One of the standout storylines of The Resident Season 5 Episode 9 was Conrad and Trevor treating a patient who refused care, and it felt very timely.
Our Resident Round Table, Carissa Pavlica, Leora W., Laura Nowak, and Meaghan Frey, discuss the topical storylines, Trevor's behavior, and their concerns for Bell.
Join the discussion below.
What are your thoughts on the Wyatt case? Did the series handle the subject matter well?
Carissa: That was really tough. Although it seemed like they used him as an anti-vaxxer without specifically going there, the guy had much bigger issues.
No matter the reason, he scrambled for another if he was proven wrong. It wasn't that his status was lucky. It wasn't his religion. It wasn't his distrust of questionable metals.
His issues went much deeper, so deep that he couldn't pinpoint any one reason he refused treatment.
They started getting preachy, and then they leaned away from it so that this case was far more nuanced than the peek at overworked caregivers. Although, you could say they continued that storyline with the entire staff burnt out.
Leora: I agree with Carissa about them using this to address anti-vaxxers, and I think they were just the right mix of subtle and obvious about it. I don't think it was just one reason, but that can be true in real life.
When he brought in religion, I kept wondering if they would bring in a religious leader of his faith to talk to him (or Padma, the spiritual sister), but I guess that didn't occur to them.
It worked well that they couldn't convince him because as relieved as we would be, nobody really knows how to persuade people like that in this day and age, which was kind of the whole point. If they had a solution, I don't think their first step would be putting it on TV. Then again, maybe it would be.
As for Wyatt himself, he was a sweet guy, and I felt sorry for him. I am glad they didn't have him declared mentally unfit, though, because that is not fair to do to someone, even in that kind of situation. I kind of judged Conrad a bit for trying it, to be honest.
Meaghan: While I think anti-vaxxers were probably the primary target, I think they were trying to address the more broad issue of distrust in science/medicine that has been even more prominent since COVID. I genuinely don't think Wyatt had a real reason other than that distrust which is even more difficult than if there was a reason.
Like Leora said, unfortunately, when it comes down to that, it is often really hard to convince people, and as someone who works in healthcare, I can empathize with how frustrating it was for Conrad and Trevor. I think the show did a good job at balancing the preachiness of Trevor versus the more realistic views of Conrad.
Laura: I agree with Meaghan that while anti-vaxxers may have been the main target, this case felt like they were trying to cover an even broader distrust of medicine.
So many people are afraid of going to the doctor/hospital after COVID, and it's frustrating that they could've fixed Wyatt's problem by putting a pacemaker in. I think the Resident tried to balance being too preachy and too realistic, and I understood both views of Trevor and Conrad.
Do you feel Trevor is improving as a character under Conrad's tutelage? What's your opinion about his behavior with Conrad and the patient throughout the hour?
Carissa: He MAY improve, but he's got so far to go that I can't make that call yet. It's clear that he's never experienced death, which is a challenging place to be as a physician in charge of saving lives, especially within the parameters that Conrad taught him about with Wyatt.
Trevor leans too much on outward appearances, meaning how someone is pegged. Conrad, as the rebel, comes with much more depth than Trevor expected.
If his tears were of frustration, he's got a lot to learn. If his tears were of sadness and understanding of what lies ahead of him in his career, then he's on the right track.
Leora: Trevor was more tolerable this episode. His main issue is his lack of bedside manner. He can't see things from the patient's perspective, which is kind of the opposite of how he was with his friend, the addict he kept defending. But I guess a friend is a friend and a patient is a patient.
I'm still pissed at him about what he did with that other alcoholic in that other episode, but aside from that, I don't think he's so bad. I caught what they were doing with Bell and compared him to Conrad.
The thing is, I don't see him as Conrad. Conrad always had a bedside manner because he was always about the patient first. He argued with the doctors, not the patients.
I was worried about how the writers said that Conrad would be regressing to renegade status without Nic. I was terrified Trevor would be a bad influence on him and drive him to cross the line. I suppose I should have had more faith.
Conrad and Trevor's dynamic is fine, but I don't want to see Conrad mentor Trevor. Conrad makes a great mentor, but Trevor already has AJ, plus now Devon is the new Conrad, so he should be mentoring someone. Conrad already has Devon as his puppy. Let Trevor be someone else's puppy.
Meaghan: Trevor is young and inexperienced. With more time, he could end up being a much less grating character, but if it takes too long, it will end up being a Cain situation.
Given that AJ was already becoming a mentor figure for him before the time jump, I wish they had just let him have the character growth during the time we didn't get to see.
I agree with Leora! AJ should be continuing the mentor role, not Conrad. I actually think it's weird that they are going that route, given they made a point to set up him and AJ before the jump.
Laura: Trevor has been tolerable the last two episodes. He has a heart, but he's still too inexperienced. Like the others, I'm more interested in seeing AJ mentor Trevor than Conrad. Conrad has already mentored Devon.
Did you appreciate the hour devoting time to acknowledging burnout among the staff? Where do you think this storyline is going?
