Chicago Med Season 8 Episode 6, titled “Mama Said There Would Be Days Like This,” was a fantastic episode that tackled taboo topics surrounding pregnancy and postpartum depression.
Dr. Choi, Dr. Charles, and Goodwin were tasked with the case of Penelope, a woman who walked into the ED and handed over her baby after she had thoughts of harming him. It was a terrifying situation all around, but thankfully, the doctors didn’t jump the gun and call DCFS right away. While statements like that are not to be ignored or taken lightly, it’s also a big deal to get child protective services involved—once you do, you can never take it back.
The fact that Penelope asked about her newborn Edison—and even tried to give Dr. Charles the expressed milk that the baby drinks—was proof that she cared about her son. After a brief chat with Charles, he was certain postpartum was involved, but it wasn’t the cause of the tinnitus that Penelope said made Edison’s cries unbearable.
Choi was hesitant to let Penelope hold Edison, but both Charles and Goodwin wanted to see her interact with the baby in order to better understand the connection and bond. And again, it was clear that Penelope wanted to be a good mom, but the moment he started crying the way a normal baby does, it set her off and she became frantic, which then led to a medical situation that caused facial paralysis. Once they ruled out a stroke, Choi diagnosed Penelope with Bell’s Palsy, but that was just one piece of the puzzle. When he went to talk to her about the intrusive thoughts—triggering thoughts that haunt your mind but ones you don’t act on—Penelope was adamant that the thought of wanting to throw her baby felt so real. She was traumatized and terrified, plus pretty tired from the lack of sleep and lack of support.
Charles realized this needed another approach—a heartfelt and honest conversation from mom to mom. And Goodwin was just the woman to help Penelope understand that it’s normal to feel overwhelmed by parenthood because… it’s hard.
It was such a beautiful scene with Goodwin guiding Penelope in a way that she needed. It touched on all the topics that are rarely talked about when it comes to new moms, especially the ones that don’t have the “village” that’s always referenced when talking about raising kids. You have good days that are filled with all the joy and love that is emphasized frequently, particularly on social media, and then you have the bad days where you just don’t know if you can do this anymore. Sometimes, the good and the bad go hand in hand. But Penelope’s decision to seek out help was proof that she was a good mom who was simply under a lot of stress.
The storyline also touched upon the absolutely lacking parental leave in America, which is so unfortunate. Being a new mom is difficult enough because newborns, and kids in general, are needy. But moms, particularly ones without a support system, have to work to pay the bills, get insurance, afford healthcare costs, etc. Not only are they juggling their daily workload, but they are also juggling childcare. It’s honestly unrealistic and heartbreaking when compared to other countries.
The first step to helping Penelope feel more confident was to assure her that everything she was going through was normal, followed by setting her up with some mommy groups and organizations so that she didn’t feel alone and had a support system. Plus, the encouragement from another mom who has gone through this herself went a long way.
There was another pregnancy storyline with Dr. Asher’s patient Caitlin, an expecting mother who had an ectopic pregnancy (not viable) and couldn’t get the medical help that she needed because she worked an hourly job that didn’t allow for sick time. Thankfully, Asher and Archer both respected Caitlin’s wishes and performed a laparoscopic surgery so that she wouldn’t be out of commission for long.
But the decision was a bit dangerous and maybe not as sound as it should’ve been. Due to those supply chain issues, Asher didn’t have the tools she needed to do the noninvasive surgery, and when Caitlin’s fallopian tube ruptured and they ran out of time, Archer assured the patient they would get it done using dated techniques. The problem? He was the only one who knew how to do it without a camera visual. And though he began the procedure, the pain from getting his ribs crushed by a high patient in the previous episode prevented him from finishing, and Asher had to take over and learn on the go. There’s nothing wrong with that since she was being guided by a professional, but it wasn’t a fair decision for Archer to make knowing he would put his colleague in such a tough predicament.
Asher later confronted Archer about the pain, as it was evident it was severe, and urged him to get seen by someone, but he simply brushed her off before turning the corner and popping some painkillers. I was hoping that they wouldn’t be leaning into the addiction storyline, but it makes sense as Archer was so hard on Asher for her addiction yet he’s now slipping and realizing just how easy it is to go down the rabbit hole. The only thing that interests me about this is that Asher will likely be a source of support for him as she’s gone through this before and knows the process all too well.
