An intern’s first solo day, an unethical race to get a heart, and sassy Dr. Okafor–all in a day’s work for The Resident
The second episode of The Resident continued to build upon the premise of unethical secrets lurking the hospital halls of Chastain Park Memorial Hospital. In the midst of an inspirational school presentation, Conrad (Matt Czuchry) found himself rushing to the aid of the teacher, Micah (Patrick R. Walker), who appeared to be having a heart attack. Micah, a long-time patient of Conrad’s, suffers from a heart condition and had been waiting for two years for the perfect match. This perfect match presented itself at an opportune time with Micah being whisked off to the hospital. However, complications arose when Dr. Bell (Bruce Greenwood) presented with Congressman Dunlap (Lindsay Ayliffe), who was also in need of a heart transplant. As The Resident has already so unapologetically demonstrated, the bottom line always comes first. As a result, Micah’s heart was re-routed to the Congressman, because in Dr. Bell’s world it’s all about that cash money flow.
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Throughout the episode, Conrad fought tooth and nail to get the heart back for Micah–and dabbled in some questionable behavior himself. In an effort to retrieve the heart, he switched around blood samples of two patients which would falsely render the heart useless for the Congressman. However, the brain-dead patient from the first episode was thrown into the mix, who possessed vital organs that were also a match for Micah. A number of unethical actions/conversations later, both the Congressman and Micah ended up with hearts that saved their lives. This all came at the cost of Dr. Bell getting his way and once again, having Dr. Okafor (Shaunette Renee Wilson) perform surgery for him. Except for this time he labeled it as an “opportunity” for her, when in fact, his hand tremor was getting worse and he would have been unable to do the surgery on his own. Thankfully, after learning her lesson in the last episode, Dr. Okafor stood up to Dr. Bell–and it was glorious.
Devon (Manish Dayal) experienced his first solo day as an intern, and with the help of Nurse Nic (Emily VanCamp) survived it with flying colors–and didn’t hesitate to rub it in Conrad’s face. The episode also introduced Dr. Lane Hunter (Melina Kanakaredes), who may not hold the best intentions for the hospital or its patients–A.K.A. a female Dr. Bell.
A lot went down in this episode, right? Now, let’s meet our roundtable and get to discussing this week’s episode of The Resident!
Viki (@SterolineLight)- TV Show addict, editor of the first Hungarian The Resident fansite, dreamer
Jess (@mattczuchryff)- TV Nerd, Matt Czuchry FanForum Moderator since 2005
Amanda (@dudeamanda)- Writer, reader, and full-time TV watcher
Anam (@anamiii)- Writer, Activist, TV Junkie
Carlynn (@UpsteadRheese25)- I watch too much TV, and sometimes I live-tweet
1. Devon was put through the wringer on his “Independence Day”. How do you think he did and did he deserve to pass?
Viki (@SterolineLight): He was thrown in at the deep end, but he survived the difficulties. Especially if we consider he’s a rookie. He acted like a pro, even if he was scared a little, he could hide it. And at the end of the episode he wasn’t afraid to speak his mind, I think he kind of impressed Conrad and it’s definitely not a bad thing. He passed it and yes, he deserved it.
Jess (@mattczuchryff): I definitely think that Conrad was testing him, even with the argument they had in the bar. I don’t think Conrad is someone who trusts easily and he just wanted to make sure that Devon would deliver, even under pressure. Devon handled everything a lot better than I imagined and I loved that he stood up for himself at the end of the episode. I honestly think he gained a lot of respect with that. I am pretty sure that more tests will follow…
Amanda (@dudeamanda): I thought Devon handled himself really well. You could tell in the beginning, he was very overwhelmed, especially when he had to try and take notes from all the doctors. However, as the episode went on, you could tell he gained a ton of confidence in his medical skills. At the end of the episode, when he stood up to Conrad and defended his choices about the surgery, I gained a ton of respect for Devon. It was so refreshing to see someone stand up for their work.
Anam (@anamiii): They say that being thrown into the deep end is the quickest way to learn to swim. Devon started off well over his head not knowing what to do but he was able to pick things up quickly. Luckily for him, he had a ‘lifeguard’ – Nic – who was there to give him guidance as needed but as a whole, he did a good job. He made the tough calls and saved lives. He pulled through and yes, I think he did deserve a pass. I think that altercation with Conrad at the end is changing how his Resident sees him. He’s starting to gain more of Conrad’s respect and is becoming an asset to the team.
