Chicago Med season 5 midseason report: Crockett Marcel

CHICAGO MED -- "Too Close to the Sun" Episode 508 -- Pictured: Dominic Rains as Crockett Marcel -- (Photo by: Adrian Burrows/NBC)
CHICAGO MED -- "Too Close to the Sun" Episode 508 -- Pictured: Dominic Rains as Crockett Marcel -- (Photo by: Adrian Burrows/NBC) /
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What it means

Let’s get to the positive part first: Dominic Rains has done an admirable job in his first nine episodes of Chicago Med. It’s not easy to come into a TV show five seasons in, and in this case it’s also an uphill battle because he’s the replacement for Colin Donnell, who was both beloved by the fans and the show’s best actor. Rains has proven himself to be a pretty good actor, too, when he’s given the chance and there’s no doubt that he’s giving this role everything he has.

Unfortunately, Dr. Crockett Marcel isn’t nearly as good a character. Chicago Med did with him what Chicago PD did with Hailey Upton: claim a character wasn’t replacing another one, but then stick them in the exact same spot as their predecessor.

Marcel is a trauma surgeon, just like Donnell’s Dr. Connor Rhodes was, and has even taken over Connor’s project of the hybrid OR. So it’s hard to not judge him as a replacement for Connor when he’s following on Connor’s footsteps—and there is no competition between the two.

Even if you set that aside, so far Marcel isn’t even interesting on his own merits, for a few reasons. Firstly, the writers don’t seem to know how to write him. In some episodes (like when he and Choi were at odds), he comes off as a smarmy ass who almost treats the hospital like his own personal playground.

Then, in the crossover, we finally saw a vulnerable side to him. And then there’s the writers pushing him into a romantic subplot—a love triangle, no less—when he’s been on the show for nine episodes. So who is this guy supposed to be?

We don’t know, because his personality seems to change from plotline to plotline, and we have very little information yet about him. Like the last new character to join the show, Dr. Ava Bekker, the writers aren’t developing him. Hopefully, they’ll do that in the back half of the season and tell us what kind of person he is and why we should care about him. Because while he may be played by a good actor, so far, he feels like an incomplete character.