Can Conrad be Chastain's new rainmaker? Does he want to be?
It's where we have left things this season, since The Resident Season 3 Episode 20, has now become the season's finale.
Given the circumstances, it's difficult to grade it as the final installment of the season, but it's a serviceable, and it works.
We ended the season with no resolution for the war against Red Rock. If anything, the fight is picking up more speed, and our beloved staff's battle against Red Rock and Cain has become a war between Logan and Cain.
The system is turning on itself from within as the former partners are adversaries, and that may introduce some interesting facets of this storyline when it compels the others to "choose a side" or pick the greatest evil to direct their attention.
We saw this during an hour where not only was Cain done with Logan's ineptitude regarding the Candidia Aurus coverup, but he got a taste of a sweet and happy future with Justine and lost her.
One good deed or moment of rationale does not erase or downplay Cain's series of misdeeds, selfishness, and cavalier attitude to other people's lives.
But he happily asserted that Logan was the reason he covered everything up in the first place, and he stands firmly by his stance that they should've been honest.
Logan: I had to keep you on a loyal path.
Cain: I don't like being threatened
Cain's defiance and disillusion with Logan's mindset sparked the enmity between that that has only just been brewing as far as we know.
The KimCain dynamic is a puzzling one. Somewhere along the way, it went from Logan seemingly serving as Cain's lapdog -- a trusty sidekick or tool for Cain to do whatever he pleased, but then as we peeled back the curtains, we learned that Logan has all the power.
It's a muddle dynamic, and there's uncertainty as to whether that was always the intention to reveal who had the real upper hand, or if it was beneficial to soften Cain.
The thing about Cain is there are times when you were almost certain something would get through to him, and he'd have some "come to Jesus moment," but then he'd be right back on his BS.
He's reached a limit with Logan. The calculating pissant was threatening him under the guise of directing Cain down a loyal path, but he prefers Cain under his thumb -- he'd like Cain on a short leash doing is bidding and acting accordingly as Red Rock's poster boy.
Cain is a glorified mascot, or he used to be, but a spiteful Logan is prepared to cut his losses and move onto someone else. He's always thinking of an angle for something.
The second he felt Cain was ready to turn on him and hang him and Red Rock out to dry, his survival instincts kicked in, and he jumped into plotting how best to take Cain out.
It does speak to how disposable Cain is to Red Rock and Logan. Funny how the man should mention loyalty as if it's something he practices when it's more so a characteristic to manipulate.
I know you care about this hospital. If you really want to change things around here, this is an opportunity to gain some real power and influence. What do you say?Logan
The pieces are shifting around the board, and they could land any number of ways.
The hour also served as one that gave us more background into Cain, and once again, an inkling as to why he is the way he is. Cain's villain origin story was a compilation of a blown ACL dashing his NFL dreams, and the loss of Justine, the love of his life.
It was also an hour that could make or break him in the oncoming installments of his arc as it continues into the next season.
Will it serve as him being "punished for his sins," as he comes to grips with how his poor actions have led him to this moment where he's falling from grace in Red Rock's eyes, could be the scapegoat for the coverup, and he lost the love of his life again?
Will he take all of these things and "see the light" working with the others to take down Red Rock, or at the very least getting out of their way as they do? Or will this be another blow that one points to while explaining how he has gone so far off the rails it's not even funny?
Nic: And he has a mom.
Devon: Well he didn't just spring fully formed from satan's head.
It seems as though the series is leaning toward a more redemptive quality to Cain than doubling down on his troublesome reign. But you can never be sure with The Resident.
We never got some of those crucial moments in the aftermath of Justine's death to get a better idea. Because while Cain was surprisingly sympathetic to Kit's Derek plight -- enough to accept her tirade without much pushback, he also wasn't willing to take full responsibility for how he contributed to anything.
Cain telling the staff to clean the ventilator and not sticking around to guarantee if they did it was was the bare minimum. He knows damn well if he explained the situation and expressed urgency for its cleanliness, it wouldn't have made it to Derek's room unsterilized.
Kit: Dawn's vent wasn't properly cleaned, and that vent went to Derek.
Cain: I gave specific instructions to sterilize her room and all the equipment.
Kit: Well, you failed. And now my daughter will lose her husband, my granddaughter her father, and Derek his life. And you better hope that doesn't happen because if it does, I will destroy you.
Cain: Sorry, Kit. I can't imagine what you're going through.
Kit: Of course, you can't because you've likely never loved anyone.
