Chicago Med has been juggling a lot of different storylines in Season 7 so far, between the plots that the show picked up from the end of Season 6 and incorporating some brand new characters to fill the void left by some departures. For the March 9 episode, called “Things Meant To Be Bent Not Broken,” Med brought in director Afia Nathaniel to bring the script to the screen, and she shared how she approached a show already seven seasons in, and previewed a relationship scene that will be “very cool” for fans.
Afia Nathaniel came to Chicago Med as a director as part of NBCU Launch’s Female Forward program, which works to promote gender parity in scripted television directing. “Things Meant To Be Bent Not Broken” is Episode 15 in a season that is slated to run for 22 episodes, so Nathaniel was coming into Season 7 when there were already some ongoing stories as well as some brand new ones. Speaking with CinemaBlend, the director explained how she prepared for her episode:
The director was able to shadow an episode of Chicago Med earlier in Season 7, so she was already familiar with how the hit NBC medical drama worked, and she had material to prepare even from episodes that hadn’t yet aired by the time she started her episode. The episode description reveals that there will be a lot of moving pieces, with Dylan’s cop instincts leading him to suspect a patient of a crime, Dr. Charles and Vanessa facing a patient who believes she’s infested, Crockett and Blake working with an arrogant surgeon, and Will deciding what to do with his whistleblower settlement, so there was a lot to bring to life.
By shadowing an episode in the same season that she directed, Afia Nathaniel had experience with the storylines and characters as well as the technical workings of the show. She shared how the shadowing experience compared to the episode that she ultimately directed:
Chicago Med is one of the biggest hits of the 2021-2022 TV season already, so Afia Nathaniel was coming into a show with a broad fanbase for the style of stories as well as the characters who inhabit them. Based on everything she had to say about her time at Med and the “wonderful things” in the episode, the energy of directing the show was something she embraced.
Of course, part of the Chicago Med style is how it melds some action-packed medical emergencies for the ED doctors, nurses, and surgeons with the character drama. Afia Nathaniel explained her approach to combining the two, including allowing for the character growth that is so valuable to the show:
The director also shared that the four major storylines of “Things Meant To Be Bent Not Broken” will center on Dylan, Dr. Charles, Crockett, and Will, so there should be plenty of room for the characters to continue “learning and growing.” Will’s storyline at least will be part of an ongoing storyline with the VasCom case that ultimately brought him back to Med after being fired, while the other cases seem original to this episode, including what the promo indicates is a heated storyline for Crockett.
But what has Afia Nathaniel been excited for fans to get to see from her big episode of Chicago Med? While she didn’t drop spoilers to give away exactly what’s going to happen in “Things Meant To Be Bent Not Broken,” she did preview a scene that will come near the end of the hour that will be “very cool.” She said:
The wait is finally over to see Afia Nathaniel’s One Chicago directing debut with the latest episode of Chicago Med on March 9 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC, ahead of Chicago Fire (which also embraced the Female Forward program this season) at 9 p.m. and Chicago P.D. (with an intense Burzek episode) at 10 p.m. With her episode on the verge of airing, I asked the director if she’d be interested in potentially returning to Med or possibly tackling an episode of Fire or P.D., and she had a very enthusiastic response:
The three shows of One Chicago are going strong for NBC, and maintain a strong corner of the nine-show shared universe of Dick Wolf TV shows. If you need to catch up on the Chicago action in the 2021-2022 TV season (or just want to relive some of the earlier days of the three shows), you can find them streaming with a Peacock subscription now.
Resident of One Chicago, Bachelor Nation, and Cleveland. Has opinions about crossovers, Star Wars, and superheroes. Will not time travel.
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