Tuesday, March 9, 2021

REVIEW: 'The Resident' - Nic Confronts Her Attacker While Cain and Mina Prepare for Uncertain Futures in 'First Days, Last Days'

FOX's The Resident - Episode 4.08 "First Days, Last Days"

On Nic's first day back at Chastain, the man who attacked her is admitted to the ER, causing her to confront her trauma head-on. Now in recovery, Cain is self-conscious of his physical state and sets his eye on taking down Mina. New intern Leela both struggles and shines throughout her first day, causing Devon and Conrad to wonder if something bigger is going on.

In 2020, the television industry aired 493 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.

"First Days, Last Days" was written by Tianna Majumdar-Langham & Chris Bessounian and directed by Edward Ornelas

Nic was attacked at the hospital. Her life was in peril. Everyone feared that she would lose the baby. It was tense and uncertain for a moment. The show used that drama to fuel the narrative for basically an episode. And now, it seems as if she has completely healed from the assault. Sure, some of the trauma still exists. She still struggles to sleep at night. She is also forced to confront all of these pent up feelings head on when her assailant shows up at the hospital. It's a fascinating conceit. It allows the story to continue without necessarily focusing the drama and uncertainty happening in her life. It could provide more context to the man who attacked her and the pain that he will forever endure as a result. But it also feels too easily resolved. It shares focus with several other stories. It's not the predominate story in the way that it was when it was all introduced. It's just now important to note that this man has been arrested. He will spend the rest of his life in jail. It's unclear if that's because of what happened to Nic or because of some other trouble he did before or after. It's not very specific. As such, the emotional weight of this story comes not from Nic seeing him again but from Billie opening up about a traumatic moment in her past. Now, the show is still introducing this character to the audience. This episode also has to confirm that she will be joining the staff at Chastain moving forward. Kitt is just desperate enough to give Billie a second chance because she needs neurosurgeons. That's just the work needed to better integrate this character into this world. Her agency comes from telling Nic about the time she was sexually assaulted as a child. It was a harrowing experience. One she hasn't been able to share with anyone. She helps it can better enlighten Nic as she faces all of these mysterious feelings. It does exactly that. Conrad is baffled by the complete change in her demeanor at the end of the shift. It's a miraculous change of perspective. It's probably the healthy way to approach things as well. People should rely on honest conversations with the people they love to ensure they are properly coping with everything happening in their lives. Nic has those valuable resources. She is capable of addressing a problem without it jeopardizing her life once more. It just makes this story a bit more sedated and not all that engaging. Even the moments of drama where Nic spies on him or Billie administers drugs at the hospital seem pointed without really adding anything of true suspense. It's purely oddly paced storytelling. Moreover, it's striking how Nic's recovery has moved so much faster than Cain's. He also happens to be bogged down by being a vindictive person. He loves tearing others apart but struggles to accept what life he will likely have following his accident. It's now late for him to suddenly become a good and decent person as well. Earlier with this story, it felt like the show wanted to put him on the path towards redemption. Austin was his greatest advocate in that regard. And now, that has completely gone away. Cain needed to ruin Mina's career because she was willing to testify against him because of the heinous actions she saw. The show is certainly willing to acknowledge just how unethical some of its characters have behaved over the seasons. The story presents a case for why Mina could realistically lose her license. The punishment just happens to be more severe to her than the other characters guilty of the same conduct because she is being targeted for a specific reason. That makes sense. It also seems likely that she won't have to deal with any consequences. If she was forced to do so, then it would open the need for everyone else to be held to the same standard. Otherwise, the viewer could lose trust in the convictions of the storytelling. Right now, it struggles with feeling aimless. How these stories develop though could actually make the narrative seem addicted to the suffering of these characters for the pure sake of drama. Again, that's to be expected in this particular medium. It just needs to be done with careful consideration. It's delicate work. At this point in time, it's hard to see the show willing to embrace the nuances in that conversation it is starting. Everything will probably work out. That doesn't exactly welcome growth and meaningful development. It just represents repetitive storytelling.