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?
Chicago Med Season Finale Review – [SPOILER] Exits the Series (822)
It’s the end of an era. The Chicago Med Season 8 finale saw Will Halstead saying his final goodbye to Gaffney Medical.
And the best part is that you don’t even have to wonder where he’s going!
After realizing that his time at the hospital had come to an end, Will thanked his colleagues and friends who have been like family for all these years and made a swift departure to Seattle to be with his one true love, Natalie Manning!
Chicago Med pulled off the ultimate surprise by bringing back Torrey Devito for a brief yet emotional cameo. She greeted Halstead outside of the airport along with her son, Owen, and they made it very clear that this time they were going to make things work. “I’m never letting you go,” Natalie told Halstead as they embarked on their new chapter together.
While I usually wouldn’t recommend going back to a relationship that didn’t work in the past, in this case, it just makes sense. They both had a clean break to find themselves and figure things out and yet their paths crossed once again. Timing is everything, and without the setting of Gaffney, I think they may actually be able to work things out this time around.
And that’s a wrap on Will Halstead. Thank you so much to Nick Gehlfuss for bringing such an “irritating” yet “inspirational” character to life for eight seasons. Sharon Goodwin was right on the money with that comment.
He even went out in such Will style by going off the rails and doing something that only Will could ever justify as a good idea.
Halstead was very triggered by 2.0’s glitch, and when he realized no one was going to do anything about it, the took matters into his own hands without realizing the larger implications of his decision.
By reprogramming 2.0 to go completely haywire during Jack Dayton’s hernia resection, he not only destroyed the product by setting in plenty of doubt, but he also ensured that 2.0 would never see the light of day again as it tarnished Dayton’s reputation in the process.
Dayton could no longer go through with the IPO, which meant that he couldn’t secure the funding to make 2.0 a better and more reliable product, which in turn meant that Jack Dayton had to sell Med, putting everyone’s fate up in the air.
As much as I want to praise Halstead for trying to do the wrong thing, his decision was very costly, especially because, as Crockett pointed out, 2.0 did a lot of good. With the right improvements, it could be a very useful tool in the future, but Halstead ensured that said future would never happen.
However, on the other hand, maybe selling the hospital isn’t the worst idea as it will likely put the power back in the hands of someone who cares about the patients over profits. Turning Med into a for-profit hospital has not been a welcome change for the doctors as they are limited in who they can treat, and it’s also a terrible experience for patients who don’t have the best insurance and can’t pay exorbitant prices.
Turning away patients is never ideal, especially patients who need critical care. One of Archer’s patients, Rachel, was admitted to Med with terrible stomach pains, and by waiting for an ambo transfer to a hospital that would have accepted her insurance, she likely would’ve died in the process.
The doctors took it upon themselves to do the surgery under the radar so as to not put her in debt for life, but that was a risky move. If anyone from upper management found out, it would not be pretty. Though, it’s nice to see Archer coming around and doing what needs to be done to save lives.
During the surgery, which Hannah Asher assisted, Archer became very weak, and he realized he had another infection from his “DIY dialysis.” At this point, Asher insisted he start at a proper dialysis clinic, which he was against because of the time commitment, and when Sean suggested they just go through with the surgery as he was approved as his father’s donor, Archer and Asher had to inform him that he was no longer eligible after falling off the wagon.
It was honestly heartbreaking to see Sean come to terms with what his relapse meant. It was one misstep—that stemmed from a misunderstanding in the first place—and yet, it set back his plans to help his father for at least six months.
Hopefully, this doesn’t set Sean back even further because I can see how he’d deal with thinking that he’s a “disappointment” by turning to drugs and alcohol yet again.
Archer, however, cannot blame himself for what happened, nor can he blame the fact that he allowed his son to be a donor as the relapse had nothing to do with the pressure of the situation. Sean was set off after seeing his father and Hannah getting “close,” and while there may have been some flirtation happening, when he finally addressed it with the two of them, they were both quite shocked.
I honestly think that Asher and Archer are good friends, and though there may be underlying feelings there, they’ve never considered them because they’ve never thought about going there. Could this be what convinces them to give things a try? Or did it cement them in the friend’s zone forever? I’m not surprised the romance hasn’t gotten the spotlight as Archer’s health is definitely a priority.
Hannah also seems pretty adamant about keeping her personal life and professional life separate, so I could see her shutting any possibility of a romance with either of the Archer men down.
Dr. Charles dealt with two patients that Dr. Loren Johsnton brought in via ambo. There was also a misunderstanding there as the wife, Janice, thought her husband Fred was trying to kill her, when in reality, Fred was fighting with his body impulsively doing things he couldn’t control. Turns out, he had a small stroke that resulted in a rare neurological called alien hand syndrome. With everything cleared up, the couple was back on track, and it put Charles’ relationship with Liliana in perspective. He realized that he had to clear up the misunderstanding by simply being vulnerable and honest with her about his feelings—he didn’t think of her as a charity case, and just because he has a fancy title doesn’t mean he doesn’t share the same insecurities as other people.
