Why do otherwise strong dramas feel the need to have characters randomly get kidnapped?
Chicago Med Season 5 Episode 16 took the randomness factor to extremes with an abduction story that didn't make much sense.
It was an otherwise fine hour of television, but Nat and Marcel's dilemma was unnecessary -- except it got Nat to hug him at the end.
There was a way this story could have worked, but what we got wasn't it.
The kidnappers seemed to be making their plan up as they went along. It certainly wasn't clear why they were doing anything they decided to do.
There was no clear purpose for the abduction. At first, it seemed they wanted to force the doctors to treat Tyler's leg injury. But why kidnap them from a hospital and then rant about how they couldn't get caught by going to a hospital?
Wouldn't it have been easier to use assumed names and go into the ED?
It wasn't like anyone was aware that there was a convicted murderer on the loose. No one was worried about it until Jay said the prints belonged to some guy who escaped from prison.
Look, if he doesn't get surgery he's going to lose his leg. We need to get him to the hospital.Nat
After abducting Nat and Marcel from the parking lot, the bad guys engaged in a ton of random and unnecessary violence.
The worst was after they fixed Tyler's leg and he decided to hold onto them "as insurance," only to let them go almost immediately when the cops caught up with him.
So what was the point of holding onto them, then? Other than the obvious drama of Marcel stopping a random suicide attempt so that Nat could think he got shot when the gun went off.
It's a soap opera trope for people who are on the cusp of falling hard for each other to get kidnapped together to push them over the edge. That's what this bizarre kidnapping story seemed to be all about.
The kidnappers were random goons whose motives were unclear and just wanted to be violent for the sake of it. That doesn't make for gripping drama.
The fallout might be interesting, though. It wasn't that long ago that Nat was castigating Will for having a gun when he was suffering from PTSD post-Mafia abduction.
Could Nat also have some PTSD after this, or at least some understanding of what Will had been going through?
Meanwhile, April and Ethan certainly knew how to mind other people's business.
For once, Ethan listened to April and waited until after the procedure so that he didn't inadvertently kill his patient. But April made up for it by coming at Jasmine in a judgmental matter and not listening at all to anything Jasmine had to say.
I guess they had an obligation to inform Annette she'd been scammed, but what good could that have done, especially right after she'd already donated liver tissue?
April: If you knew Jasmine wasn't yours, why didn't you say something?
Annette: I was just a baby myself when I got pregnant. I made some bad choices, trying to provide for my little girl, ended up doing time. That's how I lost her. But I never stopped thinking about her. So when Jasmine called, I knew it was God giving me another chance to do some good, to make it up to Zora somehow. So I played along.
After they told her the truth, neither one of the pair seemed to be able to get their heads around why Annette was happy with this arrangement.
It almost felt as if they wanted her to press charges.
It would have been much better for April to talk calmly with Jasmine about what she knew and try to get Jasmine to tell Annette the truth herself. Then we could have had a heartwarming scene in which the surprise twist was that Annette knew and wanted to be part of Jasmine's family.
Instead, it came off as yet another time where Ethan was nosy and overly opinionated about how his patients should run their lives.
Charles: Your mother has not been contacted. Everything all right there?
Krista: Ever since I started college, she's gone psycho helicopter mom on me.
Dr. Charles' case was undoubtedly the most compelling of the hour.
While Krista was technically an adult, her refusal to take her anti-psychotic could have put her or the people around her in danger, so it was understandable that her mother would want to step in.
Yet Charles was right that Joanne's way of handling the situation was illegal and unethical. It constituted drugging her daughter against her will, and it could have been fatal.
It's a good thing Krista didn't have much medication in her system when she decided to drink or she could have had a worse interaction than she did.
Joanne: I wish I could just shake her and get her to see she's throwing her future away.
Charles: Our basic, most primal instinct is to protect our kids, especially from their own bad decisions, which is where it gets tricky.
Legally speaking, Charles was right: Joanne had to let Krista make her own decisions even if it meant ending up in a mental hospital.
Yet at the same time, Joanne was right that there had to be a better way to deal with this than allowing Krista to be institutionalized until she straightened herself out.
Surprisingly, nobody asked Krista why she didn't want to take the meds anymore. That might have been a starting point for educating her about the likely consequences of stopping her medication and resolving whatever it was that was blocking her from continuing with the meds.
It was odd that Will was part of this case. He didn't interact with the patient much, if at all.
And where was Elsa? This story seemed tailor-made for one of her impulsive and unhelpful decisions.
Will did enough damage with Hannah, though.
It would be nice if he learned his lesson and backed off her already. He tried to take over her care and break the rehab rules by offering her pharmaceutical treatment for her withdrawal symptoms.
What in the world was he thinking?
Your turn, Chicago Med fanatics.
Hit the blue SHOW COMMENTS button and share your thoughts on Nat and Marcel's abduction, Ethan and April's patient, or anything else Chicago Med.
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Chicago Med continues to air on NBC on Wednesdays at 8 PM EST/PST. The next new episode airs on March 18, 2020.