When Chicago Med Season 8 premieres, the NBC medical drama has another cliffhanger to resolve and plenty of other questions to answer. The prior season left off with Will Halstead’s apartment building in flames, more than one character in peril and plenty of tension at the hospital. How much of that will carry over into Season 8? And will Med address the big news in the One Chicago fandom?
Series co-showrunners and executive producers Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider joined me for another chat to look ahead. Part of going forward, though, will involve looking backward at the past. “We do have a legacy character returning in Season 8,” Andrew revealed, though of course to say whom would be a major spoiler. “Our regular characters will be dealing with new emotional and professional situations which will allow us to flesh them out further in surprising ways.”
After introducing two new series regulars in Season 7 (and losing Kristen Hager’s Dr. Stevie Hammer before the season was over), Chicago Med is bringing in even more new faces in Season 8. One of those is a new psychiatric fellow, who will give Dr. Daniel Charles (Oliver Platt) a direct colleague for the first time since the show wrote out Rachel DiPillo’s Dr. Sarah Reese years ago. What motivated the series to expand the psychiatry department again?
“We created Nellie to explore the state of psychiatry today, which is not the same as when Charles was trained,” said Diane. “She’s different from Reese in that Nellie’s a psych fellow—which makes her much more knowledgeable than Reese, who was only a resident. As a fellow, Nellie is on a more equal footing professionally with Charles than Reese was.”
The Season 8 premiere will naturally address the unresolved questions from the Season 7 finale. One of them involved Dr. Pamela Blake (the fantastic Sarah Rafferty), whose life was permanently altered by a choice that her colleague/love interest Dr. Crockett Marcel (Dominic Rains) made while she was on the operating table. “We will see Dr. Blake in the new season,” Diane added. “She and Crockett are both dealing with the aftermath of her surgery in the season 7 finale.”
Then there’s Will, whose life went from being a metaphorical dumpster fire to a literal fire when his building went up in flames. While he obviously makes it out alive, One Chicago viewers have been asking if Chicago Med is going to address his brother Jay’s imminent departure from Chicago PD, especially when Will has so much on his own plate. “We will see the impact of his brother’s leaving,” Andrew promised, “but indeed, Will has a lot to juggle besides that.”
Chicago Med will also continue to address the COVID-19 pandemic and the struggles that it has caused within the healthcare system. Since those issues still very much exist in the real medical world, they’re not going away in the fictional one either. “Financial and supply chain issues will continue to be explored in our show,” Diane told me, “and they will provide challenges not only for our caregivers, but also for Goodwin, who has to allocate the resources that our doctors are fighting for.”
Chicago Med premieres Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 8:00 p.m. on NBC. This season will stream exclusively on Peacock.
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