Warning: spoilers ahead for Episode 14 of Chicago Med Season 6 on NBC, called "A Red Pill, A Blue Pill."
Big news broke on the Chicago Med front with the reveal that original cast members Torrey DeVitto and Yaya DaCosta are leaving after the end of the current Season 6. DeVitto's Natalie Manning and DaCosta's April Sexton have been part of some of the biggest storylines in the history of the series so far, and their absences in Season 7 will leave holes in the ensemble that will undoubtedly force some big changes.
With Chicago Med already guaranteed another two seasons beyond Season 6 and the rest of the original series stars expected to return for Season 7, it's worth looking ahead now that the Season 6 finale is fast-approaching. Read on for what the absence of Natalie and April will mean for Med next season! For the sake of looking forward to the story possibilities rather than dreading them, I'm going to assume that Med doesn't kill either one of them off.
Natalie Might Not Return As A Doctor
As expected, the truth came out about Natalie stealing the heart failure trial meds and giving them to her mom, and it was Will who connected the dots about what she did. Not as expected (by me, anyway), Will agreed to continue to supplying Carol with the meds rather than out Natalie for the theft, requiring that Natalie keep it to herself. The promo for next week reveals that all isn't well with Carol, however, and my money is on the truth getting out on a larger scale and marking the end of her career.
Natalie crossed more than one line in stealing the Kender drugs, and it was honestly irresponsible of her as a physician as well to give them to her mom and then hide the evidence from her doctors. In light of Torrey DeVitto's departure, I could see Natalie losing her medical license and leaving without the possibility of retaking her position. Even if she does keep her license, however, I'm guessing that Natalie is finally going to face consequences that either force her out of Med or force her to make a decision about her future that takes her out of the ED.
April Could Return As A Nurse Practitioner
April's career seems to be doing just fine, even if she does continue to butt heads with Dean Archer over his methods. That said, ever since she made a risky move that paid off and saved a life, April has been looking toward a change by pursuing a career as a nurse practitioner. She was looking into schools in the previous episode, so she was seriously considering it, and I wouldn't be surprised if Chicago Med does the same thing that Chicago Fire did to write out Foster and say goodbye to April by sending her back for an advanced degree off-screen.
And if she does become a nurse practitioner, Chicago Med could absolutely bring her back to the ED if Yaya DaCosta ever wanted to return and the show had the story. Much like how Connor Rhodes Med left alive but pursuing work elsewhere, April could bow out with the potential to return. Hopeful any similarities between April's departure and Connor's are limited, though!
R.I.P. Manstead And Chexton
Although Natalie and April have been in a number of romantic relationships over the years of Chicago Med – and Natalie has in fact been in a relationship with Crockett serious enough to drop the "I love you" confessions – their biggest romances have been with Will Halstead and Ethan Choi, respectively. Those relationships had long enough builds, epic rises, and dramatic falls that it felt like Med was bound to circle back to Manstead and Chexton sooner or later.
But unless it happens "sooner" – as in, within the next two weeks – Natalie and April won't be getting back together with their biggest love interests. Chicago Med has built some Manstead tension in Season 6, although more in Crockett's mind than anything else, and April and Ethan got back to good terms despite trying circumstances. Evidently, however, none of it was building to a romantic reunion, and Natalie/Will and April/Ethan are almost certainly broken up for good. R.I.P., Manstead and Chexton!
Med Needs More Women
Chicago Med will be losing half of the women of the series regular cast with the departures of Torrey DeVitto's Natalie and Yaya DaCosta's April. While S. Epatha Merkerson as Sharon Goodwin and Marlyne Barrett as Maggie Lockwood are more than capable of carrying storylines, Med will be seriously lacking in ladies in the cast if Med doesn't add some more women as regulars, especially if all the men in the regular cast return as expected.
The good news is that Chicago Med has survived and even thrived after losing longtime regulars, as proven by the departure of Colin Donnell's Connor, Norma Kuhling due to Ava's bloody ending, and Rachel DiPillo's Sarah. Med will have a vacancy for both an ED pediatrician and a nurse, but Natalie definitely isn't the only ED doctor who treats kids, so her departure doesn't necessarily mean that Med needs to add another pediatrician character. As a nurse, April has been able to pitch in on just about every kind of case, so any new nurse wouldn't necessarily need a specialty. And both new characters should be women!
New Characters Could Stick Around
Of course, Chicago Med Season 6 has introduced a couple of new women who could join the cast for Season 7, although not as a nurse or a pediatrician. Dr. Sabeena Virani debuted early in Season 6 and established herself as a skilled doctor and became a love interest for Will, although their relationship fell apart after Will crossed a line with their clinical trial. She would presumably have to leave Kender if Tehmina Sunny became a regular, but she's a key new character who could definitely return.
Another option for a Season 7 regular would be Asjha Cooper as med student Vanessa Taylor, a.k.a. Maggie's daughter that she gave up for adoption as a teenager. Like Sabeena, Vanessa wouldn't fill one of the specific roles previously held by Natalie as a doctor or April as a nurse, but the setup is there, and she could be an intriguing addition for Season 7. Plus, Steven Weber also debuted as Dean Archer in Season 6, but his arc in these final episodes doesn't quite indicate that he has a long future at Med.