‘The Resident’ Co-Creator on How Chastain’s New CEO Is ‘a Feminist Story I Wanted to Tell’
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 4, Episode 6 of The Resident, “Requiems & Revivals.”]
The changes at Chastain continue with its transition from private to public, and that includes someone new in charge: Dr. Kit Voss (Jane Leeves) is now CEO.
“She’s not the first person they think of to be CEO and she has to earn that place and earn her place in that chair, which she will,” co-creator and executive producer Amy Holden Jones tells TV Insider. “It’s a good season for Kit. She has obstacles and problems but she hasn’t got any cancer patients in the family this season.”
In the February 16 episode, Kit isn’t even on the list of doctors being interviewed for the position. In fact, there are zero women on that list, and Kit doesn’t hide her feelings on that decision.
“Considering where you sit and what you’ve achieved, why are no women being interviewed for the CEO position? Isn’t that on you?” Kit asks Governor Randall (Nichelle Hines) after demanding emergency privileges for Dr. Jake Wong (Conrad Ricamora) so he can operate at the hospital. (The plastic surgeon who was going to give a kid two donor hands left because of money after the transition from private to public. By the end of the episode, Jake’s staying at Chastain permanently.)
Randall, of course, realizes she made a mistake and “the board overlooked someone who may be the best choice for CEO,” she admits to Dr. Randolph Bell (Bruce Greenwood), who completely agrees. “After Kit charged into our meeting, it became clear we don’t want a safe choice for CEO. We want someone bold, trailblazing, and Chastain needs a new leader by end of day,” the governor continues.
And after the surgery is a success, Randall is waiting to offer Kit the job: “You, Dr. Voss, took this on your shoulders, at high risk. You gave a child back his life. I saw leadership and calm under pressure, qualities we need at Chastain. The CEO job is yours if you want it.”
Kit has the best response: “You’re damn right I do.”
“I wanted Kit to have a story which was not just about who you’re sleeping with and who’s the guy, a story that dignifies her major abilities,” Jones explains. “I also wanted a story where we have a powerful woman who can take control and try to change things, who is, at the same time, a feminine, warm, loving mom. Jane has all those abilities.”
This “long” storyline is loosely based on a woman who reformed Colorado’s healthcare system, the executive producer says, adding that going public is “a natural evolution” for Chastain. “We’ve been talking and talking about the problems of inequality and medicine, and how money buys you a kind of care you don’t get without money,” she explains. “The natural evolution is to become a public hospital and to figure out a way, if you’re going to be a public hospital, no one gets turned away, insured or uninsured. How do you make it financially feasible under those circumstances? People think it’s impossible, but it’s not.”
This is part of Kit’s story this season, and Jones promises that it’s not as “dry” as it sounds. “She remains a surgeon and a sounding board for all the characters, but her rise to power is also a feminist story I wanted to tell,” she says.
The Resident, Tuesdays, 8/7c, Fox