Spoilers ahead for the Season 3 finale of The Resident on Fox, called "Burn It All Down."
The Resident came to a premature end in Season 3 due to the COVID-19 pandemic that brought TV production to a halt across the board, but "Burn It All Down" was intense enough that it arguably worked just fine as a finale. Instead of just coming to an end without touching on current events, or deliberately shelving an episode mentioning a deadly infectious disease, The Resident went ahead and mentioned the coronavirus itself. But did The Resident go too far?
First, here's what happened when The Resident mentioned coronavirus. Building off of the previous episode's reveal of the fungus spreading through the hospital, "Burn It All Down" opened with Devon being tested for Candida auris. When Devon encountered a doctor who was walking around the hallways in a gown and mask, this is what happened:
You don’t need a mask, Zorro. It’s Candida auris, it’s not coronavirus. It travels on skin and equipment. It isn’t airborne, and you’re scaring people…. We’ve contacted the health department and it is all being handled properly.
In the grand scheme of the episode, Devon mentioning coronavirus was a brief moment, but it was one sure to catch the attention of viewers, especially if those viewers were newcomers giving The Resident a shot recently due to social distancing. Still, it was a somewhat flippant mention regarding a worldwide crisis that is still ongoing, and real-life health care workers nowadays likely wish there were enough masks lying around that they could use one for a non-airborne illness.
On the other side, did The Resident go too far in solving the Candida auris problem in the same episode that mentioned coronavirus? Conrad and Co. were able to find a cocktail of drugs to treat the drug-resistant fungus within a matter of hours, which has not been the case in real life with the pandemic. Did the show go too far in solving the problem?
And then there's the fact that end of the episode seemingly revealed that Devon was wrong, lying, or had taken the initiative himself when it comes to contacting the health department. Administrators at Chastain had covered up the spread of the deadly fungus to avoid bad press, but the news hit the press anyway, and one of the cliffhangers of the finale involves Cain's job and Conrad's handling of the aftermath of the cover-up.
Whether or not The Resident went too far one way or the other with the coronavirus mention, not many shows are likely to touch on coronavirus before the end of their seasons. (I personally was fine with the mention and felt it made the threat of the fungus feel all the more pressing, but others may disagree.) Many shows other than The Resident have had to wrap their seasons multiple episodes shy of the intended order.
Among medical dramas, Grey's Anatomy has enough going on without the odds being great for a pandemic mention, and I don't see it happening on Chicago Med either. New Amsterdam has actually pulled an episode dealing with a flu epidemic in New York, so I'm guessing it won't go heavy on touching on real-life issues.
The Resident actually donated its medical supplies to a real hospital battling coronavirus, so wherever you land on the show mentioning coronavirus in the Season 3 finale, it's clear that the show isn't taking the pandemic lightly.
For a rundown of shows that have been impacted by the pandemic, check out our updated list of major show delays or ending due to the coronavirus. The Resident hasn't been cancelled or renewed for Season 4 just yet, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest in TV and movie news, and be sure to vote in our poll below about the Season 3 finale.