Dr. Hannah Asher will officially be back within the hallways of Chicago Med in this Wednesday’s episode (NBC, 8/7c), and her reunion with ex-boyfriend Dr. Will Halstead will be a challenging one for both parties.
As viewers will recall, Hannah left the Windy City to enter rehab in the Season 6 premiere. When Hannah invited Will to join her in Los Angeles, he argued that he couldn’t be the reason she stayed sober, so the couple split up. But now that Hannah is back as the emergency department’s OB-GYN specialist (and her portrayer Jessy Schram is a series regular), the pair will have to work alongside each other despite their complicated relationship history.
“They’re going to have a learning period and a testing period,” executive producer Diane Frolov told TVLine during a recent #OneChicago Day press junket. “Will has always looked upon Hannah as somebody with a problem, which she did have, so he’s cast himself in the role of savior, and he’s going to have to get out of that.”
Meanwhile, as a former addict, Hannah “has the challenge of proving to people that she is capable again, that she is recovered,” Frolov said. Added EP Andrew Schneider: “She has to outrun her reputation, but she’s determined to do that.”
After saying goodbye to Hannah more than a season ago, the EPs felt that now was the right time to welcome the doc back for several reasons. “She has gone through a long period of rehab recovery,” Schneider shared, “and we wanted to bring this character back on the other side, the other end of that process. It’s a continuing process, but [we wanted to see] a very different side of her, having gone through this.”
The timing of Hannah’s unexpected return in the middle of the season was also a strategic twist. “We wanted to start something mid-season that we can, as writers, continue on to the next season,” Frolov explained. “So it did both those two things: introducing a person that the audience knew but was excited about seeing and giving us the possibility of an ongoing story for next season.”
Plus, “having an OB-GYN specialist in the E.D. is always a good thing, and those stories have a lot of stakes when it involves childbirth,” Schneider added.
With reporting by Keisha Hatchett