Chicago Med is figuring out Crockett Marcel, but there’s work to do

"Just A River In Egypt" Episode 519 -- Pictured: Dominic Rains as Crockett Marcel -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Sisson/NBC)
"Just A River In Egypt" Episode 519 -- Pictured: Dominic Rains as Crockett Marcel -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Sisson/NBC) /

Chicago Med started to explain Crockett Marcel in the Chicago Med season 5 finale, but there’s a lot missing when it comes to Dominic Rains’ character.

Crockett Marcel was supposed to shake up Chicago Med, but with the biggest revelation about him coming in the Chicago Med season 5 finale, where is the character going from here? And will fans ever embrace him the way producers wanted?

Dominic Rains’ character was introduced in the season premiere as a night shift doctor, who then moved to days in order to fill the vacancy created after Dr. Connor Rhodes (Colin Donnell) quit. He was described then as “very different” from Connor and going to “disturb things a lot more.”

But 20 episodes later, that’s not really what happened. And aside from his personal tragedy that came out in the season finale, viewers still don’t know Crockett that well.

He’s a character with a ton of potential—but it hasn’t been realized.

More from Crockett Marcel

Very little of substance has been revealed about Crockett since he first appeared. We know he’s from New Orleans and that he had a daughter, Harper, who died just after her first birthday from leukemia.

The rest of his season was spent involved in a psuedo-love triangle with April Sexton (Yaya DaCosta) and Ethan Choi (Brian Tee), getting kidnapped with Natalie Manning (Torrey DeVitto), and being almost arrested for a murder he didn’t commit.

That’s a lot of drama and not a lot of character development, which would be concerning for any character—but particularly for a series regular in their first season, while following in the shadow of a massive fan favorite. First seasons are the audience’s first impression of a character, and in Crockett’s case, his didn’t make a huge impact.

That’s not the fault of Dominic Rains, who has been doing his best with everything that Chicago Med has given him, whether it’s Crockett being a third wheel or butting heads with other doctors. He has talent and charisma, but he can only show so much when the character isn’t able to grow beyond his argument of the week.

Rather, we have to look at the context in which he was introduced, and the missed opportunities in subsequent episodes. Chicago Med did to Crockett what Chicago PD did to Hailey Upton years ago: put the new character directly in the spot that the old one filled, making it incredibly hard to avoid comparing one to the other.

Crockett may not have been intended as a direct replacement for Connor, but that’s the impression that resulted when Med had him take over the hybrid OR that Connor created. The two also share a background of being trauma surgeons, and Crockett is getting swooned over by nurses the same way that Connor did in his first season (actually moreso). Plus, if you look at Dominic Rains versus Colin Donnell, the two even look vaguely similar.

New characters have to be given the opportunity to stand on their own, and instead Crockett was dropped right into Connor’s parking space—at a time when fans were (and still are) very incensed about the producers’ decision to write out the Dr. Rhodes character. It’s hard to imagine a harder place for a character to start from.

Chicago Med could have overcome that, however, if Crockett had been given storylines that were about him instead of using him as a piece in other people’s stories—and a negative one at that. It is also hard for a character to endear themselves to viewers when they’re screwing up someone else’s relationship.

Crockett’s biggest storyline this season wasn’t about him; he’ll be remembered as the guy who came between April and Choi, ultimately leading to their second break-up. That whole plot was flawed, starting with Crockett’s attraction to April coming nearly out of the blue and culminating with the situation turning the normally calm Choi into someone extremely unprofessional. The subplot took up so much time in season 5, and it made everyone look terrible, and Crockett trying to kiss April was the moment that started it all. Not a good look for him.

It might have gone down easier if we had learned anything about him while this was going on, but we didn’t get any real look inside his head. And then, once all that settled, Chicago Med didn’t fill in the blanks there; instead, it started toward another romantic storyline, this one with Natalie.

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There has to be more to Crockett Marcel than his romantic life. In fact, he doesn’t even need a love life to be an interesting character; the writers could show us more of the choices and people that made him who he is, or more of who he is as a surgeon. Saying that he likes to keep things close to the vest is fine, but that doesn’t mean don’t flesh him out; it means that the writers have to find a different way of doing it, such as introducing Crockett’s old friend in the finale.

We want to meet more of Crockett’s friends. Or learn more about his talents or point of view as a surgeon, and not just through whatever disagreement he has with Choi or Natalie. Give him a case that he has to think about and work through on his own. Give Dominic Rains a way to show off his sense of humor that doesn’t involve Crockett being snarky. If this is a character who’s going to be around for the next three seasons—unless he, too, runs his course—then we want to see all that he has to offer.

Hopefully Chicago Med season 9 will give viewers greater insight into Crockett Marcel, and have more opportunities for Dominic Rains to show his strengths. Because right now, Crockett feels like an incomplete character who hasn’t lived up to his predecessor, and that’s the last thing he should be.

Next. Chicago Med is missing Colin Donnell. dark

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