Warning: spoilers ahead for the Season 5 premiere of The Resident on Fox, called "Da Da."
News broke nearly a full month before the fifth season premiere of The Resident that leading lady Emily VanCamp wouldn't be returning, which came as a shocker considering Season 4 ended with Nic and Matt Czuchry's Conrad married and happily settling into life with their newborn daughter. So the question heading into the premiere was: how will The Resident handle the sudden absence of Nic? And, depending on how nervous you were about her, how tragic will her departure be? "Da Da" delivered some surprising answers and clues about what comes next.
The Season 5 premiere actually opened on another domestic scene of Conrad trying to get GiGi ready to go to the hospital daycare with Nic nowhere to be seen, only for her to call and Emily VanCamp to make a surprise voice cameo. Nic was in the car on the way to a "spa retreat," according to Conrad, but already missing GiGi and ready to turn back. Conrad told her not to, that he has everything handled, and to enjoy her retreat. Honestly, if not for the news of VanCamp's departure, I wouldn't have thought anything was weird about it, but Conrad's mention of not letting Nic talk to GiGi because she was driving immediately left me concerned that a car crash was imminent.
But nope! Conrad didn't have to listen to his wife get into a deadly car crash and left the house to go to work, where he would have to deal with a ransomware attack (similar to what 9-1-1 delivered on Fox just the night before) crippling every system in the hospital. By the time he finally returned home with GG, he discovered two missed calls from Nic, followed by a text reading:
Conrad missed that text by only ten minutes, so assuming that The Resident isn't going to open Episode 2 with the reveal that Nic died in her sleep, it seems that whatever happens that Emily VanCamp will no longer be around simply hasn't happened yet. For fans who were dreading something heartbreaking happening for Nic and Conrad in the premiere, the episode ending with a sweet exchange of texts must have been a relief... but that means something sad almost certainly still has to happen, and probably soon.
Considering the episode ended with Devon collapsing due to some kind of venting chemical when he went down to a lower level to check on a patient who hadn't been discharged despite simply needing a cast, all signs point toward Episode 2 picking up where Episode 1 left off, which is confirmed by the promo for next week. And that means Nic won't have been expected to be back from her retreat yet. A preview for Season 5 indicated that Conrad is going to get some bad news, which I'm guessing comes at the end of the second episode.
The episode description doesn't actually mention Conrad or Nic at all, which may be a sign that their story is too big to be included because of spoilers. Given the situation with Emily VanCamp, that seems likely. Interestingly, VanCamp did still appear in the opening credits, and her voice cameo early on meant that she did contribute to at least one episode of Season 5. Will she get more in the season? And has The Resident come up with a reason for Nic's departure that doesn't have to be tragic?
Find out with new episodes of The Resident on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox, with a new villain on the way as well as whatever happens to Nic. The show has seemingly lost Morris Chestnut as Cain as well, since Chestnut landed a leading role in Fox's Our Kind of People and the Season 5 premiere confirmed that Cain took the job at Hopkins that was mentioned in the Season 4 finale. Still, only time will tell if he's able to recur, or just as out as Emily VanCamp.
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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).