Leave it to The Resident to produce a Halloween-themed hour that was creepy and funny but also strongly character-driven.
The Resident Season 2 Episode 6 was a well-balanced hour and was illuminating as well for many of the characters.
The use of nightmares, fear, and family to bring the hour together instead of making the hour a bottle installment that focused solely on wacky, kooky, spooky fun was excellent.
The connection between Conrad and Laurie was instantaneous and one of Conrad's strongest bonds with a patient. It's the second time in a row he came across more devoted to his patient than ever, which speaks volumes because Conrad goes above and beyond all of the time.
It was as if Conrad assumed the role of Laurie's family the second he learned of how distant she was from her own. There was an undercurrent of their connection that felt more personal than usual, and as the hour progressed, it was easy to speculate why that is.
Laurie's case was intriguing because when it comes to hallucinations, there are so many factors that can contribute to them.
The first that comes to mind too often is that it's tied in with some form of mental illness, but Laurie is fortunate that neither Conrad nor most of the others were willing to write her off as having schizophrenia without ruling out many other possibilities as well.
Laurie: Earlier you told me not to hold back, so you do the same. Just tell me the truth.
Conrad: Do you have any family history of schizophrenia?
Laurie's night terrors were indeed terrifying. She risked her life multiple times as a result of them, and at some point, it was curious that no one bothered to restrain her to keep her from running off.
It was scary when she was on the rooftop and contemplating stepping off of the ledge. That alone should have been enough, but then she woke up again and took off down the hallways dodging people until she ran right through a window.
John, whoever he was that Bell shouted at, had one job but he stepped out of the way. You had one job, John! Dammit!
The process of determining what was causing Laurie's issues was fascinating. First off, shout out to Conrad yet again for dropping important statistics and truth bombs on misdiagnosis.
Women make up the majority of misdiagnoses. Women arguably know their bodies better than men, but their word rarely means anything when consulting a doctor. Young women are misdiagnosed and written off the most, and we needn't get into the statistics on women of color.
That's why Conrad taking extra care with Laurie and letting her know that he heard her and would do everything in his power to figure out what was wrong with being dismissive was pivotal.
Laurie: I'm afraid to fall asleep. Go ahead, tell me I'm going to go home, and there's nothing wrong with me. That's exactly what the other three doctors said.
Conrad: Actually, women under 35 are the most misdiagnosed subset in the country so, no. I don't want to tell you that. Whatever you're experiencing is taking a toll on you. It's very clear.
There were many things suggested as Laurie's symptoms persisted. First, she was believed to have suffered from Capgras Syndrome after she failed to recognize Conrad after just speaking to him. Then they determined that only one side of her brain was working. Eventually, Conrad went to teratoma and encephalitis.
It's a bit heartbreaking to know that Laurie still had to suffer through more night terrors, but she got an answer, which is all she needed.
Conrad bonded with Laurie because he suffers from nightmares as well. This season, the series is intent on delving deeper into the exploration of the characters. There isn't a single complaint to be had about that.
Laurie: I deserve the nightmares.
Conrad: Everyone gets nightmares. I have my own from time to time.
The immediate assumption was Conrad's nightmares tied to his PTSD after being in Afghanistan, but they may also tie into his childhood. That dream sequence with young Conrad running from his father after his mother fell down the stairs and broke her neck was hair-raising. Does he blame his father for his mother's death?
Conrad is trying to make peace with Marshall, and so far, it has appeared as though they have been on the mend, but there is so much we don't know about their relationship. There is so much we don't know about Marshall.
If we thought Conrad was an enigma, it turns out he got that from his father because Marshall is secretive and keeps everything close to the vest. It's about time Conrad started to notice something was off with Marshall.
It's looking more and more like Marshall is sick. He didn't explain where he was, but he insists that they go on a trip together. It's more to it than he wants to make sure Conrad doesn't burn out.
However, Marshall's concern for Conrad's mental health and well-being is genuine to the point of seeming as though it's because he has experience with it. Marshall has been quietly observing Conrad for quite some time, and I wonder if they have a family history of something.
He spoke of burning out as though it were a personal experience of his, and while most of us viewers know how hard Conrad pushes himself and gets invested, and we're aware of that being a possibility, Marshall is treating it as though it's a fact.
Conrad: Maybe when you stop lying to me, I'll consider going to an island with you.
Marshall: Sharing everything all the time is not something I'm interested in.
Conrad: Nope, but I am.
Marshall: Son, I'm a lot of things, but a hypocrite isn't one of them.
Conrad: What's that supposed to mean?
Marshall: I'm not exactly sitting across from an open book. You left home, and I didn't see you for ten years. I had to hire a private investigator to track you down. So don't ask of me what you won't do yourself.
