Back in January, I reviewed the pilot of The Resident. While it had potential, I found the show’s protagonist, Conrad (played by Matt Czuchry), to be severely unlikeable. However, the show’s second episode was a big improvement, and every episode after that reeled me in even more thanks to a fantastic cast and some gripping storytelling. But what about the show’s climactic season finale?
Hunter Gets Hunted
As Dr. Lane Hunter, Melina Kanakaredes has been just phenomenal this season. Her whole chemo scheme was all kinds of evil and sick, and I’m so pleased that the finale culminated with the wicked doctor finally getting caught. Watching her scramble to gather all her files only to see the FBI waiting for her outside (with Dr. Bell no less) has to be one of the most satisfying things I’ve seen all year (#JustineForLilly). However, now I’m wondering if that means the show is done with Dr. Hunter? Because Melina is too good a talent to let go of next year.
Moreover, her dynamic with Dr. Bell was captivating to watch. Bruce Greenwood is equal parts sleazy and paternal, and he makes for a stellar antagonist. I genuinely could not tell if he was planning on throwing Lane under the bus when she came sobbing for help. But in the end, Bell always has his best interest at heart. So deliciously devious!
A New Addition
I’m torn when it comes to the show’s newest addition: Dr. Aj Austin. On one hand, Malcolm-Jamal Warner is a terrific performer who injects a lot of attitude into the show, and plays off Shaunette Renée Wilson (Mina Okafor) quite well. Unfortunately, his dialogue is slightly too heavy-handed and it often feels like the writers are trying too hard to make him sound cool and unorthodox. I’ll try to reserve judgement for now, but a bit more subtlety where he’s concerned wouldn’t hurt.
It also looks like the show is positioning Austin to enter a love triangle with Mina and Micah (as evidenced by his holding Okafor’s hand after surgery). I’m not sure the show needs this kind of drama as Mina’s development has proven to be just stellar this year. She started the season completely closed off and emotionless, only to sob by her love’s side in the finale and truly open herself up to the “passion” behind her art. Wilson is just tremendous and this is truly her breakout role!
A Different Ending
Interestingly enough, the finale doesn’t end with a depressing twist. I was sure Bell or Lane would neutralize our gang of heroes in some way, but this hour actually ends with Conrad’s dad, Marshall Winthrop, being announced as Bell’s new boss and the chairman of Chastain’s board. It’s an exciting twist because it means our guys get to exert some power for once over their nemesis. It’s also a shockingly uplifting ending that has me eager to see the possibilities The Resident has planned for its sophomore season. By focusing on the dark underbelly of the medical world (and the money-hungry corporations behind it), this show evolved from just-another-medical drama into something truly special and unique. Thank God it was renewed.
Bits & Meds
– It’s pretty practical when your dad can foot the bail bill huh?
– How cute is Olivia the hypochondriac? The twist with Lane giving her chemo was just HORRIFYING, and provided the perfect transition from a comedic subplot into a darkly dramatic one. Incredible!
– Dot-Marie Jones’ guest starring turn was a bit rushed as the guard in the detention facility, but I did like her asking for Nic’s help with her girlfriend.
– Did Austin leave a $50 tip for his salad?
– My favorite moment: Olivia’s delivery of “finally” when she gets to tell her story and (hopefully) become famous.
– I wish we were more invested in Priya but she got two seconds of screen-time all year long which didn’t make the reveal of her covering the story all that impactful. Fail!
– Can Nic, Conrad and Pravesh always band together to investigate dastardly hospital schemes? They make the best team!
– I miss Merrin Dungey as CEO Claire Thorpe but the actress has a supporting role on a new ABC show next season (see The Fix).
– The musical score during the surgery was just hauntingly beautiful.
– Conrad and Nic are back to having sexy times in the on-call room. I like Emily and Matt’s chemistry together. Simply inspired casting!
Conrad: All she’s ever done is help people.
Guard: Who cares?
Feldman: The sex must have been amazing. It did give him a heart attack. It’s the way I’d want to go out. Death by coitus. Preferably with Mina.
Austin: I mean, we’re all guessing every time we scrub in, right? I mean, there’s always art balanced with science. And fortunately, I happen to be Rembrandt.
Austin: You have feelings. You care. You can have passion, you can love somebody even. It does not make you less of a doctor. No, in fact, it makes you a better one.
A terrific season finale capping off solid debut season. I have high hopes for this one and I see it lasting a long time!