FOX’s new medical drama ‘The Resident’ premiered on Jan. 21, and it’s already raising major questions about the characters. Is Dr. Bell really as great as everyone thinks he is?
A patient needs an appendectomy, so naturally chief of surgery Dr. Randolph Bell, (played by Star Trek: Into Darkness‘ Bruce Greenwood) is at the helm. He’s working diligently as music plays through an iPhone. “Did you guys know this is my first surgery with Dr. Bell?” a fellow doctor asks. The emergency room then becomes a photo-op, with surgeons taking selfies as Dr. Bell tries to calm his shaking hands. He tries again, but he cuts an artery as the patient starts to wake. Blood spews everywhere and he demands someone performs CPR. “CPR isn’t going to put all that blood back into his body,” another doctor responds. They declare the patient dead, and Dr. Bell tries to cover it up. At first, his colleagues resist, but he finally convinces them they’re on the same team. They decide to tell people he had a heart attack on the operating table. This is just the first 5 minutes of FOX’s new medical drama The Resident.
Devon Pravesh, played by Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Manish Dayal, just graduated from Harvard with a B.A. in medicine. He tightens his tie, kisses his girlfriend goodbye, and eagerly sets off for his first day at Chastain Park Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. Upon arriving, he spots Dr. Bell and excitedly introduces himself to the man deemed the best surgeon at the hospital. Devon’s all smiles until he gets a text that reads “Meet me in physical therapy. Try not to be a d*ck.”
In the physical therapy room, Devon finds his new boss: the scruffy, tattooed, hoodie-wearing, senior resident Dr. Conrad Hawkins, portrayed by Matt Czuchry, who you may recognize from Gilmore Girls. Conrad quickly starts teasing his new protege, which Devon takes in stride. That is, until Conrad clarifies they aren’t on the same page. “Everything you thought you knew about medicine is wrong. All the rules you follow, you’ll break. Only one rule covers everything — I’m never wrong,” Conrad lectures.
Devon thinks he can’t take the heat, so he finds Nurse “Nic” Nicolette (Emily VanCamp, a.k.a. Sharon Carter from the Captain America movies). He demands a new resident, and Nic calmly responds, “You got Conrad.” She jumps into an anecdote about a nice mechanic who tries everything in the book, only to tell you it’ll cost $1000 to fix everything. She compares this to a mechanic who’s rough around the edges, but takes one look at the vehicle, tightens a bolt, charges $5 and sends you on your way with a working car. “Watch and learn,” Nic says. “Conrad’s the guy who tightens the bolt.”
After Conrad sifts through a dating app and sees that Nic has set her profile to say “No Gamers. No Slackers. No Doctors,” he finds her and pulls her into an empty room. The pair starts kissing, and Nic says, “You think you can just kiss me and…” before the doctor cuts her off and tells her he’ll do anything it takes to get her back. The nurse tells him to undress before she starts kissing him again. But Nic isn’t fully ready to forgive Conrad for whatever he did wrong, so she slyly dips out and locks him in the room with his pants around his ankles. Well played, Nic!
The pair reunites again when Nic notifies the senior resident that his appendectomy patient died in surgery. “What happened?” he asks. “HODAD happened,” the nurse responds. Conrad seeks out Dr. Bell to figure out what could have possibly gone wrong during this routine surgery. “Undisclosed heart condition,” Dr. Bell says, but when Conrad tries to argue with him, the surgeon jumps into a story to shut him up. “A pretty young resident reported a fatal chemo overdose a couple years back. That good deed led to a lawsuit that cost the hospital millions. Tell me, Conrad, where is she today? Not here.”
Conrad finds Devon and Nic addressing a patient with severe gangrene. After his toe falls clean off, the senior resident announces they need to amputate the whole foot before a 21-year-old woman named Chloe is heard screaming in the hallway. The new admission has a history of drug use, and she needs medical attention STAT to address a deadly bacteria in her system. But right as Conrad gets her to cooperate, she faints onto the ground and a nurse exclaims they can’t get a pulse. Devon tries to pull out a book, but his superior slaps it out of his hand. After being asked what his first step should be, Devon realizes they need to try CPR. It’s not working, and Conrad tells him to stop, but he refuses. Eventually they get the patient’s heart to start working again, but it’s not what it seems. “She’s been without oxygen to her brain for 26 minutes,” Conrad seethes. “Congratulations. You got her heart beating again, but she’s brain dead!”
Elsewhere, Dr. Bell is introducing a new technology they’ve nicknamed “The Hand Of God” to financial donors. The machine is thought to eliminate human error and be the most efficient means of doing surgery. The device is operated by Dr. Mina Okafar (Shaunette Renée Wilson), who is a second year doctor with “the best hands in the business.” But when it comes to the first actual surgery, Dr. Bell insists he should be the one to conduct it, even though he’s never operated the device before. He threatens not to write Okafar’s recommendation letter for her visa if she doesn’t comply. Conrad, however, thinks that “HODAD” or “Hands of Death and Destruction” shouldn’t be allowed to conduct the surgery. He heightens the stakes by setting up a live stream of the surgery so Dr. Bell’s failure will be shown to the world. But the surgeon fakes the surgery, having Dr. Okafar operate it instead.
Conrad has assigned Devon to Lily, a cancer patient who’s been in and out of the hospital for months. When her blood pressure drops, Devon realizes he needs to make an incision, but he panics and asks Conrad to do it instead. “Be a doctor or go be something else,” he responds. Devon dives right in and saves his patient.
Finally Devon has made it to the end of his first shift. On his way out, Conrad shows him a photo of a 5-year-old girl who was diagnosed with cancer. “I gave her too much potassium,” the doctor explains about the patient he had when he was a first-year resident. “She died from me, not the cancer. If it were easy, everyone would be a doctor because this is the best job in the world, despite everything. Because of everything,” he says.
Conrad heads into Chloe’s room after her family finally leaves her side. He silences the alarm and turns the machine she’s hooked up to off right as Nic opens the door. He switches it back on and leaves the room as Nic stands by. Will he attempt to take the brain dead patient off life support again?
HollywoodLifers, what did you think of tonight’s episode of The Resident? Let us know!