After an emotional premiere, The Resident Season 4 Episode 2 jumped back into the fray with multiple cases and personal arcs. You could say it was business as usual, except, of course, some of the latest developments are massive.
For starters, fans have barely settled into a CoNic marriage. Now, we're expecting a CoNic baby.
How does everyone feel about that shocker? The thing about Conrad and Nic is it feels as though they've been married the entire time anyway. No one doubted their endgame status, and it all came down to when they would make it official.
And yet, despite viewers seeing the couple together for most of the series and knowing their extensive history, springing a baby on them this soon after their wedding feels sudden.
We'll set aside this reviewer's personal feelings about baby plots, which leans closer to the "please, no" more than the "give it to me."
A CoNic pregnancy right at this second feels like it's too much of a good thing. It's like the perfect apple pie, and then the cap to the cinnamon pops off when you're trying to sprinkle a little something extra and dumps too much of something good all over everything.
It would've been nice to spend some time with CoNic in their actual honeymoon phase before diving into more responsibilities and reality. Of course, there's also a matter of wondering if it's official or will we be holding our breaths, hoping that something terrible doesn't happen?
Nic has previously miscarried, and they lost a baby pre-series that we learned about during some flashbacks. The show probably won't go down the same path, but it's not above stressing us out with the fear of it.
Conrad: Oh my God, you're going to be the best mother ever!
Nic: You're going to be the best dad.
And it's something that will lead to some conversations, feelings, and more. Nic revealing the pregnancy test to Conrad was a surprising scene.
And it came after Conrad spoke about secrecy among the congresswoman and her husband and how difficult a time Devon is having after losing his father.
Congratulations to the happy couple (and all the excited fans), though! Conrad and Nic both had rough childhoods, so a baby means they'll have the opportunity to do something right and give their kid the childhood they didn't have. They both will make excellent parents.
The Post-COVID world is treating Conrad and Nic well, and they're deserving of happier times. It's something you can appreciate about how they go about executing these storylines in the aftermath of the pandemic.
I feel like we've done the research and the results are in. Sex is better when you're married.Conrad
The global crisis has changed everyone in some way or another. The Resident is capturing the real everyday life, human response to it all. CoNic survived the end of the world, so why not have a baby to celebrate?
Bell survived a deadly pandemic; why wouldn't he reevaluate his life, past, and relationships? He probably spent many days and nights watching people pass away while wondering who would be there for him when the time comes; what will people remember about him?
Who didn't have those types of deep, introspective thoughts at some point over the past year, no?
Kit, of course, supported and encouraged Bell; she's good that way.
Bell is always on a path toward growth, and he, of course, has one of the series' best (redemption) trajectories. An interesting personal arc is something that is working for him.
It's easy to envision the Randolph Bell we know now as a doting stepfather that some sweet middle-schooler would've affectionately called "Dolph."
It's harder to imagine the Randolph Bell of yesteryear displaying an ounce of paternal instinct. But he was part of Jake's life at one of the most critical times of a boy's childhood, and you know he left a lasting impression and influence on him.
Bell doesn't want to throw his ex under the bus, and it's understandable. However, telling the truth is the best thing he can do in this situation, even if it means explaining to Jake how Donna did not want them in communication with each other.
Seriously, 20 years go by, and you want to see what I'm up to? What do you want, Dolph?Jake
Donna wanted to protect her son, no doubt, but she didn't consider how damaging and awful it was to Jake that Bell just fell off the face of the earth after things went south. And from the sounds of matters, she didn't clear anything up either.
Jake carries a lot of anger and resentment toward Bell. And no matter what he says, there's no way him becoming a surgeon isn't because of his experience with Bell.
Conrad Ricamora is a pleasant addition to the season, and I'm looking forward to where the storyline goes with the How to Get Away with Murder star and Bell.
The Resident's track record of exploring the complexities of adult father/child dynamics and skillfully getting us invested and making us root for them is unmatched. Hopefully, Bell and Jake won't be any different in that sense.
And Devon, my goodness, the poor guy is still reeling from his father's death. It haunts him, and his first day back at the hospital after attending his father's memorial was a rough one for him.
He'd have moments when he attempted to carry on with his day as if it was any other, but then he'd see his father, and it would distract him.
It's heartbreaking that Devon is suffering this much, and it's stark compared to the lighter fare, happiness, and highs of the other characters. On the flip side, there's a beauty in the compelling storytelling that comes from this melancholy and heavy development.
The case with the congresswoman got to him. Nichelle was great, and it was adorable that Conrad and some of the others were huge fans of her. He was a total fanboy at their first encounter.
You lied to us. We have sick people out there who need our attention but we were stuck here wading through your nonsense.Devon
However, it was apparent from damn near the second James opened his mouth that he and Nichelle were fooling around. It was no surprise whatsoever that whatever was going on with her was connected to their illicit affair.
It was transparent as day, so Devon's frustrations were valid even if we weren't factoring in how hurtful and upsetting it was for him to know that Nichelle was getting a standard of care that his father didn't.