And Liliana, for her part, realized she’d put up a wall because she’s so used to being independent. Of course, there’s still the issue of her overbearing brother Pawel, who, quite frankly, needs to be told to get his own life. I understand siblings being there for each other and helping each other out, but he’s constantly bossing her around, talking down to her, and being kind of emotionally abusive.
Also, I truly hope Dr. Loren becomes a new addition to Med next season!
With Maggie interviewing at other hospitals, I was certain she’d be the person leaving Med at the end of the season, but Halstead’s problematic heroics make so much more sense.
I’m just glad it isn’t Crockett because I was just getting invested in the character, while Archer and Asher have been the best duo this season.
What did you think of the Chicago Med Season 8 finale? Are you pleased with how Halstead’s storyline ended?
What do you want to see next season?
Chicago Med Review – Might Feel Like It’s Time for a Change (821)
Chicago Med Season 8 Episode 21 mostly focused on Jack Dayton’s continuing efforts to ruin Gaffney at every turn.
It’s starting to become a little exhausting to constantly write about Jack, but he’s the main focus this season, with the latest storyline focused on the impending 2.0 IPO launch that would propel Med into a destination hospital, naturally, at the cost of all the other patients needing healthcare services.
But even more concerning and daunting is the last-minute revelation that 2.0 may have been the reason for killing a man. Richard’s death in the prior episode was weighing heavily on Crockett and Halstead. Neither of them could truly understand what went wrong, and when they went to look for the data from 2.0, it was nowhere to be found. Once Crockett confronted Jack, he was given a flash drive that detailed a mistake he made during the procedure that ended up being deadly.
However, once Halstead gave the drive to Grace, she found that it wasn’t Crockett’s fault at all. 2.0 showed Crockett a phantom lesion that was never actually there, and if it wasn’t for that display, Crockett would’ve never operated and Richard would’ve still been alive. The machine is faulty, which isn’t something that looks good when you’re about to go public. As of now, it seems as though Jack wasn’t aware of the glitch on 2.0 and assumed he was genuinely protecting his star doctor, though, I wouldn’t be surprised if that was his cover to protect the integrity of the product. But if Jack really knew that 2.0 glitched, I don’t think he would entrust his life to it, especially on live television with the whole world watching.
At this point, it’s clear that while machines and AI can be great tools, they should complement doctors and their skills rather than replace them.
We’ll see what comes of this development.
One of the more intriguing plots included Sam Abrams, who found out he was going to be a father despite having a vasectomy years ago. Sam’s shocked reaction likely wasn’t what Michelle wanted, but for someone who is an empty nester and never expected to have more kids, it was genuine.
Hannah was able to intervene with a cervix surgery that assisted in Michelle’s pregnancy, but more importantly, the writers were able to humanize Sam a little bit, which is always nice to see. He pops in and out, but he’s always so blunt and stoic, so it was nice to see him get a little personality. Plus, we got to see a little heart-to-heart with Hannah, who, while encouraging Sam to embrace this opportunity life handed him, also decided to put herself out there in the dating world again. Can you believe she hasn’t dated anyone since Halstead?
Meanwhile, Archer learned that Sean was a donor match, much to his dismay, but any moment of happiness was fleeting as he also found out his son missed work and wasn’t picking up any calls. Naturally, his mind went to the worst-case scenario that Sean relapsed, and boy, I’m hoping that isn’t the case. Things were going so well for Sean and he was doing so well in his recovery. However, seeing his father cozying up to Hannah may have put him over the edge, or he simply decided to distance himself from his father’s world as he felt betrayed. Either or, I think we’re going to see Sean and Neil’s relationships with Hannah come to a head.
Elsewhere, Maggie interviewed for a new job spearheading the ED at a local hospital. While Sharon Goodwin wasn’t pleased as Maggie’s employer since she didn’t want to lose her best people due to Jack’s poor decisions, she was personally happy for her friend for putting herself first. I hope Maggie doesn’t end up leaving because she makes this whole place function!
As for Dr. Charles and Cuevas, they helped their patient, David, who has been a recurring guest on the series this season, navigate the normal fears and complexities of being a teenager, which was refreshing for a change. David thought he was hearing voices again, but it was simply his inner monologue and he needed to understand how to live with it and alongside it.
