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Chicago Med In the Valley of the Shadows Review Chicago Med In the Valley of the Shadows Review

Chicago Med

Chicago Med – In the Valley of the Shadows (5×03)

CHICAGO MED -- "In The Valley Of The Shadows" Episode 502 -- Pictured: (l-r) Brian Tee as Dr. Ethan Choi, Marlyne Barrett as Maggie Lockwood -- (Photo by: Liz Sisson/NBC)

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Chicago Med continues its triumphant 5th season return with a third stellar episode in a row.

Doctors Orders – Dr. Charles remains pretty neutral when it comes to diagnosis patients. He never puts his personal beliefs into his clinical analysis and remains objective, yet he cannot seem to follow that same advice when it comes to his family. After Caroline takes a tumble and breaks her wrist, Dr. Charles urges her not to go through with surgery since it isn’t in her best interest. He’s echoing the sentiments of her oncologist since her immune system’s been compromised by the chemo, but Caroline is stubborn.

She doesn’t want her husband the doctor, she wants her husband the understanding human.  A patient summed up Dr. Charles’ problem in the best possible way: he gives them an option to decide about treatment and then shames them for their decision.

Not that Charles was wrong in his analysis. Caroline was being stubborn and was rushing into something without considering her needs above her wants. But it’s easy for a cancer patient whose life has been turned upsidedown to want some control. That’s the part Charles was missing when speaking to his wife.

 

Own Up to Your Mistakes – Natalie put a patient’s life in danger when she had what most of us would call a brain fart and ordered a nurse to push the wrong drugs. We know Natalie is more than capable, but many doctors at Med have this ego issue where they won’t admit they’re struggling because it’s viewed as weaker or less than. They could sit there and dish out solid advice to every single patient, yet fail to listen to their own. It’s frustrating.

Natalie’s flub was an honest mistake, but it was one she could have paid for dearly. Will Halstead blew everything out of proportion, but he was right when he suggested taking it easy. His motives for wanting Natalie to look into a beta trail to help with her memory loss does stem from his selfishness, but it also comes from a place of concern and protection.

Will knows that Natalie didn’t come to tell him she was engaged and the sooner she remembers, the quicker they can get rid of Phillip, who honestly is growing increasingly creepy. The way he was hanging around the hospital with the kiddos gives me those Dear John vibes. Does he have any hobbies or is he leeching off of Natalie? I couldn’t shake this concerned feeling every time he was around Owen.

Will is also trying to protect Natalie from getting in trouble with the board. If she’s not properly healed and messes up with a patient, even in the slightest, it could cause some real issues for him. It’s better safe than sorry. Arguably, there was a better way for Halstead to approach the situation, but Natalie has been known to be stubborn.

 

What is Dr. Marcel’s Deal – Dr. Marcel is a bit of an enigma. He seems like a doctor who knows what he’s doing, but he’s been in two of the three episodes this season and the only thing that has been known is that he has an ego the size of China.

Marcel’s approach to dealing with a woman who rushed her bloody, non-breathing baby to the ER had every right to make April nervous and suspicious. April is intuitive and highly trained — she knew immediately that there was something shady about the “mother.” And yet every time, Marcel allowed the mother to refuse treatment and undermined April.

That is until April found out that Marcel gave the new mother Ativan so she would knock out and so he could illegal pull a blood sample to figure out if she had just given blood.

Maybe he isn’t such a monster after all?

The storyline with the stolen baby was disturbing only because it felt torn from the headlines. Very recently, a tragic story about a mother and her daughter killing a young mother and cutting the baby out of her womb disgusted the city of Chicago.

The worst part is that the “fake mother” was so distraught over the loss of her son, she thought what she was doing was justified.

 

You Need Help – Another person in the OR who doesn’t admit to needing help is Maggie. The chemo is definitely impacting her and her ability to do the job yet she refused to train a new employee to replace her.

