‘The Resident’ Boss on Conrad’s ‘Huge Setback’ & Bell’s Internal Struggle

Guy D'Alema/FOX

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 3, Episode 10 of The Resident, “Whistleblower.”]

Conrad (Matt Czuchry) has been fired! Bell (Bruce Greenwood) is no longer chief of surgery! The Resident ends its fall finale with a couple shockers that have to leave you wondering just what’s in store for the rest of the season, especially the finale.

But in happier news, Conrad is also planning on proposing to Nic (Emily VanCamp), Adaku (Erinn Westbrook) and her baby are both alive, despite her going into early labor, and Devon (Manish Dayal) is no longer an intern.

There’s plenty for the audience to “either be nervous about or look forward to,” showrunner Todd Harthan told TV Insider. He previews what’s to come when the series returns on January 7.

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Talk about an emotional roller coaster for Conrad in those last minutes. Red Rock’s wanted him gone for a while but worried about his father. So, what comes next for Conrad and will we see Marshall again as part of it?

Todd Harthan: A painful roller coaster. We’re not blowing past this particular setback, the biggest one he’s suffered. Yes, you will see Marshall in the back half of the season. I don’t think it’s in the way the audience will expect. There are some surprises coming. We’ve seen Marshall play the role of the savior to his son a couple times, and that’s Conrad’s ace in the hole, but we wanted to challenge that and throw in some new interesting wrinkles.

(Guy D’Alema/FOX)

The others were ready to stand in solidarity with Conrad, but he didn’t want anyone else going down. What does work at Chastain look like now? Will that team vs. Red Rock mentality continue?

Initially when we come back, everybody is picking up the pieces and trying to figure out what to do and how they’re going to do it. You could argue this is the greatest obstacle they’ve ever had to overcome. They’re all trying to figure out what the strategy is. They’re always looking out for each other and having each other’s backs, but you have to go about it the right way and make sure you don’t get shot in the process. That’s what we’re exploring in the first couple episodes back and just seeing them try to navigate these very, very treacherous waters.

Dr. Bell’s arc is so compelling because he’s being a better person, like with Kit’s contract, while also sometimes still being the guy he was in the beginning, like by giving Logan Devon’s name. Will we continue to see both of those sides?

Yes, you are going to see more of that push-and-pull and the both sides. That will be challenging for him personally but it will also be something that challenges his relationship with Kit. That’s the thing we’re exploring quite a bit in the back half of the season.

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The audience will be wondering sometimes, is he going to slip back into the person he was at the beginning of our journey with Bell or will he continue to evolve and at some point really be able to stand alongside the rest of our justice league, if you will, and be an ally? We love writing to that push-and-pull and it’s an internal war he’s waging himself, so it is something we’re going to do quite a bit of, especially in the early episodes when we get back from the break.

Cain clearly thinks he’s invincible and Logan’s by his side basically telling him he is. Will that change anytime soon? Is there any part of Cain that questions Red Rock?

We are certainly exploring who this man is, what his constitution is, how big and intense and overwhelming is his god complex, and is he such a loyalist to Red Rock that he will always remain blind to some of the ways in which they do business? Or, not unlike the evolution of Bell, is this a man that can evolve? That’s what we’re playing with really from the moment we get back after the break up through our final batch of episodes and on to the season finale.

(Guy D’Alema/FOX)

We got a look at one of Red Rock’s other facilities when Cain’s patient was brought there. Will that place or others like it be part of the ongoing storyline?

The power and magnitude of that particular story — and it’s something that is very much a real thing in healthcare — is something we are interested in following up on. It would be irresponsible and there’s great drama and conflict to be served in following up on it. There is more to come, but I don’t think it’s going to be at all what the audience is expecting. We have some pretty great shocking twists and turns that are coming and some of it is based on that particular plot point.

Conrad’s planning to propose! Has that been put on hold?

You think that you have your personal and professional life planned out [but] you can only plan the future to a certain extent. And then life throws you a huge curveball like this.

What we want to explore in a very real way is where Conrad’s head is at when we come back from the break now that he thought he knew exactly what he was going to do and when he was going to do it and who he was going to say it to. This is a huge setback, so how will our hero deal with that?

What is Devon going to be like as a resident? What we saw in this episode, willing to bend the rules a bit?

What I love so much about each of these characters is there really is this push-and-pull that’s happening with them. They’re all having this internal battle with themselves. Who are they? Who do they want to be?

(Guy D’Alema/FOX)

This is a new story path for the writing staff for Devon because now he is having to stand on his own two feet and now you’re not questioning your mentor, you’re having to actually wear the responsibility of being a mentor. We’re going to see some things that he does that make him really appreciate who Conrad is or how he went about training Devon and then you’ll see some things that are very specific to Devon’s constitution and the kind of doctor he wants to be It’s a big part of his journey in the back 13 episodes.

I’ve really enjoyed Nic and Mina’s friendship, and it looks like Mina’s going to need Nic more than ever now, right?

She is, yeah. That’s a great female relationship where it’s just about respect and admiration and loyalty and it has nothing to do with the men in their lives or a man that they’re both pursuing. We’re always trying to dodge those tropes. This is just simply about two very intelligent, good-hearted women being there for each other through thick and thin.

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That’s a really important friendship we’re continuing to write to. Yes, Mina’s been thrown into the deep water here with the Adaku situation, and so that’s something hopefully the audience will appreciate and be rooting for, the two of them because they’re pretty great together.

Will that situation change Mina and AJ’s dynamic after what happened regarding the surgery?

You will, but sometimes when you have big disagreements with people, it either creates space or, over time, it brings you even closer. We’re asking that question end of Episode 10 and what we’re exploring in the back half of the season — and the audience will see that tug of war between the two of them and their relationship — is, is this going to be something that starts to create more space, as it did with Conrad and Devon, at least in the short term before they realized their relationship was worth preserving and coming back together? Will that happen with these two, or will this be the beginnings of a true and meaningful rift? We’re spending quite a bit of our creative real estate on that relationship.

(Guy D’Alema/FOX)

The Resident, Tuesdays, 8/7c, Fox