‘Chicago Med’ Bosses on Relationship Conflicts, Returning Characters & More (VIDEO)
Chicago Med fans have been severely deprived with only two November episodes thus far in the hospital show’s sixth season. But happy days are here again! Like its fellow Chicago One series, Med returns on January 13 with lots of new episodes.
In the 2021 premiere, the Gaffney Chicago Medical Center is still dealing with COVID, but those stories will be “tapering down,” says executive producer Diane Frolov, adding the healthcare workers will get vaccinated in Episode 5 airing February 3.
We asked Frolov and her husband, fellow exec producer Andrew Schneider, to preview this week’s episode, as well as other juicy upcoming stories for the Emergency Department’s dedicated doctors and nurses, including their always messy love lives! Here’s what’s happening with our favorite characters.
Dr. Ethan Choi (Brian Tee) and Nurse April Sexton (Yaya DaCosta)
As our exclusive video (below) reveals, when the show returns, the combustible on-and-off again couple, are still at it. Ethan, now ED chief, pulls a committed April out of the COVID ward because he is worried about her, but also, says Frolov, “because he has to make difficult decisions about balancing health care with hospital resources” and he can use her elsewhere. Not to mention the Navy veteran’s perfectionism puts pressure on himself—and the staff.
The couple tangle again when Ethan orders that a young woman who wants to leave the ED be allowed to, while April and shrink Daniel Charles (Oliver Platt) suspect she may be a kidnap victim and want to hold her. Going forward, Schneider reveals, April “could find a new purpose as a health care worker” when she gets involved in a clinical trial run by Will Halstead (Nick Gehlfuss). “She’ll have some disagreements with him,” says Frolov, “but she understands that he’s trying hard.”
Dr. Will Halstead
The show’s most aggressive fighter for what he believes has a new passion. He’s all in for the trial of a new heart failure medicine, says Schneider. Being Will, “he doesn’t always take the appropriate path, which could bring consequences,” he adds. Now that Will is single again—he and his latest girlfriend, recovering addict Dr. Hannah Asher (Jessy Schram) recently broke up—he’ll have a new enthusiasm for British cardiologist Dr. Sabeena Virani (Tehmina Sunny), who wooed him to the drug trial. There could be one big problem looming for them. “Will sometimes strays too far from the rules,” explains Schneider, and Sabeena “very much follows them.” Whether a romance between them is even ethical, of course, is another hurdle.
Dr. Crockett Marcel (Dominic Rains) and Dr. Natalie Manning (Torrey DeVitto)
Yay! Or Nay! Depending where you stand, the womanizing ED surgeon and the pediatrician continue their slow motion move towards romance. Each has problems with “vulnerability and intimacy,” says Schneider, “and they’ll have to overcome their fears to make it happen.”
His former wife Susan (Jill Abramovitz) shakes him to his core when she accepts a job transfer to Arizona and will take their teenaged daughter Anna (Hannah Alligood) with her. “As Anna and her father have drawn closer, the thought of her moving away from Chicago is a big deal for both of them,” Frolov notes. Watch for a tough custody battle.
Charge Nurse Maggie Campbell (Marlyne Barrett)
Maggie and her husband, Ben (Charles Malik Whitfield), are both cancer survivors, but now it’s Auggie, their young foster son, who needs medical intervention: a liver transplant. “Through that story and a session with Dr. Charles,” says Schneider, “we’re going to reveal some of Maggie’s past, illuminating why she is the way she is.”
Sharon Goodwin (S. Epatha Merkerson)
The no-nonsense hospital administrator has been seen only on Zoom since the show returned, as both the character and Merkerson have diabetes, which can cause serious complications in people who contract the coronavirus. Goodwin finally returns to the hospital—and Merkerson to the set—in the January 27 episode. “Because of her specific circumstances, we wanted to make sure all the protocols were really down and Epatha felt comfortable coming back,” says Frolov. We suspect we’ll see her bringing some needed calm to the ED.
Noah (Roland Buck III), April’s younger brother, is back in the ED on February 3 after a research rotation. No surprise, he’ll “cause a further rift between Ethan and April,” Schneider promises. Also back in the hospital, Goodwin’s son Michael (Hampton Fluker), a once cocky medical rep who was furloughed during the pandemic and had to move in with his mom. “They’ll have a strong and sometime contentious relationship,” Schneider says. “Now that he’s back at work, he’s very eager to prove himself again.”
Chicago Med, Wednesdays, 8/7c, NBC