Chastain lives to see another day, and these characters we’ve grown to love over this series are in such a bright place.
The beauty of The Resident Season 6 Episode 13 is that if this is the end, if, for whatever reason, we never get another season or episode from this series that stole our hearts six years ago, then the finale managed to provide some form of closure while allowing the possibility of more.
By the second half of the hour, as things wound down, the tone was so hopeful and inspiring that it was hard not to walk away lighter and with a fondness and appreciation for the show and characters.
In this day and age, we can lose beloved series in the blink of an eye, sometimes at the most inopportune times, leaving fans and viewers hanging. It was nice that The Resident had the foresight to give us an hour that wrapped so many things up and elicited the warm fuzzies just as a precaution.
Sure, it had its clumsy moments, or parts felt a bit rushed to meet us halfway, and those were the moments that highlighted some of the season’s shortcomings, where certain storylines dragged on too long while others didn’t get to expand or reach the height of their potential.
But given the circumstances and the overall tone of the hour, it’s forgivable for the bigger picture.
The momentum from The Resident Season 6 Episode 12 continued with Betz’s case and the medical scare surrounding Sammie.
Kit: We kept our end of the bargain. I want to hear on your word of honor that you will do the same.
Betz: Save my life, and I’ll save this hospital. You have my word.
Both diagnosis processes and surgeries were nail-biters, showing the best of Chastain and the doctors who work there, even the ones with challenges.
The nods to Conrad and Devon’s bromance and how far they’ve come in their dynamic are consistently among the strongest of the series and feel like such a touchstone that marks how much things have changed. These characters have grown individually and together.
I loved the whiteboard scene. Medical dramas can constantly do wonders with showcasing what it means to leave a lasting legacy.
When you have people who spend so much of their time in a hospital honing their craft and saving lives, their legacy has this way of living on in the people they’ve helped around them and mentored.
Conrad’s mark is all over that hospital. Chastain holds his blood, sweat, and tears. He’s loved and lost there and everything in between.
While it’s doubtful that there haven’t been others over his time who have meant something to him, Devon is the mentee whose journey we watched, and it’s always touching to see that someone who was so green, as Bell put it, became the doctor and man that he is today.
What’s great about Conrad and Devon’s dynamic is that Devon didn’t have to be recreated in Conrad’s image. Their differences made them compelling the entire time, and neither of them had to lose sight of who and what they were to maintain a dynamic and allow their working relationship to flourish.
But their similarities make them among the best doctors. It’s so automatic that they instinctively reach out to each other when they face a medical mystery without a second thought.
They literally met halfway in the hospital, each of them hitting up their respective whiteboard and simultaneously working through both Betz and Sammie’s cases, feeding off each other’s energy and bouncing theories and ideas off one another.
When you have a working relationship like that with someone, it’s one of the most extraordinary things, and it’s such an underrated dynamic.
Throughout the series, Conrad and Devon meet somewhere in the middle between mentor/mentee and partners. As a viewer, it’s easy to feed off the same energy they tend to get from one another during those crises.
The filming of that scene was great, too. It added to the drama of it all as we worried about a case our hearts were invested in because of the personal connection and another that our heads rationalized because of the effects on the hospital at large.
Devon: You know what, you taught me from my very first day at Chastain that if the answer isn’t on this whiteboard — Conrad: Go back to the patient and the initial exams. Have I ever told you you’re the best intern I ever had?
Devon: Well, I had the best teacher.
The best diagnosticians of Chastain got to do what they do best, and both made headway in determining what was going wrong with their patients to save them.
And then the ball got passed to practitioners and surgeons. The hour really hit home that the medical staff at Chastain is a team.
It’s a working body that runs like a machine, and every part has to flourish. And when some part falls, someone else is there to pick up the slack because that’s what teamwork is about in the end.
AJ and Leela worked magic in the heart transplant for Betz. It was apparent from the Raptor’s very much in-character comments about being an MJ that Leela was getting set up to have her heroic moment later. Naturally, that happened and didn’t disappoint.
Bell: Bravo! The torch is passed.
Leela: Far from it. We’re in this together.
Bell: No, not anymore. You’re the lead surgeon. Patient couldn’t be in better hands. So if you don’t mind, I will leave you to it.
Leela is the people’s resident. She’s had quite the trajectory over the years, entering the hospital with a learning disability that made her quest challenging at times when they focused on it, to becoming the primary mentee of Chastain, collecting mentors, skillsets, and pearls of wisdom like infinity stones from the best Chastain had to offer.
Shining as she does, Leela working alongside AJ is a perfect reminder of how much he’s poured into her. She has received some of AJ’s best mentoring since Mina’s departure.
