Tuesday, November 26, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Resident' - The Staff at Chastain Find Comfort at the Hospital During Thanksgiving in 'Peking Duck Day'

FOX's The Resident - Episode 3.08 "Peking Duck Day"

Upon dubbing Thanksgiving "the most dangerous day of the year," Devon and Irving are inundated with patients in the ER. When an A-list celebrity enters the hospital after swallowing a wish bone, Logan Kim assigns a new surgeon to the case in the hopes of garnering extra publicity. Tensions run high at the Austin home when he hosts his biological and adoptive families for a Thanksgiving dinner. Kyle interrupts Nic and Conrad's low-key plans.

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.

"Peking Duck Day" was written by Elizabeth J.B. Klaviter & Michael Notarile and directed by David Crabtree

The staff at Chastain are a makeshift family. That's not really a novel approach to a workplace ensemble driven series. However, it's still fitting. It means that the characters would rather spend their holidays at work instead of with their families. That can be a relatable impulse. But it's also appreciated when the show delves into those complicated family relationships. Most of the time, it does come out of a medical crisis. Nic's life has been fraught with peril because of Jessie's numerous problems and her father's struggle to step up for his children. And now, Nic and Kyle are all that they have left for family. Nic would rather just enjoy a simply, sexy day with Conrad. That's how she wants to celebrate. She is still compassionate when her father stops by looking to connect. Sure, he may not know how to do that right now. They are both still grieving this tremendous loss. That is more apparent during the holidays. They understand who is no longer present to celebrate with them. Nic may be coping better because she has Conrad and understands more of the details of what contributed to Jessie's death. Meanwhile, Kyle is at home watching old videos in the dark. That's tragic and concerning. The audience should probably be worried about him even though he and Nic are closer than ever before. That is a reliably strong dynamic for both of them. Meanwhile, Conrad gets pulled into a medical crisis. AJ does as well. That makes it feel like more of a conventional episode for them. That's perfectly fine. The hour does spend a lot of time at Chastain giving its numerous characters medical storylines to delve into. It didn't necessarily have to be the thing that also gave AJ and Conrad purpose. They just needed that moment in which they could talk and return stronger to their respective loved ones. They save a young child's life. That is incredible. But it's just as important for AJ to put more of an effort into getting to know his new siblings. It's somewhat awkward to throw his biological and adoptive families together like this. It all feels a little sudden and forced. However, that is also the point. They sit in awkward silence in the beginning. The reason they have come together is AJ and he leaves before the meal even starts. He returns with a new perspective and willingness to make these family connections mean something. He comes back with a healthy outlook on what's possible. And yes, there is the reassurance that everything can evolve smoothly moving forward. Sure, his biological father and siblings are broad character constructs who aren't all that interesting at this point in time. It may not be worth AJ's efforts to get to know them better. However, that is something he is willing to do because he sees how important it can be. Of course, it's simply much more effective when the show has the doctor and nursing staff rally around Jessica so she can feel loved and supported during the holiday. Sure, it's strange that she feels abandoned after this huge accident that nearly killed her. But her bond with Irving is incredibly strong even though he doesn't care about football. He provides her with exactly what she needs. That is so uplifting and highlights the power that comes from this staff supporting each other. Of course, that may be relegated to the residents and nurses. For the higher ups, it's a battle for control wherein Bell is constantly having to prove a point to Logan Kim about the right way to conduct business in a hospital. It's a tug-of-war that doesn't always work. It too is broadly defined at times. But this story suggests that Bell should be widely supported in this ongoing conflict even though he has had his own share of failings when managing the hospital. This season just gives an outside group the position as the antagonists that everyone can rally against for the moment. That can be effective. It may just highlight how people with the medical expertise can actually relate and be in awe of each other in this environment. The people brought in to manage the profit margins may not actually be effective in advocating for patients and making the hospital the best version it can possibly be. That may be an oversimplification but it's also what the show is presenting right now.