Chicago Med has drifted more and more to the soap opera side of things.
But like all good soaps, it throws in some powerful, relatable stories alongside the love triangles and unnecessary secrets.
Chicago Med Season 5 Episode 8 was a shining example of that. Maggie and Ben's story was heartbreaking.
Maggie's devastation over Ben's prognosis was surprisingly painful.
She only met Ben on Chicago Med Season 5 Episode 7, and their relationship seemed rushed.
They went from acquaintances to lovers in the course of one afternoon. While cancer patients have reason to seize the day, that seemed ridiculous.
Natalie: With your weakened immuned system, I'm afraid it's only a matter of time before the virus begins attacking your other organs.
Ben: You're saying this is gonna kill me? Measles is gonna kill me?
Maggie: Natalie. There has to be something.
Ben: How long are we looking at? Months? Weeks? Days?
Natalie: If what I suspect is true, I'm afraid so.
Yet from the moment Maggie learned that Ben was dying, her desperation to save him and determination to at least let him die at home the way he wanted was believable and relatable and made for riveting television.
Maggie took a lot of risks for Ben -- and not just forging Natalie's signature on the discharge paperwork.
It remains to be seen whether that will result in any consequences beyond Natalie being annoyed, though my guess is it won't. Everyone feels bad for Maggie, and Ben got returned to the hospital before too long.
But Maggie risked her health. Her chemo treatments also compromise her immune system, and if Ben were going to pass measles along to anyone, it would most likely be her.
Even though they only knew each other a short time, Ben meant a lot to Maggie, and it may be difficult for her to pick up the pieces after his death.
Mental and emotional health can affect cancer's trajectory, too. Will losing Ben negatively impact Maggie's recovery from cancer?
It seemed so cruel for Maggie to lose Ben just as she was finding some happiness despite her cancer diagnosis.
Cruel, but realistic.
Sadly, chemotherapy is sometimes just as bad as the disease it's trying to cure.
In Ben's case, his immune system was so compromised by the chemo that he was like a patient with AIDS before there was treatment available to reverse the havoc that disease wreaks on the immune system
Every one of Maggie's scenes was well-written and well-acted.
Maggie: I know this is technically illegal -
Natalie: And unethical. I can't change his charts to say he's post-infectuous when he's not.
Maggie: Natalie, please. I am begging you to let me honor the only wish I can still honor.
Natalie: I'm sorry, but it isn't about him. It's about the public. I can't do it.
Her plea to Natalie was so heartfelt, but Natalie was right -- she couldn't fudge Ben's chart and put other people at risk because Maggie wanted to help him die at home.
The most powerful scene of all was when Maggie was about to take Ben inside and realized that there were a ton of kids around that she and Ben could have exposed to measles.
Her guilt and Ben's quiet acceptance that he would have to die in the hospital was one of the highlights of this episode.
As for Noah, who DIDN'T think that letting an ex-gang member stay at his place would end badly?
Hacienda was on the run from the gang, for goodness sake. It didn't take a lot of brainpower to realize that members of that gang might target Noah because of his association with her.
Noah: Can you do me a solid and keep this between us? I don't want April...
Marcel: To kick your ass?
Marcel should not have let him leave the hospital during his shift to take Hacienda home.
And he DEFINITELY should not have continued covering for him once he was brought into the hospital beaten to a pulp.
Marcel was right that it wasn't his place to tell April, but he should have been more forthcoming with the police. The sooner they had all the information, the sooner they could try to catch Noah's assailants.
That said, this Ethan/April/Marcel triangle has got to go.
Love triangles are overused on most soap operas, and Chicago Med is still wrapping up the unnecessary Philip/Natalie/Will triangle.
Besides, I'm still not convinced that kiss between April and Marcel was consensual.
Marcel said he misread signals after they had been drinking, but April's reaction to the drink was more like someone who had gotten drugged.
Either way, I could do without Marcel and Ethan standing around looking jealous whenever April talks to the other one.
Sharon: I want Dr. Lanic running point on this one.
Choi: Ms. Goodwin -
Sharon: You know as well as I do. You're too close to Dr. Sexton.
Choi: I can separate my personal feelings from my -
Sharon: No. Dr. Lanic will keep you updated. And you're needed in the ED.
And although Sharon took Ethan off Noah's case because he was too close to Noah, April was the one who was incapable of making professional decisions.
Not only were Marcel and Lanic fighting about treatment options for her brother, but she was so angry at Marcel for not telling her what Noah was up to that she refused to side with him about anything.
She had no real power in the decision anyway, but still. Her kneejerk anti-Marcel comments didn't help anything.
Ethan and Dr. Charles unconventionally dealt with an unconventional case, but the more important question is whether CeCe is still in Charles' life.
She was talked about but never seen, and Dr. Charles said she wasn't feeling up to coming to dinner.
CeCe seemed to be fine last time viewers saw her. She was busy encouraging Maggie to ask Ben out.
Is she sick, or did she and Charles have some falling out that he doesn't want to admit ended their relationship?
The case itself was ridiculous, and I'm not sure a psychiatrist would be called in on this matter.
Dennis wanted to turn his life into a reality show and was making stupid decisions, but the bottom line was that it's his life, and he had the right to refuse surgery for dumb reasons.
The doctors on Chicago Med often try every trick in the book to get patients to consent to things they don't want to consent to, and it often seems like they are overriding patients' right to consent or not to save their lives.
Sometimes it works out well, and other times it causes disasters. Just ask Will or Natalie.
Speaking of Will, can he be THAT oblivious?
Elsa has the most obvious crush on him that anyone has ever had on anyone in the history of television, but he seemed to have no clue she was interested.
Elsa is a smart, if socially inept, character, and I'd hate to see her get reduced to standing in doorways looking sad and jealous. It's bad enough that Ethan and Marcel are doing that with April.
Their case was mildly interesting, but the parents consented to a super dangerous procedure too quickly, and it worked out perfectly. There wasn't much of a story there.
What did you think, Chicago Med fanatics?
How heartbreaking was Ben's prognosis?
Did Dr. Charles' story catch your interest?
And is anyone interested in the Marcel/April/Ethan triangle?
Take to the comments with your thoughts! And if you missed anything, watch Chicago Med online to refresh your memory.
Chicago Med airs on NBC on Wednesdays at 8 PM EST/PST. Its fall finale will air on November 20, 2019.
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