Mina stepped away for the hour so another queen could take center stage.
It felt as though The Resident Season 3 Episode 17 was a love letter honoring the Queen of Country, Dolly Parton, and it was glorious, heartwarming, and inspiring.
Is anyone else going to have her songs stuck in their head for days? No? Just me? Fair enough.
It was a bit of a filler hour, and sometimes those get a bad wrap. When done well, a filler installment can be quite enjoyable, and this was an example of that.
It picked up not long from where The Resident Season 3 Episode 16 left off with the wee baby needing heart surgery to save his life and Devon and Nadine at an impasse in their new relationship.
We got some closure with both of those storylines, and CoNic was in domestic bliss basking in the afterglow of their engagement while also keeping it under wraps for a bit.
It made sense that after Irving's grand, public gesture of sweeping Jessica off of her feet (or being swept off his based on her adorable tackle), they didn't want to steal their friends' thunder.
They wanted to keep their engagement quiet for a bit, and it suited them. But by the end of the hour, some of the guys noticed Nic's ring anyway, and you could tell they were happy for the couple.
In some news surprising no one, Conrad was a hit at the drag club, and it was a good thing he was there for the evening. Doll E's performance was going well, but then she nearly collapsed onstage.
What unfolded from there was such a heartening case. Joe's calcium issues and potential for pancreatic cancer, and so forth was a lot to deal with, but his fear of losing his voice, and his connection to both Ezra and Bell are what endeared.
It was difficult to pay attention to the medical aspect of his conditions as issues because of how easy it was to get wrapped up in the heart and feel of it.
Bell: I wish you'd reconsider.
Joe: You're a dear, but I will take whatever time I have left as the full and complete Doll E. If I die young like my daddy. Well So be it.
We haven't learned much or seen Ezra since we discovered he has OCD, but he's become such a wholesome character compared to the insensitive individual we met before.
He lived for the drag shows and was obsessed with Doll E Wood. For someone who had reservations about the patient care aspect of medicine, he was such a warm, comforting figure in Joe's corner throughout the case.
When he held his hand, you knew the significance of it for Ezra, not only as someone who has issues with interacting with others and patient care, but also, with someone who struggles with OCD.
He was invested in this case, and he wanted to be part of every aspect of it. Bell saw that, and despite a couple of hiccups, they worked well together.
Brown: My surgery, my patient.
AJ: You are not fit to operate. Clamps to me. Now.
It was also nice to see Bell mentoring someone again. We haven't witnessed that in some time, and he's good at it. He looked like he missed it too.
It's interesting how it takes an installment like this to make some headway in character development for a character usually relegated to the background. It's what the hour did for Ezra.
But Joe and Bell's connection was the most sincere and engaging from the second Bell assumed the real Dolly Parton was in the ER to him watching Joe's show.
It was another one of those cases where Bell wore his heart on his sleeve, and not only was how skilled he is at his craft on display, but his bedside manner and humanity was too.
It's starting to get redundant speaking so highly of Bell's praises and his progress, especially during this season, but he's so damn fantastic.
Is anyone else wondering if we're going to get a more personal Bell story arc coming up? We've gotten familial arcs for nearly all the main characters now. We've met everyone's family in some way or another.
Bell has spoken about his father and his past a few times, and I wonder if it's an opportunity to catch glimpses of this complicated man and ground him a bit or if is it leading to something more?
Bell spoke about how his father raised him on Dolly Parton, and it was another one of those fond memories he has of what sounds like a good man.
Devon: Is it me, or is she a little off?
AJ: It's not the surgical star Torres led us to believe.
He used that to connect with Joe, who spoke of his father doing the same. Joe's monologue about his father's acceptance was one of the best of the hour.
It was also one of the most emotional scenes. His father was a pastor, and he hoped Joe would follow in his footsteps.
He could've rejected Joe; he broached the topic of conversion therapy, for starters, but he accepted his son. He stood by his son, and he lived as a real Christian would until the day he died.
Family has been such a prominent theme of the season for our main characters and many of the cases, too, and the series has done a phenomenal job capturing how complicated family can be.
I was thrilled that Bell persuaded Joe to have the surgery done, and Ezra was cute as a button using Dolly's quotes on Joe.
And maybe he didn't have his voice back at high-velocity, and he had to lip-sync, but he's still fabulous, and he's alive, and he brought joy to people's lives and smiles to their faces.
The Raptor and Devon working together brought a smile to mine, since once again, there is not a single combination of characters on this series I don't adore working together.
Dr. Brown's story isn't unlike others, and it's commendable the series explored this angle again. Addiction in various forms is common enough in a highly stressful job, like practicing medicine.
Brown: The fact is unless you let me drink, I will not be able to help you with the surgery.
AJ: We gotta get her a drink.
Devon: No way!
AJ: There is no other option, Pravesh.
She was one of the best in her field, but she was a functioning alcoholic, and she needed help.
They say alcohol withdrawal is one of the most dangerous of them all, and it can even get deadly. You never think of it in that way, but it's true.
It wasn't a matter of Brown being drunk and reckless and nearly costing the baby his life during surgery. It was her withdrawal that caused her shaky hands and got her all screwed up.
