The following post contains spoilers for The residentSeason 4 premiere. Haven’t watched yet? Skedaddle, stat!
COVID-19 wreaked havoc on Chastain Park Memorial Hospital during The residentseason 4 premiere – and a A coronavirus victim has left Devon Pravesh changed forever.
At the end of a heart-wrenching hour that included Dr Kit Voss, beloved nurse Hundley, and Devon’s father Tejan among those who had contracted the virus, it was revealed that Kit and Hundley had each other recovered, while Tejan finally succumbed to the disease; Devon, who was unable to visit his father at the public hospital where he was being treated, was forced to say goodbye on a video call, in one of the episode’s many thoughts on actual circumstances.
Like some other series that have chosen to portray a post-COVID reality (including other medical dramas The good doctor), The resident opened its fourth season “in the future, when the COVID-19 pandemic is ancient history,” according to a title card that appeared before the episode. Nowadays, as Conrad and Nic prepared for their wedding ceremony, a series of flashbacks showed the early days of the pandemic at Chastain Park, including a severe shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) and the huge financial cost of reduction. on elective surgeries and other procedures.
But there was also time for a little merriment in there: Conrad and Nic got married in a beautiful and moving outdoor ceremony … and after AJ revealed at the reception that he was Separated from his girlfriend Andrea, he and Mina shared their long-awaited premiere. kiss. “It doesn’t change anything,” Mina smiles, insisting on keeping their working relationship intact. Below, co-showrunner Peter Elkoff discusses the big developments from the premiere – and suggests that Mina and AJ’s kiss won’t mean what you think he’s doing.
TVLINE | The televised medical dramas that have chosen to write in COVID-19 have all taken slightly different approaches. Why go beyond the pandemic and then show it via flashbacks, it seemed like the right choice for The resident?
Using the wisdom and foreknowledge of our doctors, part of it was to reflect on what we thought was the situation in the country in January. What world would we be broadcasting into? We felt we didn’t want to tell a season of COVID stories. We didn’t want to bring our viewers back to the start and middle of the pandemic. It was as if there was a way to show our respect for frontline workers – for the experience, what so many of our citizens have suffered – and move on. We decided – because we wanted to make this marriage with Nic and Conrad – that we would open up to a world where we say COVID is now in the past. Of course, there are stragglers, business and stuff, but we went through the fire. And then we tell the story of their wedding day and turn around to say hello to what we’ve all been through. It was just like we could give the pandemic its due, but also tell more promising stories and present our doctors as heroes.
TVLINE | And some of your writers are in the medical field, aren’t they? Were they stationed in hospitals during the pandemic?
One of our writers, Daniela Lamas, is a pulmonologist, lung specialist, who works at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. And when we zoom in with our writers room, she’s in a hospital room where she can find some peace and quiet to participate. And then she literally walked out with the sickest people in town.
TVLINE | Since you were seeing doctors who were seeing these things firsthand, were there any details of the first responders’ experience in which you thought, “OK, we absolutely have to include this in our description of the pandemic”?
We had a multitude of things. Lots of things that as writers you really love – don’t know if you remember that, but there’s a scene in the premiere once we flashed back [to COVID], and [the doctors] all take out their masks from paper bags attached to the wall. There was this big PPE shortage at the start of the pandemic, and what our staff doctor Daniela told us was that sometimes they would keep their masks for days in a paper bag at work. Sometimes you wore a mask for two, three, four, five days, when you didn’t have enough. That eventually changed, but those kinds of little details – because it was visual, and you saw that wall of paper bags – we love that stuff.
And the people watching their loved ones… the idea that people were so isolated was really at the heart of the emotional strength of the episode – that you are not allowed to be with family members or friends, or that you’re stuck outside the hospital. There’s a family watching the Patriarch die, they’re on FaceTime and the Devon Story, where at the end he watches his own father pass away. He remembers it nine months later, when he can’t go to the wedding and he goes to the memorial. These things, the realities that Daniela and our other doctors have gifted us with – we also have an emergency room doctor, Josh Troke – there is no substitute for that kind of reality.
… Which has really been our focus this season… there has always been a villain in the medical world since The resident. There were the bad doctors in season 1, the medical devices in season 2, Red Rock in season 3. And it’s a season less about the bad guys and more about the solutions, and the heroism of the doctors, that’s really what the pandemic made us realize we needed to tell stories. It’s about great doctors and emotional cases, and the emotional lives of our doctors… less of the breakdown in the medical system, although we have our times when we talk about it.
TVLINE | You mentioned the death of Devon’s father. How much have you debated whether to have a character die of COVID?
We knew we wanted to put on … not a thriller, but a mysterious and stressful moment for audiences, when we see Kit Voss getting sick at the end, and Hundley is the main patient through the episode, and we know Devon’s father. was sick. We wanted to create a feeling of “Have we lost someone?” and we’ll find out at the wedding who it could be. It was the idea. We weren’t going to kill any of our main characters. [Laughs] But we wanted it to be someone who would really give us an emotional punch. We’ve played out Devon’s relationship with her parents over the seasons, and we understand it’s a complicated relationship. We’re using it, in the future, to tell a bit more about Devon’s emotional life, and also about this transition from a private hospital to a public hospital that we’re doing at the start of the season. It gives a lot of what The resident does best, those system faults and the complications that money brings to the drug.
TVLINE | Watching the first one, I was struck by how normal it all looked, even though I know you are filming under strict COVID protocols. I imagine Conrad and Nic’s marriage was particularly difficult.
Oh my god, that was quite a challenge. My partner, [co-showrunner] Andrew [Chapman], was there for part of the first block, and I went down for the second block of episodes. And TVs are really fun places – they’re very user-friendly, you’re in craft departments, and everyone’s talking. But it wasn’t like that. I wore two masks and a face shield when I was on set, as were most of the crew. Disney [Television Distribution] the protocols in place to ensure the safety of the shots were really good. We had positive tests back on our show, like everyone else, but we had nobody transmit COVID to anyone else on the set. What we are doing for security has worked. And no one was on set without a mask. Obviously there are kissing scenes here and there. [Laughs] But everyone has been tested, and it was a very rigorous process to secure these sets. Everyone wears a mask until the camera turns on. But it was strange, and we had fewer extras. And the people are one little a little further apart than they normally are. There is a lot of conversation in the hallways. [Laughs]
TVLINE | Speaking of kisses, Mina and Raptor finally have their first one in this episode. I’ve spoken with some of your fellow producers over the seasons, and there was a distinct feeling that putting these two together romantically would be a fine line to walk – maybe even something the show would do. never do – given their mentor-mentee relationship and their dynamics at the hospital. Why was now the right time to take this step?
I’m not going to commit to the fact that we’ve brought them together. [Laughs] But they made kiss! You know that’s it Moonlight law – this show declined when Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd started having a relationship. Now that was a two-hander, and that’s not our show; we are a whole. But there are reasons why it felt like, in Season 4, we could tell a more complicated story between these two – and some things I can’t reveal until we get deeper into it. season, but those reasons will become evident – and the simple fact that we wanted to give the audience something they hoped to happen.
Your turn, Resident Fans! What do you think of the season 4 premiere? Rate it in our poll below, then drop a comment!