The Resident had a strong start, so it was fully expected that it would taper off a bit once the flash and shiny newness of it all died down, and the show settled into itself.
That was the case with The Resident Season 1 Episode 2, which was a solid hour, but not without flaws.
We had the guys beating their chests and having pissing contests, Nic and Mina dealing with their daily dose of sexist microaggressions, more of that bleak but realistic health care system being the driving force for the medical story points, and the introduction of Dr. Lane.
Whereas The Resident Season 1 Episode 1 did a fine job showcasing Conrad and Devon, this time, the hour added depth to the show's antagonist, Bell. It also potentially set Dr. Hunter up to be a female version of Bell, and that's refreshing.
Bell and Hunter are about the bottom line. They're about the profit, too. It's easy to be self-righteous or turned off by their pragmatism, but there is a method to the madness.
The second episode pulled back on Bell being viewed as an antichrist. A hospital is still a business, and that has to be taken into consideration. Donors, image, press, all of that matters. We may not like that it plays such a significant role in the healthcare system, but it does, it has to in order for it to thrive.
Bell and Lane have an understanding of that, which is likely why they were out in the woods
schmoozing hunting with the congressman before an accident reminiscent of the infamous Cheney incident took place.
Both of the prominent cases started off on the ridiculous side. Bell and the Cheney ripoff and also the case with Micah.
How fortuitous that Conrad was there speaking to the kids about the moment he was inspired to become a doctor when Micah fell out. And of course, Conrad will be the source of inspiration, just as the woman was for him, to one of the many students in the classroom.
That aside, Micah was such a sweet character. It's understandable that the rest of the staff loved him so much. He even elicited some kind words from Mina, and you know, it's Mina!
But we all knew how this was going to play out, right?
The young, kind, optimistic schoolteacher who needed a heart would be screwed over in favor of the congressman, because of wealth, image, and fame. A few handshakes that seem immoral but are legal and Congressman Dunlap gets to sail on past someone who had been waiting on a heart for two years.
Micah's surgery was canceled. His heart was reallocated to Congressman Dunlap.Nic
If only they could've put that heart in Micah the second it came in!?
The whole ordeal was infuriating and outrageous in how unfair it all was. Conrad was rightfully livid and hurt on behalf of his patient, and I was right there with him -- until the entire situation was fittingly put into perspective.
Sure, on the one hand, Micah was the best choice because he's been on the waiting list for so long, he's young and otherwise healthy, and he has a lot of life left to live compared to Dunlap who was significantly older, a smoker, in poor health and more.
But as Bell pointed out, Dunlap's case was more severe. He would have died without that heart within the day. At the time, the same couldn't be said for Micah.
Our hearts were invested in Micah, but Bell wasn't wrong. Bell isn't a perfect nor likable person, but he's complex and a fascinating study. When he finally put Conrad in check, it brought some levity to the situation.
I'm going to cut you some slack because I know you're upset. [points to self] Chief of surgery. [points to Conrad] Resident. Try to remember that.Bell
Conrad needed that reminder that he's still a subordinate. He doesn't have to like nor respect the man, but there is a limit to how he challenges his boss. Plain and simple.
The hour didn't rearrange our loyalties, per se, but now the lines aren't quite drawn in the sand regarding who is "bad" and who is "good" because they're all imperfect characters who do imperfect things.
Bell is far from one-dimensional, but as much as he boasts practicality, pragmatism, and profit, it conflicts with his hubris and vanity when it comes to his hand tremor.
He's Chief of Surgery, he can't avoid surgery, but he thinks he can glide around the hospital and do just that.
He's one of the first ones harping about costing the hospital money, lawsuits, expenses and the like, but he's playing it fast and loose operating on people with an unsteady hand.
He's killed people because of this. He's smart enough to know that it can catch up with him, so he's the one costing the hospital money and tarnishing its image.
Conrad, with all of his cowboy antics, showed just how far he's willing to go for his patients. If you're his patient at the time, you wouldn't mind it, but as a colleague or anyone else, it's kind of scary.
We caught a glimpse of it when he nearly killed Chloe (and thank God he didn't, right?), but he successfully went through with his illegal, unethical, "the ends justify the means" actions. Conrad switching the blood samples was somehow expected and yet shocking.
