Chicago Med season 3, episode 7 recap: Over Troubled Water

CHICAGO MED -- "Over Troubled Water" Episode 307 -- Pictured: (l-r) Oliver Platt as Daniel Charles, Torrey DeVitto as Natalie Manning -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Sisson/NBC)
CHICAGO MED -- "Over Troubled Water" Episode 307 -- Pictured: (l-r) Oliver Platt as Daniel Charles, Torrey DeVitto as Natalie Manning -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Sisson/NBC) /

Chicago Med ventures out into the field and takes its doctors out onto a limb this week. Here’s what happened in Chicago Med season 3, episode 7.

Tuesday’s Chicago Med episode used one of the show’s best concepts, so it’s no surprise that the episode wound up being one of Chicago Med season 3’s better outings.

Season 3, Episode 7 is called “Over Troubled Water” and it starts off with Dr. Will Halstead (Nick Gehlfuss) and Dr. Natalie Manning (Torrey DeVitto) having spent the night together, while things are much less calm at the hospital.

Dr. Connor Rhodes (Colin Donnell) tells Dr. Daniel Charles (Oliver Platt) that he’s decided to fly to Minneapolis to see Robin, and find out why she left him. Charles suggests he let it go; Connor says he loves Robin, and doesn’t want to lose her.

As if that wasn’t tense enough, Dr. Ethan Choi (Brian Tee) has to treat a woman who is literally in the middle of delivering a baby. As in, it’s still attached. And she barely notices because the woman is clearly high.

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Once we see that the kid is stable, Charles and Choi reveal that the woman is a heroin addict, and Natalie warns that the child could have been born addicted as well. So what are they supposed to do?

Charles wants to get the mom into drug rehab; Choi disagrees. Dramatic underscore tells us this conflict might go on for a while.

Meanwhile, Will is surprised to see Sharon Goodwin’s ex-husband Bert Goodwin (guest star Greg Williams) and his girlfriend Lyla Dempsey (guest star Garcelle Beauvais) back in the hospital for the first time since “CTRL ALT.”

Lyla’s running a fever and has a recurring cough, so Will prescribes some antibiotics and tells her to relax. But could this be her degenerative disease taking a turn for the worse?

Connor asks Dr. Ava Bekker (Norma Kuhling) to cover for him, and that goes about as well as you would expect:

"Ava: Are you getting sick?Connor: No, I’m headed to Minneapolis.Ava: That sounds even worse."

Unfortunately, Connor and Ava are forced by Dr. Stanley Stohl (Eddie Jemison) to go together to a trauma scene, despite the fact that—as Connor points out—Ava isn’t a trauma surgeon. Stohl’s logic is that he can’t spare a trauma surgeon from the ED. Sending a surgeon who’s less qualified when you have ones who are; that’s bureaucratic decision-making at its finest.

While we beat our heads into the wall over that, Dr. Charles tells Sharon (S. Epatha Merkerson) that he’s decided not to supervise Dr. Sarah Reese (Rachel DiPillo) anymore, since her issues were happening on his watch. Something tells us that’s not going to go over well either. Lots of friction at the hospital, and that’s before Chicago Med‘s first commercial break.

Cue Reese meeting her new boss Dr. Chapman, and being told what she’s in for under. Chapman hands her a pile of flowcharts and Reese realizes that Chapman likes paperwork and medication. In other words, she’s the stereotypical psychiatrist.

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Meanwhile, have some Chicago Fire guest stars as Connor and Ava are met by Joe Cruz (Joe Minoso) and Christopher Herrmann (David Eigenberg). The duo lead them to poor Gary, who is most definitely not okay. He’s trapped in a ton of debris, impaled on a piece of rebar, and it’s not pretty. They can barely see anything, and neither can we.

Connor makes a split-second call to keep Gary from bleeding out, even though it might mean that he ultimately loses a limb if they can’t get him to Chicago Med fast enough.

Back at the hospital, Dr. Charles tells the new mom that her baby is addicted to heroin; she just wants to be left alone. And Lyla asks to talk to Sharon, because she knows that her condition is getting worse. She says she’s signed a DNR and wants Sharon to make sure Bert is looked after when she dies. This is not awkward at all.

