Let’s face it, the last month has been a pretty brutal one for the world. The number of casualties in mass shootings is overwhelming, and it’s become so commonplace it’s even portrayed that way on television. This is how this week’s Chicago Med starts, but it doesn’t turn out the way we’ve come to expect. Welcome to the new normal.
A mass shooting occurs at a local movie theater. The doctors first work to save a mother who was a human shield for her child as dozens of terrified moviegoers trampled on her for their own safety. They get her back, but too many kicks to the skull leave her brain dead. Just like that, her husband has to deal with donating her organs on a day they just wanted to take their child to see a movie.
Natalie deals with a teenage girl whose mother is the definition of the word overbearing. She micromanages her daughter’s food based on her own weight experiences. Natalie believes that the girl has anorexia, so she asks Dr. Charles to consult. He comes up with the idea to give the patient a placebo to see if her eating disorder is real. Natalie may think this is unethical, but it works. Her patient does not have anorexia, but instead has a physical condition that blocks food from passing through her digestive system. It’s a completely treatable condition, and it gives the girl the opportunity to finally stand up to her mother. Natalie is having a good day, topped off by Will’s offer to drive her to the hospital when she goes into labor. Is it possible the good Dr. Halstead could be developing feelings for his gestating best friend?
The toughest case today is the one which ethically divides Will and Connor. Connor works to save the life of the shooter, who Will would rather leave be. The shooter is just a teenager who was shot himself by a good Samaritan named Mr. Miller. Tragically, Detectives Halstead and Lindsay inform Mr. Miller that the “gunman” was actually a kid with a leaf-blower, so the only person shooting a gun in the theater was the supposed hero. Wracked with guilt for shooting an innocent kid, Mr. Miller steps in front of a car to commit suicide. He is among the casualties of the day.
When Connor hears that his patient was just a bad prankster, he races to get the kid the liver of the woman they earlier declared braindead. This means Sharon has the unfortunate task of asking the husband to donate his wife’s liver to her unintentional killer. After a lot of resistance, he does sign the transplant papers for a direct donation. His real intention becomes clear when he asks to see the kid. No gratitude is necessary because the husband wants to make it clear that he is going to spend the rest of his life reminding this kid he is a murderer.
While Will can breathe a sigh of relief that the shooting situation wasn’t what he thought it was, his next patient isn’t so easy to work with. Will and April deal with a bigoted patient in the ER. After making every insult in the book about every ethnicity on the planet, Will and April are only too happy to inform her that upon looking at her genetic makeup, they realized this woman has some African-American blood in her. It feels like a karmic win, but Dr. Choi actually makes a good point that pointing out other people’s flaws doesn’t erase our own.
Sharon and Dr. Charles unwind after a long day over at Molly’s. Dr. Charles points out that the time we live in isn’t any more dangerous than war times past; we just see so much negativity second by second because of technology. He, of course, says it much more poignantly, which is why I am completely secure in saying Dr. Charles, I heart you!
So far, Chicago Med is steadily rising as one of the top new shows of the year.
[Photo credit: Elizabeth Sisson/NBC]