Chicago Med: Will Fans Needs to Choose A Side In The Rest Of Season 8?

Crockett doing surgery in Chicago Med Season 8
(Image credit: NBC)

Spoilers ahead for Episode 13 of Chicago Med Season 8, called "It's An Ill Wind That Blows Nobody Good."

The doctors and nurses of Chicago Med had more than just the usual medical crises to contend with this week, and the title of the episode combined with the promo made it clear that the winter weather of the Windy City was going to cause some problems. What wasn't so apparent from the previews was how much of the trouble would come from OR 2.0 and Jack Dayton continuing to put more emphasis on data and tech than trusting doctors' instincts to save lives. After what went down in multiple storylines in "It's An Ill Wind That Blows Nobody Good," I found myself wondering: is Med asking fans to choose a side? 

OR 2.0 and the hospital's new focus on data got in the way of the doctors treating patients as they wanted in two major stories this week: Crockett trying to perform a tricky surgery after going multiple days without sleep, and Will wanting to use as many units of the limited blood supply as necessary to save one life. Now, as a longtime fan and viewer, my loyalties were quite naturally with Crockett and Will. The former has performed successful surgeries under more stress than inadequate sleep, and Will has been prioritizing saving lives over following the rules for eight seasons and counting. 

Yet I can't argue with the results. Crockett was dealing with fatigue throughout the episode, to the extent that Maggie commented on it when Maggie herself had been awake for far too long. Plus, the surgery went off without a hitch after he handed it over to Dr. Tanaka-Reed and finished as supervisor rather than hands-on. Would Crockett have botched the surgery, if Dayton hadn't implemented new rules that would stop OR 2.0 from allowing surgery under certain circumstances? I'm inclined to say no, but the patient survived after Crockett handed over the scalpel. It's not clear if Dayton was 100% right, but he wasn't 100% wrong. 

The other conflict between data and care happened with Will and Dr. Song, when a woman's hopes for survival relied entirely on how much blood the doctors could give her. The winter storm meant that the hospital had a limited supply of blood, and giving unit after unit after unit to this woman went against Dayton's rules. Song ultimately followed her heart rather than the rules and went along with Will to use the blood to save the woman, but then had a change of heart after the fact when another surgeon angrily confronted them with the fact that the blood shortage could result in many more deaths than just the one, if they hadn't given so much to the woman.

There's no corner of the nine-show Dick Wolf TV universe where Will Halstead wouldn't do everything in his power to save a patient's life, even if it meant risking the care of others who might need the resources later, and the episode ended before revealing if there's a body count due to the blood shortage. Again, I can't argue with Dr. Song's point that thinking with her heart instead of following the data could have unfortunate consequences. 

So, does Med want fans to choose sides between the new methods backed up by data and the doctors whose skills we know well by this point? Co-showrunner Diane Frolov – whose new musical, called Come Get Maggie, is currently running in Los Angeles until late March with tickets still available – previewed ethical complications once Jack Dayton took over the hospital; now, we're seeing those play out. 

Personally, my loyalties are with still the doctors who would rather focus on the human element of caregiving as opposed to technology, and Dayton's case for me wasn't helped when he tried to fire one of Goodwin's people without consulting her. Still, I'm interested to see if the show continues to validate Dayton's side of the story or definitively shift the ethical weight to the doctors who aren't happy with the focus on data. Based on the promo for next week, at least one doctor will soon have to focus on a different kind of project. Take a look:

Tune in to NBC on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET for new episodes of Chicago Med, with Hannah evidently having some difficult decisions to make when a new mom uses heroin in the hospital. She and Archer have developed a surprising and strong bond in Season 8, and it looks like he'll be involved in her storyline in the February 22 episodes. Whether or not they'll be on the same page remains to be seen, on top of everything else that may or may not go down with OR 2.0! You can also revisit past episode of Chicago Med streaming with a Peacock Premium subscription.

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. 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).