Spoilers ahead for Episode 8 of Chicago Med Season 7, called “Just as a Snake Sheds Its Skin.”
Brian Tee made his triumphant return to Chicago Med just last week after missing the first several Season 7 episodes while Ethan Choi was off-screen recovering from the gunshot wound he sustained in the Season 6 finale. It seemed like he was on the mend and would be getting better week by week, but “Just as a Snake Sheds Its Skin” delivered a big setback for Ethan right after a heroic moment. While it gave Tee the chance for a powerful performance, it was also bad news for Ethan that raises the question: is Ethan about to be gone again for a while?
Ethan seemed to be genuinely taking his time and not pushing himself in the ED, wearing his brace and deferring to other doctors when there was something he shouldn’t try himself in his condition. Then a patient with a hernia revealed that surgery would mean he’d have to miss the birth of his child, and that was too much for Ethan, who had a non-surgical means of fixing the hernia. Unfortunately, Crockett had already shot down Ethan even attempting the manual procedure, because it was too much exertion for Ethan in his condition.
Dean Archer backed up Ethan, however, and everything seemed to be just fine when Ethan joyously pulled the maneuver off and helped the man with his hernia without putting him through surgery. Then, in a heartbreaking moment, his smile faded as soon as he turned away from the patient and his face was wrenched in pain. And honestly, the pain seemed so authentic that I would have wondered if Brian Tee was hurting if he hadn’t shown off his acting range over the previous seasons of Chicago Med.
But Ethan all but collapsed into Crockett’s arms and choked out that he needed an MRI, and the test proved that the strain had been too much. He needs a big surgery that will take at least two months of recovery, and Goodwin gave him the go-ahead to take as much time as he needs, and Med will happily take him back when he’s ready. Does Ethan’s new injury and upcoming surgery mean that Brian Tee only returned for two episodes, just to head out again with Ethan recovering off-screen again?
Well, Brian Tee has kept busy outside of Chicago Med, so it’s possible that he’s working on other projects. He’s said to still be a series regular on Med, however, and there is no sign that Ethan is being written out of this show like how Casey was recently written out of Chicago Fire. A lot may depend on whether or not Chicago Med delivers a time jump over the winter hiatus.
The fall finale is coming up with Med’s next episode, and the show presumably won’t return until January or February. If the show goes for a time jump of however long the break lasts, then Ethan’s return could theoretically coincide with Med’s midseason return in 2022. “Just as a Snake Sheds Its Skin” did suggest that Chicago Med’s timeline isn’t quite matched up with the real world, as Jessa invited Will to go to a tree-lighting with him.
For now, only time will tell what Ethan reaggravating his injury means for his (and Brian Tee’s) future on Chicago Med. After his performance in this episode, I’m hoping that the show isn’t going to lose him for a long stretch of episodes again, but we'll have to wait and see. Med is taking a couple of weeks off, but will return for its fall finale on Wednesday, December 8 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. Fall finales can be intense episodes for all of One Chicago, so be sure to tune in!
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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. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.
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