Chicago Fire Premiere Recap

Chicago Med Premiere Recap: Is There a (Shirtless) Doctor In the House?

The first character viewers meet in Chicago Med‘s series premiere on Tuesday night is Arrow alum Colin Donnell’s Dr. Connor Rhodes, and he makes quite an impression — and not just because he stitches himself up while shirtless. (Though that scene definitely goes into The Reasons to Tune In column.)

From the start, we know Connor cares about helping people as he goes into doctor mode after his commuter train is involved in an accident. Upon arriving at the hospital — where it’s his first day as a trauma surgery fellow — Connor shows off a knack for languages, comforting a patient’s girlfriend in Spanish. As he tends to his own wound, he reveals that he learned to make such flawless, plastics-level stitches while tending to Saudis who paid him not to leave any scars.

And OK, he’s not terrible to look at.

“He’s going to light up some estrogen receptors around here,” head of psychiatry Dr. Daniel Charles (played by Oliver Platt) notes after witnessing the shirtless scene between “Rambo” and nurse April Sexton (Ugly Betty‘s Yaya DaCosta).

But not everyone is receptive to Connor’s charms. He butts heads over a patient with Dr. Will Halstead (Chicago P.D./Shameless‘ Nick Gehlfuss), who views the newcomer as an “arrogant” someone who “likes to throw his weight around.” The two also don’t have much in common: Connor grew up in a wealthy neighborhood, while Will was raised in the tough streets of Canaryville. Naturally, Will assumes Connor went to an elite medical school like John Hopkins, but he actually studied at UAG in Guadalajara. (Because he couldn’t hack it or because he wanted to help the less fortunate?)

Chicago Med Premiere RecapThe other doc who makes an impression is Dr. Natalie Manning (Pretty Little Liars‘ Torrey DeVitto), a very pregnant pediatric emergency specialist. For some reason, I suspected that the mystery of what happened to the single mother’s baby daddy was going to be more scandalous, but in an emotional moment, we find out that Natalie’s husband died in the line of duty abroad. Her friends April and ER boss Maggie (The Wire‘s Marlyne Barrett), however, aren’t going to let her go through this alone, so they stage a crib-building party.

Speaking of being alone or not… I’m not reading too much into thinking that Natalie and Will might have a little somethin’-somethin’ down the line, right? He gave her a pillow for her back! (I have low standards, clearly.)

As for the other doctors, there’s Dr. Sarah Reese (Jane the Virgin‘s Rachel DiPillo) aka the typical Overwhelmed Young Med Student, and Dr. Ethan Choi (Grimm‘s Brian Tee), who doesn’t really get a defining moment in the opener. Sharon Goodwin (Law & Order‘s S. Epatha Merkerson), as the hospital’s main boss, and Dr. Charles provide a nice grounding force as the elder statesmen of the establishment.

All in all, Med isn’t going to reinvent the TV medical drama, but it fits in nicely with Chicago Fire and P.D.

What did you think of the Chicago Med series premiere? Grade it via the poll below, then hit the comments to back up your pick!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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66 Comments
  1. Dave says:

    To add… every possible medical show I have seen in the last 20 years was better than this (from the old days of ER to the new days of Code Black on CBS). Just like we have seen so many better police dramas than CPD and so many superior trauma/fire shows as compared to CF. Why Dick Wolf and why NBC put so much into this ridiculous cookie-cutter franchise I’ll never quite understand. Hopefully the ratings for this are bad tomorrow. Yuck.

    • Hihi says:

      Pressed much??

      • Dave says:

        No. I just know trash when i see it.

        • zerb says:

          That’s how we feel about your posts lol.

        • Kristen says:

          I think trash is a little harsh. The numbers obviously disagree with you. I think it needs a little tweaking here and there, but all in all for a premiere I’d say it was good. I remember when I first watched ER, I wasn’t blown away. It’s definitely different from Code Black (which I expected to have higher ratings than it does) and it’s different from Grey’s Anatomy. It seems more like ER than anything else. Granted, ER is one of my all time favorite shows, so the bar is set pretty high, but I definitely think CM will get better.

    • Stacy says:

      Blame the viewers. If they weren’t tuning in with strong enough numbers, this would be axed.

    • cuius says:

      Awaits “Chicago Schools”, “Chicago Housing”, “Chicago Garbage collectors”, “Chicago Street Cleaning” with anticipation

    • Sally McLinn says:

      Chgo Med needs more suspense.

    • Clandestine Green says:

      Some may not agree with your posts but I am right in there with you on this one. This show defines mediocrity…from its writing to its casting. It’s no wonder the The Voice is about all that NBC has going for it. Back in the day, CBS used to be known as The TIffany network..later, NBC came to the forefront with great dramas and even better comedies. For years, its Thursday night line up could not be touched. Where is the NBC of yesteryear? They are content with a few sub-par sitcoms and Dick Wolf formula shows that are nostalgic in a bad way.

