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Chicago Med Recap Season 8 Episode 11 It Is What It Is, Until It Isn’t Chicago Med Recap Season 8 Episode 11 It Is What It Is, Until It Isn’t

Chicago Med

Chicago Med Review – It Is What It Is, Until It Isn’t (8×11)

CHICAGO MED -- "It Is What It Is, Until It Isn’t" Episode 811 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jon Kasunic as Officer Stinson, Nick Gehlfuss as Will Halstead, Marlyne Barrett as Maggie Lockwood -- (Photo by: George Burns Jr/NBC)

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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?

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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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