Warning: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD for the Season 6 finale of Chicago Med, called "I Will Come To Save You."
Another season of Chicago Med has come to an end, and the Season 6 finale delivered the kind of cliffhangers that Med was unable to back in Season 5, but it didn't deliver the twists that viewers had every reason to expect were on the way. News broke weeks ago that Torrey DeVitto and Yaya DaCosta were leaving Med after six seasons, which seemingly meant that "I Will Come To Save You" would say goodbye to Natalie and April. After the events of the finale, however, I'm just confused as to whether or not that was really goodbye.
I for one was expecting Chicago Med to give at least one of them a definitive sendoff, and the penultimate episode even set up some straightforward ways that they could leave the series without being killed off. But if I hadn't already known that Torrey DeVitto and Yaya DaCosta were leaving, and seen their messages confirming their departures, I wouldn't be convinced that there was any reason why they wouldn't be back as Natalie and April. Here's why.
How The Chicago Med Season 6 Finale Handled Natalie's Story
"I Will Come To Save You" didn't give the worst-case scenario to Natalie, as Chicago Med didn't kill off her mom even despite an incredibly risky kind of heart transplant. Her mom made it through the episode, and after Will decided to take the blame for stealing the Kender meds, Natalie's job was safe. When she found out that Will was fired to protect her, citing everything they've been through together, she confessed the truth to Goodwin.
While Goodwin firing Will for what Natalie confessed to makes it seem pretty obvious that Natalie will be fired to write out Torrey DeVitto, Goodwin didn't fire Natalie on screen, and if DeVitto doesn't come back in the Season 7 premiere, then Natalie's fate will be decided off-screen. And that just seems unlikely, considering how major of a character Natalie has been for all six seasons of the show. Would Med really set up a cliffhanger about Natalie, knowing that the resolution will happen off-screen?
How The Chicago Med Season 6 Finale Handled April's Story
April's story was a lot happier than Natalie's in "I Will Come To Save You," even though Ethan was shot by a former patient of Archer's and his life was in the balance for a fair amount of the hour before his survival was guaranteed. Her interview for the nurse practitioner program went well despite a less-than-stellar recommendation from a trauma surgeon, and she was accepted. She also had a revelation about her feelings for Ethan after he was shot and confessed her lingering love for him.
All things considered, it felt more like Med setting April up for a switch in how she provides medical care and a return to the April/Ethan relationship, not like Med was saying goodbye to April. The program she was accepted into was Gaffney Medical's, so it really seemed like Med could keep her around while also advancing her career. If I didn't know about Yaya DaCosta's departure, I would have ended Season 6 expecting some changes for April in Season 7, but not a missing April. Like Natalie, if this was the end of April's story, then Med has some explaining to do about what happened off-screen between seasons. So, is there a solution to this?
At this point, I'm flashing back to when news broke during Chicago Med Season 4 that series regulars Colin Donnell and Norma Kuhling were leaving the show, and the Season 4 finale didn't give either of them a satisfying sendoff. Then, Med announced that Donnell would be back for the Season 5 premiere, and surprised fans with an appearance from Kuhling as well. (And REALLY surprised fans with the resolution of their story.) It was just one episode, but it tied off loose ends.
My ideal scenario at this point is that Med does the same thing with Torrey DeVitto and Yaya DaCosta, although without giving either of them a fate like Ava. The sticky issue here is that both DeVitto and DaCosta have already landed new jobs, and that might mean that they won't be available to reprise their One Chicago roles. So, for now, we can just consider how the Season 6 finale ended Natalie and April's stories, and wonder if that was really how Med intends to say goodbye to them.
Chicago Med will return to NBC in the 2021-2022 TV season, along with Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D. Fall premiere season, which will bring the remaining Med characters back to the small screen, may feel like a long way off from spring finale season, but there are at least plenty of TV options to pass primetime on our 2021 summer TV premiere schedule.