Carlynn (@UpsteadRheese25): Devon did well on his own. I liked seeing Nic helping Devon. I look forward to seeing Devon learn from Conrad. Yes, he deserves to pass.
2. There was a lot of controversy and shady business involving getting Micah a heart. Do you think Conrad did the right thing switching the blood samples or is he being hypocritical?
Viki: All he could think about was his patient. And it’s commendable. I think we all want a doctor who would do anything for us. But it was so reckless and it could have been worse. He was lucky, I am questioning whether it will be a lucky situation next time. But I know he won’t change. That’s who he is and no matter what, he will continue to play God. But for how long?
Jess: Conrad is walking a fine line between wrong and right and I definitely think he went too far last night. While I think it is admirable what he did, it was also completely wrong no matter how much I agreed with him about the unfairness of the situation. Conrad is someone who seems pretty arrogant and cocky at times but at the same time, he seems to connect with his patients on a deeper level (which we already witnessed with Lily). His patients trust him and he wants to repay them with doing everything he can, legal or not. During the episode, I really had the feeling that he would rather lose his job than let Micah die. It’s a dangerous game Conrad is playing and eventually, he will lose.
Amanda: I go back and forth on this issue. I know Conrad’s heart was in the right place, but it could have been very damaging for everyone, including Conrad himself. Doing something as illegal as switching the blood samples could have destroyed his career, which would have then put more of his patients in danger. I am so glad that everything worked out, but it will be interesting to see what other “illegal” things Conrad does throughout the season for the health of his patients.
Anam: This was a very risky move. He didn’t know how Bell would react and if it would work out. This is definitely something you should never do in real life since TV is generally more forgiving. So no I don’t think he made the right call there. It worked out and everyone is happy but at what cost? I do agree with Nic on this one, he shouldn’t have thrown a Hail Mary with people’s lives at stake.
Carlynn: I think he did the right thing for his patient Micah, in the end, both Micah and the VIP patient got the hearts they needed.
3. Yay, Melina Kanakaredes made her debut as Dr. Lane Hunter in The Resident! What are your initial thoughts about her character?
Viki: It’s not easy to describe her because I’m sure her character is beyond complex. It’s great to see her on my screen and Dr. Hunter seems interesting, but I wouldn’t draw far-reaching conclusions. I don’t really know if I put her in the “like” or in the “don’t like” line, but I can’t wait to see more.
Jess: I got a weird feeling from the first moment on and I don’t think it has much to do with her hanging around Dr. Bell so much. Although it does not help either. The way Nic acted and also questioned her decision about Lily makes me confident that I am not too far off. But hey if she really turns out to be a ‘bad’, I am all for it. You can never have enough female antagonists.
Amanda: My initial thoughts on Dr. Hunter, is that I need to keep an eye on her. Her actions throughout the episode are very “business first, patient second.” I am not really sure how I feel about that. While she had her likable moments, I am interested to see if she is going to be more of a “villain” than a “hero”.
Anam: Honestly, my initial thoughts were mainly she reminds me of Dr. Cuddy from House. The show itself is kind of House meets ER in a way. Regardless, Dr. Hunter did give off a bit of a Cuddy vibe. She has authority; she doesn’t dress in scrubs all the time. Add to that the uncanny resemblance she has to Lisa Edelstein and the character was screaming Cuddy. Her character, though, seems a bit shady. She’s not very forthcoming with the test results to show why she discharged a patient; her patients’ records are only kept at her clinic, etc. The whole thing was a little fishy. There’s no doubt that she’s a good doctor and respected, given the way Devon acted around her. I don’t think she’s going to be an antagonist though, she may add drama to the mix especially with Nic but I don’t see her doing anything too insane.
Carlynn: I think Dr. Lane Hunter is shady and is hiding something regarding her clinical trial. I didn’t like how she was rude to Nic just because she’s a doctor and Nic is a nurse.
4. Dr. Okafor is becoming quite the force to be reckoned with. How did you feel when she stood up to Dr. Bell and called him out for blackmailing her?
Viki: Can I hug her? I’m sure she would tell me to back off, but still. She’s so outspoken and she always tells what she thinks. I love it so much. And I’m sure that she will put him in his place eventually. Who knows? Maybe she will make him change, at least a little bit. Or am I too naive? I don’t know why, but I feel like Dr. Okafor may have an effect on Dr. Bell.
