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30 Best Chicago Med Episodes Ranked

The third in producer Dick Wolf's celebrated "One Chicago" franchise, "Chicago Med" got its start as a backdoor pilot in a Season 3 episode of "Chicago Fire" titled "I Am The Apocalypse." In that episode, the "Chicago Fire" team brings victims of a fire to nearby Gaffney Chicago Medical Center, and after the team saves the day, they are toasted at Molly's Bar for their incredible work. "Chicago Med" mainstays Oliver Platt, Yaya DaCosta, Nick Gehlfuss, and S. Epatha Merkerson would guest star in that episode before making the leap to regulars on the series.

"Chicago Med" has been running ever since and shows no signs of slowing down. Its broad ensemble cast has grown and changed shape with new incoming regulars and several outgoing cast members each year. With well over 100 episodes and counting, it can be tough to settle on the show's most memorable stories, so we've consulted IMDb to see which ones stand out, based on their user rating. Here are the 30 best "Chicago Med" episodes, ranked.

30. Can't Unring That Bell

In "Can't Unring That Bell," Dr. Charles meets a woman and is drawn into the troubles of the woman's daughter, who is dealing with heart problems she mistakes for withdrawal symptoms after getting clean from heroin. Taken to Chicago Med, he grows concerned that this new ordeal may lead her back to her old habits, so the doctors arrange her to be put on Naltrexone, a drug that will help prevent her from relapsing. 

Meanwhile, a patient rushed in with a gunshot wound may have been hit with a gun that was stolen from Will. While Natalie reads him the riot act, Dr. Bekker has problems with Ava, while complaints against Dr. Rhodes could have serious consequences. 

29. Never Going Back to Normal

In the Season 5 premiere "Never Going Back to Normal," we meet new series regular, Dr. Marcel. Meanwhile, the main story picks up directly where the Season 4 finale left off, with Will rushing Natalie into the emergency department after a terrible car accident. As Natalie's life hangs in the balance, Dr. Rhodes is dealing with problems of his own, as the suspicious death of his father has led to uncomfortable questions for both him and Ava, with shocking revelations that put them both in the crosshairs of the police investigators. 

While audiences may have expected the exits of series regulars Ava and Dr. Connor, the episode still delivered an unexpected twist, with a devastating end for one of them. 

28. Guess It Doesn't Matter Anymore

"Guess It Doesn't Matter Anymore" sees Dr. Charles still coping with the loss of his wife Caroline after her death from cancer, but he can't let his grief keep him from helping Dr. Curry deal with a patient suffering from panic attacks. Unfortunately, when the young woman collapses with breathing difficulties, it's discovered she suffers from a genetic condition that could complicate treatment for her panic attacks. 

In another part of the hospital, Dr. Singh tells Ben that his cancer may be in remission, but the celebration of this news is dampened when it is revealed that Maggie is still struggling with chemotherapy. Meanwhile, Will is treating a troubled patient addicted to painkillers he prescribed four years earlier. Finally, Dr. Sexton obsesses over her fateful kiss with Dr. Marcel and can't decide whether to tell Ethan about it. 

27. Leave the Choice to Solomon

It's all hands on deck at Chicago Med in "Leave the Choice to Solomon" when a school bus crash leaves several children in critical condition. Maggie and Dr. Marcel rush to the scene, where they find the fire department already attending and several young students seriously injured, including two impaled on a piece of steel rebar.

Back at the hospital, children from the crash are arriving. The staff scrambles to keep up with the patients flooding the emergency department, including a girl who may be suffering from a newly discovered condition caused by vaping, which the girl's parents surprisingly approved of. When Dr. Marcel brings the children to the trauma ward, the complicated surgeries cause him concern, as he must deal with the possibility of losing a child to save another.

26. Who Should Be the Judge

It's a thriller in "Who Should Be the Judge" when Natalie and Dr. Marcel encounter a convicted murderer and are forced to help save the life of the killer's fellow escapee, who was seriously injured in the breakout, at gunpoint. With the help of Detective Halstead, the staff tracks down the missing doctors. Meanwhile, Maggie learns her cancer is finally in remission. Overjoyed, it seems that Maggie and Ben can finally start planning their marriage.

However, all eyes are on the missing Dr. Marcel and Natalie while a search for the two ex-cons leads to a gas station where a clerk has found Dr. Marcel's abandoned hospital badge, then to a house where one of the convict's mothers lives. Fearing the two armed and dangerous criminals may be willing to kill to stay free, it becomes a race against time to locate the doctors.

