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Chicago Med

Chicago Med Review – Will Halstead Continues to Make Terrible Decisions (5×15)

CHICAGO MED -- "I Will Do No Harm" Episode 515 -- Pictured: Nick Gehlfuss as Dr. Will Halstead -- (Photo by: Adrian Burrows/NBC)

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I’m going to say this, and I mean it in the best possible way, but what were the writers of Chicago Med thinking with these storylines?

Lately, it feels as if they’re trying to upstage themselves from week-to-week, and the more ridiculous the cases coming into the ED, the less we get in terms of quality character arcs and development.

On “I Will Do No Harm,” it was difficult to even take Dr. Charles and Dr. Manning’s case seriously, and it seems as though the former felt the same way based on his reactions.

Dr. Charles has seen and dealt with a lot of situations, but this was a first, and I’m wondering how the writers even came up with the idea.

The first case surrounded a woman who hired an actor to pretend to be her daughter’s father. The actor became all-consumed by the role and when she suggested he exit stage-right and disappear from the girl’s life, he felt that “wasn’t authentic” to his character so he poisoned himself so that he could die in front of his daughter and give her proper closure.

Her fake father refused to tell the doctor what he took until he realized he couldn’t hurt his “daughter” this way and came clean so that they could save him.

When Dr. Charles talked with the girl about how her father wasn’t really her father but loves her like one, she didn’t seem too concerned and that was that.

Honestly, they should have just called DCFS immediately. I kid, obviously. The little girl was obviously loved, but she’s going to need a lot of therapy to work through all of this and make sense of it once she’s older.

Also, and this should go without saying, but as someone who was raised by a single mother, there’s absolutely no reason for anyone to ever “hire” a fake father, even if you don’t have good male role models around.

The second case found April and her brother, Noah, out in the field, which was a nice change of pace. Chicago Med is set in Chicago like the other two show’s in the franchise, but they rarely utilize the city as a backdrop. I wouldn’t be surprised if some people thought the series was filmed on a soundstage somewhere in California.

It was also nice to see April work alongside someone other than Ethan and Crockett, the two men her heart pitter-patters for.

The case found Larry, doing laps around the block to keep his heart rate up until paramedics arrived.

Noah struggled slightly in the field and assumed it was a reflection of himself and his own skills, but realistically, it was an almost impossible situation.

At one point, he was asked to pull a wire through to Larry’s heart while he was running and one false move risked rupturing organs. It’s not surprising that Noah was on edge the whole time.

Thankfully, it resulted in a good save and a good day for the dynamic sibling duo. Noah needed that little boost of confidence.

Crockett and Ethan continue to work together, which really must make April beyond anxious, and their patient was a death-row inmate accused of killing a family of 5.

The death penalty is a controversial form of punishment because of how brutal and permanent it is, and we’re not going to get into all of that, but we are going to point out just how big of a hypocrite Ethan is.

There have been countless episodes where he “refused” or fought against helping a patient because they did something that he didn’t agree with morally like rape or murder, but when Crockett didn’t necessarily care to waste his time amputating this man’s arm knowing he was going to be executed anyway, Dr. Choi acted holier than thou.

Honestly, I don’t care which side Choi picks but just pick and stick to it.

You’re either a doctor who doesn’t let his beliefs and judgments influence patient care or you aren’t — but this wishy-washy, back-and-forth stuff is getting tiresome and paints Choi in a negative light.

I’m also unclear as to what happened when they did finally get the man on the operating table. Did Crockett allow him to die? Did they not do their best to save him? Was this all Choi’s fault. Can someone explain it to me?

And lastly, Will and Hannah’s push-and-tug storyline came to a head only after he’d slept with her and lost all credibility as a man, friend, and doctor.

It’s unclear why Will ever thought sleeping with Hannah was a good idea or why he thought she was stable enough to stick to the promise she made of turning herself in.

Addicts tend to be liars, and Hannah said whatever she needed to to get Halstead off of her back.