It was expected that he would make an attempt, but it was shocking that he went through with it. He was so focused on saving Micah that he didn't think about what could happen if his plan didn't work, or the possibility of costing someone like Noni her job, or losing his job or his license.
It did pay off, and Bell caved and talked Chloe's mom into donating organs, so both Dunlap and Micah got a heart. Bell is a charming son of a gun when he wants to be.
The showdowns between Conrad and Bell are pleasurable. It's a bit better now that Bell gives it back a bit more and throws his weight around in a way that he has every right to do from a hierarchical perspective. But I disliked the way Mina was dragged into it.
It was already irritating that Bell held her immigration status over her head last time. I was willing to overlook the fact that he used her hands and took all the credit because it was true to the character they were establishing for him.
But the way Bell and Conrad used her as a pawn in their ongoing power moves against one another was uncomfortable, and now there's a precedent set.
Two arrogant white dudes at odds, used a black female immigrant (who was previously used for her labor while her white male superior took all the credit) as a bargaining chip to cover both of their asses. It was problematic, to say the least.
Perhaps it's something they'll touch on later, so I won't go far as to say that it was tone-deaf just yet, but in the event that it isn't, consider it tone-deaf. It actually made me cringe.
So did the sexist microaggressions touched on in the hour, but they were supposed to, so kudos. Mina's suitor assuming she was a nurse was worthy of a snort, but the way he scrambled away out of either embarrassment or intimidation upon finding out that she was a surgeon was flat-out funny.
Nic even dabbled in a little of it herself. The truth is, sometimes women are just as guilty of casual sexism as men. Nic had her reservations about Lane discharging Lily, but questioning her in front of other staff was the wrong move.
It's one of those subconscious things she probably did because she felt that as a woman she was speaking to another woman as her equal, but it's something she probably wouldn't have done if it were a man. She would have pulled her aside or asked for a moment of her time.
Lane: Please don't question me in front of the staff, Nic.
Nic: Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to--
Lane: I know you didn't, and I know you won't let it happen again.
Devon's entire conversation to the ever-likable Irvin (?) about Nic was, again, totally expected and typical. It was a nod to the ongoing thing between doctors and nurses. If you're a fantastic nurse, the question always arises "Why didn't you consider becoming a doctor?"
There's nothing wrong with being a nurse, and if everyone pursued med school, there would be no nurses. I'm glad Irvin shut down Devon.
Devon's Independence Day was a success. The kid did good, and he knew it because he was really feeling himself. But he was feeling himself too much for my taste because that entire exchange between him and Conrad at the BBQ spot was ludicrous.
As far as I'm concerned, he didn't need to waltz in there bragging about how great of a job he did, when it was literally a matter of him doing his job. What did he want, a medal? And why was he barging in there like he was angry?
All the huffing and puffing and getting chest to chest with Conrad was absurd; their whole exchange in the middle of a dive bar was absurd.
CONRAD: Look at this guy. He forgot rule number one.
DEVON: I didn't forget it. I broke it, and I will again because you are not always right. No one is. That's why this job is so difficult. And when you're wrong, I will be the first one to tell you. If you don't like that, cut me off right now. Right here. I don't care. End my career, because I am not your slave, your shadow, or your echo.
CONRAD: Devon, congratulations. You just passed Independence Day.
Of course, Conrad was pleased that his 'mini-me' was channeling his rebellious spirit, and took to the whole thing as some display of male bonding or a rite of passage, I don't know, but it was too much.
But alas, the groundwork for their bromance is being laid out, so I can't complain too much. Mina is set up to be Bell's prized mentee, and we know how much doctors love to preserve their legacy via a student; I just wish it wasn't born out of something so problematic.
Nic and Conrad are being set up for rekindling their relationship down the road, though maybe he should back off a bit with the overtures until then. Lane is an interesting addition, and I'm curious to know about her relationship with Conrad. I also like the idea of she and Bell being the characters you love to hate or hate to love.
Are you warming up to Bell? How do you feel about Conrad switching the blood samples? What are your thoughts on Dr. Hunter? Sound off below!
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Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.