The Resident‘s Cade Sullivan might not know it yet, but her relationship with Conrad Hawkins just changed quite drastically.
During Tuesday’s fall finale — an eventful hour for all involved — Cade went out of town, fibbing to beau Conrad that she was heading to a girls’ weekend when she was really visiting her father in rehab. Meanwhile, back in Atlanta, Conrad grew closer than ever to Billie, for whom he’s recently started to harbor romantic feelings.
Conrad, already sentimental from an unexpected reunion (and reconciliation, yay!) with Nic’s father Kyle, had to confront some more big emotions after saving Billie from being physically attacked by the distraught sons of a patient Billie had lost earlier in the day. The men accosted Billie in a stairwell, hit her and dangled her over the edge of a railing — but Conrad, thankfully, showed up in time to rescue the doc until security stepped in. Conrad walked Billie to her doorstep later that night, and when she remarked how proud Nic would have been of Conrad’s actions that day, Conrad admitted, “I want you to be proud of me.” They shared a sweet first kiss in front of Billie’s house… and after it was over, Billie smiled at Conrad, then went inside, alone, without a word.
Naturally, we had some questions about what that lip-lock will mean when the show returns on Jan. 3. Series co-creator Amy Holden Jones answers them below… and the future she teases for Conrad and Billie’s respective significant others might surprise you.
TVLINE | When do you think it crystallized for Conrad that he wants to be with Billie? Was there a specific moment in this episode that you believe tipped the scale for him?
He was reaching the brink. The realization happens when she’s attacked, and we see how emotionally that impacts him, how much he’s afraid for her. That probably crystallizes for him that he cares more than he realized he felt. Any high-stakes, emotional thing where you end up in a situation like that can bring people closer together. It was designed to be the breaking point — that attack and him saving her. Seeing her in jeopardy, realizing she could be desperately hurt makes him separate from his feelings that this was Nic’s best friend. Now it’s just his own feelings for her, which are kind of overwhelming to him when he realizes she’s in jeopardy.
TVLINE | And Billie’s reaction to that kiss is interesting. She says nothing, goes inside, doesn’t invite him in. What is she trying to communicate to him in that moment?
That she’s happy he kissed her, but that they can’t be more until they resolve their connections to other people. Interestingly enough, Billie’s connection to James [Yamada, played by Ian Anthony Dale] is more complicated because he hasn’t done anything wrong to her, whereas Cade has had a couple of dust-ups with Conrad, particularly over her father. They differed on whether to have the drug testing occur and how to handle his problems in the past, so that was already in the air. We’ve set up, many times, in previous episodes that [Cade and Conrad] are trying to be honest with each other, and he keeps emphasizing being honest with her without realizing he’s not being honest with himself… In a way, the fact that Cade’s been lying to him [about visiting her father] takes him off the hook. [Laughs] To a degree! He realizes that she’s done something wrong, just as he’s done something wrong, although I think he feels his guilt is worse than hers. There may be fans who are up in arms because he’s with Nic’s friend, or because he hasn’t broken up with Cade. But truthfully, in life, these things happen. You get overwhelmed by your emotions. You kiss somebody you shouldn’t, and then you have to make it right. That does happen.
TVLINE | There certainly are fans that seem opposed to Conrad and Billie getting together because she was friends with Nic. Do you or any of the writers share that sentiment?
No, I don’t think it should be off-limits… One of the crucial things they share is the memories of Nic and the love they had for her. That’s something he wants to share with someone. He doesn’t want to forget Nic. And in a way, he doesn’t have to forget Nic when they both loved her. I also believe that if Nic could have chosen for him, she would have chosen Billie, because she would trust Billie with Gigi. At the beginning of the season, this is where we were going, but we were fluid with it. We were willing to see how things evolved, who clicked with who, whether something felt inevitable. And we would have adjusted if Cade and Conrad felt inevitable, but somehow, they didn’t.
We adore Kaley [Ronayne], but now we have a whole lot of things to play with [Cade]. If we get a Season 7, who will she be with? What will become of her? That’s a very interesting place for her… She and James may have a future. I’ll tease that. They’re going to have something in common in the next episode. I think he says to her, “We’re in the same club.” I love the character, I love the actor. So hopefully we have a ways to go with that one. [Laughs]