The Resident is at its absolute best when it focuses on the American healthcare crisis.
Once again, they did it exceptionally well on The Resident Season 3 Episode 12, with Bianca's near-death over something seemingly innocuous and Archie attempting to take his life to spare his wife all the medical expenses.
Stories like that are not uncommon; they're frequent and enraging, and by putting faces to incidents like those, The Resident humanizes the experience, so we don't become desensitized or complacent.
It's enough to make you emotional, just thinking about it.
Conrad is over moping, and he's spending his time volunteering. It would be a disservice to himself and the people he can help if he didn't put his gifts to proper use.
Instead of helping Nic and Mina at a free clinic miles away from the city, he was supposed to be doing search and rescue. It's the type of thing you can envision him doing, so upon mentioning it, one had to smile.
However, Conrad never made it to the rescue site. After a detour to pick up Kyle -- which would down the line prove to be the first step toward rescuing the eldest Nevin -- to saving a former patient from a suicide attempt.
The most disturbing part of Archie's story was knowing how real it is. People have resorted to the absolute worst choice after weighing their options. You need only look up the countless articles about those who hoped to trigger life insurance policy payouts.
We've known each other a long time. You know I'll do anything to help.Conrad
After years of battling MS, and an astronomical bill from Chastain after they used a third party anesthesiologist that cost $100k, followed by RRMM suing them for the medical debt, Archie decided his wife would be better off and financially secure without him.
It makes you wonder if he called Conrad out of some desperate attempt to be talked down from it. The phone call proved to be most ominous as he made Conrad promise to look after Adelaide in his absence.
But then, even after Conrad made it to him in time, and Adelaide was made aware of what was happening, Archie tried to shoot himself too.
Thank God for Kyle, who has taken his job as a Chastain Angel seriously. His announcement of the title is beyond endearing. If Kyle weren't there to stop him the second time, Archie would've succeeded in his second attempt.
Conrad's position is a fascinating one, as he's self-important enough, and I mean that in the best way, to believe that if he were at Chastain, some of the things wouldn't be happening.
It was driving him mad being at the hospital, unable to rush beyond the doors along with Archie. All he could do was trust Archie was in capable hands, and it's amazing how there was a time when Bell was not the first pick, but he is now.
Adelaide: Dr. Hawkins, please go with him. You're his doctor.
Conrad: I can't.
For all of their differences, they share a unique bond rooted in history, mutual respect, and similar traits and sentiments that overlap more than keep them apart.
It was such a satisfying moment when they stood together, addressing the wrongs that RRMM have done to the other. It was a sweet moment, and those are some of the best because of how they serve as markers for character development.
It speaks to how far they have both come as individuals and as colleagues.
The Bell we used to know wouldn't have offered to clear his bill for Archie's surgery. He certainly wouldn't have done so without being prompted.
Bell: You know what Red Rock did to you was not right.
Conrad: You know they haven't treated you so well either.
Bell: What can I do for you?
Conrad: Archie is my patient, and I can't go see him. Nothing can fill that void.
Bell also promised to look into other ways he could help relieve Archie's financial burden with Chastain/Red Rock, and he made that offer knowing full-well he doesn't have as much juice and pull given his lack of prominent titles.
Meanwhile, for what it's worth, if Conrad wasn't on the outs, he wouldn't have noticed Kyle's depression and suicidal ideation this early.
It was something I sensed during The Resident Season 3 Episode 8, but the response was mixed. However, it appears he slipped into a darker depression.
What started as a compassionate moment of support he shared with Adelaide in the cafeteria became one of alarm. He spoke about Archie not out of sympathy, but empathy, and it was concerning.
Adelaide: We always told each other everything.
Kyle: He was protecting you because he loves you. He blames himself for all the trouble that you're in. He feels ashamed. I'm sure that he's been wracking his brain trying to find any way out of this. Any way to live out his life with you. Make sure you're still safe. He just couldn't find any other answer. Any other way to save the person that he loves and stop being a burden. If someone is desperate enough, the worst solution in the world starts looking like a really good thing.
Kyle has a lot of things going on. He's a better person now, but it doesn't make his guilt over how he wasn't the best father when it mattered most disappear. He has a past and demons, and they have been catching up to him.
He is also probably battling a healthy dose of survivor's guilt, too. It's a lot going on in that head of his, and it's not something you want anyone to be battling.
