The Chicago Fire we all know and love threw us a bit of a change up, as this week’s episode “I Am The Apocolypse,” served as a backdoor pilot for the possible spinoff show Chicago Med. It remains to be seen whether or not a third Chicago show will grace our screens in the fall, but if it does, this is the episode that will have introduced us into that world.
If that is indeed the case, then I have to say that so far Chicago Med reminds me a whole lot of another fictional Chicago-based hospital: County General. Now it may just be that I don’t watch a lot of medical shows as of late, but this certainly had a similar feel an ER episode of yesteryear. You know the ones, where some catastrophic event happens and the doctors and nurses have to keep putting out one small fire after another as they pop up throughout. Only this is also Chicago Fire, so some of those “fires” are actual real-life fires.
All that being said, and while some similarities to ER are a good thing, there’s no Doug Ross, Mark Greene or Carol Hathaway here for me to love from the word “go” and get behind. I wanted to like Chicago Med, I really did. I had reservations about whether or not we needed a third Chicago show but I was willing to roll with that concept. I’m already a big fan of Fire and PD so I trusted the showrunners enough to give me good characters I could get behind that would be enough to get me watching a third show. I really wanted to like it. But I’m sorry, from what I’ve seen so far, I just don’t. Not yet anyways.
The characters on Fire and PD are what set those shows apart for me. I rarely remember the weekly rescues or police cases, but the interactions between the characters is what sticks with me. So far nurse April, Dr. Will Halstead and the others just aren’t doing it for me. Is it hard to judge from this episode and a few other glimpses we have gotten of them? Sure, and I’ll readily admit I wish I had a bigger pool to sample from but alas, I do not and have to give my first impression here.
Let’s take Dr. Will Halstead for example as he’s poised to be the lead of Chicago Med should it happen. His brother Jay is one of my favourite characters over on PD and I feel as if I was predisposed to like him based on that fact alone. Jay has at times hidden the truth and it felt like that was what was going on with his brother. There had to be more to his story that we just don’t know yet. The only problem is, from what I have seen I don’t like him enough to have an overwhelming urge to learn more. He definitely has that cocky-Doug Ross thing about him but sorry, I’m not getting George Clooney vibes and it’s simply not drawing me in. While he did take charge of the ER well, and I respect him for that, I just don’t find myself rooting for him or caring enough to root for him and that’s a problem if he’s going to be a lead at Chicago Med.
But I hate feeling like this entire review has been negative because I actually enjoyed the episode, and when I say it reminded me of ER that’s a very good thing indeed. The characters we know and love from Fire and PD shone through and really were what made the episode special for me. From Dawson dealing with the injured old man, to Casey taking charge and calming the growing chaos inside the ER, all while worrying for his best friend’s life, to Mills and Brett fighting to save Severide, those were the standouts for me. But we’ve had three seasons with these characters and we’ve gotten to know and love them. Who’s to say I won’t feel the same after some more time with the Med cast members? After all, they have drank at Molly’s now and gotten a toast from Boden so that means they are officially “in” right?
Another of my most beloved characters is Severide. I think some of the impartial or negative vibes I have towards Will may be due to the fact that he tried to “black tag” Severide early on after he saved April from the bombing. I’ll readily admit that could have been the case because as we all know by now, you never give up on one Kelly Severide. He’ll always pull through in the end. Always.
I had another negative reaction, one I may be in the minority on, but did we really need to bring back Shay … again? It’s starting to feel like a gimmick in some ways and by constantly bringing her up or back in flashbacks and visions it feels like the writers are saying they made a mistake by killing her off. It’s as if they are admitting that they regret the decision and now whenever they need an emotionally heavy moment, or one that will really pull at the audience’s heart strings, they bringing back Shay. Stop relying on the Shay-crutch and move on once and for all.
We’ve had our mourning period and a ceremony to honour her, Severide’s said his goodbyes, went through his downward spiral and came out on the other end. Do we really need to bring her up again? Don’t get me wrong, I love Lauren German and I HATE that Shay is gone, but I’m never going to get over that, or really love the characters that are left, if you keep bringing her up. I would rather you keep giving Severide some new obstacles to deal with, let him build his friendship with Casey and keep building out the female characters you have left like Dawson and Brett.
Speaking of Dawson, she and Casey reconnected by episode’s end but is it really the reunion that Dawsey fans have been hoping for? Or is it just to help relieve the stress of the day? Again, don’t hate me Dawsey fans, but I kind of hope this wasn’t a permanent reunion. The time apart has really helped both of these characters grow and I don’t think getting back together just yet is the right move. While I want them back together eventually, I just don’t want that yet. Keep them on their independent paths and let them grow.
From the Station 51 Bulletin Board:
Another reason I may have trouble connecting to the new Med characters: after this week’s episode of The Good Wife it was hard for me to see Oliver Platt as Dr. Charles, the Head of Psychiatry.
How gross would it be to have some other guy’s ulna sticking out of your chest? Gross!
I wish we could’ve seen S. Epatha Merkerson’s character interact more with the Chicago Med staff. I’m a big fan of hers from Law & Order and think she could be good as a leader but I would’ve liked to see more.
I will say once again how much I do NOT want Mills and Brett to break up! This one REALLY has me scared guys. Someone please tell me Peter Mills won’t be leaving us.
What did you think of Chicago Med? Am I being overly critical and not giving the new characters the benefit of the doubt? Leave your thoughts about a possible third Chicago show and which characters stood out to you in the comments below.
Chicago Fire airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on NBC and Global.
Editor in Chief Bridget Liszewski comes from a long line of TV Junkies who fostered her love of television from a very young age. She's channeled that passion into covering both US and Canadian television shows, and is thankful everyday for the invention of the DVR. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, she loves college football and is a fan of sports in general. Bridget is always up for talking TV and you can follow her on twitter at @BridgetOnTV.