Thursday, October 18, 2018

REVIEW: 'Chicago Med' - Natalie Is Horrified by the Government's Actions Against a Patient in 'Backed Against the Wall'

NBC's Chicago Med - Episode 4.04 "Backed Against the Wall"

Will gets an unplanned visit from the CPD. Ethan is skeptical of a woman who is experiencing chronic pain. Natalie tends to a cancer patient whose brother has strong feelings on why he is refusing to lend his assistance.

In 2018, it has become very difficult to keep up with every television show out there. It's even more difficult to provide adequate coverage on this site about the episodes that air every week. Not every show can get full coverage because of my busy and hectic viewing schedule. As such, some reviews will now be condensed to give only some summary thoughts. But it also affords a space for me to jot down my thoughts on the various episodes. And so, here are my thoughts on this week's episode of NBC's Chicago Med.

"Backed Against the Wall" was written by Eli Talbert and directed by Vincent Misiano

There is absolutely no reason for the audience to continue to see Will and Natalie as a viable romantic couple. It has been my chief complaint of the show for a long time. Yes, the show owed it to itself to explore a relationship between them after all of the time spent on the buildup. But now, the show is asking the audience to see them as a couple heading towards a wedding even though Will hasn't changed at all. He is still pompous and stubborn. He thinks it's perfectly fine to lie to the woman he supposedly loves. Instead, the show tries to articulate its grand point by saying Will making a tough decision regarding a woman's reproductive health is the same as being backed into a corner by the police or risk losing his medical license. That's horrifying. Moreover, it makes no sense whatsoever. It puts all of the emphasis on the deceit that Will is orchestrating against Natalie without it being fueled by the recent death of his father. It wouldn't be surprising in the slightest if that is used as an excuse to validate the horrible decisions he has been making. And yet, he continues to lash out for the obvious quid pro quo that got him into this situation in the first place. He doesn't see the problem which just makes him seem so dumb and naive. Once again, he is becoming an infuriating character to watch. That's a shame because this episode actually tells some really powerful and topical stories. At times, the politics of these Chicago shows have been muddled because the shows have an innate desire for the audience to like all of the characters. As such, it's difficult for any one character to hold a belief that the show doesn't endorse in some way through the actions of the story. However, Chicago Med has always been able to handle these topical stories well because the main characters have disdain for all of the bureaucracy that frequently bogs down their jobs. Sure, it's much more compelling when Natalie is the one driving the story forward. She has so much empathy for her patients this week. She wants to believe that the hospital will keep their personal information private. She wants this stem cell transplant to work out for everyone involved without ripping the family apart. And yet, that's the exact outcome that occurs because Gwen is all about the bottom line and reputation of the hospital over caring for the patients. She doesn't care about this personal story. She just sees an opportunity to remain in good favor with the federal government. That's abhorrent because of what these agencies are willing to facilitate. This show can actually condemn what the current administration is doing. That stands in stark contrast to Chicago P.D. which frequently has to embolden and make those same actions seem heroic. Here, it's just a simple story of a family being cruelly torn apart for no reason. Meanwhile, Choi's patient is allowed her freedom despite her bigotry and her addiction. She too is walking away without getting the help that she desperately needs. That highlights the failings of the government to recognize the problems with addiction as well. But she also has the privilege to be as bigoted as possible because she knows it will all work out for her in the end. That's horrifying and mostly props up the idea that Choi has to be more tolerant to Emily's baby daddy being significantly older.