In this week’s The Resident, we get the backstory on Nic and Conrad’s relationship, AJ begins to embrace being called “The Raptor,” Dr. Bell fights Conrad’s father, Marshall, and a saline shortage at the same time, and Devon gets dancing advice from Julian before his wedding. It’s an episode that had my jaw on the floor, and I was raving to a co-worker about it the next day. It’s just that good.
It’s my favorite of the season so far, and I know what you are thinking. It’s the third episode of the season. Well, it’s just that good. Now, I may be biased by the Conic backstory in this episode, but it’s not just that. The episode is incredibly well written and acted. It’s what you’ve come to expect with this show, and multiplied times two. Just superb!
The episode titled is “Three Words” and if you are guessing it’s those three words everyone hopes to hear in a relationship, you’d be spot on. I’ll move on because there is a better time and place for me to gush about it later in the review. I just can’t compliment the writers or the actors enough for such an amazing episode. It’s one of the best hours of TV I’ve watched in a long time.
Those Three Words
One of the major plots of this episode reveals Conrad and Nic’s backstory through flashbacks, which is something I was not expecting when I started watching the episode.
“Three Words” starts with a flashback of Conrad and Nic meeting at the 404 Tavern some 3 years earlier, where Nic tries to school Conrad and Irving on their pool games. Eventually, this leads to Conrad asking Nic out during one of his shifts in the way you’d expect from him. Good thing Nic’s not the fancy, white tablecloth date kind of girl.
Then we get to the part of the episode that had my jaw on the floor. One thing I want to say to the writers is to please continue throwing plots out there that would never be expected. I just never expected this backstory from Conic. I always wondered why they broke up. Why they were no longer together in the pilot episode, and this episode answers that question.
Nic and Conrad were closer than ever, and very much in love. Then, they suffer a miscarriage. The episode doesn’t state how far along the pregnancy was. We see them both dealing with it in their own ways.
Nic blames herself for it, but Conrad shoots it down immediately and reminds her that these things happen. At this point, they seem to be handling it well and are being very strong. They are determined to make it through it together. I love this so much. This scene is what I was talking about last week when I noted how The Resident handles relationships.
It’s just so realistic and profound. Please never stop, it’s so refreshing to see these characters so open, so raw. Please never stop.
However, this is when things begin to go south.
Conrad and Nic are at the 404 Tavern getting a few drinks, talking Star Wars, Stargate, and, you know, the typical stuff you get on a date. It’s a cute scene that leads to Nic wanting to educate Conrad on science fiction movies. Come on, Conrad, you must have watched Star Wars at least once. Her exclamation of, “How did we ever get here?” is the same reaction I would’ve had. I love this side of Nic so much. Nerdy Nic is great, and I definitely want to see her more often.
It’s just like a TV show to give and take. Put your heart full of fluff and rip it out in the course of five minutes. Don’t the best ones? Congrats, The Resident, you accomplished it, if that was your goal.
While Conrad’s away getting more beer, a man walks by and sexually assaults Nic. We all know Nic can handle herself. She’s one of my favorite female characters for just this reason. That doesn’t mean that it’s just gonna be let go, especially not by Conrad.
If we know Conrad, he doesn’t let assault or harassment go. Good for him! In this day and age, we could all use more men like Conrad. A man who gets how to respect a woman. It’s not the first time we’ve seen him stand up for Nic either. Last season, when the show covered the #MeToo movement, he stood up to a patient who sent Nic a crude photo.
He confronts the assaulter and gets them to not only admit to it but to apologize for doing it in the first place. However, Conrad loses his temper and it makes Nic tell him that she can’t be with him if this is how he is going to handle things. That bottling up his emotions like he’s been doing isn’t healthy and that for them to be together, he’s going to have to do better.
Another thing this show is so amazing at. Showing that men don’t have to bottle all their emotions up. Yes, they are strong, but they can show emotions and handle things in their life without letting it out in anger, as Conrad did. He admits later in the episode that Nic opened him up to get the help he needed to change and become a better person. To handle his emotions better. It becomes the reason Nic reveals she decided to give him another chance.
I was just amazed by this storyline. It’s so rich, emotional, and full. So complex and realistic. It’s an answer that has been needed for a long time, and I’m so glad to finally see it.