But Leela has also had such a special and endearing dynamic with Bell. Despite the pressure of what was at stake mounting, Leela pulled off Betz’s surgery well, stepping in when AJ had to depart, and you could see the pride on Bell’s face well before he verbally expressed it by passing the proverbial torch and later on his stethoscope.
Leela and Devon fell into the background this season, which has been disappointing.
Leela’s shift in character has had its weak and irritating spots and times. And Devon has felt like he disappeared for some time as things happened around him to other people but not necessarily to him.
They both played second fiddle to Padma’s storyline. Even their relationship hasn’t had the same appeal as it never felt like they got over their hurdles so much as they just ended up on the cutting room floor.
But pulling out these moments for them during the hour served them and their respective journeys well and were emotional, which feels good.
Leela’s an attending now, and we’ve seen enough of her journey and how well she’s done as a resident to understand why she’s getting her accolades.
Bell also expressed how proud and thankful he is of Devon, and that felt right, too, and was such a genuinely nice moment as Bell has charmed his way into becoming the father figure of the series.
With both of them where they desire to be with their careers in strong places, the timing for a Deela engagement is on track. It’s the semblance of a happy ending for this fledgling power couple of Chastain, just in case.
It even suits both of them that Devon proposed in Chastain. Sure, it’s a bit rushed, and it wasn’t the most romantic. But it fit them all the same.
If we get a season seven, we deserve a second shot at a stunning traditional Indian wedding for the culture. Please, and thank you.
Betz keeping his word was a relief, and while he was a frustrating chapter in this season, at least things worked out okay in the end.
Sammie’s crisis tugged at the heartstrings. As someone who almost lost her brother to Kawasaki Disease, I recalled the strawberry tongue vividly. The entire arc triggered the anxiousness, fear, and complicated relationship with the best and worst of hospitals and a flawed system.
It’s a terrifying, rare disease, which makes the prognosis process stressful. I’m so glad Sammie lived to tell the tale.
And damn if they didn’t make that sweet little girl and her family part of Ian’s redemption. It wasn’t perfect, far from it, with McCarthy wasted for most of the season, as if they forgot what to do with him until the very end.
But he was fantastic during this finale, and with all the free-flowing emotions provoked, his harried, heel-turn redemption still evoked pride in him and gratitude.
It’s good to know that he’s sincere about his sobriety, and while they didn’t show him tossing out that presumably forgotten by him (and maybe the writers) fake urine in his office, it feels like he’ll make a real go at doing things the right way.
In this hour, he garnered more sympathy than he had for most of his presence on the season. We got an addiction arc for him, but so many of his scenes were faux arrogance and hearing how much of a horrible father he was, and there was no getting beyond the surface for either.
The arc didn’t allow much room for McCarthy or Ronayne to thrive. Given that the latter also got stuck in that godawful, dragged-out love triangle, it’s upsetting that we’re only just now having the Sullivans reaching their potential and cementing their place in the Chastain family.
Ian: Look, I’m ready, and I want to help, but there’s something that you need to know, first. I was not hiking across Spain these last few weeks. I was in rehab.
Bell: Rehab for what?
Ian: Addiction to pain pills. Uppers, downers, whatever I needed to reduce stress to do my best during surgery, at least that was my excuse.
Kit: Were you operating at Chastain under the influence?
Bell: So you lied? And somehow cheated the drug test and jeopardized the lives of children.
I genuinely wish they weren’t so isolated and got to thrive, evolve, and feel integrated into the storyline much sooner.
The more subdued, humble, and vulnerable Ian was worth caring about and rooting for, especially with the added pressure of saving Sammie.
In his words with his sponsor, you could better understand his addiction and the thought process behind why he became so reliant. Jake, Greg, and Sammie were putting so much pressure on him and had so much faith in him.
He’s the greatest of the great but still has impostor syndrome, so it’s no wonder he feels he has to rely on drugs to make sure he can pull it off. All life is precious, but his area of expertise is saving children. His entire career revolves around saving and losing kids.
If we had gotten more into Ian’s head throughout the season, it would’ve been much easier to connect with him. In many ways, he got a Bell special with redemption, and it was fitting that he and Bell had the heart-to-heart.
Bell was also the leeriest about him, even after he saved Sammie’s life and planned to return to Chastain and stay. Their conversation cut to the heart of both of them and revealed how similar they are in some ways.
I can appreciate that via Bell, Ian can see what he can be capable of and find in life. He, too, can reconnect with and salvage his relationship with an estranged child. With dedication and work, he, too, can continue to combat a different type of incurable disease.
