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Chicago Med - Change is a Tough Pill to Swallow - Review

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This week we had a chance to see more of our Dream Team reunited, old rivalries revived and the ongoing work of our Chicago Med team to advocate for the best care to meet their patients needs.

Dr. Halstead, Dr. Hammer and Eleanor (with a dash of Dr. Cooper)

We start early in the episode seeing Stevie and Will bantering about how Will always had to one up her in Med School, and see that ongoing glimpse of perhaps an old spark between them. Goodwin talks to Will about investigation, and Cooper enters and wants Will to go to conference to meet upper executives of Vasic, which Goodwin says she will allow. Maybe detective work is in the Halstead blood, as Will seems to enjoy this ongoing investigation, and seems to have a flare for identifying potential ways to find out more information about Cooper's potential illegal activities.

Eleanor is a patient that presents to the ED and is hypotensive and tachycardic and Stevie asks Will about using the Vascom to help monitor her. They decide to use the Vascom, and then Will thinks maybe she is having complications and he wants to pull it but Stevie wants to keep it in as it is working well to help them monitor and treat her. Eleanor gets worse and Will says he believes she has had a mini-stroke, and he pulls the Vascom line, which makes Stevie upset as he should have consulted her first.

Will apologizes and Eleanor continues to get worse even with the Vascom out, so they start looking for other possible reasons that could be causing her issues and they figure out that she has a rare vascular condition, and she starts to go into cardiac arrest. They take a chance and save her life together based on this theory and then take her to interventional radiology. Then in the ICU, Dr. Cooper puts the Vascom back in, as he says it is no longer contraindicated.

I find it interesting that despite this old rivalry that bubbles up, Stevie and Will work really well together, and I think when it comes to solving medical mysteries, they have very complimentary skills that allow them to help their patients even more effectively and efficiently. And that underlying tension adds to the "will they, won't they" question, when it comes to looking at romance in the ED.

Dr. Charles, Dr. Scott, Alex and Ryan

At the beginning of the episode, Dr. Scott is being dropped off by his dad, who is a police officer. We get to see a bit more of the family dynamic between Dylan and his law enforcement family, and I for one love learning anything more that I can about Dr. Scott. I think the One Chicago writers are creating pure gold with this character, and that casting could not have done a better job when they cast Guy Lockard in this role.

Dr. Scott enters the ED and meets Alex and Ryan. Alex was hit in the head by his brother with a Nerf Gun. Dr. Scott has a conversation with both boys and the family and learn that Ryan was diagnosed with ADHD, and recognizes that something is going on more than just the laceration, which Vanessa offers to suture. He speaks to Dr. Charles and they discuss the situation Alex is experiencing which is called Glass Child Syndrome, where one child has a high needs sibling and feels unseen.

Dr. Charles begins to observes Ryan and you can see those wheels turning in his mind from the hallway. But then Alex has a seizure and briefly becomes unresponsive. Dr. Scott looks at the head laceration and asks Vanessa if it has been bleeding that badly the whole time, and is worried he could have a bleeding disorder or brain bleed, and Vanessa blames herself for not noting this and bringing it to Dr. Scott's attention.

It turns out Alex has a brain bleed, and that he has a bleeding disorder called Von Wildebrand’s disease. Dr. Charles goes in with Dr. Scott and talk to Alex. He is worried they will see his secrets when they look inside his head. They encourage him to talk, and he tells them that he made his brother mad enough for him to hit him. Dr. Charles determined that Ryan did not have a random outburst, and it is likely not ADHD. He goes to update the parents on Alex, and also discuss the conversation with Alex and that he questions if Ryan has ADHD, and thinks he actually has an anxiety disorder. Alex comes through the surgery okay and Dr. Scott provides him with support and understanding about his situation. Ryan wants to see Alex, and when he does he flips out and runs away. Vanessa again blames herself and Dr. Charles says it is not her fault and she was only trying to help.

Ryan’s parents are trying to get him to come out from hiding and Dr. Charles helps to get him out, and reassures him that he understands it is not his fault and that other people get the same feelings he does, and that talking about your feelings and getting them out can help. Dr. Charles reassures the boys parents that they will get both the boys the help they need. The family is now healing thanks to our Dynamic Duo again. I cannot get enough of this Dr. Charles and Dr. Scott pairing, and they both seem to have a similar approach to the way they try to understand, connect and care for patients. Let's keep it up boys.

Dr. Scott then goes to see his dad and brings him some dinner and thanks him for everything he has done for him. It was a lovely way to end the episode, while also making a hat tip to a Chicago Food Favorite, Al's Beef.


In addition to her storyline intertwining with Dr. Scott and Charles, we learn a bit more about Vanessa and see some things that make us concerned for her long term well-being. We find out she has been coming in 2 hours early to prepare for patients and also has been studying for her board exams. We see that the issues she encounters in the case seem to be hitting her hard, and Maggie tries to comfort her which makes her upset, and she recoils and walks away. As we get to the end of the episode, she looks tired and Maggie suggests a nap and she says she has to study for her boards. We later see her in her apartment, fishing out a plastic bag and taking a pill to keep herself awake. A drug dependency would be a new storyline for someone on Chicago Med, but we have seen this issue in some other One Chicago shows, and it poses the question as to how far this issue will go and will we be facing a dependency storyline or will she have a scare and be scared straight? Only time will tell, but we can be sure this is likely not the last we will see of this issue and how it is affecting Vanessa.

Dr. Marcel, Dr. Archer, Avery and Dr. Blake

Avery arrives by ambulance from an car accident and is examined by Dr. Marcel. She quickly becomes unconscious during the trauma exam and suddenly Dr. Blake, a transplant surgeon, comes in and says she is taking over the case. Dr. Marcel says she can’t take over case as she is not a trauma surgeon but she says it is her daughter and she is taking over, and heads to the OR. Dr. Marcel discusses it with Dr. Archer, and they pull in Goodwin, and to Marcel's dismay, she assigns the case to Dr. Archer with Marcel to assist, and Dr. Archer allows Dr. Blake to observe. During the surgery, Dr. Blake keeps weighing in and commenting and she did not want Dr. Archer to keep the wound open. Dr. Archer gives in to her and closes, much to Marcel’s dismay as it could lead to post op complications and the need for another surgery. Dr. Archer tells Marcel he needs to be wary and that she did have medical reasoning for the request.

Marcel checks on her, and they talk about her mom and what she was like when she quit med school. She later starts to crash and rebleed and Dr. Blake does not want her to go back to the OR but Marcel opens the incision to decompress the bleed in the room and takes her back to the OR, with an approving nod from Dr. Archer. Dr. Blake says to make sure to keep the swelling down and close her as soon as possible. Dr. Blake checks in on her and does not address Dr. Marcel at all, and later Dr. Marcel gets a message asking him to scrub in on a transplant with Dr. Blake.

After our last episode where Marcel felt he was being benched by the powers at be, this storyline definitely built on furthering those feelings of frustration for him. But it also showed him how by acting in the best interest of his patient, he gained some respect from some of the senior surgical staff. It seems that caring, heart on his sleeve Marcel is here to stay, and that hopefully he will begin receiving some recognition for the work he does.
What did you think of this episode of Chicago Med? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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