Understandably, feeling like your replaceable especially because of a situation out of your control must suck, but Maggie’s denial was careless. She put her fellow doctors, her patients, and herself in danger. What if she fainted at the operating table and fell on top of a patient?

The job has never been easy even when Maggie’s health was at its best. There’s no need for her to do it all alone or act tough now.

Maggie’s decision to pass the torch to April was a better-suited solution and hopefully, this means she’ll finally confide in her best friend about what’s going on.

 

Ethically Struggling – Dr. Choi cannot seem to wrap his head around what it means to honor a patient’s last wishes.

While doctors are meant to save their patients at all costs, if someone comes in with a terminally ill disease, they have to honor the request and the DNR in place. Time and time again, Dr. Choi has challenged patients about what they want to do and how they want to do it, and it’s just getting tiring.

His patient was coherent and able to make his own decisions. If he thought cryonics was worth the risk then so be it.

Unless you’re dealing with a terminal illness, there’s absolutely no reason why you should preach about what’s right and what’s wrong to someone. These people are essentially staring down the barrel of a gun just waiting for it to fire.

And Dr. Charles was right — the patient didn’t see this solution as suicide, he saw it as the complete opposite.

 

What did you think of the episode? Are you digging Chicago Med this season?

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Lizzy Buczak is the founder of CraveYouTV. What started off as a silly blog in her sophomore year at Columbia College Chicago turned her passion for watching TV into an opportunity! She has been in charge of CraveYou since 2011, writing reviews and news content for a wide variety of shows. Lizzy is a Music Business and Journalism major who has written for RADIO.COM, TV Fanatic, Time Out Chicago, Innerview, Pop’stache and Family Time.

Chicago Med

Chicago Med Review – Get by with a Little Help From My Friends (912)

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Chicago Med Season 9 Episode saw a lot of people overwhelmed by work and life in general. 

It all started with Sharon Goodwin, who is coming to the realization that her life is going to be a lot different now that Bert is experiencing memory loss. 

The incident that kickstarts everything involves him forgetting to turn the stove off, but as Cruz informs her, it had a good outcome but may be the first of many. As Goodwin’s ex-husband is treated for smoke inhalation, she struggles to figure out how to manage it all. Eventually, when Bert has another meltdown, she realizes that she’s the only person that can calm him down. Even when he’s disoriented, he recognizes her and feels comfort when she’s around, which again, puts an immense burden on her. 

As he pleads for Sharon to take him home, she agrees to be his caregiver, a situation that Dr. Charles informs her cannot be permanent. But it’s easy to see why she feels responsible—this is the man she’s loved her whole life who still needs her. It’s almost like he’s regressed to an infant mentality, not really understanding the what and why behind what’s going on. Bert is doing a fantastic job portraying all of those emotions and vulnerabilities on screen, providing audiences with a heartbreaking look at the disease.  There’s no reasoning with him, all she can do is provide care, though hopefully, not at the expense of her own mental health and sanity. 

Newcomer Jackie, played by La Brea’s Natalie Zea, arrives in the ED for her second shift in a row, when Maggie immediately notices something is off. Jackie isn’t her usual self, and paired with the stress at home and the blood dripping from her arm—a cut she claims to have sustained earlier in the day while leaving the house—there’s definitely room for worry. 

A quick diagnosis from Dr. Charles reveals that the cut may have been self-harm, as he suggests Jackie is distracting herself from the daily pain she witnesses in the burn unit. This is proven to be true after Jackie loses a patient, runs off to the bathroom to cut herself, and then collapses in Maggie’s arms, revealing scars from previous cuts. Intervention becomes necessary at that point, even though to Jackie, it feels like the ultimate betrayal, but eventually, she comes around to see that Maggie was simply acting in her best interest. It’ll be interesting to see if Med finds a permanent place for Zea on the team as I think she’d make a great addition—plus we all know Maggie needs a new friend around. 

