Thursday, October 24, 2019

REVIEW: 'Chicago Med' - Natalie Crosses a Line While Maggie Faces the Side Effects of Chemo in 'Got a Friend in Me'

NBC's Chicago Med - Episode 5.05 "Got a Friend in Me"

Dr. Choi and Dr. Marcel don't see eye-to-eye over the treatment of a patient's chronic pain. Rumors start to circulate about Maggie. Dr. Manning works to help a young boy, but her treatment suggestions are challenged by the parents who believe in only using holistic remedies.

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.

"Got a Friend in Me" was written by Eli Talbert and directed by John Polson

Natalie assaults a 2-year-old child here. She administers a bag of antibiotics against the wishes of his parents. She does so because she believes it is right to treat what she thinks is pneumonia. However, the audience simply can't look past the recklessness of her actions. This serves as the proof that she is dealing with consequences from her traumatic brain injury. Throughout the season so far, it has been easy to be on her side when it came to her judgment following the accident. Will was the one presenting as the guy constantly questioning every decision she was making as a doctor. He has always been that controlling over her. It's been an annoying quality of his for a long time. And now, the show is saying that he was right to be concerned about her ability to do this job. She believes she can work a normal shift without any monitoring over the decisions she's making. And yet, this case presents as her only one and she still handles it forcefully and in a way that may cost her everything. That's tragic and dire. It does help make her a more complicated character in this show. She has certainly been propped up as the best of what this hospital can be largely because she is frequently paired with Will who is constantly the worst. But now, their roles are essentially switched. The show is fascinated by how that can dramatically change things. Of course, the audience has to be willing to go along with such a significant change as well. The viewer is now asked to question Natalie's judgment. That is an awkward position after years of being conditioned to see her as a competent and caring doctor. But now, she crosses a line and the viewer can't disregard that fact. It may be easy to explain it away so that she doesn't deal with any significant consequences to this decision. However, she still does have to take responsibility for what she has done. It shouldn't suddenly make Will come across as being right about everything in her life. It already has the sense that that is inevitably where all of this is heading. The execution has the potential to work. Right now, it still seems like a forced goal of the narrative. It's more compelling to spend time with Natalie instead of worrying about how Will will react to any given situation. He is distracted by her at the moment. It means he doesn't get to call his patient's fiancé until after he dies. That too is tragic. He wants to help people but can't seem to do anything right for anyone who clearly needs it. Of course, people have to be willing to accept help as well. Maggie has been stubborn in her fight with cancer. She refused to tell anyone that she was sick. She didn't want anyone to look at her with pity and the fear that she could no longer do her job. And yet, people noticed that she was leaving early and lashing out more. It's a powerful scene when she does share this heartbreaking news with April and the other nurses. She doesn't even have to get the words out before her friends embrace her with love. That support is needed now more than ever. It proves that Caroline can be very helpful when she meddles in the lives of others. Sure, that may not mean Sharon and Bert are destined to reunite. That too somewhat feels forced. Sharon definitely deserves some love in her life. It just seems like the show has exhausted storytelling potential with her ex-husband. And finally, Ethan and Marcel clashing over how to handle a patient's immediate care comes across as a story with several really interesting ideas that simply don't have the time to develop into something truly meaningful. This guy has chronic pain that has never been diagnosed. And yet, there is no resolution that states if Marcel's surgery was the cure this guy has long needed. It's more about the personal fighting amongst the doctors instead of the actual case. That would be fine if Marcel was more than just a one-note character trope at the moment.