‘The Resident’ 2×08 Review: “Heart In A Box”

In the latest installment of The Resident, titled “Heart In A Box”, we get very few answers. There is character development, but the plot movement is slow. Not that there wasn’t movement, it’s just slow. It’s probably because the midseason finale is next week, and they are slowly building things up to some big events for that episode. We will have to see next week. However, that is then. I still need to discuss this week.

In this episode, Devon is simultaneously grappling with what happened with Julian and his issues with Priya, on top of what would be considered a day from hell in the ER. By the end of the episode, he has a black eye and is wearing scrubs a couple sizes too big, but he makes it through. Through it all, he realizes among his complaints about his job, that he wouldn’t want it any other way. He tells Priya that he can’t leave Atlanta to be with her in San Francisco. Will Priya decide not to go? Will they get married at all? Devon still hasn’t told her he kissed Julian, and he’s still grappling with that event – despite Julian saying that they can still be friends. Something’s gotta give, seriously.

Also in this episode: A man with “broken heart” syndrome who gets a heart transplant, Mina shares a secret from her past with AJ, Conrad grapples with being too close to a patient that he’s already seen go through losing a family member – so much so that he tries to convince the patient’s mom to not use a risky medical device to treat his seizures. All I have to say is #WereWithConrad on this one, and we’ll talk about it later.

Also – Nic calls AJ out on his feelings for Mina, the return of Melina Kanakaredes as Dr. Hunter, Julian learns that her boss lied to her, and the Conic moments in this episode are a delight that helps bring light to an otherwise heavy episode. There’s a lot of material and a lot of opinions to be delivered, so let’s just move on.


Devon and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

That Instagram post from Manish Dayal speaks a million words, and they all say, “Ouch!”

Yes, that’s right! In the midst of this episode, things go from bad to worse for Devon, who along the way learns that he still loves his job. There are good days and bad days with any job. It comes with the territory, but Devon spends his days working in the ER. In this episode alone, Devon gets thrown up on, has racially charged statements thrown at him, loses a patient after an hour of doing CPR, and is punched in the eye by a meth addict. Irving finally forces Devon on his break after he is punched. I doubt I’d last as long as Devon did.

Devon learns from this horrible experience. He realizes that not even his worst day could make him want to leave Chastain. That this is what he’s spent years working for, and he wants to see it out. I’m glad to see him in this experience. It doesn’t help me with his other predicament, but as a doctor, Devon grew in this episode.

His quote to Priya about this is perfect:

“It’s not easy. If it were, everyone would be a doctor because it is the best job in the world. Despite everything, because of everything, I wouldn’t trade my worst day at Chastain, or my best, making devices in Silicon Valley. I can’t leave. I’m sorry.” – Devon

It’s just perfect.

The Other Predicament

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I think the gif says it all.

“Heart In A Box” opens with Devon thinking about the kiss, pictured above, that he shared with Julian in “Trial And Error”, and it doesn’t shy away from it. Before he heads to Chastain, Devon has another conversation with Priya about San Francisco. Priya says that she doesn’t want to live on two coasts in their first year of marriage. She notes that she moved to Atlanta for him, but he knows that if he leaves Chastain it could take him time to find another residency.

He’s conflicted.

She tells him that he could work on his medical devices in Silicon Valley, but by the end of the episode, he knows it isn’t what he wants. He wants to have his hands in the thick of things, even if it means getting punched by a patient accidentally. So, where does that leave them? That’s the big question I have leading into next week’s midseason finale. Will Devon and Priya actually marry? Will all this blow up? Also, Priya does not know about the kiss. Will she ever?

Speaking of Julian, when she runs into Devon in the ER things get awkward – QUICK! This prompts Julian to say tell him she’s past what happened between them and there’s no reason they can’t be friends. Yeah, right. I see where this is heading. I STILL DON’T LIKE IT. NOT ONE BIT.

Nonetheless, near the end of the episode, Devon opens up to Julian about his day and his issues with Priya. Sorry, Devon. You’re opening up to the wrong person. Why not go grab drinks with Irving after your shift and talk it out with him? This just doesn’t help things at all, and I can see an explosion coming.

As I noted two weeks ago, I don’t like this storyline, and I never will. Devon and Priya’s relationship provided opportunities for The Resident to show representation to Indian relationships and culture through this relationship and they’ve turned it into this cheating storyline. I’m so mad about this storyline. I just hate that this is where they are going with it. It doesn’t help Devon as a person one bit.

