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The Resident - Independence Day - Review: "Beating Strong"

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The second episode of « The Resident » was a pretty solid one. The dynamics between the different characters are interesting and the subtleties in their personas make them to be compelling to watch; none of these characters are one sided or too caricaturized. The more episodes I watch, the more I want to watch and I still can’t get over the fact they have such a talented cast. Once more, the music was spot on.

“Independence Day” starts off with Conrad, on Career Day, in the class of a one of his patients who is on the heart transplant list. This further demonstrates that Conrad is the type of guy who forms a bond with his patients, a real bond, and that makes him all the more endearing. (That and his pretty face. Because: ♫ I don’t want my love to go to waste. I want you and your beautiful soul. ♫) A couple of minutes in, the science teacher‘s state quickly deteriorates. The scene was fast pasted and gripping; it was beautifully edited. It showed how good Conrad is under pressure, a relic of his past military days, as the resident managed to get Micah’s heart pumping again.

One week later, UNOS has a heart for Micah, to Conrad’s great pleasure, but things don’t run smoothly for them, as someone else gets assigned to Mika’s heart.

“Where is my miracle doctor, Hawkins?” - Mika

Dr. Bell and Dr. Hunter are out hunting with the congressman and the head lobbyist, and all four end up in the ER after the congressman shoots the lobbyist in the butt while having a heart attack. This can’t be good for PR. The congressman’s heart was badly damaged, and he needed a heart transplant. The oncologist and the chief of surgery thus put him on the top of the list and went through the proper channels to get Mika’s heart reallocated. It was no surprise to see the congressman was going to steel the heart, you could tell as soon as the man grabbed on to his chest in pain, but it was great to see Conrad was not going down without a fight.

Conrad doesn’t do well with failure and doesn’t want to tell Micah they’ll be sending him home for the fourth time, without a heart. He is the type of guy who puts incredible pressure on himself when it comes to Bell. After a few minutes of wallowing in self-pity, of feeling like it’s his fault, that he will never win against Bell, after a little pep talk from Nic and some hair petting, Conrad is back to looking for a solution.

His first move was to reason Bell, and of course, that doesn’t work out as Bell claimed seniority over him. His second plan was to find another heart but that failed when Bell refused to convince Chloe’s mom that taking her off life support was the good thing to do. It’s better for the hospital’s bottom line to keep her on life support. Then, when all politically correct attempts fail: Trick the results in order to secure one’s patient’s long awaited organ.

“You took a big risk today. What if Chloe’s mom hadn’t agreed to donate her organs? Micah would have lived and Dunlap would probably have died. You don’t have the right to play god.” - Nic

Conrad’s last plan of attack was to trick the HLA results on Dunlap’s blood tests, thus forcing Bell’s hand in securing Chloe’s organs. Third time’s a charm, and the chief of surgery finally did the right thing, even if it was for all the wrong reasons. Nic tells it as it is, that Conrad has a godlike complex. His moral compass loses its true North when it comes to trying to save a patient. While Conrad was previously compared to Dr. Cox, from Scrubs, this episode further demonstrated how similar to Dr. House he is, in that he will do anything for his patient. (For completely different, more noble reasons, I agree.)

The end of the episode also gave a glimpse into Nic and Conrad’s relationship outside of work. Matt Czuchry and Emily Van Camp have great chemistry together. The flirtatious moments between the resident and the nurse didn’t seem too out of place during the episode, it fit the characters. They seem to have a somewhat complicated history, but come on! They’re going to finish together sooner, rather than later, right? Right?

In the second episode of the series, we are introduced to another character, absent from the Pilot. Dr. Hunter is an oncologist, a highly renowned oncologist. She is be a big deal in her field, if we look at how big of a suck up Devon was when first he saw her, but there is more to her. She isn’t on the straight and narrow; something definitely feels off about her. Or am I tripping?

“Please don’t confront me in front of the staff, Nic.” –Dr. Hunter

It seems like the vote is split on Dr. Hunter. Nic is greatly suspicious of her, after she discharged Lily even if her platelet counts were low. Conrad, on the other hand, thinks it makes sense and that she doing what is right for the patient. From the smile Dr. Hunter gives Conrad in the ER at the beginning of the episode, I feel they have a more deeply rooted relationship than what was led on in this episode. Hunter seems pretty hard to size. What do you guys think, is medicine a business for her, or does she actually care?

As for Nic, I loved the fact that Devon acknowledged how good she was at her job after she helped him. I don’t why his admission brought me a fuzzy feeling inside. It just adds another layer to her character to learn that she is working on her doctorate. She could definitely have become a doctor if she had wanted to, not everyone wants to be a doctor of medicine.

“You had me at advance my career.” - Mina

Mina continues to be the one who demonstrates little emotion. Still, she seems close to the rest of the Scooby Doo Gang so you know she’s not just all work and no play. You could feel for her when the guy who hit on her left when she told him she was not a nurse but a surgeon. She’s intimidating, but we got to see a glimpse of what is past that hard exterior. This makes for another well rounded character in this show.

Despite having blackmailed her in the last episode, Bell asks for Mina’s help with Dunlap’s surgery. When she refuses, because she isn’t a sucker, Bell blackmails Conrad into convincing Mina that helping Bell out with his splenectomy is what is best for her career. HoDAD seems to be a pretty good teacher, and maybe, he will realise that his teacher is in teaching, more than it is in operating. He isn't all bad.

"It’s independence day: your first day as a doctor without my help." –Conrad

While Conrad was out hunting for a heart, Devon got to be on his own. The second episode, in my opinion, made Devon a lot more reliable. He was sure of himself, but not too sure. As he was handling the sign outs, I was almost overwhelmed for him. He is juggling 20 patients, trying not to have to demonstrate weakness, and he pretty much nails it. There is a diabetic who can’t stop eating and doesn’t believe he’s a real doctor, a recovering heart patient who can’t stop masturbating to Naughty Nurses, and a patient with a significant heart disease whose heart murmur hasn’t manifested itself on his EKG.

Despite juggling all these patients, Devon also has time to diagnose a pulmonary embolism while pulling pellets from the lobbyists butt cheeks, and he does so pretty bad ass-ly way, without needing Conrad’s help, or encouragement. He definitely didn’t let what happened with Chloe bring him down, and Independence Day brought him some well-deserved self-confidence. By the end of the episode, I was absolutely certain Conrad was going to hit him, instead of congratulate him. This comes to show that Conrad is not so arrogant that he has to be always right. And that made me love him even more! ;)

“Devon. Congratulations, you just passed Independence Day.” - Conrad

So, congratulations "The Resident," you just passed Independence Day.

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