Tuesday, May 18, 2021

REVIEW: 'The Resident' - AJ and Cain Remain Stubborn Until They Must Work Together to Save a Life in 'Past, Present, Future'

FOX's The Resident - Episode 4.14 "Past, Present, Future"

The wait is over as Conrad and Nic welcome the arrival of their baby girl. AJ's life begins to fall apart and he is forced to turn to Cain for help. Devon and Bell work together on a complicated surgery that may allow them to save multiple lives. Kit tries to deal with the moral repercussions of financially saving Chastain.

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 season finale of FOX's The Resident.

"Past, Present, Future" was written by Amy Holden Jones & Andrew Chapman and directed by Rob Corn

This season finale doesn't use the birth of Conrad and Nic's daughter as the source of a ton of dramatic tension. Instead, it's solely focused on the beauty of this day. Their lives are forever changed. And yet, this is the happiest they have ever been. They just get to bask in that feeling. That's all they have to do right now. They rejoice at looking at their daughter. They beam with pride over sharing her name to their colleagues. They honor the past while preparing for the future. This brings them closer to their parents. Of course, Conrad also has a brief moment of plot where he learns the hospital really has gotten into an ongoing relationship with big pharma. The company that created Rose's revolutionary cure for sickle cell isn't staying small. Everyone involved is still just focused on making money. The doctors are simply suppose to be grateful enough that they helped Rose. Everyone else who suffers from this disease will have to be wealthy in order to receive this treatment. That doesn't help the nurse who approaches Conrad asking to get approval for her nephew. Of course, the show doesn't have any emotional attachment to that character. That's in contrast to Rose who was built up as someone everyone at the hospital loved and wanted to prevail at the end of her journey. She did exactly that. And now, she potentially has a future with Cain. That depends on whether or not he chooses to stay at Chastain. Billie argues that he should be indebted to this place because Kit gave him a second chance after his accident. The drama is more than confident in saying that he is back to being the stellar surgeon he once was. Sure, the audience still may be tense every time he operates simply because of how severe his injuries were. He was told he would never return to the same skill level. He has done exactly that. He is the envy in the profession once more. As such, his journey is an internal one. The effort was clearly made this season to transform Cain a little bit. It's a stretch to call it a full-on redemption arc though. He was previously an entitled and arrogant surgeon. And now, he is simply stubborn. That shift is noticeable. The other doctors acknowledge it as well. However, they are still tentative about asking him to operate on the patients with the most personal connections to them. They don't want to rely on his help. They don't think that should be a requirement either. Of course, AJ ultimately breaks down and has to call Cain during the middle of his mother's surgery. Circumstances arise where he is desperate enough to make that call. In doing so, he acknowledges Cain's skills as the best in neurosurgery. His mother needs that right now. Billie fears a fatal outcome just like the last time she operated without an attending. In that situation, she was arrogant and cocky. That nearly cost her everything. In this moment, Kit and everyone in the operating room is encouraging her. They believe she has the tools to succeed. She still lacks the confidence to operate with complete control. She still fears the worst possible outcome. That panic still drives her. That's at least an earned moment though. Her concerns are genuine based on what she has experienced. Her son showing up at her doorstep because apparently he can't take no for an answer is a rushed development mostly to provide some melodrama in her personal life. Its introduction was played as a setup for future story. However, it pales in comparison to the rewarding endings of Jake and Greg getting to officially adopt Sammie as well as Devon and Leela coming together as a couple. The narrative put in the hard work to explain why those bonds are valuable. It's not simply a case of the show explaining something hoping the audience will also accept it. It actually showed why Devon and Leela are compatible in every environment. It showed the connection Sammie has with her newfound family who champion her despite her serious health condition. And so, it clearly seems like the show operated with complete confidence in some areas of its narrative while just clumsily flinging things together in other instances. That's apparent. It never derailed the season for too long. The seams showed a bit more. But this was still ultimately an engaging season of television. And now, a new stage of life seemingly begins for every member of the core ensemble. That future looks bright despite the drama that swirls around their lives in and out of the hospital.