Wednesday, November 6, 2019

REVIEW: 'Chicago Med' - Ethan and April Clash With the Army Over a Patient in 'Who Knows What Tomorrow Brings'

NBC's Chicago Med - Episode 5.07 "Who Knows What Tomorrow Brings"

Dr. Charles and Dr. Halstead sink their teeth into a bloodthirsty case. Dr. Marcel and Maggie throw a traditional crawfish boil for the staff. A new relationship blossoms while another is left on rocky ground.

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.

"Who Knows What Tomorrow Brings" was written by Daniel Sinclair & Paul R. Puri and directed by Jerry Levine

Right now, it seems like Charles and Caroline are the only couple the show wants the audience to be invested in. That's odd considering just how frequently the show resorts to romance in order to create personal drama for these characters. There is plenty of it at the moment. However, Charles and Caroline are the only ones the audience can enthusiastically support. The show has signed off on feeling good about them. Of course, there is the understanding that her cancer will kill her at some poin. That will inherently create a lot of drama. Right now though, it's simply a question of how much time Charles is willing to spend with her. They are both frequent presences at the hospital. Charles is still doing his work and helping with the various cases. Meanwhile, Caroline is volunteering in the cancer ward. It's because of her inspiration that things seem to be improving for Maggie. It's wonderful to see Maggie get some loving as well. Her story this season doesn't have to be solely defined by the doom and gloom of her cancer treatments. It has already been emotionally wrought. It's nice and unexpected to see her be flirty and sexual. That showcases that cancer doesn't have to be the only thing of value and importance. She can still make time for a cute guy. Things go really well for her too even though she essentially bails on her responsibilities for the crawfish boil with Marcel. The audience should feel uncertain about all of the other couples though. With Natalie and Will, it's abundantly clear that they are toxic. With Natalie, lingering thoughts about this love don't prevent her from doing her job. Sure, she has a tragic story here in which a child in a car accident ultimately dies from her injuries. It's more so an effort for her to teach and connect with Elsa - who has come in and out of the narrative seemingly at random. This is the first time that Elsa has intubated a patient. She was introduced as a character a year ago. That basically shows that no one is all that invested in her medical journey. It's not something treated with urgency. It can take it's time knowing that it's not really all that important in the grand scheme of things. It simply keeps Natalie busy and distracting. That's good. It serves as a reminder that she is a compassionate physician. She understands exactly what her patients and their families need. She is there to help her colleagues as well. Will has certainly latched onto Natalie's empathetic tendencies as a form of romantic dependence. And yes, it was genuinely loving for awhile. They were going to get married after all. However, he was so dependent on what she offered him for emotional support without giving her the same when she needed it. And now, he is left reaching out to her knowing that she has rejected him in no uncertain terms. He doesn't ultimately try to talk to her during this shift. It's just weird that the show lingers on his gaze for a beat too long almost creating a sense of sympathy for what he has lost. He should know that all of this is essentially his fault. He was just as toxic as Phillip. He just isn't ready to accept that burden yet. So, he too is distracted by work while searching to fill this emotional support elsewhere. He depends on Elsa for clarity on the crawfish boil even though he easily could have looked up what to do beforehand just like she did. Of course, work can frequently cause tension within relationships as well. Ethan and April disagreeing over whether or not to call the military about their patient with an experimental prosthetic arm seems to be enough for her to be tempted by Marcel. That's absolutely insane. One tough shift cannot be used to justify the destruction of a relationship. That may prove that they are on unstable ground and shouldn't be talking about starting a family. Sure, they mend things by the end of the hour. But the show exaggerates some of its points in order to prove that they are on the same page. That may strengthen them. Right now though, it only creates more uncertainty which is where the show overly enjoys spending time with its various couples.