Why The Resident Said Goodbye To An Original Series Star In Season 4


Spoilers ahead for Episode 10 of The Resident Season 4 on Fox, called "Into the Unknown."

The Resident got off to a later-than-usual start to its fourth season, and now the fourth season has seen the departure of a character who had been around the Fox series from the beginning. Mina Okafor left Chastain Park Memorial Hospital, as The Resident didn't deliver a last-minute save for her to be able to stay in Atlanta and work her TV medical magic. Mina is headed back to Nigeria, and without AJ. Actress Shaunette Renée Wilson opened up about Mina's big move and her own departure from the show.

For any fans who hoped that Mina's return to Nigeria was going to be temporary and she would be back within a few episodes, Shaunette Renée Wilson confirmed that she truly has left The Resident. In a statement regarding her decision about the show (via TVLine), Wilson explained:

After deeply thoughtful reflection, I approached the producers some time ago asking to leave the show and they agreed — and gave my character a wonderful sendoff. I am appreciative of them for allowing me to embody as beautiful of a soul as Dr. Mina Okafor. I would also like to thank the studio, network, cast, crew and, most of all, the wonderfully dedicated fans of The Resident for their support over the last four seasons.

In her statement, Shaunette Renée Wilson's comments indicate that there was no bad blood that led to her decision to leave The Resident, even if she didn't fully explain her decision. There's no denying that her decision to approach producers "some time ago" gave the show the chance the write an arc to say goodbye to Mina, in a way that made sense for the plot of Season 4, didn't write her off off-screen, and did justice to Wilson's character.

That's not to say that there was no sadness in the episode. While Mina made the decision to return to Nigeria herself (even if she didn't have too many choices after what Cain did) and leaving willingly rather than getting deported means that a potential return could be less complicated, the plan for AJ to go along with her didn't work out. His mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer in "Into the Unknown," meaning that she needs him more in Atlanta than Mina would in Nigeria.

The good news is that the door to The Resident isn't closed to Shaunette Renée Wilson any more than the door is closed to Mina at Chastain. The Resident executive producers addressed Wilson's departure in a statement of their own, saying:

Losing the extraordinary Shaunette is heartbreaking for us, but we are honoring her request to leave with gratitude and respect for her contribution to the show. We want the fans to know that we have lots in store for AJ as he reels from this loss, and we want Shaunette to know the door is always open.

For viewers heartbroken by the departure of Mina with no expectation that she'll be back in the foreseeable future, the statement makes it clear that The Resident team was sad to see her go as well. The good news is that the show will evidently continue the storyline insofar as how it affects AJ, so he'll still get time in the spotlight even if the romance with Mina has had to come to an end. And hey, maybe Shaunette Renée Wilson will return someday!

See the aftermath of Mina leaving Chastain when The Resident returns with a new episode on Tuesday, April 27 at 8 p.m. ET on Fox. If you're in the market for more TV options, check out our 2021 spring premiere schedule. The show ended Season 3 early, but not without doing a good deed for the effort to fight the pandemic, and seems to be going strong in Season 4 despite the challenges.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).