Billie Sutton is a brave woman.
Jessica Lucas truly shined as Bill during The Resident Season 5 Episode 14, an hour that served as Manish Dayal’s directorial debut on the series, too, and there were phenomenal performances all around.
Join Resident Fanatics Carissa Pavlica, Leora W., Laura Nowak, and Meaghan Frey in discussing it all.
What did you think of Manish Dayal’s directorial debut on The Resident?
Carissa: He did a fine job. I’m not good at telling the difference between directors on episodic TV, so I’ll say that he fit right in with the others!
Leora: I didn’t even know he was directing until I read your review, Jasmine. And honestly, I don’t know enough about what a director does or how it works to say. It was a good episode, so if that means he did a good job, then he did a good job.
Laura: I knew he was directing since they advertised the heck out of it on Twitter, but like the others, I couldn’t tell the difference from any other week, so he did fine.
Meaghan: I think he did a fantastic job. I knew that he was set to direct an episode but didn’t realize it was this one until afterward. The performances in this episode were incredible to watch. While much of that is a testament to the actors’ skills, it is also related to the directing that elicited those performances.
What are your thoughts on Padma wanting a child using Leela’s egg? Will Leela agree to it?
Carissa: I don’t like it. I mean, their relationship hasn’t been solidified for me yet. It makes total sense in context, but I worry that Padma isn’t thinking about Leela and what it will mean to her. Leela doesn’t seem to know how to temper herself and her expectations; it could be a really involved decision.
Leora: It’s weird because she would be the aunt and the mother all at once. You could tell how uncomfortable it made her to think that her child would be born, but she wouldn’t be its mother. If she says yes, it’ll be complicated. If she says know, it could drive a wedge between sisters. I feel for both sisters.
Laura: It would be strange, as Leora said, to be both the mom and the aunt. I think this will be a big turning point for Leela to decide if she wants a family with Devon and how he would feel about this decision. It will not be an easy decision, as it affects many people.
Meaghan: In some families, it could work, but they are not one of those families, given Leela’s response. The fact that Leela is already thinking of it in the sense that it would be her child shows what a complicated situation this would turn into for the sisters.
It also highlighted the dynamic between the two sisters as Leela was concerned she would end up having to raise the child. I feel that Leela will initially agree, and then, as Leora said, it will drive a wedge between them, and Leela or Padma will change their mind.
Are you pleased with the increase in Jessica’s focus and development? How did you feel about The Resident’s exploration of the nursing shortage and Jessica negotiating getting paid her worth?
Carissa: I enjoyed that storyline. I’ve had enough of the number of years you were educated holding the most weight. Nurses are the backbones of any hospital, and they should be better compensated.
I feel the same way about all “service” positions like teachers, police, and firefighters. We always want the best, but we’re not willing to pay for it. Watching Jessica in action was well worth it.
Leora: I love Jessica, so I’m always happy to see more of her, and nurses are the unsung heroes of health care, so I love when the show focuses on that.
However, I do wonder about how realistic this installment was. Chastain is a public hospital now. They don’t have a lot of funds. Jessica deserves better pay, and they do need more nurses, but I find it hard to believe that Chastain could offer a number she would be satisfied with, even though they would want to.
I’m glad Jessica didn’t leave. I didn’t want her to. But it seems like they wrapped it in a neat little bow, and I just don’t think that would happen in real life, even with Bell and Kit advocating for Jessica.
Laura: I also love Jessica, and I’m glad we’ve seen more of her lately. Nurse shortages are a real problem, burdening nurses like Jessica. I’m glad Jessica stood up for herself and negotiated a better deal for herself. It’s no secret Bell adores Jessica, but like Leora, I did think it was tied up a little too neatly.
Meaghan: As a nurse, and a huge fan of Jessica, I was so happy that they highlighted this growing issue in healthcare. The existing nursing shortage that the pandemic has now exacerbated has created a huge space for travel nursing companies to provide some nurses with an incredibly high pay rate while the existing staff nurses continue to suffer.
And this creates more frustration among nurses. They know that the company is willing to pay a travel agency their fee plus the nurses’ salaries, which is sometimes four times what they are paid, instead of just increasing what they pay staff nurses to retain them.
Granted, I have seen some companies step up and begin paying their staff more, so we are at least taking baby steps. The only thing that threw me off about the storyline was that Chastain obviously hasn’t been willing to pay for travel nurses, evidenced by the considerable nursing shortage there, so it doesn’t seem likely that they would be ready to give Jessica a huge pay bump and hire more nurses on top of it.