25. In the Name of Love

Things in "Chicago Med" get messy — well, messier — in "In the Name of Love" when Ethan is working alongside April again for the first time since she told him about her kiss with Dr. Marcel. Working with a woman suffering from an uncommon disorder, Ethan's bedside manner troubles April, who believes Ethan may be taking out his frustration with her on their patients.

On another side of the hospital, Dr. Charles advises Will to avoid pursuing Hannah, as she is still in recovery, which could complicate a potential relationship, advising him to give it some more time. However, Hannah is persistent and claims to know what she wants, leaving it up to Will to have the courage to say no.

24. A Needle in the Heart

Three tense stories weave through "Chicago Med" in "A Needle in the Heart," when Dr. Marcel meets with detectives investigating a cold case but finds himself facing scrutiny over a past he thought he'd left behind. Ethan has been avoiding his problems by riding with EMS to avoid his now-ex-girlfriend April, who is wrapping up loose ends from their relationship. 

However, spending time on the road with EMS causes more problems than it fixes when Ethan runs into a robbery victim at a local market — a young boy shot by a carjacker on the run. While attempting to help, Ethan finds himself a hostage of the deranged crook. Meanwhile, Will deals with a patient engaged in insurance fraud and has to help a problematic drug addict who happens to also be Hannah's ex-boyfriend.

23. To Lean In, or to Let Go

In "To Lean In, or to Let Go," some of the real-life worries hospitals faced during the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world of "Chicago Med," as a lack of beds in the hospital causes grief for the doctors trying to help patients. With a severe bed shortage, the staff is pressured to admit, treat, and release patients as quickly as possible, which they worry could lead to severe issues being turned away as they prioritize who gets treatment. The fight for beds causes problems among the staff, too, with Dr. Archer struggling in his leadership role and Vanessa unable to speak up to get help for her patients. 

While COVID-19 never gets a direct mention and may not have been the in-story cause, it's clear that "Chicago Med" was trying to dramatize the real problems facing hospitals amid the pandemic.

22. Be the Change You Want To See

With Dr. Archer's takeover of the emergency department getting increasingly controlling, "Be the Change You Want To See" sees the new man in charge suddenly become a villain to the staff, as he seeks to implement a new system to rush patients in and out. Nobody is pleased, but none are more upset than Dr. Charles, who reminds Dr. Archer that psychiatry is not a quick treatment kind of medicine. Dr. Archer responds by telling him that perhaps his field does not belong in the emergency department, though the case of a woman rejecting life-saving surgery proves otherwise.

Elsewhere at the hospital, Dr. Dylan and Will grapple with a lupus patient who is lying about her situation. Goodwin reveals to Will that she's uncovered some shady business practices after looking into Dr. Cooper's dealings with a drugmaker that could spell trouble for everyone.

21. Change Is a Tough Pill to Swallow

In "Change Is a Tough Pill to Swallow," Dr. Scott and Dr. Charles tend to a young boy whose chronically ill brother has become the focus of his parents but who may be suffering from an undiagnosed issue himself. Dr. Marcel faces new challenges navigating the delicate world of hospital politics when it becomes necessary to operate on Dr. Blake's daughter. After saving her life, Dr. Marcel gets picked for a highly coveted transplant team, seemingly as a reward.

Dr. Halstead and the newly arrived Dr. Hammer clash while working with a geriatric patient, with Halstead insisting on using a new VasCom device he believes will save the patient's life. However, questions arise when it doesn't work, forcing the pair to go down a different route.

20. A Square Peg in a Round Hole

Dr. Hammer continues to attempt reconciliation with his mother in "A Square Peg in a Round Hole," but she isn't making it easy. Dr. Marcel is quickly becoming the object of Avery's affection. This creates an issue for Dr. Marcel, who seems to enjoy the flirtation with Dr. Blake's daughter but knows it's a bad idea. Complicating matters is Avery's complex surgery and the growing push and pull between Blake and Dr. Marcel. 

Dr. Charles and Vanessa tackle a case involving a young woman experiencing hallucinations. Her whose parents want her committed, but the two doctors' personal issues spill over into the matter. Will and Goodwin decide to halt the use of the VasCom device due to issues with recent patient care, but the board overrules them, wanting more information before taking such drastic action.

