect for one another. When we thought that we couldn’t love a cold-hearted Mina or a cocky, arrogant new resident doctor, Devon Pravesh – we fell in love with them, too. They gave us the abrasive, yet quirky, AJ Austin, and with time we realized that we adored his passion and unique outlook on life.
This episode may have even made me respect Dr. Randolph Bell just a (tiny) bit, but yes, The Resident can even make you love a character like Dr. Bell, or at least have an understanding of him. In this episode, we wanted to hold our beloved Chastain team. We rejoiced in their surgical win. And we truly smiled a big Conrad-like grin when everyone seemed to end up on the same side for once. But the theme of this episode was the great unknown, and we held our breath with these characters the whole way through.
The Surgical Unknown
Dr. Kitt Voss’s (Jane Leeves) patient Eloise (Chelsea Kurtz) is in need of a double lung transplant because of cystic fibrosis. Dr. Voss tells Conrad early on that Eloise is special to her, because she is a devoted medical student. After determining that Eloise is no longer eligible for the transplant due to liver failure and elevated sugar levels, Conrad and Kitt reveal to Eloise that there is another way: a liver, pancreas and lung transplant.
Eloise and her parents decide to go through with the transplant, as Eloise would only have a few weeks to live without the surgery. The surgery has only been successfully completed once before in Canada, and the surgeons will need approval from the ethics board to go through with it.
Eloise’s character seemed familiar to me and with an online search, I realized that her character was reminiscent of a real-life cystic fibrosis warrior, Claire Wineland, who graced the internet with her story and survival while battling cystic fibrosis through videos, stories, and positive messages of living life the best way we can. Claire sadly passed away in September, but left her mark as an activist and author in the cystic fibrosis community.
The character of Eloise, too, wanted to share her medical procedures and the risky surgery with medical students and other cystic fibrosis patients as an educational tool. I love that this show uses real-life inspiration for their characters and sheds the light on real circumstances of patients and medical personnel.
Dr. Voss asks Conrad what doctor would be crazy enough to chance this surgery, and with a comically executed scene change, viewers are shown the infinite ‘Raptor’ dutifully accepting the challenge and announcing that the “quarterback is coming off the bench”. Unfortunately, Dr. Austin has recently been sidelined once again by Bell after he was confronted with Mina’s findings about the defective QuoVadis heart valves. Bell tells AJ to “lay low” and to halt performing high-risk surgeries until Bell can look into the valves further.
Dr. Voss and Conrad appeal to the ethics committee by appealing to Bell’s’ inner surgeon. Dr. Voss narrates a moment in medical times, when there was a surgeon who would’ve performed any challenging surgery in Atlanta that came his way just to save a patient. She further shares that the Dr. Bell from another time would’ve jumped on the chance to advance science and to make history. And because clearly Dr. Voss knows Bell and knows how to appeal to his inner arrogance, Bell eats this up and agrees to the surgery.
And what a surgery it is. After complications with the donor lungs, Eloise’s parents volunteer to each donate a lobe of their lungs to Eloise. Eloise’s mother suffers complications, but ultimately, the surgery is successful and Eloise breathes through healthy lungs for the first time.
This scene was mesmerizing to watch, and not for the surgical chaos that is was. And not for the livestream video that was being streamed to Eloise’s fellow med students at her request. It was beautiful to watch this epic tag team surgery of awesome surgeons. Mina, AJ, and Bell relying on and trusting one another. Conrad supporting Kitt, as she held her breath watching her beloved patient undergoing an intense and very risky surgery. This, hands down, was probably one of the most emotional and most well-done scene involving our doctors yet.
Viewers continued to struggle emotionally when Eloise takes her breath from healthy lungs donated lovingly from her parents, and she declares that it feels like she was born again. Sob. And further sob when her mother squeezes her hand despite being on a breathing tube after her surgery complication. This show. My god, the feelings.
While the team is focused on Eloise and her high-risk procedure, Nic is focused on her high-risk sister, Jessie (Julianna Guill). Nic has arranged for a job interview as a paralegal for Jessie. Nic does all of Jessie’s homework for her. She researches the job and the firm’s cases. Jessie seems anxious, but Nic passes it off as nerves due to the interview. When Jessie shows up at the hospital in a new outfit and having already missed the bus, Conrad and Mina know something is going on with her. Nic gives Jessie twenty dollars to catch a cab and wishes her luck ignoring the obvious signs of Jessie’s changing moods.
When Conrad tries to question whether or not Jessie should be tested, Nic snaps at him and explains that they are in a really good place.
Nic tries to text Jessie later for an update, but runs into parents of a high school friend of Jessie’s. When she asks about their daughter, they bring her to the room of a woman on a ventilator. Their daughter is the organ donor for Eloise. Nic is then subjected to a tale of a very familiar story.
The parents talk about how their daughter has been addicted to opioids since high school. She was prescribed oxycodone for an athletic injury and the addiction spawned from there. The mother said she thought she was back on track but the father shamefully admits that he saw the signs: lack of appetite, mood swings etc. When the mother asks why he didn’t say anything to her, he admits that he didn’t want to see it.
If the Chastain team wins the award for best scene this episode, Emily VanCamp wins best solo performance hands down. She can portray so much emotion with her facial expressions alone. Her face in that scene alone said so much without her even uttering a single word. You knew her thoughts. You felt her emotions and you knew that Nic Nevins was getting in a vehicle to find her sister. Because she knew in that moment, she just didn’t want to admit that Jessie was using again.
