This week's episode of Fox's The Resident saw the untimely departure of popular character Mina Okafor (Shaunette Renée Wilson). "After deeply thoughtful reflection, I approached the producers some time ago asking to leave the show and they agreed — and gave my character a wonderful sendoff," Wilson said in a statement to Entertainment Weekly. "I am appreciative of them for allowing me to embody as beautiful of a soul as Dr. Mina Okafor. I would also like to thank the studio, network, cast, crew, and, most of all, the wonderfully dedicated fans of The Resident for their support over the last four seasons."
One of the original cast members, Wilson has worked on the series since 2018. For four seasons, viewers fell in love with her character, a Nigerian immigrant with a moral compass that almost always points north. Series executive producer Andrew Chapman told the outlet that while the show is "heartbroken" to say goodbye to Wilson, there are no hard feelings toward the actress or her reason for leaving –– in fact, the producer admits he's open for Wilson to come back in the future, should she decide to make a return. "We did not want her to leave. She was so foundational to the DNA of the show. She was always so badass and a truth-teller. We are devastated to lose her, but we have told her the door is always open for her here. There's no ill will at all," Chapman says.
"This show is about what's wrong with the American medical system and how healthcare can be so corrupted by money. Mina was incorruptible," Chapman continued. "She is the future of healthcare. We really wish her well, and it's okay for her to move on. But what was most important to us was that we honor her important contributions to the show and how she helped shape Chastain. Mina is not someone who would wallow in self-pity due to her circumstances."
The hard part of The Resident's writing staff's job was finding the proper way to send the beloved doctor, who returns as a hero. Though, it's a shame that she leaves just when fans were getting to love the budding relationship forming between her and AJ (Malcolm-Jamal Warner). "We knew she was leaving basically from the beginning of the season, and so we had to find a way to write her out. We had teased the will-they-won't-they for Mina and AJ for so long; we knew we had to jump into that relationship and tell that story. Two strong, African American surgeons who are egotistical fall in love and have this really tempestuous, powerful relationship. I really think we gave the audience a fun ride and a really complicated relationship," Chapman said.
Even though the show will be moving forward without an important series character, Chapman urges viewers to continue watching, adding that the season finale will bring more explosive news. "We love the juicy relationship storylines, but at the end of the day, we're telling stories about strong, independent doctors who can stand on their own two feet," Chapman says. "We will always honor the character of Mina, who was first and foremost a badass doctor who never gave a crap about what anybody thought of her. We go there first, so our doctors start off on their own two feet, and then, we can think about the romantic side of things like with Leela and Devon [Manish Dayal]..."