‘The Resident’: Will Mina Come Back in Season 5? Here’s Why Shaunette Renée Wilson Left the Show
Have The Resident fans truly seen the last of Dr. Mina Okafor? In season 4, the character bid farewell to her friends and colleagues at Chastain Park Memorial Hospital as she prepared to move away. The tearful sendoff seemed like the perfect end to Mina’s story. However, some fans have remained hopeful that she’ll return in the future. Is there a chance Mina could appear in the Fox medical drama’s upcoming season 5?
Dr. Mina Okafor left Chastain Park Memorial Hospital in ‘The Resident’ Season 4
The Resident introduced Dr. Mina Okafor (played by Shaunette Renée Wilson) as a talented surgeon in season 1. A rising star at Chastain Park Memorial Hospital, Mina became one of the first to try new surgical technology. Her talent saved several lives during her time in Atlanta. She had a sarcastic and cynical attitude, but her caring side showed over time.
Mina developed a close friendship with Nic Nevin (Emily VanCamp), Conrad Hawkins (Matt Czuchry), and Devon Pravesh (Manish Dayal) at Chastain. Additionally, in season 4, she began a relationship with Dr. AJ Austin (Malcolm-Jamal Warner).
However, when Mina faced possible deportation, she decided to leave her life at Chastain behind to move home to Nigeria. She planned to help her mother, who was also a doctor, take on new patients.
“My mother won’t always be able to sustain this many surgeries a day. She’ll need help… This is the answer to my visa problem. It’s the answer to everything. I don’t want to fight anymore. Leave on my own before I can be deported. I’m going back to Nigeria,” she said during season 4 episode 9.
After a heartwarming farewell party with her co-workers, Mina left Chastain for the last time.
Why did Shaunette Renée Wilson leave ‘The Resident’ and will she return in season 5?
In reality, Wilson’s departure from The Resident came down to a personal decision. After her final episode aired, the actor took to Twitter to reveal why she chose to exit the medical drama. She wrote:
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.
While the showrunners were disappointed to see Wilson go, they understood her decision. In an interview with TVLine, co-showrunner Andrew Chapman assured that she could always return to The Resident if she wanted.
“We knew she was leaving pretty close to the beginning. She asked to be let go. We were heartbroken, and we love the character of Mina. We love Shaunette. She was so foundational to the show, just such a presence,” he said, later adding, “We made it super clear to Shaunette that we love her, and if she decides that she wants to come back to The Resident, the door’s open.”
It seems unlikely that Wilson will return so soon after she decided to leave, so viewers probably won’t see her in season 5. However, with the door open, there’s always a possibility in future seasons.
‘The Resident’ Season 5 premieres on Sept. 21
Fox announced in July that The Resident would return on Sept. 21, and it looks like the rest of the cast will be included. However, there have been a few slight changes to the roster.
Anuja Joshi, who plays Devon’s love interest, Dr. Leela Devi, has been bumped up to a series regular, so viewers will see much more of her. Meanwhile, Morris Chesnut, who plays Dr. Barrett Cain, will appear less during The Resident Season 5, as he’s taken on a starring role in Fox’s Our Kind of People.