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Chicago Med Director Talks The New Characters And ‘Wonderful Things’ On The Way With The Next Episode

(Image credit: NBC)

Chicago Med wasted no time after returning from its Olympics break in delivering some big developments for the characters, and that trend is going to continue with the upcoming episode that will air on March 9. Called “Things Meant To Be Bent Not Broken,” the episode was directed by Afia Nathaniel, who spoke to CinemaBlend about the process for the episode as well as what’s on the way with Dr. Charles, Dylan, Will, and more. 

Afia Nathaniel came to Chicago Med as part of NBCU Launch’s Female Forward program to promote gender parity in scripted TV directing. As a regular viewer of Med herself and after shadowing the show earlier in Season 7, she was prepared to tackle the script that will pack a punch for a number of characters. She shared one of the exciting elements of taking over Med for this particular episode, saying: 

Well, I always love a good Dr. Charles storyline. So my episode is gonna have that when you watch it. There’s all wonderful things happening, and there’s going to be new characters introduced in my episode that I hope you like. Really fabulous actors, all of them, to work with. Another amazing part of the experience on the show is sort of working with these actors who I’ve been a fan of for such a long time, and sort of bringing their stories to life in a big way for this episode. That was a fun part of the job, so to speak. I got to work with actors who I was a fan of. Oliver [Platt], Epatha [Merkerson], Nick [Gehlfuss], Dom [Raines], all of them. All of them! They’re all so amazing. Marlyne [Barrett], just fantastic. Fantastic energy.

Chicago Med has a unique cast that combines some familiar faces who have been around as far back as the backdoor pilot on Chicago Fire, with others who are more recent additions to mix things up and keep the show expanding. And, according to the director, some new characters will have parts to play in “Things Meant To Be Bent Not Broken,” which suggests some intriguing cases next week.

Although fans will have to wait until March 9 to see the episode for themselves, the official description delivers some details about what to look forward to, including a plot involving Dr. Charles and Vanessa, who will have to attempt to treat a patient who believes they’ve been infested. Afia Nathaniel weighed in on what’s on the way for Oliver Platt’s character:

I thought it was a very well-written storyline in terms of what Dr. Charles has to deal with, in terms of this patient who believes that they’re suffering from an infestation, and the tactics he employs to diagnose and sort of treat this patient. It’s something we haven’t seen him do before. So I’ll be really curious to hear, once fans and folks have seen this, as to what they thought of this as well.

“Something we haven’t seen him do before” is an impressive feat for a show that has featured the character for seven seasons now, and Dr. Charles has helped a lot of people with a lot of very different ailments. That said, he also has to get creative sometimes to provide the treatment that people need, and a patient believing they’re infested with parasites definitely isn’t the kind of case that he runs into every day, so it’s no wonder the director is curious to see what fans will think of it!

(Image credit: NBC)

Another storyline in the upcoming “Things Meant To Be Bent Not Broken” will center on Guy Lockard’s Dylan Scott, and his continued conflict between his past as a police officer with CPD (although not a star of Chicago P.D. like Will’s brother) with his present as a doctor. Afia Nathaniel spoke about how he’ll be fleshed out even more in the next episode: 

I think this is going to feel very different because they’re going to flesh out what his dilemma is, in terms of his cop side, his doctor side, and which side prevails, or whether he finds the balance between the two. That’s the question in the episode as well. You’ll see that. Without giving away too much of the plot, [laughs], I’ll tell you it’ll be interesting. And it’s going to be explored through a new character that’s introduced in this episode, in this dilemma.

Another new character will appear in Dylan’s storyline, although only time will tell if that’s for better or worse for the character and his dilemma. His conflict over his past and present has already delivered some meaty material in Season 7 so far, and it sounds like the storyline will only deepen with the next new episode. 

And while Dylan’s storyline seems to get more complex, Will Halstead may be getting ready to move forward in Season 7, as he’s facing the question of what to do with his settlement check. Afia Nathaniel previewed what it was like to pick up this VasCom storyline, more than halfway through the seventh season:

I’m very familiar with the whole VasCom plotline and where it was headed, and now, it sort of comes together for Will in this episode, where he thinks he’s going to be able to put it behind him and move on. So in a way, a chapter is closing for him, so to speak. And as you know, when one chapter closes, another one opens. So, you’ll see. It’s interesting how that happens in the episode.

As for what chapter opens next for Will Halstead, fans can only speculate until getting some details next week. The VasCom story was responsible for Will getting his job back after being fired at the end of Season 6. It also put him through the emotional wringer with his undercover work for Goodwin while changes were afoot in the ED with April and Natalie gone, and Dylan and Stevie stepping in. Afia Nathaniel shared her thoughts on working with Dylan as a new Med character in contrast to some of the longtime stars:

I mean, they’re all very different. Dylan is such a different character from Dr. Charles, and such a different one from Crockett, and such a different one from Will, and these are the four storylines we’re going to follow for my episode. And so it was very interesting working with each actor on their character. Also in the way we shoot, some of the sequences for these characters are shot on the same day. So we were sort of staying with the storyline on a whole day with a particular actor, with a particular character. And it was interesting to sort of work with different aspects of different characters within a certain sequence on a given day, and that’s the balancing part of the director and the work with the actor.

For his part, Crockett will have a story with Blake (and their relationship has gotten extremely complicated, even by Chicago Med standards), as they have to work with an arrogant surgeon. All signs point toward the characters facing a lot of challenges in the next episode. Be sure to tune in to NBC on Wednesday, March 9 at 8 p.m. ET for Afia Nathaniel’s big episode of Chicago Med, ahead of Chicago Fire at 9 p.m. and Chicago P.D. at 10 p.m. in the 2022 TV schedule.

The One Chicago block has been a major hit in the ratings for NBC, and remains a strong part of the now nine-show Dick Wolf TV universe. All three Chicago shows are already guaranteed at least one more season, so to stay tuned!

Resident of One Chicago, Bachelor Nation, and Cleveland. Has opinions about crossovers, Star Wars, and superheroes. Will not time travel.

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