How The Resident Just Skipped Past A Huge Red Flag About Dr. Ian Sullivan

Andrew McCarthy as Ian Sullivan on The Resident
(Image credit: Fox)

Spoilers ahead for Episode 4 of The Resident Season 6, called “It Won’t Be Like This For Long.”

The Resident gave Conrad a break from all the stress of Chastain this week as he took the day off to hang out with Gigi, but another doctor was throwing up all the red flags while risking lives. Dr. Ian Sullivan’s problem this week wasn’t that he was performing surgery while high on prescription meds, but rather that he intended to perform surgery on an infant while in severe withdrawal as he waited to take his drug test. The medical drama focused on almost all of the red flags that he presented, but totally skipped past what stuck out to me as the first and possibly most short-sighted. 

When Sullivan (played by new series regular Andrew McCarthy) found out that he’d have to wait until 4 p.m. to get his test, he instead started trying to find ways to falsify his results so he could go back on the drugs but still pass and get himself back into surgery. And the doctor did it by going into the Resident version of Google and searching “Ways to manipulate a drug test” on his work computer, and then clicking on “ARTIFICIAL URINE FOR SALE: Just as good as the real thing.” He ordered himself a batch of fake urine, for delivery to the hospital. 

And I can’t emphasize enough that he did all of this on his work computer! Maybe I’m just a product of a different generation than Dr. Ian Sullivan – and certainly not a pediatric surgeon – but he was basically searching “HOW CAN I BREAK THE LAW AND ENDANGER THE LIVES OF PATIENTS?” on a computer owned by the hospital that he’s trying to trick. I don’t know if ExplorSearch (a.k.a. The Resident’s Google) has incognito mode, but surely Sullivan could have at least done his search for fake urine on his private phone! It’s like he was deliberately setting himself up to be caught. 

Now, I’m not saying all of this because I’m rooting for Sullivan to be better at breaking the law to avoid getting caught and keep operating on kids while under the influence, but because it was a very big red flag that stood out to me. I wasn’t really surprised at the other ways that he tried to work around taking that test with his own sample at 4 p.m., but I was downright shocked that he did this all on his work computer. I initially thought that it was a surefire clue that he was leaving and that would get him caught, but The Resident just jumped past it. 

Will the medical drama revisit Sullivan’s decision to basically Google something incriminating on his work computer, where his search history can presumably be accessed by people higher up the ladder, like Kit Voss? Personally, I hope so, but I’m not counting on it based on how “It Won’t Be Like This For Long” didn’t put any focus on the internet search. That said, Sullivan did eventually get his fake urine package (after having to steal a sample from a patient to pass his test), so the story isn’t over. If Cade or anybody else finds it in his office, it probably wouldn’t be too hard to figure out where he got it. 

It should be interesting to see if this storyline continues to affect Conrad and Cade’s relationship, after some tension last week. As of the end of “It Won’t Be Like This For Long,” the plot seems squarely between her and her dad after he exploded at her in the middle of his withdrawal, but if her relationship with Conrad keeps going strong, then he may be part of it whether they like it or not. Knowing Conrad, he’d want to help, love triangle or no love triangle!

See what’s next with new episodes of The Resident on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox, and revisit earlier seasons with the medical drama streaming via a Hulu subscription. Be sure to check out our 2022 TV premiere schedule for some more upcoming viewing options. 

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, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.