Going into The Resident episode 1, our biggest fear was that the cards were very much stacked against the series. After all, it’s yet another medical drama in a field of them, it’s premiering at midseason, and it doesn’t have some easy-to-detect gimmick.
What it does have, however, is a great cast led by Matt Czuchry and Emily VanCamp and a look at what really goes on at hospitals — mistakes, and plenty of them. You do have people still doing their best, whether it be Conrad (Czuchry), an upstart doctor with an ego the size of the sun, or Nic (VanCamp), a nurse who takes her battle to save lives personally. She also had probably the best perspective out of anyone at the hospital when she announced that medical error is the third-biggest cause of death in the country. Errors will happen regardless of what you do, but you have to figure out a way to fight through them.
This episode was not about cases so much as characters. Take a look at Devon Pravesh (Manish Dayal), an ambitious upstart doctor who wants to do everything that he can to save lives no matter how difficult it is. We saw some of this episode through his eyes as he tried to grow accustomed to this environment. The focus altered between him, Conrad, and Dr. Solomon Bell (Bruce Greenwood), a top surgeon who was nearing the end of his career but refusing to accept it.
Most of the pilot built up to a difficult surgery that Dr. Bell was set to undergo, one that he required help to even attempt. Yet, we saw in turn Conrad do everything that he could to set him up to fail, including setting up a large internet audience so that he would get increasingly nervous during the operation.
So, was the operation a success, or did Dr. Bell fail just like we imagined that Conrad wanted? You could sense the nervousness in his eyes from the jump, and you can also argue that Conrad should’ve been a better person than to set someone up to fail like this. Yet, Conrad is clearly a complicated man. We got a great sense of that in the closing minutes watching him show a willingness to bend the rules and take a patient off life support.
As of right now, we’re starting at a puzzle half-made. There are some interesting elements there, but it is certainly also still far from complete.
The Resident is a show with potential, but it also does still need to establish more of a focus and a point of view. We can see that the writing is building towards big battles between some of our characters; our fear is that it is going to move along so slowly that it could lose impatient viewers in the process.
What did you think about The Resident as a whole? Are you planning to watch again beyond this episode? Share in the comments, and like CarterMatt on Facebook for some other news when it comes to the series. (Photo: Fox.)