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Chicago Med Season 9 Episode 8 Review: A Penny for Your Thoughts, Dollar for Your Dreams


Was this Easter or Halloween?

Chicago Med Season 9 Episode 8 featured several strange or scary events, including one that could get Zola fired. 

The stories were so strange that it felt like they had originally been intended for Halloween and had been reworked for Easter. Some of the twists were predictable, yet the entire episode was bizarre.

The most rational story was Pawel’s usual nonsense. Pawel is almost always annoying, but his attempt to get pain meds or money felt more like the hospital show tropes we’re used to than most of the other plots.

Pawel is always up to no good and has never gotten along with Daniel, so his latest scheme wasn’t a surprise — if anything, it was predictable.

What Exactly Was Pawel Up To?

His scheme was somewhat confusing, though. It seemed obvious that he was trying to score pain meds. He repeatedly asked for them as if that was his only goal.

Charles thought maybe Pawel hurt himself on purpose, but I figured he had an addiction problem — something that nobody on staff seemed to think of despite Margo going on and on about treatments for opioid abuse.

By the end of the hour, it seemed that Daniel Charles’ belief that Pawel was engaged in insurance fraud was correct. That fit with his suspicion that Pawel hurt himself on purpose but still didn’t address why he was obsessed with getting pain pills.

Charles’ angry confrontation with Pawel would never get him any satisfaction. It didn’t seem like an intelligent thing to do, given that Pawel is already suing the hospital, doesn’t like Charles to begin with, and doesn’t need any more ammunition for his phony malpractice claim.

Liliana and her brother have been absent for a while, and it’s a shame they brought them back to do this with them. Pawel was a troublemaker throughout Chicago Med Season 8 — is Liliana planning on choosing him over Charles now?

Chicago Med’s Telepathic Father Storyline Was As Predictable As It Was Strange

Much of the hour was devoted to the story of this man who claimed he was telepathic and knew his son needed to be born today. As soon as he mentioned it for the first time, I knew he would be right.

This always happens on TV shows. Some weirdo has a bizarre belief, which gets vindicated in the end. Some shows pull it off better than others — 1992’s Picket Fences explored this familiar idea in unique and riveting ways.

Chicago Med didn’t have enough time to go in depth. The best it could do was Archer and Charles’ conversation at the end of the hour.

Archer: It’s eating you up, isn’t it?
Charles: That a young father may be walking out of here with a degenerative disease? Yeah.
Archer: You could be wrong.
Charles: Maybe.
Archer: Sometimes maybe is the best we can do. We have to live in the mystery.

Medical science can’t always explain things. Sometimes, people spontaneously recover from seemingly fatal diseases, tumors recede as quickly as they appeared, or other miracles occur.

There’s no way to prove that Tyler didn’t have a premonition of his wife’s complications with her pregnancy or his son’s umbilical cord being in a precarious location. Two things can be true: Tyler has MS (or another neurological disease) and also had a strong intuition about his son.

He also might have had PTSD from his daughter’s sudden death, and the fact that his fear for his son came true was a coincidence. There’s no way to tell if he has mental health issues, physical issues, or a strange gift that no one can explain.

If anyone on the show was religious, they might even suggest that the new baby’s late sister is his guardian angel, calling out to his dad to ensure he entered it safely.

The issue was complicated by the signs that Tyler had MS. The pins-and-needle feeling in his arm should be checked out — when someone has intermittent, severe pain for no apparent reason, there’s probably something going on.

Charles’ explanation that psychiatric symptoms can be a sign of MS was confusing to me. There are a lot of reasons someone might have a psychiatric issue; what stops doctors from assuming every issue is a symptom of a progressive neurological disease??

Zola the Impatient Strikes Again

Zola’s storyline was also predictable — until it wasn’t.

Marcel had a patient who needed a new set of lungs. Zola had a most likely braindead patient who could be a match and was a violent criminal who beat his girlfriend on top of it.

Was there ever any way this wasn’t going to end with Zola trying to give his lungs away without following proper procedures?

The twist was that the guy woke up while Zola and Marcel were arguing over his fate. His sudden grabbing of someone’s arm made me jump.

The idea of almost removing a man’s lungs when he was alive is scary. Some people are afraid to agree to donate their organs because they think something like that could happen to them, and creepy scenes like this don’t help.

This fiasco left Zola’s job in jeopardy, as well it should. Dr. Marcel told her the proper procedure and made her repeat it to him, but she ignored him because she wanted to save Carson.

I disliked how she manipulated Leo’s girlfriend to get what she wanted. Despite barely knowing him, she sang Carson’s praises and made it sound like the only way to honor Leo’s memory was to give his lungs to Carson.

Kimmy had already been through enough abuse at Leo’s hands without Zola manipulating her, too. Zola crossed the line big time here.

Marcel was right when he told Zola she brought the potential end of her career upon herself. The only thing I disliked here was that Archer blamed Marcel for Zola’s choices.

Yes, Marcel is her supervisor, but he told her the protocol, made her repeat it to him, and ordered her to wait when she attempted to take Leo to the transplant room.

Marcel might have missed the incorrect thermometer use, but that doesn’t change the fact that Zola ignored protocol and refused to wait 24 hours to ensure the patient was truly brain-dead. What more was Marcel supposed to do about that than what he did?

Archer and Asher’s Love Lives (Not With Each Other)

Archer and Asher both experimented with dating. Asher and Ripley are likely the end game, but what was with Dean Archer and the most awkward date ever?

Margo rambled about opioid treatments; Dean didn’t know how what to say when there was a break in the conversation, and the date came to a premature end when Charles needed a consultation with Archer about Tyler.

With a first date like that, it was surprising that Margo pushed for a second. How long will it be before Archer makes time to see her again? Or will he give up altogether (until Asher pushes him out of his comfort zone….)?

This was the least exciting aspect of the hour. Still, at least Asher and Ripley bonded over helping deliver that baby together, and Asher finally found her voice and told Ripley she wanted more of a relationship with him.

Your turn, Chicago Med fanatics. Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and tell us what you think of this episode.

Chicago Med airs on NBC on Wednesdays at 8/7c. New episodes drop on Peacock the day after they air.

Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on X.

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