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Chicago Med

Chicago Med Review – It’s an Ill Wind That Blows Nobody Good (813)

CHICAGO MED -- "It's an Ill Wind That Blows Nobody Good" Episode 813 -- Pictured: (l-r) Nick Gehlfuss as Will Halstead, TV Carpio as Dr. Grace Song -- (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC)

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Everything that could’ve gone wrong on Chicago Med Season 8 Episode 13 did, but surprisingly, there weren’t any major casualties due to the chaotic storm.

Terrible storms wreaking havoc for characters is a common trope, and while it may be a cliché way to stir up some drama, I find myself always really enjoying these episodes. 

The timing of this episode is actually pretty funny because Chicago is currently dealing with really powerful winds, though thankfully, no ice storm to go along with it. The drastic weather conditions meant that Gaffney was overcrowded with people seeking shelter.

And it was Sharon Goodwin who ensured that the doors stayed open for everyone in need despite complaints from Neil Archer and Jack Dayton. Their concerns were understandable, especially when Felix was stabbed, however, Goodwin simply couldn’t turn her back on the people that were counting on the hospital’s service. And when a giant tree branch came barreling through the glass ceiling, she doubled down on her stance not to put the hospital under lockdown.

Sharon is always the moral compass, and you know that if she’s in charge, the hospital will be in good hands. 

Gaffney was definitely stretching resources, with a shortage of doctors and many overtired from working 72-hour shifts. It should be illegal, but at the same time, when there’s no other option, there’s no other choice. 

I don’t necessarily think Maggie’s judgment was impaired by her fatigue when she sent Felix to the lobby rather than letting him take up a hospital bed. There were other, more critical patients, who needed it, and she could’ve never predicted that it would lead to a stabbing. It wasn’t on her, yet, she felt guilty and only forgave herself when she finally caught the culprit—a woman who came banging on the hospital door after nearly freezing in the conditions. While she definitely needed medical assistance, she was also severely paranoid, which meant that when the situation got too intense, she snapped. Thankfully, no one else was hurt before they were able to sedate her. 

I do think Maggie was slightly distracted by worrying about Ben. She knew he had a bowling night, and when she couldn’t reach him, she was scared that something might have happened. After multiple unanswered calls, she was ready to give up when she saw Ben walk through the door. It’s unclear what convinced him to forgive her—I’m hoping he realized that her persistence was love—but I’m glad he did because this storyline has gone on way too long. Ben and Maggie were always such a solid couple, and I want them to get back to that. 

After the stabbing, it was revealed that a part of the blade was stuck near Felix’s liver, which made his surgery highly complex. Crockett took it on, despite being overly tired, and he decided to use 2.0 to assist with it. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, Dayton implemented a system upgrade that locked out a surgeon when the AI deemed them too fatigued to continue on. This didn’t sit well with Crockett, but since he had no other choice, he handed the reins over to a junior surgeon, Tanaka Reed. When he confronted Dayton about the issue later, the billionaire stood by his software, informing Crockett that even the best of surgeons have blindspots—and his may just be when he’s too tired to power through. 

I have to side with Dayton on this one. I have full faith in Crockett, but it’s not normal for anyone not to sleep 3+ days. In an emergency instance, someone should be able to override 2.0, but it wasn’t necessary in this case. The algorithm did its thing to minimize the damage and walk a less experienced doctor to victory. 

The most stressful storyline involved Hannah Asher, who teamed up with a military police escort to get to the hospital. An OB patient was waiting on her, but she didn’t make it in time because they stopped to help a stranded civilian, which put them both in jeopardy. After getting Paul out of his vehicle, it exploded, sending them all flying. Hannah was the only one that came out unscathed, while Paul and Corporal Parker both suffered injuries due to the shrapnel. As they waited for a ride to the hospital, they were surprised to see Sean Archer come to their rescue.

Sean was just at the hospital by chance when he realized his father’s colleague might need help and stepped up to the plate, proving that his father was wrong about him. Archer misjudged his son, and it came from a place of fear that Sean was going down a dark path that would once again land him in jail, but all the audience has seen is a selfless man who wants to make the most out of the second chance he’s been given. He may have made a bad call bringing in a friend who was doped up on a flurry of pharmaceuticals, but he was there for someone when they needed him, which speaks volumes about his character. I hope we see more from Sean because his addition to the episode was truly wonderful. 

Halstead, on the other hand, simply couldn’t help himself, and he dragged down Dr. Song with him. For quite some time, Halstead has operated with his heart on his sleeve, and his decision to go forward with a very risky surgery with a less-than-promising outcome was rooted in his desire to save the person at hand regardless of what it meant to those around him. It’s a great quality to have, but not when it puts others at risk. I love that Halstead wanted to do everything in his power to help Nina so that Lucas wasn’t an orphan but it came at a huge cost as the operation exhausted all the units of blood. If someone—anyone at all—needed them, they would have run out because of Halstead and Song’s choice. 

Song’s approach to follow the data at all times isn’t the right way either, but in this case, she should’ve listened to her gut and nixed the surgery. She got too caught up in the personal aspect of patient care when she knew that given the circumstances, their best course of action was to reserve the units for those who had a favorable outcome. 

It’s definitely a gray line to walk—and it’s case by case in most situations, but I’m hoping that Halstead takes something out of this as well. He can’t save everyone, and if the choice is saving one person, or letting one person die to save countless others, I think the choice is obvious. 

Again. I’m glad it didn’t come to that this time around. 

What did you think of the episode? Whose storyline are you most invested in?

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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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