Chicago Med 7×01 “You Can’t Always Trust What You See” is a strong episode. It’s an especially strong episode for a show that has had some high points, but has general, in my opinion, struggled for at least the last two years. Chicago Med has never really been sure of what it wanted to be, who the focus was gonna be, or what the core dynamics of the show were.
Now, “You Can’t Always Trust What You See” certainly doesn’t solve all problems. The show is still a little scattered, there’s nothing to the storytelling that feels nearly as tight as Chicago Fire or Chicago P.D feel on a bad day, but if this episode gives us something it’s something to hope for. And that already feels like a lot.
DEAN ARCHER VS. EVERYONE
As a sometimes-antagonist Dean Archer has been somewhat fun, but in Chicago Med 7×01 “You Can’t Always Trust What You See” he comes way too close to the line between that an utterly annoying. Archer isn’t a character anyone likes, and he’s not a character with an established dynamic with anyone but Ethan, who isn’t around. So right now, he seems to only serve to… antagonize everyone?
That might work for an episode or two, but long term, it absolutely won’t. And I’m not really saying this because I want to see more of Archer, at this point I dread whatever attempt this show ends up making at humanizing him, but if they don’t try, then what is even the point of him? To get even Dr. Charles to push back? To antagonize Will?
How is he being around helping anyone’s arc? And what is even his arc? At this point I’m not sure, and frankly, I don’t care. That makes Archer the weaker link in a show that cannot truly afford many weak links. Gotta find a solution for him, stat.
WILL AND …EVERYONE?
It’s like everyone loves Will in this episode, or at least could get to love Will? Except maybe Stevie Hammer, but I’m still on the fence as to whether her friendly antagonism with Will might end up being something the show wants to set up in a romantic way down the line or if she’s just there to push Will towards being, perhaps, the man – and the doctor – he always wanted to be.
There are many great signs for Will Halstead in this episode. The first one is that he tries, really tries, to do what Goodwin wants. Not because it’s what he needs to keep his job, but because it’s obvious that a great part of Will thinks he’s doing the right thing. The best thing about Will has always been that he cares way too much. That has turned destructive many, many times. This time, maybe that caring will end up doing every patient in the hospital some good.
And then there’s his relationship with Marcel. Is it too much to hope that these two might, one day, not just see eye-to-eye, but become friends? Chicago Med isn’t just missing a ship, it’s missing emotional lynchpins, and a good friendship would be a great way for this show to start laying good foundations. Did I ever think that friendship could be Will and Marcel? No. Am I now obsessed with the idea? You bet I am.
MAGGIE AND VANESSA
Maggie remains the heart of Chicago Med, and this episode allows her a very good moment with her daughter that sort of encapsulates the advice she got from Goodwin earlier. What is done, is done. The situation being what it is, all Maggie can do with Vanessa is …keep trying. That’s it. Keep trying and do her job.
And Maggie does that, with a smile, with compassion, with the same tenderness and care for everyone. Except, of course, Vanessa isn’t everyone. But that doesn’t matter right now. Maybe Vanessa isn’t ready to get that comfort from her mother, not yet, but it matters a lot that she’s allowing Maggie, in her other role, to provide it. It’s a step in the right direction, at least. Not the only step they need to take, but it’s a step.
DR. DYLAN SCOTT
Dr. Scott made a really good first impression. He wasn’t my favorite character in the hour, but that’s because Dr. Hammer stole my heart, and Will Halstead is trying really hard to win me back, but he was up there. It’s been exactly one episode, but if I had to describe Dr. Scott, I’d say he’s a good guy. A really good guy. And that’s a hell of a first impression to make for a character.
Now the question is – where are the writers going with him? What are the relationships, the dynamics, that are going to push his storyline forward? It seems like he and Dr. Hammer might have an interesting relationship, but again, still too early to tell if that would work romantically, or if, in the end, friendship is what’s in the cards for them. Either way, that I’m interested in finding out is a very good first step.
DR. STEVIE HAMMER
I already liked her before the final scene, let’s start there. Stevie Hammer’s entire demeanor is something I’m acutely familiar with, the way of holding yourself as if you have the entire weight of the world on your shoulders, but you won’t let anyone see it. And then, of course, there’s the confidence, particularly in her interactions with Will, who she sees as more of a rival than anyone else.
But the way we see the façade crack right away, at the end of the first episode, was what did me in. Sometimes TV takes too long to establish this part, the human part, the one that makes us connect with a character. Here, Chicago Med gave it to us right away. This is who Stevie Hammer is …a confident, self-assured, mess of a woman who has everything figured out, and who, at the same time, doesn’t have anything figured out, and who probably needs more help than she can admit.
It’s the contradiction that draws you in. It’s the contradiction that keeps you watching. Because, above all, you just want to figure out …can she make it? Can I make it? Because I don’t have everything figured out, either. And if she can make it, then maybe …maybe so can I.
Things I think I think:
- It’s not nearly enough closure after six years, of course, but I was still happy we got that Manstead scene at the beginning. Would have appreciated a different storyline to write Torrey out, but considering what we got, this was more than I expected.
- Also, Will Halstead looks good in green.
- I wish I had Dr. Charles’ patience, because I’m about done with Archer, and he’s a fictional character on my TV. Though hey, I do appreciate he didn’t take the jab laying down.
- Michael Rady, you’re far, far from the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. And I didn’t even like you in THAT.
- Gotta appreciate Will doing just what Natalie told him to do.
- And Marcel looks good in anything and everything.
- Am I the only one thinking the Lt. Scott thing is going to come back at some point?
- Does it make any sense that Goodwin just suddenly agrees to let Will – who has been anything but an angel during his time in her hospital – back, and not just that, use him as her spy? No. But am I willing to go with it because it could lead to some good drama? Yes.
- Please, if you’re gonna turn the Stevie and Will thing into a romance, show, BUILD. IT. UP. That’s all I’m asking. For now, the friendly antagonism is kinda fun. We can keep it.
- Maggie looking at the two of them was literally us.
- I still don’t know if the “looking forward to your next train wreck” from Archer is laugh worthy or not. I mean, he isn’t wrong …Will is a train wreck. But I also don’t want to laugh at anything he says.
- Prove him wrong, Will!
- And Dr. Scott knowing Jay is certainly going to come up, which yay!
- Btw, we need the Halstead brothers together STAT. It’s been too long.
- Also very interesting to me? The possible dynamics between Stevie and Dylan.
- Sharon Goodwin seeing through Will Halstead is pretty on brand.
- I will pay good money to have Will and Marcel become friends. Who’s in?
- That final scene might have just made Dr. Hammer the most interesting character on this show right now.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of Chicago Med 7×01 “You Can’t Always Trust What You See”? Share with us in the comments below!
Chicago Med airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on NBC.