Chicago Med season 5 character review: Sharon Goodwin

S. Epatha Merkerson in Chicago Med (Photo by: Elizabeth Sisson/NBC)
S. Epatha Merkerson in Chicago Med (Photo by: Elizabeth Sisson/NBC) /

How was Chicago Med season 5 for Sharon Goodwin?

As we continue to look back on Chicago Med season 5, we’re breaking down the season for each of the show’s characters.

Did your favorite character have a good season or a bad season? What were their strong points and were there any weaknesses? Was the character affected by the show’s writing, or vice versa? Where could they go from here?

Check out our detailed character breakdown, and let us know your thoughts on how this season was for each character in the comments.

In this article, we’re profiling Sharon Goodwin (S. Epatha Merkerson).

More from One Chicago Center

What happened in Chicago Med season 5 for Sharon Goodwin

Goodwin had a relatively quiet season, save for her usual scenes of appearing to comment on something that had come to her attention. Her biggest plot point was that she reconciled with her ex-husband (recurring guest star Greg Alan Williams), and the two started dating again. Maybe. Sharon wasn’t too keen to put a label on it.

That didn’t go over well with their son Michael (guest star Hampton Fluker). However, Michael interviewed for a job as a medical representative and got himself assigned to his mom’s hospital. Immediately Michael began to schmooze the doctors, which gave Sharon her own uneasiness.

It remains to be seen if that will come up again when the show returns, or if someone will finally bring up that it should be a conflict of interest. But other than her family stories, Goodwin was not a major player this season, nor did she get any sort of big moment in the spotlight.

Watch One Chicago on fuboTV: Watch over 67 live sports and entertainment channels with a 7-day FREE trial!

What Chicago Med season 5 means for Sharon Goodwin

This may have been Goodwin’s worst Chicago Med season. Not only was she underused, but when she was used, her scenes left a lot to be desired.

That has nothing to do with S. Epatha Merkerson, who like her colleague Oliver Platt could read the phone book and make it interesting. She’s a great actress, and her presence and experience have helped to ground Chicago Med over the years. But this year just felt like filler when it came to her character.

The subplots she was given were implausible (deciding to get back with her cheating ex-husband for no significant reason), and what she didn’t get to do spoke loudest of all. Seeing everyone run around the hospital breaking rules and starting fights with each other, while Goodwin handed out no serious discipline whatsoever, was one of the most frustrating things about the show this season. It was not only a letdown of her character, who’s supposed to be in charge, it made the whole show look like it didn’t care anymore.

Our Chicago Med season 6 prognosis for Sharon Goodwin

Goodwin is to Chicago Med what Trudy Platt is to Chicago PD. She’s a supporting character played by an incredible actress that the writers seem to struggle with. But while Trudy is at least seen to be doing her job, Goodwin appears to have become something of an empty figurehead.

That’s because as the focus shifted to everyone’s personal lives, the writers didn’t seem to give out any real consequences for anybody, so Goodwin never disciplined her staff when they needed to be suspended or perhaps even fired. Maggie Lockwood (Marlyne Barrett) forged a signature. Ethan Choi (Brian Tee) got physical with another doctor twice. And Goodwin did nothing in either case.

The character already has a limited amount to do because her position as hospital administrator means that she’s not in the ED. But not having her make those kinds of administrative decisions further sidelined her. Next season she needs to reassert control over her doctors and nurses—not only because the hospital needs it, but Chicago Med needs it, too.

And it would be fantastic to find another Goodwin-centric story, one that goes beyond the usual “dealing with a bureaucrat/rich donor/old friend who is a rich donor” we’ve seen in a few episodes. How about letting her and Charles work on a case together?

What Heather Headley is doing after Chicago Med. dark. Next

For the latest Chicago Med season 5 spoilers and news, plus more on the entire series, follow the Chicago Med category at One Chicago Center.