Jess: I applauded her. What a glorious moment, Dr. Bell definitely did not expect that, especially from her. Neither did I, but good for her. She can’t let him bully her or use her whenever he deems necessary. He actually looked impressed for a second.
Amanda: I love Dr. Okafor! She is such a character, and I love her “No BS” mentality. When she stood up to Dr. Bell, I stood up and cheered, no joke. She is one of the best surgeons this doctor has and deserves more than Dr. Bell using his power to manipulate her. One of the favorite parts of the episode, was when Conrad told her to help Bell with the Congressman’s heart surgery because it helped advance her career. Mina knows how to play the system, and I am glad that she is going up against Bell.
Anam: She’s easily one of my favorites! I love her no-f***-given attitude. She’s a brilliant surgeon; she’s one of the best as Conrad said in episode 1. She’s currently dealing with immigration issues and Bell took advantage to blackmail her with that. The fact that she’s like screw you the second time around is awesome. I love that she’s not going to let a white man get away with using her for his own personal gain. Given the changing environment right now with the Me Too and Times Up campaigns, this storyline is very current and relatable.
Carlynn: I’m glad she was standing up for herself. Dr. Bell shouldn’t be blackmailing her.
5. This episode highlighted how VIPs often get preference over others because of the ‘bottom line’. What are your thoughts on this type of system in the hospital setting?
Viki: I almost turned it off when I watched this conversation between Conrad and Dr. Bell. I hate seeing if something’s unfair and it definitely is. It’s so rough and gave me chills…not in a good way. I wish it’s not working like this and I have faith that it can change, but unfortunately, this is a terrible reality.
Jess: It makes me sad because I definitely can see that happening in a lot of hospitals, not just in the United States. Saving a VIP can benefit the hospital a lot more than any normal person ever could. And as harsh as it is, in the end, it really is all about the money.
Amanda: I’m sure if I was related to a “VIP”, I would love all the privilege they get. However, since I am just a normal human, I am not a fan. I believe you need to take care of those who deserve it. It has been really interesting to see the business side of the hospitals in this show. Making decisions that will benefit you, instead of the health of a patient has been really eye-opening.
Anam: I think it’s total BS. Healthcare should be the one field where your status doesn’t matter. Their job should be taking care of people who need it regardless of if they’re VIP or not. Now I did see that the doctors generally don’t care about VIP and will do whatever they need for their patient (RE Conrad switching the blood) but the administration cares more so about the bottom line. Healthcare is a business; hospital administrators are always going to run it like a business regardless of their medical pasts and that means VIPs get privileges and they find loopholes to do things like reallocating a heart.
Carlynn: It’s not right that VIPs get preference over others. Micah waited two years for a new heart while this VIP didn’t have to wait long.
6. That guy hitting on Dr. Okafor and then backing off when he found out she was a surgeon was strange, right? Do you think he was intimidated or was there something else going on there?
Viki: It was strange as hell. I said some not really nice things after he left without a word. Honestly, I have no idea why he was like that. Maybe he thought that a black woman can’t be a surgeon? If that’s the case, I want to slap him…or punch. Yes, that would be better. I mean seriously…he was into her, it was obvious. And he was ok with the thought that she’s a nurse, but then she told him that she’s a doctor and suddenly he lost his interest in Mina? Really? Jerk. But honestly, I don’t know what to think about it. I hope it’s something else that we’ll find out soon and it’s not because he hates independent and strong women.
Jess: I think the first thing that popped into my head during the scene was ‘Ouch, is he not man enough to date a doctor?’ Mina definitely doesn’t need guys like that anyway. It’s actually a disrespect to nurses too and I really wonder what Nic would have said if she had been near enough to hear the comment.
Amanda: I definitely think he was intimidated by her. When he found out she had such a huge profile career, you could see on his face that he felt less like a man. I believe he has a job that pays less than a surgeon, and he couldn’t handle being the breadwinner of the couple. Could there be something else going on? Maybe. But I truly believe he couldn’t handle her having a better job than him.