Conrad is an intuitive one, and kudos to him for waiting it out until Devon was able to talk things out with him while subtly caretaking and keeping an eye on him from the second he walked into the hospital.
He ran interference when Devon snapped at Nichelle, but hell, as a politician, she's probably heard worse, and he told her what she needed to hear. Apparently, she goes above and beyond to make some real differences and changes, so she didn't seem like the type who would get offended.
She didn't want her affair to get out, and it would ruin her career, but she almost died. She and Conrad connected well with each other, so she should've bitten the bullet and confided in him. She would've saved herself pain and time.
A fungal infection from Kentucky is a far cry from the parasitic worm she picked up in the Caribbean. I have never had such wanderlust and been so afraid of going literally anywhere anymore at the same time.
Everything Devon said was the truth, and his heart-aching account of visiting the hospital his father died in and talking to the doctor was such a powerful scene in the hour.
Conrad: She almost died keeping a secret. Anything you want to tell me?
Devon: After the memorial, I went to the hospital where my dad died. I found the resident who took care of him. He was a good guy, reminded me of you actually. They were understaffed -- too few vents, one nurse for every ten patients. We have a nurse for every two patients. They intubated him, he was stable 'til, like, 2 am. His Stat dropped, heart rate started to slow, ten minutes went by. And when they finally got to him, he was gone-- cardiac arrest. My father, he died alone because this public hospital in a poor Brown neighborhood didn't have enough resources to save him.
It speaks to the healthcare system and the stress and helplessness that those working within it are experiencing. The physician cried and told Devon that Mr. Pravesh isn't just that one patient he couldn't save. For that doctor, in a low-income, public hospital, treating mostly disenfranchised communities, most of his cases are like that.
And while Chastain isn't perfect, and every day they're fighting a new battle, the distinction between the level of care they can provide at Chastain versus that of a public hospital in an urban community elsewhere was eye-opening for Devon.
We were fortunate enough to speak to Manish Dayal about this and how Devon will take this and apply it to become a better doctor. It's an arc that the actor was passionate about when speaking of it and its importance.
Of course, Dayal was fantastic, especially during that Devon and Conrad scene, and I look forward to how this will play out when things are shifting around at Chastain.
When the resident was rereading his notes he started to cry, and I said to him," look, we all have that patient we know we could've saved," and he said to me, "if only it had just been one," There had been dozens.Devon
Kit is relentless in the best possible way, and I love her for it. She went in and didn't mince words when she spoke to the board about how Logan handled the pandemic. Cain backed Logan, of course, and then Conrad told the truth.
But Conrad is such a sneak. He knew telling the board about the PPE would get Logan in trouble. Sure enough, Red Rock didn't care about anything else; it was that one decision Logan made that cost him the job.
No one will miss him, but again, it's always a matter of "better the devil you know." He's out as CEO, and there's no replacement. Kit damn near pitched a tent outside of the Red Rock guy's (played by the fabulous Kerr Smith) office, hoping to find out something.
Chastain doesn't have a CEO right now, and it doesn't sound like they will. But that means that they're at risk of shutting down if so, and good grief, this hospital can never catch a break.
Logan: You just stabbed me in the back.
Conrad: I told the truth.
Logan: the truth you knew would get me fired.
Conrad: No, I told them you did a good thing. You listened to your better instincts when you got the PPE, so I appealed to theirs.
Logan is out, but we're still stuck with Cain and his bullshit. As expected, the elective surgery he performed during the pandemic nearly cost Ben his life, and it's about to cost the hospital.
Ben's case was enraging, and it's all because of Cain. The man learns nothing from his previous experiences, and what do you do with that?
Ben contracted COVID from coming into the hospital for a surgery he didn't need at the time, and it led to a clotting condition that nearly killed him. And Cain didn't give a single, solitary damn.
It used to be a case where Cain always seemed to luck up, so he never had reason to get his act together. However, we've seen him face some losses and screw things up, and that hasn't affected him much to matter.
Mina: Ben Mullins has a clotting disorder that is threatening his heart, lungs, and now his brain. This is your fault.
Cain: I know the hierarchy between you two is fluid, but I will not be spoken to that way by a resident.
It's as clear as day that regardless of how great a surgeon he is, he shouldn't carry on like this without repercussions. And yet, the second AJ was there to call him out, Cain chastised him in the name of The Culture.
Cain is a classic manipulator and a gaslighter, and he knows how to get under people's skin and work things to his advantage. He deflected from his actions by conjuring up the convoluted mess that is systemic racism to slither his way out of AJ's reach.
Now AJ is on some Cain redemption kick, and Mina is probably as frustrated as most of us are.
The problem with Cain's logic is that we've never really seen him give a damn about the culture or doing right by the Black community in any way. Cain has always been about himself, so to suddenly bring this up now for the sole purpose of challenging AJ is disingenuous as hell and irritating to watch overall.
AJ: I know I may look like I have stupid on my forehead but I see what's going on here.