And as annoyed as he was about timing and such, he didn't need Bell and Conrad advocating on behalf of Derek and why he was in dire need of Cain's surgical skills.
As an aside, Bell has been killing it all season for a plethora of reasons, but are we headed toward a BellKit/KitBell romance? It feels like we're going in that direction with how close they've become throughout all of this especially.
But yeah, neither Bell nor Conrad had to tell Cain he owed it to Kit to save her son-in-law.
It was the only option in the first place, given his skill set. Cain's hubris is what struck again and cost him Justine. Another neurosurgeon could've taken over the case. It would've been advisable given their history, and it would've given Justine a better shot than Cain trying to juggle two technical, life-threatening surgeries back to back.
You owe Kit this much and her family.Bell
Cain had to make a call between righting his wrong and tending to his patient versus performing surgery on Justine for his own self-interest.
But it was a choice he wouldn't have needed to make if he weren't enacting that God complex again, and it cost him Justine. Will it make him resent Derek, Kit, the hospital, and whomever else? Will he feel like this is his punishment or blame someone or something else?
Derek survived, and it was another case of Conrad thinking quick on his feet by giving Derek a round of all the antibiotics to treat the infection -- the combination more effective than one on its own.
It was a relief given how we've become attached to the character in such a short time. Andy Ridings was a treasure in the role, and there were so many moments when it felt as though Derek was a goner.
Kit: How do you feel?
Cain: Excuse me?
Kit: My son in law is blind because of candida auris, and it's probably going to kill him. So again, how do you feel?
Cain: I have nothing to do with that.
Kit: You have everything to do with that!
He's alive but not in the clear as he could still be blind for the rest of his life, but it's the happiest ending we could get for them now.
But poor Justine came in with issues that involved a popcorn kernel, her molar, and her sinuses, and ended up dead on a table. It was sad when Cain's resident commented about people not dying on Cain's table.
At that moment, she realized her mentor was not God. And it was evident that Cain wouldn't get his reunion with his ex-girlfriend. And Justine would not be there for her son during spring break.
Nic and Devon both witness the chemistry between Justine and Cain, but Nic was the one who spent the most time on the case and observing.
I left him, and then I lost him, and now he's here just when I need him the most. Barrett Cain is the one who got away.Justine
Now that she has seen Cain's connection to Justine, heard more about his background, and witnessed him spend 30 minutes trying to resuscitate the woman he loved, her sympathy may get the better of her.
It could set up something interesting when and if it comes down to the Cain versus Logan showdown. Conrad is possibly considering Logan's words, because of the power to do good and off the conversation he had with Marshall.
If that's the case, it could mean he begrudgingly aligns with Logan against Cain, and Nic sparked by a new understanding and empathy falls more in line with Cain.
Logan is right about Conrad being the type of person they can gain mileage off of following this crisis. He's an attractive, compassionate, do-gooder with a rebellious edge doctor and veteran among other things.
I know you care about this hospital. If you really want to change things around here, this is an opportunity to gain some real power and influence. What do you say?
He's the perfect image Red Rock would exploit the heck out of, and as slimy as Logan is and though Conrad saw through what he was doing, he appeared as though he was considering it.
Conrad will always jump at the chance to do good if he can. It's an opportunity he can't pass up as he realizes that power in the system is how he can best fight within and help patients.
It's always a treat when Marshall pops up in an hour, and one can only guess he may have had a bigger role in the last few installments of the season. Then again, maybe his sole purpose was the give his son some advice.
We do love those Conrad and Marshall moments, so they could have just capitalized off of it for a few moments. Conrad is an interesting position where he's cognizant of what his new titles entail.
Marshall: You know I've been accustomed to a particularly heavy look of yours, but today, today something is different.
Conrad: Yeah, yeah it is. Today in order to protect my patients I had to become part of the system I've been fighting.
He had to work within the same system he's rallying and fighting against, and it was getting to him. As much as Conrad deserved Chief Resident, that's where him getting the job is a blessing and a curse for someone so active and hands-on and who hates the paperwork, red tape, and politics.
Conrad's talk with Marshall was delightful for so many reasons. He had the best advice, particularly as he reminded his son that where their paths cross is knowing that everything isn't black and white.
Most of life and what they do, if it leans toward right lies with the shades of gray. It punctuated a season where every aspect of it operated within shades of gray.
The Devon and Conrad morality debacle was about the gray area. Cain, Logan, and Red Rock's policies implemented and actions exploit the gray area. Even the relationships were about that in-between stage, whether it was Mina and AJ, or Kit and Bell, or whomever.
