Finding closure. After Emily VanCamp‘s shocking departure from The Resident, the show’s executive producer Andrew Chapman opened up about her character’s necessary return in the season 5 finale.
“Because so much of the season thematically had been about grief and loss and coming to terms with mortality and how Conrad [Matt Czuchry] is moving on from his relationship with her and the time jump and being a single dad with Gigi, it felt like the right thing to do,” Chapman explained during an interview with ET Canada on Tuesday, May 17. “We reached out to her and she was super excited to come back. She had not had a chance to say goodbye to everybody on the show, the crew, all the other actors.”
The EP noted that the season finale allowed the show to wrap up Nic’s story line. “The beginning of the season, we knew that we were going to lose Emily in this season, but we didn’t know when we were going to lose her. We lost her in episode 3 and we really had to scramble, and it didn’t give us the closure of the relationship that we had wanted,” he shared. “We thought we were going to have her for a couple more episodes and it wasn’t anybody’s fault. She had a medical issue and she had to deal with it, and we fully understood. But we really didn’t get to close the loop with her, so to speak.”
In August 2021, news broke that VanCamp, 36, would be leaving the show after four seasons. In the second episode of season 5, Nic was in a car accident that left her with a brain injury that ultimately took her life.
At the time, the Captain America: Civil War star addressed her decision to exit the series after welcoming a child with husband Josh Bowman. “I spent so many years on network television, but then suddenly priorities shifted,” VanCamp told Deadline in October 2021, two months after announcing the birth of daughter Iris. “I think there comes a moment in every woman’s life — in every person’s life — where it becomes less about work and more about family, and that’s what happened while I was making the show. Doing that many episodes in a different city and then you add COVID to that, most of us couldn’t see our families for almost a year. It really solidified for me that family is where my heart is at the moment.”
The Everwood alum’s return to the series introduced a flashback where Nic tells her husband, Conrad, to move on if she dies before him. The conversation came as the widower found himself involved in a love triangle with Billie (Jessica Lucas) and Cade (Kaley Ronayne).
“We wanted to see Conrad finally put that relationship in its proper perspective. Honor the relationship and also set it aside so he can move on with his life,” Chapman added on Tuesday. “And Matt Czuchry, the actor who plays Conrad, was adamant as were we that he could move on with his life at the end of the season, but he wasn’t going to make a choice about who he might move on with.”
Having VanCamp back on set also helped everyone get to properly say goodbye to the actress and her character.
“I think it was really moving for everybody. It was moving for the crew, it was moving for the director, it was moving for the actors. Because like I said, Emily never had a chance to say goodbye to all the people that she’d worked with for all these years,” Chapman concluded. “She was torn away from the show in an untimely way. And indeed, this was her chance to say goodbye and it was powerful. I think the power comes across in the scene. You feel it.”