Wednesday, October 16, 2019

REVIEW: 'Chicago Med' - Multiple Residents of an Apartment Complex Are Exposed to the Virus in 'Infection, Part II'

NBC's Chicago Med - Episode 5.04 "Infection, Part II"

An entire apartment complex is forced into quarantine when cases of the deadly virus turns into an epidemic. P.D. chases a lead that could point to a case of bioterrorism. Will gets dangerously close to the suspect.

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.

"Infection, Part II" was directed by Michael Pressman with story by Dick Wolf & Derek Haas and teleplay by Derek Haas

This crossover event certainly has a fair amount of contempt for the media and politicians. Yes, they are professions prone to producing hacks who only care to sensationalize the news and whatever plays most effectively for them. The first responders can't abide by that thinking because they are facing an immediate crisis that they can see with their own eyes. This deadly bacteria is spreading. The Intelligence unit may close this hour identifying the man responsible for this outbreak. However, his capture doesn't guarantee that all of this will be stopped. New cases are still presenting. There are people in the isolation unit at Chicago Med who develop symptoms rapidly hours after first being quarantined. As such, the urgency is on the CDC and the other doctors to find a way to stop the spread of the bacteria. Right now, the only solution presents as slowing it down. That may be effective in some cases. It's not a cure though. This hour puts the human cost of all of this front and center. It's not a sensationalized drama used to further complicate the personal lives of the characters the audience has grown to love across many years. It shows the true danger that comes when people choose to spread misinformation. Now, journalism and politics can be noble professions. There are people within those jobs who are doing some truly incredibly work that helps the public a great deal. However, they are also professions that have largely negative connotations in their public perception. It's easy to see the news as being fake and deceitful. It's harder to question that when a person can see the damage up close. Even then, it feels like they are recklessly being exposed to something that they believe they never would have gotten outside of this isolation. That's not true in the slightest. But it's incredibly dangerous. One woman in the quarantined apartment building sees this as some grand government conspiracy. The CIA has weaponized this bacteria and is testing it on its own citizens. That's horrifying as well as a staggering accusation. None of the doctors give any credit to the idea. However, Charles has to respect the fragile state this woman is in because she is prone to seeing conspiracies in this world. That can spread rapidly. It can spread more quickly than the truth. The fear and pandemonium present here leads to the isolation unit being breached. Sure, that is almost a little too ridiculous. It makes it seem as if it wasn't all that secure to begin with. Sharon wants everyone to trust that her hospital is taking all of the necessary precautions to properly handle this dangerous situation. She is furious at the media for not accurately portraying the comments she has given about how to stay safe. And yet, she needs to be making a number of tough calls at the moment. She can have moments where she is frank and more blunt with people. This hour appears to have some rage towards the research facilities that house such dangerous bacteria as well. That too is a little outrageous especially coming from the representative from the CDC - an organization that houses plenty of diseases running the same tests and following the same protocols. It may highlight the differences between government run science and the privatization of the industry. This lab is susceptible to an employee with a vendetta who has access to this bacteria. He is incredibly dangerous. He has to be caught. But the human stories are much more important. It's vital to see Upton bonding with a young girl, Amanda, facing an unknown reality. She is lucky because she has someone keeping her calm. Others aren't as lucky simply because the virus has spread too much. It's heartbreaking that the man wanting to be a firefighter has his arm amputated. That does a better job of humanizing Dr. Marcel than any episode of the season so far. As such, it seems hopeful that these first responders have the right reactions to everything going on despite the inherent tragedy present in these cases. Of course, that means Will is put in harm's way once more which is a somewhat cheap way for the show to keep sympathy for the character despite the many awful things he continually does within the hospital.