19. Be My Better Half

In "Be My Better Half," Will and Natalie are finally engaged — and are already arguing about plans for the wedding — when they work with a deaf man whose wife had left him over how he wanted to be treated for his condition. However, when the man's estranged wife gets a new diagnosis of her own, it brings the two lovers back together. Meanwhile, Dr. Charles and Dr. Reese clash when they get entangled in the affairs of Robert Haywood, with Dr. Reese ultimately deciding to leave Chicago for good.

Dr. Connor takes a new job at the Mayo Clinic but seems to be regretting his decision while Ava hatches a plan to get him to stay to run a new fast-track surgery program in the emergency department. Will it pay off, or will Dr. Connor leave "Chicago Med" for good?

18. Heavy Is the Head

"Heavy Is the Head" opens with a man hoping to donate a kidney to his dying son being let out of prison for the procedure. However, things don't go as planned as the seemingly well-intentioned father kidnaps his son at gunpoint to do one last selfless act for his child. As a hostage crisis erupts at the hospital, Ethan is caught in the middle and must find a way to resolve the sticky situation.

In another story, Natalie and Dr. Curry fight with a couple who arrive with a problem pregnancy. With the woman's life on the line, it's a race against time to convince the would-be mother to undergo a life-saving surgery before the pregnancy kills her. Dr. Connor's new hybrid operating room faces challenges as it gets up and running, but he attempts to start operating the new program anyway, leading to problems with both staff and equipment. 

17. Lesser of Two Evils

"Lesser of Two Evils" finds Will getting ready for marriage and reluctantly going along with a hybrid bachelor-bachelorette party. Back at the hospital, Natalie takes care of a couple injured in a car accident, but examinations reveal that there may be domestic violence at play. Natalie plays detective to find out more, but her efforts to help only seem to make the situation more complicated.

The episode also sees the return of Emily Choi, the wayward sister of Ethan, but despite being clean this time around, she doesn't seem to have learned much. When she shows up this time around, Emily is involved with a married man who has a teenage daughter, and she runs off with him to Las Vegas, leaving Ethan to wonder what kind of trouble she'll get into next.

16. Play by My Rules

"Play by My Rules" deals with the aftermath of the chemical attack on the emergency department in the previous episode, "The Poison Inside Us." Will is being grilled by the FBI, which creates complications for him. On the floor, doctors treat a two-year-old and her father, and a controversy erupts when the father is found to have a "Do Not Resuscitate" order tattooed on his body.

Elsewhere, Dr. Connor is displeased when, in an effort to bring in more money to the hospital, Goodwin decides to allow more patients into his hybrid operating room against his wishes. According to Dr. Connor, even though it could allow them to admit more patients, it could do more harm than good by clogging up crucial equipment meant for serious trauma victims.

15. Death Do Us Part

It's a special wedding episode in "Death Do Us Part" that sees Will and Natalie finally ready to tie the knot. Unfortunately, nothing seems to go as planned, and Will is dragged back to the hospital to save the life of Ray Price, which, of course, proves to be a much longer and more complicated derailment than he intended. 

Moving to the hospital, viewers see Ethan treating a victim of a botched burglary attempt who turns out to be the burglar, although he is soon revealed to be more than just a burglar. Also in his care is a shooting victim with three bullets in him, including two in the head. The man is rushed into the hybrid operating room as Ethan and April contend with a difficult birth that leads to a new life that's already knocking on death's door.

14. Old Flames, New Sparks

 "Old Flames, New Sparks" sees some big shakeups to the status quo of two relationships. First, however, April and Ethan help treat a boy with leukemia whose parents are pressuring their other son to help with a life-saving organ transplant. Afterward, Ethan decides to end things with Vicki, realizing he still has feelings for April.

Dr. Charles' ex-wife arrives in the hopes of being part of clinical trials for a new cancer treatment, and Dr. Connor suggests a dangerous surgery that might improve her chances of eligibility. Will, who had previously worked as an informant for the FBI on the case against mafia boss Ray Burke, gets a new place that happens to be just blocks from Ingrid Lee, his old handler, and questions arise on whether there's more to the move than mere coincidence. 

13. The Space Between Us

It's a nightmare at the hospital in "The Space Between Us" when a car with an unconscious driver plows into the emergency department. While the staff rushes to aid the injured, Dr. Rhodes works to figure out what caused the man to crash into the hospital. 