As for Charles’ relationship with Liliana, well, it’s not going in the right direction and that’s mostly because she has a very codependent and toxic relationship with her brother, Pawel, who we now know has a gambling problem that she’s going to pay off at the expense of buying her own house because “that’s her brother.” I feel like Charles needs to make a run for it before he’s dragged down too much, but I understand it isn’t that easy since he really loves Liliana and wants to help her. When he learned that she still needed to move out of her place, he asked her to move in with him, but it only backfired as she saw it as Charles thinking he needed to rescue her. The whole “charity case” mindset simply stems from the difference in their positions—if they don’t get over it, it’s always going to drive a wedge between them.
What did you think of the episode? Are you excited for the season finale next week?
Chicago Med Review – The Winds of Change Are Starting to Blow (820)
Everyone is starting to feel the brunt of Jack Dayton’s decision to turn Gaffney into a for-profit hospital.
When the board voted to support Dayton’s money-hungry decision, the writing was on the wall, but Chicago Med Season 8 Episode 20 honed in on the aftermath revealing that everyone is suffering–from patients seeking treatment to doctors wanting to help.
Halstead couldn’t fathom seeing uninsured patients get turned away, so he found a loophole (classic Halstead), meanwhile, Crockett decided to act first and apologize later by booking 2.0 for a prior patient whose cancer metastasized. If I’m being honest, Richard should’ve been a VIP member since he was the first person to use 2.0 and, essentially, a test dummy for the program.
Crockett made up his mind, and he was backed by Goodwin, who agreed that Richard was going for a “necessary follow-up” and that they would forgive the bill. Unfortunately, it seems as though Dayton didn’t exactly agree because 2.0 glitched halfway through the procedure and Richard didn’t wake up from the anesthesia, falling victim to a stroke despite showing absolutely no signs of distress.
Goodwin assured Crockett that these things happen, but he wasn’t convinced, and based on the teaser trailer for the upcoming episode, we can’t exclude the possibility that Dayton retaliated and purposefully glitched 2.0 to put Crockett’s patient in danger. If that’s the case, we’re talking about a much larger issue than just turning non-paying patients away. We’ll have to wait until next week to find out how this will pan out and if Dayton brings a new meaning to the word “villain.”
Dr. Charles and Maggie teamed up to deal with a paranoid patient with a phobia of hospitals. Jan was spewing all of the conspiracy theories she’d read online verbatim, which prompted her to refuse the necessary care following her car wreck. The dynamic duo did their best to quell Jan’s concerns and prove to her that they didn’t mean her any harm, but in the end, they couldn’t get through to her and she refused to provide any bloodwork so they could check out why she was experiencing jaundice.
This wasn’t a straightforward case for psychology because Jan was simply gullible and fearful as she experienced a traumatic incident where her sister walked into a hospital as a healthy person and was diagnosed with cancer that took her life in less than a month. Jan is still processing all that trauma, so Charles had to believe that she’d deal with it when she was ready and on her own terms. There’s no forcing someone to seek out help when they don’t want it, especially if they seem to be of sound mind. Hopefully, her storyline will circle back around in the future and they will be able to give her the proper care she needs.
Meanwhile, the Archer boys and Hannah Asher once again found themselves rotating in each other’s orbit. Dean came around to the idea of Sean donating a kidney to him, though he definitely chewed out Hannah for clueing his son in on his waning health.
Dean dealt with a patient with a 6-foot-long tapeworm in his intestines—yeah, suddenly, we’re not hungry either—while Hannah and Sean assisted the patient’s wife, who shockingly went into labor without even knowing she was pregnant. The two scenes mirrored each other in that Dean was removing the tapeworm while Hannah was removing a baby. Gruesome and brilliant at the same time! And Sean fit in perfectly by stepping in for the father to help Pam during the delivery process, which also gave him a front-row seat to Hannah’s skilled labor and delivery.
He was in awe seeing her in action, which just confirmed that he has feelings for her, but when he told his father, Dean shut it down by suggesting that it was too early to get into a relationship as they are both focusing on their recovery. Of course, the admission threw Dean off, especially because we know he has a soft spot for Hannah, which was evident when she trolled him in the doctor’s lounge and helped him clean up his coffee off of his medical coat. Sean witnessed the moment, and though it definitely looked more romantic than it was, you can’t deny there’s chemistry there. I smell a love triangle brewing—not a first for Med. And while I want Sean to find someone, I think it’s written in the stars for Hannah and Dean!
Lastly, and I won’t say much about this, I’m genuinely disliking the storyline between Dr. Charles and Lilliana’s brother, Pawel. I get that he’s going through a tough time in terms of finding himself in a new country, but I continue to cringe at the way immigrants are being represented on this show. We’ll see how things escalate and if the storyline can be salvaged in my eyes.
What did you think of the episode? Is Maggie really considering leaving Med? Are we on the brink of a Crockett and Dayton face-off? How will Sharon figure this out to once again save Med?
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