Please, for my sanity – move this plot along. It’s old. It’s overused. It’s cliché. It’s downright wrong.


THE RESIDENT: L-R: Matt Czuchry, guest star Evan Whitten, guest star Daniella Alonso and guest star Paul Schackman in the “Heart in a Box” episode of THE RESIDENT airing Monday, Nov. 19 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2018 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Guy D’Alema/FOX.

If you remember the brother from “The Germ”, then this part of the episode will make you feel all kinds of things. That episode had me bawling like a baby when Jasper died. Now, his big brother Henry is back in the hospital after suffering a grand mal seizure during one of his baseball games.

Conrad wants to make sure that Henry and his mom are ok after Jasper’s death. So much so, that he goes to one of Henry’s baseball games. It’s so amazing to see Conrad cheering on Henry. Conrad shows Henry how to swing his bat properly. It’s something a father would do for his son. As Henry doesn’t have one anymore, Conrad feels that he needs to be there. Especially after he lost his brother only a month ago.

While Henry is running the bases, he suffers a grand mal seizure and is rushed to Chastain. This seizure is still happening upon arrival. This prompts Conrad and another doctor – Dr. Eckert – to add another seizure drug to Henry’s medications. This makes it his third drug. It helps, but Henry responds to it negatively. This is where things get tricky – and why this section is captioned #WeAreWithConrad.

This section of the episode drew a lot of emotions from me. I have personal experience with Epilepsy. I’ve had it since infancy, much like Henry. I’ve been on medication since I was a child, and this storyline really has me drawing from my own personal experiences while watching. While my experience is very much different than Henry’s, and I know how lucky I am for that, I feel connected to this child very much. At one point in my life, that could’ve been me. It caused me to have some very strong opinions about the way they showed this plot line and discussed Epilepsy. I was insulted for the almost 30 years I’ve battled Epilepsy with the way the show handled it.

I understand stopping the seizures and living a normal life, but I hate to break it anyone who doesn’t have Epilepsy: seizures controlled or not, life is far from normal. The medication side effects are a daily battle. This is my experience. Everyone’s are different, I’m aware of this, but calling the medication toxic that so many people rely on to stop their seizures is an insult. It causes issues, sure, but toxic – maybe certain drugs. There’s a reason many seizure drugs are still out there and have been go to drugs for years. Guess what? They work. They are reliable. Why not give it a better shot?

It takes time for these drugs to begin working, as with any drug. It’s not a one day, in and out scenario. Sorry, The Resident, but not realistic.

Let’s get back to the episode. When Henry reacts badly to the combination of the drugs, Quovadis gets Julian to step in and mention the VNS device. Julian’s boss notes this device does wonders. Julian is hesitant to recommend the device when she finds out the patient is a child. This event makes her question her boss and what Quovadis stands for. It’s about time.

This episode really made me love Conrad so much more. He was against them implanting the VNS device from the start. He didn’t like the research on it and he didn’t like it being inserted in Henry’s brain. If it fails, Henry could die. Then, what? This mother has lost both of her children. So, #WeAreWithConrad.

Conrad even notes that it is a last resort method of treatment. The mother, Zoey, has had enough and is ready for Henry to not suffer. With persuasion, Zoey agrees to have the VNS device inserted. The surgery was successful and the seizures already stopped. My question is, at what price? Will the device fail? Zoey is happy now, so much so, she hugged Bell after surgery, but what will happen if this device fails?

It’s just not a realistic plotline. I wish they had done this better. Maybe talk to people who have a device like this. Talk to families of people who have these devices. Even people and family members, in general, with Epilepsy, especially in childhood. Ask them what they would do in this case. If my seizures weren’t able to be controlled by any of the known seizure drugs or combinations of them on the market, then maybe the VNS would be considered, but this really is the most extreme and dramatized storyline the writers could come up with.

I really am disappointed with you, The Resident. I understand you have to have a certain amount of drama, but as someone who actually has Epilepsy, and has since childhood, the way this plot was delivered disappoints me.

Nic Warns Conrad of Getting too Attached to His Patients

THE RESIDENT: L-R: Emily VanCamp and Matt Czuchry in the “Heart in a Box” episode of THE RESIDENT airing Monday, Nov. 19 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2018 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Guy D’Alema/FOX.