There is a lot that Conrad holds inside, and his father confirmed it, in addition to Nic's concerns, and this background via flashbacks makes me think Conrad may have a breakdown before the end of the season.
What's interesting is that Nic is the Queen of calling Conrad out on keeping things from her and not being forthcoming, but she's guilty of the same. Nic likely doesn't know very much about Conrad's nightmares nor his PTSD other than her speculation in the past, but Conrad probably doesn't know about her panic attacks either.
The Resident is doing a splendid job peeling back layers of Nic this season. Nic's anxiety is something new, but it's not surprising nor unexpected. Nic has control issues, and it was bound to manifest itself in some way.
It's so easy to view these characters as flawed, yes, but so heroic that you often forget that the job and life are taxing on them. Nic tries so hard to be the one to keep everything together, but she has been suffering from panic attacks for the better part of a year.
What is The Resident timeline between this season and the previous one? When do you think her anxiety started, and what do you think may have triggered it?
Nic is a gem, but she was too focused on shadowing Jessie. She meant well, but there is nothing she can to keep her sister on the straight and narrow, and she needed to realize that. It's not something that she can control; only Jessie can.
You can't just take care of everyone except for you. You know that.Jessie
Jessie seems to be doing well at the moment, and she has made progress as far as wanting to take care of Nic for a change. But just like Conrad is keeping his nightmares a secret, and Nic is keeping her anxiety a secret, Jessie kept those pills and didn't toss them out.
Bell has his secrets of his own. Bell is another character who has made vast improvement since The Resident Season 1, and in many ways, he is one of the most compelling.
There was lighthearted humor to Bell lamenting the disadvantages of nepotism with his useless assistant whose only talent was matchmaking and being filterless. He hit it off with Vivian, and it was sweet.
He kicked ass in the OR with AJ, and that was pretty damn awesome too. He genuinely was concerned about Laurie when she nicked her femoral artery after crashing through the glass, and he was open to helping Conrad if it was needed.
Bell is not doing OK though. In keeping up with the theme of everyone's secrets, fears, and demons, Bell is struggling, and no one has noticed it yet.
Between trying to pick up hookers, obsessively swiping right on a dating app, and trying to access porn at work, Bell has a problem.
What happened with Lane did a number on him, but while he could be lonely and afraid of being alone, it appears he may have a sex addiction.
Bell: What would cause a website not to load on my computer?
Grayson: Uh, the hospital blocks porn.
Bell: I'm the CEO of the hospital. I don't watch porn.
Grayson: Everyone watches porn.
Bell: I'm not watching porn.
Grayson: Right, because it's blocked.
It's troubling, and now he is involved with Grayson's mom and the ex-wife of a fellow businessman who owns golf courses and may make Bell's life a living hell.
Dearest AJ is a hopeless romantic. Did you catch the romance novel he was reading at the nurse's station? Sure, it's possible that he was biding time until all the pieces of Frank they had to assemble came through, but I like my assessment better.
Devon's experience in the ER provided all the shocking and gross Halloween fun of the hour. He and AJ were entertaining because once again there isn't a combination of characters on this series that don't work.
Poor Frank was in pieces, and everyone kept playing with his dismembered body parts while they waited for the rest of him to be wheeled in. Then, they wheeled him in when his daughters were there. No one wants to see their loved one with half their limbs missing.
The only thing less surprising than Mina throwing the most epic Halloween bashes imaginable and turning Irving away for kicks, is Mina dropping everything to scrub into the OR.
Bell: Vitals are improving.
Mina and Voss: Showoff.
AJ: Hey, if you got it, flaunt it.
Bell: As we were.
AJ: Hashtag. Team Chastain.
I'm glad she did. The girls versus the boys enchanted with them surgery with Bell, AJ, Mina, and Kit was crazy fun and funny. They all made a great team. Team Chastain for life!
Kit continues to impress everyone she's in the vicinity. The relationship that Kit and AJ have now is a friendly rivalry. He and Devon's faces when they found out that badass Kit the Ortho Queen is also a grandmother was priceless.
Over to you, Resident Fanatics.
AJ: Wait, you have human kids?
Kit: Two from my first marriage. All grown now, and one of my kids has a kid. Goodnight, chaps.
AJ: Her kid has a kid.
Devon: She's a grandmother.
Are Conrad and Nic hiding their struggles from one another? Why do you think Marshall is insisting that he and Conrad vacation together? What do you think Conrad's nightmare meant?
Would you go to a Mina Halloween bash? Are you concerned about Bell? Conrad totally would have been Captain America, right? Hit the comments below!
You can watch The Resident online here via TV Fanatic!
Jasmine Blu is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.