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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. Never Going Back to Normal (Season 5, Episode 1)

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. 

29. Leave the Choice to Solomon (Season 5, Episode 12)

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.

28. Who Should Be the Judge (Season 5, Episode 16)

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.

27. Pain is for the Living (Season 5, Episode 13)

Natalie tends to a baby as "Pain is for the Living" and discovers a series of problems with the tiny patient that will require a number of procedures. The baby's mother, however, seems unusually excited by the whole ordeal, which disturbs Dr. Manning enough to look into her own medical history where she discovers a history of her own issues that could endanger her child. 

In the ED, a father arrives after admitting to having choked his son. Concerned about possible child abuse in the home, Dr. Charles does some digging and uncovers a different story from the son. With the need for expensive psychiatric treatment and a family that's financially strained, though, means the staff will have to go the extra mile to get them the help they need. As that's going on, Will calls on Dr. Asher for some help and is forced to confront her about her drug problem after she insists on performing surgery on a patient, which creates a delicate situation for him. 

26. In the Name of Love (Season 5, Episode 18)

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.

25. Guess it Doesn't Matter Anymore (Season 5, Episode 10)

The Season 5 episode "Guess it Doesn't Matter Anymore" features a not-quite crossover with the short-lived "Chicago Justice," as Jolene Carter guest stars, though in an entirely different role than she had on that series. Here she appears as Lynn, a woman suffering from an opioid addiction who Will realizes is a former patient. He wants to help her one more time, but it may be too late.

As for April, she comes clean to Ethan about the fact that she can't have children but decides to keep mum about her kiss with Crockett — as well as her feelings for him. And this dirty little secret may just become a bigger problem for her because Ethan finally pops the question. Dr. Charles is dealing with his own turmoil, still coping with the loss of CeCe. And when he tells Elsa that her ideas are no good, she mistakenly believes that his negativity is the result of his grief.

24. We're Lost in the Dark (Season 5, Episode 2)

It's a mad dash for resources when there's a power outage at Chicago Med in the second episode of the fifth season, "We're Lost in the Dark." But before the lights went out, Maggie was in chemotherapy, but not at her own hospital: she wanted it done far from her home base to keep her friends and colleagues out of her treatment. When she does get to work she's dealing with a young female student suffering from seizures, but adamant she gets medicine and is allowed to return for her after-school sports.

As the outage hits and things begin to spiral out of control, though, Choi handles a man with a hip fracture, and Sexton deals with a delicate heart surgery. It's a race against time to get the operations completed as power is precious, and the work precarious. As life hangs in the balance, the doctors and nurses must pull together to prevent the malfunction from leading to something far worse.

23. Too Close to the Sun (Season 5, Episode 8)

Airing in the first half of Season 5, "Too Close to the Sun" is an episode about choices, kicked off when Noah Sexton (Roland Buck III) arrives with a controversial patient — a wannabe gang member whom they encountered once before. Sexton explains the situation to Crockett, and he isn't happy about it, but reluctantly agrees to keep things quiet. When Officer Halstead of "Chicago PD" comes snooping around and discovers what's going on, things get dicey, and Noah has a decision to make.

Elsewhere, Maggie (Marylne Barrett) is heartbroken to learn that her new beau Ben (Charles Malik Whitfield) is not long for this world. Guilt-ridden, she is caught forging Manning's signature to get him released, but the consequences of letting him go could be even more serious than getting her into trouble.

The biggest story of the episode, though, sounds like a lot of laughs, but is anything but, as Dr. Choi and Dr. Charles are working with a social media-obsessed patient. Looking for likes, the man is allowing his followers to dictate his medical treatment, threatening to undermine the doctors' work.

22. Be My Better Half (Season 4, Episode 1)

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?

21. Heavy Is the Head (Season 4, Episode 3)

"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. 

20. Death Do Us Part (Season 4, Episode 9)

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.

