It's good to be back with the Chastain crew, old and new faces alike.
For the most part, The Resident Season 6 Episode 1 was an understated premiere, with most of the excitement focusing on Ian performing a risque surgery to save Padma and the twins.
And we got that balance of medicine with personal arcs, some of which set us up for the remainder of the season.
It took the entire installment and a few attempts and throwing us off (though it was so blatant the answer was foregone) before we learned who Conrad chose to pursue romantically.
It was the primary cliffhanger following The Resident Season 5 Episode 23, and it's not particularly surprising that he and Cade are dating.
Regardless of how anyone felt about one woman over the other, the series only developed the romantic prospects of one relationship in this supposed love triangle.
However, only after Conrad's clear choice does it feel as if this love triangle may fully kick into gear. Billie admitted that she and Conrad are the closest they've ever been, even alluding to their being best friends now.
They discuss Gigi as if they share joint custody of her or something, and we can see how affectionate she is with him now.
Her conversation with AJ made it seem like she settled into this new role as Conrad's best friend and nothing more. She wanted to tell him how she felt, but he left with Cade before she could get the words out.
But AJ is dangling a line of hope that if it's meant to be, Billie and Conrad will find their way to one another. It felt like they went out of their way to address the Nic aspect of it in some not remotely subtle dialogue.
And the biggest conclusion one can draw from that is the notion that Billie and Conrad could be some form of an endgame. It feels like the potential pairing is in "not yet" territory rather than "not ever."
AJ: OK, so I don't get it. Why didn't you tell him how you felt about him.
Billie: Maybe I did.
AJ: No, because if you did, he would be with you right now.
Billie: I doubt that. Kit and Bell's engagement party I had my speech prepared but Conrad left with Cade before I get a word out.
AJ: Ah, that's painful. You missed the moment.
Bille: But there's an upside... Conrad and I closer than we've ever been. We're best friends.
AJ: Ouch. My take, Conrad chose Cade thinking you weren't interested because you're Nic's best friend. He figured that was a line you wouldn't cross and you allowed him to think that because you would never cross it.
Billie: Now it's too late.
AJ: No. It's never too late to win the love of your life back.
If they spend the season building on that dynamic more, it'll feel more like a love triangle than it was presumed to be. Even if it's a bit hard to grasp that Conrad is "the love of Billie's life" as AJ implied.
But it's also awkward. Of course, there was no feasible way they could deliver a Conrad and Billie pairing just yet based on what they gave us before. However, it's also hard to see Billie pining after Conrad.
Something tells me this love triangle will be widely discussed at great length for the entire season. It's only the beginning.
It'll also be one of those things that will inevitably spill into their work life. You could tell Billie was showing some restraint over the situation with Cierra.
In that sense, you couldn't blame her for getting annoyed that Cade's preconcieved notion about a budding chef being an addict could've cost the woman her life.
And Conrad didn't question it or stick to his gut instinct to call Billie for a consult. He was more familiar with Cierra. Not only was she an accident-prone woman who appeared in the ER enough times to become a regular, but she was friendly enough and brought them food.
He had that level of familiarity with her that you can always expect from Conrad, so it was genuinely odd that he didn't push back on the notion that she could've been taking something to help her in the high-stress and energy culinary field.
Instead of drug abuse, the poor woman had a parasite egg in her head!
The parasite from a food angle is damn near a staple for any medical or emergency series, but it doesn't get any easier to watch, and it sure as hell will make a person shudder every single time.
Personally, there may be a pork cleanse soon.
It was a wacky medical case to balance out the high stress of Padma and the twins fighting for their lives.
The Devi-Pravesh-Austin, three doctors, and a hippie family/pregnancy situation still takes some getting used to; they're just one big, non-traditional family.
Their hearts don't sound the same. They're identical, their hearts should be identical.Padma
Never in a million years could anyone have anticipated this scenario seasons ago. But the foursome celebrating all of their accomplishments and fretting over the well-being of the twins dominated most of the hour.
They're all in this uncharted territory. AJ and Padma are not romantically a couple, but they're a unit now because of these babies.
Leela didn't want children, but she frets and panics like they're going to hers too, and Devon is dragged into this mix to such a degree that sometimes it's easy to forget that he isn't the sperm donor himself.
It feels like some weird poly-cest situation without the "fun."
