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.
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.
Only The Resident could pull off a parallel between the Black Plague and all of the turmoils and infectious qualities of relationships. In 2×12 “Fear Finds a Way,” that’s exactly what the show does, and it does it so well. Devon and Irving are inundated with an overcrowded emergency room from flu season. The Resident begins the episode showing viewers just how easy it it is to spread germs by horrifying us with revealing those iridescent little green particles passed from person to person, and from object to object. I don’t know about other viewers but this whole sequence made me want to Lysol my entire house. And myself.
One of my favorite parts of the show is how it’s constantly bringing familiar faces back – faces that seem inconsequential at the time, but somehow always end up a significant part of the show. In this case, we were reintroduced to Meg Mullins (Dot-Marie Jones), a corrections officer from Nic’s short time in prison. Meg ends up in the emergency room claiming that there’s something going on with her eye, when she breaks up a fight in an agitated and impatient ER. Once she polices the emergency room, Meg begins to struggle and looks as if she’s going to faint. Devon discovers a severe bloodshot eye and irritated rash on her skin. Meg and Sam (Michael Rady) become the two most highlighted patients at Chastain because of the severity and onset of their symptoms. They also seem to be the two that reveal so much about relationships.
Meg and Sam both end up in quarantine and place the hospital on a high alert because of severe flu-like symptoms that no one can diagnose immediately. Conrad, Nic, and Dr. Shaw work together to perform tests and to discover who “patient zero” is, to prevent the spread of a severe infectious disease. Dr. Shaw is recruited to help out at Chastain by Dr. Bell who is eager to clear out the overcrowded hospital in exchange for two ultrasound machines. I’ll give Alec credit: he can negotiate. The ultimate horrifying diagnosis: the Black Plague.
The Fear That Plagues Us
In what appears to be this adorable gesture, Conrad walks Nic into an unknown place with hands over her eyes to reveal that he has asked a favor of a real estate agent to show them a gorgeous apartment before it’s actually on the market. He spouts off all of the positive aspects to the place: it’s close to Chastain, they can afford it because they’d only be paying one rent, and it has a yard to raise chickens. (Never thought Conrad to be the chicken type, but okay.) The whole scene appears adorable and screams grand, romantic gesture that some women might swoon over and throw their panties at men for. No judgement from me; however, Nic Nevins looks around this place in sheer horror disguised as a pleasantly polite smile and demeanor.
For as strong and as fearless as Nic presents herself to be, there is an underlying fear that drives and haunts her. Nic Nevins is afraid. With the revelations of their past issues and losses and the constant reminder of a dependent sister, I can completely empathize why Nic is afraid to commit and to move forward with things just seeming to settle and be comfortable. I realize how unpopular of an opinion this will be, judging by some of the Twitter banter, but as sweet as Conrad’s gesture was, you do not make such a bold move like presenting a perfect apartment to a woman like Nic, without having a freaking conversation about it first. Nic values her own worth, her independence, her ability to make her own choices, and her freedom. You don’t present these things to Nic. You have a conversation and let her decide on such a big decision with you. You give a woman like Nic Nevins a voice. Conrad, of course, senses how uncomfortable she is.
Through most of the episode, viewers are tortured with the very clear and obvious tension in the room between Nic and Conrad. When Meg asks how they are doing, there is an awkward and polite response about doing great. Conrad later reveals to Meg that he thinks he’s screwing up the whole ‘relationship thing’ when Meg is talking about how she’d love to call her ex-girlfriend as her symptoms persist. Meg insists Conrad figure out his issues because Nic is a keeper.
After some more cold banter and Nic exposes herself to the unknown flu that Meg and Sam are being quarantined for, Conrad makes another decision on his own to turn down the apartment. Again, Nic looks annoyed and disappointed. Honestly, I don’t blame her because there’s nothing worse than having a big, bold decision flashed in your face and before you can even think clearly about it, the big, bold decision is taken away from you before you even have a chance of making your own decision. Again, give her a voice. Come on, Conrad. This is Nic Nevins. Let her make a damn decision on her own.
Meanwhile, Devon has his own realizations while talking to the other severe patient, Sam who claims he has experienced love at first sight. Devon clearly thinks of his short-lived affair with Julian – the still very missing QuoVadis rep. Because of Devon’s rapport with Sam, Conrad and Devon are able to put the missing puzzle pieces together and realize that Sam’s new-found love, Sue is actually patient zero. Conrad and Devon theorize that Sue probably obtained the Black Plague from fleas in Yosemite National Park.
After a long day of exposing herself to the Black Plague, Nic goes to Conrad’s apartment where they finally have it out after a long day of all the things unsaid. Conrad asks for honesty and Nic reveals that she really just wants things to stay the way they are. Conrad accuses Nic of not having anything left to fix in him and therefore thinks that she has moved on emotionally. Oh, Conrad. And with that, Nic bids Conrad ‘goodnight’ and leaves.