After returning home and ultimately finding pills in Jessie’s purse, Nic tells her that she is going back to rehab. Jessie refuses and Nic painfully tells her to leave. I cannot tell you enough how beautifully executed this scene was. VanCamp and Guill portrayed this familial bond fighting through addiction so well. As Nic closes the door, Jessie is left crying over a pile of pills on the floor and Nic is left sobbing over her steering wheel as she finally has to cut the cord and let her sister hit rock bottom before she will accept help. Their performances were outstanding.
Search and Rescue
Hikers locate Julian’s car at the beginning of the episode. Police recover the vehicle from the bottom of the lake and identify the vehicle’s owner as Julian Booth. When they go to open the vehicle, there is no body.
They indicate that a search and rescue team will attempt to recover the body from the lake. This new information is broadcasted all over the news and is seen by the doctors of Chastain, including Mina and Conrad. Conrad dutifully calls Devon to let him know. Devon, who has returned to his empty and Priya-less apartment is awoken to his cell phone ringing. After Conrad break the news, Devon shows up at Julian’s apartment and convinces her landlord that he is actually there to take Julian’s abandoned cat. After getting caught going through Julian’s mail by the landlord, Devon takes her cat and her phone bill. He later discovers that Julian’s last phone call was placed to the FDA.
He goes to Conrad and Nic with his newfound discoveries. Just last season it was Nic who was investigating the felonious wrongdoings of Lane Hunter. She became invested and almost got taken down for looking into Lane’s murderous poisoning of patients. Will Devon be the next target for looking too closely? It does appear that way.
Yet, once again viewers are left with a big question: Where is Julian?
Toe to Toe
When Bell is confronted with the information of Dr. Benedict’s payout from QuoVadis by Mina and AJ, they reveal their source of the information: a website called “Dollars For Docs”. And as soon as Mina and AJ have left the room, Bell confirms what he already knows; that he is also a doctor tied monetarily to QuoVadis. Bell schedules a meeting with Gordon Page (Michael Weston).
Whether he likes it or not, Bell trusts Mina, and he believes in the skill level of AJ Austin. So when he is presented with the evidence that Mina has researched the downfall of these heart valves, Bell knows that this is bad news. He asks Page about the valves and questions whether or not they should be pulled until they are further researched. Page puffs up his chest and tells Bell that when he asked him for money, Page didn’t hesitate to give him money, put him on his board, and only ask for loyalty in return. Page threatens Bell and informs him that he is disappointed that he would even dare inform Page on how to run his company, and says if Bell pulls the valves, there will be consequences.
Nic had to send her sister into an unknown spiral of addiction. Devon still faces perplexing question of the unknown whereabouts of Julian. Eloise took a leap of faith and without knowing what the outcome of her surgery would be, she took a chance on life. And like all of these characters taking giant steps forward into the unknown circumstances that lay ahead, Dr. Randolph Bell took a chance and did the right thing. He pulled the QuoVadis heart valves from Chastain after working with this colleagues and getting a little taste again of the surgeon he once was.
Hopefully he doesn’t face these threatened consequences.
- AJ and Mina strolled into Bell’s office like a power couple once again.
- Gordon Page’s character is almost a little too creepy villainous now. His staring out the window spouting out threats was a little intense.
- I love every episode with Dr. Kitt Voss in it. I feel like she always adds something to the episode.
- “Looks like I’m going to need more oxygen for this. I don’t like the look on your faces.” I love Eloise’s spirit. And sass.
- And this episode was a great follow up to the last one with Nic and Conrad’s extremely depressing talk. This Conrad is why Nic is not ready to be surprised with a new apartment. She is emotionally drained by her sister’s addiction.
- “If you die, I won’t feel guilty… I gave you every chance.” Oh, this scene. Heart wrenching.
- Devon’s going to take the fall for Julian’s disappearance. Page knew what he was doing here.
- I have lovingly named Dr. Nolan (Michael Hogan), the attending trauma surgeon, Dr. Douche. Because every time he opens his mouth, I yell: “Douche”.
- Mina expected arrogance after the surgery, but AJ surprises her and says he’s recently dined on “humble pie” and doesn’t plan on changing. Did you see her surprise? Intrigue? Did you see the way they looked at one another? Oh, when these two end up together, it will be EPIC.
- I love how Devon turned to Conrad and Nic. They are a team. They are family. Conrad will stick by him.
- Oh, Jessie. I hope you survive this. This will break Nic beyond repair.
The Resident airs on Mondays at 9/8c on FOX.
The Resident 2×10 “After The Fall” literally started out with a sprint, and continued with intensity throughout the entire winter premiere.
I’ve applauded The Resident these past couple of episodes for finally figuring out its pacing and not overpacking the episodes with too much. Well, unfortunately I can’t give you that this week, The Resident fans.
In the mid-season finale 2×09 “The Dance”, the writers are trying to bring all of their storylines to a peak and by doing so, it feels forced and rather anti-climatic in some regards. When I sat down to gather my thoughts on the episode, I actually forgot about some of the storylines altogether because there was so much going on.
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.
Halloween special episodes can be some of the best material and some of the worst for a TV series. For The Resident, the Halloween episode was done rather tastefully — some Halloween humor, costumes and a creepy nightmare mystery, but it was not too over the top.