Kyle did it; he successfully managed to become an endearing character so quietly, it's hard to determine when it happened. If it wasn't heartbreaking enough when he shot down Conrad's earnest attempts at getting him to spend time with them, it was when he sat in his impounded car with that gun in his hand.
Adelaide: I don't understand how this happened. How can I not see that he was planning this? What kind of wife am I?
Kyle: I don't know your husband, but I do know one thing. You didn't see any of this because Archie didn't want you to see it.
Conrad has to keep an eye on him, but he couldn't bring himself to tell Nic about it after the day she had. How do you tell someone you love something like that?
He pulled out that engagement ring again, and it seems like there is never a good moment for him to give it to her.
As for Kyle, maybe after his experience with Archie, he had a change of heart, and he wanted to access the gun before it was discovered and remove it from his life. It's hard to say, but it as a moment that winded you.
The same happened with Mina and Nic's excursion in the rural community three hours outside of Chastain. Rural and Urban communities are the most underserved ones when it comes to access to services. They're the most deprived.
So this woman will die because we're too far from a battery?Nic
However, what makes rural communities the worst when it comes to this is how far out they are from necessities.
No one should be hours away from any form of medical facility or clinic. It's condemning people to death for the crime of being geographically distant and poor.
Mina and Nic work so well together, and I'm happy they didn't abandon their free clinic work. The tiny structure had so many people flocking to it from hours away for any and all needs.
I mean, glasses, one young man traveled hours away because of a need for something as simple as glasses.
But the scenes most likely to give you a heart attack yourself or have you on the verge of tears were those involving Bianca and Joyce.
Joyce: All this time your heart. The batteries. I thought I was taking care of you, but you've been taking care of me.
Bianca: We've been taking care of each other.
It's funny how we know The Resident is a medical drama, and yet they do such a remarkable job of getting you invested in their patients, that you will lose your mind if a case ends in death.
The VAD process is complicated and risky. To think, Bianca, rushing out of the house to get her sister to a free clinic three hours away had her leaving her backup batteries, etc., behind, and she couldn't go to a drugstore and pick up some new ones.
A small oversight could've killed her! How many times have you forgotten your keys or something at home? It's human nature to be forgetful, but in her case, it almost cost her her life.
When I go out of this world, it's going to be under the blue sky with the sun on my face, with my sister.Bianca
The plan for their van and the ambulance with the supplies to meet at a midway point in 15 minutes to a half-hour was some of the most nerve-wracking work on the series to date.
When Bianca started saying her goodbyes to her sister and demanded they pull over since they couldn't outdrive freaking statistics, a lump formed in my throat that I never got over, until, against all the odds, Bianca survived.
Bianca's scene by the tree with her sister was a punch to the gut. She wanted to die on her terms with her sister beside her, not cramped in a van rushing toward something they all knew wouldn't be there in time.
You had to respect her decision. It was tough on both Mina and Nic, and those moments when the series reminds of these two sisterless sisters who have managed to form a sisterhood in a shared understanding of that loss is touching.
The Resident has bromances, platonic bonds, and romantic dynamics out of its ears, so sisterhood scenes are the best.
But what a gift it was that Bianca's VAD gave her heart time to repair on its own. If it didn't stop functioning, they never would've discovered that her heart was capable of functioning without it.
The heart is an awestriking organ. No wonder AJ loves working with it so much.
AJ: It's funny. The liver is the only organ that can regenerate itself, but the heart, it can repair. Evolve. Adapt to meet its circumstances.
Mina: You're poetic today.
AJ: Yeah, I guess I am.
For some reason, I've grown comfortable in Mina and the Raptor settling comfortably in their unaddressed sexual tension.
But it's the second time AJ put himself out there and shared his feelings. Was anyone else holding their breath the whole time?
I'm OK with how it ended. AJ got wrapped up in the moment and put himself out there, but he has previously and frequently made it clear he doesn't want to stand in her way as she achieves her dreams.
AJ: What would you say if you knew it was your last hour? I don't know what I would say, but I do know the person I would say it to is you.
Mina: Our relationship is one of the most important ones in my life. It is perfect, just like this.
AJ: Well, like I said in there, the heart can adapt. So you have a good night Mina Okafor.
It explains his acceptance when she turned him down. Mina values their relationship for what it is now, and it's just a relief that this won't come between them.
They'll probably be stronger than ever, and words cannot describe how enjoyable these two are, but also how fantastically written and executed their relationship is.