With a doctor trapped beneath the car and time running out to save him, April leaps into action to help save her colleague. However, Ethan can do little to help when Goodwin pulls him from the scene, concerned that his relationship with April could compromise his objectivity. In another story, Will and Natalie treat a seriously ill couple, both in need of lung transplants. When one takes a turn for the worse, the other is devastated. However, there is little time to mourn, as her partner's death means that the lungs intended for his transplant are now available.

12. I Can't Imagine the Future

Trouble arises for Dr. Charles and his new wife Caroline in the Season 5 mid-season finale "I Can't Imagine the Future" when Caroline's cancer takes a turn for the worse. It's a somber story as the couple accepts that the end is near, and they agree to spend their final days together, away from the hospital, with Dr. Charles taking an extended leave. Another couple is also hitting choppy waters as April receives bad news, and Ethan accepts a deployment overseas.

Patients handled in this episode include a young man with Down syndrome who suffers a spinal injury in a car wreck, and Will must face a tough decision when the patient's wishes conflict with his caregiver's. When Phillip Davis returns to have his daughter undergo an operation, it puts Natalie in a tough spot.

11. The Ghosts of the Past

In the Season 5 chapter that also marked the show's 100th episode, "Ghosts of the Past," Dr. Charles' ex-wife Susan reappears to blame him for their daughter's recent misbehavior. Before you can blink, the teen is a mainstay at the hospital so Dr. Charles can babysit. As his daughter stews, Dr. Charles and Natalie work on a case of a woman suffering from a case of medical child abuse. While Natalie deals with a troubled mother-daughter duo, Dr. Charles discovers his daughter is getting into trouble of her own.

Elsewhere, April — who's facing difficulty with her IVF treatments — finally comes clean with Ethan about her kiss with Dr. Marcel, and Ethan doesn't take it well. In classic macho chest-thumping fashion, Ethan immediately confronts Marcel physically. 

10. Status Quo, aka the Mess We're In

The Season 7 episode "Status Quo aka the Mess We're In" is not a good look for the medical profession, as it is chock full of misdiagnosed patients. First, Dr. Scott brings in a young and troubled child diagnosed as schizophrenic, but after a new examination, it's determined that he really has bipolar disorder. The case highlights the bias that medical professionals can have against minorities, and the young boy is ultimately given a new medication that should stem his troubles.

Meanwhile, Dr. Hammer and Vanessa meet with a woman who has apparently been suffering from cancer for the past three decades. However, when new lesions appear on her brain, it's discovered that cancer was never the proper diagnosis, and with the correct treatment, she may be able to resume a normal life.

9. The Poison Inside Us

Featuring Chief Wallace Boden and Hailey Upton from "Chicago P.D.," the hospital is turned upside down in "The Poison Inside Us" when a deranged man invades the facility. Looking for revenge against those responsible for his wife's death, he enters the emergency department with toxic chemicals that he uses to threaten the staff. Ethan is able to stop him, but not before the chemicals spill, forcing the evacuation of the entire department. However, Dr. Connor and Ava are sealed in the hybrid operating room, leaving their fate uncertain. 

During the crisis, Dr. Charles and Dr. Manning are stuck in an elevator with a pregnant woman and must make a tough call to deliver the baby. Meanwhile, Will is dealing with his own troubles when he's asked for help by FBI target Ray Price.

8. The Things We Do

In another crossover episode dealing with a big crisis, "The Things We Do" gives us a look at the hospital dealing with the aftermath of a medical helicopter crash and features characters from "Chicago Fire." Injured but alive, Natalie — on board when the helicopter unexpectedly lost power — is more concerned with the child they were transporting when they went down. When Will arrives at the scene, the crisis causes the couple to grow closer, and they ultimately agree to move in together.

Elsewhere in the hospital, Ethan gets assistance from Dr. Charles on a case of a man suffering from liver failure, who he believes to be an alcoholic. However, he soon realizes that the man's young son may be hiding something as well.

7. Forever Hold Your Peace

As Season 4 barrels towards its conclusion, "Forever Hold Your Peace" opens with April tending to Ethan's wayward sister Emily and her new baby. When Emily wants to jet off to St. Louis, Ethan and April refuse to let her take baby Vincent along. Meanwhile, Dr. Charles and Natalie need to see Goodwin regarding a husband who has ordered surgery on his unconscious, pregnant wife, a situation that puts the doctors in a considerable ethical dilemma.

