Chicago Med season 3: Brian Tee talks Choi’s complicated finale

CHICAGO MED -- "The Tipping Point" Episode 320 -- Pictured: (l-r) Yaya DaCosta as April Sexton, Brian Tee as Dr. Ethan Choi -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Sisson/NBC)
CHICAGO MED -- "The Tipping Point" Episode 320 -- Pictured: (l-r) Yaya DaCosta as April Sexton, Brian Tee as Dr. Ethan Choi -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Sisson/NBC) /

There’s “a lot” happening for Ethan Choi in the Chicago Med season 3 finale, and Brian Tee told One Chicago Center about everything Choi has in store.

Ethan Choi has balanced his work, his relationship and his family throughout this Chicago Med season—and it might all come crashing down in tonight’s Chicago Med season finale.

We caught up with Brian Tee ahead of the last episode to ask what’s next for Choi with April Sexton (Yaya DaCosta) and his wayward sister Emily (guest star Arden Cho), and see whether or not Choi might have a bigger future ahead.

Ethan’s primary concern in “The Tipping Point” will be trying to find and make amends with Emily, whom he still believes is innocent of the drug theft from the hospital a few weeks ago. But it’s not going to be easy, as Brian told us the siblings have “a lot” coming up.

“I feel like the Emily-Ethan relationship is about to fall down because she’s gone down this path,” he explained.

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“Emily was adopted, Ethan’s always kind of been on his own course and through it all, Ethan kind of felt his responsibility and he can actually kind of overstep his boundaries, even with his own personal code, to try and help Emily out. That’s what’s going to happen.”

That will naturally have an impact on his relationship with April, which has remained relatively calm when you compare it to the disagreements going on in the show’s other dynamics. But they’re going to have a pretty considerable issue in the finale.

“I think the Ethan-April relationship is beautiful,” Brian said. “I think it’s one of those situations where kind of the yin and yang come together. They’re opposites in certain ways but in the best way possible. Each one has a big personality and I feel one compliments the other.

“But that will all come to a head,” he added, “along with the Emily relationship dynamic. You kind of see a triangular force coming together, and that will create as much conflict as you can possibly have within all three dynamics.”

It’s a big challenge for Ethan to uphold what he sees as his responsibility to his sister while also respecting the point of view of his girlfriend, but if anyone can do it, you’d think it would be Ethan Choi. Brian told us why he believes Choi always seems to be cool under pressure and able to help hold things together in the toughest situations.

“I don’t know if he has everything together,” he explained. “He has quite a path where he’s dealt with a lot more pressure, a lot more combat circumstances, especially since he’s done a couple tours. He’s been in the line of fire so things don’t really bother him or make him jump as much as the other fellow doctors and nurses do.

“I feel like Ethan has always had a cool head upon his shoulders, especially with his background, when push comes to shove,” Brian continued. “You saw with the mass shooting, he was the one that was kind of pulling rank and having a plan.

“Of course he comes with his own baggage as he’s going through all of that, he has his own turnmoil, and we kind of saw that at the end of the episode. It’s something he holds onto and keeps to himself. The good thing about Ethan is you’ll see the vulnerable side to him kind of come out.”

Speaking of that mass casualty plan that Ethan devised, that’s just the latest example of how he seems to be perceptive and know the big picture. Does Brian think it’s possible that as Chicago Med continues, we could see Ethan Choi moving further up the ranks at the hospital?

“There could be. Who knows what the seasons to follow will come,” he told us. “I feel like Ethan is one of those types that you can put in any situation and he’ll figure it out and he’ll try to do it the right way.

“With Ethan though, his instincts are to basically save lives and I feel like that’s what he’s best at. If he’s in a political situation, his instincts might get in the way of his practicality.”

“I feel like the whole writing staff has done a beautiful job with Ethan,” Brian reflected. “I’m completely enamored with the storylines that come across for him. There’s so many dynamics, so many nuances, and then also he has these interesting storylines.

“And I think that has a lot to do with his background,” he added. “You can throw him into anything and he can kind of handle it.”

What you may not know is that Chicago Med is also kind of the end of a journey for Brian Tee. He had an interesting path to get to the hospital, including a criminal guest spot on Chicago PD and a busted NBC pilot alongside fellow Med star Colin Donnell.

“We’ve had quite a bromance since that first pilot together,” he laughed. “What’s so interesting is that we shot that pilot and we were waiting for the pickup, and I happened to be in New York shooting a different film. [Colin and I were] literally across from each other on the street in the middle of New York and we were like, dude, what are you doing?

“Cut to, we’re at his house kind of kicking back and hanging out and we find out that we didn’t get picked up. But long story short, we ended up in Chicago doing this show.”

As for that time he played a bad guy on Chicago PD, Brian told us that in retrospect it feels “completely like a different type of character, in an arc type of way. What I feel is interesting, is in that particular situation, it’s kind of led me back into the Chicago family.

“They knew me from there and what’s great about the producers and Dick Wolf, they didn’t blink an eye, they didn’t really care. They just wanted to cast good actors and felt I was strong. So with the help of NBC and the pilot before that one, it all came together for me.”

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Now Brian Tee is a fixture in the One Chicago franchise and he’ll get to explore Ethan Choi for at least one more season, as NBC renewed Chicago Med last week for season 3. He’s thrilled at the news, and expressed his gratitude toward his cast, crew and the fans.

“I hope people are enjoying the show,” Brian concluded. “The cast and crew are completely enamored with one another and I feel like those nuances that you see on the screen, those are real. Our writers and showrunners write terrific, very insightful, wonderful storylines and situations that are part of the cast relating to one another. I feel that’s what attracts the audience towards us, and I’d love to thank them for being a part of our family.”

Next: More Chicago Med season finale hints from the producers

Don’t miss Brian Tee as Ethan Choi in tonight’s Chicago Med season 3 finale, airing Tuesday at 10 p.m. on NBC. How do you think Choi’s season will end? Leave us your thoughts in the comments.