Plus, Hannah needed his help, she didn’t need him to take her to bed.

While his anger at Hannah going AWOL was warranted, it also made you wonder if Halstead had any idea about what an addict goes through because he genuinely seemed surprised that Hannah relapsed.

Come on, Halstead, get it together man. I feel like I say that every week.

His best bet was to have drug-sniffing dogs check out her car because it confirmed his concerns that she was still using and treating patients.

If he had gone to Goodwin and told her, he could’ve been discredited for a. running an illegal clinic and b. sleeping with Hannah, but since he got proof first before opening his mouth (a big deal for Halstead), Goodwin is more likely to hear him out.

It may be a hard thing to do, but it’s in Hannah’s best interest.

She kept telling Halstead that her addiction wasn’t interfering with patients, but we saw firsthand that that wasn’t the case when one of her patients came in and was forced to give birth prematurely.

The situation didn’t have to escalate as much as it did if Hannah had been around to comfort and guide her patient, but instead, they waited to the last minute risking not only the mother’s life but also the baby’s.

Thankfully, everyone made it out safe and sound.

What did you think of the episode?

How many more Crockett and Choi incidents before she tells him the truth? Does Will need to get some sense knocked into him?

Are you digging these cases lately?

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Lizzy Buczak is the founder of CraveYouTV. What started off as a silly blog in her sophomore year at Columbia College Chicago turned her passion for watching TV into an opportunity! She has been in charge of CraveYou since 2011, writing reviews and news content for a wide variety of shows. Lizzy is a Music Business and Journalism major who has written for RADIO.COM, TV Fanatic, Time Out Chicago, Innerview, Pop’stache and Family Time.

Chicago Med

Chicago Med Review – Get by with a Little Help From My Friends (912)

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Chicago Med Season 9 Episode saw a lot of people overwhelmed by work and life in general. 

It all started with Sharon Goodwin, who is coming to the realization that her life is going to be a lot different now that Bert is experiencing memory loss. 

The incident that kickstarts everything involves him forgetting to turn the stove off, but as Cruz informs her, it had a good outcome but may be the first of many. As Goodwin’s ex-husband is treated for smoke inhalation, she struggles to figure out how to manage it all. Eventually, when Bert has another meltdown, she realizes that she’s the only person that can calm him down. Even when he’s disoriented, he recognizes her and feels comfort when she’s around, which again, puts an immense burden on her. 

As he pleads for Sharon to take him home, she agrees to be his caregiver, a situation that Dr. Charles informs her cannot be permanent. But it’s easy to see why she feels responsible—this is the man she’s loved her whole life who still needs her. It’s almost like he’s regressed to an infant mentality, not really understanding the what and why behind what’s going on. Bert is doing a fantastic job portraying all of those emotions and vulnerabilities on screen, providing audiences with a heartbreaking look at the disease.  There’s no reasoning with him, all she can do is provide care, though hopefully, not at the expense of her own mental health and sanity. 

Newcomer Jackie, played by La Brea’s Natalie Zea, arrives in the ED for her second shift in a row, when Maggie immediately notices something is off. Jackie isn’t her usual self, and paired with the stress at home and the blood dripping from her arm—a cut she claims to have sustained earlier in the day while leaving the house—there’s definitely room for worry. 

A quick diagnosis from Dr. Charles reveals that the cut may have been self-harm, as he suggests Jackie is distracting herself from the daily pain she witnesses in the burn unit. This is proven to be true after Jackie loses a patient, runs off to the bathroom to cut herself, and then collapses in Maggie’s arms, revealing scars from previous cuts. Intervention becomes necessary at that point, even though to Jackie, it feels like the ultimate betrayal, but eventually, she comes around to see that Maggie was simply acting in her best interest. It’ll be interesting to see if Med finds a permanent place for Zea on the team as I think she’d make a great addition—plus we all know Maggie needs a new friend around. 