Carissa: As I said previously, it seems like a continuation of the caregiver burnout storyline. They've come through COVID and are a few years past it, so I'm not sure of the point.
Is it a stressful job? Yes. But don't we all get burnt out and lose passion for things when we've been doing them for so long? Of course, we do. It's not special to physicians.
I'd say that the rewards through caring for others far exceed what we normies experience, so it might be easier to cling to job satisfaction with higher emotional rewards. And I have no idea where it's heading.
Leora: I have to disagree, Carissa. Yes, we all get burnout, but I recall Jasmine and V talking about how suicide rates for healthcare givers are off the chart long before COVID, back when Bradley tried to kill himself.
It's an incredibly stressful profession, and yes, it's rewarding, but that also means there is more pressure. If you pause to take care of yourself, you don't just risk getting in trouble with your boss; you risk someone's life.
And even if you do everything perfectly, you see so much death and disease. It's not an easy job by any stretch of the imagination, and the way that none of them had time for self-care because they had to take care of other people was so clear in those scenes with Padma.
Jasmine has been talking about Irving's shift in character lately, and I wouldn't be surprised if they made him the poster boy for what happens when burnout goes too far for a healthcare worker.
Technically, he is a secondary character, much as we love him, and if they have to sacrifice somebody from the cast, we know it won't be Kit or AJ. At least, we hope it won't be.
Meaghan: I agree with Carissa that, yes, burnout isn't just for the medical field, but given that The Resident is a medical show, they will highlight those specific struggles. There has definitely been a migration away from bedside for all healthcare professions, especially since COVID.
Like Leora discussed, there is a lot of pressure on healthcare professionals. Often you are understaffed, overworked, and it's happening while being tasked with people's health. Then add in the lack of concern that many people in this country had for stopping the spread of COVID.
That directly impacted the healthcare professionals on the frontlines throughout the pandemic. Burnout out has to be addressed; otherwise, we will face critical shortages.
Laura: I think burnout is an important storyline, especially for Devon, since last year he saw his dad die from COVID, and he realizes so many other doctors are burnt out too. I'm not sure where it's headed, but I'm curious to see where it goes, especially for Devon and Kit.
Leela completed a surgery all on her own. React.
Carissa: It doesn't surprise me at all. She's very good at her job, and she just needed the right support for the accomplishment.
Leora: What I loved most was her and Jessica working together and supporting each other as females in the OR. We haven't seen Jessica in a while, have we? I missed her.
Meaghan: We all knew she would be amazing, but I couldn't help but be so proud of her. She needed that win after her parents delivered a major beatdown on her self-esteem.
Laura: We knew she could do it, and that gave her that added boost of confidence, as the others mentioned.
What do you think is happening with Bell, and are you concerned?
Carissa: I've got no idea what is going on with Bell, but I don't like it.
Of course, I'm concerned! He's my guy. He's come so far and changed so drastically that if he's put through the wringer, it will be hard to watch.
Thank goodness he's got Kit, but with her schedule, he might try to keep it from her. Nothing about this seems like it's heading in a good direction.
Leora: I'm concerned, but honestly, it never made sense that the termors just went away. Did they ever explain it?
He dealt with the issue once and overcame it somehow, but eventually, he knew this time would come, and he's not getting any younger. It's tragic if he can't cut anymore, but hopefully, they'll find some way to keep him in the story.
Meanwhile, I'm so proud of how he handled it in the OR. He made the right call, and then he went to Conrad. Such growth!
I hope that he isn't including Kit when he tells Conrad not to tell anyone because she needs to know. Communication is essential to a healthy relationship.
Meaghan: I was thinking the same thing as Leora. I couldn't for the life of me remember how Bell's tremors got treated before and was confused as to why he didn't just assume it was the same cause.
I'm so happy that he went to Conrad and acknowledged he needs help instead of trying to hide it like the last time.
Laura: I'm not sure what's going on with Bell, but I was so proud when he saw the hand tremors, stepped away from surgery, and then asked Conrad to run some tests. That is major growth on Bell's part. I hope he'll be alright. He's grown to be one of my favorite characters.
What was a standout moment, arc, or character from the hour? Is there anything else you'd love to address?
Carissa: Bell asking Conrad for help was pretty great, as was Conrad standing up for Wyatt against everything he believes. It wasn't an easy episode!
Leora: I liked Bell going to Conrad.
As for stray thoughts, Gigi's adorable, but I don't understand how someone who gets homecooked eggs every morning would prefer cold cereal.
Also, where was Billie this hour? I know I'm alone in this, but I missed her.
Meaghan: Leela kicking butt in the surgery and the other women in the OR rallying around her to help. It was a great moment for her character!
Laura: I loved Bell asking Conrad for help. Such growth in their relationship.
It was a lively discussion with our The Resident Round Table, and now it's your turn. Hit the comments below with all of your reactions and thoughts.
The midseason finale of The Resident airs Tuesday on FOX, and if you miss it, you can watch The Resident online!
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.