One of the amazing things about Chicago Med is how it’s able to so brilliantly capture the reality of our world in a fictional setting. The issues that the characters face, the lessons they learn, and the emotional trauma that comes with working in or witnessing a profession like this create a sense of comfort-ability that makes Med and the One Chicago shows so easy to fall in love with.
In “Heart Matters,” Maggie is forced to confront her past when a Chicago police officer is brought into Med for critical care. The officer turns out to be the one who arrested her last year for refusing to cooperate with police in order to preserve the life of her patient. So immediately there was this sense of increased emotion that made you sit up a little straighter. You wondered, What is going through Maggie’s head right now? How was that past incident going to affect the present situation? Well, we got the answers to those questions and more as Med delivered one heart-felt (see what I did there?) episode that reminded us about the sacrifices that you make in order to serve.
Let’s break this down:
Heart of the Matter
As the title of the episode implies, the bulk of this episode centers around heart. And not just the figurative heart of emotion but an actual heart. A Chicago police officer is brought in to Med after being critically injured, and it’s almost immediately that we learn that she is brain dead. But this isn’t just any police officer. This is the officer that arrested Maggie last year for protecting her patient and refusing to cooperate.
Obviously the circumstances bring out a lot of emotion and a lot of second guessing. As an audience we were wondering if Maggie could do her job to the best of her ability given her past with the patient. Then you had people involved with the situation also second guessing her. To be honest, I’d have agreed that Maggie sit this one out if only because of that past connection that wasn’t exactly sunshine and rainbows. But then there’s also this part of me that, from the beginning, was saying that Maggie more than anyone knows how to put personal preferences aside to help her patients. That loyalty and dedication has resulted in Maggie sticking her neck out for those in her care to the point of her being arrested. If there was one thing you should never doubt it’s that she cares and will go above and beyond for her patients.
The cool thing about this storyline was how it trickled down into multiple individual storylines. While you had Maggie and her history with this officer, on the other end you had the recipient of the officer’s heart, who had some drama of her own. The transplant patient got into a car accident with her daughter driving on her way to Med for the transplant. That posed some possible obstacles. But just when she was cleared of her injuries not preventing the surgery, we learned that she had fallen off the wagon the previous day after her friend died. Not only did that look bad upon Rhodes and Charles, but it essentially made her unqualified to receive this heart.
After the hospital committee voted to not give the heart to the transplant patient, a series of events transpired that allowed her to receive the heart after all. While the committee had deemed her unworthy of the heart, there was no way that the heart was going to make it to San Diego in time for another patient. And there was no way they were going to waste that heart, which made it a viable option for our transplant patient. Which game us a somewhat happy ending during an episode where a police officer was put to rest.
A Means to An End
Just as I suspected, the subsequent unraveling of Manning and Clarke’s relationship continued in an episode that was high on drama and emotion. It was immediately evident that the events of last week definitely hadn’t passed. This is something that has really stuck with Manning – that sense of betrayal. And it’s going to take a lot more than sweet talking to fix it. If it’s fixable moving forward.
Last week, we saw Clarke admit to coming clean to Nat’s late husband that he had feelings for his wife, which prompted the best friends to grow apart. Knowing that her husband wouldn’t approve of this relationship, Manning all but called it quits without even saying it. While it hasn’t been made official yet, the writing is on the wall.
We saw more of Nat butting heads with Clarke this week as she faced the wrath of Dr. Stohl from the untimely passing of her patient last week. As she stood there strong and tall taking all of the shit Stohl was throwing her way, Clarke at one point interrupted to defend her. While it might seem like a romantic gesture, that was the very thing that Natalie did not want. She’s not a damsel in distress. She doesn’t need someone to save her even from assholes that think they’re more important than they actually are. And she let Clarke know that. She let him know that she embarrassed him, and in a way she also let him know that she was still fuming at him. Now, we just have to wait until she eventually calls it quits with him, which seems to be coming much sooner than later.
A Manning & Halstead Reunion?
Well, technically it wouldn’t be a reunion so much as it would be the pair finally hooking up after a season filled with enough sexual tension to ignite a room. Unfortunately, Natalie wasn’t in the right place to start this relationship.
But are we beginning to see a change in the tide? While both Halstead and Manning are currently involved with other people, there was a definite, subtle nod at the bond that these two share with each other that they don’t share with their respective significant others. As Natalie faced a firing squad in the form of Dr. Stohl, we got to see Halstead be that silent yet impactive source of support for her. When things would get to be too much her eyes would go to him. And through it all, Halstead never stopped looking out for her even when things looked tough.
The thing that Manning needed – that Clarke didn’t realize – was just the emotional support of a familiar, trusting face. She didn’t need someone to sweep in and save her. She’s no damsel in distress. Will was able to be that silent source of strength when she needed it. Just as he’s always been.
With that said, I believe that we’re beginning to see the beginning of Halstead and Manning’s romance. We’re getting to that point of a One Chicago show where the show’s main couple typically gets together. It was in seasons 2 of Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D. where Dawson & Casey and Halstead & Lindsay got together, respectively. I see no reason why this should be any different. And, hey, why mess with something that isn’t broken? Why mess with something that really allows your characters to grow into a relationship?
Are Things Actually Looking Up For April?
With Chicago Med’s major, impending death on the way, each week I find myself going back to April as I try to pinpoint if she’s actually going to survive this season. Obviously someone of significant stance on this show is going to pass on, and I honestly cannot help but believe that it’s going to be April. And that makes me angry because I love everything about her – her strength, her determination, her stubbornness, her charisma, her future. There’s so much potential for her.
While last week was all about the risks of her current pregnancy and the Tuberculosis medication she’s on, this week actually saw a reversal of fortune as a sonogram revealed that her baby was around the normal average, which was an indicator that the meds weren’t affecting her baby. Good news, right? Then why do I feel so anxious about it? Is this one of those things where it’s going to look like everything’s going to be okay – that we’re going to get a happy ending only for it to be yanked away? Don’t do that to me.
- Crossovers of any kind always make me smile. And we got two tonight in the form of Chicago P.D.’s Platt and Chicago Fire’s Brett. It’s just a beautiful reminder of the depth and reach of this Chicago universe that Dick Wolf has created.
- Manning and Halstead are so damn perfect it hurts. God, it’s been so freaking long since we’ve gotten some Manstead goodness that I’ve forgotten how much I miss Will and Nat’s scenes together. Even when they’re not together they’re proving just how perfect they are for each other. They’re each other’s source of support when times get tough. And I just can’t wait until they inevitably find their way to each other.
- Watching Rhodes’ emotionally break broke me. When he had to admit that he wasn’t as confident in his transplant patient than previously – everything from his tone to his body language – it really tore through me as the implications of one bad decision on his patient’s part could’ve cost her everything.
- Who else envisioned throttling Dr. Stohl during the entirety of this episode? The way that he was essentially attacking Manning and blaming her for the death of a patient more than infuriated me. But God bless Nat for taking it like a champ.
- Major kudos to Dr. Charles for ratting on the asshat jockey. Karma’s a bitch. Especially when it’s coming from a doctor who’s trying to ensure the safety of those on that track, including yours.
Chicago Med airs Thursdays at 9/8c on NBC.