Some of the best ones, the most meaningful dynamics are those that slip between the spaces of what we're familiar with defining. They transcend the designated categories, so wherever they fall, it'll always work.
Mina's response was perfectly sensible, but she's a stronger woman than I because I was melting during that entire scene.
If you change your mind, you should call me, and I'll hook you up. And if you don't change your mind, you should still call me. Unless you're spoken for.Andrea
Mina is focusing her attention on little Michelle, and now Adaku, who is awake and ready to see her baby. The transition probably won't be a smooth one. Mina has grown attached to Michelle.
But now AJ can move on, and he deserves that. He's a great guy, and it's no sense in him pining when he can attempt to find happiness elsewhere.
Fortunately for us, he seemed to hit it off with Andrea. She is the best because of how she sees through Cain and his bullcrap.
Andrea: Your timing is impeccable.
AJ: Funny. I get told that a lot.
Nothing amused me more than an installment that managed to find all of our favorite men being fawned and thirsted over (Bell, AJ), and being hit on and kissed (Devon), and some sweet sexytimes (Conrad), and then Cain, who is handsome but ugly inside, getting rejected.
Ha! You love to see it.
Andrea was immune to his charms and manipulation, and it's what he deserves for trying to push Bell out of the deal because of his jealousy over Bell having a gaggle of lady fans who happily forked over money for supplements because of how cute they thought he was.
As if Cain doesn't already have his face plastered on the hospital. Ugh, get over yourself, man.
The second Andrea figured out Cain manipulated her into having dinner with him, she left and agreed to meet up with AJ instead. Beautiful.
Speaking of beauty, princess Nadine returned. She wanted some quality time with Devon and decided to kill two birds with one stone after a mishap in the DJ booth.
Apparently, the grudge I held against him for his bullsh*t with Priya has all but dissipated, and I'm OK with him having a love interest now. He and Nadine are so cute, and their scenes are equal parts endearing and hot.
Devon: I'd like to see you again.
Nadine: Yeah. Please. You're not going to make the first move are you?
Devon: I'm at work. I-
Nadine: Don't worry. I got you.
God, they're so pretty. They quite literally look like a Disney couple.
Nadine has money and prestige, but it doesn't make her happy or keep her from being lonely.
She's isolated in her life; she feels Devon is the one person who sees her as something more than some princess. He doesn't pay attention to that part at all.
She's bold and lively, and she successfully took her shot after their impromptu ice cream date. Who knows where this is leading?
Nadine: When I got here, I was happy to see you. You probably think this is silly, but most people act all weird because I'm a princess. With a guard always around I'm never alone, but ...
Devon: But you're always lonely.
Nadine: You understand me.
Devon: I still can't keep you overnight, but maybe there's something I can do.
Hopefully, it doesn't end in some form of tragedy.
In the meantime, we got to learn a bit more about Devon's intern, Ezra.
The guy has to work on his bedside manner. He tends to treat his patients like they're dumb, and even if you feel that way about them, they're less inclined to seek help if they think you'll judge them.
The whole place is like that. Alarms and cameras everywhere. They look like they're there to keep enemies out, but really they're keeping princesses caged in.Nadine
The silver poisoning case was not only amusing but reminiscent of a case on FOX's 9-1-1.
Ezra has OCD. It seems he's not comfortable claiming the label, and that's fine, but it's what he's battling.
He's one of those people who probably resent that you have to go through rotations in various fields instead of focusing exclusively on the one you want to pursue.
He wants to get into anestisiology, and the ER with all of its germs and people isn't his thing. Now that they've revealed all of this, he's bound to discover he's great in the field.
Devon was able to remind him that all medical cases should be treated with the same focus and care. He can apply some of his "quirks" from his OCD to practicing medicine.
He can turn his "flaws" into a superpower. He does need to work on that filter of his, though.
And if the hour wasn't already a good one, Jessica returned.
She looked so adorable in her wig. I only wish those at A Million Little Things would learn how to pick out a decent hairpiece.
Bell: You're with me today. Put her in six.
Jessica: No, you don't have to do that just to be nice.
Bell: Ask around. Nobody's ever accused me of being nice.
The unexpected friendship between Bell and Jessica is something you never thought you needed until they showcased it.
They're just going to keep giving us fun dynamics with success, eh?
Over to you, Resident Fanatics. Hit the comments below.
You can watch The Resident online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.