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.
Colin Donnell Reveals If He Would Return to ‘Chicago Med’
Is Colin Donnell interested in making his way back to Gaffney? Dr. Connor Rhodes exited the series three seasons ago, but he remains a fan-favorite to this day.
Is there a chance fans might see him again on Chicago Med? In a recent interview, Donnell explained that it’s always a possibility.
“I loved my time on Chicago Med, and I loved Andy and Diane,” the actor told TVLine, adding, “I loved our crew so much, the cast was so wonderful, and I know they’ve had a lot of comings and goings since I’ve left myself. But yeah, why ever close a door?”
As for show runners Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider, they are also open to Rhodes’ return if Donnell would be interested, explaining, “I don’t think you can ever rule that out.”
They continued: “Colin was a guy we loved working with. He was a very strong member of the cast for a long time, and we would welcome to see him again.”
Okay, then it’s settled—at some point, Donnell needs to grace Gaffney with his presence, especially as the series has lost so many actors this year already with Ethan Choi (Brian Tee) on his way out in the upcoming December episode.
Chicago Med Review – April and Choi’s Big Decision (808)
Chicago Med Season 8 Episode 8 is starting to prepare audiences for Ethan Choi’s exit from the series.
At the kickstart of the episode, Gaffney’s finest received cream colored envelopes in their lockers, which, upon opening, revealed that a wedding is on the horizon! While it feels like April and Ethan just got back together, the truth is, when you know you know.
Choi told Charles that the second time around, their relationship is much more solid, which is largely due to the fact that following his father’s death, Choi grew up and became the man that April always needed him to be. As he realized how short life is, he didn’t want to waste anymore time. And honestly, I think that’s beautiful and realistic. Most of the time, you get wiser with age and realize just how much time was spent on things that didn’t matter.
Choi and April always had a special connection that was unfortunately ruined by the show’s need for drama. The drama was necessary, but with their relationship continuing off-screen, they can finally ride off into marital bliss!
Of course, Choi needs to have a compelling reason for leaving behind his job, and I think he’s going to try to take on a very flawed and broken system. He was especially triggered by Buddy’s case, the homeless man who was brought in after someone from the neighborhood realized that he was in need of medical attention. Buddy was, sadly, a victim of Medicaid fraud as a recruiter took him to a hospital in Wisconsin to undergo a procedure that he didn’t need for kickbacks. And once it was done, she dropped him back off without a care in the world knowing damn well that he didn’t have the resources to go to any follow up appointments or to heal properly from the procedure. All the while, Buddy was also in advanced stage prostate cancer, which is one of the most curable and treatable cancers, and no one did a thing about it. He could’ve survived and lived for many years but he was brushed off and ignored. He was failed by so many people simply because he didn’t have the means to seek out help on his own or advocate for himself. I’m not surprised that Choi was so angered by the realization. And while I don’t know what Choi is going to do to bring about the much-needed change, I know that the first step is simply acknowledging that it’s necessary. If losing Choi is inevitable, I’m just glad it’s going to be a worthy send off that remains true to his character that’s become so beloved over these eight seasons.
There was a bit of a shakeup with Asher and Nellie Cuevas teaming up together to help Gloria, a young woman who walked into the ER looking to get some clarity on what happened to her at a warehouse party. Gloria explained that she blacked out after a single drink and had no memory of the evening aside from waking up in a room alone and with her undergarments missing. The care that Asher and Nellie extended was truly remarkable as they both felt a personal connection to Nellie—Asher having lost a college roommate who was sexually assaulted and Nellie being an undocumented immigrant who knew the dangers and the realities of the failed system all too well.
Gloria was in good hands, even though this is a situation that no woman ever wants to experience. Upon confirming that there was evidence of sexual assault, Gloria decided against reporting it or doing anything about it, which proved Nellie’s suspicions that she was undocumented herself.
When Asher wanted to encourage her to change her mind, Nellie shut down the conversation and reiterated the fears going through Gloria’s mind as an immigrant. And everything Nellie said was totally valid, however, there’s always more sides to a story or situation. When Chicago PD’s Hailey Upton came in with another sexual assault survivor who also blacked out at a warehouse party, Asher stood her ground in her efforts to convince Gloria as she knew just how important her case could be to finding the person who did this.