19. Timing (Season 1, Episode 18)

Tragedies converge in the Season 1 finale of "Chicago Med." The episode titled "Timing" wraps up the show's debut year, and while it didn't win any points for reinventing the genre — with a few predictable twists and turns — it still manages to deliver top-notch drama as only the "One Chicago" franchise can. It's a gripping beginning as Downey is hospitalized when it's discovered that his cancer has made its way to his brain, and the prognosis is dire; There are few options and none of them are good. 

Natalie and Reese deal with a baby suffering an unknown ailment that could be fatal if they can't figure out what's wrong and get fixed quickly. On the personal side of things, a new group of students brings with it a man Natalie knew years before, a friend of her late husband. The two seem well acquainted and that makes Halstead nervous about their relationship. At the same time, he's just received some good news about his job at Chicago Med.

18. Might Feel Like It's Time for a Change (Season 8, Episode 21)

Season 8's "Might Feel Like It's Time For a Change" continues Jack Dayton's mission to destroy Chicago Med for his own power-hungry reasons. He believes that the innovative use of 2.0 will make the hospital a place where the most elite clients want to go for medical care, but the staff are more concerned with helping people. So you can imagine the problems when it's revealed that the A.I. may actually be responsible for the death of a patient. This is cause for some serious soul-searching by Halstead and Crockett, who had worried that the tragedy was their mistake.

Asher deals with an older woman who has become pregnant, which surprises both her and her husband, who'd had a vasectomy long ago. Dr. Archer, meanwhile, is dealing with the bittersweet discovery that his son may be a match for a kidney transplant — but just as he learns of the good news, he discovers Sean may be in new trouble. We also find out that Maggie interviewed for a new job at a local hospital.

17. I Could See the Writing On the Wall (Season 8, Episode 21)

Dr. Asher is dealing with a young pregnant woman in "I Could See the Writing on the Wall," and the situation forces her to confront her own past. In the episode, we learn about how Asher's mother lost her life during childbirth, and how she's used that loss to motivate her all her life, including her career choice as an OBGYN. And when her patient takes a turn for the worst, Asher is suddenly dealing with a double dose of trauma.

Archer is also facing a crisis close to home, as he must come to terms with his own condition and decide whether he wants to reach out to his son for help. It's not an easy decision, and it's one he's tried to avoid making. The real story, though, is the shocking revelation that Dayton's plan has all along been to turn Chicago Med into a for-profit hospital, throwing the entire staff for a loop.

16. I Can't Imagine the Future (Season 5, Episode 9)

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.

15. The Ghosts of the Past (Season 5, Episode 17)

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. 

14. The Poison Inside Us (Season 4, Episode 7)

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.

13. The Things We Do (Season 4, Episode 12)

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.

12. Forever Hold Your Peace (Season 4, Episode 21)

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.

11. Love Hurts (Season 2, Episode 23)

The Season 2 finale "Love Hurts" capped off a tremendous sophomore year that proved that "Chicago Med" was only getting better. It picks up shortly after the previous episode, where Dr. Charles' daughter Robin has been hospitalized. Charles is furious over the situation and lays the blame at the feet of Dr. Rhodes, who is also his daughter's boyfriend. After the tension deescalates a bit, they focus on the problem of what exactly is wrong with Robin, and it's Reese who breaks with the other doctors with her own diagnosis.

The victim of a car accident also enters the hospital, brought in by Officer Halstead from "Chicago PD." The problem is that the man is a refugee, and there is no access to his medical history, which complicates the case for Halstead's brother Will. We also meet guest star Dr. Becker (Norma Kuhling), who instantly clashes with everyone she meets. But all of these problems seem to pale in comparison to Sexton and Choi, who must work on a patient together while dealing with the aftermath of their kiss.

10. Monday Mourning (Season 2, Episode 17)

The culmination of multiple storylines, "Monday Mourney" twists the knife on fans of "Chicago Med" in more ways than one. It begins with the tragic suicide of Dr. Wheeler (Jurgen Hooper), but when word reaches the staff, they have no time to grieve. Dr. Manning is working with a young patient who arrives after a terrifying ordeal accompanied by the man who'd tried to help him — a man who, it's revealed, had suffered a cardiac arrest during the rescue effort.

