Chicago Med is more intense than ever in Season 6, thanks in part to the pandemic but also due to what the individual characters have been going through. While Ethan worked himself so hard that he literally wound up being treated in the hospital, Will has crossed lines for his trial, Maggie has gone from emotional highs to lows with young Auggie, Noah got fired, and even more. Now, another doctor is on the way for multiple episodes, played by guest star Steven Weber of The Shining and 13 Reasons Why fame, and this newcomer will bring a set of new issues as well as challenges.
Steven Weber is on board Chicago Med Season 6 to play Dr. Dean Archer, who comes to the hospital as the new second-in-command to ED Chief Ethan Choi (Brian Tee), although Archer was actually Ethan's superior during Ethan's active duty in the Navy. Wry and blunt, Archer's history with Ethan may be a good thing and a bad thing for Med. Weber spoke with CinemaBlend about his Chicago Med role, and he weighed in on Archer's history with Ethan:
They both served. They're both Navy surgeons and Ethan's character actually served under me, served under my character, but now the roles have shifted. I'm serving under him. And there is some challenges involving adjustment, especially for a guy my age, who really should have a more settled life but has to kind of, not start over, but he's got to hunker down. He's got to work hard in order to find his place again and learn that he's no longer in charge, but that Ethan is. But yeah, they have a shared history, shared background, they've both seen service. And they've seen some action, and I think the show is going to explore that a little bit.
60-year-old Steven Weber shared that Archer is at a point in his life where he should be settled rather than setting off on a new path at a new hospital, even if that path does reunite him with a familiar face. Ethan has already risen to the occasion of leading the ED at just about the most stressful time imaginable to become an ED Chief, and despite pushing himself too hard proved himself the right person for the job. How will his former superior officer see Ethan, as the ED leader?
Dean Archer comes to Med after relocating from a rural hospital to Chicago, and anybody who has been watching One Chicago for more than a few episodes knows well that crises can happen very quickly in the shared universe's Windy City. When I asked Steven Weber if Archer's history with seeing action in the Navy prepared him for work in a Chicago ED, Weber explained:
I mean, yes and no. He's a great surgeon and he comes well recommended, especially by Ethan. This is a guy who is great at what he does. Unfortunately we're starting to learn that there are some aspects of working in big bad old Chicago, which can be difficult for somebody who may have PTSD, let's say. They've already begun exploring that with Brian [Tee]'s character of Ethan. And I think there's a suggestion that Dean Archer has got some issues as well. So, you know, working in a high pressure job is hard. Even if you're good at it.
There's a reason Maggie often refers to Chicago Med's ED as "Baghdad," and it's not because Med is a nice and calm hospital where nothing happens to upset the order of things. With Archer seemingly jumping into the deep end of practicing medicine in a Chicago ED (particularly an ED that has been at the center of everything from bomb threats to flesh-eating bacteria), Steven Weber indicates that the good doctor will suffer from some PTSD symptoms.
As Steven Weber noted, however, Ethan does have some experience with PTSD, as does Dr. Charles, who has actually successfully wrangled some ED workers into talking to him in Season 6. Med's ED may treat plenty of violent injuries, but there may also be resources to help Archer. With all this in mind, it's hard not to compare Weber's Archer to by-the-book Ethan Choi and doctor-gone-rogue Will Halstead. Weber explained what kind of doctor his character is:
Well, Dean Archer is not just a by-the-book guy. He loves helping people, he loves being a doctor. There's a part of him that possibly is a little too dark. A little too grave. And it might be interfering with the joy that he possibly once had as a younger doctor, but he's incredibly reliable, and he is an asset to any place that needs him, that needs an expert surgeon.
"Incredibly reliable" may be exactly what Ethan needs out of a fellow ED doctor at this point, even if there is some darkness to Dr. Archer that might not have been there when Ethan knew him previously. All things considered, it wouldn't be Chicago Med if a new character didn't come with some baggage, and Steven Weber's' Dean Archer should deliver some nice complexities to the stories. Weber debuts as Dr. Archer when Chicago Med returns to NBC with a new episode on Wednesday, March 10 at 8 p.m. ET, ahead of Chicago Fire at 9 p.m. ET and Chicago P.D. at 10 p.m. ET. His guest-starring role on March 10 will be followed by several more episodes.
All three One Chicago series (which you can find streaming on Peacock) have been on a brief break since mid-February, but that break will soon be over. The One Chicago shared universe is also only getting bigger, even if there are evidently no more Chicago-based Dick Wolf shows in the works. Law & Order: SVU is launching a Stabler spinoff in April, and another FBI spinoff may be happening over on CBS to follow FBI: Most Wanted's recent Law & Order cameo. It's not the only mega network TV franchise that is developing new projects, but it is one that hasn't canceled a show in quite a while.