It’s time for an honest check of The Resident‘s vitals.
We already know that the Fox medical drama’s Jan. 17 finale was intentionally crafted as a suitable series ender, should the show not return for Season 7. And given the show’s perpetual “bubble” status, The Resident‘s previous renewals have long felt like gifts from the hospital show gods — a gift that, frankly, we’re increasingly worried we won’t get this year, especially after a Season 6 finale that even TVLine readers agreed would be a perfectly satisfying sendoff.
But here’s how we see it: As far as TV viewing experiences go, there’s a massive gulf between Episode That Could Be a Series Finale If It Absolutely Must Be and Properly Crafted, We’ve-Had-Months-to-Emotionally-Prepare-For-This Swan Song. And after 100-plus episodes at Fox, The Resident and its fans deserve the latter.
It’s not that we want The Resident to end anytime soon, of course. Should it receive the same lifespan as an ER or Grey’s Anatomy, we’d gladly revisit the halls of Chastain Park Memorial year after year. There’s no shortage of medical stories to tell, and the show has proven it can effectively rebound from the loss of major cast members like Emily VanCamp and Shaunette Renée Wilson.
But we know there are difficult business decisions to be made, and it’s perhaps more realistic that The Resident will scrub out sooner rather than later. Below, we’ve got eight reasons why the series should return for a formal final season; scroll through our list, then drop a comment with your own arguments.
FIRST COMES LOVE, THEN COMES...?
In the final seconds of Season 6, Conrad and Billie revealed they love each other. Yay! But… we’re not just going to leave it at that, are we? After a season-and-a-half of watching Conrad navigate how (and with whom) to find love again after Nic’s untimely death, his next great romance is only just getting started. Give us the sweet-and-steamy date nights! The knowing looks over their masks in the OR! The quality time with Gigi! The giddy high of new love — and the inevitable stumbles, too — are ripe for storytelling, and we’d hate to miss Conrad and Billie’s honeymoon era.
DEVON PUTS A RING ON IT
The stage was set for a beautiful, tradition-rich Indian wedding back in Season 2… until Devon broke things off with fiancée Priya moments before she was set to walk down the aisle. (We’re still a little mad at him for that.) But now that Devon and Leela are happily engaged, here’s hoping we get to see the gorgeous celebration they both deserve.
Season 6 ended on a triumphant note for the hospital, which had its funding restored after Gov. Betz’s life-or-death predicament. But as overjoyed as we were to see Chastain prevail, we’d love the opportunity to bask in that victory and enjoy a seventh season free from the fear that Chastain will cease to exist. Of course, even without the threat of Chastain closing its doors or cutting entire departments, we suspect there will still be ample bureaucratic battles for CEO Kit Voss to fight — and win, obviously.
The Resident shined an important light on postpartum depression throughout Season 6, which meant we didn’t get to see much of Padma and AJ’s dynamic as they figured out how to effectively co-parent. With Padma now feeling better, and AJ more devoted than ever to his two sons — “I now have a family, and I will never be alone again,” he told Padma in the Season 6 finale — we can’t wait to watch them fully embrace the chaos of early parenthood. Even more intriguing? Series co-creator Amy Holden Jones previously told TVLine that a Padma/AJ romance “was not where we wanted to go” with that storyline, making us all the more interested to see how those characters raise children together without being romantically involved.
SPEAKING OF AJ'S LOVE LIFE...
That said, if AJ isn’t going to be with Padma — and that’s cool! — when will we find this man a new, significant love interest? (We know we should be content to watch Raptor love on his twins, but here we are.)
“Unfortunately, Mina’s quite difficult to replace, both for him emotionally and for me emotionally,” Jones laughed to TVLine in December, referring to Shaunette Renée Wilson’s surprising exit in Season 4. But even though Mina left quite a hole in AJ’s life, we’re hopeful he can find romantic fulfillment again before The Resident is truly over.
GET WELL, BELL
As The Resident has established quite well, multiple sclerosis comes with many peaks and valleys, and Dr. Bell has already experienced his fair share of those since his diagnosis. But it pained us to see him so concerned about his MS trajectory in the final episodes of Season 6; it’s promising that Bell has nabbed a spot in the next phase of Devon’s clinical trial, but a character with a redemption arc as compelling as Bell’s ought to go out on a wholly joyful note — not a cautiously optimistic one. Plus, with Bell having stepped away from surgery for the time being, there’s potential for him to start teaching in Season 7… and that we gotta see.
THE ROAD TO RECOVERY
Ian Sullivan’s Season 6 arc ended on an almost-too-rosy note, with the doc staying clean ahead of a crucial surgery, getting rehired at Chastain and strengthening his bond with daughter Cade. All of those things are lovely! But should the series return for Season 7, we imagine Ian will encounter some obstacles as he repairs his relationship with Cade and attempts to stay off drugs. The Resident has always been at its most entertaining when it leans into the doctors’ darkness a bit, and it piques our curiosity to consider how Ian might stumble in his pursuit of sobriety.
PAGING DR. YAMADA...
Ian Anthony Dale was introduced halfway through Season 6 as Dr. James Yamada, and we were immediately charmed by him, especially after watching him care for his ailing mentor. Now that he’s romantically entangled with Cade, and has proven to be a major asset to Chastain, there’s quite a bit of storytelling potential surrounding this new doc — and Jones wants to tap into it.
“I adore this new lead,” the EP told us after the Season 6 ender, “and want to give him complexities and see his relationship with Cade grow, or crash and burn.”