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Why The Resident’s Midseason Finale Ended With That Dr. Bell Cliffhanger, According To The Executive Producer

bruce greenwood as dr bell on the resident season 5
(Image credit: Fox)

Spoilers ahead for the midseason finale of The Resident, “Unknown Origin.”

Fox's medical drama The Resident dropped its midseason finale, and it ended on a cliffhanger that will likely worry fans for months to come. Over the past few episodes, Bruce Greenwood's Dr. Randolph Bell had been experiencing mental problems, and his diagnosis was nearly delivered in the final minutes of the episode. With this, one of the show's executive producers shared a few details on the development.

Dr. Bell’s health has been a topic of discussion amongst fans for a little while now. Viewers have seen him put off surgeries as of late, as he’s been experiencing hand tremors and blurry visions. Conrad has been doing some tests and, as he prepared to give Dr. Bell the diagnosis, the screen cut to black, surely to the frustration of audiences. Andrew Chapman talked to TVLine about what went down in the midseason finale, and Dr. Bell's diagnosis from Conrad came up. Chapman explained that he and his collaborators always intended for things to turn out this way:

We always knew that one of our characters would find out what’s wrong with Bell, but that we wouldn’t tell anybody until after the winter finale. Bell’s diagnosis and how he deals with it will be a major storyline going forward.

Dr. Bell has been a fan favorite on on The Resident for a few seasons now. Though he started off as an antagonist of sorts in Season 1, he slowly worked his way into his staff's (and fans’) hearts. Ending the first half of the season on a cliffhanger may seem like a hasty move. However, Andrew Chapman explained that he and the creative team had specific reasons for doing so. He also teased what fans can expect in Season 5B:

We wanted to have that be a foreshadowing of what’s going to happen with Bell, because we knew this hump was coming for a long time. We’ve been planning it. That’s going to be a central storyline for Bell. How do you deal with your own diagnosis, your own illness and your own ability to be a surgeon, and of a certain age? Then what do you do? It’s a great question, and we’re going to dive into it headfirst.

The show doesn't return until February, so it'll be a long month and a half until we finally figure out just what Dr. Bell has. While his future is unsure right now, I will says that it would be a shame to lose him. Check out the promo for the series' return down below:

Let's hope that Dr. Bell will be fine in the end because, after losing Nic, I don’t think I’d be able to handle another bout off heartbreak from the series for at least another couple of seasons. We'll see what happens when The Resident returns to Fox on February 1st.

Megan Behnke

Passionate writer. Obsessed with anything and everything entertainment, specifically movies and television. Can get easily attached to fictional characters.