Chicago Med is Losing Another Star In Season 8, And The Stage Is Already Being Set

One Chicago came back in a big way for the fall with some intense premieres, but now Chicago Med joins the likes of Chicago P.D. and Chicago Fire in losing another key character before even hitting the halfway point of the current season. Brian Tee, who has been part of Chicago Med as Dr. Ethan Choi going back to the beginning of the medical drama, is stepping away after eight seasons. The news comes not long after Guy Lockard left Med as Dr. Dylan Scott. 

Why Brian Tee Is Leaving Chicago Med

Fans will see the last of Brian Tee as a series regular in the ninth episode of Season 8, according to Deadline, which will air in December. Assuming that Med follows its usual schedule, Episode 9 should serve as the midseason finale. The actor decided to leave the hit series after his six-year contract expired to give him more time to spend with his family. 

Tee will also pursue new jobs in the entertainment industry, including directing. In fact, he’ll return to Med in the second half of Season 8 behind the camera, as he is slated to direct Episode 16. While this is sad news for fans who have been watching Ethan’s journey for the better part of a decade, Chicago Med already showed how the series can explore stories without him, as Tee was absent for several episodes of Season 7. (You can revisit Season 7 streaming with a Peacock subscription.)

Ethan still had some major emotional arcs following his gunshot wound at the end of Season 6, with his father dying and then more secrets coming out about a whole other life that his dad hid from him while still living. Ethan has seemed more at peace with himself in Season 8 after being “tremendously changed” (to quote the showrunners) in Season 7, and had a sweet reunion with April. 

How Chicago Med Is Already Setting The Stage

Looking back in light of the news of Brian Tee leaving Chicago Med, it seems that some of the drama’s moves regarding the character have been in service of Ethan's upcoming departure. Speaking with Deadline, the actor previewed that what Med has “been planning for Dr. Choi’s sendoff” is "fitting" and "beautiful," which suggests that fans don’t have to worry that a tragedy is on the way for him. 

Plus, one of his major arcs prior to Season 8 was his promotion to ED Chief, which first caused some tension with Will (who wanted the job for himself) and then resulted in Steven Weber joining the cast as new ED doctor Dean Archer, who knew Ethan from his days as a commanding officer in the Navy. 

When showrunners Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider spoke with CinemaBlend ahead of Season 8, they confirmed that this storyline for Ethan had officially come to an end. In response to my question of how the two doctors would be working together after the past tension over the ED Chief job, Frolov shared: 

They're working well together at this point. They've reconciled a lot of their differences. [Archer] is a commanding officer.

Reconciliation makes sense as a step toward an upcoming farewell! Archer has certainly settled into the role throughout Season 8 so far after Ethan decided to officially give him the top ED job back in the spring, and Ethan hasn’t struggled with working under him. Andrew Schneider elaborated on why the switch hasn’t caused any problems:

Ethan has no desire to be in charge anymore, and for Dean, it's his natural fit. He doesn't have an axe to grind.

There was no way to know ahead of Season 8 that Ethan and Archer working well together could be in service of Ethan leaving and Archer remaining, but fans can enjoy that the old friends can continue treating patients together on good terms, even in the stressful arena of the ED. 

Brian Tee marks the third series regular to leave Chicago Med over the past two seasons, although his stint has been much longer. Kristen Hager left the medical drama in Season 7 after less than one full season as a full-timer, while the Season 8 premiere was the final episode for Guy Lockard (also a new Season 7 addition)  as Dylan Scott. 

See how Chicago Med tells Ethan’s story in his final episodes of Season 8 on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. The show also recently escalated some conflict between Dr. Charles and his new fellow (although that may be for the best), so a lot has been happening. Elsewhere in One Chicago, Fire has the aftermath of a tragedy to deal with following a big death, and P.D. has to move on after losing Jesse Lee Soffer as Halstead (and one star shared some insight into how it will happen). 

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.