Chicago Med Season 3 Episode 5 Review: Mountains and Molehills

By Elizabeth Harlow at

What a hot mess.

It's hard to decide what was most disappointing about Chicago Med Season 3 Episode 5. The lackluster handling of the AIDS storyline? The never-ending downward spiral of Sarah Reese? The lack of gravitas around Noah's first death notification? 

Even the glorious S. Epatha Merkerson couldn't pull that AIDS story out of the garbage fire it got thrown into. I get that budgetary restrictions are a theme this season, but doesn't this topic deserve a little more depth? 

The scene where Sharon shared her old patient files almost rose to the meet the standard of pathos that was deserved, but even that didn't quite make it over the hurdle. 

Maybe it's just me and the fact that growing up in Indiana in the '90s we were overexposed to the story of Ryan White, or because I've lost people I've loved to the disease.

Advancements in HIV treatments have made cases of full-blown AIDS in the US rare, and April wasn't wrong when she told the patient that it's not a death sentence, that a person can live a full life with the diagnosis.

But to me, that's even more of a reason that this should have been handled with more empathy. Because even with those treatments, even with news of a handful of HIV remission cases, it is an epidemic, and it's been making a comeback. 

The supposed AIDS stigma that the patient was sensitive to because of her upbringing in Africa wasn't even given the weight it deserved. 

There was more outrage from Sharon about Ethan (once again) coming close to violating HIPAA than about the ever-shrinking resources available to HIV and AIDS patients in financial need. 

So yeah, that case probably wins the title of "biggest letdown." But the hits just kept on coming with other cases. 

My complaints about Noah's case and Sarah's increasing paranoia are related. Noah's first death notification, one for a kid he liked and related too, should have been a character-defining moment.

Instead, it was just the impetus for Sarah to spaz out once more, and again to have no one do anything about it. 

I'm not sure that Noah was ready for the evolution that the case should have brought him, but if it had to happen, that should have been the focus. I wanted to have him agonize more over the case, question his skills as a doctor, question his delivery method. 

I was so hopeful when he tried to continue resuscitation longer when Connor was ready to give up, but by the time he got to the grievance room, he seemed more concerned with performance anxiety than anything else. 

Still, his decision to not go to Doris' party indicates some growth, but honestly, he could be bailing just because his face hurts. Or maybe the blow to the head knocked some sense into him, and he recognizes that Doris is the worst. 

Some of you may disagree that Sarah's lingering anxiety from Dr. Charles' shooting is just the worst, and I can understand your point. It's certainly not unreasonable that she could be suffering some kind of stress disorder after an incident of workplace violence.

But it is nuts to me that nobody has stepped in and made her get help. She's had two meltdowns in the workplace and is increasingly unable to do her job.

Residency isn't usually the kind of gig where you just decide to stop seeing patients and focus on research. 

And isn't she supposed to be seeing a therapist so that she can better understand the process and relate to her patients? Shouldn't her attitude -- that basically all psych patients be assumed to be violent or gaming the system -- get her a negative review? 

I'm just frustrated that it's taking SO. DAMN. LONG. to resolve this issue. What happened to the Sarah Reese who chased patients into alleyways? I miss the Sarah Reese who wasn't always sure how to help but was assured of her need to do so. 

Thankfully, this dreadfully drawn-out arc may be coming to an end. 

Because Sarah's visit to the gun shop is going to come back to bite her in the ass. Being prepared is one thing, but when she uses her pepper spray on a patient on Chicago Med Season 3 Episode 6, Dr. Charles and Sharon may finally have to step in and help the young doctor. 

Will and Nat still won't be allowed to escape all things baby though -- Will has another patient who has gone crazy with baby fever, while Nat has a patient who has been sterilized without consent. Will these two ever have to deal with ethics issues unrelated to the reproductive system? 

I'm a little worried about Sharon and Maggie, too. They'll be brainstorming about how to get more patients through the doors, which just sounds wrong. I know there's a budget crisis, but "persuading paramedics to bring in more patients" sound super shady.

Did you find anything redeeming about "Mountains and Molehills" or were left feeling as despondent as I was? We want to hear your thoughts in the comments section! We know that true Chicago Med Fanatics will have lots to share. 

You can always catch up by reading our past Chicago Med reviews, or you can watch Chicago Med online.