Chicago Med 2×12 Review: ‘Mirror Mirror’

What do you call a television show that admits a patient with a gun up his butt and a young girl who is basically an empath that feels the pain and emotions of those around her? Just another ordinary Thursday night on Chicago Med.

When it comes to episode titles, Chicago Med’s “Mirror Mirror” hit the nail on the proverbial head on so many levels as it was representative of most of the subplots scattered throughout the episode. There were actual mirrors that our characters were forced to look into; there was a patient whose organs were a mirror image of basic human anatomy; and there was a syndrome where a young girl felt the pain and emotions of those around her on the opposite side of her body. As far as episode titles go, this was damn near perfect.

Chicago Med continues to defy ordinary medical drama expectations with its shocking cases and the emotional intensity that defines the show. It’s the kind of show that really makes you sit up a little straighter and pay more attention to something special happening on your television screen right in front of you.

You know, just an ordinary Thursday night for Chicago Med.

Let’s break this down:

The Distraction

Perhaps one of the more intriguing storylines of the hour came as The Troll aka Dr. Stohl had a camera crew following him around that proved to be more a hazard than a blessing. Sure, in theory it was a way to gain some positive publicity for Med. But it also ended up being an incredible distraction that nearly cost a patient his life.

We all know how Halstead feels about Stohl. Because we feel the same. So it wasn’t a surprise that Halstead picked up on the distraction of it all right away. This wasn’t a Hollywood production, this was a hospital that is dependent on having the space and judgment needed to ensure quality of life. But this camera crew nearly got in the way.

As Stohl treated a patient, he looked at him and suggested he be discharged and treated with a Z-Pak. It was evident, as Stohl told the crew, that he was moving on because this wasn’t as glamorous or thrilling as other hospital matters. Ridiculous, I know. But Halstead noticed that something seemed off and ordered more tests, which eventually revealed a shocking revelation that, while not a good prognosis, was not left undiagnosed.

This whole thing was a reminder of why these doctors and nurses do what they do. They’re there to save lives at the expense of even themselves sometimes, something that we’ve seen on countless occasions with Halstead. It’s easy for us, who are watching a show about the drama in a hospital, but it’s something else entirely to live it.

Sarah’s Therapy

Sarah Reese is a remarkable woman. She’s intelligent, caring, beautiful, and badass in every way. But even better, she’s shown that she’s not perfect, which is exactly what we need to be reminded of.

Reese decided to heed Dr. Charles’ advice and go through therapy herself as a way to better herself as a psychologist. Only there’s a difference between going through therapy and being a sideline observer, which is exactly what Reese did in the beginning. She was cautious about being vulnerable and opening herself up as a means to better understand what goes into the process but also to understand herself. Examining yourself is a really scary thing to do. It’s not easy. But if you can do it, it really shows a great inner strength.

There was a case at Med that really intrigued Reese as she sought to understand one of her patients that had a gun up his butt and scars on his arms. She was fascinated. She really wanted to get inside of his head, to have him open up to her. But she was having a problem doing so. That was the whole purpose of her going to therapy. To be able to experience it herself so that she could approach it the right way with her patients.

And after that struggle with that young man, Reese finally got the courage to do so. She began to take the therapy session seriously. She began to confront her own personal issues beginning with: “You really don’t know anything, do you?” Which focused on the doubt that she carries around with her. It’s going to be very interesting to see how this storyline plays out as Reese gets some personal closure, as well as professional experience that’ll help her in the long run.

Dr. Latham Opens Up

If there is one storyline that has captured my heart in the most unexpected and pleasant way possible, it has to be the recent revelation of Dr. Latham’s Asperger’s and his struggles as he works through it. Latham has gone his whole life never knowing that something was wrong with him. He didn’t notice the looks or the snickers or the misunderstanding that people had in reaction to him. That’s just part of the disorder.

But that all changed with Dr. Charles opened Dr. Latham’s eyes to the realization that he was on the autism spectrum. Since then, Latham has been looking at the world a little differently. Or at least trying to. It’s not so easy for him as compared to us. But he started to notice those looks and those snickers and how he was different than those around him. And it infuriated him.

