Chicago Med Season 5 Episode 1 Review: Never Going Back to Normal

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Chicago Med picked up where it left off, rushing Natalie into the hospital at almost breakneck speed.

If you were expecting medical drama, you might have been disappointed.

While there were some medical storylines, Chicago Med Season 5 Episode 1 made it clearer than ever that this show is far more a hospital-oriented soap opera than anything else.

(TALL) Fighting for Natalie's Life - Chicago Med Season 5 Episode 1

Connor and Ava's storyline came to an overdramatic end.

They spent most of the hour arguing with each other over which one of them killed Connor's father, only for Ava to kill herself when Latham found a way to discover the truth.

Related: Chicago Med Shocker: Colin Donnell Returning For Connor's Exit Story

I can't say I'm sorry Ava's gone. She and Connor never did anything but butt heads in the first place, and her response to his father's death was cold and nasty, to say the least.

It seemed more likely than not that she was the killer, so no surprise there. The only twist was that she was unstable enough to not only kill his father but to commit suicide when that dastardly act didn't win Connor's heart.

(TALL) Connor Deals With the Fallout - Chicago Med Season 5 Episode 1

Given that Atwater was suspicious of Connor and Latham was more on Ava's side than not after the argument he witnessed, things didn't look good for Connor after Ava's suicide attempt.

Connor. I respect you, saving these lives around here. I just gotta make sure you didn't take one.


When Connor called for help, he was covered in Ava's blood, and after she died on the operating table, Sharon said to keep her death private until they had sorted out what had happened.

It seemed obvious that Connor's run on Chicago Med was going to end with him being falsely arrested for Ava's "murder." Thankfully, the show didn't go there!

Instead, Connor was exonerated of his father's murder off-screen and said goodbye to Latham and Sharon before leaving Chicago Med for parts unknown.

Sharon Handles a Crisis - Chicago Med Season 5 Episode 1

On the one hand, it was a better ending than being carted off to jail for a crime he didn't commit. But on the other, it felt pat and rushed.

Considering how often Connor and Will disagreed passionately about patient care and how close their friendship was, it made no sense that he'd leave without saying goodbye to Will.

And now who is Will going to turn to about this Philip situation?

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That love triangle is quickly becoming disappointing.

I hate it when showrunners try to stack the deck towards the coupling they want viewers to root for, especially when they do it by making one option a bad guy.

(TALL) Dr. Charles Takes a Call - Chicago Med Season 5 Episode 1

Love triangles are a soap staple, so if Chicago Med is going to go in this direction, we're going to have to have some.

But it's unnecessary to make Philip an ill-intentioned dude who, at the very least, is taking advantage of Natalie's amnesia to make her think they're engaged when they're not.

Doctor: You on the square, fiance?
Philip: What is that supposed to mean?
Doctor: That ring wasn't on her when she was brought in, cause we certainly would have removed it if she had it on her.

And since he was preoccupied with the ring while his daughter was being prepped for surgery, it's likely that that's not all he's doing. Will the baby not be his? Did he kill his first wife? Is he making his child sick on purpose for reasons unknown?

The implication is that he is a Very Bad DudeTM, so there is no telling how far Chicago Med will take it.

Related: Get True Crime Files by ID via Prime Video Channels for Over 1,000 Real-life Mystery & Suspense Shows!

(TALL) Ethan on Duty - Chicago Med Season 5 Episode 1

As for Will, his refusal to accept treatment after the accident doesn't bode well for him.

Being more concerned about Natalie is all well and good, but Elsa was right -- he can't see patients when he's half ready to pass out all the time, and his insistence on less than full treatment and on leaving right away means he's probably headed for a literal fall.

Will is no stranger to stupid decisions, but this one's among the stupidest, and his pride is probably going to fuel more confrontations with Philip so that no one believes Philip is the bad guy until it's almost too late.

(TALL) April and Ethan Argue - Chicago Med Season 5 Episode 1

It was nice to see April and Ethan getting along instead of fighting over who did what wrong.

I doubt that April's pregnancy test was accurate, though. There was too much talk on Ethan's part about how disappointed he was that she's not pregnant, and she made a point of saying she's usually extremely regular.

Nope, there's probably a false negative storyline in April's future. How this potential pregnancy will impact her relationship with Ethan is anyone's guess, but let's hope they don't fight over what to do if she is pregnant.

Do the bloodwork. But just so you know, if you're wrong, this kid could go blind or become comatose.


April and Ethan's case was interesting. The stakes were relatively high, though of course, Ethan turned out to be right about the kid not needing surgery.

When April offered to stay with him while his parents talked to Ethan, I was expecting some story about April getting overly attached to this kid right after learning she wasn't pregnant.

Thankfully, they didn't go there, but the beginning of this story did juxtapose with April's test being negative. So it easily could have.

Grandmother: I've taken care of Cameron since he was a baby. I tried to protect him from his mama, who was a drug addict who got arrested. Cameron made it out. He has a full scholarship. This can't be happening.
Charles: Mrs. Gantz. All sorts of things happen to us that we can't anticipate. What I've learned, in my experience anyway, is that until we accept the unacceptable we're of no use to anyone.

But by far the strongest story was Dr. Charles and Dr. Marcel attempting to get a psychotic patient treatment.

Kathy Baker did phenomenal work, as usual, really selling her character's angst over hospitalizing her grandson.

It wasn't until her final scene with Dr. Charles that any of it made sense. 

Maybe it's because there are so many ill-intentioned people wandering around Med these days, but the vibe I got up to that point was that she was doing something to cause her grandson's symptoms.

(TALL) Annoyed With Ethan - Tall - Chicago Med Season 5 Episode 1

But again the writers went in a different -- and better -- direction than it seemed they were going. They did an excellent job of planting red herrings throughout this episode!

Your turn, Chicago Med fanatics!

What did you think of the premiere? Was this a satisfying ending for Connor and Ava's story, or would you have preferred something else?

And do you hope to see Chicago Med return to more medically-focused stories, or do you like all of the soap opera elements?

Take your thoughts to the comments, and don't forget you can  watch Chicago Med online if you missed anything!

Chicago Med airs on NBC on Wednesdays at 8 PM EST/PST. It is part of the #OneChicago block on Wednesday nights.

Never Going Back to Normal Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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Rating: 3.0 / 5.0 (41 Votes)

Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on Twitter.

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Chicago Med Season 5 Episode 1 Quotes

Goodwin: Status on Tim Burke?
Doctor: He's stable.
Goodwin: You can take him.
Doctor: Hey, he dies en route, it won't break my heart.

Philip: Is Natalie okay?
Doctor: Who are you?
Philip: Her fiance.
Doctor: Fiance?
Philip: Yeah, we're engaged.
Doctor: We didn't get the memo.