As much as I wanted to pick up my TV in a very Hulk-like fashion and throw it across the room at the sight of them in turmoil, I know Nic really needs this space right now. Again, I’m going to share another unpopular opinion here but I think Nic needs to go throw this and find her way back to Conrad. She really needs to figure this out on her own, and realize that her wanting to be with Conrad is real and not just her not letting go of the past. I have faith in CoNic. I think they truly belong to one another and compliment the other perfectly. I have faith she will be forced to face her fears. I just hope that she figures it out before they take this whole Dr. Medicine-In-A-Van story-line too far. I have faith in the writing. The writers never have really failed us before.
By far, my most favorite story-line this episode was the one showcasing the power couple of network television: Mina and August (what?!), aka AJ Austin. After gifting his surgeries away like a surgical Santa Claus, Mina is forced to work with Dr. Nolan (Michael Hogan) on what would have been AJ’s surgery. This sends Mina on a mission when she misses working with her mentor. Mina begins testing the QuoVadis heart valves with a lab tech,and after several tests, they conclude that the QuoVadis devices are faulty. They cannot handle the heart activity of young, active patients.
Mina confronts AJ with her findings. She addresses him as August (I guess she means business) and tells him that Bradley’s death was not his fault.
“You are a God.”
Well, that’s quite the compliment coming from Mina, but AJ is still hesitant to believe Mina. He says that he would have done anything to work with his mentor, Abe Benedict. She tells him that Benedict is wrong and that he’s being stubborn by not listening to her.
And in quite possibly the most epic scene that they have ever graced us with, Mina and AJ enter a restaurant to discover Dr. Abe Benedict (Mike Pniewski) and his wife. Mina is hesitant about where this conversation is going but when she realizes that AJ is confronting Benedict about his partnership and pay off from QuoVadis, she happily takes a seat next to Dr. Austin. AJ praises Mina and her ferocity, her drive to always do the right thing and for realizing what is important in medicine. After revealing that he knows Benedict put a payout over their professional relationship and friendship, AJ exits the table by callously saying, “See you around, Abe.” This is after AJ calls his mentor ‘disappointing’. This scene was a game changer for AJ. He chose Mina.
And did you see it? Did you see AJ escorting Mina out of the restaurant by placing his hand on her back. I sure did. That’s the power couple of the century right there.
QuoVadis seems to have a very clear modus operandi. After Bell’s assistant, Grayson (Radek Lord) discovers that QuoVadis had past dealings with Jacksonville General, Bell tells him to dig deeper. He wants to know who Page had worked with and what device Page was pushing at Jacksonville General. Grayson researches the partnership throughout the episode and discovers that the CEO that was once working with Gordon Page is now deceased after jumping off of a building 10 months ago.
Will Bell suffer the same fate if he rejects his deal with Page? I’m still holding out hope that Julian Booth will be back seeking revenge for all of the horrible wrongdoings QuoVadis is spreading around the medical community.
- Irving and Nurse Jessica are hilarious. I love that the writers find a way put their weird, little ship in episodes. Even if it’s simply a germ infested hand-print on her butt.
- The Bell/Personal Assistant scenes used to annoy me to the point of not even watching but like everything else in The Resident that makes me question the writing, they always win me over. Grayson and Bell are this adorable little distraction to all the chaos swarming around Chastain. I cracked up laughing when Grayson wiped down the tablet for Bell.
- Maybe it’s because I started watching You on Netflix, but Sam’s profession of love at first sight weirded me out. Perhaps, I’m overthinking this whole plot.
- #TheOutbreakHospital. Clever.
- I like AJ teaching young med students. There’s something refreshing about a teacher actually telling you to rely on your gut.
- I also love Mina on a mission. She saved AJ from himself in this episode.
- Nic’s just sharing everything with Dr. Van. Apparently her prison time won’t scare him away.
- August?! Surprised by that. Also, clearly something only Mina could get away with.
- “The yin to my yang.” AJ describes Mina to Benedict. My heart.
- That hand on the back. I love Mina so much. And clearly so does, AJ Austin.
- I foresee an episode with little Henry very soon. Hopefully his device is not as poorly made as the heart valves.
- Conrad and Nic are breaking my heart, but I’m going to hold my head high. I have faith in these writers. They always come through.
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.
This episode is so big that I don’t think I need much preamble to get into the discussion. The first half of the season has all been leading up to this. Here we go.
The little wounded bird finally showed her true colors and blew up the Inner Circle with one murderous moment. The ramifications affect both sides and we finally get more focus placed on Lorna, as Emma Dumont deserves. So, with that in mind, let’s jump right in!
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.