Cain: Even if I did what you are accusing me of there are plenty of other White surgeries out there who did elective surgeries during COVID, why come after the only other prominent Black cutter? There are plenty of brothers I left behind because they weren't ready for the fight. Not once did it ever occurred to me to pick them off, but you're that one rising crab in a barrel who pulls the one above you right back in.
AJ: No, you got me wrong, bro. That's not my M.O. I don't want you gone, Barrett. I happen to find strength in our all too small brotherhood, but I'm about pushing each other to excel, to be more prepared, to be more skilled, so are talent can't be discounted.
By Cain's logic regarding how difficult it is navigating their field as Black men, you would think he'd be more inclined to mind his p's and q's because of how easily he'd get ousted or face harsher repercussions than his White counterparts. You'd expect him to be smarter about how many risks he's willing to take.
You'd expect Cain to understand that, unfortunately, everything he chooses to do tends to affect and reflect on other doctors who look like him. It's something he relishes when his face is plastered all over the hospital, billboards, and television.
It's something he gets when he's schmoozing it up with patients and their families but disregards when he's treating his colleagues and subordinates like crap or when he makes reckless, ignorant, terrifying decisions.
He implied that with enough green, that's the only color that will matter, but that doesn't change anything for others. Interestingly, he takes for granted that AJ and Mina should naturally be on his side, despite how much of a dick he is to both of them, because of solidarity.
Cain: It doesn't matter if we're better, we're always going to be discounted. It's about the money. Money is what they can't ignore, which is why I'm always going to be the top earner. That's the way the game is played.
AJ: Playing the game doesn't mean you have to lose your soul.
Cain: You do you, and I'll do me. Let the cards fall where they may.
He accused AJ of being a crab in the barrel, but where does he fit into that? Is he reaching back and helping others rise in any way? Is he actively working to help others? Because the cardinal rule is that if you can't help, then at least don't hurt, and he's failing on both fronts.
AJ said he understood Cain and that his view explains why he is the way he is, but it doesn't.
It gave AJ pause in a frustrating and deceptively effective way. Their scene also illuminated how conflicting and complex issues are within specific communities, and it showed the disadvantage when they're manipulated.
Mina: You're going to protect Cain. He's done so much harm.
AJ: Yeah, but in his mind, he's doing whatever he can to survive in a system that's been rigged against us.
Mina: So you think systemic racism excuses his behavior?
AJ: No, but it does explain it. The frustration, the pain, the anger that builds up, knowing that in this country, your life can go south at any moment just because of the melanin in your skin. I was raised not to let the unfairness of discrimination consume me, but if Cain wasn't taught that then can you blame him for how he turned out? What else do you expect?
The decision was easy for Mina, but AJ reminded her that her experience growing up outside of the States is still different than those who grew up here.
The only thing AJ missed was making comparasions and arguments. As much as we love Bell now (and some gave him the benefit of the doubt at his most treacherous), Chastain went years allowing him to kill people during surgery without doing much about it.
Bell's motivations shouldn't have mattered, nor his potential for redemption. His actions alone should've ended his career, but his privileges have protected him. On the other hand, Lane, probably one of the few leading women in her field, went down in flames.
She was made an example, and Cain would be too. If one is thinking of things from that perspective, then yeah, it would make AJ hesitate. He knows Cain is manipulating him, but he wouldn't want to be the person who takes down a fellow Black surgeon.
Listen to your mentor, Okafor. Stay in your lane.Cain
With all of the melanin in my body, I'm with Mina this, though; screw, Cain!
But alas, it's meant to be a conflict for AJ. If you say so, The Resident. It's a hard pass on the attempt to add cultural edification to Cain's "Cainess," and as much as I adore Chestnut and know they wouldn't want to lose him, they can still shove this Cain redemption arc.
He almost came between Mina and AJ, and that's simply unforgivable. They barreled full-speed ahead into the sexytimes, didn't they? Holy hotness and amen. Their opening scene was smoking hot, and after a full day of not seeing eye-to-eye, they still managed to be as endearing while calling for a break.
Mina doesn't want other people to know about them, and I get it. She's a rising star -- a badass, top resident, and she's dating her mentor and superior.
In an instant, someone will ignore her entire career, and they'll accuse her of sleeping her way to the top. Systemic sexism sucks too.
Mina: Had we recklessly hopped into bed two years ago, who knows where we'd be right now?
Mina: And we will restrain ourselves in public to keep this whatever it is private?
Mina: Are you just going to agree with everything I say? Please tell me you aren't losing your edge, Andre Jeremiah?
AJ: Oh, please. Losing my edge is the last thing you'd have to worry about Mina Okafor.
So far, the new stage in their relationship hasn't affected them at work. The pair always bickered and butted heads before, and now, it just seems like foreplay -- sexy, sexy foreplay.
And which name are we supposed to be using for AJ? Is it Andre or August?
Over to you, Resident Fanatics. How do you feel about a CoNic baby?! What's your impression of Jake? Do you agree with AJ about a potential Cain redemption? Hit the comments 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.