Tuesday, January 19, 2021

REVIEW: 'The Resident' - Mina and Austin Make Different Calls Over Cain's Mistreatment of His Patient in 'Mina's Kangaroo Court'

FOX's The Resident - Episode 4.02 "Mina's Kangaroo Court"

When Cain's elective surgery patient returns with complications, Mina and Austin butt heads over how to handle the situation. Conrad and Devon treat a local Congresswoman who withholds information that could prevent her from receiving proper treatment, causing Devon to open up about his grief. In the wake of losing many colleagues to the virus, Bell worries who would be there for him in a moment of crisis and finds himself mining his own past to find his estranged former stepson, elite plastic surgeon Dr. Jake Wong.

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.

"Mina's Kangaroo Court" was written by Peter Elkoff & Marqui Jackson and directed by Rob Corn

The premiere addressed the COVID-19 pandemic. Several characters contracted the virus. However, that doesn't appear to be the story that will define the various arcs this season. It's crucial for some but mostly through the far-reaching consequences of what this moment in time has for the medical professionals. Logan Kim is removed from the hospital because he made a purchase without Red Rock's approval. Him making that decision against the company's bottom line is all it takes for this private entity to immediately turn against him. He warns that what comes next will be even worse. However, Red Rock has largely presented itself as this ominous and foreboding figure that looms over the proceedings. It has made an impact. But it doesn't define the day-to-day operations of the hospital. The show has basically maintained the same structure it has always had across the seasons. Kitt is concerned about who will replace Logan as CEO. The head of Red Rock only offers a vague tease that no one will. That is concerning. And yet, the audience should pretty much operate under the assumption that the hospital will remain operational no matter what happens next with the business side of things. It's a cutthroat environment. Not a whole lot of change has really stuck though. Instead, the various characters keep finding new issues within the system while always trying to deliver the best medical care to the people who come in needing help. It's become a formula where the show suggests these big, dramatic shifts but doesn't really follow through with them in a major way. It treats the pandemic in a similar way. It has absolutely destroyed the world. But in this narrative, it has all been contained and is no longer a concern. People have been vaccinated and the world has returned to business as usual. That means the doctors are now trying to find the necessary evidence to prove that Cain is a threat to his patients and the hospital. A case falls directly into their laps as well. He performed an elective surgery during the pandemic. He lied on the official documents to make it seem urgent and life-saving. And now, his patient has developed a complication. It could be lethal for him. The story suggests that Cain is too valuable to even eliminate from the hospital entirely. His skills are unparalleled. He can perform high-risk surgical maneuvers without killing the patient. Austin has a gut feeling that it's worth investing in Cain to show him a better way of practicing medicine. It's the opinion he forms based on how he was raised and views the world. He is upset with Mina when she has a different perspective. He expects her to default to his strategy. She doesn't. Nor should she have to. They have uncovered malfeasance done by a surgeon. He should be held accountable for his actions. It doesn't matter how brilliant he is when operating on a brain. He endangered a man's life. His reckless behavior needs to have consequences. People shouldn't be forced into silence because speaking against him seemingly strengthens the systemic racism within the power structure of the world. Cain uses that fear as a weapon. Anyone who is against him betrays the ideals of a diverse and equal world. He seeks value by thriving in a way that the white businessmen who control everything also understand. That provides his sense of worth. The show puts in this context to better flesh out Cain's perspective. It may not matter. The viewer may not be engaged in Cain's possible redemption. It may only be drama to drive a wedge between Austin and Mina. It works in that context because they are new as a romantic couple. The show delivers that after seasons of teasing it. In fact, it seems like the narrative is engaged in providing big moments for the characters early this season. Nic and Conrad got married. And now, they are expecting a baby. That is such a celebration. This rapid plotting may invigorate the narrative to help push it out of its known patterns. It must tell all the stories the characters and audience are deserving of because it's unclear just how long the world will allow production to continue. However, it still relies on the norms to satisfy its loyal audience. That is perfectly fine. It just needs to do interesting things with the characters. Nic's pregnancy is a welcome development even though it comes in an episode where she is barely present. Meanwhile, Devon being haunted by his father is clunky throughout this episode while Bell trying to reconnect with his estranged former stepson is pure exposition and nothing more.