The midseason finale of Chicago Med welcomed, and said goodbye to, Mr. and Mrs. Choi.
Chicago Med Season 8 Episode 9 marked the final episode for Brian Tee, who has portrayed Ethan Choi since the very first episode of the medical drama. Yaya DaCosta guest starred, reprising her role as April, Choi’s longtime love, who recently came back into his life. And a second chance led them down the aisle, which was a truly joyous moment for Med fans.
They’ve had their ups and downs throughout the seasons, but they’ve finally arrived at a place where they both want the same thing and are willing to put in the work to make it a success. Since their union has been a long time coming, it’s also the reason why it was so disappointing that the wedding was so short-lived. If my memory serves me correctly, this is one of the first Chicago Med weddings, so I wish it took up a larger chunk of the episode. I know the wedding couldn’t span the whole episode, but I think fans would all agree that it would be nice to see the setup of the wedding just as much as it would be to see all of Gaffney’s finest celebrating together at the reception after.
Instead, the whole “big day,” which was so heavily hyped and promoted by NBC, was rushed and reduced to less than five minutes. Why did they bother bringing back Noah for the ceremony when we barely got any time with him?
And if Noah was back, why wasn’t there even a mention of Ethan’s sister, Emily, who, at one point, lived with him and April? They were one of the show’s most impactful siblings, so it just felt strange that Choi didn’t have any family there.
On the plus side, fans one final ED storyline with April and Ethan—where the romance began—as they treated her father for chest pain.
All these minor complaints aside, I couldn’t think of a better storyline to honor Ethan and April’s journey. There’s nothing more fitting than the two of them trying to change healthcare, one patient at a time from their Docs on Wheels mobile clinic. They have always gone above and beyond for patients, raising issues within the system and questioning how things are done, so their career move does justice to the characters we’ve come to know and love.
I’ll truly miss Ethan Choi’s presence in the ED, but I’m happy he’s finally going to live his authentic life with his love by his side. Plus, since they are both staying in Chicago, there’s potential for a guest appearance down the line.
It was also heartwarming to see how supportive Sharon Goodwin was when he tended his resignation. Goodwin is an example of the kind of boss we all want to have—she knows she’s losing a good thing, but she couldn’t be happier for Choi’s professional development. We love to see it.
The rest of the episode focused heavily on the OR 2.o, funded completely by Jack Dayton, the man Crockett saved in the train derailment episode. While it seemed like a generous gift, the moment Goodwin said that there didn’t seem to be strings attached, you knew the other foot was going to drop.
There’s definitely an ego issue with Dayton, as evidenced by how he handled Crockett’s complaint about operating in front of an audience. Crockett was being cautious considering he wasn’t familiar with the tech, and he didn’t want to make a spectacle of someone’s life, but Dayton wasn’t interested in hearing any of it. He wanted the audience there so he could prove that his innovation worked and could change the future of medicine, thus putting Gaffney on the map as a cutting-edge hospital. While all of that is great, it mostly works in his favor as it allowed him to buy a controlling investment in the Gaffney Medical Group. The danger of taking handouts from a billionaire is that he has enough money to now own the whole hospital. And while there’s a small chance it might be a good thing, by the sheer horror on everyone’s face, it doesn’t seem to be.
Dayton is very much a profits-over-people kind of guy. He doesn’t care about the outcome as much as he does about making money. The very accident with his supersonic train is proof that he launches things before they are ready or tested. And now that he’s the one calling the shots, they have no choice but to listen to him and meet all of his demands, even if it’s proven that the OR 2.0 isn’t entirely safe.
Dayton overlooked an issue that came up during Richard’s tumor retraction, and when Crockett brought it up, it was basically shrugged off, even though you’d think they’d want to do everything to make the system as good as it could be. What are they hiding?
While the OR 2.0’s technology is impressive and lightyears ahead of what they’ve been using, it’s not without flaws, and a manual override of a suggestion it made that could have killed the patient is definitely concerning. If a less seasoned doctor was operating and they listened to the AI’s advice, it may have been the patient’s life on the line.
All of this could blow back on Gaffney, and I don’t doubt that Dayton would let it in order to preserve the integrity of his name. And since Crockett is the face of it all, I feel like Dayton would be fine with making him the scapegoat. He can tear him down as quickly as he built him up, especially because it seems as though he feels like he owns him now.
The ED is always action-packed, and that was especially true during the midseason finale.
No one ever wants to deal with a parent’s ailing health, but April and Ethan were forced to when her dad began having chest pains the day before the wedding. Thankfully, it wasn’t a heart attack as previously believed, and Choi got to the bottom of the issue, noting that it wasn’t urgent and didn’t require surgery prior to the big day.