This was the episode that he finally broke – but also the episode where he finally opened up to someone else, Dr. Rhodes, about his condition. Latham’s breaking point came during a dress rehearsal of a surgery where a patient’s organs were on the opposite side of his body, which through Latham’s whole routine off balance. People with Asperger’s thrive on their routines, and this change in pace was enough for Latham to snap. It was more than just about his current circumstance and more of a culmination of all of these new emotions he was experiencing since learning about his diagnosis.

But this whole thing is about making progress, about taking risks, which is what Latham is doing. The most important thing he did in this episode was attempt to communicate his feelings with Rhodes, which went a long way.

Understanding. It’s something that we require to really handle a situation in the appropriate way. It’s what I felt in the previous episode when we learned about Latham having Asperger’s. Before that I just assumed he was an ass that didn’t care about other people’s emotions. But once we learned about the reason why he was the way he was, things began to make sense. And that allowed for some understanding and appreciation along the way.

And much like me, Rhodes is attempting to do the same thing. Rhodes has always been one to be professional and inspire others. But this situation with Latham is different. Now that he has some context, Rhodes is approaching his relationship with Latham with some understanding. We saw it when he invited Latham to Molly’s after a successful surgery. We saw Latham’s initial doubt when he refused. And then we saw Latham take a leap of faith as he joined his team at Molly’s setting the stage for some amazing character moments to come.

Now as we get closer to that big character death, I find myself terrified of it being Latham. For the love of all that is holy, do not take Latham from me.

Moving Forward

Even though this breakup happened in the previous episode, this was the episode where it felt like the message was clearly cemented. Natalie and Jeff are no more. And perhaps that’s for the best given the past and their working conditions.

I’m sorry, but I needed to hear Natalie officially say it after the fact before I officially believed it.

Natalie’s reaction to this breakup post-breakup solidified in my mind that Jeff was nothing more than a rebound. Not to make him worthless because he wasn’t.  He was the man that allowed Natalie to open up to the possibility of a relationship, something she wasn’t ready to do back when Will told her how he felt about her. But after she felt like she could move on with someone – someone she thought her late husband would approve of – Natalie has officially gotten to the point where I believe that she’s ready to be with Will.

The ending scene was a little deceiving in a way. While Natalie looked over at Jeff and felt a wave of sadness (as the young, emphatic girl let us know), it wasn’t sadness that she wanted to be with him. It was sadness over the fact that she hurt him. It was sadness over the fact that things didn’t work out because they weren’t meant to.

I believe that Natalie’s relationship with Jeff was meant to serve a purpose. It allowed Natalie to realize that she could move on even after her late husband. It allowed Natalie to realize that it was okay to feel feelings again. It allowed Natalie to really open herself up to the chance of finding love again.

And don’t even kid me, we all know that this is leading to a Natalie and Will romance. The fan-favorite couple haven’t been on the same page, which is why they haven’t taken the leap. When Will was ready, Natalie wasn’t. Now that Natalie is ready, Will is in another relationship. It really shows you the importance of timing in life. But they’ll get there. Eventually. And everything they’ve both gone through will lead them to that moment.

Five Things…

  1. You know it doesn’t get as crazy as dealing with a patient with a gun up his rectum. It gets even crazier when they’re removing it and it accidentally fires a shot through the patient as the doctors attempt to remove it. Well, Chicago Med certainly knows how to make our jaws drop.
  2. The Troll has moved from annoying to potentially being a liability. With this camera crew following him around for a video promoting Chicago Med, Stohl actually endangered a patient because he didn’t think it was glamorous enough for the film crew. Thankfully Dr. Halstead caught the indicators and was able to treat a brain disease that almost went unnoticed.
  3. This whole storyline with Dr. Latham has seriously captured my heart in a way I never expected. It’s these kind of compelling storylines focused on these characters that make this show worth watching. But they also let you get to know certain characters in a way you never imagined. I’m so thankful for Latham this season.
  4. How cool that there was a patient who was basically a real life empath?! This young girl could literally feel people’s emotions and pain (not so cool) that were around her. And it was an actual disorder. That was definitely something that had me hooked the entire episode.
  5. Can we accept that Manning and Clarke are officially over? Because Natalie said it. Again. And she’s obviously more than okay with it. Even though she felt sadness as she looked over at Jeff. Perhaps it was sadness of hurting him the way she did and sadness because things weren’t meant to work out.

Chicago Med airs Thursdays at 8/7c on NBC.

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