The Resident is doing a great job at offering that perfect balance of personal arcs and development and fascinating or informative medical cases.
It’s all one can ask for in a medical drama, and The Resident Season 5 Episode 13 has us thoroughly invested in Billie’s face-off with the despicable Porter, rooting for Leela and Bell, and wrapped up in the medical cases.
A little Gigi sprinkled in is the cherry on top.
It’s a mark of how well this series manages its cast and the respective storylines that even when characters are missing, it doesn’t feel as if the installment is lacking.
Conrad is often the glue that keeps everything together, but it doesn’t necessarily require him to be front and center with his respective arc.
He held much of this hour together with a fascinating case with an influencer, but it was Billie, Leela, and Jessica who had personal arcs interwoven with the rest of the hour.
It was good to see Jessica again. We haven’t seen much of her in some time, and we got another look at her life outside of work when we met her sister and learned a bit about how things were for them growing up.
It was typical sibling issues that almost anyone can relate to — always focusing on how the other is idealized without realizing they view you in a similar light.
The gender reveal party was enough to make you roll your eyes and scoff, as we’ve seen countless times how these things go impossibly wrong, and for what? Attention?
But Scarlett and Will seemed like a sweet couple, and you couldn’t help but feel for him when he trended on some variation of Tik Tok because of that cannon mishap that nearly killed him.
While it wasn’t some grand ordeal, a glimpse into Jessica’s life outside of Chastain was pleasant. Jessica Miesel is such a delight, and her character has been a constant.
She looked stunning in her dress at the party, and I loved seeing Jessica and her sister talk through how they felt about each other and support one another.
It also worked well to ease Bell into performing surgeries and added some stake. It’s never been a secret that Jessica adores Bell, and she’s his favorite scrub nurse.
Whenever they get those little nuggets of screentime, you can’t help but watch that relationship with a fondness. The only downside to the hour was that we didn’t get to see Bell sit her down and tell her about his diagnosis.
Jessica has been there when Bell was at his absolute worst and his best. It was sensible that she would inquire about his state when he was performing surgery on her family when she hadn’t seen him in the O.R. since he had difficulties.
You could see the concern written all over her face, but they all reassured her that Bell was good. And he was; the incident that happened during surgery could’ve happened to anyone, and he didn’t hesitate to call for A.J., who was on standby, likely at Conrad’s request.
I’m pleased they didn’t have Bell benching himself for an extended time despite learning that his treatments are working and his condition isn’t worsening.
He’s excellent in the operating room, and it’s one of his passions. Bell knows his limits and capabilities, and he isn’t egotistical enough to refuse to ask for help.
I genuinely appreciate that the series explores this storyline without making the grave mistake of presenting Bell’s M.S. as if it’s a death sentence requiring they put him to pasture.
It feels more honest, realistic, and practical to show him managing and adapting while still living a whole, healthy, normal life. They’re playing the dramatic notes of this arc well without overdoing it, with an admirable level of restraint and tactfulness.
Sometimes it has its clumsy moments. Leela’s inspirational pep talk and commiserating with Bell as someone who has Dyslexia was moving and an example of that, as mentioned earlier.
Bell: If you were prefer to work with another doctor —
Leela: Absolutely not. This is a physical challenge. That’s it. I have one too.
Bell: If you had never told me, I never would’ve guessed that you have Dyslexia.
Leela: Thank you, but when I chose surgery, my family, friends, advisors, everyone thought it would make me dangerous. But with my workarounds —
Bell: You are one of the best.
Leela: I don’t know about that, but I do not let Dyslexia stand in my way. This is just a new challenge to overcome.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t she imply that it was a disease or something? She possibly referenced it as a condition instead. Regardless, the comparison of the two felt a bit jarring.
However, it in no way detracted from the sweetness of the scene and what it prompted for Leela. She wasn’t wrong about learning how her brain works and using tools that help her and work to her advantage.
Bell’s candor and presenting Leela with the option of working with him or not was admirable. Leela is truly winning on here. She has the best mentors with Bell, A.J., and Billie.
It’s no wonder she’s on a career upswing and proving to be one of the best doctors, and it’s an arc that feels natural and individual to her rather than a repeat of other characters.
Leela’s pep talk, Kit’s endless support, and Conrad checking in — all of it was heartwarming, and it’s beautiful to see that Bell has this fantastic support system around him.
As for Leela, she’s still not feeling supported. Devon won’t lay off his concerns about her aspirations, and while he means well, it’s discouraging and frustrating that Leela can’t even rely on him to be on her corner with this.
She already has an uphill battle with Billie and A.J., though the latter hasn’t been as vocal about her goals as Billie and Devon.
Leela is accustomed to people telling her what she’s incapable of doing because of her Dyslexia, so understandably, Leela feels like she’s in the same position again and with people who she thought understood her better.
But they’ve subtly shown how Leela’s disability is anything but in many ways. Leela’s Dyslexia means that she thinks differently than other people. It makes things challenging for her navigating a neuroatypical world, but it’s her form of a superpower too.
Everyone is telling a woman who has learned to pay attention to details at a rate different than others and has a knack for visuals that she’ll falter learning two of the most demanding fields at the same time and of a top-notch caliber.