The focus of the episode was supposed to be Crockett’s newfound fame after the heroics of saving Dayton’s train conductor and jerry-rigging a liver transplant, but I honestly found it to be the weakest storyline, especially when Halstead was visibly triggered by all the attention Crockett was getting and flung it back in his face when his patient, Maria, developed post-surgical complications. The issue was never Crockett, though, he did admit to letting the fame get to his head (I never saw it), but it was Will’s insecurities and desire to control the narrative forever and always.
Will continues to ride his high horse as if he’s never been in a situation where the hospital wanted to boost its own credibility while riding the coattails of his success. Crockett left Maria, the owner of a popular Italian joint that Will and his family used to frequent. after he successfully completed the surgery and at the urgency of the hospital board. He didn’t really have much of a choice, but at no point did he just leave Maria hanging.
Thankfully, Halstead eventually came to his senses, informing Crockett that he was out of line and acknowledging that he’s a good doctor that wants to help everyone. It’s nice to see grown men handle issues like adults.
The most interesting storyline of the night was Vanessa treating her patient, Samir, who presented with some strange symptoms that didn’t have a known cause. Vanessa and Samir had an immediate connection and their conversation flowed naturally, likely because she was a huge fan of his work of setting up clinics for in-need patients around the world.
Samir, on the other hand, was impressed with Vanessa’s composed approach while treating him. Despite his unusual symptoms, she wasn’t phased at all, simply trusting her judgment as a doctor and going above and beyond to help figure out what was wrong with him. Turns out, he was lacking the necessary nutrients due to his poor diet, and his body was basically punishing him for it.
At the end of the episode, she walked in and handed Maggie a list of necessary vaccinations for travel. It was evident that the moment Samir asked Vanessa to hang back so he could ask her a question, he was going to offer her a job with his new clinic in the Phillippines. What I didn’t expect is for her to actually accept and act on it—and it seems like Maggie didn’t see her daughter’s decision coming either.
How is Vanessa leaving when she just got here? I know it’s been two seasons already, but her dynamic with Maggie, and the storyline about getting to know her birth father, have been so good.
Vanessa, however, had a good reason for wanting to take the leap, noting that after risking it all to buy drugs to help a patient, she felt reenergized and resourceful. Being that kind of doctor reminded her why she wanted to be a doctor in the first place. She knew this was her calling. I can’t blame her either—I’ve never seen anyone so sure about a decision before.
But is Vanessa Taylor, played by Asjha Cooper, really leaving Chicago Med just as Brian Tee’s (Dr. Choi) exit was announced? The unfortunate answer is yes.
What’s worse is that TVLine reports this was Vanessa’s final episode. And while it’s abrupt and unfortunate (especially since she was just getting to know her father), at least she went out on a high note!
We’ll miss you, Vanessa.
Is ‘Chicago Med’ New Tonight? What We Know About Season 8 Episode 16
One Chicago fans are likely itching for new episodes of their favorite dramas, but unfortunately, you’ll have to wait just a smidge longer.
It’s going to be a bit until we catch up with our friends at Gaffney Medical. The last Chicago Med episode aired on March 1, and Chicago Med Season 8 Episode 16 won’t be back on the air until Wednesday, March 22, 2023.
However, it will be worth the wait as the episode, which is currently untitled, finds the 2.0 causing quite a bit of trouble in the ED.
As evidenced by the teaser trailer, the hospital spearheads a “rescue situation” after a patient is pinned against the machine with a pair of scissors lodged in his neck.
“The magnet is holding everything in place,” Hannah Asher can be heard saying, adding that “when gravity takes over, we’ll have 20 seconds until he bleeds out.”
As the tense situation unfolds, the patient looks rather concerned, asking Neil Archer if he’s going to die.
Can Gaffney’s finest pull this off and save him in time?
You can watch the gut-wrenching promo below:
In the meantime, check out our gallery of One Chicago stars who have left the series.
Is ‘Chicago PD’ New Tonight? Everything We Know About Season 10 Episode 13
Chicago Med Review – Those Times You Have Crossed The Line (815)
A janitor’s strike made for quite a mess at Gaffney on Chicago Med Season 8 Episode 15.