As a functioning alcoholic, she actually needed drinks to operate. As much as everything in you would tell you this woman shouldn't be taking shots before performing delicate surgery on an infant, it was the best solution given their circumstances.
I'm grateful for your help, Dr. Brown. But surgeon to surgeon, I really hope you seek help yourself. I don't have to tell you that alcoholism is a disease, but there are treatment programs for doctors. I know our system looks away. We live in a culture that discourages asking for help and speaking up. It makes it very easy to self-destruct, but you have a gift, and you have patients who need you.AJ
AJ took the necessary precautions and had her talk him through the surgery instead, but it was the best shot the baby had at surviving. It was a harrowing surgery, and Brown was right about AJ adding pediatric cardiothoracic surgery to his repertoire.
AJ had some compassionate, encouraging, and a bit tough words for Brown.
Maybe it was the rumble of his voice or the realization that Brown was an exceptional doctor and her alcoholism was something she attempted to manage, but his words and the way the series addressed it made you cast judgment aside.
It's easy to despise this woman for being an alcoholic and posing a threat to patients. However, it wasn't a storyline that vilified the addict, but it also made her take accountability, too.
This is way beyond even my exceptional abilities. This surgery has maybe a five percent success rate.AJ
You don't get nuance like that with storylines of this nature much anymore. After her experience, you do not doubt that she may look into help this time. It would be a waste of her talent and a disservice if she didn't.
The hour also gave us Conrad beating the crap out of a sex trafficker, and it was hot. Violence isn't the answer and all that good stuff, but sometimes it is, and it really was hot AF.
Anyway, Jesse Luken guest-starred as Marcus, and he has a solid history of being good at playing bad or sketchy characters, so the second they showed him, you knew something was up.
The sex-trafficking storyline was something important to showcase, and the only downside to it was that it was the B- to C-list storyline in a case-heavy hour.
Yvette: Marcus said that I was ruined and that I belonged to him. He said that no one would ever love me except him.
Nic: You know none of that is true, right? And you are not ruined.
Conrad: And you're safe now, and you don't have to do that anymore.
Yvette: I hate it. I hate all of it. He said he'd kill me. He'd kill my whole family if I ever told anyone.
It may be bias coming through, since it's one of those topics that pique's my interest and always has, but a full hour dedicated to a case like that would've been awesome.
It's such an important issue to dissect, and it's no surprise The Resident covered it. Atlanta is one of the biggest hotbeds for it, and coming from another area where it's a hotbed, I was familar with the situation and drawn to this storyline. I could've watched an entire hour focusing on it.
It also was wrapped up in happily and easily. It was good for the soul and satisfying, but idealistic more than realistic.
Desiree Ross (from Greenleaf) gave a heartwrenching performance when she broke down in the room after Nic and Conrad got her away from Marcus. My eyes teared up when she showed off her brand.
Your heart went out for the young woman. She was a victim, but all she could do was blame herself for getting hoodwinked and captured.
Nic: You were a child, and you're blameless for what happened to you. Go take your life back. It's not going to be easy, but I promise you can do it.
Yvette: I've been in and out of hospitals a bunch of times, and no one has ever taken the time to help me so thank you.
She didn't behave any differently than pissed off and emotional teens, but wanting to run away and talking to someone online led her into the arms of a sex trafficking ring.
Her life hadn't been the same since, and from her medical history, she had endured a lot. Conrad beating the hell out of Marcus was cathartic. What a scumbag!
It was a relief that Nic took on the case despite it being her day off. Irving is a gifted doctor, but sadly, it's doubtful he would've paid that much attention to all the little signs and followed up the way Nic did.
Sex-trafficking is so prominent there are now programs to teach certain people in various fields how to spot the signs for it and how to respond when facing it. Nic did everything right, and thankfully, she and Conrad have set Yvette on the path toward healing.
Nadine: Devon, my father wants me to leave Atlanta and return home tomorrow. He's not just my father, he's my king. There is no decision that needs to be made.
Devon: Is this what you want?
Nadine: I can't put my own wishes before my obligation to my people.
Yvette's reunion with her mother was sweet, and she now has support to help her through this and get her life back. It was a happy ending for her.
Devon and Nadine didn't have the perfect happy ending, but it worked out as expected. It would've been nice if Nadine elaborated more on why going back home and honoring her father, the king, and her people, was so important.
For some of us, we get so caught up on thinking of things from a Western civilization perspective, but as important as Nadine's music was to her, she also revealed a bit how much she loves her people.
They are vital to her as well, and she took her duty seriously, and yes, V, it is refreshing to have her commitments be about something she values more so than her father holding her back.
Nadine: This isn't over.
Devon: I know.
She made Devon an offer via her father. He could come to her country and join their best hospitals. For Devon, for now, Chastain is his home. He doesn't plan on going anywhere.
Their relationship happened so quickly, and I assume most of it was offscreen more than on, so it was a heck of an offer for something that maybe wasn't serious.
It didn't appear that Devon even considered the offer. He was more content with spending some time with Nadine before she left, and it works for them.
Over to you, Resident Fanatics. What did you think of this hour?
Which case had you the most invested? Do you like these tidbits of Bell's past? Do you think they're leading anywhere? 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.