But while Billie thought her performance was proof that Leela should reconsider her dreams, Leela isn’t Billie. If anything, Leela’s ability to intervene and redirect Billie the way she needed because of her visual memory and playing to her strengths shows how capable Leela is.
Leela has been proving people wrong her entire life, so she’s taking this as a “challenge accepted.” I do wonder if the lack of support will catch up to her and strain her relationships, though.
Billie: Thanks for having my back.
Trevor is the exception to the statement as mentioned earlier about balancing characters out. His absence for so long was an oddity whether people missed him or not.
But he returned and worked on a case with Conrad and A.J. It’s a good thing he’s mellowed out since his absence. He still has some ways about him as he couldn’t even show an ounce of calculated decorum when that plastic surgery place called, but he was pretty enjoyable during this installment.
I appreciate that The Resident is doing their due diligence with addressing several topics with its medical cases without veering too far into an after-school special.
Charli’s Brazilian Butt Lift saga from hell was a cautionary tale.
We’re seeing with great frequency these cases of individuals who go out of the country or to back-alley spots with unlicensed or unspecialized individuals with scalpels for cosmetic surgeries.
Frankly, it’s appalling that anyone with a medical license in Georgia can perform cosmetic surgery whether they have expertise in the area or not.
Charli got a BBL from a freaking Dermatologist. It’s so far out of their purview it’s insane. It’s like allowing a Psychiatrist to give you a tummy tuck or a nose job.
They spent most of the hour trying to gather as much information as possible about her since she was unconscious. Fortunately, her phone gave them the information they needed. Once we learned she was a social media influencer, you could tell where the storyline would go.
AJ: I am an optimist by nature, but I’m beginning to think we’re screwed as a species. Social Media is going to be our meteor.
Trevor: Wow, you sound like an angry old man on the wrong side of the generation gap.
AJ: Angry, yes, old, no.
She almost got herself killed for more followers and attention. And Conrad is right about how sad it is that she felt this was the only way to get the following to raise enough money to find a place for her and her son.
And despite the whole ordeal, she was right back on her page, warning others about her experience and asking if her butt looked good. Charlie could’ve used that high dosage of Raptor candor that he doled out Roxie about her weight.
It was laughable. A.J. isn’t lying when he said that this could very well be our downfall as a species, and these days that’s saying a lot.
The jibing between A.J. and Trevor was cute, and it’s not surprising in the least that Nolan dances to Lizzo on TikTok. Leave it to Nolan to swoop in with two minutes of screentime and have you chuckling.
But it wasn’t all laughs. The situation with Billie is getting intense, and Porter is a despicable man.
It’s worrisome that he and his connections will ruin Billie. We all could’ve guessed that there wouldn’t be any anonymity when she came forward with her complaint.
And yet it never dawned on me that not only would her identity be revealed, but she’d face flack and cost Bell his consideration because she wrote his letter of recommendation and launched a complaint against Porter.
We all know it’s bullcrap, but on paper, it doesn’t look good at all, so it was inevitable that it would lead to something like this.
The Lieutenant Governor is terrible for covering for his friend and exposing Billie the way he did. The lengths people will go to protect those they are close to even when they’re in the wrong is enraging.
Billie is always focused, so it wasn’t easy to see everyone coming at her when she was prepping for that surgery. I knew she’d freeze up after all of that.
She thought that her complaint would be enough to halt Porter’s ascent to the medical board chair, but she unintentionally gave him an unimpeded path toward it. Although, we all know they only Bell there for show anyway.
They skipped another tough conversation by having Kit explain what was going on with Billie, and by now, she probably needs to come out with it and tell those close to her the truth before the word spreads further.
Not only is she going to need their support when Porter launches his all toward her, but with something like that, one should be able to tell their own story.
It’ll suck if Trevor finds out through gossip or something instead of directly from Billie, and we know this has the potential to devastate him.
Porter has power, influence, and means. He’s already threatening to expose something from Billie’s past to ruin her career. And while she’s right about him being afraid of her, she looked shaken by that revelation of his, too.
But if he can dig into Billie’s past, then wouldn’t he be able to find out about Trevor? How does he cover his tracks there? Trevor is living proof of his actions.
Porter: I won’t hurt you. I’m here to warn you. Withdrawal the complaint. Say you lied for Dr. Bell, you’ll never hear from me again.
Billie: You’re scared.
Porter: Withdraw it, or I will destroy you.
Billie: You can’t destroy me. You killed a part of me I can never get back. You can never hurt me again.
Porter: Don’t count on it. I’m fully aware of your mistakes. I’ll expose all of them, and I will take the very thing you love the most. Your career.
At best, he can bring Billie down with him, but either way, he should go down, yes?
Do they have cameras recording around the parking lot? I hope there’s footage of him waiting for Billie to exit and confronting her. I hope she files a restraining order, too.
Billie knew she’d face a battle when she launched that complaint against Porter, but one senses that she underestimated how bad this could get. She may have bitten off more than she could chew with this, but someone needed to do it.
While the series has done well with the absence of some “Big Bad,” Porter is serviceable in the role, and frankly, I want his head of both varieties on a platter.
Over to you, Resident Fanatics. Are you invested in this Billie and Porter showdown? Hit the comments.
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Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.