    • Shay says:

      Well Dave you can go screw yourself

  2. LADY_in_MD says:

    I liked it overall not bad for a first episode I gave it a B the story line with the train crash and the after math was good also liked the story line with Oliver Platt’s character and Jamie and the cast flows good together i could have done without the scared med student

    • ? says:

      Is it just me or was the trauma sequence in the opening after the train crash shot similarly to the famous pilot of ER as a very clear homage? The tight, claustrophobic camera angles and dim lighting as the action transitioned quickly between one patient and the next. Granted I haven’t seen that episode of ER in years and years, but it seemed to intentionally be evoking that to me.

    • Sally McLinn says:

      The train wreck was good, and it happens here in Chicago occasionally. Yes, the trains jump the track. Scarey.
      They just need more suspense. I don’t want to tune in every week and see CODE BLUE (like the Code Black) people. I’m sure that ERs don’t have code blues every 2 minutes.

      • SayNay says:

        No, they don’t-not even close. In a big city, it’s mostly homeless people, people who were brought in intoxicated and grandmas with chest pain. But unfortunately, that doesn’t make for good tv.

    • Kristen says:

      Agree 100%! Scared med student needs to get her crap together. Why is she there if she’s struggling with CPR!? She has to have some kind of talent or I can’t believe she’d actually be there, but I’m not sure what it could be. They need to make her likeable and fast. Also the cast worked so well together. They all seemed to have great chemistry on so many levels. I can’t wait to see an episode centric to Dr. Ethan Choi. I felt like he was lost in the shadows a little for it being a premiere, and I can’t wait to see him stand out.

      • Cristy says:

        Gonna answer this like a med student in real life…. Yep, probably for making it good for the show she needs to get her things together, but in real life that’s the way medstudents become good doctors, practicing. Like in the show said, it’s perfect when you practice on a dummy that you know you can’t kill and has the perfect anatomy but in real life is a different story, while she was doing CPR the Dr told her how to do it right, and that’s the way we learn, with real patients with real diseases. (And believe me doing CPR on a kid isn’t easy in so many levels)

  3. Dave says:

    Interesting. My first comment was removed. Why? Are we not allowed to speak ill of this crap?

  4. Jennifer says:

    This was OK. Reminded me of a slower paced ER. But I do like the cast. I’ll give it a chance.

    • Sammy says:

      I agree that it was slower paced than ER and the mediciney part was iffy. But it can get better. They did say they were going for something between ER and Greys. We will see how it goes ….

    • Sam says:

      Very well said. I expected much more drama especially with a derailed train. Grey’s would have had a field day with this.
      I’ll give it a chance.

  5. Al says:

    It wasn’t good at all.
    Sorry Dick Wolf

    • Dave says:

      Goes hand in hand with CF and CPD… garbage shows. Can we kill all 3 in one fell swoop?

      • Sarah says:

        But why don’t you tell us how you really feel?

        I agree that these shows aren’t reinventing the genre but it can still be good, turn off your brain fun. I also think that Fire has fewer precedents than PD or Med – unless I’m just totally unaware of a rich history of shows based on fire fighters.

        • ;-) says:

          Emergency! still has yet to be surpassed. And that was in the 70s.

          • Sarah says:

            Interesting – i never heard of it. I notice in the description that it was based in “station 51.” Coincidence?

          • ;-) says:

            Could not possibly have been a coincidence. Not a chance. Every fire-station based TV show since has paid homage to “Emergency!” somehow. On NBC’s Third Watch, their firehouse dog was named Mantooth, after “Emergency!” star Randolph Mantooth.

      • zerb says:

        You seem to be more obsessed with the shows than any of their actual fans.

      • CJ says:

        If you don’t like it, don’t watch. Plenty of other shows on TV to spend your time on instead.

      • James says:

        Watch Casualty and Holby City instead.

  6. i liked it
    maggie is gonna be awesome

  7. Mr. Tran K says:

    I give Chicago Med an A. This should be another successful series in the Chicago franchise. #ChicagoStrong

  8. S says:

    Really don’t like Torrey Devitto or her character…blame Greys Anatomy for overdoing it with the melodrama and making me a little cynical. I love Oliver Platt and all of his little moments. Cautiously optimistic about the show as a whole.

  9. niloofar says:

    Only medical show i’m interested in watching is The Knick.

  10. Anna says:

    I was pretty underwhelmed, but as a Chicago Fire and Chicago PD fan, I’ll probs give it another viewing before deciding to dip out.

    • Mary says:

      I agree with you, I thought it was on the slow side, but I will give it another chance because I am a fan of the other two.

    • Steven says:

      I agree, I love Fire and PD, but something felt off about this show. There were some elements I loved, such as Dr. Charles and Jamie, but other seemed forced. Will’s “tension” with Connor came out of nowhere and for no reason. I’ll keep watching since the 3 shows go together, but I hope it improves.

  11. Sarah D says:

    I liked it. Will keep watching.