Dr. Marcel also wasn’t spared from the harsh realities when his celebration over his young patient Colin’s new liver quickly soured when he realized the child had an infection. While he tried his best to advocate or Colin, knowing that the boy might not live to see another donor match, he ultimately had to make the hard, yet right, call and give up the organ to someone who could survive the surgery. It’s not the outcome anyone wanted, including Colin’s disappointed father (this is why as a doctor, you never make any promises), but due to the illness, he wasn’t strong enough to move forward. The final gut punch was Colin asking if he was going to die, making Crockett question every decision he’s ever made. 

Hannah teamed up with Ripley—while also sealing their romantic fate—to help his childhood friends, Lynne and Sully, welcome their new baby, born prematurely at 30 weeks and not breathing. Thankfully, they were able to save the child, which was comforting considering everything Sully is already going through. They need a shred of happiness. 

Archer also got a little scolding from Sharon, who didn’t take kindly toward his harsh attitude toward the new intern, reminding him that this is a teaching hospital after all. Turns out, when Archer wants to, he can be a great mentor—and that’s something some students need when they are letting their fears and doubts cloud their judgment and get the best of them. None of us are born with the knowledge and skills—it takes patience and practice.

Thankfully, in every situation, the good outweighed the bad as everyone was supported by loved ones—friends, family, and staff who truly cared about their wellbeing. 

What did you think of the episode?

If you are having a mental health, substance use, or suicidal crisis, call 988. 

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Chicago Med

Did Dr. Zola Ahmad Leave ‘Chicago Med’ Already?

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Did Dr. Zola Ahmad Leave 'Chicago Med' Already?

Chicago Med introduced a new third-year resident to the fold in season 9—Zola Ahmad played by The Wilds’ Sophia Ali.

Ahmad’s character was initially described as “impulsive” and a troublemaker who tends to cause “headaches” for her Gaffney Medical fellows, which we saw play out in real-time when her unconventional approaches rubbed Crockett Marcel (Dominic Rains) the wrong way.

Marcel tried to give Ahmad the benefit of the doubt on numerous occasions, and Sharon Goodwin (S. Epatha Merkerson) even acknowledged that she was taking a big chance by hiring her on a prohibitionary basis given her track record with previous hospitals—but ultimately, Ahmad’s behavior and decisions to overstep and not follow protocol got the best of her.

When Ahmad decided to declare a patient—letting the fact that he wasn’t a good man dictate her reasoning—dead prematurely (and then attempted to justify it), nearly killing him, Dr. Archer (Steven Weber) chose to suspend her. It was very obviously a fireable offense, so it’s a good thing that the series writers held her accountable. Plus, it seemed like the perfect chance for a teachable moment and a redemption arc, not to mention, there was definitely some chemistry with Ahmad and Crockett that could’ve been explored down the line. She had potential as a character at Med, if she just reeled it in a little bit—and that would’ve been interesting to explore on a more granular level.

However, by Chicago PD Season 9 Episode 9, it was over for Ahmad. 

Did Dr. Zola Ahmad Leave 'Chicago Med' Already?

CHICAGO MED — “A Penny for your Thoughts, Dollar for your Dreams” Episode 9008 — Pictured: (l-r) Sophia Ali as Dr. Zola Ahmad, Dominic Rains as Dr. Crockett Marcel — (Photo by: George Burns Jr/NBC)

The series seemingly listened to the Chi-Hards fanbase as Ahmad paid the ultimate price for her reckless decision; Goodwin very briefly (and in passing) informed Crockett that Ahmad was let go, something he called a “shame.”

And that was that. There was no further mention of it, nor is there any indication that she’ll return anytime in the future. Her final episode of the season was listed as Chicago Med Season 9 Episode 8—and it seems like she’ll just be a blip on the radar of the show’s long-running tenure. 

