'The Resident' Co-Creator on the CoNic Vows and Mina & AJ's Big Moment
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the Season 4 premiere of The Resident, "A Wedding, A Funeral."]
Amidst the tragedy of COVID-19 — it claimed the life of Devon's (Manish Dayal) father and landed Nurse Hundley (Denitra Isler) in the hospital, and Kit (Jane Leeves) got sick after her mask broke at work — there's happiness when The Resident Season 4 begins.
Dr. Conrad Hawkins (Matt Czuchry) and nurse practitioner Nic Nevin (Emily VanCamp) get married, taking a moment before their heartfelt vows to remember hospital staff, friends, and family they'd lost during the pandemic. And speaking of romance, surgical resident Dr. Mina Okafor (Shaunette Renée Wilson) and her mentor Dr. AJ "The Raptor" Austin (Malcolm-Jamal Warner) finally kiss after he admits his girlfriend "was just filling the space I wanted you to fill."
"The underlying theme of The Resident remains the problems in healthcare and the inequality of care for those with money and those without, but the body of the season is very much about the deepening of the characters and their relationships to each other in this new world," co-creator Amy Holden Jones tells TV Insider. "The romance with Mina and Raptor is part of that."
While the show did transition to somewhat of a post-COVID world by the end of the premiere and the wedding, it's not dropping it completely. "What we're seeing is how it has affected people and how it continues to affect people and the finances of the hospital through much of the season," Jones says.
For Dr. Randolph Bell (Bruce Greenwood), like others, it hits home "how few connections he has," she continues. "He sees how much families have gathered around and [people are] missing loved ones and what family meant to all the other people and suddenly he wants to reconnect with his stepson that was the closest thing he ever had to a child, [played by] Conrad Ricamora. That gives us both a wonderful storyline for Bell, which Kit participates in as their friendship deepens, and a great new doctor for Chastain."
Here, Jones takes us inside the premiere (and the CoNic wedding!) and teases what's next.
Conrad and Nic are married! Can you talk about coming up with the vows and if anything major changed for them due to incorporating the pandemic?
Amy Holden Jones: The vows were really tough to write in a way — we went through a lot of drafts on those and a lot of the staff weighed in on what could be said and what wasn't — and we went for simple and extraordinarily beautiful in the end in the vows because that's the way we see this couple, is not fussy, very down-to-earth, and yet a very beautiful situation and a beautiful wedding. We're really thrilled with how the wedding came out. It launches all of the stories for the season to a degree, particularly with Mina and Raptor and with Conrad and Nic.
Speaking of Mina and Raptor, you finally went there, with both putting themselves out there in that scene, him with his words and her with the kiss. Why was now the right time for them to stop dancing around each other?
We were tired of them dancing around each other. We wanted to see what happens when they become a couple, and we had some trepidation, which is, if you put the two leads together sometimes in these long-term relationships where they've been apart, sometimes it doesn't work, but in this case, it really does work. Their love story delivers on every single cylinder in every script we have and every episode we've shot. They turn out to be quite amazing together as an actual couple. They're going to have some problems, some obstacles, a few within each other and how they handle certain post-COVID things but mainly related to her immigration status and to conflict she comes into with Cain (Morris Chestnut).
My heart broke for Devon as he lost his father to COVID. How is he going to be coping moving forward? How will this affect him on and off the job?
It's going to be rough for Devon. One of the great big stories of the season is Manish, who has always been wonderful and a heartbeat at the center of the show but who delivers on a scale none of us can quite believe. He will have problems from knowing, here he is a doctor and he couldn't get to or save his own father.
He's always been the stable rule-follower and the good guy, and it's going to shake his world when his father dies. His guilt at not being able to save his own father, his loss of the man who really gave his life to be able to make the money to put Devon through medical school — medical school's very expensive, and his father drives a cab and people from that economic sector have a much harder time paying for medical school, so his father gave everything and sacrificed everything for him — and in the end, Devon feels he wasn't there for his dad.
So there will be some fairly serious repercussions for him for a while for that. It'll have an interesting impact on his relationship with Conrad because it takes a while for Conrad to figure out how badly Devon's been impacted and if there is any way he can help him, how to help him get out of this hole.
And down the road, as there was a reaction in Bell, there'll be [one] for [Devon] watching Mina and Raptor, watching Conrad and Nic. He wants love in his life as well. We have a spectacular new intern, played by Anuja Joshi, coming in who will factor into that story. She doesn't arrive for several more episodes, but we're extremely excited about her. She'll be a new surgical intern, so she's going to cross through stories with Devon, Cain, the Raptor, Kit, and everybody because surgical interns rotate through specialties and even in the ER.
But first he's going to have to work through his reaction to his father and then as he comes out of it, we can begin to introduce his love interest and this marvelous new character. But she's more than a love interest. She's a very complicated and interesting person with an obstacle in her own life she has to overcome as well.
The Resident, Tuesdays, 8/7c, Fox