  12. bwhit says:

    Yep I’m in. I like the characters and the setup. Plus, I got some serious ER feels which made me happy (nothing is like the original but I’ve missed the ER type setting). They have done it again…. Go Chicago :):).

  13. hannah says:

    The whole organ donation thing screamed of illegal and unethical for me. Breaking doctor patient confidentiality and emotional blackmail of a grieving woman? I get the urge, but it was very icky.

  14. James D says:

    I enjoyed it a lot. Interesting characters( which isn’t surprising coming from Dick Wolf) it was pretty typical med drama stuff but as long as its has well written characters, and there isn’t going to be a drug addicted doctor or nurse I will continue to enjoy it I think. Only scene that bothered me was the lounge scene with Holstead and Rhodes it came off very strange to me like Rhodes had a loathing for Holstead maybe it was just me but it felt forced.

  15. VJ says:

    Well, as long as we get actually something like answers about the characters history on this show… This is one of my biggest problem with PD at the moment especially regarding Halstead. They are teasing his story since at least last season with what happened while he was on duty and his family history. If this stuff leads to something: good. But otherwise they could stop. Same with Casey on Fire. What ever happened to his mother? They never mentioned her again after she drove away. This is nitpicking, but I am someone for characterisation and this stuff annoys me.

  16. it seemed to intentionally be evoking that to me.

  17. Sarah says:

    It was a great premiere and I definitely sticking with it..i even cry a bit during the final moments.

  18. Mara says:

    I enjoyed it and it may take the place of Chicago Fire for me because I HATE thie Patterson/Riddle storyline of going after Boden and Severide and am thinking of not watching Chicago Fire until that’s over!!

  19. Sissy says:

    Worth it to see S. Epatha Merkerson and Oliver Platt on my television! Liking the nursing staff a bit more than the physicians at this point. Also got the ER vibe a few times. I will keep watching for now. BTW, I haven’t watched Chicago Fire or PD, so I can’t compare with those.

  20. Darcel says:

    I really liked this show. It reminds me of Hawthorne. I was so glad that a homosexual storyline was not introduced, at least not yet. But, I’m sure that it probably will. I certainly will watch it again. It was nice to see the black ladies characters not so tough and bad ass like in most shows. They come across as caring and “real”.

    • AJ says:

      Is homphobia the cause of your gladness, or is there something relevant to plot and story quality that precludes varying sexualities?

  21. Sarah says:

    If you’re a CF and CPD fan, then you’ll jump on the bandwagon mainly for crossovers and such. It’s not a bad new series: slower than ER and not as dramatic as Grey’s Anatomy. This show actually reminded me of Miami Medical. Overall, a nice series to watch!

  22. ;-) says:

    It was boring. Go watch, or rewatch, ER and see how it should be done.

  23. Sam says:

    It was a very solid pilot and took a decent time to introduce some characters we hadn’t met through Chicago Fire. Had expected a faster pace but then again, in reality hospitals are not always in high octane mode.

    I think it’ll find its own signature footing. I’ll keep watching.

  24. Susan says:

    We loved Chicago Med!!! Awesome show!!!

  25. Mel says:

    I liked it. I think it will get better with time. Pilots can be tricky like that sometimes. Oliver Platt was great as always. Glad he’s back on tv.

  26. Mez says:

    I saw Jesse Lee Soffer credited but was he actually in the episode? I don’t remember seeing him

  27. Kristen says:

    Dr. Connor Rhodes… yum! I could not get over how handsome he is! I really enjoyed the premiere. I’m excited to see where they take it. Also, was it just me or was there a little “moment” between Herrmann and Maggie when he brought the box of belongings. Maybe they made it lingering just to give a nod to Chicago Fire, but it felt like more than just a thank you. Definitely some eye flirtation! Torrey DeVitto is so good in this show compared to PLL. Her acting is more natural and not as stiff. Love that she fits in so well with this cast! Will Halstead and Ethan Choi are definitely some good eye candy too. I was trying to figure out what characters will have a romance together, and I can honestly say I was stumped. They all interact so well together that I would be happy to see a budding romance between any of them. Reese seems like she’s having a lot of trouble for a 4th year med student. She was obviously struggling in many ways. I mean she was having issues with CPR alone… I understand, breaking a little girl’s ribs, but is that really the first time she’s performed CPR in her 4 years as a med student? I find that hard to believe. She has to have some kind of specialty, some talent that makes her stand out, and I hope they shine light on that sooner rather than later or I will lose interest in her character and fast.

  28. Gloria Silva says:

    Good show. BUT… the background music/noise is too loud so some of the dialogue is hard to hear.

  29. Actually UAG its one of the best medicine colleges in the world.

    • Janice Second says:

      Thank you. It’s ranked as one of the top 100 universities in the WORLD. I think it’s ranked in the 70s? It’s a pretty important school for medicine too. Figures the author and others would think less of it because it’s in Mexico.