In the midst of Henry’s storyline, Nic gives Conrad a warning about getting too attached to Henry. She understands why Conrad feels the need to make sure that Henry and his mom are ok. However, when it comes to seeing the way Bell steamrolled his opinion about the VNS device, he realized what Nic was saying is true.

At the end of the episode, Nic brings Conrad his coffee so he can get ready for his shift, and he tells her that he has decided to let Zoey handle Henry’s recovery and that she was correct in what she told him.

Will this advice affect Conrad down the line with how he handles future patients? What makes him such an amazing doctor is that he does truly care about his patients. I’m interested to see where this leads.

The Conic Feels Are Real

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Conrad and Nic are two “ships passing in the night”, as they put it. They are working opposite shifts, and therefore only see each other when one leaves for work as the other returns home. They miss waking by each other’s side and Conrad tells Nic this.

It would’ve been awesome to see Nic at Henry’s baseball game with Conrad. How amazing would it have been if she had seen Conrad helping Henry with the baseball bat? She did get a glimpse of him and Henry talking baseball while at the hospital. The look on her face says it all. She knows one day that Conrad will make an amazing father. I can’t wait to see this event happen for them, especially after “Three Words” revealed that they suffered a miscarriage the first time they dated.

The episode revealed they both wanted a baby together, so with these little hints that Nic loves seeing Conrad in this father figure role move them forward to possibly trying for a family again? That’s every shipper’s ultimate dream –  a baby.


Even when Nic sends Conrad the warning about not getting too attached, the looks and touches they share before splitting are so amazing. The kisses. I had to gush a little about Conic this week because their interactions really brought light to this episode.

The gif above is from their last interaction in the episode where Nic wakes Conrad so they can swap shifts, along with some coffee. The forehead kiss is just soft. Yeah, I have it bad. I couldn’t help it. They were just too pure this week for me not to gush a little.

You Can Die of a Broken Heart

THE RESIDENT: L-R: Shaunette RenŽe Wilson and Malcolm-Jamal Warner in the “Heart in a Box” episode of THE RESIDENT airing Monday, Nov. 19 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2018 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Guy D’Alema/FOX.

Mina and AJ team up to do a heart transplant on a man who has “broken heart” syndrome. Quite literally, the stress from him losing his wife has made his heart disintegrate to the point that he needs a heart transplant. So whoever said, “Nobody ever died of a broken heart.” I beg to differ. It can cause you enough stress that it will kill you. This is the plot that gives the episode its title, “Heart In A Box”.

Luckily, for this man, Nic finds him a donor heart at a nearby hospital and Mina and AJ leave to go harvest it. During this trip, Mina not only grows in her experience as a surgeon, but AJ, and us, learn something new about Mina.

On the ambulance ride back to Chastain, AJ asks Mina what makes her so invincible. Previously, she notes that if her boyfriend, Micah, were to die or break up with her, it wouldn’t break her heart. It really doesn’t sit well with AJ.

So a little backstory is that Micah is having breathing issues while he sleeps, and out of worry Mina takes him to AJ to get tests run. AJ sees Mina’s concern, which later prompts the conversation about Micah breaking Mina’s heart.

Mina eventually opens up and reveals why she is so emotionless, almost robotic. The story is heartbreaking and both the audience and AJ have this deeper understanding of Mina. Something that needed to happen way before now. I’m so glad to see more facets of Mina’s character. I love her, but I really want to see what makes her tick. Why she is the way she is.

The story goes:

In 2014, while still in medical school in Nigeria, she was looking after her younger sisters because her mom was at work. She was used to it, as her mom was a surgeon and never home. One night, after she put her sisters to bed, she accidentally fell asleep. She wakes up and finds out she accidentally left the stove on. The whole house was on fire. She tried to save her sisters, but they didn’t survive. They were only 11 and 12 years old.

It’s one of the most brutal, heartbreaking backstories the writers could have come up with, but now we have clarity into why Mina is so shut off from everyone. She notes that the grief made her shut off her emotions and become who she is today.

“Emotions can enrich our lives, but they can also destroy us.” – Mina

Even now, this event is so raw for Mina. She notes she never wants to speak about it again. AJ reacts in shock, however, it also gives him a lot more respect for Mina.

Once at the hospital, AJ and Mina, with a tiny complication from the donor’s heart, insert the new heart in their patient who is destined for a full recovery. However, before the surgery, the patient, Wallace, wonders if he deserves a new heart. It takes Nic convincing him that he needs to live to hold on to his wife’s legacy.