The strike has been a few episodes in the making, with this installment resulting in a direct impact on patient care.
All of the nurses on staff were forced to pitch in and help out with cleaning the rooms to pick up the slack from the scabs, and even then they couldn’t prevent a full-on bed bug outbreak. And honestly, it was gross.
No patient deserves to walk into an ER seeking help only to end up getting a rash. I’m not surprised that Will’s patient Walter was upset with the service he received. And it’s actually quite embarrassing for a respected hospital like Gaffney. The place has a 2.0 AI machine to help with surgeries yet they can’t pay their janitorial staff a livable wage. I understand not wanting to cave in and set a precedent for all the other unions, but as evidenced, the janitors are essential to the hospital as without clean rooms they are unable to deliver the standard of care that’s necessary.
Someone like Jack Dayton should honestly understand that better than anyone.
Eventually, the board and the union were able to come to an agreement, but it did come at the expense of some longtime patients who once believed Med was a good and reliable hospital.
Crockett was once again caught up with 2.0, though this time, he embraced his skills and knowledge rather than following the AI blindly. While treating his patient, an 11-year-old whose leg was brutally injured by a machine on her family farm, 2.0 suggested that the blood flow to the leg was only 7% which would warrant an amputation. It pained Crockett to perform this procedure, and right before going through with it, he realized that the foot was getting its color back. When he re-ran the tests, 2.0 agreed that the leg was likely salvageable. It’s nice to see him using the machine in the way it’s intended—as an aid rather than as an end all be all.
Crockett’s one misstep, however, was calling in DCFS for the situation that was far from abuse. While he might not agree with children working on a family farm, it’s simply the reality for too many people. It’s a good thing Maggie stepped in and talked some sense into him because DCFS is permanent and can do a lot of damage. And in this case, Crockett was too blinded by his anger to get the full picture—Abby’s father warned her not to get too close to the machine but she didn’t listen because she wanted to help. It was all her fault, and Crockett almost made it worse for everyone involved. I love how much he cares about his patients, but sometimes, you have to take a step back.
Dr. Johnson was a good addition and seems like he’d be a great fit at Med. I mean, why else would they even introduce Abby’s personal doctor if he wasn’t going to stick around? The series could use some fresh blood.
Dr. Charles was on the front lines of the protest supporting Liliana, which was sweet. It’s been a tough situation to manage as he wanted to be supportive of his girlfriend while also supporting Sharon Goodwin, who is siding with the hospital. I thought things there’d be more tension between them, but that wasn’t the case as Goodwin understood why Charles needed to extend his support. Instead, Goodwin fought to convince the board to do the right thing by the janitors, while Charles was called in to assist with a case involving a former patient, David.
In a prior episode, David was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, and despite taking his meds, his parents brought him in because they were concerned that their son was convinced he was dead. Worst of all—he thought Dr. Cuevas was the reason he died because she gave him medication. It seems as though he was simply not jiving with the drugs, but Charles had another solution—electroshock therapy. We’ve never seen him suggest this type of treatment to anyone, but in David’s case, it was their only option that seemed to have the desired effect. David was a little more receptive after being treated, he had a more emotional reaction to his parents, and he no longer heard voices. A psychiatrist’s shift is never really over, and it’s a good thing because Charles knows what he’s doing.
Cuevas assisted Archer with his patient, a woman who came into the ED after experiencing debilitating stomach pain that ended up being a result of her compulsion to eat hair otherwise known as trichophagia. After Archer removed a huge hairball from her stomach, she initially denied it, but when her daughter, who was undergoing chemo for breast cancer, came to visit, she finally admitted that she was eating her daughter’s hair as it was falling out because it made her feel better and numbed the pain. It was quite a surprising twist, but I’m just glad they got to the bottom of it and were able to get her help.
Archer also had a big moment with his son Sean, who was making amends with his father as part of his recovery program. Archer dismissed Sean’s apology initially because he felt so bad for not being there for him and his mother when they needed him the most and for pushing them away. It was truly heartbreaking to see, but it’s also nice that Archer is finally breaking down those walls, admitting his faults, and opening up in a way that makes his character more dimensional.