Asher revealed that her college roommate experienced a sexual assault that ended with her untimely death, and after seeing the firsthand effects of what that kind of trauma can do to a person that represses it and tries their very best to “forget it ever happened,” she couldn’t stand by and watch Gloria make those some mistakes.
Asher’s story helped Nellie see the situation in a different light, and while she remained cautious and respectful of Gloria’s undocumented status, she revealed that she was a DACA recipient to assure her that if she did decide to file a report, they would protect her as they knew what she was going through. The relatability was comforting to Gloria, who eventually spoke with Upton, another agent who was in no way going to put Gloria in harm’s way. As I said before, despite the truly devastating circumstance, Gloria was in good hands.
Halstead teamed up with a new intern, Justin Leiu (The Cleaning Lady fans will recognize him as Marco!), who honestly feels like he’s going to be a really great addition to the team. Justin was sharp and on his game, and even went along with Halstead’s plan to do a trans organ exchange to help out his patient, a 15-year-old girl in advanced liver stage from a rare condition. The truth is that Halstead will do just about anything to help his patients, but this time, he was determined to keep it above board. And with a little help from Crockett, they were able to provide a solution that helped two patients in one. Crockett realized that “quid pro quo” doesn’t always have to be a bad thing if it’s done for the greater good, which convinced him to attend the executive dinner with Goodwin and billionaire Jack. Crockett really got caught up in the optics of asking someone he previously helped out of the goodness of his heart (and because he took an oath) for money, however, a few million is just another drop in the bucket for Jack. And, as it turns out, he was already expecting the ask and was even willing to go way above what they wanted because he saw value in helping Med and investing in the doctors there. At the end of the day, it’s a charitable write off for Jack, which he surely knows, and it helps so many people in the process.
Maggie got a little too caught up taking a ride through her past with Grant, which landed them both in the ED. While it was sweet of Grant to want to show off the high school ride that he restored with Maggie, the truth is, these two can’t just be friends. There’s history and chemistry there that only spells trouble. Ben wouldn’t even be happy with the idea of Maggie riding shotgun in the car with her ex boyfriend, so I’m not surprised that she hesitated to tell him about the car accident as it will cause more unnecessary problems in her marriage. Sharon encouraged Maggie to take time and think it through, and while I would typically say that she should trust in her connection to Ben, we all saw how he reacted the last time Grant came around. I don’t think he’ll be understanding in the slightest.
The storyline with Grant really only made sense when Vanessa was still around, but now that she’s off living her best and most authentic life, the truth is, Grant and Maggie have no reason to exist in each other’s orbit anymore. It’s probably for the best that they don’t see each other again.
And then there’s Neil, whose painful condition following his broken ribs is clearly going to pose a problem down the line. He’s been keeping his colleagues in the dark about what’s been going on, but it’s bound to get worse and eventually, it won’t be something that he can ignore. I feel like he was trying to tell Choi about it, but when he saw how impassioned his friend was about fixing the system, he just let his problems take a backseat.
What did you think about the episode? Are you excited for Choi and April’s wedding? Do you like seeing different doctors in the ED pair up and work together?
The fall finale of Chicago Med will air on Dec. 7, so get ready and we’ll touch base then!
Chicago Med Recap – The Clothes Make The Man…Or Do They? (807)
Chicago Med Season 8 Episode 7 forced a lot of doctors to get really honest with themselves and confront their own personal traumas and biases.
Crockett teamed up with Charles to help his former patient, Renee, who received a kidney transplant while he was still working with Pamela Blake. The kidney wasn’t the issue this time, however, as Renee’s behavior was causing alarm, especially after she tried to stab herself. The doctors determined that the immunosuppressants were causing her psychosis and tried to stabilize her with antipsychotics, which simply put her into a catatonic state.
There was no easy or ideal solution as Renee needed the immunosuppressants to keep the kidney functioning, and yet her husband couldn’t fathom a world where she would basically be a shell of the person she was before. It wasn’t the second chance that they hoped for. He figured that if it were up to her, she would prioritize her mind above all, and asked the doctors to remove the kidney and give it to someone else on the donor list. While it seemed like a crazy ask, especially as she waited six years for the transplant, it was the only way that he could get his wife back. However, Crockett refused to perform the surgery mostly due to his fear that Renee’s husband was making the same mistake he did with Pamela. He made a call for Pamela that ruined her career—Crockett also just found out she had to go to back rehab and couldn’t present at a conference because of his decision—so he was terrified that the same was going to happen in this case. Charles recognized Crockett’s hesitation for what it was and had a little heart-to-heart with him that persuaded him to do the right thing, even if he didn’t agree with it. It was a risky decision, but when Renee finally woke up, she was fully supportive of her husband’s decision, informing them that it’s exactly what she would have done if she were in the right state of mind to make the call. It was a huge relief to hear, particularly for Crockett, but the truth is that he needs to forgive himself for what went down with Pamela. He thought he was doing the right thing and now knows that he was blinded by love. He can’t keep faulting himself for it.