But grief over the loss of one of their own can only be held at bay so long, and hardest hit is Reese, who feels a swell of guilt for not doing more for Wheeler, who'd tried reaching out to her for help. Dr. Manning, meanwhile, must make a choice between who to save first: An adult patient who is in more dire circumstances, or the child. Then, Choi and Halstead butt heads over how to treat a young man who's suffered a stroke in the ED.

9. Cold Front (Season 2, Episode 14)

It's another crossover with "Chicago Fire" in this ice-breaking episode from Season 2 of "Chicago Med." It begins with the city under siege from a blizzard, and a massive multi-car pileup on the iced-over highway creates a cascade of worsening situations. As doctors and emergency workers head to the scene, joined by their counterparts at Firehouse 51 — including Matthew Casey and Kelly Severide — they'll have to size up a sprawling situation that quickly escalates out of their control.

Bound by ice and snow, Choi does his best to keep a man alive, knowing he'll never make it but hoping he'll hang on long enough to say goodbye to his wife, in one of the most gut-wrenching stories of the entire series. Before he can even recover from the heartbreak, Choi must make his own sacrifice to save the life of a dying child. With some of the most spectacular set pieces in the show's history, "Cold Front" is not to be missed.

8. The Winds of Change are Starting to Blow (Season 8, Episode 20)

Now that Chicago Med has transitioned into a for-profit hospital, the staff is struggling to manage their priorities, as they've always put people and care first. "The Winds of Change are Starting to Blow" puts a focus on this new way of doing business, as Dayton is now openly giving preferential treatment to wealthy patients, much to the chagrin of those around him. 

In the 2.0 operating room, Marcel grows concerned about the system when a slowdown causes problems. When a patient is pulled off life support, some begin to wonder if there's an issue with it that could be putting patients' lives in jeopardy. There's also a real-life storyline woven into the episode, as a patient arrives with wild conspiracy theories surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. As Maggie tries to get her to face facts and science, Charles grows concerned that she may be going too far. 

7. What You See Isn't Always What You Get (Season 8, Episode 16)

In one of the most shocking episodes of "Chicago Med" ever, a psychotic break causes a patient to become trapped against a powerful MRI machine with a pair of scissors lodged near his jugular. It's a precarious, nail-biting story as the staff works to free him, knowing that at any moment, even the slightest movement could end his life, and there would be nothing they could do to save him. Now, the doctors must work together as a team, carefully coordinating their efforts, if they're going to win the day.

That's not the only story, though, as a Spanish teen arrives in the hospital suffering from a mysterious ailment, one that her mother is sure will be fatal — because it also killed her son. Still unsure of what exactly they're dealing with, Halstead and Cuevas must fight to find a treatment for what turns out to be an extremely rare disorder.

6. When To Let Go (Season 4, Episode 2)

 "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. Does One Door Close and Another One Open? (Season 8, Episode 22)

"Does One Door Close and Another One Open" is the mind-bending Season 8 finale that gave a longtime "Chicago Med" cast member an emotional send-off. The end of an era for the show, the episode begins with the OR's artificially intelligent computer surgery system — nicknamed "2.0" — going haywire, though they don't realize it at first. When Dayton's plans for an IPO (initial public offering) go up in smoke, it threatens the progress they've made on the system and forces them to consider selling the hospital altogether, which brings conflicting feelings.

At the same time, Archer takes it upon himself to save a patient whose insurance won't allow for a life-saving surgery. But in the process, he discovers his own infection caused by his dialysis procedure. Worse still, when Sean demands he go through with the transplant he'd previously offered, Archer has to inform him that his recent alcohol relapse meant he was no longer eligible. And with Maggie apparently looking for a new position, the staff may be down one critical staff member.

4. The Ground Shifts Beneath Us (Season 5, Episode 11)

"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. 

3. With a Brave Heart (Season 4, Episode 22)

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 (Season 5, Episode 4)

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 (Season 4, Episode 19)

"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.