Wednesday, November 13, 2019

REVIEW: 'Chicago Med' - The Doctors and Nurses Continue Making Reckless Decisions in 'Too Close to the Sun'

NBC's Chicago Med - Episode 5.08 "Too Close to the Sun"

Maggie gets unsettling news about a new friend and breaks protocol to support him. One of the doctors from the Med family is rushed into emergency surgery after a violent assault. A social media influencer lets his users vote on medical advice, forcing Dr. Charles to make a decision.

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.

"Too Close to the Sun" was written by Joseph Sousa & Danny Weiss and directed by Michael Berry

There is a mismatch of stories happening throughout this hour. At times, it is a harrowing journey as Noah is assaulted and the various doctors fight to keep him alive. Elsewhere, it's simply a typical shift at Chicago Med. Some moments feel like they are happening at a certain pace while always seem way too far ahead from where they should be at this point in time. That can be unnerving. That's not inherently a bad thing. It forces Maggie to admit just how strong her attraction to Ben is already. However, it feels rushed to introduce him as a new love interest only to set up his pending death an episode later. It was refreshing to see her find love despite battling cancer. It didn't have to be an easy journey for them as they fight this disease. However, it didn't have to be quite this dire right away either. That's traumatic even though he doesn't die just yet. There is just the uncertainty that comes from Maggie making rash medical decisions that could jeopardize public health and the careers of her closest friends. That's dangerous and continues to showcase Maggie as being more reckless now that her personal health is at risk. That can be relatable. But she also takes things too far for anyone to easily forgive her for what she was willing to do. It's also odd to watch as Elsa suddenly has this infatuation with Will. That is completely random and sudden. They had a personal interaction in the previous episode at the crawfish boil. That moment initially played as a condemnation on him and his need to receive emotional support from a woman at every moment in time. He could no longer rely on that from Natalie. And so, he sought it elsewhere. Meanwhile, Elsa projected something more onto their brief interaction. It's still just awkwardly placed and essentially meaningless when Will ends the shift by going out with a new paramedic. The season so far has been all in on Will's toxicity as a man trying to control the woman he was in love with. And now, he has thrown himself into yet another new relationship not really taking the time to analyze his actions and how to reckon with them moving forward. It doesn't make any sense. It's him essentially repeating the same mistakes. That's boring. The show is no longer challenging Will and wanting him to evolve. It's just the same behavior over and over again. But his story positions him as the hero who saves a life while providing his patient with exactly what she needs despite the risk involved. That too may be an overall theme throughout this hour. All of these people seem to be making terrible medical diseases. Maggie breaks the quarantine. Will sends his patient for a scan despite her being allergic to the contrast. April delays a surgery for Noah because she doesn't view Marcel as an impartial decision maker. And Ethan's patient is literally having people on the Internet vote on how he should live his life. That is insanely silly with no real understanding of how social media stars and viral content creators actually make their living. It goes to an extreme place to prove a point without really offering any sense of true consequences. Charles is still perfectly able to go out for drinks with Sharon and Bert. Meanwhile, they present as a couple on the mend which is skipping over some crucial steps because of everything they have gone through. All of this is a distraction from the most dramatic story of Noah being assaulted. That should have been the focal point of the hour that brings everything else together. Roland Buck III remaining a guest star despite how often he appears also left his fate uncertain. It could have gone either way. But instead, it's just reassuring to note that he is still alive. No update is given as to what happened and if the police have made any significant progress with their investigation. It all essentially becomes about April and how she is reacting to all of this instead of really rallying the troops around a fallen colleague who needs their support now. It's all building to Ethan suspecting something more is going on between April and Marcel which is most definitely not a note the show should be striking right now. The narrative is just a mess.