Manstead: 9 Moments that point to endgame

It’s Valentine’s Day. Or, it will be soon. And we all want a little romance – in our lives, and in our TV screens.

Which is why this week’s we’re counting down on those moments that make our hearts go pitter-patter, our hands shake, our mouths emit a sound that is half wail, half awwww. The ones that make us feel. This time it’s the turn of our charming doctors Natalie and Will, on Chicago Med.

I know, this relationship is still in its infancy. They clearly care about each other, but timing has been a problem again and again. First he was available, and she just wasn’t ready. Now she seems to be creeping closer to maybe, perhaps, giving it a chance, and he’s seemingly moved on.

But hey, we can read the signs. We know where this is going. And we’ve got the gifs to prove it.

So here’s 7 Manstead moments that point to endgame:

“Everybody knows that you like Natalie.”

This is TV, and things like this don’t happen by chance. Maggie is right, too, everybody knows Will likes Natalie (except maybe Nina). And even if, lately, it seems like he might be getting over it, his feelings have been pointed out more than once. They’ve been made obvious. If they weren’t going anywhere with it, why make it so obvious?

Will stares at Natalie playing the violin.

I could do a whole Will-stares-at-Natalie series. It would be about a million gifs. Because, fact is, we get one of these Will faces while staring at Nat once an episode, sometimes even more. I’m beginning to think that’s his default face. And hey, if that isn’t a huge clue, then I don’t know what is. Once is coincidence, this many times is direction. There’s something there, something that didn’t go away just because the timing wasn’t right and they both seemingly went on different paths.

Will staring at baby Owen.

Just look at the gif. He’s not staring at Nat, he’s staring at baby Owen with that I’ll-go-through-fire-for-you look. And hey, if there’s one overreaching theme in the Chicago series, it’s family. Not just the family you’re born to, but the family you choose, the one you make for yourself. Owen lost his dad, but there’s plenty of people who love him, and plenty of people who’ll be there to show him the way when he’s older, Will included.

Natalie leans on Will.

I can’t imagine an most uncomfortable moment – and though this, her being in labor, has nothing to do with the ship, it says a lot about the trust that Natalie has on Will, and about their level of friendship. It’s hard to let go in front of someone, to realize that, even if you are weak for a moment, that person won’t think any less of you, because that person sees who you are – all that you are. And that’s basically what Natalie’s telling Will in this scene. She’s saying I trust you. That’s big.

The hug at hearing Will is staying.

I focus on Natalie’s face in this case, because though the show might be way more obvious about Will’s feelings, they’ve never made this a one-sided thing. Natalie clearly cares about Will, she wants him to stick around, and she might even want a relationship with him – she just isn’t in the same page as he is. Part of that is being afraid of what a relationship with Will would mean – Jeff is the more safer option – and part of it is that Natalie just lost her husband. She’s still grieving, and she should be allowed the time to do so.

The kiss.

Yes, that’s right. We have a kiss. A heartbreaking kiss, but a kiss nonetheless. That means that, despite the fact that they’re both good at acting like it didn’t happen, both Will and Natalie know that there’s something there, something they didn’t explore, something that might come up again in the future. There are no pretenses, no “he/she doesn’t like me that way.” Not here.

“I need to move on.”

How many times in the history of television has a character said he’s going to move on and then actually moved on? I can probably count those in one hand. The point of having Will saying he needs to move on is not to kill the ship completely, it’s for Will to TRY to do just that and for Natalie to see him trying. It’s supposed to be a wake-up-call, for both, not an ending.

Natalie stares at Will as he talks. 

Sure, Will is more obvious, but Nat is also guilty of gazing at Will like she can’t get enough of him. Our girl is just as gone as he is, she just has many more (understandable) issues to get through. Also, she’s way better at hiding it. Will wears his heart on his sleeve. Natalie has had to learn to be more guarded with her feelings. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t have them, it just means that one has to look deeper. But once you do, it’s plain to see. She cares too.

They both do the gazing-and-trying-not-to-smile thing.

I can’t stop looking at this gif, because it’s so obvious this is an OTP waiting to happen. I’m pretty sure there’s a gif like this of almost every OTP in the history of OTPS. You can feel the chemistry between the actors, but also, and more importantly, you can see that it’s a conscious decision to act like they’re acting. There’s chemistry, yes, but that’s not all that Manstead is. They’re a choice the writers are making, and that means that, even if they’re not happening soon, it’s coming. They’re endgame. We just have to be patient.

Agree? Disagree? Have some other Manstead moments you think should have made the list? Share with us in the comments below!

Chicago Med airs Thursdays at 9/8c on NBC.

Lawyer. Dreamer. Geek. Eternal optimist. Fangirl since the dawn of time. Hates the color yellow, olives and cigarettes. Has a recurring nightmare where she’s forced to choose between sports and books. Falls in love with fictional characters.