I think my favorite conversation of the night is the one where Nic asks if the events that took place last season hadn’t happened – would they have gotten back together. While somewhat heartwrenching – it’s also affirmative of the depth of the love between Conrad and Nic.
“We broke up because we had issues. And then Lily died. And your Dad came back. And then I got arrested. If those things didn’t happen, do you think we’d be back together?” – Nic
“Ah, yes. Of course. Don’t you?” – Conrad
“I don’t know.” – Nic
While those three little words aren’t given mutually in one conversation, they are given mutually over the course of the episode and it made my heart flutter when I heard Nic say it back to Conrad.
“I’m not the same guy I was back then.” – Conrad
“I want to belive that. I hope it will be different.” – Nic
“It will be. Because I’ll be different. Do the work. Get the help. You make me want to be a better person, it’s one of the reasons why I love you.” – Conrad
“I love you, too, and I do think it will be different this time.” – Nic
The quotes above are what makes them so amazing. If Conrad and Nic can get through a miscarriage, a break-up and reconciliation, a patient death which Nic was wrongly accused of, and all the other various items they’ve had thrown at them – then Conic is strong. This is one amazing couple and I’m ready for more of their amazing journey – together.
This episode has made me love Conic more, and I don’t know if that was possible! Matt and Emily just have so much chemistry that makes this relationship spark like few I’ve seen before it.
What Makes It A Medical Drama
While most of this episode focuses on our main characters, we do get the heart of the genre of this show thrown in amongst the rich storyline of the episode. In this episode, we have two stories – but three patients.
The first patients we see are a married couple, who have just returned from their honeymoon in Hawaii, and are trying to do everything to keep the honeymoon period alive. However, the wife passes out and is having issues breathing.
The stats – She’s had a liver transplant – and from her own husband. It’s such a sweet sentiment until you hear their backstory. It’s what triggers Conrad and Nic to reminisce about their own story through the episode. They broke up because he cheated, but she became sick – and he stepped up. They reconciled and eventually got married.
They end up having issues from the clay they use to make pottery. It’s not really the clay as the bad ventilation in their workshop. Over time it caused lung issues. The wife’s liver issue is a separate entity. Eventually, Conrad and Nic figure all this out and save their lives. It’s the trigger for Conrad and Nic to discuss what went wrong and realize that things have changed, that they have changed, and that they both know things will be different this time.
The second patient is an elderly man who has a pacemaker. It’s malfunctioning so Devon contacts Julian and she tests it to see how they can help the patient. It worries Devon that the pacemaker may be hurting the patient more than it is helping him because it is shocking him and it at one point stopped working altogether, prompting them to call AJ in to replace it – since he put it in originally.
AJ even walks Devon through a temporary procedure to save the patient’s life until they can get him in surgery.
Some of my favorite scenes in this show are seeing the problems the patients are facing and how they affect the doctors and nurses fighting to save their lives. In the case of this episode, it’s all’s well that ends well.
Dr. Bell’s Battles
Dr. Bell has two battles on his hands in “Three Words”. On one side he has Conrad’s father, Marshall, who is the chairman of the board breathing down his neck and trying to hold Bell accountable for his actions. Just as he should. It’s his job.
I’ve heard from other fans I’ve talked to say Marshall is mean and vindictive, and he can be. I see both sides of this. Marshall doing his job as chairman – and Marshall doing what he’s always done, at least according to Conrad.
Bell swears he can handle Marshall, but can he? I don’t think Bell even knows the answer.
On the other front – is a saline shortage. Saline – salt water. The run of the mill liquid that every hospital in the world uses to give fluids to patients. Something so common, and it’s in short supply in a hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. Shouldn’t be happening in America, or as the show put it, you expect this in other places, but not here. Not in America.
Once Conrad brings it to Bell’s attention, Bell alerts the board. All of them are on board with his idea to create a factory to produce their own saline. All except Marshall. He’s hesitant because of the hospital’s budget and he also doesn’t think Bell has the experience to able to run something like a saline factory. However, with the board having more votes, Bell’s idea passes and he tries to get the idea off the ground at a conference. A conference Marshall insists he attends with Bell.
