‘Chicago Med’ Bosses on [Spoiler]’s Return in Season 8 Premiere & What’s Next
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the Chicago Med Season 8 premiere “How Do You Begin to Count the Losses.”]
Both Will and Dylan (Guy Lockard) survive, though undercover cop Jo (Riley Voelkel) dies as a result of being shot. And by the end of the episode, Dylan, mourning the woman he loved, tells Sharon (S. Epatha Merkerson) that he has to leave, to go somewhere he can just be a doctor with his police past continuing to pull him back in. In happier news, however, Ethan (Brian Tee) gets a blast from his past when he bumps into April (Yaya DaCosta)!
TV Insider spoke with executive producers Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider about bringing back DaCosta, what to expect from April and Ethan, and more.
Talk about bringing back April. Is this a storyline you had planned for whenever Yaya might be available?
Diane Frolov: During the summer, we found out if she was gonna be available or not, and she was very happy to come back. So it’s great.
Andrew Schneider: When we pitched her the idea of her coming back in a recurring way and interacting with Ethan and resurrecting their relationship, she was very enthusiastic that she wanted to give resolution to that relationship and to honor that character, which she had played for so many years.
How many episodes will she be in?
Frolov: She’s going to be in three episodes.
What is coming up for April and Ethan considering they both checked in on the other’s marital status?
Schneider: Let’s just say everyone should be very happy.
Frolov: Yeah. It’s a good story. It has a nice ending. As Andy said, we very much wanted to see this relationship develop in a nice way.
April mentioned she had finished her NP (nurse practitioner) program.
Schneider: That’s true. She comes to this season with a whole new skill set and at a professional level which she didn’t have before.
Frolov: She’s gonna bring a patient into Med. And so we’re gonna see that in her, her change professionally.
What can we expect from her dynamics with everyone at Med?
Frolov: All of them have missed her, so they’re glad to see her. And they knew about her going into this program. With Ethan, it’s this little delicate dance they’re doing and where are they? What are their feelings? And so that’s what we’ll be really concentrating on is that relationship.
With April’s return, I can’t help but wonder about any other major characters returning. What are the chances of someone else popping up or getting an update on anyone who’s left? Especially Connor (Colin Donnell)? But also Natalie (Torrey DeVitto)? Reese (Rachel DiPillo)?
Frolov: We talk about it all the time. So it’s a possibility.
Schneider: Yeah. The great thing about the Wolf One Chicago universe is that if the character is alive, they can always come back to the show. And as you’ve seen more than once, we’ve done that.
Will has zero luck with love. How is his and Hannah’s (Jessy Schram) relationship going forward? Just professional? Possibly romantic?
Frolov: The beginning, we’re gonna just see a development of their friendship. So, they’re on a new track now. They have more insight to one another. We’ll see that develop. They’re on cases together. So for now it’s a blossoming friendship, I’d say.
Schneider: But things could always progress beyond that.
How torn is Maggie (Marlyne Barrett) going to be about Grant (Wayne T. Carr) being back in her life due to Vanessa (Asha Cooper), even if she’s trying to keep him out of it?
Schneider: This is an ongoing story this season, because Grant was her first love and the father of her beloved daughter.
Frolov: And she loves Ben [Charles Malik Whitfield].
Schneider: She loves Ben, but there is something she finds very hard to let go about Grant and it’s gonna cause conflict in her relationship with Ben.
Frolov: We are not going to see Blake. We are going to see the aftermath of what happened in terms of their relationship and how Crockett feels about his decision. That’s going to impact him going forward for a while. He’s gonna start a different story arc —
Schneider: — where he becomes kind of a celebrity surgeon after a big hero move, and he’s suddenly getting a kind of attention he never sought or expected.
So is he throwing himself into his work, considering all the complications of his love life last season?
Frolov: I guess you could say that.
Schneider: He always does. No matter what they’re doing personally, they throw themselves into their work.
Dean (Steven Weber) and his son seem to possibly be reconnecting. How is that going to affect him?
Frolov: Yes, we’re gonna see him struggle with that. They are going to start a relationship again, and that’s going to be a long season arc. And it’ll reveal more about Archer to us about his vulnerabilities.
Schneider: We actually meet the son in the second episode.
Are we going to see Dean talking to Charles (Oliver Platt) more about it? To Ethan?
Schneider: Yes, Charles is one of the few people that Dean, as you saw in the premiere, has shared that story with.
How is Charles’ search for a new therapist going to go? That one at the end of the premiere clearly wasn’t a good fit.
Frolov: He is gonna continue on this journey, on this search for his new therapist and it’s gonna be a bumpy road. Charles is going through this personal search and we’re also looking at psychiatry from his point of view, not just in the hospital, but personally. So it makes our storylines about psychiatry this year have a lot of weight.
Schneider: What we want to explore, which we’ve learned something about in our research, is that the way psychiatry is practiced today is different than it was practiced when Charles was a medical student and a resident. And so he’s coming up against new thoughts, new modalities, new treatments that aren’t always in his opinion correct. The one thing that Charles has over a doctor like Nellie Cuevas [Lilah Richcreek Estrada] is that he has 30 years of clinical experience, which is far more instructive than all the textbooks you can read.
I was going to ask if we’ll see that in that dynamic with Nellie, because we’ve seen him teach someone before, but it seemed very different in the premiere.
Frolov: You’re right. It’s very different. She’s a fellow so she’s well trained. She’s more of a colleague —
Schneider: — than a mentee.
Frolov: Yeah. So there is a struggle there. He is the senior doc, but she’s well qualified.
What’s coming up with Sharon? What’s her biggest challenge this season?
Frolov: With the shortages —
Schneider: — which we’re going to delve into more. This is a real issue in hospitals in America now, due to supply chain issues, there are real shortages of pharmaceuticals and tubing and equipment.
Frolov: Yeah. And so hospitals have to figure out a way how to allocate medicines, it’s a kind of a triage at times. Which patient needs it the most? So as you can imagine, that raises all kinds of ethical questions. It creates conflict and it also makes people come together because they’re kind of fighting the same enemy, which is this situation.
Who will Sharon be in conflict with the most over this? Will it be mostly Sharon-Will conflict, like we’ve seen in the past or…?
Frolov: You saw that we hinted at it in the premiere with the blood shortage. That was just the first thing, [with] Crockett —
Schneider: — in the second episode, again, it’s Crockett against Will over something and she has to mediate it.
I know three-show crossovers are difficult to plan with production schedules and COVID protocols, but Med is the perfect place for Fire and P.D. to show up occasionally, like with the small crossovers. How much will we see that this season?
Frolov: There’s a number of times we’re gonna see that, see those crossovers.
Schneider: So far, there’s already been a few. You’re gonna see your beloved characters from the other shows popping up here and there.
Frolov: And I think our, our people pop over there.
Chicago Med, Wednesdays, 8/7c, NBC