Unfortunately, Dr. Charles is also dealing with Caroline, who wants to leave for Minnesota as her strength returns. Distraught and looking for a way to keep her in Chicago, Dr. Charles arranges to find her a position at a local university, but it doesn't help matters when he makes those arrangements behind her back.

6. When To Let Go

 "When To Let Go" is the middle story in a three-part crossover event story that spanned all three "Chicago" series' on air at the time. The episode is bookended by the "Chicago Fire" episode "Going to War" and "Chicago P.D." episode "Endings." Following the events of "Going To War," the emergency department at the hospital is inundated with injured victims from a devastating apartment complex fire, with the life of firefighter and crossover character Stella Kidd hanging by a thread. 

With the emergency department overflowing, it's all hands on deck, with psychiatrist Dr. Charles even lending a hand when he sees a firefighter, Otis, collapse with tremors. While the chaos unfolds in the hospital, Will and Jay engage in a petty sibling squabble while Natalie argues with a set of parents who are willing to let their child die. 

5. The Ground Shifts Beneath Us

"The Ground Shifts Beneath Us" is an episode full of surprises and another chaotic crisis when a plane crashes at the nearby O'Hare International Airport. A seemingly unending deluge of victims arrives at the emergency department, quickly overwhelming the staff. As the doctors and nurses struggle to keep up, April and Ethan attempt to navigate the new waters of their changing relationship now that they are engaged. However,  April is still unable to come clean about the kiss she shared with Dr. Marcel. 

As more patients arrive, the doctors are horrified to discover that a crash victim appears to be one of their own, Dr. Abrams. But when Dr. Abram's wife Michelle orders they pull the plug, Ethan has serious concerns about her motives. Just when the situation appears hopeless, a shocking twist leaves the staff with even more questions. 

4. Just As a Snake Sheds Its Skin

In "Just as a Snake Sheds Its Skin," things are starting to heat up between Dr. Marcel and Avery, even though she was once his patient and is the daughter of his colleague, Dr. Blake. Ethan continues his recovery and gets back to work, but, against warnings from Dr. Marcel, pushes himself too hard, ultimately injuring his back while working with Dr. Archer. The setback means Ethan will need more surgery and rehab. Marcel takes the opportunity to chew out Archer for putting Ethan back to work too quickly. 

When Vanessa worries that her Adderall use may show up on a scheduled drug test, Maggie helps her mask it with Lasix. Meanwhile, Dr. Hammer grows concerned when her mother — who has suffered from drug problems in the past — disappears, which leads Will to offer his help in tracking her down. 

3. With a Brave Heart

The series' phenomenal Season 4 comes to a close with the finale "With a Brave Heart," where we see April reveal that she may be pregnant, teasing what could be a big storyline the following season. At the same time, another storyline wraps up with Emily Choi moving in with her boyfriend Bernie, alongside his wife and their daughter, to create an unconventional family dynamic. No judgment here, but audiences can't expect that to work out given Emily's troubled and volatile history, meaning this might not be the end of the story after all. 

Will also gets word from an FBI agent that he may be in danger, but the biggest shock of the finale comes from Natalie, who is left seriously injured in the episode's closing moments, with her fate left uncertain as the credits roll.

2. Infection, Part 2

Another three-part "One Chicago" crossover sandwiched by episodes of "Chicago Fire" and "Chicago P.D.," "Infection, Part 2" sees a deadly virus sweeps through an apartment complex, which is quickly put under quarantine. While the Chicago Police Department officers track down the origins of a virus — which may be terrorism-related — the team at the hospital works to discover the scientific origins of the virus, with a representative of the Center for Disease Control assisting. 

As the infected begin to die, more patients arrive at the emergency department for treatment with almost nothing known of what causes the virus, let alone a way to cure it. As fear takes hold, Goodwin struggles to keep the press from creating an all-out panic across Chicago. 

1. Never Let You Go

"Never Let You Go" is the highest-rated episode of "Chicago Med" on IMDb, and for a good reason. It's a tense, gripping hour of television, where a hostage crisis takes over the emergency department after a distraught father discovers his girlfriend has put their child up for adoption. The teenaged mother had come into the hospital thanks to a car accident that induced labor, forcing her to make a decision on the fate of her unborn child sooner than expected. 

When the father arrives, he begs her to reconsider, but to no avail. Goodwin and the staff try to help him find legal options, but he takes matters into his own hands with a gun, demanding to take the baby. Dr. Connor and Ethan hatch a daring plan to thwart the enraged man, but the police may end things their way.