What did you think of the episode?
Chicago Med Review – On Days Like Today… Silver Linings Become Lifelines (814)
Things are bustling at Gaffney Medical on Chicago Med Season 8 Episode 14.
While there was no winter storm to keep anyone down this time, the characters dealt with some complex cases that tested their moral and ethical responsibilities.
Asher rushed to the hospital to check on her patient, Liza, a former friend who was pregnant and struggling with an addiction. Asher promised to be a source of unwavering support, and she did not let Liza down, championing her every step of the way through pre-birth, birth, and her relapse shortly after.
It was a heartbreaking storyline but one that reminded audiences just how far Asher has come and how committed she is to helping others who walk the same path. Liza wanted to be a good mom, but she had vices that were just too strong. When Asher found her overdosing in the bathroom, she didn’t judge her or immediately rush to call DCFS despite Archer’s suggestion. Instead, she stood firmly in Liza’s corner, asking to buy some time so she could figure out a solution that didn’t strip Liza of her motherly agency.
While it wasn’t safe to send the baby—who Liza later named Hannah—home with her mother, they did find a temporary solution that would get Liza the help she needed while ensuring that her daughter was taken care of, with the eventual goal of reuniting them both.
Asher is a true ride-or-die, and the more we get to know her, the more she’s becoming one of my favorite characters.
Halstead actually did the right thing—on his own—for what may be the first time ever. While it was tempting to look the other way on Isaac’s results, Halstead knew that he had to order additional testing to rule out anything serious before they allowed him to go through with his kidney transplant.
Unfortunately, the MRI revealed that Isaac had cancer, which destroyed his only shot at getting a new kidney—and that’s not the news anyone wanted, especially Isaac.
While it was a tough call to make, and Nellie seemingly wanted Halstead to just turn a blind eye, it was the right one. Isaac’s body could never handle chemo and kidney treatment. The poor man walked into the ED hoping for a clean break and was dealt an even worse set of cards, but that’s the reality of life sometimes, and there’s nothing we can do about it.
Crockett, who has become 2.0’s biggest champion, found himself a little let down by the AI, but it was a good reminder that putting all your faith into a computerized robot isn’t what makes anyone a good doctor. Crockett has stopped relying on his skills and instincts, which is never good as that’s what made him the best of the best. 2.0 should be a guiding tool, but it should never do the work for you!
Audiences also got to see Crockett attach a severed hand to a leg to keep it alive longer before reattachment. I’m not exactly sure if this is possible in real life, but it was a seriously impressive and out-of-the-box solution.
Dr. Charles found himself walking a thin line between his personal and professional life. Liliana came to him about a custodial strike taking place at Gaffney, and naturally, he wanted to do everything in his power to help her.
However, he may have crossed a line when questioning why the hospital wouldn’t give the workers a 6% raise. While everyone deserves it, Sharon Goodwin was right that it would set a bad precedent for all the other union negotiations. And at the end of the day, her job is to cut costs and keep them down. It’s hospital politics. Charles should know that, so it was clear that he overstepped, letting his personal feelings for Liliana get in the way.
Liliana was also out of line for asking Charles to go on the record against the hospital. He’s good friends with Goodwin, so it’s in bad taste, plus, he doesn’t have a stake in the game. He already advocated for her and pushed some buttons, which she didn’t seem too grateful for. I’m not digging this relationship at all.
Of course, the promo for the upcoming episode reveals that a hospital strike is going to happen—and it won’t be pretty for those working the ED.
Speaking of relationships, Goodwin agreed to have lunch with a potential new board member, Dr. Thomas, at the request of Jack Dayton, and despite dreading the afternoon, it turned out to be a great meeting. She hit it off Thomas immediately, as he revealed some deep roots to the hospital—he was born there!
He seems like a decent guy who actually cares about the hospital and improving the patient experience, so I think she should endorse him for the board so that she has someone on her side. And I’m definitely not against the chemistry either. Goodwin deserves some love and happiness, and though she may have turned down Thomas’ offer for drinks, she was seriously considering it. Maybe next time she’ll take the leap? I almost feel like Dayton meant to set them up.
What did you think of the episode?
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