How Chicago Med Is Handling The Major Character Absences In Season 7, According To The Showrunners

chicago med season 7 premiere crockett will doris hospital room nbc
(Image credit: NBC)

Chicago Med wrapped Season 6 with a lot of questions for fans to ponder over the months of hiatus, and the seventh season premiere on NBC is almost here to finally deliver some answers. News broke ahead of the finale that Yaya DaCosta and Torrey DeVitto were leaving the series as April and Natalie, and then the episode delivered a shocking twist that resulted in Ethan having to take a break from the ED for a while, and Will was fired. Now, the showrunners have opened up about how Med is handling major character absences to start Season 7.

Ethan of course did survive being shot at the end of Season 6, and early images for Season 7 confirmed that Nick Gehlfuss will be back as Will Halstead despite Will's firing, but what about the gaps left in the lineup by the departures of April and Natalie, and Ethan still recovering? Some brand new characters are coming on board, and co-showrunner Andrew Schneider previewed what they'll bring to the ED with Natalie and April gone:

We're not replacing April with another regular nurse, but our two new doctors bring a unique perspective to the ED – Dr. Scott is a former cop, and Dr. Hammer is a young woman who's had to struggle through a difficult past to get where she is.

Maggie and her team of nurses will evidently be able to shoulder the load of ED cases in Season 7, with a couple of new physicians in the mix. Former cop Dr. Scott will be played by Guy Lockard, known for appearances on The Village and The Blacklist, with Dr. Hammer played by Kristen Hager of Condor fame. Both joined Med as series regulars on a show that features a number of characters who have been around from the beginning, so their perspective as newcomers certainly should be interesting!

Guy Lockard and Kristen Hager aren't the only Med actors to receive series regular status for Season 7, as Steven Weber, who recurred in the second half of Season 6 as Dr. Dean Archer, will also be around as a regular. The sixth season ended with Archer stepping up to fill Ethan's shoes as ED Chief while Ethan recovers, since Will certainly wasn't going to get that job. But how will Archer do as ED Chief, after his methods turned out to be a little questionable (at least to Ethan) last season? Co-showrunner Diane Frolov shared what kind of leader he is without Ethan around:

As long as Archer's the boss and doesn't have to answer to another doctor, he's a very good leader. And for all his issues, he is an excellent surgeon.

None of Ethan's issues with Archer last season had to do with his skills as a surgeon, and even his occasional medical mishap wasn't really any worse than anything any of the other doctors have done. After all, we can't have a medical drama without some drama when it comes to the medicine! The preview for the new season suggests that some friction could be on the way with Archer and Will upon Will's return, but it should be interesting to see Archer as leader without Ethan around to make the final calls.

As for how other characters will act in light of the missing characters, Crockett will have sustained a loss with Natalie leaving the hospital after things were going so well for them in their relationship, aside from the occasional miscommunication and misunderstanding. The good news? According to Diane Frolov, Crockett won't be spiraling despite the the departure of the woman he loves. The co-showrunner shared:

He misses Natalie but has resigned himself to her leaving. The mutual loss of Natalie will wind up bringing Will and Crockett, former rivals, closer together.

Consider me intrigued! Crockett wasn't Will's biggest fan when he had his suspicions about Will and Natalie, but evidently the absence of Natalie will be good for their dynamic. Of course, Crockett will be a familiar face for Will in his return, with Ethan gone for at least some time, Natalie not coming back, and two newcomers in the ED, so it seems there's a lot to look forward to with the new season of Med.

Chicago Med returns for Season 7 on Wednesday, September 22 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC to kick off the first night of One Chicago action in the 2021-2022 TV season, followed by Chicago Fire at 9 p.m. ET and Chicago P.D. at 10 p.m. ET. All three shows have cliffhangers to resolve, with a number of Fire heroes' lives in jeopardy at the end of Season 9 and Burgess' fate on P.D. currently unknown on top of the unanswered Med questions, so be sure to tune in, and check back with CinemaBlend for more One Chicago!

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).