Charles treated an elderly patient that came into the ED after falling down the stairs. His daughter was terrified that her father had Alzheimer’s just like her late mother, but after having a brief chat with him, Charles wasn’t convinced. After being discharged, the man had a seizure, and a CT scan later revealed that it was a mystery illness that led to inflammation that was affecting the brain. The good news is that a round of steroids would clear it all up. Sometimes, there is a happy ending to a story!
Meanwhile, Dean and Asher helped Grant, Maggie’s ex and Vanessa’s dad, with a complication following the accident. While Maggie was in surgery with him, Ben stopped by with the cupcakes that she ordered for April and Choi’s wedding, and the new intern, Justin, blurted out all about the accident. Read the room, man!
Of course, Ben flipped out on her, assuming that she was having an affair. While Maggie swore that wasn’t the case, the fact that she withheld something so important from him was a breach of trust, and he suggested that they take time apart.
I feel for Maggie, I truly do, but she made some questionable decisions this season. And Ben’s character also seems so inconsistent—the jealousy over Grant from day one has been so strange—it almost doesn’t feel like it’s the same man she married. He has every right to be upset with her about the lying, but it just seems like the writers want us to all of a sudden hate Ben so that when she gets back together with Grant, we’re not upset about it. But let me remind you—Ben was a sweet and soft-spoken guy a few seasons ago, and that guy would’ve been much more understanding from the get-go when she first introduced him to Grant. It really doesn’t help that Maggie is being so weird and secretive the whole time, but I also wish Ben handled it better. Don’t ever underestimate the power of clear communication.
Archer also confided in Asher about his kidney disease, adding that if the renal diet wasn’t going to make everything better, the next step was dialysis. It was only a matter of time before she figured it out, and with Choi gone, it’s nice that Archer will have someone in his corner, even if he is asking her to keep it a secret from the other colleagues.
There’s also a new love interest brewing for Dr. Charles—Liliana, the woman who cleans his office. He happened to catch her incredible opera performance during an open mic night at the piano bar he frequents, and it completely caught him off guard. He went back and forth with himself about asking her out, as there is an unequal power dynamic between them, but he eventually mustered up the courage. And she was more than happy to grab coffee with him.
After everything that he’s been through in his romantic life, Charles more than deserves some happiness. I’m rooting for them. However, I was a little thrown off when he said that Lilliana is Polish. I only picked up on a handful of words in the song she sang, and truthfully, it sounded more Ukrainian to me. It’s entirely possible that I’m not familiar with the song, that it was in both languages, or even that it was just the way the actress pronounced the words—but it’s just a stray observation from a native speaker who was a little puzzled.
Regardless, I’m thrilled that the series is embracing the huge Polish population in Chicago and finding a way to work it into the plot.
Overall, the title, “This Could Be The Start of Something New,” applied to many aspects of the episode from April and Ethan’s marriage to their new business venture, the OR 2.0 and Gaffney’s new leadership, and even Charles’ relationship with Liliana.
What did you think of the episode? Were you happy with Choi and April’s sendoff? What was your favorite part of the midseason finale? Till next year, Cravers!
Chicago Med Review – We All Know What They Say About Assumptions (812)
Chicago Med continues on with the humans versus AI debate—and it almost cost Dr. Archer his job.
While Crockett was hesitant about the 2.0 technology at first, he’s seen the AI machine in action a handful of times and knows that there are definitely some benefits to it. Obviously, he’s not gunning for the elimination of human doctors altogether, but he’s definitely advocating for doctors to familiarize themselves with the piece of machinery that can lend a hand and possibly boost outcomes for serious and potentially dangerous operations.
Crockett tried his best to get Archer on board on Chicago Med Season 8 Episode 12, and he eventually succeeded in getting him to put a little bit of faith in the AI, however, it quickly backfired when Archer became overwhelmed with the “backseat driver” and broke it.
And that was the last straw for Jack Dayton, who, upon finding out that Archer destroyed his very expensive piece of equipment, fired him. Dayton and Archer haven’t seen eye-to-eye, and with Archer’s vocal distaste over introducing machines, Dayton assumed Archer acted with malice.
Once Sharon Goodwin found out about Dayton’s decision, she gave him an ultimatum—if Archer goes, so does she. I was a little surprised by her desire to go to bat for Dean. I don’t necessarily think he’s worth losing a job over, but it also proves exactly why Goodwin is such a good boss—she’s there for her employees no matter what. She knows that it’s her job to protect them. Dayton knew Goodwin would be a huge loss to the hospital, so he agreed to give Archer his job back, but what happens the next time the Chief of ED decides not to play ball?
