Chicago Med Season 8 Episode 15 Review: Those Times You Have to Cross the Line
David Sullivan ended up in the ED again.
It was inevitable after Chicago Med Season 8 Episode 1 when his parents refused to believe that he had schizoaffective disorder and refused to get him psychiatric help.
But on Chicago Med Season 8 Episode 15, David had been on psych meds for a while before having another psychotic episode. Who could have predicted that after his parents’ attitude the last time?
Since David’s parents had refused treatment, it would have made more sense if David’s auditory hallucinations and belief he was dead came from being unmedicated.
However, where would the story have gone if Chicago Med had gone in that direction? We already had the story of the parents refusing to accept that their son needed help; we didn’t need a repeat.
Cuevas said she had treated David several times, so we’re supposed to assume that the parents had returned to the ED with him off-screen and finally accepted the need for treatment.
I wish the whole arc had been on-screen, but this installment was still compelling. David seemed depressed and agitated, and until he said he was already dead, I was worried he was suicidal.
I’m not sure when Cuevas started seeing patients on her own — up until this point, she had worked under Charles’ supervision — but it worked for her to be the initial point of contact while Charles was supposedly taking the day off.
Thank goodness one of the psychiatrists was in the hospital. Hannah was unprepared to deal with a schizoaffective patient in crisis; she did the right thing by paging Cuevas.
Charles’ approach to David’s case was a masterclass in how to deal with delusional patients. Although it might have been tempting to ask how David could communicate if he was dead or otherwise try to argue with him, it would have been pointless.
Psychosis is immune to logic, and the more doctors try to convince a psychotic patient of reality, the angrier and more insistent they become that their delusions are accurate.
Charles: I took a look at David’s chart. He had a birthday and now he’s 18, so he’s legally an adult. He has the right to refuse medication.
David’s father: David can barely keep it together. What’s he going to be like without meds?
Earlier in the season, Charles tried to impress that on Cuevas; I’m glad she’s learned it.
Charles’ use of Frankenstein and the idea of “life after death” were great ways of getting into David’s world while guiding him to do something good for him.
David wouldn’t have accepted ECT if he thought it was supposed to cure his delusions, but he was willing to try to resurrect himself since he believed he was dead.
The only flaw in this story was that it didn’t make sense that David didn’t have a healthcare proxy.
While Charles was right that people over 18 can make their own healthcare decisions, I’d think that wouldn’t apply to David since he was incapable of understanding what was happening and the likely consequences of his choices.
Of course, his parents hadn’t set anything up beforehand, so it might have taken a court order to establish that David was incompetent. Still, it was odd that David’s age was the end of the story.
Hopefully, David’s more lucid state after the ECT treatment will be permanent!
Elsewhere, that DCFS worker should confirm with the hospital that she’s needed before she makes any more trips. This is the second week she got sent away upon arrival.
Oddly, she was pissed that Marcel decided he’d got things wrong but had no problem with Hannah telling her she was unneeded on Chicago Med Season 8 Episode 14.
Either way, Marcel jumped the gun. Maggie was right that children who live on farms often work on them and that it isn’t child neglect to allow them to use machines that can cause serious harm.
It’s not as if Abby was playing with the machine or her parents weren’t supervising her use of it. The accident happened while she was climbing onto the seat so that she could help her father, who was the one driving the machine.
Maggie: Why did you call DCFS?
Marcel: This child should never have been near that machine.
Maggie: You don’t understand how it is on a farm. Kids work all the time. It’s part of the culture.
Marcel: Yeah, well that culture is going to lose this child her foot.
Marcel was acting like they had left the keys to the machine lying around and left her home without supervision. Parents — whether in urban or rural settings — have to decide what’s appropriate for their kids to do.
Marcel’s decision wasn’t any different than if he’d called DCFS on a parent who determined it was safe for their elementary school-aged child to walk to school without an adult.
In addition, Abby was eleven. Many urban and suburban kids her age work with dangerous machines in their middle school woodworking classes — is that child abuse too?
Maggie was right that Marcel was judging something he didn’t understand. Thank goodness he realized his mistake before it was too late.
I expected the strike story to be bigger than it was, too. The issue of the custodial staff going on strike, Dayton refusing to budge, and the strikebreakers not doing a good job could have stretched over several episodes.
Charles was caught in the middle. Sharon didn’t seem happy that he was on the picket line when he was a doctor at the hospital (and her friend!), but nothing came of that, and Sharon sent Dayton messages via George about the strike, but Dayton stayed off-screen.
The bedbugs were gross, and the hospital was negligent in not keeping the treatment rooms sanitary during the strike.
Sharon: We have bedbugs in the ED. A patient developed a rash from a bug bite and so did a nurse. This strike needs to end now.
George: I hear you. Jack won’t give in unless the unions agree to more concessions. He says we can’t afford what they want.
Sharon: And what about liability lawsuits? Can we afford that?
Will Walter sue? He was unhappy about what happened and said he was no longer impressed with the hospital.
I’m also curious how Liliana’s friends will react to Charles. He may be her boyfriend, but he’s also a doctor, and spending his downtime on the picket line might not be enough to endear him to them.
Finally, we got Archer’s softer side for the first time. He spoke honestly with Sean and broke down in tears after apologizing for the past.
I didn’t expect anything like that when Archer first showed up at Chicago Med, breaking the rules and imposing his will on reluctant patients. Did you?
Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know! And don’t forget you can watch Chicago Med online during the three-week hiatus before the next new episode.
Chicago Med airs on NBC on Wednesdays at 8 PM EST / PST. The next new episode airs on March 22, 2023.
Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on Twitter.