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Chicago Med - A Square Peg in a Round Hole - Review

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A rousing cheer…Ethan Choi is back! I am sure there were times in seasons past where we didn’t think we would be so happy to see him, but getting rid of Dr. Archer as chief as soon as possible is the best Christmas gift we could ask for. After a tense conversation with Vanessa about who knows about their relationship, Maggie enters the desk area and sees Ethan and gives him a big hug. What a great development to have him returning in this episode. And everyone is so happy to have him back…except maybe Dean Archer.

Dr. Hammer and her mom Terri

We open on Stevie and her mom in her home, and Stevie and her mother are bonding and she is taking her medications. Her mom is asking for money to get her van out of the tow lot, and Stevie says she does not have the money until the end of the month and she heads to work and asks her mom to clean up while she is gone.

When she gets home her mom has cleaned, and Stevie admits to her that she was the one that got her van towed to try to help her because she loves her. Terri is very upset, and says she took her home and begins to throw dishes, eventually cutting Stevie by accident. She says she is sorry, and she leaves in a panic, rushing out the door with her belongings.

It will be interesting to see if Dr. Hammer will be able to reconcile with her mother, and help her get her home back. We have seen this relationship already have its ups and downs so far this season, but will it have the ability to survive this big a blow is yet to be seen.

Dr. Marcel and Dr. Blake

Dr. Marcel is first seen removing the stitches from Dr. Blake’s daughter Avery’s abdomen and checking on the healing. It is going well, and after some flirting she asks him out. He tells her it is not a good idea for him to date a patient, and they shift gears to talk about him working with her mother. It would definitely be an interesting development if a relationship develops between them, especially with Marcel studying under her mother for a transplant fellowship.

Dr. Blake and Dr. Marcel look at a possible liver for their patient, but Dr. Blake tells Marcel to look at the dimensions, and says the liver will not fit and she is not one for forcing a square peg in a round hole. But Crockett is worried their patient will not make it to another liver, and suggests they give it a try with a hepatectomy to trim the liver’s size.

Marcel tries but the liver is still too large, so he starts to make adjustments in the abdomen. When they cannot make liver fit, Dr. Blake suggests trying to make the abdominal cavity larger by expanding the diaphragm to move the liver into place. Together they sew a patch in place and they are able to fit the liver into the patient.

Dr. Marcel goes to apologize after the surgery, but Dr. Blake asks why, and says she has been waiting for the Crockett who threw her off her daughter’s case to show up and that self-doubt is not a good look for him. There seems to be a bit of an unusual tension between Crockett and Blake also, and it poses the question if the writers will look to explore a social relationship with them at some point, which would be very interesting considering how Avery feels about Marcel.

Dr. Charles, Vanessa and Astrid

A trauma patient, Astrid, comes in after putting her arm through a plate glass window. She is hallucinating, and after Vanessa controls the bleeding, Dr. Charles starts to interview her about what happened. Her toxicology screen was negative, and Vanessa says that with Astrid having more visual hallucinations that she wonders if there is an organic cause as psychiatric breaks with schizophrenia usually present more with auditory hallucinations.

Astrid’s parents arrive and are anxious to see about having her committed as they say they can no longer keep her safe, and Dr. Charles asks to speak with them about her history, as the episodes began about 6 months earlier. While they are speaking, Vanessa is not convinced the issue is psychiatric and continues her search for another cause.

Dr. Charles catches Vanessa taking a pill, and she says it is for her allergies. She then starts explaining why she sent Astrid for an MRI due to altered reflexes on one side, and her speech is quite fast and rambling. Dr. Charles brings up the point that the Haldol they gave her could have also caused that, but Vanessa is sure there is a physical cause for her hallucinations. She notes some white matter changes, which she thinks could be MS, but Daniel says not to get ahead of themselves.

When Dr. Charles finds out Vanessa did a spinal tap on their patient to rule out MS and everything comes back negative, Dr. Charles points out that they have to look at her as a human being and strike a balance. However, she continues to test and does an EEG on Astrid to rule out Epilepsy and Dr. Charles tells her she needs to stop pushing and take a rest, and Vanessa gets upset and accuses Dr. Charles, stating that he is telling her to go home because he thinks she does not belong in the ED.

When Astrid has a seizure-like episode but it is not a seizure, Dr. Charles agrees to do the repeat MRI with contrast and asks for a full metabolic panel. They find out that she has a genetic condition called MLD, but the fact that they caught it early, they can treat it with medications and it can lead to a better outcome in the long term.

Vanessa comes up to apologize for what she said and that she was projecting her own insecurities and he congratulates her on her perseverance with the case, but tells her he understands the pressure she is under and hopes she is not using anything to help her. She thanks him for his concern, but says there is nothing to worry about and leaves. We have now seen this medication use over a few episodes with Vanessa, and it is reasonable to consider that the Chicago Med writing team has a plan for this storyline, and perhaps an addiction related incident will be revealed in the plot line in the near future.

