Chicago Med Season 9 Episode 13 Review: I Think I Know You But Do I Really?

Spoilers

Nobody told me this was going to be a tissue-box night.

For many reasons, Chicago Med Season 9 Episode 13 was one of the most heartbreaking episodes, yet it never veered into depressing territory (yes, I’m looking at you, The Good Doctor!)

Between tearjerkers, it managed to set up some cliffhangers for season 10 that’ll keep viewers talking all summer. Well done!

Dr. Marcel’s Pain Was As Scary As It Was Heartbreaking

Crockett Marcel has been headed for a fall recently. He’s been a little lost since the OR 2.0 debacle on Chicago Med Season 8 Episode 22, and one patient after another left the hospital under tragic circumstances.

Even before Colin and his father died, Colin’s case was too much. It’s still unclear why Marcel suddenly decided not to give Colin the liver, but the payoff in this heartbreaking story was worth it.

Chicago Med Review: Taking On Too Much

After waiting forever for news, Marcel learned that the boy had died and the father took his own life… and for a few terrifying moments, it seemed like Marcel would do the same thing.

He abruptly withdrew from surgery and didn’t tell Sharon what had happened until she asked, and when he talked to Maggie later, the first question he asked was how Bill ended his life.

Will Charles Redeem Himself? - Chicago Med Season 9 Episode 13

Maybe it was my years of experience on a suicide hotline kicking in, but that seemed like a red flag.

Fortunately, this moving mental health story went in another direction, with Marcel telling Maggie how he felt when Harper died.

Marcel: Do you know how he did it?
Maggie: He had a handgun.
Marcel: I know how he felt, but I didn’t have a gun. I lost a child too.
Maggie: I’m so sorry. I didn’t know.
Marcel: Harper. She died of leukemia just after her first birthday. The thing that kept me going was my work. It was always my work. But sending Colin home knowing he was going to die… it brought me right back to that helplessness, that powerlessness. Nothing I could do. Death was coming and there was nothing I could do.

Unsurprisingly, Marcel threw himself into work to forget his pain. He was on the run from himself when he first arrived at Gaffney Medical Center, and it took him forever to open up to anyone about what had happened to his little girl.

I was bracing myself for Marcel to take an indefinite leave of absence.

Med is infamous for springing character exits on us at the end of the season, and this felt all too similar to Nick Gehlfuss’ surprise exit on Chicago Med Season 8 Episode 22.

Ripley Comes Full Circle - Chicago Med Season 9 Episode 13

Marcel took a while to grow on me, but now he’s my favorite, full stop, and I didn’t want him walking out forever.

Luckily, it doesn’t appear that’s the case since Marcel said he’d see Maggie tomorrow, and there’s been no breaking news about Dominic Rains leaving ahead of Season 10.

Sean and Ripley Both Got Triggered

Sean and Ripley were in totally different stories, but they were the same in some ways.

Ripley lashed out at Charles after the dementia patient couldn’t get any help because he was a prisoner, accusing Charles of not trying hard enough and complaining again about what happened when he was a teenager.

Sean lashed out at Archer for the way he treated him when he was using drugs.

Charles and Ripley Confer - Chicago Med Season 9 Episode 13

None of that had much to do with the issues at hand, but that’s how trauma works. Neither man has fully dealt with his past pain, and it came roaring back because of cases that reminded them of it.

Ripley vs. Pawel, Round 1000

Charles got pushed past his breaking point and said he was done with Ripley, but will he stick to that now that Pawel made a baseless accusation?

When Going Off the Rails Makes Excellent TV

The Pawel story continues to be annoying but ended in a strong place, with Ripley in possible legal trouble yet again.

Realistically, no one should believe Pawel just because he said so.

Margo's Facility - Chicago Med Season 9 Episode 13

The man repaid Ripley for his kindness in taking care of his shoulder with a frivolous lawsuit that Ripley only settled because it was taking a toll on his mental health.

If there’s zero evidence, all the cops can do is investigate. No one should assume Ripley is guilty because he didn’t make a statement, and a guy who has a grudge against him accused him of violence.

People assume that a known liar is telling the truth so that a good guy can get in trouble, which is a tired TV trope, so what happens next is a bit predictable.

Ripley will most likely keep his mouth shut to protect Sully, which will likely result in him getting in trouble himself. Bonus twist: Sully didn’t do it either.

This will likely stretch out over the first half of Season 10, if not longer.

Still, I’m curious to know how these characters will deal with this, what new tricks Pawel will play, and whether Liliana will ever come to her senses about her brother.

Shocking News for Marcel - Chicago Med Season 9 Episode 13

Chicago Med’s Tale of Two Dementia Cases

The story involving the prisoner with dementia demonstrated that the prison system is set up to see people who have done heinous acts as subhuman.

Murderers should be punished. Among other things, they should be locked up to protect others from having their lives taken from them.

But stripping people of their humanity is never the answer and often only leads to more criminality. And in this case, the dementia patient in front of Charles and Ripley was not the same man who killed in cold blood.

This social justice story was somewhat heavy-handed. The guard was insufferable, and the attorney general’s refusal to commit the man to an appropriate institution because she didn’t want to be soft on crime was ridiculous.

I worked in the criminal justice side of social work, though not in the prison system, so I’m sympathetic to this cause. Still, the writers made little, if any, effort to provide alternative points of view to the one they espoused.

Archer and Sean Clash - Chicago Med Season 9 Episode 13

Between that and Sean’s insistence that jail is the only way to make people sober up while everyone else tried to tell him he was wrong, it was clear where the writers’ beliefs lay.

I prefer the way Blue Bloods presents multiple sides of issues and lets viewers make up their own minds, even though I generally agree with these writers.

Still, this story was worth it because it helped Sharon see where Bert was headed and make the right decision about his care.

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I always find dementia stories heartbreaking, especially when they’re realistic. My grandfather died of vascular dementia, and his symptoms and progression were similar to Bert’s.

That final scene where Bert didn’t want to go home was too familiar for anyone who has had to put a loved one with dementia in this type of facility.

Ripley and Hannah's Romance - Chicago Med Season 9 Episode 13

At last, Sharon let Dennis comfort her, keeping it from being an utterly heartbreaking scene.

Stray Thoughts

  • What was the point of that patient who had gotten impaled by a pair of antlers? He came into the hospital, Archer fixed him, and he disappeared again.
  • It seemed that Hannah and Tanaka-Reed’s surgery was the type of case OR 2.0 was made for. They used the machine once after its failure, with excellent results, so why not this time?
  • I hate that annoying trope where doctors never actually have a night off because the hospital needs them.
Charles' Dilemma - Chicago Med Season 9 Episode 13

Your turn, Chicago Med fanatics. What did you think of the season finale? What are you looking forward to for Season 10?

Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know.

Chicago Med Season 10 will air on NBC on Wednesdays at 8/7c starting sometime in the fall of 2024. Season 9 streams on Peacock.

Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on X.

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