Amen, Dr. Charles, amen.
Chicago Med Season 1 Episode 4 was more topical that originally intended, with a mass shooting turning out to be more complicated than anyone imagined. Of course, just because there's a multi-victim incident doesn't mean that other patients stop coming into the ER. There's still the regular hustle and bustle to contend with.
I'm still not sure how I felt about this episode. Any other time, I'm sure I would have enjoyed it more, but after recent events, I find myself ambivalent. One one hand, the writers (in typical Dick Wolf fashion) tried to give us something thought provoking, turning the idea of a mass shooting on it's head.
On the other hand, they didn't actually go far enough to take a firm stand on any of the pertinent issues beyond saying that social media is an unavoidable evil. If I took anything away, it's that my philosophy of avoiding the news for at least twenty-four hours after an event is policy they would agree with.
There wasn't even a strong forgiveness endorsement with Mr. Simms donation of his wife's liver. I thought we were there when he handed the clipboard to Sharon, but his outburst in the recovery room was full of rage and vengeance. What are we to make of that, and of Mr. Miller's suicide?
What, you want to know why? People suck. That's why.Dr. Sam Abrams
Other parts of the episode left a stronger impression. Possibly unpopular opinion: Will Halstead is a tool. I really wish that a romance between him and Nat would stop being pushed on us – and her. April and Maggie think they're being cute, but I'm pretty sure the last thing Nat's thinking about right now is romance.
Especially with Will, who repeatedly only shows his worst qualities. He makes snap assumptions about people and is generally unapologetic about it (see Connor Rhodes). He has limited empathy for patients, and is overly assured of his own superiority at all times.
His patient, Gertrude, was annoying, no doubt. But what was the point of ordering an expensive DNA test, which would never come back that quickly in real life, and insurance would not cover? Even if she did believe him, it's unlikely to change her behavior at this point in her life. That was all for his own benefit.
Hopefully Choi's not so subtle lesson about personal flaws will sink in and stay in.
But you know, glass houses, first stone. Maybe it's not the best idea to get worked up about other peoples faults if you have a couple of your own.Dr. Ethan Choi
Nat's case was only tangentially related to the movie theater incident, but it was the most medically intriguing. The idea of an eating disorder really seemed to fit at first, and I would have liked a little more time to explore what the other options may have been instead of having to rush the diagnosis at the end.
I did think that Dr. Charles was a little off in accusing Nat of bias – getting a consult for a possible anorexia diagnosis in that situation was just as prudent as running a pregnancy test on the girl. She heard hooves and thought horses, which is what you're supposed to do.
But she also overreacted to the news that he gave Ashley a placebo. The fact that she didn't figure that out in the room in the first place was disappointing. But with psych, a placebo is sometimes a necessary diagnostic tool, so why so surprised? his reaction was perfect though.
Dr. Nat Manning: That's not ethical!
Dr. Daniel Charles: Oh balls!
Overall, the episode has a nice balance – the shooting incident was not given the sole focus for the episode, but it was on everyone's minds, while the "b" and "c" plots weren't completely short changed. Nothing felt rushed or unfinished, and there were some nice little surprises along the way – Zanetti and Rhodes sure moved fast.
I leave you with the inestimable Dr. Charles' words of wisdom, and this thought: let's all shine a light on the positive going forward, and let the mean-spirited, small-minded, and hateful rhetoric die in the darkness where it belongs.
Every dumb, mean, stupid, vicious thing gets a light shown on it. The world would be a much better place, a much safer place, if people would just shut up.Dr. Daniel Charles
Chicago Med will return in January for it's first major crossover event. You know it's going to be epic when it involves all three shows in the franchise. This is what we've all been waiting for since Med was announced -- an integrated story following all aspects of an emergency situation. I can't wait.
If you missed "Mistaken" on NBC, you can always watch Chicago Med online. After you're caught up, we'd love to hear from you in the comments – what was your take on how Chicago Med handled this tricky story? What's going to end up happening with Nat and Will? And how exited are you for that upcoming crossover event?
Elizabeth Harlow was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She left the organization in October 2018.