Why The Resident's Conrad May Have To Decide Another Doctor's Fate At Chastain

the resident conrad matt czuchry
(Image credit: Fox)

Spoilers ahead for the November 30 episode of The Resident Season 5, called “He’d Really Like to put in a Central Line.”

The Resident forced Conrad to face a difficult choice in the latest episode when a patient refused a simple procedure that would have saved his life, no matter what he did to try to convince him to let the doctors save him. He had to try and keep Trevor from crossing a line and treating the patient against his will, but it was after the patient ultimately died that he was presented with a request that could result in him having to make an all but impossible decision about another doctor’s fate at Chastain. Dr. Bell isn’t doing well, and it’s on Conrad to figure out what’s happening now that he’s back and not going anywhere

And it’s a sign of how scared Bell is about what’s happening that he even told anybody about it, let alone requested testing and diagnosis, but it’s hard to blame him. After what seemed to be some smaller spasms, he found himself unable to control his hand movements and – as he told Leela, anyway – vertigo symptoms. He had to leave her alone to perform a new surgery by herself rather than risk her having a second patient in the room, with hands seized up and him unable to do anything with them.

Although he tried to brush it off to Leela afterwards, he sought out Conrad at the end of the episode to ask for some testing to figure out what’s wrong. But he was sure to make the point that discretion is all-important, and it’s clear that Bell intends to keep working. Conrad agreed to help and keep it under the radar, so Bell has taken a step in the right direction and couldn’t have recruited a better diagnostician. Still, depending on what Conrad does or doesn’t figure out, he may have to make a decision concerning Bell’s status as an active surgeon.

Bell did acknowledge that he was unable to perform surgery when he left Leela and knows that it's serious, but it was after he had some symptoms earlier and went into surgery with her anyway. “He’d Really Like to put in a Central Line” made the point more than once that the doctors are driving themselves into the ground while trying to do their jobs, and it seems unlikely that Bell will bench himself unless he has no other choice or a definitive diagnosis that he’s not going to get better. Which means some weight on Conrad’s shoulders. 

If Conrad diagnoses or suspects a certain diagnosis for Bell that should take him out of surgery but Bell doesn’t want to disclose to Kit, then he has a similar issue on his hands that he did in this episode: does he go against his patient’s wishes and rights, or keep confidentiality at the risk of death? Admittedly, in this case, it’s the lives of patients that Bell would be risking rather than the patient who was risking his own life, but Conrad’s “do no harm” oath as a doctor might be tested.

Then again, maybe Conrad will need five minutes with Bell and come to the conclusion that he just needs some of Padma’s de-stressing because all the pressure is affecting him physically. That would be the ideal situation of an easy fix, but somehow I doubt that The Resident would go the easy route. Besides, the midseason finale is coming up next, and that could mean some big twists to keep viewers hanging until Season 5 returns in 2022. Check out the promo!

See what happens with the last episode of 2021 as Bell keeps his secret with the fall finale on Tuesday, December 7 at 8 p.m. ET on Fox. Conrad seemingly has more to worry about moving forward than his love life, and this episode didn’t even feature Billie after possibly setting up a development for her last week. For when this show and many others will be back in the new year, be sure to swing by our 2022 TV premiere schedule!

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. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. 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).