Dayton has big visions for the hospital, visions that are very modern and definitely instill a bit of fear into the staff. Everyone is so used to doing things their way—the way that they are comfortable with—so the idea of changing things up, even if it may be for the better, terrifies them. Change can be good, but it can also be scary. But what are without change? While I agree that the human approach is vital in a medical setting, there’s something to be said for finding ways to be more efficient.
A good example of that was Halstead’s partnership with Dr. Grace Song, who coded a system to help him narrow down Jason’s rare condition. Without her tech, Halstead would’ve never found the answer in time, thus not being able to save the young boy’s life. But with Song’s intel, they knew how to treat his condition—and it didn’t have to be deadly. It was a healthy partnership, even if Halstead was a bit skeptical at first.
My only hope is that the writers don’t make this romantic between Halstead and Song.
Maggie and Goodwin were witnesses to a hit-and-run, and if they weren’t on the scene, the two victims might not have made it out alive. Thankfully, they were able to render the necessary aid to hold the women over until they got to the hospital.
Maggie was personally moved by the incident as the women were in a fight right before the accident, proving to her just how fragile life is. She then visited Ben at work to apologize once again and inform him that she was going to fight for their relationship. Ben didn’t even seem phased by any of it, simply telling Maggie that she “lied to him.” I get it, Ben feels betrayed, but he could at least meet her halfway. It’s very clear that this is important to Maggie and she feels remorseful, so why can’t he even consider forgiving her? Many will say that emotional cheating is still cheating, but in this case, I think Maggie was just trying to be super careful about juggling all of these relationships, including finding a way to remain on good terms with Grant, the father of her daughter, who she reconnected with not too long ago. It was all new territory for Maggie, and while she should’ve been more honest and upfront with Grant, there was no blueprint for how to handle it all.
Dr. Asher dealt with a postpartum patient who ended up having an issue that required a hysterectomy. She was so livid after having to perform this avoidable procedure on a 26-year-old, that she barged into Dayton’s meeting demanding that he put his money to good use and sign the hospital up for a program that offers postpartum checks on mom and baby. And honestly, good for her. I don’t understand how this isn’t a normal thing in our country especially considering all the problems and issues that can arise post-delivery. Moms need support, and yet, their symptoms and experiences are often dismissed until it’s too late. It’s nice to see someone advocating for moms during the most fragile and vulnerable moments in their lives. And it seems that Dayton’s heart is definitely in the right place when it comes to the hospital even if he doesn’t know how best to roll things out or what to prioritize. Whenever a doctor yells at him with their concerns or requests, he’s responsive and helpful, which is a start.
As for the Dr. Charles storyline with Lilian, well, it was only a matter of time before their socioeconomic differences played into their relationship. She was right in questioning why Charles made it a point to tell his manager that Liliana is an opera singer—he wanted people to see her as more than just a cleaning lady. I don’t think he was embarrassed by her job, per se, but he wanted to lift her up, possibly to remind her of her worth, though it definitely backfired because Liliana seems pretty self-assured. She knows that her job doesn’t define her, which is such an important lesson for all of us to learn. It’s a reminder that even those who seem like they have it all figured out, like Dr. Charles, don’t actually. But it’s also bullshit that people were judging Dr. Charles for mingling with the cleaning staff as if they are less than. Let’s not feed into this because there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the image!
What did you think of the episode? The series will return on Feb. 8 after a two-week hiatus!
Chicago Med Review – It Is What It Is, Until It Isn’t (8×11)
Systems have been put in place to help society function, but we’d be naive not to acknowledge the many times that the system fails people.
Chicago Med Season 8 Episode 11 dug into those failures, not just for Black men in the city of Chicago but for anyone with a prior rap sheet or addiction.
AI has been a constant on the series for several episodes after Jack Dayton introduced the OR 2.0. There’s no denying that AI is the future as the world embraces digital more each and every day. But while AI has plenty of perks, as we saw with the surgery on Aaron, Crockett and Halstead’s patient, it can also cause harm, as evidenced by Asher’s experience.
It begs the question—where do we draw the line? At one point does it replace human connection? And what does that mean for all of us?
Asher took in a patient who was experiencing terrible pain that she attributed to endometriosis. Though the doctor ruled it out pretty early on, she wasn’t convinced that Jodie was telling the truth simply because an AI-based software flagged her as a pill seeker. As Asher later pointed out when she raised the issue to upper management, the program “sows weeds of distrust” as it makes it harder to tell if the patient in front of you actually needs help.