How emotional was Billie’s arc during this installment? Do you believe they handled it well?
Carissa: I think they handled it well. They couldn’t have her past hanging over her head with Trevor nearby, so something had to give. It seemed like a good way to provide Billie closure and allow the mother-son relationship to take on new depth.
Leora: It was so intense and I was here for all of it. Trevor’s reaction was so raw. I expected AJ to be more involved given that he knew first, but I guess if he had been involved with the Billie side of it, he might not have been there for the Trevor side. I’m glad they leaned into that mentorship again.
Laura: It was very intense. I’m glad Trevor knows now, and we can move on to healing the mother and son relationship.
Meaghan: It was handled perfectly. It was heavy, emotional, and raw. Between Billie’s struggle and Trevor learning the truth and stepping up to be there for Billie, it was just so good despite the pain he was in himself.
Are you proud of Billie for her overcoming Porter’s actions, trying to protect Trevor, etc.?
Carissa: Would she have been able to get through this without all of the support at Chastain? I don’t think so. What I really enjoyed was how everyone went to bat for her. That meant a lot.
Leora: It’s no secret that I’ve been a Billie fan from day one. I was dreading her recanting, but I understood it. I’m just glad Trevor got to that meeting in time. Can you imagine if she officially recanted and then it came out that Trevor knew anyway?
Laura: I softened towards Billie through this arc. I absolutely hate how the victim and everyone else suffer while the man in power gets to threaten them, so I loved how she and Chastain stood their ground.
Meaghan: Extremely proud of her. Facing your abuser is never an easy task, and she showed so much strength and courage throughout it.
At the end of the day, her recanting was never going to be about her backing down to Porter because of its impact on her own career, but about protecting Trevor, and that says so much about her as a character.
How do you think this arc has changed Billie and influenced how you view her now?
Carissa: I’m not sure yet. Did it change her enough that I want her with Conrad? No. But she’s been a different character after the time jump anyway, so I’m good with her.
Leora: Again, huge Billie fan. I think she’s grown a lot, as had her relationship with Trevor. She’s come a long way from the woman who wanted nothing to do with him.
Laura: Billie has softened a lot since the time jump towards Trevor in particular.
Meaghan: Billie, unfortunately, needed this arc to develop any type of relationship with Trevor. The secret of how he came into this world was always going to be this giant wall between them. Now the two of them can figure out how to move forward without blocking their path.
I see Billie in a completely different light now. She was probably my least favorite character on the show up until this episode. She’s still not my favorite, but it will be nice not dreading every one of her scenes and finally enjoying her as a character.
I agree with Carissa, though; just because I like her character now doesn’t mean I’m looking for her and Conrad to be together.
Trevor learned the truth most heartbreakingly. React. How do you think this news will affect him (and his relationship with Billie) moving forward?
Carissa: Strangely, I think Trevor learning in this way was perfect. What really surprised me was how he immediately understood that Billie kept her distance because of how he was conceived. It was like a bolt of lightning hit him and clarified everything. That was evident when he did what Billie couldn’t — outed himself to Porter.
Leora: I agree with Carissa. They handled it well, and I think it will be great for his character. I hope we see more of him.
Laura: I totally agree. I think Trevor’s learning the truth and rushing to defend his mom was handled well. I hope he and Billie grow closer from this.
Meaghan: Completely agree. Trevor needed to know that Billie wasn’t pushing him away for what he might see as “selfish” reasons. He needed to know that there was a lot of pain there, and Billie didn’t want that pain to seep into Trevor’s life.
As I said in my last answer, moving forward, I think we will get to see them develop a real relationship and actually get to know each other outside of just being two people who happen to work at the same hospital and be related.
What was your favorite scene and/or performance during the installment? Do you have anything else you’d love to address?
Carissa: My favorite part was with Trevor. What I mentioned above. From what we’ve seen of him in the past, he could have had a terrible reaction, but how he did react to the news and how he learned it showed excellent character growth.
Leora: Trevor’s performance when he found out was so intense. It was really well acted between him and AJ. I also liked the quiet moments between Billie and Conrad, especially when she brought up Nic and, of course, all the Jessica stuff. It was a great episode.
Laura: It was a great episode. I also loved the emotional rawness of Trevor’s reaction and how he rushed to defend Billie. They’ve come so far.
Meaghan: Trevor was great in this episode. As much as I needed this episode to get on board with Billie, I also needed it to get on board with him. If a single episode can change my mind on two characters, then you know it was a good one.
Over to you, Resident Fanatics. Do you agree with our Round Table? Sound off below
The Resident returns March 8 with an all-new episode.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.