3. Will Halstead and Natalie Manning’s “break”
The moment that prompted this list comes in, in the middle of the list because it’s not flattering for either side. While Stellaride and Ava-Connor were just random, the current state of affairs with Chicago Med‘s first couple is making them both look bad.
One Chicago fans rejoiced when Dr. Will Halstead (Nick Gehlfuss) and Dr. Natalie Manning (Torrey DeVitto) finally got together at the start of Chicago Med season 3. Like their colleagues Connor and Ava, the writing was on the wall here, except for Manstead it’d been the whole series coming. At the same time, it was a given that their happiness would not last forever, because that would be too easy.
When the drama arrived, it was two WTF moments making one big WTF moment. First, Natalie angrily told Will that she needed a “break” from him, saying that he was overly protective of her because she was a woman; the way she phrased it made Will sound sexist and felt totally unfair. Now, while they’re on this break, Med has had Will get drunk and make out with Dr. Maya Frisch (guest star Emma Duncan). At least they didn’t have sex, but they may as well have, considering it still infuriated Natalie.
No one’s behavior in this feels in character; the whole thing comes off as relationship drama to have relationship drama, and our frustration is further compounded because there were other, better reasons to give Manstead some hurdles to overcome.
Natalie getting upset with Will for over-protecting her because she’s his girlfriend? Fine, and it’s absolutely right. That’s what he was doing all season. But when she throws in how he wouldn’t do that with Choi or Noah because they’re men, it becomes an issue not about their relationship, but a bigger issue of him seeing women differently, and it’s kind of offensive. Maybe she phrased that badly, but there’s no reason to bring the problem up to that level.
And they’re on a break, not broken up, so why is Will putting his lips on another woman? Okay, we’ll allow that he was drunk and drunk people do stupid stuff—but if he loves Natalie as much as we know he does (having pined after her forever), why does he fall for a woman he’s literally just met, who has no charm whatsoever? Frisch is like Med‘s version of Hope Jacquinot from Fire; she is so obvious, it’s painful. Even drunk Will should know better.
It would’ve been a lot more interesting if Chicago Med focused on the professional conflict that results from Will outranking Natalie, and if it really did bleed into their personal relationship. That’s a great story. Instead, the show’s done a pretty good job of blowing up Manstead with a series of bad choices all around.