Conrad Hawkins is about to navigate something messier than any Chastain Park surgery: dating after the loss of his wife.
At the end of The Resident‘s Oct. 19 episode, the Fox drama — spoiler alert for those not caught up yet! — leapt a little more than three years into the future, thus bypassing the darkest period of Conrad’s grief over his late wife, Nic. And though co-showrunner Peter Elkoff admits it’s been “very tricky” to determine when Conrad should move on romantically after the time jump, he confirms that the doc won’t stay single for the entirety of Season 5.
“[Conrad and Nic] were such a beloved couple, and she was arguably the love of this character’s life,” Elkoff shares. “He will end up with somebody, but not until we get closer to the end of the season.”
And though viewers have already speculated plenty about the identity of Conrad’s next love interest — including theories about Jessica Lucas’ Billie, or the newly cast ER doctor Cade, to be played by Gotham‘s Kaley Ronayne — Elkoff says Conrad’s love life will be a bit of a guessing game for those at home.
“We will try to tell stories in a way, going forward, where the audience will go, ‘It’s going to be her. Wait, no! I think it’s going to be her. No, wait a minute. I bet you it’s going to be her,'” the EP teases. “We’re going to try and pepper the episodes with moments of connection and collaboration and emotional moments with different people, where you feel like you’ve seen the beginning of something, and you may be right, or you may be wrong.”
Elkoff previously shared with TVLine that The Resident‘s creative team “didn’t want to have Conrad grief-stricken for an entire season of television,” which prompted the decision to jump ahead by several years. In the episodes ahead, Elkoff said, Matt Czuchry’s character will be in a place “where [Nic is] still in everybody’s hearts and minds, but that he’s able to be a whole, happy person in pursuit of his life and the raising of his daughter.”