After eight seasons, Chicago Med hasn’t run out of creative storyline ideas, and for that, I’m thankful.
On Chicago Med Season 8 Episode 2, the hospital’s most stubborn doctors, Halstead and Archer, once again allowed their personal situations and opinions to cloud their judgment and impact patient care. It’s so frustrating that we keep going in circles with these two, but it did seem as though there was a resolution towards the end of the episode. Maybe this is the turning point after all?
Halstead was clinging to what could’ve been with his apartment complex rather than taking the loss as everyone advised him. I believe Hannah Asher’s exact words were that he was enjoying playing the martyr a little too much, and honestly, it’s been a while since anyone has ever been that blunt with him. The truth is, Halstead was simply in denial, but his case of the week, involving a young boy named Henry and his mother, seemed to help him change his mind.
Unlike Jenny, who turned into a butterfly just like Henry’s chrysalis after she was properly diagnosed with a tumor that was causing her a psychotic break, Halstead’s building did not have a happy ending in sight. It wasn’t an easy fix, and so he needed to be just as brave as Henry and do the right thing—allow the city to drive a wrecking ball right through it. It definitely seems like the series is against giving Halstead any sliver of happiness, but sometimes, I’m fine with it considering he’s so arrogant when it comes to his patients.
Instead of trying to find a solution to help Jenny the way that Hannah and Dr. Charles did, he immediately wrote her off as insane and kept pressuring Charles to get a court order so he could treat the boy. Yes, Henry’s broken arm needed to be tended to, but without knowing Jenny’s condition, it seemed premature to loop in DCFS. Once they are called, it’s difficult to walk that back. And Henry seemed to truly care about his mother while believing that she would get better in time.
I’m glad that Hannah didn’t give up even when it seemed as though they exhausted all of their options. She knows just how necessary a proper diagnosis is. And if they had given up, it would’ve torn a family apart and never given Jenny a shot at redemption.
Similarly, Archer couldn’t compartmentalize his personal feelings when treating Al, a patient he diagnosed with MS a few years ago. Al was adamant about not getting intubated as his biggest fear was living out the rest of his life on the vent. When assured him that he was fine with dying, Arche was triggered. Having just met with his son who was content with staying in prison, Al’s acceptance sounded like he was just giving up. He chose to fight for Al since his son didn’t allow him to fight for him, and when Choi attempted to sway Archer to honor Al’s wishes, he pushed him aside. The ego is so powerful with this one. Whereas Will passes judgment on patients, Archer is stubborn and wants to override their decisions because he knows better or can’t accept the outcome that they already have. Pushing Al to go under sedation sealed his fate with the incubator. It’s an unfortunate turn of events, but at the very least, it helped Archer recognize a core issue within himself so that he could mend his relationship with his son.
Archer was also pretty rude to the new intern, Zach, and while I understand everyone’s frustration with the younger generation that’s just learning the ropes, if they don’t help them out and teach it to them, who will?
It was sweet of Choi to extend his help to Zach, who was only behind because of COVID. Since the pandemic, everything was online, which meant he didn’t have a chance to practice medicine in person, which isn’t ideal. Instead of writing him off for his lack of experience, Choi was determined to help Zach excel. We need more people like Choi in this world!
Of course, not all interns are created equal, and Kai came in with an attitude that didn’t sit right with anyone. Who is this man thinking he can get away with talking to Crockett like that? Crockett is one of Med’s best doctors, and Kai would do wise by shutting his mouth and learning a thing or two. I don’t even know how Kai was able to take their patient to get an angio—did he override Crockett?
Kai’s presence is a shake-up for Med as we’ve never had someone with his gusto for being better and right than the tenured staff, and it’s going to be fun to see how he works alongside Crockett now that he’s filed a complaint with HR. Also, HR, really? Oh boy. The man is truly too full of himself. It’s ballsy for a guy who almost killed a patient with his poor decision. Crockett could’ve filed a countercomplaint, but that would be too easy. Instead, he’s going to make sure that Kai learns his lesson and becomes the kind of person that plays nice with others.
And then there was Maggie’s whole dilemma with Grant. Grant is obviously interested in forming some kind of relationship with her, but she’s also being a little too intense. She’s projecting all her feelings and worries onto the situation instead of just letting it unfold. What if Grant isn’t interested in her? What if he just wants to get to know Vanessa and experience it with Maggie? By not telling Ben the truth about Grant for over a month, Maggie made it worse than it was. Ben wasn’t even phased when she initially told him, but when she started explaining herself, it became obvious that Grant’s presence is bringing up some old feelings, which didn’t sit well with Ben. Maggie would’ve been better off just introducing the two gentlemen to each other and having a big family lunch.
There was a lot of personal growth for each of the characters that was brought to light through the patients they treated making this a highly compelling installment.
What did you think of the episode?
Chicago Med Review – Know When to Hold and Know When to Fold (817)
Chicago Med delivered yet another dose of drama with the inclusion of 2.0, this time forcing Marcel Crockett and Sam Abrams to butt heads while performing a risky surgery.
On Chicago Med Season 8 Episode 17, the doctors took on a very fragile and unique case with Kwan, who spent most of his life bent over and bedridden. The case was so unheard of, in fact, that Mr. Dayton paid to fly the family to Chicago and, in return, asked that the surgery be captured on film as part of a documentary to promote the cutting-edge technology at Gaffney, helping to position it as a top-tier hospital.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with that line of thinking from a marketing and financial standpoint. If you’ve got it, flaunt it. However, there’s this thing called a time and place, and the filmmaker’s approach simply did not consider that, nor did he seem to understand that there were lives at stake and that Crockett and Abrams weren’t paid actors but doctors who were tasked with a significant challenge.
