Chicago Med is full of surprises!
When NBC announced that Chicago Med Season 5 Episode 2 would feature a power failure, I thought this was going to be another ridiculous soap opera set up.
The power failure in the hospital is a tried-and-true medical drama trope, but Chicago Med pulled it off...and focused on medical storylines. Now THIS is the Chicago Med I fell in love with!
One thing was clear after the power failure: Maggie can't keep it secret that she's getting chemotherapy.
It's irresponsible and could endanger both her and her patients. That's why Goodwin told her to find a replacement nurse for Will's case and that's the real reason she ended up in an isolation room.
It turned out that the patients' symptoms were psychosomatic, but still. If Will had been right about them having a mystery infection, Maggie and her compromised immune system would have been in big trouble.
And what if chemotherapy makes her too weak to take care of patients? That could be disastrous in so many ways.
As Chicago Med Season 5 goes on, Maggie may get weaker and weaker. I'd be surprised if her secret stays secret past Christmas, if it even lasts that long.
Will: What did you do?
Charles: Um, tic-tacs.
Curry: You gave them a placebo?
Charles: Orange ones have been my go-to of late. Don't get me wrong. They're gonna need some therapy, figure out the weight of the world isn't on their shoulders. Intra-family work.
Will: What do you mean?
Charles: You've heard of mass psychogenic illness?
Will: Yeah, like mass hysteria, right?
Charles: Very easy to misdiagnose. In Salem they called it witchcraft.
Will: So the seizures and the tremors, you're telling me they really were from...
Charles: Stress and anxiety manifested as physical symptoms spread through social groups by unconscious imitation. It happens more often than you think. Remarkable how far our brains will go to avoid dealing with emotions we don't want to confront.
It was so good to see Dr. Charles figuring out a psychiatric mystery.
Way back when, one of Chicago Med's unique selling points was that its psychiatrist was a major character who often diagnosed patients with interesting psychiatric maladies. That has gotten lost in the shuffle lately, taking a back seat to all the relationship drama, including Charles' own!
But not this time. As soon as the camera pulled back to focus on Charles standing in the corner observing Will and Lacey, I knew he was developing a theory!
The girls' explanation that there was a gas leak at school was plausible until the school was given a clean bill of environmental health.
At that point, it was obvious they suffered from some sort of delusion. And then when Lacey insisted she had to study for her AP Calculus exam while suffering from seizures, it was clear that that pressure was contributing to her illness.
Charles: Wow. Calculus. I'm impressed you can concentrate on this given the circumstances.
Lacey: I don't have a choice. AP exam is next week.
Charles: I'm sure we could get you a medical extension.
Lacey: People who get medical extensions don't get into Princeton.
Giving the girls Tic-Tacs was a stroke of genius! Charles' vague explanation of what the "drugs" were sounded like some sort of anti-anxiety pill, or perhaps an anti-psychotic -- not a placebo. Nice twist!
Noah's conflict with Marcel presented an ethical dilemma, though the ethics part wasn't explored as deeply as it might have been.
Did Mr. Lance need the bypass? Maybe. Marcel certainly used enough medical terms to make it sound that way.
Marcel: I know this isn't what you expected -
Noah: Dr. Marcel!
Marcel: But trust me when I say you may be one cheeseburger away from a far worse event than the one you experienced today.
But he could just as easily have been scaring a guy into unnecessary surgery. Even if Marcel's prognosis was right, was the way he put it the best way to go about it?
Noah's nerves when he had to assist with the surgery probably came from how high the stakes were, but his conflict over whether Marcel had treated the patient properly in the first place didn't help!
Also, Marcel was overly eager to get Noah to agree to work in the Emergency Department after he graduated What was that all about? The world could use more clinics, especially in underserved areas. If Noah wants to open one, more power to him.
In any case, Noah faired better than Ethan's student.
It wasn't surprising that Steve decided to quit medicine. He froze while dealing with his patient, which was understandable given the circumstances. Not many medical students expect to spend their first day operating on a blood-covered guy in a non-OR setting because of a power failure!
Ethan asked April if he was too hard on Steve. That wasn't exactly the issue. Ethan treated Steve like a full-fledged doctor and didn't have time to hold his hand through his first procedure because the stakes were so high.
If Ethan had allowed April to stay in the room, it might have turned out differently. She seemed to have the same calming influence on Steve as she does on everyone else. But there was too much going on for her to take much time to nurture Steve either.
Despite Lanik's concerns, Natalie did fine on her first day back. She had one minuscule episode where she seemed to forget what she was saying for half a second and she needed help intubating the patient, but she more than held her own while stuck in the elevator.
The only remnant of her accident is her inability to remember whether or not Philip proposed to her. Judging from that last annoying interaction with Will, that nonsense is going to drag on for a while.
It's a shame. A story in which Natalie had actual problems as the result of her traumatic brain injury might have been interesting. Instead, we get more of an uninteresting triangle.
Plus, it's obvious she and Will are end game since Philip is now a bad guy who is lying to her for his own reasons. Triangles are no fun when the writers tell us ahead of time who we're supposed to be rooting for!
What did you think, Chicago Med fanatics? Was Marcel right to insist the patient consent to a bypass? Did you figure out what was wrong with Will's patient before Dr. Charles did? And does ANYBODY want to see another round of Will/Natalie?
Let us know in the comments! And if you missed anything, be sure to watch Chicago Med online to catch up.
Chicago Med airs on NBC on Wednesdays at 8 PM EST/PST.
Jack Ori is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.