Is anyone surprised that Reese eventually finds her way down to Dr. Charles’ office and tells him she wants to come back? We’re not, and neither is he. She gives him an impassioned speech on how this is the wrong call, but it doesn’t work:

"Reese: You’re the psychiatrist I want to be. I almost lost you once. I don’t want to lose you again."

It’s Choi’s turn to talk to the mom, which means we get a little more of Ethan Choi’s tough love. She thinks that he believes she’s terrible; he says he only wishes things had worked out better for her and her baby. Furthermore, he understands a lot better than she thinks (perhaps that’s some foreshadowing?)

Let’s go back to Gary in crisis. Ava warns Connor that Gary’s already losing the leg. You know what that means: Connor has to amputate the leg right now, right there, whether Gary wants him to or not. Ava backs him up on this, and gives a whole spiel that convinces him to go through with such a terrible outcome.

"Ava: Just keep looking at me, Gary. I’ve got you."

While we try not to think about someone’s leg being chopped off, Natalie finds out that the baby is seizing. She and April Sexton (Yaya DaCosta) are able to stabilize him but not for long, which gets noticed by Dr. Charles. He appeals to the baby’s mother one more time and she tearfully agrees to hold her son. We’re not crying, you’re crying.

Chicago Med then tells us Lyla has changed her mind and wants to rescind the DNR, giving Will permission to use “extreme measures” to keep her alive for Bert’s sake. But when it comes down to it, she can’t go through with the change, and Bert agrees to let her go. Lyla dies just before Ava and Connor return with Gary.

Unsurprisingly, Dr. Stohl is there to second-guessing Connor’s decisions in the field. But before he can be a troll about it, Ava snaps back that it was the right call. They’re able to remove the rebar in what’s left of Gary’s leg and get him up to surgery—and Ava even pays Connor a compliment.

When DCFS arrives to take the baby, the mom has second thoughts of her own and won’t let him go, begging Dr. Charles to intervene, which he doesn’t. Naturally, Natalie and Choi have to wonder if letting her near the kid was a good idea after all, especially when the embittered mom decides to leave the hospital without getting treatment after the incident.

"Dr. Charles: You did the right thing today. You were there for your baby."

So now that Chicago Med season 3 has stomped on our hearts, we have to get some good news, right? Charles goes to see Reese, and says that he, too, has had a change of mind. He’s willing to have her back when she finishes her suspension.

But we’re most worried about Gary. Connor pays him a visit, and is surprised that Gary has a very good attitude about it; he says that at least he’s still alive and he’ll find a way to move on. Moved by what he’s seen there, Connor tells Dr. Charles that he’s decided not to go to Minneapolis after all, and is going to let Robin go.

He also tells Ava, and the look on her face is kind of interesting. But not quite as interesting as wait, why the heck is Connor buying himself a mid-life crisis car?

Meanwhile, we get a picture of Ethan’s sister Emily (Arden Cho), confirming our earlier theory that the “family” comment was foreshadowing. He says he hasn’t spoken to Emily in four years, but he thinks he might call her.

And Chicago Med ends as it began, with Will and Natalie spending the night together. Which is a bit of a random place to leave it, but okay then. At least someone has a happy ending.

“Over Troubled Water” is a breath of fresh air for Chicago Med, in the sense that the show doesn’t often show us cases until they get through the ED doors, so it’s always fun when we’re out in the field with our doctors and nurses.

But it’s an episode that gives Chicago Med season 3 a shot in the arm. We finally get to see more from the Connor-Ava dynamic than just bickering (though there is some of that), we watch Reese have to deal without Dr. Charles, and Goodwin once again having to interact with her ex-husband. but this time with him grieving. All the dynamics we’ve become used to so far this season turn just a little bit sideways, which is what keeps them fresh and interesting.

There are interesting ideas here, such as will the relationship between our two cardiothoracic surgeons mature at all based on these events? What’s going to happen with Choi and his sister? Add in the fact that it’s always fun to see crossover cameos, and this is a solid episode both dramatically and in terms of character development. Let’s just hope we see continuations of some of these ideas going forward.

Next: Which Chicago Med star has a birthday this week?

What did you think of this week’s Chicago Med episode? Give us your reaction to “Over Troubled Water” in the comments.

Chicago Med airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on NBC.