Spoilers ahead for the Season 7 premiere of Chicago Med on NBC, called "You Can't Always Trust What You Can't See."
Season 6 of Chicago Med ended with no fewer than four major characters leaving the ED, by virtue of Will being fired, Ethan being shot and headed into recovery, and April and Natalie leaving due to Yaya DaCosta and Torrey DeVitto deciding to move on from the show. While the sixth season finale did a solid job of setting up April's departure, there was a problem in how Natalie's future was unresolved with DeVitto not coming back. Fortunately, the Season 7 premiere resolved that problem with a nice surprise, and even set up what happens next more satisfactorily than the finale in the spring.
Much like how Chicago Med pulled off a surprise appearance from a departed series regular a couple seasons ago with Norma Kuhling as Ava, the Season 7 premiere delivered a surprise appearance from Torrey DeVitto as Natalie. Unlike how Med said goodbye to Kuhling's Ava, however, Natalie's farewell didn't involve anybody dying. The episode kicked off with Will finishing adding some boxes to the back of a moving truck, only for the camera to swing around to reveal DeVitto as Natalie, ready to drive off to the next chapter of her life with Owen in the backseat.
She assured Will that she's going to be okay, then encouraged him to call Goodwin about going back to Med despite his firing at the end of Season 6. Then they exchanged an emotional embrace, and Will told her that she "better keep in touch" or he'll come find her. Natalie didn't confirm or deny, but she was on the verge of tears, and Will didn't exactly have the stiffest of upper lips after she drove away.
The good ship Manstead seems to be sunk pretty definitively with Torrey DeVitto gone, but Chicago Med 100% fixed my biggest problem with the Season 6 finale by bringing DeVitto back long enough to give her a goodbye beyond her confession to try and save Will last season. She was the leading lady of Med for six seasons, and one half of the biggest romance of the series with Manstead.
All things considered, her final scene in Season 6 didn't feel worthy of the character's importance, not to mention her relationships. Whether or not Natalie was a favorite character for all fans, her departure deserved more closure and more answers for Med to be able to move on. And she didn't die like Ava did!
If anything, her departure was more similar to how Colin Donnell was written out as Connor, so it's possible that she could turn up again for a guest spot, if the stars align. And her brief scene set up the rest of the premiere in a great way, and the rest of the premiere didn't disappoint, in my book.
Another potential problem from the end of Season 6 was simply that Goodwin had a lot of very good reasons for firing Will, to the point that even a medical drama couldn't really overlook what he did despite doctors getting away with kind of a lot on Med. Even Natalie confessing her part in the mess didn't change that Will jumped right down in the hole with her and helped her dig it even deeper, so I was having trouble imagining a reason for Will to be able to come back to Med that would make any sense.
And Med found it! Goodwin recruiting Will to come back to spy on another doctor for her would be pretty outlandish if it really didn't seem like the new doctor truly is padding his own pocket. Taking into account that Will has a history with him, and technically has a history of undercover work thanks to getting roped into helping with a CPD investigation a few years ago, there's enough justification for Will to be back. Plus, according to the showrunners, Will's return could be the beginning of a new era for the dynamic with Goodwin.
Chicago Med is officially back for Season 7, so fans can expect new episodes on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC to lead into new episodes of Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D. at 9 p.m. ET and 10 p.m. ET, respectively. With the premieres of Law & Order: SVU and Law & Order: Organized Crime on Thursday, the full Dick Wolf universe of shows will soon be back on the airwaves, with the potential for even more crossovers between the shows.
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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. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. 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).