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Chicago Med Season 8 Episode 17 Review Know When to Hold and Know When to Fold Chicago Med Season 8 Episode 17 Review Know When to Hold and Know When to Fold

Chicago Med

Chicago Med Review – Know When to Hold and Know When to Fold (817)

CHICAGO MED -- "Know When to Hold and Know When to Fold" Episode 817 -- Pictured: Dominic Rains as Crockett Marcel -- (Photo by: George Burns Jr/NBC)

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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. 

Chicago Med Season 8 Episode 17 Review Know When to Hold and Know When to Fold

CHICAGO MED — “Know When to Hold and Know When to Fold” Episode 817 — Pictured: Steven Weber as Dean Archer — (Photo by: George Burns Jr/NBC)

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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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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