Asher trusted her gut, which is why she pursued Jodie’s case further rather than dismissing her, but there’s plenty of doctors who will look the other way instead when the reality is that the program is seriously flawed and doesn’t take into account the specifics of each case. In Jodie’s situation, she ended up having a tumor that was causing her discomfort. As for the pills that were flagged, they were scrips written for her dog by a vet. I’d understand if the program could analyze the circumstances, but if the program is confusing drugs for a dog with drugs for a human, well, I have to agree that it’s a serious concern that needs to be addressed. There has to be a better system.
The drug epidemic is dangerous and serious, but patient care shouldn’t fall by the wayside. And a recovering addict like Asher shouldn’t be branded a red flag for life after doing all the work to get better and back on track. The stigma shouldn’t follow her around.
While it’s entirely understandable that many doctors, particularly the older ones, would be weary of the AI, there’s a lot of benefits, particularly if you don’t rely solely on the information pumped out by a robot. Crockett’s case was a perfect example as 2.0 allowed him to perform a complex surgery that also lent itself to some social justice.
The system in this case was law enforcement who already made up their minds about Aaron simply because he matched some vague description of the offender. It was so nice to see all of the doctor’s rally around Aaron to find a solution that would get him the care he needed without breaking his trust and turning him over to the cops. Aaron had a bullet lodged near his pancreas, which he explained was a rogue bullet when he got shot during a grocery store robbery in a “wrong place at the wrong time situation.” The bullet was threatening his life, however, he refused to get it removed as he knew the bullet in the hands of the police would seal his fate. They wouldn’t try to find the right offender—they would just pin it on him.
Seeing Maggie and Will team up once again took me back to the old days, and throwing Chicago PD’s Kevin Atwater into the mix was just the cherry on top. It wasn’t a full blown crossover, but the mini-appearance was a reminder that these shows exist in the same world and they can rely on each other for assistance at times.
Atwater is not one to let down his own people, so he made it clear that surrendering the bullet was not an option for Aaron. Even the way the detectives obtained his blood—though legal—seemed shady, proving that they were convinced that they had their guy and likely wouldn’t listen to reason. And thus, Crockett, with the help of 2.0, worked his magic to go around the bullet and keep Aaron safe and sound.
After working closely with Halstead, Maggie told him about her separation from Ben. It’s heartbreaking to see her go through this, but honestly, Ben needs to man up and talk to his wife about what happened. She shouldn’t be left wondering whether she’s about to lose it all.
Archer’s son was released from prison early on good behavior, making for one sweet family reunion. And when he promised his dad that he was going to do things right this time, it was something the doctor has been waiting to hear for a while. I’ll be honest, I was concerned that he wasn’t going to survive the night and that Archer would get the call right before he was going to go pick up his son, but I’m glad that wasn’t the case. It’ll be interesting to see him navigate this new dynamic considering the duo weren’t on speaking terms for quite some time. And we all know Archer has a lot of opinions.
Justin and Dr. Charles teamed up to help Omar, one of Justin’s rock climbing buddies who took a nasty fall and broke both of his ankles. The injuries were the least of his problems as his short-term memory began to flicker in and out, revealing that there was something more dangerous at play. A few tests later and they were able to sort it all out, curing Omar’s lengthy and painful headaches while stopping a brain bleed that likely would’ve ended in disaster. It’s almost strange to say that Omar’s fall was a blessing in disguise.
The fight between “man and machine” is set to continue into next week’s episode.
What did you think of “It Is What It Is, Until It Isn’t”? Do you think the doctor’s are doing the right thing by calling out the dangers of AI?
When Is ‘Chicago Med’ Season 8 Coming Back?
Chicago Med Season 8 has been on hiatus for much of December after airing its midseason finale episode on Dec. 7, 2022.
The episode, titled “This Could Be the Start of Something New,” marked Dr. Ethan Choi’s (Brian Tee) last episode after eight seasons with the NBC medical drama. Choi married longtime love nurse April Sexton (Yaya DaCosta) in the episode and together, they rode off into the sunset to start a mobile health clinic in Chicago.
The rest of the employees at Gaffney medical found out that Jack Dayton (Sasha Roiz), the billionaire whose life Crockett (Dom Rains) saved earlier in the season during a train derailment, purchased a controlling investment in the Gaffney Medical Group. It’s unclear how much control he’ll be able to exert, but no one seemed pleased by the turn of events.
So, when do new episodes pick back up? Soon!
Chicago Med, and the other Chicago shows in the #OneChicago franchise, including Chicago Fire and Chicago PD, will return on Wednesday, January 4, 2023.
You can kick off the new year with all of your favorites!
The episode, Chicago Med Season 8 Episode 10, will be titled “A Little Change Might Do You Some Good.”
Here’s the full synopsis and teaser:
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