[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for The Resident Season 5, Episode 16 “6 Volts.”]
It’s now been three years — in-show for The Resident — since Nic’s (Emily VanCamp) death, but that doesn’t make dealing with his grief any easier for her husband, Dr. Conrad Hawkins (Matt Czuchry), as he learns in the latest episode.
Conrad admits to Pastor Aaron Deering (Tobias Truvillion), whom he’s spoken with before, that he’s back in fresh grief, but he doesn’t know what set it off. Despite his medical emergency, Aaron forces Conrad to talk to him while he’s waiting. Have there been any big recent changes in his life? Crazy work stuff, he admits, and sure, that’s one way to describe an FBI-related incident.
Is he seeing anyone? “One, nothing serious,” Conrad says. “Potentially others, they all come with complications.” But as Aaron points out, there were complications with Nic. “Yeah, but the baggage was mostly mine,” Conrad argues. (We’re assuming that those “others” have to include Jessica Lucas‘ Dr. Billie Sutton, who was Nic’s best friend, and Kaley Ronayne’s Dr. Kincaid “Cade” Sullivan, who made it clear nothing can happen due to her past.) In Aaron’s experience, “guilt and loyalty can toss you back into the original grief.” He adds (potentially setting Conrad on the path to maybe “end up with somebody” this season, as EP Andrew Chapman told TV Insider), “You deserve your next great romantic achievement.”
Later, Conrad admits to Dr. AJ Austin (Malcolm-Jamal Warner) that Nic has been on his mind, and the other doctor can understand loss: He’s preparing for his mother’s death. There are some holes you just can’t fill, they both know.
As for Aaron’s health, by the end of the episode, Conrad and AJ have determined that he received an unnecessary procedure, one that damaged his heart. AJ fixed it the best he could (and confronted the doctor responsible), but as he and Conrad know, the system is so broken, there’s only so much they can do.
Elsewhere in the episode, Billie finally hears from her son, Trevor (Miles Fowler), after he learns she had him after she was raped when she was 13. He’s on the verge of losing his residency at Chastain, but, as he reveals when they meet, he “went into [medicine] for the wrong reasons. … I wanted to be the person I thought you’d love enough to wish you’d kept me. I realized you were a child, that’s why you couldn’t keep me. … Right now, it feels like being a doctor won’t give me what it gives you.” Instead, he now has a job in research development at a biotech startup.
“I’m happy for you, Trevor, and I’m very proud,” Billie tells him. “It had been inconceivable to me that I could ever feel maternal towards anyone. … These last couple weeks, when I didn’t know where you were or what you were doing, I was beside myself with worry, which I suspect means I was feeling a little bit like a real mother. … You are my son, nothing can ever change that. And I love you.”
Also worth noting from this episode:
- We see Dr. Kit Voss (Jane Leeves) and Dr. Randolph Bell (Bruce Greenwood) at home and in their bedroom, as she watches dog videos and they discuss their day. Plus, he tells her he’s not going to let the Medical Board dismiss complaints against a neurosurgeon who paralyzed a patient, Emily (Crystal Rivers). “This whole moral crusader thing looks good on you. It’s very superhero-y,” she comments. “You should see me in Spandex,” he says. “Well, that ruined it,” she replies. They’re adorable. We love it.
- Bell’s leg has been bothering him, and when he and Kit get it checked out, Dr. Greer (Alison Ball) confirms it’s an MS flare-up. He refuses to use a cane — until Kit enlists Conrad and AJ, and he finds them waiting outside his office with their own canes. He finally takes the “walking stick” from Kit, but claims it’s because it’s cool, not because he’s getting older.
- Dr. Devon Pravesh (Manish Dayal) treats and saves the life of a patient, Eliza (Christina Brucato), with multiple suicide attempts. Her books have informed the way that the hospital’s psychiatrist treats depression, but Eliza insists there’s nothing she can do to return the favor. Devon, however, knows that Billie has had luck with Deep Brain Stimulation and patients with OCD and Parkinson’s. He brings her in to consult, and to Eliza’s surprise, it works (with 6 volts, hence the episode title). “I feel calm,” she says. “Everything seems brighter. Could this be happiness?” She thanks Devon for not letting her go.
- When the Medical Board tries to ignore the complaints against the neurosurgeon (and puts his friend in charge of the investigation), Bell refuses to back down and brings his patient before them at a meeting. After she tells her story, the head of the board says they’ll pass it up to the complaint division and discuss the status of the investigation on a weekly basis. Bell definitely isn’t doing what’s expected of new members (staying on the sidelines).
The Resident, Tuesdays, 8/7c, Fox