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Chicago Med Season 9 Episode 9 Review: Spin a Yarn, Get Stuck in Your Own String

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 Bert’s breakdown at Sharon’s party was utterly heartbreaking.


Chicago Med Season 9 Episode 9 offered a glimpse into the insidious nature of dementia. Bert was only in a few scenes, but his transformation from mostly with it to forgetting he didn’t live with Sharon anymore to his grief over realizing his mistake was painfully realistic.


It was an hour filled with tough calls, but that was the scene that got me — and it wasn’t even at the hospital.


Sharon will always share a special bond with Bert even though they’ve both moved on. It would be less pronounced if he didn’t have Alzheimer’s and wasn’t becoming aggressive during non-lucid moments, but it would be there no matter what.


Sharon knew how to calm Bert down, but it was hard to tell what her new boyfriend thought as she held Bert’s hand and sang to him. Logically, there’s no reason for Dennis to be jealous. He knows that Sharon has moved on and is now playing the role of caretaker to her ex-husband.


Still, it had to have been hard to have been the new boyfriend who had to stand on the sidelines while Sharon held her ex’s hand and comforted him, no matter how much Dennis understands that it was only because of the situation.


Hopefully, he’ll remain rational. We’ve had enough breakups recently for the sake of drama on Chicago Med!


The party — and  Bert’s subsequent meltdown — happened at the end of the hour after the main drama supposedly had wound down, yet it was the most heartwrenching and dramatic set of scenes in the episode.


My grandfather died of vascular dementia, so these types of stories are personally painful, especially if done realistically. This one was one of the best.


Ripley Made The Right Decision About The Lawsuit, But Was It For The Right Reason?


Near the top of the hour, Ripley went to a meeting where the perpetually on the wrong side Peter tried to convince him to settle out of court.

Peter: We’ll draw up the settlement paperwork and send it to Pavel’s lawyer. There will be some papers for you to sign on your end.
Sharon: Hold on. Dr, Ripley, ultimately it is your decision, and if you decide to fight this the hospital will defend you.
Peter: Reluctantly.
Sharon: Vigorously.
Ripley: Can I take some time to think it over?
Peter: What is there to think about?
Sharon: Take the day.
[Ripley leaves]
Peter: We are settling this case.


Peter’s main concern was money. He didn’t think the case was a guaranteed winner, so he wanted to save the hospital money by settling.


Daniel Charles was right when he told Ripley that it should be much easier to poke holes in Pavel’s credibility than Peter thought, but something didn’t sit right with me about how he said it.


It felt like he wanted to settle a personal score. In addition, Ripley should have consulted a lawyer before making a final decision, not leaned unhappily toward settling because Peter said it was best, only to change his mind when he learned about Pavel’s history.


Ripley didn’t want to settle. Part of that was his upbringing on the streets; he doesn’t want to back down from a fight unless he’s forced to.


He also might have had an instinct that there’s more to this case than meets the eye and that settling prematurely was a bad idea.

Ripley: We’re probably gonna settle.
Hannah: You seem thrilled.
Ripley: I’ve never been one to walk away from a fight especially when that dude is the one who messed up our… tea.


The Lawsuit Promises to Be a Big Chicago Med Season 9 Story


If Ripley had settled, the only place this story could go would be to escalate the conflict between Charles and Liliana while Pavel crowed that he was right.


Thank goodness it didn’t go that way. I don’t want Pavel bragging about anything when we know Charles is right about his dishonesty.


Ripley’s decision leads to a more compelling place.


The lawsuit will probably be an issue for the rest of Chicago Med Season 9, if not beyond.


I’m curious about how Peter and the board will pressure Ripley now that he’s decided against the conventional wisdom and how Charles navigates being stuck between Liliana and the hospital.


When Liliana originally came into Charles’ life, he was caught between her and the hospital because the custodial staff went on strike. Now she’s the one with divided loyalties — can their relationship survive?


