Tuesday, October 8, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Resident' - Conrad and Devon Fight to Keep a Police Officer and Criminal Alive in 'Saints & Sinners'

FOX's The Resident - Episode 3.03 "Saints & Sinners"

When a police officer shows up to the ER with an injured criminal that he caught in the act, it's up to the Chastain staff to keep him alive in order to save an innocent life. Nic gets roped into a surgical rotation with Cain that leaves her questioning the way he operates. Conrad makes a shocking discovery about the hospital. Bell pursues a new fiscal venture that may bring him into a whole new market.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of FOX's The Resident.

"Saints & Sinners" was written by Todd Harthan & Andrew Chapman and directed by Paul McCrane

This hour opens with a police chase that seems destined to end at Chastain. Conrad senses that the moment he sees the breaking news on television. He is preparing for a potential lockdown of the hospital. Instead, the armed driver is a police officer transporting a criminal who has vital information about a potential hostage situation. As such, the perception of this story shifts significantly and quickly. In fact, Conrad bonds with this officer played by Alimi Balland, an always reliable character actor. This officer is almost blinded by the fact that someone could die the longer they wait to get information from this criminal. And yet, both people in this situation need life-saving surgeries. They have injuries that would be lethal if they didn't have the best doctors working on them. They both manage to survive because of the miraculous skills on display at Chastain. It's not the traditional story of the doctors having qualms about treating a criminal because of the acts he has done. Everyone knows that every patient demands the same standard of care. If that isn't equal across the board, then the entire system is subjected to unconscious and crippling bias. But Conrad and Devon prove to have wildly different reactions from all of this. Conrad is essentially fine with torturing a guy to get the necessary information out of him. He sympathizes with the officer in pain because he's a vet fighting to maintain the only career opportunity he has right now. Meanwhile, Devon sees the humanity on display and the need to offer clarity to the daughter who may also have a compromising health condition. They both have valid reactions. It just shows how far Conrad is willing to break the rules in order to do the most good for the most amount of people. It's dangerous and toxic though. It could create tension in his friendship with Devon who wants no part of it. And yet, Conrad still walks away with the understanding that it was all worth it in the end. He returns home to his loving girlfriend while the news reveals that everything worked out for the best with the hostage not being harmed. Conrad feels vindicated in that way. It may be an ugly character note for the audience to embrace though. And then, the narrative immediately whips to him being seen as a hero because he understands that something more may have gone on with Jessie's death. Nic saw the pulmonary embolism as a common side effect from surgery. Instead, it seems like the dialysis program at Chastain is broken which has lead to numerous deaths over the past month. That's tragic and horrifying. It means the medicine providing hope to these people is also creating the unique cause of their deaths. Conrad and Nic will stand united in figuring out what is wrong and trying to fix it so no one else dies. They have to care about all of this. But the show gives them a personal connection to the story with Jessie's death. That may be unnecessary melodrama in the narrative. But it's a powerful motivator as well even though it may be difficult to agree with all of Conrad's actions. It also provides clarity as to what the drive of the season may be. Right now, it has all been about the acquisition of Chastain by Red Rock. Cain operates a certain way by running multiple surgeries at once. He isn't grateful that Nic caught a mistake that proves his patient doesn't actually need surgery. In fact, he sees it as a waste of time and resources that could have been better spent elsewhere. Right after that outburst, he asks Nic to join his team. It doesn't come across as an enticing offer at all. And yet, the show needs someone to remain close with him in order to highlight the way he practices medicine and how that may be just as problematic as the abuses elsewhere. Meanwhile, Bell further becomes entangled with Grayson's family. This story is largely just being introduced here with Bell suddenly coming across as being well researched in the supplement market. It's rather expositional. Bell's prior adventures with Grayson and his mother have largely been comedic. That tone is still present here. It just no longer comes across as brief delights for his life. Now, it's bound to have more importance than ever before as he tries to become a household name as a doctor. The series opened with the suggestion that he already was. So, it seems to be backtracking a little bit. But this may not be an inherently bad direction for the character especially since he has diminished power at Chastain.