Spoilers ahead for the winter premiere of The Resident Season 5, called “Her Heart.”
To say that The Resident has been an emotional ride throughout the fifth season would be an understatement, largely due to Nic’s death after actress Emily VanCamp decided to leave the Fox medical drama after Season 4. The death of Nic has allowed Matt Czuchry to turn in some powerhouse performances as her grieving husband and a sudden single parent, and the winter premiere proved that even the big time jump from her loss doesn’t mean the show is out of ways to honor the character. And what can I say? I’m feeling all sorts of ways about it!
It was already clear that this would be a loaded hour of television as soon as one of the patients was revealed as the recipient of Nic’s heart after her organs were donated. Conrad was initially happy to see for himself that somebody was alive and could thrive because of Nic, but things took a downturn when it started to look like the heart was going to fail because the patient, Hannah, hadn’t been taking her meds. Although he remained professional about treating her and didn't tell Hannah the backstory, it was clear that Nic’s heart failing was weighing heavily on him.
Luckily, Conrad and the other doctors realized that the heart was failing not because Hannah was deliberately skipping taking her meds and lying about it, but because she had a brain condition that made her forget that she hadn’t taken them. Billie fixed her up after another scare or two, and she went into recovery with Nic’s heart on the mend.
Things finally came to a head when Conrad came to Hannah’s room and told her that she had received his wife’s heart. She plucked right at my heartstrings when she asked to see a picture of Nic, and Conrad pulled up a photo of his wife looking lovely at their wedding. Conrad asked for a favor that pretty much guaranteed that the emotions would be in overdrive for the rest of the hour. Conrad asked:
Hannah of course said yes, so Billie – who is still basically being Nic’s best friend despite her death and the time jump – brought Gigi into the room. (And kudos to The Resident for finding a little girl to play Gigi who definitely looks like she could be related to both Emily VanCamp and Matt Czuchry.) Conrad deposited his daughter on Hannah’s bed, and – with Hannah’s permission – used his stethoscope to find the heartbeat for Gigi, who just sat there and listened for a few moments before dropping the most emotional line of the episode:
Now, I don’t want to say that I cried, but it definitely got a little bit dusty in the room at that line. Of course, little Gigi already had an intense day before meeting Hannah and hearing her mom's heart, first being scared by the dragon puppet and then listening to Sammie read her The Runaway Bunny, which isn’t exactly the warmest and fuzziest story for a little girl whose mom died before she could remember her. All things considered, it was a lovely little moment to honor Nic, and Conrad even smiled through it.
As much as I’ve felt that the time jump was a good way to move Conrad away from the grief of losing Nic, I really appreciated the show spending some time on showing just how much her status as an organ donor helped others. It also showed off the bond between Billie, Conrad, and Gigi, which has been touching after they all lost somebody they loved.
Whether a romance does ever develop between Conrad and Billie remains to be seen; for now, they seem to be good sources of support for each other. He has a love interest on the way, but the who and how of it isn’t clear just yet.
Luckily, The Resident didn’t return from a long winter hiatus just to head into another break. The next new episode airs on Tuesday, February 8 at 8 p.m. ET on Fox, as part of the 2022 TV schedule. The winter premiere also revealed what exactly Dr. Bell is facing after the fall finale cliffhanger about his health, and it’s a good thing that he has Kit supporting him moving forward!
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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).