‘The Resident’ Boss Teases Big Billie Stories, Heartbreak for AJ & More

Jessica Lucas as Billie in The Resident
Q&A
Nathan Bolster/FOX

Get ready for several stories to really take off on The Resident when it returns for its winter premiere on February 1.

Not only is there the matter of what exactly is going on with Dr. Randolph Bell (Bruce Greenwood) to cause his hand tremors, but there’s also a big story coming up for Dr. Billie Sutton (Jessica Lucas) and potential heartbreak for Dr. AJ Austin (Malcolm-Jamal Warner) when it comes to his mother. Plus, Dr. Devon Pravesh (Manish Dayal) is going to get the chance to do what he wants with the new hire at the hospital.

Co-showrunner and executive producer Andrew Chapman teases those stories and more to come, including which star will be stepping behind the camera for an episode.

I love that Kit (Jane Leeves) made Billie chief of surgery, because it’s been so great watching how supportive Kit has been of Billie since she came back to Chastain. But we haven’t really seen much of Billie in her new position. So what’s coming up there?

Andrew Chapman: A big, big Billie storyline is gonna play out starting in [Episodes] 12 and 13 and 14 — big Billie’s past, her relationship to Trevor [the son she gave up for adoption, played by Miles Fowler], her ability to be chief of surgery. That’s going to be the primary focus of our next couple of episodes, so expect good, big juicy Billie stories.

That’s when he’ll find out that she recommended him to Chastain?

I’m not telling you.

Matt Czuchry as Conrad, Manish Dayal as Devon, Miles Fowler as Trevor in The Resident

Nathan Bolster/FOX

Trevor’s learning from Conrad (Matt Czuchry) now and doing much better at the job than he was when he first started at the hospital. Will that continue?

Yeah. I think that Trevor’s a really interesting character. He’s the character that we’ve been searching for, which is somebody who gets to learn medicine from the people who are really good at medicine, and he gets to learn the morality of being a doctor and the morality of relationships within the world of doctoring. But Trevor’s interesting because he has real trouble with authority. He has real trouble following orders. He has real trouble sort of fitting in. That dynamic we really like and we think is very interesting, and it’s interesting for a doctor on the show, so we’re going to keep playing that.

AJ’s mom (Summer Selby) is getting worse. When’s the heartbreak coming?

We want to tell a story about what it is to be older and to be sick and to be the patient of a doctor who is in your family. Obviously we love AJ and we love Malcolm-Jamal Warner and he’s just so special, but we love the Carol character, too. There’s stories we want to tell about — and I don’t want to get morbid — end of life that I think are really in the zeitgeists for America, for how the world of medicine deals with comfort, palliative care, death, support, life. Every single person in this country has to deal with that with their parents or loved ones, grandparents, at some point in their lives, and I think it’s universal and under-spoken of in this country. We always talk about how you do unaccountable stories, meaning what are the ways that modern American medicine has failed its patients? And that’s one of the ways.

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

Tom Griscom/FOX

Devon and Leela (Anuja Joshi) are stable, and she’s settled in pretty nicely at work because her parents’ visit could have shaken things up in both cases, so is anything gonna shake that at all?

Yes, and we’re going to have a big shake. It’s going to involve Padma (Aneesha Joshi), her sister, and it’s going to be really juicy and fun. And I can’t even hint about what it is because it’ll sort of come out of the blue, but you’ll get it in the next couple of episodes. All of the things we’re talking about, within the next two or three episodes, they’ll all come to light.

AJ seems to be having fun when it comes to his love life. What’s next?

More fun for AJ in his love life. We love that he’s a bit of a playboy. We love that he’s a media star. We’re getting back to the Raptor of earlier seasons, the arrogant but brilliant, the slightly abrasive but really funny character who tells truth and lives life to its fullest and drives old cars and wears crazy hats. He’s just so fun, and he’s such a wonderful person, Malcolm, a fan favorite and character you want to see have fun. Some people you just want to see them struggle. Not him. You want to see him just being full AJ.

Manish Dayal as Devon, Matt Czuchry as Conrad in The Resident

Tom Griscom/FOX

What else can you tease that’s coming up?

Manish is going to direct an episode. We’re excited about that. It’s our first actor directing moment. There’s really, really good Billie stuff coming up. Cade (Kaley Ronayne) is gonna stay on our radar. She’s not going anywhere. She’s really interesting. And her backstory will be explosive. That’s going to be really fun.

Now that Kincaid is coming in, does that mean Devon can actually focus on the research like he wants to?

Yes, and he will split his time. There’s going to be a couple of really interesting clinical trial stories that he’s going to run. We pride ourselves in grounded medicine, not just in fun soap. We love fun soap obviously, but we like to believe that we’re very realistic. Clinical trials are just such a huge part of medicine today and they’re so important and so fraught with drama about who lives and who dies and how they work. We’re really gonna dive into that for Devon, and we think those stories are going to be really heartbreaking and fun. [Episode] 14 is all about that, and it’s very moving.

Is there an update on Morris Chestnut returning?

Morris is on Our Kind of People, and we don’t know whether it’ll get picked up again for another season. He’s a very busy actor, so we’ve been trying to slot him in, but not to success. However, if he’s available for another season and we get another season, you would see some good Morris Chestnut.

Are we going to hear an update on Cain?

No, not until we know what his actual schedule is.

The Resident, Winter Premiere, Tuesday, February 1, 8/7c, Fox