Major spoilers below for the Season 2 finale of Fox's The Resident, so be sure to watch before reading on.
To close out its second season, Fox's The Resident could have easily capped things off with a non-emergency that allowed Conrad, Nic and everyone else to head into the summer months as happily as could be. Of course, things didn't happen that way, and both Conrad and Nic were faced with high stress and a potential tragedy in the aftermath of a seemingly successful kidney transplant.
In the episode's final minutes, Nic was paged back to the hospital, where she found Conrad trying to resuscitate her father Kyle (Corbin Bernsen) or her sister Jessie (Julianna Guill), though audiences never got to see which one it was; we only got to hear the flatline. But here, co-creator Amy Holden Jones offers a fairly baffling explanation for what might have happened, teasing that things could go in any direction.
There are a lot of worlds that exist from the point we left you on. There’s a world where, indeed, someone dies, which is possible. There’s a world where someone dies but is brought back in some version of life, and that has to be dealt with. What constitutes life? . . . And the third possibility is that they are saved. Those are all possibilities. We don’t actually know that someone dies at this point… But it’s likely.
Fans and fictional patients should probably be thankful that the medical staff at Chastain Park Memorial Hospital isn't quite so cryptic with their own diagnoses. Amy Holden Jones can afford to be mysterious, though, since Fox has already confirmed that The Resident will be returning for Season 3 in the fall. But what is she actually saying about Kyle and Jessie's chances?
Basically, the co-creator is saying the situation is currently open-ended, and that the details haven't all been worked out yet. Essentially, though, there are three options. One involves a quick post-flatline save and recovery, which is obviously the best outcome for all involved. The second ends in the irreversible death of whichever character, which is the biggest wash for everyone.
The third option sounds like the most complicated for the short term, in which Kyle or Jessie would be "brought back in some version of life, and that has to be dealt with." I assume this is a convoluted way of saying the unlucky patient would be in a coma after getting revived, and that the surviving family members would need to decide how to deal with that turn of events. Sounds super cheery, right?
At this point, it sounds like Amy Holden Jones and her creative team haven't even come to a concrete decision yet about where The Resident is taking this plotline heading into Season 3. Jones admitted to TVLine that after she'd polled others about where the story should go, the majority of the answers were focused on a certain character dying, but it was the character that Jones did not want to kill off. So it'll be interesting to see how this all shakes out.
To the co-creator, the answer can only be determined after the writers come to an agreement on whether or not the characters of Kyle and Jessie have been utilized to their full advantage. As well, the outcome needs to play into Nic's life in the right ways. Here, Amy Holden Jones reflects on that aspect.
And it all has to do with how this will affect Nic, because this is a big deal, how it affects her. She has been desperately trying to save her sister. Did she succeed or fail? That’s important to what she’s going to go through next. And she talked her dad into doing this. He felt it was dangerous, and what if it actually really was? Now, we don’t want to say kidney donation is dangerous. It’s really quite safe. What gets him is not the donation; what gets him is the unaccountable element that doctors aren’t drug tested, and anesthesiologists have a high rate of drug addiction. It’s not something that’s being monitored enough.
The anesthesiologist Shira was the one being referenced there, as she managed to dose herself a tad too strongly before Kyle's surgery. She ended up tearing out his breathing tube as she passed out, which is arguably the least professional thing anyone has ever done on this show. But did she manage to mess something else up in the meantime?
How do you guys see it playing out? Will it be Jessie's weak heart that keeps her from making a full recovery? Will it be Kyle's lack of a kidney that caused complications? Could it possibly be someone other than Jessie or Kyle that Conrad was sweating over?
As fans can remember, Season 2 had also lost some cast members from the first season, so it'd to be expected that not everyone from the sophomore year will be returning for Season 3. It'll be interesting to see if whoever survives becomes a bigger part of Nic's life after all this, or if the potential tragedy will be too much to bear.
The Resident is currently done with Season 2 on Fox, but it will be returning in the fall for Season 3. Both seasons can currently be streamed on Hulu.