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.
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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