Chicago Med season 1, episode 1 rewatch: Derailed

CHICAGO MED -- "Derailed" Episode 101 -- Pictured: (l-r) Colin Donnell as Dr. Connor Rhodes, S. Epatha Merkerson as Sharon Goodwin -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Sisson/NBC)
CHICAGO MED -- "Derailed" Episode 101 -- Pictured: (l-r) Colin Donnell as Dr. Connor Rhodes, S. Epatha Merkerson as Sharon Goodwin -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Sisson/NBC) /

Look back at where Chicago Med began this summer. Read our retrospective on the series premiere as we rewatch Chicago Med season 1, episode 1.

Over the One Chicago summer break, we’re looking back at where it all began by rewatching the first seasons of our shows—and today we’re revisiting Chicago Med season 1, episode 1.

If you want to rewatch this episode along with us, you can find Chicago Med season 1 on iTunes and DVD.

The first episode of Chicago Med was called “Derailed” for the obvious reason that the show was starting with a massive train crash.

When you look back at it for the second time, you realize how much different Gaffney Chicago Medical Center was back then compared to how it is now.

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There’s probably more of a difference here than in the other two One Chicago series, even though both Chicago Fire and Chicago PD have been on the air a lot longer.

“Derailed” starts with the opening of the brand-new Emergency Department at the hospital (you know, since the last one didn’t fare so well in the backdoor pilot episode of Chicago Fire). In last month’s season 3 finale, hospital administrator Sharon Goodwin (S. Epatha Merkerson) makes a comment about getting a whole new ED.

In “Derailed,” Dr. Will Halstead (Nick Gehlfuss) is still a resident, Dr. Natalie Manning (Torrey DeVitto) hasn’t had her baby yet, and we’re just meeting Dr. Connor Rhodes (Colin Donnell) for the very first time—when he’s still a trauma surgeon and has one of the coolest entrances in TV, literally riding into the ED on top of a patient.

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Obviously there should be differences between a show’s first episode and where the characters are after three seasons, but there are particularly huge differences in our favorite medical drama.

It’s also a bit more tightly structured. In the premiere, the only specialist is Dr. Daniel Charles (Oliver Platt); Connor is still a trauma surgeon and Dr. Sarah Reese (Rachel DiPillo) is just joining the team. So unlike current episodes where Med has to find separate plots for the ED, the heart surgeons and the psych squad, “Derailed” can devote a large portion of its time to all of the train victims.

And that train crash is still one of the biggest and best setpieces that the show has done. The opening visual of the wrecked train dangling is exactly the kind of eye-opening moment you want to start a series on, and it’s great that the teaser is given to Connor, because Colin Donnell pulls off that action hero-type vibe (which he wouldn’t revisit again until this season’s “Lock It Down”).

The Chicago Med series premiere still holds up well three years later. It’s got a lot of action in it and efficiently introduces the new characters who weren’t in the backdoor pilot, all of whom grab the audience’s attention pretty quickly. If anything, it’s worth rewatching to remember when the ED was a simpler place and our characters’ lives weren’t so complicated.

They’ve moved forward in their careers, but are their lives even more chaotic? Take a second look at “Derailed” and see for yourselves. Watch it again on iTunes and DVD.

Next: How were Chicago Med ratings this season?

Join us every Tuesday this summer for our Chicago Med season 1 review. For more Chicago Med related news, follow the Chicago Med category at One Chicago Center.