Dr. Halstead, Goodwin and Dr. Cooper

We see Will leaving the M and M review, and he tells Sharon that neither Cooper nor the Vascom were found at fault for the death of Eleanor. While they agreed that his decisions may have been questionable, no one was willing to say he was negligent. Will hopes that Matt will open up in a social environment at the critical care conference.

At the conference, he speaks with Jessa from Vasik and she is worried if the Vascom was at fault, but Dr. Cooper arrives before Will can answer, and he asks Will to walk the floor with him. Cooper tells will he has been second guessing himself, and goes off to look for tequila.

Goodwin decides that due to the increase of incidents of issues with the Vascom, she says they are pausing the use of the Vascom until they can prove it is safe, but Archer is the only one who is happy about going back to the old monitoring systems. The Board however overrules her decision and wants to hold off on banning the Vascom until they have more data.

Halstead and Cooper are drinking and Will asks Matt if he feels like he has been morally compromised to promote the Vascom. He asks how much money they have given them, but Cooper deflect the question and asks him to amp up the party with him with some cocaine. Matt ends up having a cocaine-induced heart attack before Will can get him to admit why he put the Vascom back into Eleanor, and they take him to the ED. Will does CPR and shocks him and Ethan has to intubate him, and although apprehensive, he is able to do so. They get a rhythm back and call cardiology to consult. Will tells Goodwin that he was close to getting Cooper to admit something, and Goodwin says sometimes a scare like this will affect people and their outlook and they will have to see.

It will be interesting to see how Matt survives, what kind of discipline vs counselling and support is provided by the hospital, and what “Detective Will” is able to finally uncover about the true arrangement between Cooper and Vasik.

Dr. Archer and Dr. Choi

As he gets his strength back, Ethan is wanting to get back and his kept himself up to date, and Archer takes him to the simulation lab to get his “sea legs” back. For the first time we see some remorse as Archer says that he knows he is the reason Ethan got shot.

In the lab, Archer is rushing Ethan, and making him feel incompetent and that he is not ready to return. Archer keeps pushing, despite Ethan being visibly upset. He feels that Archer is not being realistic, but Archer tells Ethan that he knows how quickly patients can deteriorate and maybe he is not ready to return, but Ethan keeps trying.

Eventually Ethan is able to intubate in the ED in a crisis, helping Will save Matt Cooper’s life. And Archer almost looks disappointed when he succeeds. I can hear the cheer from the One Chicago Fandom already on the day Archer leaves. He is definitely a character that is an acquired taste.

Dr. Hammer, Dr. Scott, Nathan Daniels and EJ

Nathan comes in from a car accident with a step deformity of his neck. Stevie begins to treat him but it seems like he may be paralyzed in his lower extremities. Stevie works to stabilize him while Dylan cares for his son, EJ, who has a broken arm. Dr. Scott takes care of EJ’s broken arm, and reassures him that he will check on his dad while he gets a CT scan. Dylan does an excellent job as always of helping to keep the young man calm during a very stressful time. EJ is worried his dad will not walk again, and Dr. Hammer tells him to have his arm surgery and she will keep him updated and Dr. Abrams is there consulting from Neurosurgery.

Abrams feels he is a complete cord injury at C5, and the scan shows a C5/C6 injury so they work to get him into traction right away. They put on the traction, and Abrams says that they need to do surgery, and Stevie wants to have Sam decompress the cord, but he says there is no reason. She also wants to ask the son what he would like done, but Abrams says they can inform him, but the hospital is currently making the decisions as there is no substitute decision maker that they can find.

When they talk to EJ, he tells them he would not want to live like this, and Dr. Hammer presents the option of decompression, which could allow him to possibly regain motor function. EJ says it would be a risk he would be willing to take, and Stevie says she will talk to Dr. Abrams. Stevie repeats some of the testing and there is a reflexive muscle contraction that Dr. Scott also sees. They convince Dr. Abrams to decompress the cord, and when they check on him post-operatively, he appears to have some motor function back.

Stevie thanks Dylan for his help and says that she remembers it was around EJ’s age that she had to start caring for her mom, and she still is. He tells her is she ever needs to go for a drink and talk, he is there for her. I love the idea of this friendship, and I certainly hope we get to see this story explored more as the season continues…maybe we can even get a Molly’s Pub scene in for good measure.

Well it is clear that the action is not slowing down at Gaffney Medical Centre ED, and as we dive deeper into these story lines, it is definitely going to keep me glued to my television on Wednesday nights…how about you?
What did you think of this episode of Chicago Med? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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