We knew that Dr. AJ Austin saying goodbye to his mom would be hard. The Resident constructed a beautiful episode of AJ being there for his mom in her final days and Dr. Conrad Hawkins and Dr. Devon Pravesh fighting against time to save a patient with rabies. It was such a good juxtaposition.
Firstly, I have to say what incredible acting from Malcolm-Jamal Warner. Not that we don’t always get great stuff from our Raptor, but this was different than before. He was helpless. There wasn’t anything he could do for his mom but be there while she died.
I liked the hospice nurse. She wasn’t just there for Carol Austin (Summer Selby). She was there for AJ too. She told him that if his mom got a sudden burst of energy, wanted to talk about things that she’d never talked about before or started planning a trip, she was close to death. She did every one of those things. It brought me to tears each time. But AJ took his mom’s lead just like the nurse said to do.
Part of his strength came from knowing that it was what she needed. He was trying to treat her, but Conrad (Matt Czuchry) and the nurse got him to see that he couldn’t treat her when all she wanted to do was spend the rest of her time with him and not in pain. You have to give a dying woman her last wish.
The hardest part of the episode was the montage of them taking away her bed. AJ just stood there frozen. Until everything was gone and he broke down. You felt AJ’s helplessness throughout, and if you hadn’t broken down before then, you followed suit.
The writers countered the episode with Conrad and Pravesh’s (Manish Dayal) rabies case. That also seemed hopeless. But I somehow hoped they would find a way to save him. We knew this was the end for Carol, but I didn’t think they would have both of them die.
This mystery case was different. They figured it out early, but the mystery was how to treat it. They said only 11 patients had survived. That’s some pretty hard odds they were up against. This was an excellent way to mix up the mystery cases. And also a great way to not have everything feel so depressing.
I liked how they went back and forth between the two and labeled the days too. They paralleled each other. Carol died, and her stuff was taken away as the rabies patient woke up.
Dr. Randolph Bell’s (Bruce Greenwood) storyline also countered AJ’s. He was continuing his mission to hold bad doctors accountable. He didn’t get very far at first. The investigation wasn’t a fair one. So, he went to the media. Just like they did in Texas with the Dr. Death case. It’s sad that you have to leak information to the press to get anything done. The medical board is supposed to protect patients, not doctors.
Not only that, he called out the governor and senators on TV. The Resident has always been about fighting the system, and now they’re making huge swings. And how cute was it when Dr. Billy Sutton (Jessica Lucas) said he just called out the governor and Dr. Kitt Voss (Jane Leeves) said, “that’s my man?”
It was a nice breather before AJ told Padma Devi (Aneesha Joshi) that he wanted to be a father. Maybe he should grieve first before making those decisions.
What did you think of how they constructed the episode for AJ saying goodbye to his mom? Tweet me @PrimetimeDrama or @MandyTTCarr or comment below.