Bell does all he can to make the pitch, which was well received by many – even so much as getting six other CEOs interested by the end of the conference. However, Marshall goes around Bell and buys a saline factory for Chastain’s personal use. Chastain will never run short of saline again. Bell criticizes Marshall for it to Conrad. While Conrad is pleased to hear of the situation, he warns Bell of his father’s past investments. Conrad also talks to his father and warns him that Chastain isn’t like his past investments either and that sometimes things can wait until tomorrow.
It’s an interesting thing seeing Conrad trapped between Bell and his father. Giving both advice to handle to the other.
Bell laments to Marshall that he just doesn’t want to see him have a win, but is that really the case? Is there more to it than anyone knows? I’m interested to see the power struggle between Bell and Marshall play out and will Conrad be stuck in the middle – or try to make himself neutral?
Embrace Being “The Raptor”
In the midst of all the action, AJ has a crisis of his own. Bell is on him about his billing of using one of the hospital’s robots. A device he tells Conrad he loathes as if it were a human being.
AJ prefers to use his hands for surgeries and makes that point clear to all that confront him about the issue. Mina tries to help by teaching him the device, a device he proves to know how to use but just that he believes that his hands can do better than a machine.
The outcome of all this is that AJ – who was dubbed “The Raptor” in his first appearance on the show – due to his aggressive personality. He says due to all this, he’s learned to embrace the nickname. He states no one tells “The Raptor” what to do, but is that really true? Will Bell get that last word? He came really close to firing AJ for not showing him respect.
Will Bell and AJ keep at it over the course of the season? I sure hope so – it’s very interesting to watch. I love the dynamic of these two characters. It adds the potential for richer plots to the show, and I’m excited to see where they take it.
Embrace it, AJ! Malcolm Jamal-Warner has been an amazing addition to the show and AJ is quickly becoming one of my favorite characters.
Devon Gets A Dance Lesson
Devon, who self-admits to having two left feet and dreading learning to dance a Bollywood dance for his wedding reception to please his fiancee, Priya, reluctantly agrees to Julian’s offer of a dance lesson or two so he won’t be as nervous when it comes time to dance at his wedding.
However, when the time comes, it seems there may be more than just friends. Is Julian flirting with Devon, who is unaware, or is he aware? Devon, as we know, is very much in love with his fiancee. Will it take Mina, who witnessed Devon and Julian’s dance lesson through a window, much to her shock.
Since last week, I’ve noticed that Julian has taken to Devon, unknown to him. Will this become a problem for Devon and Priya, or will Devon handle it?? Will Mina talk to Devon?
If there was one couple on this show I hoped had a smooth journey, it was Devon and Priya. I honestly will give this plot a chance, but this is the one new plot they’ve introduced that I’m questioning.
Honestly, I hope Mina pulls Devon aside and asks him about it. If there’s anyone blunt enough to go right to the point, it’s Mina.
Because as much as I love seeing Jenna as part of this cast, and back on TV – this is the one plot I’m wary of for her. Yeah, let her stir up some trouble at Chastain, just this one is almost a stereotype. It’s not one I hoped to see for this character when I knew she was coming, much less when I first met her last week. However, I’m willing to give it a shot. As a viewer, I’m always willing to give things a shot, but if it goes where I think it might – then this may be one of my first harsh criticisms of this show.
Please let Devon and Priya get their wedding. I’ve said this since the pilot – I’d love to see their big, traditional Indian wedding in this show. I think it could be an amazing episode. That’s all I ask.
5 Things Before Next Week
- CONIC! Man, that was amazing! I’m loving them so much lately. I love hearing them say those three special words to each other. Where to from here?
- Julian – will she try to move in on Devon despite knowing he’s getting married?
- Dr. Bell and Marshall – I’m loving the antagonism between them. It makes this show more realistic.
- The show just recently got a full season order from Fox, making the season have 22 episodes. Congrats to The Resident‘s cast, crew, producers, and writers!
- The plot of this show gets richer and richer each week. I love how they weave all the plot together seamlessly. How the writers balance the stories of the patients, the wrongs and corruption of the American healthcare system, and the lives of our doctors and nurses into the seamless fabric is beyond me. I’ve rarely enjoyed a show more!
The Resident airs Mondays at 8/7c on Fox.