The Resident Season 5 Episode 5 Review: The Thinnest Veil

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Are your jaws off the ground yet, or are you all still processing those last five minutes?

The season continues to surprise us by taking us in unexpected directions. But a beautifully well done The Resident Season 5 Episode 5 has transported us intot he unknown in the most shocking manner of the series to date.

Did The Resident just advance the storyline by roughly five years this early into the season?

It’s hard to think about anything other than that final scene, but we’ll try to get into everything else.

The Resident has always excelled at their Halloween installments, which have become a staple for the series. Of course, this one was no exception, incorporating everything from the spooky, horror-themed notes, a little fun, humor, cute costumes, fascinating cases, and honoring the dead.

The Resident always knows how to balance it all, and this particular themed hour was more touching than usual in the wake of Nic’s death.

One can appreciate the hour acknowledging the pagan, religious, and cultural parts of this time of year. It centered on honoring the dead, whether it was Dumb Supper as was the case here, or All Saints/Souls Day or Día de Los Muertos, it’s refreshing when series explore this time of year from other angles.

It’s a running theme of many series within the past two years, exploring grief in all of its forms. Once again, Czuchry knocked it out of the park.

The idea of Halloween serving as a day when the veil between life and death, the land of the living, and that of the dead is at its thinnest was a hauntingly beautiful way of ending Conrad’s most prominent grief period.

Magdelena: Wow, I died, but now I’m back. I mean that totally happened, right. There’s no tunnel. There’s no light at the end. There’s no angels. I didn’t see him. I didn’t see him.
Hundley: See who?
Magdelena: See him. My son. I just wanted to see his face.

He still dreamed about Nic. He saw her everywhere, in the halls of Chastain and some of the things they were doing. Every time Conrad looked at his friends, heard her voice on his voicemail, and thought about her when he opened that package, Nic was at the forefront of his mind.

It’s the little, seemingly mundane things that get you the most after a loss.

One of the most enjoyable parts of this process for Conrad is how he connects to patients because of it. Naturally, we’ve always known and anticipated Conrad getting personal and intimate with patients, serving all of these roles as a healer, counselor, and friend.

However, so far this season, we’ve also seen a Conrad that is so vulnerable that his patients are able to extend him that same grace. Conrad has taken their advice and listened to what they have to offer him during this difficult time. It’s made his scenes with patients more enjoyable than usual.

Hic connection with Magdalena was endearing and touching. When she mentioned she didn’t see her son as expected when she died, you could see how that gutted Conrad. As a man whose grief is still fresh and has a stronghold on him, it’s something he was probably clinging to, and she shattered that.

But then she was there to give him these words of comfort and could speak to him as someone a bit further in her grief journey. She gave him this bit of hope and reminded him of the important things: that he’ll never lose Nic as long as his memories of her remain — and that he’ll always carry her.

It was such a cathartic scene for Conrad and viewers, and it’s something that we’ll likely cling to as the series moves forward.

Overall, it was genuinely refreshing and lovely that the series managed to incorporate Wiccan and paganism without making a mockery of it around a holiday that often leads to that.

Beyond the visceral reaction to Leela wearing the hat, no one mocked their beliefs and religion. The show’s efforts at digging into them were to understand if something they had done during their ritual contributed to their issues.

Their hallucinations, yellow haze, and all of that added nice mind-bending creepiness and fun to the hour, but in a reasonable manner.

And the conclusion that the youngest witch, Cat, used the wrong (and toxic) herb while making their tea for the ceremony wrapped the case up nicely.

As someone who has blended mixed herbs and loose-leaf teas, it was a realistic mea culpa.

Devon: So, your treatment plan is to stand up to ghosts?
AJ: If they are obstreperous, yes. But we’ll also figure out what’s going on medically, alright?

Magdalena was another patient, much like Cherry, who left a lasting impression because of what they offered to Conrad when he needed it the most. And again, the maternal energy radiating from both of them with this man who missed that isn’t lost.

AJ and Devon’s case with Ethan was fun, and it was a battle of the best voices between guest-star Duke Davis Roberts and Malcolm- Jamal Warner.

AJ was hilarious recalling his experiences with ghosts as someone who grew up near a cemetery. It feels like we’re getting all these fun factoids and tidbits about AJ this season, and they make you smile.

Devon’s skepticism was amusing too. You can’t have a horror/Halloween-themed anything without a skeptic who becomes more open by the end of the day.

AJ assuring Ethan that he wasn’t crazy and taking him seriously when his wife and Devon didn’t was plain fun, and AJ and Nolan getting into Devon’s head about the haunted room in Chastain was cute.

But the most pronounced horror elements came from Bell’s storyline with Michael. I mean, for starters, the creepy hitchhiker was named freaking Michael.

Bless Bell’s heart; he went from saying goodbye to Kit to doing exactly what she told him not to do seconds later, and surely, he’s learned his lesson about what happens when you don’t listen to Queen Kit Voss.

The only thing that likely saved him from Michael gutting him to pieces was his honesty about his actions and his statement about how it’s much harder not to kill someone.

