by Julian Spivey
The unintended season finale of Fox’s “The Resident” on Tuesday, April 7 titled “Burn It All Down” worked remarkably well as a season ender.
The third season of “The Resident” was supposed to air 23 episodes, but production had to be shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic resulting with the series ending its season at 20 episodes. Many series that had to shutdown due to the pandemic likely won’t be as fortunate as “The Resident” in where their storylines end up.
Eerily mirroring the real world of the moment “The Resident” finished off a multiple-episode arc of a superbug called Candida auris that has infected the son-in-law of Dr. Kitt Voss (played by Jane Leeves) and left him at death’s door after being intubated with a contaminated ventilator from patient zero, thanks to Dr. Barrett Cain’s (Morris Chestnut) – the third season’s main villain – keeping a brain dead patient alive long enough to receive a “success” rating on a previous procedure.
Dr. Conrad Hawkins (Matt Czuchry) finds a potential cure for Derek, the son-in-law, about midway through the episode, but also finds that an abscess on his spine is keeping the curing antibiotics from working. A delicate procedure is needed on Derek’s spine to save his life, but the only problem is Dr. Cain is the only one in the hospital skilled enough to do it, and he’s the one who ultimately caused the problem and has a case dearer to his heart that he’s set his mind on doing.
Cain has been an egotistical, cares more about his success rate and his billing more than his patients guy from his debut in the season, but we finally see something he cares about when college girlfriend, his one true love, shows up at the hospital with a brain infection. It’s a procedure another surgeon at Chastain Park Memorial could probably do, but Cain doesn’t want anyone else touching his former flame Justine.
There are some complications – aren’t there always on a medical drama – with Derek’s surgery, but it’s ultimately a success. During the surgery, though, Cain receives word that Justine is in trouble and when he’s able to get to her it’s too late to save his life. Essentially, he receives his comeuppance for creating such a horrible situation for Derek and the hospital in losing the only thing he’s ever seemingly loved. I truly appreciated this almost Rod Serling-esque moral tale by the episode’s writers Tianna Majumdar-Langham, Chris Bessounian and Daniela Lamas.
It seems this is the incident Cain needs in his life to turn himself around, but with the season ending early it’s to be seen where the show intends to go with this in a potential fourth season, if they even bring the character back – typically the show has had a season-long villain each season. Part of that villain this season has been the Red Rock corporation that owns the hospital and toward the end of the makeshift finale its CEO Logan Kim is ready to put Cain on the chopping block and insert the show’s main character Dr. Hawkins into more of a leadership role, which has the always do-good, moralistic doctor afraid that he’s going to have to go a bit to the dark side, in a late episode conversation with his businessman father (played by Glenn Morshower).
It’s Conrad’s decision where the season ends off and ultimately why I believe it makes for a pretty good season finale, albeit an unintended one, because it lets us stew over the summer (if the show is renewed) on whether or not we’re going to see a darker side of him going forward.
The episode ended on a high note for the series ratings-wise with a season-high audience of 4.92 million viewers, which can only help its chances of receiving a fourth season order by Fox. Another thing that could be in the series favor is the network losing multiple dramas with the ending of “Empire” and the cancellations of “Deputy” and “Almost Family.”