Wednesday, October 9, 2019

REVIEW: 'Chicago Med' - April Works With Marcel on a Patient She Has Concerns About in 'In the Valley of the Shadows'

NBC's Chicago Med - Episode 5.03 "In the Valley of the Shadows"

Dr. Choi and Dr. Charles have difficult decisions to make as a dying man tries to preserve his future life with a controversial scientific method. Dr. Marcel and April clash over how to handle a mysterious patient. Will questions Natalie's capabilities. Sharon assigns a nurse to shadow Maggie, much to her dismay.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of NBC's Chicago Med.

"In the Valley of the Shadows" was written by Charles S. Carroll and directed by Stephen Hootstein

Dr. Marcel certainly feels like he belongs on this show. He just doesn't come across as someone the audience should get invested in. He too comes across as an annoyingly pompous male physician who dismisses the concerns of his female colleagues simply because he thinks he knows best. He spends the majority of this episode coming across that way. And then, the final minute reveals something that may potentially redeem him. That isn't worth it though because he's not the one coming to April with that explanation. He listened to her and ran the blood test on the woman who cut out and kidnapped a baby. He placed the anonymous call that let the police find where the true mother was clinging to life. Even then, he forcefully tried to save that woman's uterus despite the ongoing concern that it could burst at any moment especially if she gets pregnant again. He comes across as the man who proudly makes decisions that ruffle feathers and quietly does some good things when no one is watching. Again, that is a familiar character construct for this show where all of the men are varying degrees of horrible from week to week. This episode purposefully makes April concerned about working with him on an ongoing basis. She'll do anything for Maggie though. Sure, Maggie doesn't trust her friends in the emergency department with the news of her cancer. She is dealing with the side effects of her chemo treatment. She is carrying that burden largely by herself. She lashes out at the nurse Sharon hires to shadow her for the shift. It's wildly inappropriate. This woman is right to quit this job. She knows her worth and how that attitude from Maggie may indicate this as a hostile work environment. That's sadly true. People go to this hospital looking for salvation. And yet, these doctors and nurses are largely people with superiority complexes who are always pushing themselves into each other's businesses despite how unwarranted it can be. Dr. Charles sees the error of his ways when it comes to trying to convince his wife, Caroline, to simply wear a cast on her broken wrist for a few weeks. She is determined to get the surgery because she doesn't want to waste any of the time she has left in this world. She ultimately doesn't go through with the surgery because her rationale doesn't stand up to the scrutiny she faces. Charles essentially gets what he wants. However, it's reassuring to the audience because it seems like he has a deeper understanding of what she's going through. He knows that terminal patients are the only ones forced to be introspective about death and what they want their final moments to be. Their decision-making processes are a complete unknown and vary from case to case. He understands that as a doctor but continually has to be reminded of that. As such, he does come across as someone capable of growth. He does have that compassion. Meanwhile, Will simply has a compulsion to lord over Natalie and try to control her life. He wants to know if she genuinely loves Phillip. He's annoyed by how often Phillip is at the hospital. And now, he is second guessing every single medical decision she makes. It gets to the point where he wants to supervise her every move even though he doesn't have the authority to make that decision. Based on how he's acting, he should never have that authority. He is monstrous in his behavior. It still overwhelmingly feels like the show wants these two together though. As bad as all of this is for them, it's still inevitable that Natalie will spiral and need to be comforted once she regains her memories and notices Phillip's own deceit. But again, that should inspire her to find something new altogether because Will's behavior can't be dismissed either. He's been horrifying and possessive for a long time. He should never be rewarded for that even though the show continually makes it seem as if he has earned some good will from time to time. He really doesn't though.