Marshall: It's not often that our worlds collide, but about this, I know a thing or two. Doing good isn't black and white, and the shades of gray are unsettling.
Conrad: Oh, I know. I deal with that every day. I don't want to lose myself.
Marshall: Never lose sight of your ideals because once that happens, the steps aren't many to the dark side. Trust me I know.
Many of the characters too, from those from a positive standpoint with Kyle to negative like Logan.
It was a brief but perfect conversation to punctuate the season.
With Conrad's talk with Marshall expressing his fears, Marshall's advice about not losing himself and upholding his ideals, and Conrad's well-intended reasons for considering Logan's offer, it feels like foreshadowing, doesn't it?
Can we expect Conrad to take Logan up on the offer, and then struggle with losing himself into the system he often loathes? Many of you would be steadfast in saying Conrad would never lose himself like that, but the man is as human as the rest of us.
It would be an interesting character arc for him, and a much stronger one given how often it felt like he took a backseat with stories this season.
The Conrad we know would be tempted to take that step into darkness for the right reasons, and that clearly is the case as we saw with the criminal patient. It would be a brilliant way to string that and other little things together and carry it over into a fascinating storyline.
It's not like we wouldn't get him back, but that would be part of the journey, and it would consist of his friends/colleagues/family reeling him back to that line he toes.
After all, most people, especially the good ones like Conrad don't set out to be a certain way, it's just you take a few steps over and over again, and then you look back and can't see the line anymore.
Andrea: He's one of a kind, isn't he?
Conrad Hawkins is made for this type of storyline.
At the risk of tacking on Mina to the end of the review in a similar vein to most of her presence this season, it was good to have her back and working alongside AJ.
Their case with Miguel managed to tie into their relationship a bit in subtle ways. Did anyone else get the sense that Miguel was in love with his married dance partner?
Some people have that "old married couple" vibe, and those two were so close you would've assumed they were in an actual relationship.
Salsa is my life. My livelihood. I don't know how to do anything else.Miguel
It was funny how that is similar to the partnership between Mina and AJ. Some working relationships have such intimacy that it does make them indistinguishable from romantic ones.
Miguel was sweet, and his passion for dance was beautiful. As an appreciator of dancing more than an active participant in it, I found his case heartwarming, pardon the pun.
Miguel having to reconcile that something he loved so much could have killed him, but that it also saved him too was touching. His fear of getting back out there and doing what he loved was too.
Miguel's talk with AJ was a lovely moment, and AJ and Miguel salsa dancing together in the room was one of those bright little moments that provided some levity to the hour.
Resident: But no one dies, right? In your OR? You can still save her?
Cain: There's not a person here to save.Time of death 18:47.
Andrea and Mina watching him and appreciating how great he is at his job and with people was a moment that could be interpreted in so many different ways.
It was also a bit telling, and falling back on the previous statements above about familiarity and intimacy, that Mina was showcasing how well she knows AJ with the comment about his preference for plants over flowers.
Mina is still attached to baby Michelle from the sounds of it, but it's not consuming her life as much. She took Torres out for a spin, but it wasn't anything serious.
She's devoted to her job more than anything, but it seems one of the things she always appreciated about AJ was that he was much the same.
With AJ she had the intimacy and connection of being in a relationship without many of the traditional expectations, so she was right there inviting him to something with her because of him being her preference.
But then she found out later that he declined not just because of it being his parents' 45th anniversary, but because of him introducing Andrea to his parents for such a momentous occasion.
AJ is serious about Andrea, and Mina, well, she must've assumed that it would never be the case. This time, she's on the outside looking in, and he has moved on.
It's nice to be wanted, even if you don't want to pursue something. It's a certain safety in it, and that has caught Mina off guard.
She's "losing" her person, and that was a moment of realization. What she does with that, and where the series takes it is a whole other thing, but it was a nice nod to the complicated relationship that is "Minator" this season.
It was a sensible finale given the circumstances. And it was another strong season of The Resident. The show does seem to get better with age, and these characters and their development over the course of the season have been great.
It was a hell of a season, and it's been a pleasure covering the series yet again.
So go on and hit the comments below. Do you think Conrad will take Logan up on his offer? Will Cain have a turnaround?
What did you think of his backstory with Justine? Are you happy Derek survived?
Do you think this was a solid finale given the circumstances? What's your speculation for how the season would've ended? Hit the comments below.
And if you want to relive the highs and lows of the season you can always watch The Resident online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.