Chicago Med bosses break down that shocking double departure: Can SPOILER ever come back?
Warning: This article contains spoilers from the Chicago Med season 5 premiere, “Never Going Back to Normal.”
Dr. Connor Rhodes finally said goodbye to Chicago Med, but series showrunners Andy Schneider and Diane Frolov confirm the door remains open should Colin Donnell, who played the trauma surgeon for four seasons, want to return some day. Donnell announced his exit from the Dick Wolf series in April, as did his co-star Norma Kuhling, who played Rhodes’s girlfriend Dr. Ava Bekker.
Schneider and Frolov spoke to EW about the dramatic dual departure in the season 5 premiere, as well as where Dr. Will Halstead (Nick Gehlfuss) and Dr. Natalie Manning (Torrey DeVitto) are headed after the horrific accident from the season four finale. They also share an update on Dr. Choi (Brian Tee) and April’s (Yaya DaCosta) future baby plans and Maggie’s breast cancer diagnosis.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: There’s no doubt fans were cheering when Natalie finally woke up. What can we expect from her storyline this season?
DIANE FROLOV: She’ll continue to deal with the traumatic brain injury. There will be a time gap between this episode and the next episode where she’ll be in a recovery for about 4-6 weeks. But when she comes back, there’s still questions about her ability to be a good doctor.
ANDY SCHNEIDER: Did she come back too soon? Does she have all her capabilities back?
FROLOV: And on the other hand, as well, is Will really convinced that—since she can’t remember this event or that day—she was not coming to tell him that she was engaged.
SCHNEIDER: He can’t let go of his romantic feelings. It’s hard for him and he’s still pursuing her.
FROLOV: And in the meantime, Phillip is just being a model partner. He’s being very felicitous with her…
SCHNEIDER: He takes good care of the kids. He’s basically a house husband and allowing her to practice medicine. But things aren’t that simple as Natalie’s memory starts to come back—but that’s down the line.
But will fans find out definitively what Natalie was going to tell Will before the crash?
FROLOV: We are going to find out what she was going to say, yes.
Before we dive into the Connor of it all, we have to discuss Ava’s suicide…
FROLOV: We had a lot of discussions about shooting that scene.
SCHNEIDER: It was very technical because we used a lot of special effects going on to achieve that horrific scene. We felt like what she did she felt was the ultimate revenge against the man that had rejected her.
FROLOV: We felt that it was metaphorically satisfying.
SCHNEIDER: And by her dying, it really sealed his fate to leave Med. There was just too much that had happened there.
It was a very emotional moment for Connor, as he walks away from the hospital with tears in his eyes. What was going through his mind at the moment?
SCHNEIDER: He came to Chicago with a tragic history he thought he could put behind him, but he couldn’t and his life just became even more tragic.
FROLOV: The hospital became a reminder of the tragedy but he made friends there, built a career there. So there are a lot of mixed emotions there at the end having to say goodbye to it.
The good news is he’s still alive! Was this done in a way so that Colin could return one day should he choose to?
SCHNEIDER: Sure! He’s alive…
We learned that April and Dr. Choi are not expecting but they seem to be considering it. Will this be an ongoing conversation?
FROLOV: This is going to be a conversation between them in the upcoming episodes. That is definitely part of their storyline this season.
Maggie finally confirmed she has breast cancer. What can we expect to see her go through this season?
SCHNEIDER: Her cancer treatment will be an ongoing storyline and it may have a very good outcome in the end — you never know! We want to show all the new technology available to cancer patients through this story.
FROLOV: We hope women will see Maggie and relate to her, especially when she goes through the biopsy. Maybe they’ll see her go through it and realize it’s not as terrible as you’d imagine in your head — it’s painless. That’s what we were hopeful for, that seeing someone go through it will help reduce fear.
Chicago Med airs Monday nights on NBC.