Changes are ahead at the Gaffney Chicago Medical Center when Chicago Med returns.
After Reese (Rachel DiPillo) rejected her pathology match, Charles (Oliver Platt) offers her a new job as a psych resident, though he’ll have his hands full when his elder daughter (Mekia Cox) starts working at the hospital. “There’s some strains in the relationship, which will reveal a lot about his past,” EP Andrew Schneider tells EW.
Elsewhere, Rhodes (Colin Donnell) gets a challenging mentor (Ato Essandoh) following Dr. Downey’s death; Choi (Brian Tee) embraces his new position as chief resident; and April (Yaya DaCosta) isolates herself after a TB diagnosis. In happier news, Goodwin (S. Epatha Merkerson) and Halstead (Nick Gehlfuss) are on track to start new romances. Prep the on-call rooms, stat! Below, Schneider and executive producer Diane Frolov tease what’s next:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Where does the new season pick up?
ANDREW SCHNEIDER: Well, we have a lot to pick up from the end of the last season. You know that April was diagnosed with tuberculosis.
DIANE FORLOV: And Sharon’s husband had moved out.
SCHNEIDER: And Will Halstead had actually been accepted as an attending physician, so he has a promotion, really.
FROLOV: And then Connor’s mentor, Downey, died, and he has a new mentor.
SCHNEIDER: So, he’s starting his new fellowship as a cardiothoracic surgeon, with a very different kind of mentor now.
FROLOV: And then Natalie, a friend of hers, Jeff Clarke, is now on staff. He’s a med student. They have a long history together, and that looks to become a triangle with Will.
How does Halstead feel about that?
SCHNEIDER: Well, we can tell you this: He will have another romance, but his feelings for Natalie will never go away.
FROLOV: Jeff’s entry into this picture came just at the moment where Will was feeling he had a chance again, because he’d been accepted to the hospital and it looked like now Natalie was loosening up a little bit. So, it was just at this very moment and then Jeff Clarke stepped in.
What is Natalie facing this year?
FROLOV: Personally, with Jeff, it’s a very complicated relationship because of the history.
SCHNEIDER: Jeff was her late husband’s best friend.
FROLOV: So, she’s had to deal with that kind of feeling of betrayal to her late husband.
SCHNEIDER: But on the other hand, she’s come to a place in her life where she wants to put the mourning beside her to restart her life, and to become more socially active and reenter life. It’s been a year since her husband died.
FROLOV: It’s a new perspective that she’s going to go forward. If you remember last year, she buried her husband’s ring. She has put that part, or at least feels that she has, put that behind.
SCHNEIDER: She needs to move on with her life.
For April, we know that she was diagnosed with tuberculosis. How is that going to affect her, both with her boyfriend, personally, but also professionally?
SCHNEIDER: Well, at this point, her TB is latent, which means she can still work. But as it becomes active…
FROLOV: She has to go into isolation. But at the top of the season, she’s feeling, even though it is latent, that she is not clean. She doesn’t feel confident that she won’t give it to Tate and his son.
SCHNEIDER: She’s kind of backed off that relationship.
FROLOV: And is living by herself.
SCHNEIDER: But Tate is not afraid. He did not get sick, and he’s trying to still court her.
Reese rejected her pathology path, so she’s without a job at the moment. What are we seeing for her this year?
FROLOV: We have a big surprise for her. When we meet her, she’s working in a coffee shop, at the top of the show. She had a very good relationship with Charles, and he admired her. He offers her the position of a psych…
SCHNEIDER: A psych resident. So, she’s going to try to be a psychiatrist. She’s actually got the makings of a very good psychiatrist. She doesn’t think so, but she wants back in, and she trusts Dr. Charles. She has this huge learning curve.
FROLOV: Yeah, because she rejected pathology at the end of the season, she needs to go into another department, and he has made this offer to her.
What can you tease about Rhodes’ new mentor?
SCHNEIDER: He’s a difficult guy. Downey was such a loving and sweet mentor. And Dr. Latham, Ato’s character, he’s very different.
FROLOV: He’s an Orthodox Jew, he’s very observant.
SCHNEIDER: And he’s sort of the Anti-Downey. He’s a great surgeon, a great doctor, but it’s very challenging for Connor, who’s just starting this fellowship, to get used to this new boss.
FROLOV: Latham is not really good at reading people.
SCHNEIDER: Reading emotions, subtle emotions.
FROLOV: He’s excellent at what he does, but interpersonal things are not his forte.
Can you talk about where we’re picking up with Choi?
SCHNEIDER: He’s very much the naval officer, so he embraces his new position as Chief Resident. He will continue his relationship with Vicky, and he will continue to use his military skills to treat the violence in Chicago.
FROLOV: Yes, for instance, we are getting an episode where the navy, the armed forces, send men and women to the hospital….
SCHNEIDER: Medical Corps.
FROLOV: Medical Corps. men to the hospital to learn how to treat gunshot wounds, in Chicago.
SCHNEIDER: Because there’s so many of them. To prepare them for combat overseas, they send them to Chicago. So, he’s involved with that program, training corps-men.
Goodwin was left by her husband because she didn’t want to retire.
SCHNEIDER: It’s a new phase in her life. She’s going to actually get beyond her grief and her marriage, put it aside, and become a basically new person.
Might she get back in the field?
FROLOV: She might.
What about for Charles outside of his new working relationship with Reese?
FROLOV: A lot, a lot, we’ll get a bigger insight into his past few years with his own personal demons that he’s hinted about. We’ll also meet his youngest daughter, who’s….
SCHNEIDER: Eight years old.
FROLOV: And we’ll meet his elder daughter, who’s 25, from his first marriage.
SCHNEIDER: She is actually going to start working at the hospital as an epidemiologist. There’s some strains in that relationship, which will reveal a lot about his past and who he is.
What about for Lockwood?
SCHNEIDER: We’ll see some of her family.
FROLOV: And we are also going to find out a little bit more about her and Will.
SCHNEIDER: And her past as a nurse and the things that drive her, emotionally.
Any crossovers you can tease for this season with the other Chicago shows?
SCHNEIDER: Detective Lindsay (Sophia Bush) is prominent in a couple episodes.
FROLOV: We’re doing an episode about sex trafficking that she’s involved in.
SCHNEIDER: And also, as always, we have some of the paramedics. Brett will be in. So we have the smaller cross-overs. And then, we are using Lindsay in two episodes, with this case.
Chicago Med returns Thursday at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.