The Cult Situation Examined the Ethics of Informed Consent in a New Way


Chicago Med has had its share of patients who didn’t want to consent to treatment for one reason or another.


Sometimes, doctors have acted with egregious disregard for the patient’s desires, such as when Dean Archer let a patient become comatose so he could override their wishes or when Will Halstead ignored a DNR order.


Other times, they had to let patients go when refusing treatment wasn’t in their best interest.


But what should a doctor do if the patient is refusing consent because their mind is mostly under the control of a cult leader who lied to them to gain power over them?


Shayna had the right to refuse to consent to treatment even if she was doing it like a Stepford wife. As Charles pointed out, he couldn’t declare her mentally unfit to make such decisions just because she had some unorthodox beliefs.


Still, she could have died and almost did, leaving the doctors desperate for a solution.


I was surprised that Josh’s discussion with Shayna worked. When someone is that deep into groupthink, any evidence to the contrary is often rejected as part of a conspiracy against the truth.


Thus, it was shocking that Shayna believed Dakota was dying at all or that Josh was who he said he was and not a non-believer who was trying to undermine the cause.


Perhaps Shayna’s serious illness made her faith in Dakota’s beliefs waver. That’s the only explanation for her miraculous recovery from her indoctrination.


I liked Charles pointing out that deprogramming people often involves illegal or violent activity. That tied in nicely to the season’s theme of exploring psychiatry’s dark side.


Did Tanaka-Reed Deserve Marcel’s Wrath?


Throughout the hour, Marcel treated Tanaka-Reed like a first-year student who knew nothing about medicine. It was understandable that Tanaka-Reed got aggravated — this wasn’t his first day on rotation, and he didn’t deserve to be treated like an idiot.


Yet Tanaka-Reed has been arrogant and overconfident so often that I didn’t mind him being taken down a peg or two.


Marcel seemed to have taken notes on how Shaun treats Charlie on The Good Doctor, but he wasn’t nearly as horrible to Tanaka-Reed as Maggie made it seem when she confronted Marcel.


Archer put this idea in Marcel’s head, saying that it was Marcel’s fault that Zola had done something he told her not to do. He didn’t need to make snarky comments as Marcel passed by, even if Marcel should know to ignore that type of nonsense.


The Abrams Fiasco Could Have Been Prevented


Archer was right to take his concerns to Sharon Goodwin. He and Sharon were also right that they couldn’t ignore evidence of abuse because the father is the head of the neurology department.


Still, professional judgment should be part of the equation.


There’s a difference between taking a parent aside who you doubt did anything wrong and letting them know that if they don’t tell you what happened, you’re going to have to call DCFS and giving a heads-up to a dangerous person.


I’m not convinced it would have been preferential treatment to talk to Michelle further before bringing this to Sharon’s attention. If they were going to make a DCFS report, the more information they had, the better.


Since the doctors knew Michelle and her husband, that might have eased the tensions, and Michelle might have admitted the truth without getting DCFS involved.


Instead, Abrams ranted and raved until his wife broke down in tears and confessed what happened to their son. It wasn’t abuse; it was an accident, and as Hannah pointed out, now there were legal consequences that wouldn’t have existed if she’d just told the truth in the first place.


Margo Seems to Be Good For Archer


Archer’s romantic relationships are generally in the “can’t care less” category for me. However, I could do without whatever silly love triangle Chicago Med is trying to cook up for him.


Vulnerability isn’t easy for Archer, and when he pushes himself to take Hannah’s advice, Margo is kind, accepting, and willing to continue the relationship.


This is one of the few mature relationships on TV so far. Let’s hope it stays that way.


Your turn, Chicago Med fanatics. Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know if you thought Dr. Marcel was too hard on Tanaka-Reed, whether it was necessary to get DCFS involved, or anything else about the hour.


Chicago Med airs on NBC on Wednesdays at 8/7c.

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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