Anam: I’m pretty sure he was looking for an easy score that night. They were at a bar and there are guys that go to bars to pick up chicks. When she said, surgeon, he probably realized oh she was way out of my league and if she can survive surgical residency she’s not about to be an easy score. So yeah, he was intimidated. Can there be something else going on? Sure, but being a woman with a higher education and power is intimidating to boys. It’s something most women who are successful can attest to, so yeah I’m going with he’s a little scumbag that got intimidated by the surgeon.
Carlynn: Yes, that was strange, I think he was intimidated but there could be something else going on, I honestly have no idea.
7. Dr. Bell was up to his usual shady shenanigans in this episode. How did you feel when he tried to play off offering the splenectomy as an “opportunity” to Dr. Okafor?
Viki: It’s so rare that I hate a character immediately. But now it happened. Even when he breathes, I want to step on his head. Opportunity? Don’t make me laugh! His ego is bigger than the hospital. Dr. Okafor is a better surgeon, everyone knows it and deep inside he knows it. That’s why he wants to control her. At all costs, he wants to prove that he’s superior. I think this will not always be the case. So how did I feel? Like I said…I cannot stand him, and that scene didn’t help to change my mind.
Jess: It is something I mentioned on my board right after watching the episode. I fully believe that Dr. Bell would be an amazing teacher for Mina if he would just focus on that. I really loved the scene with them both in the OR and him explaining everything. The first moment I actually believed that behind his enormous ego, there is actually a decent doctor, teacher, and man. I want to see more of that even if I doubt that will happen anytime soon. Till then he will give Mina more ‘opportunities’ while everyone in the hospital and we as viewers will cross our fingers that he won’t kill someone again. But don’t doubt it will happen, because it is just a matter of time till the next surgery comes along and he might just kill his career or what is left of it, right with the innocent person on his table.
Amanda: I was disgusted, to be honest. I really dislike how he uses his power to get others to do the work he can no longer do. Instead of looking inside himself, he’s all about the money and power and then uses it to get exactly what he wants. Then when he has Dr. Okafor do the surgery at the end of the episode, he plays it off like he’s going to “teach her”. He is a guy who is full of himself and high on this idea of being in power, that he doesn’t see that what he’s doing, is causing more problems than opportunities in the hospital.
Anam: He’s a total sleazeball. I don’t like him. During his prime he was great but he’s got issues now, a shaky hand is dangerous. He’s killed multiple times. So much so that doctors and nurses know about this and try to avoid him as much as possible. This is reminiscent of when Richard Webber refused to let go control while he was dealing with his alcoholism on Grey’s Anatomy. He was the Derek Shepard of his time and didn’t want to give that up. But he had to for the patient’s safety. At the end of the day these doctors have all taken the Hippocratic Oath and if Dr. Bell is going to continue to operate knowing that he can’t he’s breaking that oath.That being said, trying to play off the splenectomy as an “opportunity” is beyond disrespectful to Dr. Okafor. Have the decency to ask if you need her to save you but playing it off like you’re doing her a favor is wrong. She doesn’t need your favors, you need hers.
Carlynn: Not good because the only reason he wants her help is so he doesn’t kill his patients, not to help her career at all. It’s not right because it’s blackmail.
Final Verdict: Their hearts were in the right places–we think.
The second episode of The Resident shifted the focus a little bit onto Conrad’s character as he teeter-tottered the line of ethics. In an effort to save a patient, he was willing to take the risk to secure a heart for Micah. However, this pushed the boundaries of ethics in a hospital setting and he came dangerously close to mimicking the behavior of Dr. Bell. However, Conrad’s intentions were pure and for the sake of his patient. In the two episodes thus far, Dr. Bell has shown no remorse or care for his patients and instead looks to seek his benefit from every situation. Does this make Conrad’s behavior acceptable and excusable? This is a debate worth having–and one that will dictate the narrative The Resident will take as the season progresses.
Devon’s outburst at the end of the episode was sexy, confident, and enabled him to prove that he is here to stay. Watching him nail his “Independence Day” was an extremely satisfying moment during this episode. His progression as an intern will be quite exciting as he makes his mark in the hospital hierarchy.
With the introduction of Dr. Lane Hunter, it appears things are about to get more complicated than they already have been on The Resident. Nic’s reluctance to work with her or trust Dr. Hunter’s judgment became very obvious and will present as a source of tension moving forward. Can Dr. Hunter be trusted? Or will she choose to rule the hospital as Dr. Bell does–always looking at the bottom line first, and patients second? We look forward to finding out!