Where is Padma?
It was the lingering question by the end of The Resident Season 6 Episode 9 when AJ returned home with the twins to an empty apartment in disarray and his babies' mother gone.
The hour also saw Bell deciding to leave again after the stress from Betz's attacks caused his MS to flare-up.
For the most part, the hour was an underwhelming, mediocre installment that didn't leave much of an impression. Frankly, even while typing this, I've forgotten most of what transpired throughout it.
They keep picking up and randomly dropping continuity with storylines and threads to them, so we got a follow-up on Bell with the Betz situation this time. Then they revisited Padma's post-partum depression again, albeit briefly.
But we have no idea what's happening with the Sullivans, where things lie with Billie and Conrad, whether or not she's still seeing this new doctor, and whatever other storylines there are that have consumed the season.
Of course, maybe that's what made this hour at this late into the season stand out even more as a reminder that isn't much going on this season in the way of significant storylines, and most of them don't have much to do with the character's you'd expect.
You're his wife. You're not impartial!Wendy
Conrad doesn't have much going on with him this season outside of this love triangle business that they keep picking up and setting back down or dragging out.
And during this installment, he had screentime. Still, it wasn't particularly memorable when he got stuck working a case with some rendition of the Tiger King crew when Wolf and Crickets came into the ER after Wolf's apparent clawed wound from a jungle cat.
The two of them were idiots. Not telling anyone about all the animals they work with and withholding life-saving information was irritating. Wolf would've died ten times over if they didn't make the connection between his handling of scorpions and the venom causing an issue.
And by the end of the hour, not only was Conrad calling animal control on them satisfying, but it would've been more so if we saw someone hauling them away for causing a nuisance and boring a person to tears.
At least they were useful in getting Bell that moment in front of the cameras to show that he's a capable doctor who can think on the fly and save a life.
It was totally contrived and cheesy, and in this day and age, it probably wouldn't have done all that much good or dissuaded anyone from recognizing that two things can be true at once, assuming they bought into the article.
But it was still a good moment for Bell, if only for the great exchange between him and Conrad when Conrad reminded Bell that he trusts him with his life. They've come such a long way in their relationship, and little moments like that make you smile.
It was odd that they were filming without consent, and the way Bell was behaving, I didn't even buy that he would sign the consent forms, but if it does some good in the war against Betz, so be it.
Gina: What are the odds that Tessa's story has a happy ending now?
Devon: A lot less than this morning.
Betz intended the article to blow things up and ruin Bell and the hospital. And if Chastain could survive Lane, the killer Doctor, Quo Vadis, the Billie fuss, and the series of other controversies over the year, Bell's stint as HODAD nearly a decade ago is nothing.
Wendy, Tessa's daughter, and Sam, the robotics department guy Devon paired with, were reasonable for questioning and expressing concern over the Bell article and how that reflected on Chastain.
Tessa almost died too many times for her daughter not to get fiercely protective and desperate to ensure that her mother got the best quality and standard of care.
At the very least, anyone in her position would've wanted Bell off the case. The situation highlights the valid concerns about a hospital run by a CEO who is married to someone in a similar public scandal.
We know Bell enough to be on his side, but outsiders don't. And it would be a huge red flag if you can't even feel comfortable appealing to the higher authority at the hospital because they're married to the person in question or close to someone else who may be concerned.
It's not a normal situation, and one of the most realistic parts of the hour was Tessa's daughter not behaving as if it was and calling it out. Kit isn’t impartial when it comes to Bell. We've seen that often.
While it also made perfect sense how the hospital could take advantage of the position the tech company placed them in with this documentary, using it to salvage Bell's public image, it still sucked to hear them consider it.
Sadly, it stopped being about the patient and became about all this stuff with Bell. The whole thing left Bell feeling down about the situation and that it kept him from helping this lovely woman, but it also had him genuinely worried about the flare-ups he was experiencing.
And the case also was yet another way of showcasing how Devon isn't afraid to make the tough calls and the best ones for the betterment of his patient. He will always, no matter what put the patient first.
Fortunately, Kit came through as Bell's replacement. Billie and AJ were the dream team in the OR, as per usual. Leela did great, as per usual.
And Tessa got her titanium ribcage, survived the ordeal, and the partnership with the tech company is intact.
Sadly, all of this stress on Bell means he's back to Minnesota to go through some more treatment and figure out what these flare-ups may mean for the progression of his MS.
Conrad: Listen to me. I knew that man they wrote about in that article, and that's not you, not now.
Bell: I'm not so sure about that anymore for a number of reasons.
Conrad: I trust you with my life. After everything we've been through that has to mean something to you because it means something to me. I know you can save this man's life right now, come on, let's do it.
I hate to see him go. It deprives us of Bell basically becoming the lovable dad of the Chastain crew when he's there. It means we have limited Kitbell moments, and that pairing has been the glue that holds things together for a minute.
And it sucks that he has to leave on this note, with his MS hanging over him like the Sword of Damocles, this whole frustrating Betz situation rehashing a past that didn't even come up during Bell's stint as a celebrity, and Bruce Greenwood just being Bruce Greenwood.
Meanwhile, we checked in with Padma again, and she's no better than the last time. How are all these professional healthcare workers around her and not seeing how far gone she is?
The woman is a shell of her whimsical self. The apartment is always a mess. She never smiles anymore and looks at the twins like they've ruined her life every time we see her.
It's batty that her support system of doctors hasn't noticed enough to intervene in the best ways they can.
AJ took the kids for Padma to have a self-care day, but how often is that a thing for her? It sounded like the first time for it.
AJ's such an adorable dad, and his reaction to the twins losing their bracelets to distinguish them was hilarious. AJ wandering around the hospital with babies on his hips and in strollers is amusing and a far cry from The Raptor we met many moons ago.
Hundley taking on the task of caring for them and Irving charging him for babysitting were adorable moments. And the scene with Billie updating AJ about how well Trevor is doing and showcasing this softer side to her that may want motherhood and kids and so forth was sweet.
But the second they returned to that dark apartment, the ominous tone that casts over those moments came into play instantly.
Every time AJ sets foot inside, there's always a nagging fear that Padma will be in a poor state, unconscious or something, with her or the babies compromised or in a poor position, or she'd be gone.
And sure enough, it was the latter.
Who knows if this is a fakeout or if Padma has temporarily abandoned the kids for a bit. But sadly, it feels like everyone dropped the ball with her, so this was a predictable outcome.
And sadly, she went through all this trouble and insistence that she was ready for kids, and she had such a harsh, traumatic reality check that she isn't, and it's resulted in this.
Over to you, Resident Fanatics. What are your thoughts on the Padma situation? Are you upset that Bell is leaving again? Sound off 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.