Bell: There was a time when I operated when I shouldn’t have. I had a physical problem that meant I shouldn’t have held a blade in my hand, and I thought I could control it.
Michael: Did you really think that?
Bell: No, I knew I was a risk.
Michael: And you killed somebody.
Bell: In a simple operation that shouldn’t have been risky. A man bled to death.
Michael: And what was your punishment?
Bell: There was none because the whitecoat is a shield.
Mike: So you got away with it?
Bell: No, I didn’t get away with it. That death haunts me to do this day, and I live with that guilt.
Michael: Guilt means nothing to me. Guilt is pointless.
Bell: There’s a saying in my line of work, it’s one that all surgeons know, that killing someone is so easy, what’s hard is not killing someone.

What did we do to deserve Bruce Greenwood? He’s fabulous, and recently we’re barraged with all of these little reasons as to why Bell has become one of the best characters of the series.

The ongoing theme they had thus far this season of Bell acknowledging his past screwups and how he’s learned and evolved from them is just good damn character development and growth.

Bell’s scene with Michael talking about all of that so candidly and admitting that his errors will haunt him was also one of the best scenes of the hour.

Bell has come so far as a character and blossomed into one of the series’ strongest characters, and it’s gratifying that they’ve spent time acknowledging that growth.

One would like to think that Bell’s words about how it requires more (strength, work, honor, or what have you) not to kill someone led to Michael allowing authorities to find him.

He respected Bell.

The hour was an opportunity to check in on those grieving the most. They worked in some engaging Billie moments. Her scene with Leela and Jessica, sharing how she turned to Buddhism for peace, was understated but emotional. Death and loss will prompt many to reexamine matters or concepts they didn’t make room for before.

The idea that Nic could have gone through the cycle and got reincarnated brought Billie some comfort. Maybe it was that she could believe one day she’d run into some version of Nic again or that Nic lives on.

It was also sweet to see her with baby Gigi.

Conrad may feel lonely without Nic, but he’s not alone and has this big, beautiful village of people supporting him and there for Gigi, too.

All he had to do was mention it, and everyone rushed to their house for a group dinner.

The Dumb Supper was beautifully shot as they did close-ups on people’s faces as they thought about the things they wanted to say to Nic during this time when her spirit could hear them best.

She’s still looking out for you. She’s still looking out for us.

Conrad

It was something poignant and powerful about the silence and tears. And I was happy that Bell, Kit and AJ were there for it when they didn’t have their flashbacks during the Honor Walk.

But nothing compared to Conrad pushing that door open to reveal a five-year-old Gigi. They even did a decent job of changing Conrad’s appearance slightly.

The Resident can do so much with this time jump, and it’s shocking that they’ve taken this route, but it’s exciting, too.

For Conrad and Gigi, it’s a smart move. They’ve spent some time honoring Nic, but this means they can move forward without dwelling in the early stages of his grief.

It could’ve bogged down the series if they devoted an entire season to that. With so many comparisons to New Amsterdam‘s similar storyline, The Resident is distinguishing itself from that.

It also means that we get to know Gigi better as an individual character who can talk and display more personality. It’ll be fun to explore Conrad interacting with his daughter in this stage of her life.

And this may be a tough one for many of you, but a time jump also means that Conrad had a significant mourning period, and if the show dares to introduce or explore Conrad attempting to date again after Nic’s loss, for him, it wouldn’t feel rushed.

It’s the cleverest way to move us past this period.

Devon: You know you can go home, I got this.
Conrad: It’s worse at home, I’d rather be here.

However, the curiosity comes from how this will reflect on the other characters.

We’ve barely gotten to experience Devon and Leela’s early stages of their relationship, and now we’re transporting them roughly five years ahead. Are they married now? Did we miss out on an actual wedding?

Will Leela be expecting, or have they started a family of their own already?

How do we feel about The Resident dropping us into the middle of that without seeing the moments leading up to it?

Similarly, Kit and Bell finally got together this season, and we haven’t even seen them go out on their date yet, but now we’ll be, hopefully, five years into their relationship. Speeding ahead means we’ll miss out on some of the fun parts.

How about Billie and AJ? Fans have speculated that the two will probably become an item, and now that they’re jumping ahead, it means they’ve known each other for a significant amount of time, and that could be true.

But is anyone ready for that?

And if Miles Fowler became a series regular ahead of this season, it means Trevor isn’t going anywhere.

Does it mean he and Billie made up sometime in those years? Will we see Trevor as an intern or a resident at Chastain? How else do they intend to incorporate him?

The ending left us with so many questions, but I’m intrigued. It feels like a new chapter of this series, and that can be exciting.

We genuinely don’t know what to expect moving forward, and it’s rare to experience that with a series you love.

Additional Notes:

  • Hundley’s costume was awesome, and so is she.
  • Bell singing in his car was the cutest thing, and I love how much Bruce Greenwood singing we’re getting this season.
  • Kit as Mary Poppins was ingenious, and I loved her pulling the skeleton out of her bag.
  • So was the room really haunted, or were they messing with Devon? And please, tell me they didn’t take that house near Nolan!
  • Is anyone else worried about whether or not Conrad and Kyle are in a better place in the future? It will break my heart if Kyle is still angry five years later.
  • I love when a series can find fresh ways to reinvent itself and keep devoted fans on their toes, and it feels like The Resident just pulled that off!

Over to you, Resident Fanatics. How shocking was that ending?! What do you think will happen next?! We need to discuss! 

If you need to relive the season again until The Resident returns with all-new episodes, then you can watch The Resident online here via TV Fanatic. 

Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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