by Julian Spivey
Tuesday night (Oct. 5) came the episode of the Fox medical drama “The Resident” that we all knew was coming (at least those of us who follow entertainment news), but we never wanted to see.
In August it was announced that original cast member of the series Emily VanCamp would not be returning for the show’s fifth season. Seeing how VanCamp’s character of Nurse Nic Nevin was the wife of the show’s main protagonist Dr. Conrad Hawkins (Matt Czuchry) and had just given birth at the end of the fourth season it was obvious the only ending for her character would be tragic death.
It was surprising her death isn’t how the show decided to begin its season, but rater held it over to the third episode, with the character being away on a spa retreat over the course of the first two episodes of the season. It was also quite awkward for the show to place her death in the very next episode after another major character Dr. Devon Pravesh (Manish Dayal) almost died.
I’ve frankly been mad at VanCamp for leaving the show because of the massive hole it’s going to leave. Her reasoning for leaving had gone unreported for more than a month until Wednesday (Oct. 6), the day after the episode with her character’s death, when she told Deadline.com she left the show to focus on family after the birth of her daughter. I certainly can’t argue VanCamp doesn’t have her priorities straight, but many actresses do juggle a successful career with motherhood.
As I said, it’s an episode fans of the show didn’t want to see, but the show absolutely knocked it out of the park. You’re simply probably not a fan of “The Resident” if you kept dry eyes the entirety of “The Long and Winding Road,” written by Joy Blake. The episode is certainly the saddest of the show’s run, but it’s also one of its absolute best, with the entire cast really doing a superb job with the sadness of the impending loss of a friend and colleague.
Over the show’s fourth season I felt like Czuchry’s Dr. Hawkins sort of took a back seat among the cast, despite being the show’s main character from the start, but he’s obviously front-and-center here as we’re focused on his fight to save Nic, the realization that he’s lost her and having to cope with all that comes with losing the love of your life and mother to your recently born daughter.
The scene that really stood out the me the most was Conrad coming to the realization that Nic’s life is over right about the time that Nic’s father Kyle, played by Corbin Bernsen in a memorable recurring role, is refusing to let her go. Kyle has been through more than about any TV character I’ve ever seen as he lost his wife at an early age and now during this series alone has lost two daughters tragically. I hate that he told Conrad he’d never forgive him for what he saw as giving up on Nic, but it’s incredibly realistic for a man that broken down by tragedy. I’m sure we’ll see more from him in the future.
The other wonderful thing about this episode was how Nic saved many lives through her amazing gift of being an organ donor, including a character in the show’s other storyline of the week who needed a trachea replacement as the result of long haul Covid. Truly if you’re not an organ donor look into because you can’t take them with you when you’re gone and your lasting impact on this earth could be as a life-saver.
I look forward to seeing what “The Resident” has in store for us in the upcoming few episodes. We’re likely going to see the darkest side of Conrad we’ve ever seen.