‘The Resident’: Conrad Makes a Big Decision About His Future (RECAP)

Matt Czuchry, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Bruce Greenwood in The Resident
Spoiler Alert
Tom Griscom/FOX

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for The Resident Season 5, Episode 7 “Who Will You Be?”]

Everyone at Chastain wants Dr. Conrad Hawkins (Matt Czuchry) to come back. Conrad wants to come back. His daughter, Gigi (Remington Blaire Evans), does, too, after seeing the nice setup in daycare. But this isn’t the same doctor he was when we first met him, at the beginning of this season, or even pre-time jump on The Resident. So can he find a way to make it work with his new priorities?

Well, Dr. Kit Voss (Jane Leeves) — through Dr. Randolph Bell (Bruce Greenwood) since she’s been called away on an emergency — is determined to get him back on her staff. And despite Conrad coaching Gigi (“I love it, but not as much as my house”), as soon as she sees the set-up, she says she loves it way more than their house. “I’d love to come back,” Conrad tells Bell. “But my priorities have changed. It’s not just childcare. I need flexibility, weekends, there’s a laundry list of things I would need.”

“If there’s a hospital out there that wants to do that for you, it’s this one,” Bell points out. And what Conrad’s doing is a waste of his talent. He suggests that Conrad just pitch in for a day and see how it goes. “Your plan is to hold me hostage until I agree to come back?” Conrad asks. Pretty much.

In doing so, Conrad takes point when AJ’s (Malcolm-Jamal Warner) mother (Summer Selby) checks back into Chastain. (Add her to the long list of people who want Conrad back at the hospital.) Carol’s cancer isn’t back, but as they learn when they run tests and she collapses, her organs are shutting down. The immunotherapy that has helped her fight cancer is now causing her body to attack itself. She needs to stop the immunotherapy to give her body time to heal, then decide if she wants to continue to stop permanently. She wants to continue, refusing to risk her cancer coming back. It’s rough for AJ to watch his mother not face the reality of her situation: She is dying, it’s just a matter of how.

Malcolm-Jamal Warner as AJ, Summer Selby as Carol in The Resident

Tom Griscom/FOX

That’s where Conrad comes in, offering both some comfort to AJ and finding a way to get through to Carol. Dr. Devon Pravesh (Manish Dayal) gets a taste of what Conrad went through with him not listening on his first day as an intern with Dr. Billie Sutton’s (Jessica Lucas) son, Trevor Daniels (Miles Fowler). Trevor is just as full of himself as he was when he came in as the friend of a patient pre-time jump, only this time, it’s at the detriment of a patient. So determined to prove he’s right that a patient is an alcoholic, he brings her beer. Devon’s ready to cut him after that. “You broke every rule of medicine,” he says, and what’s more, Trevor’s apology is all about himself.

Billie may not want anyone to know that Trevor’s her son, but she does go to Conrad for help when she finds out. And so Conrad asks Devon to let him take a look at Trevor before bringing him to see Carol as he talks through her options. If she stops the immunotherapy, she’ll get back to the life she was living. The cancer could come back, but they don’t know how soon or if it will at all. Trevor then steps in and tells Carol about AJ mentoring him. He’s learned that Conrad asking her the kind of life she wants is the greatest respect a doctor can show a patient.

But, Conrad warns after, if he ever puts his interests above a patient’s again, Devon will be right and he should no longer be a doctor. For now, however, Trevor’s getting another shot. And with him sticking around at Chastain, it’s just a matter of time before he finds out that Billie, not AJ, recommended him to Chastain.

As for Conrad’s future at Chastain, he finds Bell as he’s packing up to leave at the end of the day. Gigi had a great day. And while Conrad wouldn’t call his great, “It was important. I needed to be here. I’m ready. I’m ready to suit back up for Chastain,” he says. As for the work-life balance, “I have no idea,” Conrad admits. “But we’ll make it work,” Conrad says. “Welcome back, Dr. Hawkins,” Bell says, shaking his hand.

And so it seems that Conrad’s taking Carol’s advice. “If there’s anything I’ve learned from raising AJ, it’s that you have to prioritize yourself,” she tells him early on in the episode. Sure, he has Gigi and his friends, but “are you happy?” The first step to that is the return to Chastain. So what’s next?

The Resident, Tuesdays, 8/7c, Fox