Dr. Marcel also wasn’t spared from the harsh realities when his celebration over his young patient Colin’s new liver quickly soured when he realized the child had an infection. While he tried his best to advocate or Colin, knowing that the boy might not live to see another donor match, he ultimately had to make the hard, yet right, call and give up the organ to someone who could survive the surgery. It’s not the outcome anyone wanted, including Colin’s disappointed father (this is why as a doctor, you never make any promises), but due to the illness, he wasn’t strong enough to move forward. The final gut punch was Colin asking if he was going to die, making Crockett question every decision he’s ever made. 

Hannah teamed up with Ripley—while also sealing their romantic fate—to help his childhood friends, Lynne and Sully, welcome their new baby, born prematurely at 30 weeks and not breathing. Thankfully, they were able to save the child, which was comforting considering everything Sully is already going through. They need a shred of happiness. 

Archer also got a little scolding from Sharon, who didn’t take kindly toward his harsh attitude toward the new intern, reminding him that this is a teaching hospital after all. Turns out, when Archer wants to, he can be a great mentor—and that’s something some students need when they are letting their fears and doubts cloud their judgment and get the best of them. None of us are born with the knowledge and skills—it takes patience and practice.

Thankfully, in every situation, the good outweighed the bad as everyone was supported by loved ones—friends, family, and staff who truly cared about their wellbeing. 

What did you think of the episode?

If you are having a mental health, substance use, or suicidal crisis, call 988. 

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Chicago Med

Did Dr. Zola Ahmad Leave ‘Chicago Med’ Already?

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Did Dr. Zola Ahmad Leave 'Chicago Med' Already?

Chicago Med introduced a new third-year resident to the fold in season 9—Zola Ahmad played by The Wilds’ Sophia Ali.

Ahmad’s character was initially described as “impulsive” and a troublemaker who tends to cause “headaches” for her Gaffney Medical fellows, which we saw play out in real-time when her unconventional approaches rubbed Crockett Marcel (Dominic Rains) the wrong way.

Marcel tried to give Ahmad the benefit of the doubt on numerous occasions, and Sharon Goodwin (S. Epatha Merkerson) even acknowledged that she was taking a big chance by hiring her on a prohibitionary basis given her track record with previous hospitals—but ultimately, Ahmad’s behavior and decisions to overstep and not follow protocol got the best of her.

When Ahmad decided to declare a patient—letting the fact that he wasn’t a good man dictate her reasoning—dead prematurely (and then attempted to justify it), nearly killing him, Dr. Archer (Steven Weber) chose to suspend her. It was very obviously a fireable offense, so it’s a good thing that the series writers held her accountable. Plus, it seemed like the perfect chance for a teachable moment and a redemption arc, not to mention, there was definitely some chemistry with Ahmad and Crockett that could’ve been explored down the line. She had potential as a character at Med, if she just reeled it in a little bit—and that would’ve been interesting to explore on a more granular level.

However, by Chicago PD Season 9 Episode 9, it was over for Ahmad. 

Did Dr. Zola Ahmad Leave 'Chicago Med' Already?

CHICAGO MED — “A Penny for your Thoughts, Dollar for your Dreams” Episode 9008 — Pictured: (l-r) Sophia Ali as Dr. Zola Ahmad, Dominic Rains as Dr. Crockett Marcel — (Photo by: George Burns Jr/NBC)

The series seemingly listened to the Chi-Hards fanbase as Ahmad paid the ultimate price for her reckless decision; Goodwin very briefly (and in passing) informed Crockett that Ahmad was let go, something he called a “shame.”

And that was that. There was no further mention of it, nor is there any indication that she’ll return anytime in the future. Her final episode of the season was listed as Chicago Med Season 9 Episode 8—and it seems like she’ll just be a blip on the radar of the show’s long-running tenure. 

