The halls of Chastain will see quite a shift when The Resident returns for its fifth season.
Emily Van Camp, who plays the beloved nurse practitioner Nic Nevins, is scrubbing out after four seasons on the FOX medical drama.
While it isn’t unheard of for an actress to leave a show, the timing is unfortunate from a storytelling perspective considering Nic and Conrad Hawkins (Matt Czuchry) recently got married and welcomed a baby girl.
In real life, Van Camp also welcomed a baby girl with husband Josh Bowman, so she obviously has to do what’s best for her and her family. We also have to assume that the struggles of working during a pandemic impacted her decision, as did her potentially expanded role in the Marvel universe.
But there’s absolutely no denying that it’s a huge bummer for fans of the series, many of whom only tune in because of their attachment to the couple affectionately dubbed #CoNic.
We’ve seen the couple go through their fair share of ups and downs, but the fact that the writers chose to introduce a baby means they likely thought she was coming back for the upcoming season and had more a happier storyline in the works.
While I have ultimate faith in the writers, it’s understandable that fans are worried about how her departure will be addressed.
Nic is a crucial part of the show; some might argue that she’s the glue that holds everything together.
Her exit must be handled with the utmost care and respect in order to preserve the integrity of the character.
Since her character is a dedicated wife and mother, it’s unproductive to mess with the relationship by introducing a cheating storyline or a new job since it isn’t believable.
We know Nic would never prioritize anything over her new family, not even a new gig. Even suggesting that as an alternative dishonors the kindhearted character Van Camp has built.
So, this is where it gets concerning.
All signs and breadcrumbs point to Nic not surviving the premiere.
There are a few indications that the writers are going to kill her off and pursue the “Conrad is a heartbroken and widowed single father to baby Gigi” storyline.
The official season 5 poster pointed to tragedy as Conrad was seen alone in a defeated stance. His back was turned to the camera and the words “healing stars within” were written on top.
We think this will hurt us more than heal us, but we’re always in.
See you September 21 for the Season 5 premiere of #TheResident. pic.twitter.com/0gTp2EuCpo
— The Resident (@ResidentFOX) August 5, 2021
A follow-up trailer titled “Everything Will Change” opens with an ominous montage of CoNic’s happiest moments. It then shows Conrad standing alone in his daughter’s nursery before cops come to his door to deliver some news. Since it’s never a good sign when cops show up at your house in the middle of the night, many fans to theorized that Nic was involved in a tragic accident.
The gossip Instagram account, Deuxmoi, seemingly confirmed that theory via an anonymous tip.
“I can 10,000 percent confirm she’s leaving The Resident early in the upcoming season, but her character will die in a car accident,” a source told the account, though, these can be hit or miss so take it with a grain of salt!
It’s a frustrating approach considering Nic just survived a stabbing along with pregnancy complications last season, but it’s really the only way to handle it while keeping the character intact.
It also presents plenty growth opportunities for Conrad’s character.
Much like the fans (and probably, the writers), he never anticipated that he’d be a single father, but life threw him a curveball and now he has to step up to raise his daughter, likely with the help of his friends at Chastain.
And while we typically see the plight of working mothers, this would offer the series a chance to dig into the hardships of balancing a thriving career in the medical field while also being a present father.
The only other option on the table is that the accident causes Nic to go into a lengthy coma, which would also leave the door open for any potential guest appearances from Van Camp should she so choose to be involved.
The latter would allow for the character to come back, while also allowing the writers to explain her off-screen existence with a storyline about how she gave up her career to stay at home with Gigi in the aftermath of the accident.
However, Elkoff seemingly confirmed that Conrad will be a single father to TV Line, noting: “He’s really good at it. He’s just going to be the best dad you can imagine.”
He also explained that the season will pick up with a nine-month time jump, which explains why Gigi is so big in the promos already.
FOX entertainment president Michael Thorn told Deadline that it will be an emotional departure.
“The audience is going to be surprised and emotionally engaged with how we handle Emily’s departure and the way that it affects all of the other characters,” he said. “And yes, we will be introducing some new characters as we go along, but I think it’s going to be another excellent season. Amy Holden Jones does an incredible job,” he added.
While everyone involved with the series is staying mum on how Van Camp will be written off, they are convinced that fans won’t be disappointed by what they are calling a “potentially game-changing, development.”
“When our audience — our loyal and beloved audience — tunes in for the first episode of Season 5, by the time it’s over, they will be shocked at certain changes that are taking place at the hospital,” co-showrunner Peter Elkoff told TV Line.
In the wake of her exit (along with the exit of Shaunette Renee as Mina last season and Morris Chestnut as Barrett Cain), the series is also adding new cast members to fill the void and ensure the upcoming season has a robust ensemble.
Miles Fowler will join the medical drama as Billie Sutton’s (Jessica Lucas) estranged son, Trevor. If you’ll recall, Billie opened up to bestie Nic about being raped at 13-years-old and giving up the baby for adoption. While she didn’t want to meet her son, he’s been reaching out hoping to get to know his birth mom.
Regardless of how the series tackles this unexpected cast shake-up, be prepared for an emotional journey ahead.
The fifth season returns on Tuesday, September 21st at 8 pm ET/PT on Fox.
You can catch up on all of our The Resident reviews HERE!
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