Chicago Med Season 1 Episode 17 Review: Withdrawal

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Everyone's got to have a little respect, y'all. 

Some of the docs sure struggled with that idea on Chicago Med Season 1 Episode 17. Luckily, they all had somebody to talk them around it. Whether it's respecting a patient's decisions, another person's relationship(s) or the direction somebody is taking in life, respect is an important part of medicine. And life. 

While the whole Jehovah's Witness objection to surgery has become an overdone story on medical dramas, Med put a fresh spin on it. Instead of the usual – a child in need of treatment whose parents object and the doctors have to find a way to circumvent them – we had two seemingly rational adults.

Because we are always given two to four "main" medical cases, there was a less than thorough explanation of the Jehovah Witness' beliefs, and a simple Wikipedia search yielded some information.

Still, I have to respect the decision to go in a different direction. Even if the writers didn't clarify, it got me Googling. 

And really, the point of this case wasn't about the specific beliefs of the patient, but rather, respecting them. Dewey may have had to come close to whacking Connor over the head to get the lesson in, but at least he got it. That green bandage on Dewey's belly was a nice touch.

It doesn't have to make sense to us. If he believed he would longer if his wounds were dressed in green bandages, then we give him green bandages.


Unfortunately, I'm not sure all the docs picked up the moral quite as quickly. After weeks of improvement, Halstead was back to his old self. 

I found myself rather ambivalent about this case. On one hand, I loved April standing up for her patient, and I wish we could have seen Sharon stepping back into her role as a clinical nurse rather than just hearing about it after the fact.

On the other hand, it had Will acting like a major jackass again, and it's entirely unbelievable that he's never before run into a case like this as the chief resident of a trauma program. It highlights one of the weaknesses of Med – there's not a lot of nuance to how the doctors treat patients. 

Considering all of our doctors other than Sarah have been practicing medicine for a while, they shouldn't be struggling with the ethics of basic things like how to treat the DTs. If the show wants to convey that kind of earnest high mindedness, they need more students and interns. 

Will: It's not my job to listen. I'm a doctor. It's my job to decide what's best for him.
April: *That* is exactly why I'm a nurse.

I appreciated that Nat was finally given the opportunity to grieve Jeff on screen. The fact that her husband died about a year ago had made Will's flirtation difficult to stomach, but allowing her the chance to process her loss will make any future relationships she enters into less...icky.

Honestly, it was refreshing to have a show honor the loss of a partner. It seems to be the TV norm to have a character hooking up with a new hot romance within months (if not weeks) of their spouse dying some horrific death. I always feel exhausted for the characters jumping from one relationship to the next!

I also liked that it was Helen – who banished Will a while back – who told Nat it was time to "move forward." The topic was handled rather sensitively. I didn't love that she left the ring at the grave for a lot of reasons, but I do get the symbolism.

Helen: Natalie...what do they call this? Broken heart syndrome? Your grieving is so great that it's put you in a hospital bed and is keeping you from coming home to see your son. So, maybe you just need to let go a little bit.
Nat: How can you say that? I could never let go of Jeff!
Helen: I don't mean let go of him. Just...move forward.

A few more random notes: Was I the only one who thought Choi giving away the parrot from Chicago Med Season 1 Episode 16 was totally bananas? That patient didn't die! I could see him taking care of the bird while the guy got back on his feet (literally and figuratively), but you don't re-home somebody else's pet!

I'm also getting more and more curious about the as-of-yet unseen Bert. I just can't shake the notion that there's something going on with him, something that Dr. Charles will hopefully use his magic powers to diagnose during the double date. I can't wait to see who ends up playing him. 

Sharon: You haven't been out in a while.
Daniel: You know, there's a reason for that. There's this new study out, says dating can lead to marriage.
Sharon: It's just a friendly dinner.
Daniel: Yeah, and I'm still paying two and a half alimonies. Those friendly dinners can get expensive.

There's only one more episode left! Chicago Med Season 1 Episode 18 ("Timing") airs on May 17th, and then we'll have to face the long summer hiatus. The finale looks like it'll give us plenty to talk about as we wait out the break, though. How all the plots are going to get squeezed into a single hour is a mystery.

At the forefront, Connor will be tackling Dr. Dewey's final treatment, and his patient is going to ask a lot of him. While Rhodes faces the ethical and legal ramifications of his mentor's request, Sharon has her own personal battle going down – could it be Bert?

Sarah and Will both face uncertain futures, which I'm sure will just bring out the best aspects of their personalities. Will Sharon be able (or willing) to help either of them while in the midst of her her own issues?

I'd hate to see Sarah go, but Will might have shot himself in the foot after the way he confronted Sharon at the end of "Withdrawal."

Nat and Ethan will both have to confront their pasts. For Ethan, this clearly means dealing with his PTSD in an unconventional manner, but what could Nat have to face up to? It's hard to imagine that her husband is what's "catching up to her." Med isn't quite soapy enough for him to be miraculously alive. 

It'd be totally understandable to have a binge session before the finale – and luckily, you can watch Chicago Med online!

Let us know your thoughts about "Withdrawal" and your predications for the upcoming "Timing" down in the comments section!

Withdrawal Review

Editor Rating: 3.75 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (27 Votes)

Elizabeth Harlow was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She left the organization in October 2018.

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Chicago Med Season 1 Episode 17 Quotes

Sharon: You haven't been out in a while.
Daniel: You know, there's a reason for that. There's this new study out, says dating can lead to marriage.
Sharon: It's just a friendly dinner.
Daniel: Yeah, and I'm still paying two and a half alimonies. Those friendly dinners can get expensive.

Ethan: That mean if I feed you some seeds you'll forget about teaching this course?
Vicki: And miss two months in Bethesda? It's the vacation capital of Montgomery county.