There’s been an uptick in psych cases this season, making Charles a more prominent figure that’s involved in every storyline. Med has always prioritized psychology, but this season has doubled down on it, right along with pregnancy cases thanks to Dr. Hannah Asher.
Asher and Halstead’s patient was brought to the hospital in the back of her neighbor’s truck when she realized she was going into labor. While everything seemed fine going into the C-section, the moment the baby was born, Maya overdosed. It was a truly bizarre twist in the storyline as Maya didn’t present as someone who was on drugs at any point.
However, she did report that she was extremely itchy, which was also the case for both Halstead and Asher, though they just chalked it up to the hazmat suits they were forced to wear since the hospital was out of scrubs. Well, it turns out, they were all exposed to the drug carfentanil in Gus’ truck, which was causing an overdose. Hannah even found Will overdosing in the room and thankfully got to him with the Narcan in time.
It was an unexpected twist, but also one that connected back to Will and Hannah’s first time meeting where he had to Narcan her in order to save her life. Dare I say it was kind of poetic… if they were into each other that way. And while there are definitely some feelings between the two of them, I’m not sure if Hannah will act on them. When Halstead asked her out on a date, she told him that she was going to go to a meeting just to be on the safe side, which was probably for the best, but it also seemed like her way of letting him down easy and letting the past stay in the past. Maybe she is just determined to stay just friends with the doctor.
Archer’s son, Sean, was brought to the ER after an attack at the prison that left part of the shank still lodged in his neck. While Archer was obviously emotional about the situation, he didn’t let on so that no one knew that he was related to the patient except for Choi.
Naturally, Choi knew Archer couldn’t be the doctor on Sean’s case, and when they brought in the inmate who was behind the attack, he forced Archer to step aside as well knowing that he couldn’t remain neutral in the situation. Archer did, however, save the man’s life despite knowing what he did and that he may one day attack his son in the future. He felt like a terrible dad for many years and the shame of it was weighing heavily on him, even in the present as he kept his relationship with the patient a secret.
When Sean finally woke up after surgery, Archer told everyone he was Sean’s father, and it was sweet to see him let go of the shame, forgive himself and simply be there for his boy in his time of need.
I loved the personal connection on this case, I just wish we got a little more interaction with Archer and Sean.
Vanessa really is gone, and that means Maggie is picking up the pieces while trying to navigate the strain of Grant’s return on her marriage with Ben. If I’m being honest, Ben is being a little petty. I get that the situation is slightly awkward, but Maggie isn’t trying to stay in contact with Grant because she loves him—it’s all for Vanessa. It’s natural that he’s going to be around in some capacity, but there’s no reason for any hard feelings. And the truth is, Ben and Grant should have met much earlier and on different terms. Maggie should have handled it better from the beginning, but there’s no reason that they all can’t be adults and just take the situation for what it is.
The promo for the upcoming week reveals Maggie and Grant get into a car accident, and naturally, that’s going to make things worse between her and Ben while bringing the former lovers closer together.
Woven throughout the whole episode was the fact that the hospital’s CFO Fred cares more about schmoozing and playing golf than making sure the doctors actually have the equipment and scrubs necessary to work in a clean and sterile environment. Goodwin tried her best to figure the situation out, even informing him that she would be pulling all elective surgeries until they got the scrubs, but it didn’t seem to work. Gaffney ended up getting an order of scrubs thanks to billionaire Jack, who has been around ever since Crockett’s miraculous save on the train, but as Goodwin pointed out, it’s not a sustainable long-term solution. I love when Goodwin goes head to head with the suits because she’s damn good at it and they deserve to be dragged a bit to light a fire and maybe get them to provide a solution for the supply shortages plaguing the hospital and forcing the doctors to be strategic and creative when it comes to patient care.
What did you think of the episode?
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