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Why Archer’s Ex-Wife Almost Stopped His Life-Saving Kidney Transplant on Chicago Med

"I can put a stop to this, you know? I've already contacted a lawyer," Dr. Archer's ex fumed of plans for their son to donate his kidney. 

By Caitlin Schunn

Dr. Dean Archer (Steven Weber) seemed set to finally get his life-saving kidney transplant from his son Sean (Luigi Sottile) on Chicago Med — but once again — it wasn't that simple.

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Watch Chicago Med on NBC and Peacock.

In the second episode of Season 9 of the medical drama, an important person from Archer’s past showed up and threw another wrench in the transplant wait. Viewers will recall that things were already off to a rocky start in the Season 9 premiere, as Archer had second thoughts about taking an organ from his adult son because of the immense guilt he felt over being what he'd called a "terrible father."

RELATED: Dr. Archer’s Finally Set to Get a Kidney on Chicago Med, But He Doesn’t Want It

Who is Leanne on Chicago Med? 

Leanne, the ex-wife of Dr. Dean Archer and the mother of their son Sean, made her Chicago Med debut in Season 9, Episode 2 by entering through the emergency department doors of Gaffney Chicago Medical Center in a huff. Played by Paula Marshall, who most recently appeared in episodes of shows including Walker and Euphoria, told charge nurse Maggie (Marlyne Barrett) that she was looking for her son Sean Archer, who was scheduled for surgery that day.

Leanne stands in a black coat in Chicago Med Episode 902.

Leanne's temper flared even more when she was told by Maggie that her son's kidney had already been removed. "Sean's kidney's gone already? Wow, they crippled my son," Leanne fumed. 

Her mood didn't mellow when she barged into the room Archer, her ex, was in while awaiting the transplant. 

RELATED: Steven Weber Says Dr. Archer Is “Dying” As He Waits for “Dangerous” Kidney Donation on Chicago Med

"Well, don't you look like crap," Leanne said to Archer. "I heard your kidneys are shot. So, now what? What, you're gonna take one of Sean's?"

She explained that she's angry that their son only told her about the transplant the night before the surgery. "I told him I was not ok with this," Leanne added, as Archer responded that Sean told him that she was. 

Why did Dr. Archer's ex-wife, Leanne, want to stop his kidney transplant?

Leanne implies that Dean had ulterior motives for coming back into Sean's life after years of keeping his distance during their son's addiction issues and trouble with the law. "I should have known, when Sean told me you were back in his life, that you had some kind of agenda," Leanne yelled at a hospital gown-clad Archer.

“You ghosted your son for over a decade, you son of a bitch!,” she screamed at Archer. “Is this why you suddenly decided to reconnect with him? Because, oh, now you need a kidney?”

Leanne then said of the planned transplant, "I can put a stop to this, you know? I've already contacted a lawyer. You should be ashamed of yourself."

Dr. Archer (Steven Webber) appears in Season 9 Episode 2 of Chicago Med

Archer again wants to back out of receiving his son's kidney

Sharon Goodwin (S. Epatha Merkerson), chief of patient and medical services at Gaffney, spoke to the hospital's legal department about whether Leanne can get an injunction to stop the transplant, considering Sean is an adult and signed an informed consent.

“My guess is she can try and convince a judge that as a recovering addict and parolee, Sean lacked the decisional capacity to lend his full consent,” Peter Kalmick, head of Gaffney's legal department, told Goodwin, Dr. Hannah Asher (Jessy Schram) and Archer. “I don’t think she’s going to have any success, and the onus is on her, so as it stands now, I’m completely comfortable moving forward with the transplant.”

RELATED: Relive Dr. Hannah Asher's Incredible Journey on Chicago Med

But at this point, Archer was not ok with receiving his son's kidney without Leanne’s blessing, even though the organ had already been taken out of Sean's body.

Dr. Mark Cameron (Walter Coppage) told Hannah and Goodwin that it’s unlikely they’ll find another match for Sean’s already-removed kidney, and he only feels comfortable keeping the kidney on ice for two or three hours. Dr. Cameron says the only ethical thing to do at this point is to put the kidney back into Sean if the intended recipient refused it.

Sharon Goodwin has a stern talk with Dr. Hannah Asher and Dr. Mark Cameron in Chicago Med Episode 902.

