After four seasons on the show, Mina Okafor is leaving The Resident but why is Shaunette Renée Wilson departing the series and could she return?
*WARNING: Spoilers ahead*
It’s always a sad moment when a much-loved character leaves a TV show and unfortunately for fans of Fox’s The Resident that was exactly the case in episode 10.
The episode, which aired on April 20th, ended with the sad departure of Mina Okafor, one of The Resident’s original characters.
But just why is Mina leaving The Resident and could we see Shaunette Renée Wilson’s character ever return?
The Resident season 4 on Fox
Thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, season 4 of The Resident began on January 12th, 2021, several months after the start of the usual TV season.
The new season continues the enthralling stories of Chastain Park Memorial Hospital and its staff who have been put under increasing strain as the future of the hospital has been in doubt.
Episode 10 recap
After Mina and AJ have spent much of season 4 planning their trip to Nigeria, episode 10 sees the day of their departure finally arrive.
The episode, titled Into the Unknown, throws their carefully-made plans up into the air, however, as a visit to AJ’s mother reveals that she has lung cancer.
Knowing that his mother only has a few years left to live, AJ comes to realise that he must stay with his ailing mother.
Mina understands this but is committed to moving away.
She has tried to avoid sentimentality throughout the ordeal but the final moments of the episode get the better of her and Mina shares some tender moments with her friends and colleagues before finally leaving Chastain.
Why is Mina leaving The Resident?
Mina Okafor is leaving The Resident to move to Nigeria after she was threatened with deportation by the conspiring Dr Cain.
However, in reality, Mina is leaving because actress Shaunette Renée Wilson wanted to call time on her stint on the show.
In a statement released to her social media, Shaunette said:
“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. 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.”
In response, The Resident’s executive producers said in a statement of their own via TV Line: “Losing the extraordinary Shaunette is heartbreaking for us, but we are honoring her request to leave with gratitude and respect for her contribution to the show,”
“We want the fans to know that we have lots in store for AJ as he reels from this loss, and we want Shaunette to know the door is always open.”
Whether or not we’ll see Shaunette return as Mina later down the line remains to be seen.
The Resident season 4 is currently airing weekly on Tuesdays via Fox in the US.