Here's why Goodwin's love interest on Chicago Med looks familiar

Goodwin has tried to keep new romance a secret from the rest of Gaffney.

CHICAGO MED -- "This Town Ain't Big Enough for Both of Us" Episode 9002 -- Pictured: S. Epatha Merkerson as Sharon Goodwin -- (Photo by: George Burns Jr/NBC)
CHICAGO MED -- "This Town Ain't Big Enough for Both of Us" Episode 9002 -- Pictured: S. Epatha Merkerson as Sharon Goodwin -- (Photo by: George Burns Jr/NBC) /
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Chicago Med caught fans off-guard right when it revealed that Dr. Sharon Goodwin (S. Epatha Merkerson) has been carrying on a romance behind closed doors with a fellow employee named Dennis Washington (John Earl Jelks).

It was confirmed in the season 9 episode "What Happens In the Dark Always Comes to Light", when Goodwin and Washington embraced, and even discussed whether or not they should continue to keep their romance a secret.

Goodwin is secretly dating Dr. Washington

Chicago Med - Season 9
CHICAGO MED -- "What Happens in the Dark Always Comes to Light" Episode 9003 -- Pictured: (l-r) John Earl Jelks as Dr. Dennis Washington, Oliver Platt as Dr. Daniel Charles -- (Photo by: George Burns Jr/NBC) /

The former was open to the idea of telling the rest of the medical staff, but Goodwin made it clear that she was worried how it would be perceived. At least, at first. By the end of the episode, Goodwin has a change of heart, and tells Washington that she's open to the idea of making their romance public:

"I’ve always carried myself with a sense of propriety and I spent a lot of time encouraging my colleagues to do the same... And I just think if you feel strongly about something in private, you should own it in public."

It was a sweet moment, and one that was very surprising given that fans didn't know about Goodwin and Washington's relationship until the beginning of the episode. The show implies that the latter has been a part of the Gaffney Medical Center world for quite some time (off-screen), but he may also be familiar to longtime fans of the larger Dick Wolf universe.

Both actors are Law & Order alum

Chicago Med - Season 9
CHICAGO MED -- "What Happens in the Dark Always Comes to Light" Episode 9003 -- Pictured: (l-r) Shelley Robertson as Pamela Moore, Seth Morris as Paul Moore, John Earl Jelks as Dr. Dennis Washington, Oliver Platt as Dr. Daniel Charles -- (Photo by: George Burns Jr/NBC) /

Washington is played by John Earl Jelks, who previously appeared in a 2011 episode of Law & Order: SVU. This means that both him and Merkerson are Law & Order alum, as the latter appeared on Law & Order for a staggering 20 seasons.

Since Law & Order and SVU take place in the same universe as One Chicago, that means that both Jelks and Merkerson have multiple roles to their name.

It's unclear how long the romance between their Med characters will last, but it's definitely a fun addition to Goodwin, who hasn't had a serious romantic subplot since season 5. This also puts Dr. Goodwin in a completely different situation than Maggie Lockwood (Marlyne Barrett), who is in the midst of a nasty divorce.

Next. Maggie. Maggie's divorce is worse than we thought. dark