Clearly, these babies will need the love of all of these people, each of whom can bring something different to the mix. Padma still comes across as a bit flaky and woefully unprepared for what comes next.
She has whimsical takes on certain procedures and forgot to attend prenatal appointments. AJ tries not to micromanage everything, but goodness only knows what things would be like if he weren't an active force in all of this.
It's always lovely to see the Chastain crew rally around each other and their loved ones. They've all lost too much not to drop everything to help when one of their own needs it.
If Ian wasn't an official member of the Chastain family before, he was when he pulled off a miracle with his fetal surgery that had everyone marveling and on the edge of their seats.
Ian: There is an 80% chance that the smaller twin will die.
Devon: And the larger baby?
Ian: 50/50. If we don't do the procedure, both of them will die.
The TTDS diagnosis sounded horrific. It's bad enough when there's a risk of losing one baby, but both? How devastating!
Once Padma started mirroring the symptoms of her distressed babies, you knew that the odds were dwindling by the second. But this whole case introduced some of what will likely be primary issues throughout the season.
The storm was pure bad luck, and them having to pull a Hail Mary with fetal equipment from a teaching hospital gave Ian his chance to shine truly.
The surgery brought the most intensity of everything that happened during the hour, and those scenes had me glued to the screen the most.
The stakes were high, and the potential outcome wasn't overtly predictable. You could feed off the pressure Ian was under, which made you hold your breath, especially when Padma started bleeding out in her uterus, and no one could see anything.
Ian managed to pull off the impossible, and for Padma and Co.'s sake, that's a relief. But his drug habit is concerning. We found out his cancer didn't metastasize, which is good, and he's in the best possible state.
However, he's dependent on substances now -- a functioning pill popper, and if that's what he needs to get through the day, he desperately needs some help.
It was interesting that Cade assumed Cierra was an addict, but her father's pill-popping slid under the radar for her until the end.
But it's not uncommon for people to only see what they want. Based on that session with Ian's oncologist, the Sullivans are in a good place in their relationship these days. Understandably, Cade wants to latch onto that and not let go.
Now that she's noticing, she can't and likely won't let it go unaddressed.
Ian may be the newest rockstar at Chastain, but that comes with more pressure and stress to keep up and abuse of substances to manage.
He's great in the field, though, and I can't wait to see more of what he can do. Of course, Kit will need to get him better resources if she hopes to take full advantage of having him.
To reiterate, some of the dialogue was absolutely cringeworthy because of the lack of subtlety. The constant political digs had no finesse and were forced, and the dialogue was too clunky.
But it's apparent that funding will be a primary issue for them this season. Chastain is a public hospital, so they don't have the resources that other facilities have.
Without funding and resources, it hamstrings them, keeps them from practicing medicine to the best of their abilities, or hinders their life-changing opportunities.
Devon found that out when his diabetic trial he had worked so hard on fell through because the sponsor wanted to pour all their money into a hospital with better equipment and resources.
Conrad: He barely blinked. How did he do that?
Cade: I don't know.
Padma almost died because they couldn't ship her out to a nearby facility better equipped for fetal medicine. It doesn't matter if they have the best doctors if those doctors aren't in an environment or don't have the resources or funding to thrive.
And with the potential for more slashes to healthcare based on whoever wins the election, Chastain is under constant strain. It's definitely worth exploring, and what this series does well, so I look forward to how they continue exploring that as the season progresses.
But we have to shout out to Bell, who is doing well in his treatment and was able to use his connections to get Ian the equipment he needed, even though Bell was miles and miles away for his own clinical trial.
Kitbell is the forever goals. They stop at nothing to come through for their hospital and friends.
Bell needs to hurry up and get back because we need the Kitbell wedding as soon as possible!
And there will never be enough moments of Conrad and Gigi. She's precious, and he was serving up the DILF of Chastain energy throughout the installment.
Over to you, Resident Fanatics. What did you think of Conrad's romantic choice? Is Ian's addiction concerning to you? Sound off below.
You can watch The Resident online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is an insomniac who spends late nights and early mornings binge-watching way too many shows and binge-drinking way too much tea. Her eclectic taste makes her an unpredictable viewer with an appreciation for complex characters, diverse representation, dynamic duos, compelling stories, and guilty pleasures. You'll definitely find her obsessively live-tweeting, waxing poetic, and chatting up fellow Fanatics and readers. Follow her on X.