It’s a drastic decision for the series, especially after hyping up Ali’s character at the beginning of the season. Why wouldn’t they give her arc a proper conclusion? Many of the complaints from the fan base were that her character was written inconsistently—her intentions were good most of the time, it was the execution that suffered—and crammed into an already shortened season due to COVID, so they weren’t able to build her character up in a way that would’ve given her the necessary nuance; her portrayal was overly negative and it was hard to defend her actions or keep her around when each week, she was pushing buttons and creating unnecessary issues without having the tenure to excuse them or back her up, like her predecessors Will Will (Nick Gehlfuss) and Natalie (Torrey Devitto). When those two acted irrationally back in the day, they had a history with Med and Goodwin that allowed them to stir the pot. 

It seems that the writing was on the wall for Ahmad from the get-go—the lack of good character development in the writing sealed her fate prematurely and gave fans whiplash with her quick arrival and departure. 

Would you like to see her return to the series?

Vanessa Morgan Is Finally Getting the Recognition She Deserves With ‘Wild Cards’

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Chicago Med

Chicago Med Review – I Think There’s Something You’re Not Telling Me (911)

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CHICAGO MED -- "I Think There is Something You're Not Telling Me" Episode 90011

Chicago Med Season 9 Episode 11 was Ripley-heavy, but I doubt most fans minded all that much, especially as he was sidelined last week due to the flu. 

The episode not only saw Ripley catching up with his childhood friend Sully, who previously refused cancer treatment, but we also met Sully’s pregnant girlfriend, Lynne, who also clued in Hannah on Ripley’s difficult childhood—helpful, since he wasn’t forthcoming with any information when she asked. 

His past was also brought up during the deposition with Pavel’s lawyer, who tried to get him to crack while bringing up the personal matter of institutionalization to discredit him. While it certainly struck a chord, Ripley proved that he’s done the work to get through it, though Charles, who feels partially responsible for the situation in Ripley’s past and the lawsuit, took it upon himself to encourage Sharon Goodwin to convince Ripley to settle. 

He figured out that Charles must’ve said something, but it was nice to see him not get upset by the fact either. These two have come quite a long way in their relationship this season, as Charles suggested that his past is his story to tell on his own terms. 

As for Sully, his coughing symptoms only worsened, landing him in the hospital, as Rip nudged his buddy to come clean to the mom of his future child. Sully’s hesitation to seek out treatment also stemmed from his past, noting that when his father was sent to prison, it was the best day of his life and that maybe Lynne and the baby were better off without him. Naturally, Ripley pointed out that it was just the fear talking and that he needed treatment in order to be a present dad to his kid and to break the cycle of abandonment and trauma. All in all, these two have made a lot of progress. 

Lynne, thankfully, wasn’t in early labor either, so the storyline had somewhat of a positive ending, though I’m sure we’ll see more from them soon. 

Loren’s helicopter incident in the woods the episode prior was also at the forefront as he essentially told Maggie he didn’t remember what they talked about (so he has no clue he professed his feelings for her!) and tried to minimize his injuries to prove himself to Archer for the trauma fellowship. However, Archer can’t be fooled as he’s also one of the people who tried to downplay his symptoms, so he was able to detect what Loren was doing right away. And he gave him some key advice—know when to pull back and prioritize your own health first. As they say, the job will always be there, but you can’t help your patients if you aren’t helping yourself.

As for Maggie, I think she owes it to the both of them to address what was said in such a dire state head-on, but I understand wanting to give Loren space for healing and recovery. She should’ve learned from that life-or-death situation that you should never leave anything unsaid.

Dr. Charles teamed up with a new intern, Naomi Howard, who experienced a bit of a rough start due to nerves. She was assigned to a patient named Jay, who ended up being misdiagnosed with depression when he should’ve been on mood stabilizers to treat what Charles assumed was bipolar disorder. It was a pretty intense case for Naomi to witness, even if she was sitting on the sidelines for much of it, as Charles had to get to the bottom of Jay’s motivations—proving his dad wrong about his career in the arts. Thankfully, by the end of the hour, he managed to persuade him to make the necessary change to his treatment by suggesting that you don’t have to suffer for your art.

What did you think of the episode? Are you digging the flirtation between Asher and Ripley?

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