What an intriguing and powerful installment of Chicago Med Season 8 Episode 16.
“What You See Isn’t Always What You Get” honed in on that theme to the fullest. The episode drew audiences in with striking visuals of a man pinned up against an MRI machine with scissors lodged in his neck as the doctors emphasized that his odds of survival were abysmal (because sensationalized storylines sell), however, the heart of the storyline was in those deeper, more emotional moments—with the man’s diagnosis following the near-fatal event, with the Spanish teen who came in with an unknown illness whose family would do anything to get her life-saving care, and finally, with Dr. Cueva’s poignant realization about her own immigrant status.
All of those smaller—yet arguably more powerful moments—made for a compelling episode, but don’t get me wrong, Quentin’s situation was also one of the craziest incidents to occur at Gaffney no doubt, so there’s a reason it was a huge draw. His life was literally hanging in the balance, and one wrong move could’ve ended in disaster. His survival really speaks volumes to all the skilled men and women from all departments, including Chicago Fire, who rallied together and devised a plan to save him. There was no guarantee that it would work, but they tried their best. It was an all-hands-on-deck situation.
And no one even held what happened against him as it was an unfortunate accident stemming from a psychotic break triggered by the birth of his first son, Trevor. After being given some antipsychotics, Quentin didn’t even fully understand what transpired, but there was plenty of relief to know that he was safe and that they did find a physical diagnosis that would help him manage.
While the stakes were high with Quentin’s case, I’m so glad he survived the freak situation. All the odds were against him, but he deserved a chance to meet his son and bask in the joy of fatherhood. It would’ve been extremely depressing if he died, not to mention the toll would have taken on his wife, who realized that though it was a genetic condition, the psychosis that he experienced was triggered by a change of diet that he undertook due to the pregnancy. In short, she would’ve blamed herself for what happened, and that’s a lot for any person, especially a new mother, to live with.
Maria’s parents brought her into the ED basically begging Halstead and Cuevas for help, but they weren’t able to identify the disease that was causing her symptoms. All they knew is that if it went untreated, it would kill her, just like it killed their son, Hugo. The fact that they were still grieving a loss made their current urgency understandable. Hugo died from brain swelling, but no one, even the doctors treating him, knew what led to it, and they were afraid history would repeat itself with Maria, who was displaying similar symptoms.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t exactly clear to Dr. Halstead and Cuevas what was happening to Maria either, and when the insurance company informed Goodwin that they refused to cover any of the treatment unless the family went back to Oakview Community, the hospital where Maria was initially admitted, Med’s doctors basically had no say in what happened next. That is until they smelled a maple syrup scent in her urine, which allowed them to properly identify the very rare and easily missable disease. Maria was going to make it! And while not every case is a win, it sure feels good when it happens.
Cuevas felt personally connected to Maria’s case because she understood the many levels to it—namely the struggle and sacrifice that immigrant families endure and make. All Maria’s parents wanted was to help their daughter—they were willing to sell all of their possessions and take on extra jobs to make it happen—however, Maria also understood all that they’d done for her and her siblings, and she was willing to sacrifice herself so that the rest of them would ha a better life. Maria was willing to get transferred back to Oakview and likely die so that her family wouldn’t have to endure major debt on her account.
At the end of the day, she didn’t have to, but the moment stayed with Cuevas, who then informed Goodwin during her DACA renewal discussion that Maria’s bravery inspired her to continue fighting for her career since her parents gave up so much to make this life a possibility for her. It was a very moving moment, particularly with Cuevas divulging that she hasn’t hugged her parents in a decade. Can you imagine how that feels? Can you imagine not being able to see your family because they live in a different country and you risk being denied entry back into your country if you leave to see them? It’s such a sad reality for so many individuals—and it’s important that shows like Chicago Med underscore it and shine a light on it.
Selfishly, I’m also happy that Cuevas decided to stay as she’s been a great addition to the series, which has lost too many people over the course of the past seasons.
As for Dr. Charles, in addition to his very hectic day in the ED treating Quentin, he also had some personal developments with Liliana, namely feeling embarrassed that he left his office a mess the night before and she had to clean it up. Liliana is doing far better with juggling the power dynamics between them, though Charles is trying his best to make sure she feels appreciated and respected. It would be better if he didn’t make such a big deal of it and stopped emphasizing it, but I applaud Charles for dealing in his own way and being transparent with his feelings whenever something does bother him.
Quentin’s case took such a toll on the doctors that Neil completely forgot to drink his water, which made him feel dizzy and weak (thankfully after he successfully clamped down on Quentin’s artery). A quick visit from the nephrologist confirmed his worst fears—his kidneys were failing and dialysis was necessary. How will it affect his work? The good news is that he seems to have Asher in his corner supporting and looking out for him. Maybe the situation will bring them even closer together.
We also got a glimpse of Tanaka Reed’s personal life when the resident became the patient following a diaphragmatic hernia exasperated by his fitness routine. Despite Reed’s overinflated ego, which kind of makes him a pain to be around, Crockett went the extra mile to help him figure out what was going on and treat it properly. And honestly, the fact that he’s now the farting doctor does kind of make him slightly more approachable. Maybe he’ll finally lighten up a bit.
What did you think of the episode? Let us know in the comments, Cravers!
One Chicago Shows Announce 2024 Premiere Dates
It’s finally happening—our favorite One Chicago shows are coming home to us!
Chihards, mark your calendars and get ready to sit down in front of the TV on January 17 because that’s when Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, and Chicago PD will make their highly-anticipated and long-awaited premieres!
It’s truly beginning to feel a lot like Christmas… though I hope that turning around new episodes doesn’t mean that the actors will have to work through the holidays.
— Top 1% of Burzek shippers (@NBCOneChicago) November 20, 2023
Chicago Med returns for season 9, Fire for season 12, and Med for season 11.
Of course, the full NBC 2024 lineup will kick off on Jan 1 with America’s Got Talent: Fantasy League, which means they are wasting no time getting back into the swing of things following the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strike delays.
Law & Order franchises will have their moment on Thursday, Jan 18 with Law & Order: SVU and Law & Order: Organized Crime.
Part 1 of The Voice returns on Feb. 26, along with BC’s new Deal or No Deal spinoff, Deal or No Deal Island.
Quantum Leap and Magnum P.I., Lopez vs. Lopez, The Weakest Link, Password, That’s My Jam and The Wall currently don’t have a premiere date.
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?
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