Chicago Med season 3 report card: What worked and what didn’t

CHICAGO MED -- "Nothing to Fear" Episode 302 -- Pictured: (l-r) Brian Tee as Ethan Choi, Yaya DaCosta as April Sexton -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Sisson/NBC)
CHICAGO MED -- "Nothing to Fear" Episode 302 -- Pictured: (l-r) Brian Tee as Ethan Choi, Yaya DaCosta as April Sexton -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Sisson/NBC) /

Chicago Med season 3 is complete, so it’s time to put the season in review: What worked? What didn’t? Here’s what we thought about this season.

This season of Chicago Med is in the books, meaning it’s time to look back on Season 3 and see how it all turned out. What parts of the season worked and made us fans all over again? What parts didn’t and could use room for improvement in the future?

We answer those questions in our Season 3 Report Card as we examine where this past season of Chicago Med burned brightest, and where it didn’t always succeed. Looking back at the big picture, we hope you get additional perspective on all of the season that was.

As always, feel free to leave your thoughts about Season 3’s hits and misses in the comments, and continue the discussion.

Here’s how we grade Season 3 of Chicago Med:

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  • Finally getting to story points: This season did execute some of the ideas that had been set up in past seasons. Dr. Will Halstead (Nick Gehlfuss) and Dr. Natalie Manning (Torrey DeVitto) finally got together, and though it was less obvious, it turned out that Dr. Ethan Choi (Brian Tee) and April Sexton (Yaya DaCosta) did make a good pair both on and off the job.
  • Interesting challenges: Though it still doesn’t beat saving a panda, the series found some creative things to throw in characters’ ways on occasion, whether it was Choi and Natalie having to treat a pregnant girl at a homeless camp or Dr. Connor Rhodes (Colin Donnell) having to sneak into his own hospital. We wonder if he got billed for breaking down that door.
  • Bringing back great characters: Kudos to Med for remembering some of the folks that made it so good last season and using them in Chicago Med season 3. We were glad to see both Dr. Isidore Latham (Ato Essandoh) and Dr. Robin Charles (Mekia Cox) again, though they each deserved more screen time.

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  • Parents: Fathers got a really bum rap in this season. The subplot about Reese’s father Robert Haywood (Michel Gill) being a possible murderer felt better suited to Chicago PD than Chicago Med. And Connor’s father Cornelius Rhodes (D.W. Moffett) flirting with Ava was somehow even creepier than that.
  • Overly long storylines: Multi-episode storylines are a good idea if they’re worth the extra time and attention. The ones Chicago Med had in season 2 were worth it; the ones in season 3 were not. Both the Robert story and the conjoined twin surgery plot could’ve been wrapped up much sooner.
  • The execution of Manstead: We knew it wouldn’t be smooth sailing for Will and Natalie, but the drama that happened in their relationship was frustrating at best. Whether it was how we didn’t quite understand why Natalie needed a break, to having Will get drunk and almost sleep with another woman, to his impulsive proposal that felt as much like he was trying to placate her as much as he was proposing to her—it all turned into quite the mess and we’ll have to wait until next season to find out where it goes.

Chicago Med season 3 started out with tons of potential. It was clear from how season 2 ended that the writers had a very specific vision for where they wanted the show to go next. But once they set it up, it stumbled out of the gate. Most of the medical cases weren’t quite as impressive as the ones from last season, and every character’s personal subplot was aggravating at least once this season.

The show still has a great ensemble, and there are still places for the characters to go. And one wonders how much of the season was impacted by off-camera concerns—like if they’d been able to use the original season premiere idea, or if Ato Essandoh had been able to appear in more than just a handful of episodes, or Mekia Cox becoming a series regular on Once Upon A Time. Would those things have opened up different opportunities?

It’s all speculation, but Chicago Med had highs and lows this season. Like its characters, it has some big choices to make when the show returns this fall.

Next: Look back at Chicago Med's first episode

How would you look back on Chicago Med season 3? Let us know your thoughts about this season in the comments.

Chicago Med returns this fall on NBC.