The Resident producer on that surprise hookup and the future of Chastain Park Memorial
Andrew Chapman breaks down the season 4 premiere.
Warning: This article contains spoilers about Tuesday's episode of The Resident, "A Wedding, A Funeral."
Not to diminish the beautiful celebration of love between Conrad (Matt Czuchry) and Nic (Emily VanCamp), but seeing Mina (Shaunette Reneé Wilson) and A.J. (Malcolm-Jamal Warner) allow themselves to be enveloped by the romantic mood and finally succumb to their sexual tension was like the cherry on top.
Executive producer Andrew Chapman spoke to EW about the future of both happy couples as the new season moves ahead, navigating time jumps while balancing COVID-19 story lines, and the future of Chastain Park Memorial Hospital.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: The premiere sets up a time jump between COVID days and post-pandemic life. What can we expect for the rest of the season?
ANDREW CHAPMAN: When we first started figuring out this season, we were in the middle of the pandemic. It was June of 2020. We had long conversations, like, how are we going to tell a story about the most important medical event of the last 100 years? How are we going to honor that story and frontline medical workers all across the country that are laying down their lives for us? And also, we have doctors on staff who told us this thing's not going away for a while, so by the time we air COVID will still be around. We had to wonder if our audience wanted to see a story that's all about COVID for a whole season. And we agreed people are going to want to a break. We decided we would frame a COVID episode within a larger idea of Nic and Conrad's wedding, and how it was going to be this fantastic bit of hope that we could give our audience before we veer off into this roller coaster ride of a season.
What's the scoop on Mina and A.J.? Is this something casual?
No, this is the real deal. This is it. They're a couple now, and you'll see more from them in the next episode. They'll have ups and downs, and you can expect a roller coaster situation with them too. The fans have been waiting for this moment for so long.
Could the season be bookended with weddings? We started with CoNic and maybe Mina and A.J. in the finale?
I will neither confirm nor deny this.
What was it like to be on set for the CoNic nuptials?
It was quite moving. Shooting in the time of COVID is hard. Our cast and crew can't spend hours together like before, practicing or shooting intimate scenes anymore. Luckily, Matt and Emily are so talented they can just turn it on and off with a flip of a switch. Being at the wedding was so emotional to watch, like when Corbin Bernsen walks Emily down the aisle and Van Morrison is playing. I flew to Atlanta just to be there for that part of the filming. It really was a lot of fun.
What can you tease about the rest of the season?
One of the issues we're going to tackle is how the pandemic ruins Chastain's finances, so Red Rock is going to sell it. We're going to have the hospital taken over by the county and they're going to become a public hospital, so they can no longer turn anybody away. This gives us the opportunity to discuss the things our doctors have to do to treat a broad spectrum of the Atlanta population. But what this also means that fancy, highly paid doctors don't like working for big, public hospitals because they don't get paid as much, so some will take off, but it will leave behind those who really want to do good in the world. You'll also see the doctors in charge of the hospital, so one of our characters, though I won't say who, becomes the new CEO and will run Chastain. I will say that that person is not who'd you expect, and they'll do a great job. That person will become the new face of a more caring and more compassionate hospital for the people.
With fans getting everything they want, could this be the final season?
No, we don't want this to be our final season. We have not been officially renewed by Fox, nor have we even aired yet. We have lots more stories to tell, we have more to say about health care, and more to say about our characters and where they are going. We've already started thinking about where to take these characters in season 5 — all I can say about that is handkerchiefs. It's going to be good!