There’s a scene near the end of the episode, where Mina is tending to Wallace. AJ is observing from the hall and Nic asks AJ if he is in love with Mina. He admits to her that he is, but that it can’t happen. There are many reasons, AJ’s being the mentor/mentee relationship they have.

However, now that Nic knows, where will this go? I actually love the chemistry of Shaunette Renée Wilson and Malcolm-Jamal Warner, and think this ship has potential. However, Mina has a boyfriend. They are teasing this like crazy, and I love it. I also love Micah, so I’m torn. We will see how it plays out. Because as they say, denial is not just a river in Africa. And, yes, I’m referring to AJ. However, he does have a very legit excuse as to why he won’t pursue it.

Julian Learns That Her Boss Lied

THE RESIDENT: Guest star Jenna Dewan in the “Heart in a Box” episode of THE RESIDENT airing Monday, Nov. 19 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2018 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Guy D’Alema/FOX.

In “Trial And Error”, Julian gets worried when a patient’s metal on metal hip replacement deteriorates and causes him many other issues. So much so, she has a panic attack. It triggers her to research the company that made the device, and she finds out her boss used to work for this company.

The company lied about making its products in America, but really imported them from China. Her boss assures her that this is not happening at Quovadis, and that everything is made in America. Come to find out, this is all a lie. Julian, on a whim, goes to the Quovadis warehouse and sees workers unboxing the products and repacking them – and along the way removing the Made in China sticker and putting a Made in USA in its spot.

She’s hurt and betrayed. She wonders if she wants to work for Quovadis anymore, or even in medical device sales. Where will the plotline lead? How will Julian reveal this to Bell?

Another thing, at least Julian has her own plotline, instead of being the girl that Devon cheats on his fiance with. At least Julian has more going for her than being a cardboard cutout of a plot device.

The Return of Dr. Hunter – And Dr. Bell’s Dilemma

THE RESIDENT: Bruce Greenwood in the “Heart in a Box” episode of THE RESIDENT airing Monday, Nov. 19 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2018 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Guy D’Alema/FOX.

This episode also features the return of Melina Kanakaredes as Dr. Hunter, and as you know she’s in jail for insurance fraud and the murder of Lily, the girl played by Violett Beane last season.

At the beginning of the episode, Bell is disposed by Hunter’s lawyer for her trial. When asked how long he and Hunter were lovers, Bell shuts it down and goes to Hunter to ask her what she told her lawyer. She tells him that she has a video of them together at the 4 Seasons and that she has it under password lock on Vimeo. She wants out of jail, but needs Bell to pay her bail, which she promises to pay back once she’s out. She also wants a fancy, high paid lawyer. Let’s just say – she’s blackmailing him to get out of jail.

I say – Don’t do it, Bell.

Hunter belongs in jail, and Bell calling the FBI on her was one of the best things he has ever done over the coarse of this show. I hope that wherever this storyline goes that Hunter gets her comeuppance, and that somehow Bell goes down with her – considering that there is proof he told Hunter to get her files and destroy them. They are plotting a way to make Hunter likable to a jury, but who can forget she purposely killed a girl to cover up her insurance fraud? How will all this go down? Will Bell finally have to come clean about this to Marshall? I’d love to see how that plays out.

I’m glad to see this storyline going somewhere. FINALLY! Please let there be #JusticeForLily. There’s no way Hunter can be let off the hook for this. Please give Lily’s family justice. Give Nic and Conrad justice for the pain they’ve endured.

Top Questions From This Episode

  1. Will Devon come clean to Priya about kissing Julian? Will Devon and Priya marry?
  2. How will Bell reveal his predicament to Marshall?
  3. Will Nic and Conrad ever pursue having another baby? Conrad was just too amazing being Henry’s father figure, and Nic agrees.
  4. Will Henry’s VNS device fail and when it does, how will the show handle it?
  5. Why did the writers have this storyline around Epilepsy so over dramatized?
  6. Where will the Mina and AJ storyline go?
  7. Where will Julian’s discovery take her?

The Resident airs Mondays at 8/7c on Fox.

Please leave your comments below. Agree? Disagree? Let us know!

Currently a writer for The Resident, but I have many interests that include country music, fantasy and science fiction movies. I'm just your typical southern girl who was raised by a single dad. A Chris Wood and Matt Czuchry fangirl forever.