Kwan’s life was hanging in the balance, with Crockett and Abrams the only two that could help him get a new lease on life and sit up for the first time in 19 years. It was incredibly stressful, so it didn’t help that the filmmaker kept asking questions and distracting them by requesting commentary for the camera. One wrong move could have cost them everything. Could that commentary not be added in after the fact? Why not let them focus, especially when there’s a chance that the surgery doesn’t have a good outcome and their responsibility, first and foremost, is to the patient?
The cameraman took it even further, trying to sensationalize the situation by requesting commentary from the terrified and distraught mother once a complication arose. The doctors didn’t even give her an update, so he wanted a real and raw reaction, which again, would undoubtedly make for a great movie, but this is a real-life situation with potentially deadly consequences. I’m glad that Sharon Goodwin found the courage to put her foot down and stop them from exploiting the patients. While she’s not going to stand in the way of marketing the hospital and its potential, she’s also a doctor first and must protect those that walk through the doors. Without patients, there’s no hospital, and it would be good for Dayton to remember that.
I also love that Sharon isn’t afraid of Dayton in the way others are, including new board member George. She doesn’t care if she steps on toes or if she makes him angry, as long as she’s making decisions that she can live with and that put patient care at the forefront of what they are doing.
The good news is that Kwan’s surgery was successful, with both Crockett and Abrams hailed as heroes. Unfortunately, they still don’t see eye to eye when it comes to the AI technology. And honestly, they both have valid points. Abrams has always been blunt, so it’s not surprising that he’s avoiding the spotlight at all costs and not trying to become a mouthpiece for Dayton. But it’s also unfair to hold it against Crockett when he’s simply embracing new-world tech that’s making it possible for them to even person such surgeries in the first place. If it wasn’t for the AI, they wouldn’t have been able to help Kwan, so Crockett sees the trade-off as beneficial.
Crockett isn’t agreeing to these documentaries and promotional pieces because he wants a career boost. It’s never for his own personal gain, but for some reason, everyone around him just rolls with the false assumption because it’s easier to drag your colleague than to admit that maybe sometimes a machine is better than a human—or, at the very least, that the tools can elevate what the human can accomplish.
Abrams then points out that Dayton is reserving the AI for paying customers only moving forward, which as Crockett pointed out, seems to be a larger issue with the healthcare system in general. It’s not exactly surprising—how many times has Goodwin emphasized that the hospital is a business at the end of the day? I have full faith that Crockett will vouch for his patients, but there’s only so much that man can do, and he cannot and should not carry all the burden all the time.
Dr. Charles’ time spent with Kwan’s mother also helped him reframe his own thinking when it came to sending his daughter off to college. When she initially told him about possibly applying to Stanford, Charles’ shocked response indicated that he wasn’t ready for his little girl to spread her wings and fly, however, once he had a heart-to-heart with Kwan’s mom about the beauty of letting go because once they want to leave, it means you’ve done your job as a parent well, he realized that he couldn’t keep Anna in Chicago for selfish reasons. It was his job to prepare her for the world—it wasn’t her job to diminish her sparkle and opportunity simply to take care of dad, though the fact that she considered once again speaks volumes to the girl he raised.
There was also some progress with Neil Archer’s storyline—and in one hour, he went from a man who was refusing help from everyone around him to the person that asked for help and accepted that his illness does not define him. The change was thanks to a little wake-up call from Maggie, who previously dealt with the same feelings bubbling up to the surface when she received her cancer diagnosis. It’s always good to get some perspective, as Archer didn’t want to be seen as the sick frail man, but the tough guy act was doing more harm than good.
Everyone, including Zach, was trying to be supportive and make Archer’s day-to-day a little less stressful and taxing. Archer isn’t one to apologize, but he understood the point and made it up to Zach, who got the brunt of his anger throughout the episode.
Maggie truly is the one keeping things afloat at Gaffney, and the way she stood up for Zach just adds to how awesome she is.
Archer also told his son, Sean, who got a job at the hospital as a valet driver thanks to Hannah, about his condition, and while he didn’t want to burden his son with the news, transparency and honesty are necessary if they are going to have a functioning relationship.
Archer also asked Asher for help with his dialysis treatment, and now, I’m rooting for them even more than I already was. There’s so much unspoken love between the two of them, which was made even more evident when Asher decided to stick around and keep him company so he didn’t go through it alone.
As for Will, he’s finally coming around to the idea that he is romantically interested in Grace. And though I’d typically say that’s a terrible idea based on his track record with dating women at the hospital, the fact that Will recognized that his past was problematic means that he may just be ready for this next step. And Asher—his ex who has turned into one of his closest confidants (proving that men and women can just be friends)— brought up a good point that he’s no longer hung up on Natalie, which was the core problem in all his previous relationships. Since he’s not pining for her anymore, he’s ready to give it a real shot with someone else.
Grace’s nomadic lifestyle does make me a little hesitant because it seems that she goes wherever Jack Dayton assigns her, though she didn’t seem too keen on moving around anymore, so maybe her relationship with Halstead will allow her to make permanently call Chicago and Gaffney home. She’d be a great addition to the team!
What did you think of the episode? Did Sharon Goodwin do the right thing? Are you shipping Asher and Archer? Or do you think Halstead and Grace are a better romantic team-up? And is Crockett doing the right thing by standing by the AI?
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Chicago Med Review – What You See Isn’t Always What You Get (816)
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!
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.
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