Geez, Chicago Med, could you be any sadder?
Chicago Med Season 6 Episode 6 had me reaching for the tissue box more than once. Between Marcel's connection with a cancer patient, Anna's chemical pregnancy, and Augie's liver failure, this was a heartbreaking hour of television.
Thank goodness that at least there were some happy endings. And that Sharon was able to bend the rules for Augie's sake.
I couldn't have taken it if Augie had died because of DCFS's rules.
That little boy has been through so much, and Maggie and Ben have grown attached to him.
It was painful enough that he was suffering from end-stage liver disease and was having so much confusion on top of the physical problems.
And then that DCFS worker shrugged off his probable death as the rules are the rules.
There's already so much bureaucracy involved with health care as it is, with complicated insurance rules and criteria for eligibility for transplants (and clinical trials, as Will discovered on Chicago Med Season 6 Episode 5.).
And to deny Augie an emergency transplant because he didn't have a family seemed both cruel and against DCFS's mission.
The Department of Children and Family Services is supposed to protect vulnerable children and families. It's not supposed to be the department of ruining kids' lives.
It's supposed to give support to parents who are struggling, put children in foster care only as a last resort, and then give foster families support so they can help these kids thrive.
In theory, anyway.
But instead, a DCFS worker who is not a medical professional was allowed to overrule the hospital administration's decision to approve a controversial procedure to save a foster child's life.
And DCFS's ruling put Augie in a catch-22. He needed his foster parents to make decisions on his behalf, but they weren't allowed to because they were his foster parents rather than family.
Thank goodness Sharon was able to find a way around that! I don't understand why she didn't threaten to go to the press the first time DCFS got in the way of Augie's treatment, but at least she did it once Maggie told her she intended to adopt him.
It's a good thing Maggie had the sense to go to Sharon, too. If she'd gone to Choi, she'd have gotten a lecture about following the rules, and Augie would have died while they were arguing about it.
April: Hey. How you doing? Did you even make it home last night?
Choi: Huh? I'm kind of busy.
April: You're your own worst enemy, Ethan.
Speaking of which, April was way too quick to forgive Choi.
As Abrams said, this was one of the only times Choi got it right. Just because he could handle a patient whose condition caused him to lash out verbally doesn't mean he deserves an award.
Choi made up for that decent behavior by being ridiculous about Will's obligations to the clinical trial.
If Will could take care of all his ED patients before he made his presentation, Choi was NOT so short-staffed that he needed Will. He was just on a power trip as usual.
And his nonsense seems to have pushed Will toward giving up his position in the ED altogether to become a full-time researcher. Good job pushing away one of your best surgeons, Ethan!
Meanwhile, both Marcel and Charles had emotional, compelling storylines.
Charles' was doubly compelling because of the parallels between his home situation with Anna and his patient's situation with Kelly.
Anna: It was one time, okay, and we tried to be careful.
Charles: I have to ask you this. Did anyone pressure you?
Anna: No! No one pressured me to do anything! It was Ryan, my boyfriend.
Charles: Your boyfriend? I thought Mom doesn't want you to date.
Anna: She doesn't. She doesn't want me to do anything!
Charles: Does she know about this?
Anna: God, no! You're not gonna tell her, are you?
Charles: No. You are. Honey, I want you to feel you can talk to us about things like this.
Anna: I was going to tell you before your lawyer showed up.
Charles: Oh. The situation with your mom is complicated.
Anna: Yeah. I get it. You guys are so busy fighting you forgot I existed.
I'm not sure where Anna got the idea that her parents forgot about her. Charles is constantly pushing her to spend time with him and to talk to him.
But I guess it's pretty typical of kids who are the center of a custody battle or an otherwise messy divorce.
The thing that hit me the hardest about any of this is that Kelly's mother wasn't the only one who felt her child was now a stranger; Charles did too.
I'm still curious about why Kelly's kidnapper took her in the first place.
We may never get an answer to that. But her struggle and her mother's to adjust to one another was realistic anyway.
And then, of course, we got to Dr. Marcel and his cancer patient.
Marcel's grown on me a ton since his introduction. At first, he was semi-sleazy, I wasn't sure if he'd drugged April at the crawfish boil, and he was a rather annoying replacement for Dr. Rhodes.
But now, he's reminding me more and more of Mandy Patinkin's Jeffrey Geiger on Chicago Hope back in 1996.
Geiger was one of my favorite characters back then because his torment over his infant son's death led him to act obnoxiously toward patients and colleagues, but it was obvious that it came from a place of pain.
Marcel has a similar character arc. It's not a redux, obviously, but it's close enough to get my attention.
Marcel: You know, my daughter died of leukemia just a few months after her first birthday.
Cindy: I'm so sorry. That must be horrible.
Marcel: She used to fall asleep on my chest. Greatest feeling in the world. Man, I remember looking down at her little face, imagining all the things I was gonna do with her. Take her to see Santa, teach her to ride a bike. Walk her down the aisle. She was so small but so tough, you know? Put up one hell of a fight. Taught me more about courage and resilience than I can learn in a life time. I don't talk about this with many people.
Cindy: Why did you?
Marcel: Because your life is just as precious as my little girl's. And you need to fight for it.
And he made me cry twice in one hour, too.
Marcel's speech to Cindy, the cancer patient who didn't want treatment, was one of the most emotional aspects of the hour. And if that wasn't hard enough to watch, then Marcel came home and looked at his daughter's baby things.
I prefer stories about this side of Marcel's character.
His relationship with Nat is going in circles, with her constantly thinking he doesn't want anything serious and running away, only to come back around to apologize.
I hope for less of that and more of Marcel's grief as Chicago Med Season 6 continues.
Your turn, Chicago Med fanatics!
What made you cry the most? Did Ethan redeem himself in your eyes? Did Will make the right decision by considering a move into full-time research?
Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know your thoughts.
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Chicago Med airs on NBC on Wednesdays at 8 PM EST/PST.