It’s a drastic decision for the series, especially after hyping up Ali’s character at the beginning of the season. Why wouldn’t they give her arc a proper conclusion? Many of the complaints from the fan base were that her character was written inconsistently—her intentions were good most of the time, it was the execution that suffered—and crammed into an already shortened season due to COVID, so they weren’t able to build her character up in a way that would’ve given her the necessary nuance; her portrayal was overly negative and it was hard to defend her actions or keep her around when each week, she was pushing buttons and creating unnecessary issues without having the tenure to excuse them or back her up, like her predecessors Will Will (Nick Gehlfuss) and Natalie (Torrey Devitto). When those two acted irrationally back in the day, they had a history with Med and Goodwin that allowed them to stir the pot. 

It seems that the writing was on the wall for Ahmad from the get-go—the lack of good character development in the writing sealed her fate prematurely and gave fans whiplash with her quick arrival and departure. 

Would you like to see her return to the series?

Vanessa Morgan Is Finally Getting the Recognition She Deserves With ‘Wild Cards’

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Chicago Med

Chicago Med Review – I Think There’s Something You’re Not Telling Me (911)

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CHICAGO MED -- "I Think There is Something You're Not Telling Me" Episode 90011

Chicago Med Season 9 Episode 11 was Ripley-heavy, but I doubt most fans minded all that much, especially as he was sidelined last week due to the flu. 

The episode not only saw Ripley catching up with his childhood friend Sully, who previously refused cancer treatment, but we also met Sully’s pregnant girlfriend, Lynne, who also clued in Hannah on Ripley’s difficult childhood—helpful, since he wasn’t forthcoming with any information when she asked. 

His past was also brought up during the deposition with Pavel’s lawyer, who tried to get him to crack while bringing up the personal matter of institutionalization to discredit him. While it certainly struck a chord, Ripley proved that he’s done the work to get through it, though Charles, who feels partially responsible for the situation in Ripley’s past and the lawsuit, took it upon himself to encourage Sharon Goodwin to convince Ripley to settle. 

He figured out that Charles must’ve said something, but it was nice to see him not get upset by the fact either. These two have come quite a long way in their relationship this season, as Charles suggested that his past is his story to tell on his own terms. 

As for Sully, his coughing symptoms only worsened, landing him in the hospital, as Rip nudged his buddy to come clean to the mom of his future child. Sully’s hesitation to seek out treatment also stemmed from his past, noting that when his father was sent to prison, it was the best day of his life and that maybe Lynne and the baby were better off without him. Naturally, Ripley pointed out that it was just the fear talking and that he needed treatment in order to be a present dad to his kid and to break the cycle of abandonment and trauma. All in all, these two have made a lot of progress. 

Lynne, thankfully, wasn’t in early labor either, so the storyline had somewhat of a positive ending, though I’m sure we’ll see more from them soon. 

Loren’s helicopter incident in the woods the episode prior was also at the forefront as he essentially told Maggie he didn’t remember what they talked about (so he has no clue he professed his feelings for her!) and tried to minimize his injuries to prove himself to Archer for the trauma fellowship. However, Archer can’t be fooled as he’s also one of the people who tried to downplay his symptoms, so he was able to detect what Loren was doing right away. And he gave him some key advice—know when to pull back and prioritize your own health first. As they say, the job will always be there, but you can’t help your patients if you aren’t helping yourself.

As for Maggie, I think she owes it to the both of them to address what was said in such a dire state head-on, but I understand wanting to give Loren space for healing and recovery. She should’ve learned from that life-or-death situation that you should never leave anything unsaid.

Dr. Charles teamed up with a new intern, Naomi Howard, who experienced a bit of a rough start due to nerves. She was assigned to a patient named Jay, who ended up being misdiagnosed with depression when he should’ve been on mood stabilizers to treat what Charles assumed was bipolar disorder. It was a pretty intense case for Naomi to witness, even if she was sitting on the sidelines for much of it, as Charles had to get to the bottom of Jay’s motivations—proving his dad wrong about his career in the arts. Thankfully, by the end of the hour, he managed to persuade him to make the necessary change to his treatment by suggesting that you don’t have to suffer for your art.

What did you think of the episode? Are you digging the flirtation between Asher and Ripley?

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