Chicago Med Showrunners Break Down Hannah's Return After Stevie's Departure And What It Means For Will

Chicago Med delivered a surprise return in Season 7 when none other than Jessy Schram showed up in a cliffhanger to reveal that Hannah Asher is back, and much better off than she was the last time that viewers saw her. Hannah is bringing her talents as an OB-GYN to the ED, which means not only spending time with Will as her ex, but also filling the vacancy left by Stevie’s departure to Michigan. Showrunners Andrew Schneider and Diane Frolov weighed in on why now was the right time to bring Hannah back, as well as what it means for Will. 

Jessy Schram’s return as Hannah Asher came not too long before it was confirmed that Stevie’s departure really was for good, as Deadline reports that Kristen Hager has left the series after less than one full season as a regular. The door is still open for her to return, but fans don’t have to worry that the ED will feel empty without another doctor. Hannah is healthy in a way that she never was during her original run on Med, although Dean Archer’s reaction to her indicates that not everybody will have absolute faith in her recovery. 

Showrunners Andrew Schneider and Diane Frolov spoke with CinemaBlend and other outlets in honor of the 2022 One Chicago Day, and shared why now was the time for more Hannah. Schneider explained:

Well, I think one of the reasons is that she has gone through a long period of rehab and recovery, and we wanted to bring this character back on the other side, the other end of that process. It's a continuing process, but to have seen a very different side of her having gone through this.

Hannah didn’t exactly have a happy ending when she left Chicago back in the Season 6 premiere, as she went from overdosing to deciding that she needed to leave the Windy City behind for the sake of her own health, and the relationship with Will wasn’t healthy for either of them. (Dr. Charles said as much back in Season 5.) She was visibly improved in her first scene back, and now fans will get to see her improvement with her on board as a regular. Diane Frolov elaborated on bringing her back in the second half of Season 7:

Also, it was midseason, so we wanted to start something midseason, something that we can as writers continue on to the next season. So it did both, those two things of introducing a new person, or a person that the audience knew but was excited about seeing, and giving us the possibility of an ongoing story for next season.

Hannah’s arc evidently isn’t going to end by the time of the Season 7 finale, which is fast approaching as of the end of the 22-episode order for the 2021-2022 TV season. The plan at this point is at least for the story to continue into Season 8, which is already guaranteed thanks to the massive three-season renewal back in 2022. The next several episodes will shed some light on what to expect from her (and her dynamic with Will) with Stevie gone, but Andrew Schneider raised the point of why she can be essential to the ED: 

Just in a medical way, having an OB-GYN specialist in the ED is always a good thing. And those stories have a lot of stakes when it involves childbirth, and will that birth take place?

For all the times that Will or Ethan or anybody else has yelled for somebody to call OB over the years of the show, who can argue that having an OB-GYN on hand wouldn’t be a great asset for the ED? Her status as a doctor with that specialty also helped make it easier to understand why Med would bring her back after all of her troubles in Season 5 and early Season 6. They need somebody with her qualifications, and she was ready to come back!

As for whether or not Will will be ready for her to come back, fans will have to wait and see. He was very invested in their relationship before she left Chicago, but a lot has happened for both of them since, and it’s not like Will doesn’t have experience in working with exes without falling head over heels again. The showrunners previewed how Will will handle her return, with Diane Frolov saying:

Well, they're gonna have a learning period and an adjusting period. Will has always looked upon Hannah as somebody with a problem, which she did have. So he's cast himself in the role of savior, and he's gonna have to get out of that. And she has the challenge of proving to people that she is capable again, that she is recovered.

She was already facing a challenge right out of the gate when she first appeared in Season 7, with Dr. Archer questioning whether she was ready to return. Will definitely did try to save her from herself during their relationship… which was basically why Dr. Charles advised against Hannah starting a romance while early in her recovery. It should be interesting to see if sparks fly between them again, or if Hannah is a completely changed woman. Andrew Schneider added that she’s “determined” to “outrun her reputation,” with Frolov commenting that the show will “keep going back to that dynamic.”

See Hannah Asher back in action with Stevie Hammer gone with new episodes of Chicago Med on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC, ahead of Chicago Fire (which is adding a new paramedic who is definitely not Brett 2.0) at 9 p.m. and Chicago P.D. with the Intelligence Unit family in action at 10 p.m. Chicago Med’s Marlyne Barrett also recently weighed in on Maggie dealing with her trauma, and that certainly doesn’t sound like something that the show is done exploring. To relive some of the earlier days of One Chicago, you can find all three shows streaming with a Peacock subscription.

April 6 is also the One Chicago Day for 2022, and fans can check out the official One Chicago YouTube page for some fun content. All three shows are going strong as part of the nine-show Dick Wolf TV universe, and will return for the 2022-2023 TV season.

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 and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).