Chicago Med's Devin Kawaoka Wants Dr. Tanaka-Reed To Become More Human

Farting is typically used in TV shows as a quick gag, but on "Chicago Med," farting can mean a serious medical problem is afoot. That was the case with Season 8, Episode 16, "What You See Isn't Always What You Get." The episode starts with Dr. Tanaka-Reed (Devin Kawaoka), one of the cockier new additions to Gaffney, assisting Dr. Marcel (Dominic Rains) with an appendectomy. Partway through the procedure, Tanaka-Reed suddenly doesn't start feeling too good. He lets out a fart and then faints.

It turns out he has a hernia, and despite Tanaka-Reed insisting he knows what he's doing, it was a good moment to show that even he needs some help now and then. Kawaoka thought it was good for the character's development when speaking with NBC Insider, "[Dr. Tanaka-Reed], he really takes the bull by the horns, and I think ruffles a lot of feathers. So when he's forced to be a little bit more vulnerable in a really personal way, as flatulence is, it causes him to really acknowledge that he's human."

Dr. Tanaka-Reed has to learn to trust his colleagues

Dr. Tanaka-Reed's initial farting earns some laughs from the nearby nurses, but Dr. Marcel reprimands them. Once it's clear that something is wrong with Tanaka-Reed as opposed to eating something bad for lunch, he becomes the patient. And once the procedure is complete, Tanaka-Reed is still worried about his reputation for passing gas in front of others. He's always had a cocky streak, so fans may have taken some enjoyment in seeing him get put in his place. But Dr. Marcel quickly reminds him that these things will eventually blow over. 

Dr. Tanaka-Reed is still getting started on his medical journey, so despite thinking he knows everything, there's still much for him to learn. Kawaoka went on to say, "He's not God, you know, that he's not above the patients... I think that he gets this experience of really being put in his place, I guess, but experiencing his humanity in front of people that he didn't want to show his humanity to." Everyone farts; it's just a fact of life. But Tanaka-Reed had put such a barrier in front of himself that he always acted like he was better than those around him. Suffice it to say, it put him in his place, and hopefully, it'll encourage him to be more vulnerable when he needs it. 

Kawaoka concluded, "And I think it's really important for him to become more human. And to really start to open up and be more vulnerable with these people because, you know, not only do they have to trust him with their life, he has to trust them with his life." Perhaps Dr. Tanaka-Reed will become one of the more sensitive residents at Gaffney, and it all started with a fart.