Finally, we can release a collective sigh of relief that the series got renewed. It was a nail-biter as it came down to the wire.
While The Resident Season 5 Episode 23 was not precisely a nail-biter of a finale, it was pleasant and could’ve stood alone as a series finale if necessary. It’s commendable that this series respects its fans enough to cover its bases
The finale also saw Emily VanCamp’s return, reprising the role of Nic Nevin to give us a bit more closure.
Happy endings abounded as the finale had bits of drama and tragedy, saccharine content, and everything tied up in a bow for the Chastain crew.
It’s not to say some of those happy endings felt earned or deserved, but for some nagging storylines that may not have gotten the best reception from viewers, at least they’re over.
The Devon and Leela situation is a prime example of this.
It is simply not satisfying that these two, often with the encouragement of their loved ones, found their way back to one another.
It didn’t seem plausible in the least that these two could end up on the same page, let alone back together again.
Devon has a lot going for him as a doctor. His future is bright, and aside from the fact that most of us wouldn’t have wanted to see him leave, everything about that opportunity would’ve prompted him to depart.
Unfortunately, whether or not he took the opportunity in Baltimore squarely fell on his future with Leela.
He had as many reasons to stay as he did to leave, but Leela was the deciding factor, which felt a bit weak.
And as suspected, their only path back to each other hinged on one of them compromising on a serious issue like kids. Of course, that person had to be Devon.
A tragic and timely case with the Alvarez family led to an epiphany that he would rather have the woman he loves than sacrifice her for the child he may never have.
Irving: We’re well aware of what this exit is about and it ain’t science, or money, because Dr. Voss would match any offer Talk to Leela. Fix this
Devon: I wish I could.
It was a tough case with a couple and then a husband forced to decide if they would abort their baby as it couldn’t survive outside the womb at five months or risk the mother dying.
Although it wasn’t explicitly said, religion evidently played a factor in that decision. But there was no miracle, and Devon, AJ, and Billie didn’t manage to pull off a Hail Mary either.
Despite AJ and Devon’s warnings, the choice to place Mrs. Alvarez on ECMO cost her life and the baby’s. It was a tragedy.
And that fueled Devon’s decision with Leela, but the whole nature of them becoming undone is something they can’t come back from that easily.
It was unimaginable that their reunion could be so unsatisfying.
Leela now gets to pursue General Surgery rather than Neuro and Cardio. She’s become Bell’s mentee and professional legacy.
It was nerve-wracking and puzzling that for a relative of one of their own, it was a teaching moment for Leela in which she got to shine and redeem himself from her previous issues in surgery.
Leela gets to be an aunt to Padma’s twins because Padma got what she wanted, too.
Leela still got to waffle back and forth on whether kids are in her future. And she still got Devon because she was miserable without him.
And Devon got Leela, which presumably makes up for everything. It’s just too bad that, by now, she has become one of the least likable characters over the duration of the season, so it doesn’t feel like a win or of interest.
Padma pregnancy resulting in twins wasn’t that much of a shock. We still don’t know what the future holds for her or if she by herself is stable enough to take care of two kids at once.
But she’s receptive to AJ now, likely because it’s twice the work and expenses, and she actually needs him. He’s genuinely happy about it, though, so good for him.
Padma: I’m pregnant.
AJ: Wow, so I’m going to be a father.
Padma: Yes, and I want yo to know that I’m open to you being as involved as you like. I know you’re going to be a loving dad and a great role model. Just meet me halfway, and listen.
AJ: I can do that. But what can I do for you know?
Padma: Hm, maybe open up another 529 account for college.
AJ: Why would we need another account?
Padma: We’re having twins.
And while we didn’t get a Kitbell wedding, there’s always The Resident Season 5. Their engagement party was sufficient as it brought all the gang together for a night of celebration, and those peeks into their personal lives are always a treat.
Bell being just fine when they showed him again is the one time where you didn’t mind that they lost all the momentum of that cliffhanger.
His flare-up left as abruptly as it came, but the reminder that it is a marathon battle for him is refreshing when covering a long-term illness like MS.
Despite that setback, he’s in the prime of his life, and he and Kit’s happiness feels the most concentrated. They’ve been an incredible bright spot and, in many ways, the glue that held the Chastain family together during this very personal season.
It feels like Cade and Ian are part of that family.
Ian’s prognosis was a surprise. It felt like we were headed down the path of a pill addiction or something else. Cade’s reaction to her father taking meds even implied it.
In this instance, like most of Cade’s arc, we should’ve had more time with her, exploring her relationship with Ian.
Pancreatic cancer is a beast, and, more often than not, it’s caught late and essentially a death sentence. Ian is one of the lucky few who not only had a tumor in an operable place, but things checked out after his surgery.
