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Spoilers ahead for the Season 3 premiere of The Resident**.**
The Resident’s Season 3 premiere was rough for fans. Kicking off with a character death, the Fox series revealed that it was indeed Julianna Guill’s Jessie who died from complications in surgery, and Emily VanCamp’s Nic was definitely devastated by her close sister’s death. Though Jessie’s presence will be missed on the show, The Resident showrunner Todd Harthan promises that the character won’t be forgotten, and that the aftermath of her death will have a tremendous impact on Nic and the rest of the characters in Season 3.
With the Season 2 finale leaving fans with a major cliffhanger, discovering which character flatlined in the Season 3 premiere was both relieving and sad for viewers all at once. With Jessie gone and not coming back, Nic will be going through a bigger emotional wringer than fans did. Speaking with TV Insider, executive producer Todd Harthan explains why they decided to kill off Jessie.
Ultimately the thing that changed it all for us was we started to fall in love with the idea of what does Nic's world look like if you take her sister out of the already complicated relationship she has with her dad. Jessie was serving as this buffer between the two of them. For all of Jessie's problems and issues, she was really, really good at bridging that relationship gap, and in her passing, what it gave us in this season is just how complicated the road ahead is going to be for Nic and Kyle.
After Jessie’s death, which happened within the first ten seconds of the premiere, The Resident picked back up a month later, with Nic still struggling throughout the episode. However, she found enough courage to scatter her sister’s ashes before the end of the episode. Their father Kyle, on the other hand, wasn’t working through his daughter’s death in the same way that Nic was, and felt a sense of responsibility for Jessie’s death.
Here’s what Todd Harthan had to say about the ways in which Nic and Kyle try to find their coping mechanisms:
It's all of the above. We all have different ways of coping after tragedy, and we're going to quickly realize that Nic has her way of coping and moving forward and Kyle has his. Because those are two different paths they're taking, it sparks up new wounds, old wounds, a family history that is littered with all kinds of landmines that they're going to step on over the course of the first 10 or 11 episodes. It gives us the opportunity to show just how different these two human beings are in every conceivable way. Is there a relationship to be had, or are these two people, even though they're father and daughter, better served going their separate ways?
Fans should know by now that The Resident is anything but predictable, and killing Jessie off has proved that they’re not holding back on giving the actors emotional material. So, what’s in store for the rest of Season 3? Todd Harthan has a plan.
We have a few seeds like that that we planted in the previous season and one of the things we always debate is when do we want to reveal certain answers to certain questions. That's one that we're actually waiting until middle to later in the season. ... We don't want it to feel like the expected, trope-y reveal that the audience can guess. Our plan is to go a little bit outside the box.
The Resident's possibly un-guessable Season 3 airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox. Fall TV is officially settling in for the season, so be sure to check our complete guide to all your favorite shows and their upcoming premiere dates.