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Chicago Med – I Could See the Writing on the Wall – Review

2 May 2023

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Over the last number of episodes, we have seen some great improvements and questionable decisions since Jack Dayton has taken leadership of Chicago Med, and this week was no different. In addition, we see the ongoing health and relationship challenges that make Chicago Med the hospital we have come to know and love.

Dr. Song, Dr. Halstead and Alicia Palmer

Grace’s pilot program launches and she and Will discuss how there will be some resistance to the changes but things will go great and she kisses him. Grace tells the staff about the new features and Maggie is concerned and does not like many of the changes like the noise lights and new patient board, but Grace tells her everyone will get used to it and it will make her job easier. Maggie however feels the technology is trying to replace people’s jobs.

Alicia Palmer comes into the ED and has been having severe headaches for a month, and Will goes in to see her. She is doing a lot of reading and Will explains about the new system that will help the medical staff with diagnosis and has her sign the consent to participate in the new system.

Dr. Halstead speaks with Alicia, who says she wants a bunch of tests for rare conditions that happened to be on the differential. Will asks Grace about the patient viewing the differential and that his patient is suggesting to order a lot of unnecessary tests for rare possibilities without ruling out the more common things first.

Dr. Halstead reviews the lab results with Alicia, and she has a mildly elevated ESR, which he says can be elevated for many reasons, but she says she wants the test for GCA, one of the rare conditions she read about. Will wants to treat her for headaches and refer her to Neurology but she insists on the biopsy to rule out the rare condition.

During the biopsy, she starts to have an allergic reaction and Will treats her and stabilizes her. He tells her she is allergic to Cefazolin and to make note of it for the future and they have put it in her chart. She thanks him for everything.

This was a great example of Will being willing to do what it takes to help a patient, and also not wanting to hurt the feelings of someone he cares about. The fact that Will was willing to continue down what he knew was the wrong path to try to help work out the kinks in the new system for Grace shows how much he seems to care about her already. However, from the past 8 seasons we have seen how Will can fall hard and fast, so I hope this is not another storyline that will end in heartache for our dear Dr. Halstead.

Dr. Asher, Dr. Archer, Sean, Dr. Charles, Kurt Leisure and Sarah

Dean tells Hannah that she has been a really great influence on Sean and he appreciates it. He then asks her to cover as an attending for him at a department meeting as she is the only one he trusts, as he is being evaluated for a transplant. He says he is not asking Sean to get tested, but Hannah says being a donor could be a really positive experience for him at this point in his recovery, but Dean dismisses this idea.

Kurt Leisure, who is in a wheelchair, is brought in after falling from his wheelchair. Dr. Archer while examining him notes he has pain and feeling below where he says his previous injury is (T10). He tells Doris they will know more once they get back the images.

The scans come back and he has an unstable burst fracture at T12, and Dean realizes that he has no evidence of prior trauma to his vertebrae, and he is not paralyzed. Dean confronts him, and tells him that he needs surgery to fix his fracture, but Kurt asks what will happen if he doesn’t treat it, and says he does not want the surgery.

Dr. Archer consults Dr. Charles and they discover Kurt has body identity disorder with a strong desire to be paralyzed. He has tried many treatments and nothing has worked. He says today is the most hopeful he has felt in a long time. Dr. Archer speaks to Dr. Charles and says Kurt is lucid and has decisional capacity, but Dr. Archer thinks he threw himself down the stairs. Dr. Charles tells him that there are witnesses who indicate that is not what happened and it was an accident. He says they cannot force the surgery on him and he has the right to refuse, and Dean accuses Daniel of keeping his patients from getting what they need.

Dr. Archer goes in to speak with Kurt and tries to convince him he does not understand what he is doing, and Dr. Charles asks to speak with him and says he cannot bully a patient into a procedure he does not want. Daniel says he will have Dr. Qwan come assess Kurt also.

Dean comes to tell Daniel that Dr. Qwan agreed Kurt has decisional capacity and he is in the process of signing himself out AMA. Dean tells him that he is tied to a dialysis machine each night and he is waiting to be on the transplant list, and he says he is having his life being dictated by his health, so when he saw a healthy guy not being willing to take help to stay that way, he made it personal. He apologizes for implying Daniel was not great at his job, because he is.

At the same time, Dr. Asher goes in to see a pregnant patient, Sarah, who wants to get her son to school because he has had perfect attendance. Her son Ryan is concerned about her getting dizzy and short of breath, and Dr. Asher wants to check her out, and Ryan convinces his mother to stay.

Dr. Asher brings in Dr. Marcel with her and they tell Sarah she has a cardiac condition called Para partum cardiomyopathy. Dr. Marcel says they can treat her with medication but they want to keep her in overnight. She says they need to get Ryan to school, and he says that he doesn’t care about the attendance award, but she asks for the prescriptions and wants to sign out.