With honesty and communication, he, too, can learn not to test his limits, know when to sit out, and when to ask for help. And he, too, can find love and fulfillment so that the job isn’t the only thing he has to live for, and he won’t be so lonely.
And somehow, in the twilight hour, they’ve managed to make me root for Ian and want that for him, too. Ian found a home at Chastain, and now that he’s let down his walls, he can find a family there, too.
And Cade can have the same. She seems genuinely content with James, and she’s come alive with him, too. Her storyline potential has opened up so much now that she’s no longer bogged down by being on the wrong side of a love triangle or reduced to daddy issues.
It’s promising that in season seven of The Resident, the Sullivans will finally have their own space carved out and can better integrate into the cast.
And so much of The Resident’s growth as a series ironically ties into Bell. He’s arguably had the strongest arc of the series.
He’s come so far as a character. His devastation and desperation when it came to Sammie were heartbreaking, but then you marvel over the fact that this stage of his life, as a doting grandpa and father, is still so new.
You’d never guess that he’d have ended up here.
He has a better grasp of his MS, learning to live with it and keeping up the fight against it. And I can appreciate that despite the debilitating nature of this disease, they haven’t used it to break him.
They haven’t used it to make him ashamed or invalid in any way. Bell still has command of the room. He still has the reverence and respect of the people around him.
Kit: She is just like her mother.
Billie: I feel like I just saw Nic.
He still offers such value to Chastian, and he’ll continue to even if he’s finally agreed to give up surgeries and practicing medicine. We’ve seen how well he is as a mentor, and he’s found his new calling in that alone.
Ironically, the man who probably shouldn’t have been teaching anyone anything in The Resident Season 1 is the man you want molding and shaping the minds of the future, helping to recreate the greatness of the doctors and staff at Chastain.
Bell has learned that there’s more to life than hanging onto his career beyond what he’s physically capable of, and he’s living such a fulfilled life now with Kit and his family, be it his personal one or his Chastain one.
The next stage in Bell’s life feels earned and true to his character, making us emotional and happy. And, of course, the Kitbell of it all makes us even happier.
Yes, this finale was hopeful, as the series can often be, but Kit and Bell are always the personifications of that in a unique way we don’t often see. Because via them, the most hopeful thing we can take away is that it’s never too late: for your life to get better, for love, for family, for friends, for new callings, for purpose, for any of it.
Things felt hopeful for AJ as well. They managed to ensure that Padma was doing well, and she reunited with the twins.
AJ and the others expressed their support for her, and she could open up and agree to be honest with everyone if she was not okay.
The PPD arc still fell tragically short of the seriousness of the topic they wanted to explore. The wrap-up was nice, though, and AJ reiterated how he considers Padma his family now and expressed his gratitude for this journey with her and the twins.
You know, Padma, when my mom died, I felt lost, and alone. I know no one can ever replace her, but my heart feels full, and now I have a family, and I’ll never be alone again, and it’s thanks to you.
But it wasn’t anything that one could feel strongly for either way.
Conrad and Billie got to carry the romance, and even though it felt like Conrad disappeared a bit, they had some lovely moments as a couple.
They try to keep Nic’s memory alive through Gigi, and we see that with her compassion for those she loves and her empathy for people in general.
She feels like a future nurse in the making.
Gigi: I love you, Billie.
Billie: I love you, too.
She was mature enough to be there for Sammie at the hospital, even though Conrad was hesitant about it. And it didn’t become an issue for him and Billie, despite Billie going against his wishes.
The trio is a happy, strong unit. Gigi adores Billie and doesn’t hesitate to tell her that she loves her. Billie has been such an integral part of Gigi’s life, so that’s not surprising.
Her reaction to Conrad and Billie dating isn’t a surprise either. They’ve been the two most important people in her life.
The birthday party at the end was a genuinely sweet scene and a great way to show that. Conrad being able to tell anyone after Nic that he loves them is a huge deal.
As Cade mentioned, he didn’t tell her that when they were dating, and before Billie, she was the closest he came to a real relationship with anyone since Nic’s death.
Conrad saying it first was a massive step for him and his respective journey as a widow. But it was also necessary to solidify how mutual this love is for him and Billie. So much of their portion of the love triangle was Billie pining for him and knowing her feelings but not knowing where he stood.
For Billie’s sake, he had to be the one to make the moves and that initial step in their relationship.
If this is the close of the series, at least we know that the characters we love are happy, fulfilled, and the best of what they can be.
Over to you, Resident Fanatics.
Conrad: I love you.
Billie: And I love you.
How did you feel about this finale? What was your favorite part? Do you think this is the end, and if so, did this work as a series finale? Sound off below.
To relive the season, you can watch The Resident online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.