Ian: Look, I am perfectly aware of the risks of this surgery, so I know that I may not get off that OR table. You got the best of me and none of the bad. I am so proud of you, and I always have been. You are the child of my heart, and if I haven’t said it enough, and I need to say it now. I love you.
Cade: Alright. Now go back to being a tough bastard and beat this thing.
It was an expeditious albeit contrived way of accelerating Cade and Ian, making amends and turning the page on their relationship.
Ian was entertaining, and there’s a chance that we could still see him next season, which could be fun.
But the quick turnabout with his strained relationship was a doozy. It was pleasant and sweet enough when Cade finally heard him say how much he loved her and how important she was to him.
But Ian went from a malignant narcissist and megalomaniac to a changed man in the blink of an eye. And because we’ve seen them do the same storyline twice over with Marshall and Kyle, it didn’t pack the emotional punch.
I’m a doctor, a good one, and I had no clue.
Also, it’s something we discussed before with Kyle — not every person needs or deserves redemption. Not every strained relationship should come out on the other side.
It’s equally as healthy to show the importance of setting boundaries and cutting ties. It would’ve been okay and realistic if Ian never changed, and Cade’s relationship with her father was always fractured.
But the situation did push Conrad toward Cade more.
He already had Nic on his mind, but his moment of comforting Cade in the stairwell felt like a turning point.
He had to remember that it was okay to move forward. It was the only thing keeping them from sharing a kiss. It feels natural for him to get lost in those intimate moments with Cade, so he had to permit himself to do that.
Winston was surprisingly helpful as someone familiar with the grief of a spouse. And Devon offered his support too.
But it was trusting in those memories of Nic that pushed him over the edge.
It was funny to see Marion’s first time babysitting Gigi and how Nic teased Conrad about Marion’s crush on him.
Conrad: After a while, I do want you to move on. You deserve happiness, and Gigi deserves a father. Just promise me whoever it is, find someone who loves you as much as I do.
Nic: I promise. Only if you do too.
Conrad: I promise.
That easy chemistry between Czuchry and VanCamp felt nostalgic.
Their date night was cute, especially Conrad recalling the song on the jukebox when he first met her.
And all that easy banter was sweet. But it felt off that Nic got jealous over Conrad hugging someone on the dance floor.
She even went as far as saying she wanted to go home. It was weird that she went from teasing him about the babysitter to upset because Conrad Hawkins was hugging another woman.
He’s notoriously supportive and affectionate when comforting patients and so forth, so it was hard to grasp that Nic jumped to the worst conclusion.
But Anna’s tragedy prompted Conrad to talk about the future. CoNic’s bed scene was lovely and a great way to commemorate the couple and Nic.
Conrad spoke from the depths of his soul when he told Nic that if something happened to him, he wanted her to find someone who loved her as much as he did and would be a great dad to Gigi.
The only thing that would have made the scene more impactful is if Nic initiated that conversation or echoed the sentiment more passionately.
We know she’d want the same for him, and that’s what Conrad needed to remember to take that next step. But Nic affirmed her stance with what felt like the equivalent of ‘ditto.’
If something happens to me, I want you to be financially stable, and I want you to love again. I mean don’t bring a date to my funeral.
It was great to see VanCamp reprise the role, if only for a few scenes. It was the highly-anticipated part of the finale, and it’s the type of closure many needed.
While at the jukebox, Conrad’s reflection on that moment, listening to Neon Moon, set up his parting shot, heading to Cade and Billie to make his next move.
But where it stands, his next move is clearly Cade, right?
The supposed love triangle still ends on an imbalanced note. Once again, we got all the buildup for Cade, so his decision seems clear as day.
Conrad: I have my daughter, and that saved me, but no matter what I do, for the last four years, I just can’t let Nic go. I keep remembering this one specific evening. The first date after we had Gigi.
Winston: Maybe you shouldn’t fight these memories. Maybe they’re trying to tell you something. The past doesn’t go away, if you don’t deny it, you learn something from it.
And the only reminder of Billie’s part in all of this was the awkward conversation with Cade, where both women alluded to their feelings for Conrad and were feeling out the other’s status.
Billie’s comment about how they’re only friends “so far” seems as if she’s hopeful for the future, which sparked secondhand embarrassment. Because right now, there’s no indication that she has a chance or that Conrad’s feelings are mutual.
However, with the season ending on this note, it also means that they could make it a more balanced love triangle next season.
They could seriously explore something with Cade, continuing to build on her character and their relationship.
They could also ditch the triangle and introduce something or someone new altogether.
Nevertheless, the future looks promising for Conrad and co.
Over to you, Resident Fanatics.
Are you relieved the series got renewed? How much did you enjoy Nic’s return? What are your final thoughts on that cliffhanger and love triangle? Sound off below.
The Resident Season 5 was emotional, beautiful, and touching.
If you’d like to experience the season’s highs, lows, and the myriad emotions all over again, you can watch The Resident online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.