As Sarah is going to leave, her water breaks and she goes into labor and Dr. Marcel offers to stay with Ryan until her sister can arrive. Dr. Asher gets a call and they ask her to assist with a C-Section for Sarah because with her heart condition they would like extra hands. Dr. Marcel waits with Ryan and he takes him to the gift shop to get something for his mom and baby sister.

They deliver the baby and Sarah codes on the table. They try to resuscitate her, but she does not make it. Dr. Marcel waits with Ryan who is sleeping, and Dr. Asher alerts him to what happened. Ryan and his sister will be taken care of by his Aunt and Uncle, and Dr. Marcel tries to reassure Dr. Asher that there is nothing more she could have done. Hannah shares with him that her mother died giving birth to her and her siblings had it harder, but she never got to meet her mother. She says she was always so angry about it because she never got to have her mom or remember her. Crockett consoles her.

Hannah goes to meet with Sean and tells him she has to tell him something and that it is about his dad and he cannot know he learned it from her. She tells him that Dean’s health is getting worse as the episode ends.

These two storylines intertwined around the challenges Dean is having with his health and how that is affecting his perception and decision making, and Hannah’s concern for both Dean and Sean, and helping them heal their relationship, help Dean get care for his health conditions and help Sean continue to recover from his addiction. Seeing how his health issues are affecting him definitely has Hannah and other (ex. Daniel, Maggie) concerned, and it was really great to see him open up to Daniel about how he was feeling. Seeing their relationship change over the past few years has been a wonderful transformation, and clearly Daniel has had a positive influence on Dean and his attitude.

And seeing how a patient situation hit so close to home for Hannah, it was no doubt a catalyst as to why she felt Sean needed to know what is happening with his father, before it may be to late. Hannah has such a huge heart, and she has clearly shown what a wonderful person and friend she is, even to someone as gruff and unfriendly at times as Dean Archer. It is so great that they brought this character back in a new light in recovery, and I think this really creates hope for those who are watching who may be struggling with addictions of their own, to demonstrate recovery is possible.

Dr. Charles and Liliana

Liliana tells him that she might be buying her co-workers home and she feels it will be perfect. She says she will have to use her savings and get a mortgage but she trusts her friend that she is giving her a good price. Daniel tries to help her see all the possible concerns.

Daniel catches her at the end of the day and asks her if she has thought more about the house, and says he was selfish this morning, thinking that she was planning a future without him. She says he is the reason she is ready to take the leap of faith and put down roots in Chicago is because of him. This was such a cute storyline to interject into the rest of this episode, showing Daniel’s insecurities he still has when it comes to relationships and also to show how much Liliana cares about him. After all, who could not love Daniel Charles.

Maggie, Dr. Charles and Bailen

Bailen comes in because he feels like his heart is pounding and says the CIA is following him. He has a complex schizophrenia background and has Trini stay with him while he gets situated and tells him no one will come in his room without consent. The red lights start to flash due to noise, and Bailen says that the CIA found him and tries to leave, and Maggie gets security to detain him and has them page Dr. Charles.

Daniel goes to see him and it appears he went of his meds for a few weeks but has agreed to be admitted for a few days while he goes back on them. He asks about the red lights and Maggie tells Grace that she wants the lights removed. She says she will change the color and reprogram them but Maggie says she wants them gone.

Maggie tells Will that the upgrades are a disaster and she wants to tell Goodwin, and says she will not stand by why they try to automate them all out of their jobs. This was a great example of how Maggie will not let anything disrupt the department and how effective she is at her job. It also showed how great she was with patients and how she will not let anything compromise patient care.

Sharon and Dr. George Thomas

Maggie goes to Sharon’s office with her and there are orchids there from George. Sharon tells Maggie he is persistent and Maggie wants to know why she won’t go out with him. She says she does not want to mix business and pleasure.

Peter comes to see Sharon to ask what the impromptu board meeting is all about. Peter is concerned it is not good and says Jack would not share any information with him. Sharon reaches out to George, who comes to see her and fills her in on the surprise meeting. Jack has a proposal on the table to drastically change Chicago Meds future, and turn it into a for-profit hospital.

Maggie goes to see Sharon about her concerns with the ED changes, but she is busy trying to get ahold of all the board members, as they are trying to get ahold of them before Jack does at the meeting. Maggie leaves her to her work, and does not report her concerns at this time with the ED changes.

So as this episode concludes, many things are left hanging in the balance, whether it is relationships, trials of improvements, health of the staff or the overall fate of the hospital moving forward. It is clear that the Med writers are preparing for a real cliffhanger for the end of this season…we can only hope the fans will be able to wait to see what the future holds for Gaffney.

What did you think of this episode of Chicago Med? Share your thoughts in the comments below.