Tuesday, March 24, 2020

REVIEW: 'The Resident' - Cain and Logan Try Their Best to Cover Up an Infectious Outbreak at the Hospital in 'Support System'

FOX's The Resident - Episode 3.19 "Support System"

When Cain becomes aware of an emergency situation breaking out at the hospital, he recruits Ezra to help keep it under wraps. Nic works to come up with a support system for a patient in need of a lung transplant. Kit's son-in-law's condition continues to worsen.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides 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.

"Support System" was written by Marqui Jackson & Michael Notarile and directed by Kelli Williams

Well, this episode is certainly anxiety-inducing. It's eery just how prescient the story of a spreading infectious disease has become. The next episode will serve as the impromptu season finale because production had to shut down and the show's medical supplies had to be donated to local hospitals because of the current coronavirus pandemic. So now, it seems as if this breakout at the hospital and Red Rock's attempt to cover it up will be the story that threatens to destroy the antagonists that have defined this season so far. It's also just sickening to watch as people are willing to cover up that Dawn Long died from this disease she picked up at a long term care facility. Conrad has the rational and appropriate response of reporting the outbreak to the state health authorities right away. There has to be a coordinated effort to trace the spread of the disease to ensure that it doesn't infect more people. Those who have come into contact with it have to be on high alert for the symptoms. It can help the doctors better treat the people who present with new cases. Now, it's not clear at all if Conrad knew the EMT had this disease from the start there would have been a different outcome. It may have always been deadly for her. The show keeps propping up a 50% mortality rate with this specific bacterial infection. It connects the dots of how this was transmitted. The action also eerily follows around the ventilator that is bound to serve another patient before being fully sterilized. That's absolutely horrifying. It shows the cracks that are absolutely apparent in the health care system. It presents as a choice for which immunocompromised patient will have to also face this infection. It could be Kit's son-in-law battling an aggressive form of cancer with the fear that he may never wake up again after being hooked up to this machine. Or it could be Nic's new patient who immediately feels like a kindred spirit to Austin. The show lays all of this out so that the anxiety levels are constantly high for the audience. Not all of it is earned or effective. It's a story meant to add some complexity to Cain. He has long walked around as the man in charge whose word is law in this organization. And yet, he is now suddenly beholden to whatever Logan Kim wants to do. Cain understands the science. He knows just how deadly and costly this outbreak could be. Logan is more concerned about covering it up so that no one can know this ever happened. It's deceitful to the staff who should be taking the extra precautions to ensure they don't get infected or transfer it to the other patients. No one is doing that. Instead, it is all about containment. That isn't good enough though. There will always be oversights. It's impossible to follow every particle that could carry this disease. As such, measures have to be put in place to isolate it as best as can be. Instead, the narrative weaves a tale of Ezra being indebted to Cain and needing to please him no matter what. He eventually cracks because the patient dies. He has to tell Conrad and Devon the truth. That is the burden lifting off his shoulders. Cain feels like he couldn't speak up or act in defiance of Red Rock because of leverage they are holding over him. Even in that case, it seems like a story where corporate corruption is to blame more than any personal actual Cain didn't take. That's how scary this lack of oversight and accountability can be. It runs the risk of making all of this impersonal. So many characters lead with a sense of compassion and empathy. Nic is willing to be the support system her patient needs right now. She is giving in that way. But private companies fundamentally can't be trusted to regulate themselves and blindly be trusted to follow the rules. It's important to report any threat to the community. Conrad gets that. His friends will as well. More lives will just hang in the balance. It's terrifying to see happen as it does with Kit's son-in-law being given the ventilator. It's eery because of the circumstances the real world is in right now. It highlights the behavior that shouldn't be acceptable. That has always been the motivation for the series. It points out the ways the system is broken while still trying to offer brief moments that uplift people's lives. Most health care officials put the patients first. There is just too much greed and corruption at the top with no guiding system to ensure everyone gets the quality care that they deserve. That is apparent now more than ever before.