Goodwin told Hannah she has 90 minutes to convince Archer to accept the kidney, and if it's not resolved by then, the organ is going back into Sean.

Hannah found Archer trying to reason with his ex-wife. "It's not about the kidney, Leanne, it is about Sean and all the changes I've seen, and if he wakes up and he finds out that... ," Archer began, before Leanne cut him off and stormed out of the room. 

Archer, defeated, asked his his friend and colleague Hannah, "What am I supposed to do?," when she pointed out that he looks resigned.

“Please, don’t tell me this is you just finding another way to not accept a gift from your son,” Hannah said to Archer, but he insisted he now wants the kidney and it’s only Leanne’s disapproval stopping him.

RELATED: What to Know About Chicago Med Season 9: Details

“Leanne is being petty and vindictive,” Hannah told Archer. “I am sorry to be so blunt, but this is not about protecting Sean. It is about hurting you. Don’t feed into it.” But Archer protests Hannah’s argument, replying, “She’s the mother of my child. If I go through with this against her wishes, Sean might never be able to have a relationship with his mom ever again.”

Hannah then urged him to be more like the Archer she first met, “the self-serving, ego-centric jerk that only cared about himself.”

Dr. Hannah Asher looks at Sean Archer sitting in a hospital bed in Chicago Med Episode 902.

Maggie uses her own marriage problems to convince Leanne to be ok with Archer's transplant

Maggie found out from Hannah that Archer’s ex-wife is still against the surgery, despite Hannah and Archer trying to talk sense into Leanne.

“You know I care a ton about Dean,” Maggie replied. “So please don’t take this the wrong way. I think Leanne is just trying to do what’s best for her son.”

But Hannah insisted that Leanne is just being selfish.

RELATED: What's Going On with Maggie and Ben's Marriage on Chicago Med?

“Leanne was no great mother,” she told Maggie. “I think that her motivations here are pretty obvious. If Dean gets the kidney, it means that Sean loves him more than her. I mean, she’s still so resentful and angry about the divorce, but getting her to see that? I don’t think it’s going to be possible.”

The comment about divorce struck a chord with Maggie, whose husband Ben recently told her he wanted a divorce. So, Maggie decided to talk to Leanne herself.

“I hear that they’re getting ready to put Sean’s kidney back in him,” Maggie said to Leanne. “Shouldn’t be too much longer now. Things were rough between you and Dr. Archer, huh?"

Sharon Goodwin listens to Maggie Lockwood speak while holding a phone in Chicago Med Episode 902.

Maggie says that she gets it, explaining that she and Ben were currently fighting over custody their cat, and that divorce mediation is making her feel petty enough to not let Ben have the pet even though he's the one who really wants it.

“I’m just so angry all the time,” Maggie said to Leanne. “I don’t recognize myself. I guess I want to hurt him for leaving me. Rejecting me.”

RELATED: Revisit Dr. Dean Archer's History on Chicago Med, Including Why He Needs a Kidney

As they opened up more to each other about their respective relationships, and Maggie shared that she still loves Ben, Leanne admitted that her marriage to Archer wasn't always bad. She shared a story of how he pulled cactus needles out of her foot after a misstep while she was pregnant with Sean.

"You know, Leanne, as angry as I am, I wasn’t exactly blameless,” Maggie told Leanne. “I did some things. Hid things from him. Lied to him.”

Leanne admitted she “did some things too,” and then asked, “How long before the surgery?,” giving some hope she may give it her blessing.

Dr. Dean Archer talks to Sean Archer in a hospital bed in Chicago Med Episode 902.

Does Dr. Dean Archer ever get a kidney transplant?

Viewers found out at the end of Season 9, Episode 2 of Chicago Med that Dr. Archer got a new kidney when he woke up in the recovery room next to his son Sean. They both told Hannah that they're doing well after the surgery.

“Should I go get Leanne and let her know that you’re awake and that the transplant was a success?,” Maggie asked. Archer then let his son know that his mother eventually approved of the surgery.

But Archer and Sean never got the chance to thank Leanne. Maggie went to find Leanne and caught her as she got into an elevator. When Maggie told Leanne that Archer and Sean were asking for her, Leanne just shook her head no as the elevator door closed.

Watch all-new episodes of Chicago Med on Wednesdays at 8/7c on NBC, or stream them the next day on Peacock.