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What Happened to Dr. Charles in Season 8 of Chicago Med?
The Head of Psychiatry at Gaffney Medical is a bona fide fan favorite.
Dr. Charles is an endearing character for countless reasons: He provides mental health services at Chicago Med, including valuable insights for the other doctors to consider. He's endlessly kind and, despite not having all of his own ducks in a row, he always knows how to lend a helping hand to his patients and fellow physicians when the going gets tough. And, he is one of the Chicago Med O.G.s, helping patients tackle their darkest demons since Season 1.
The character is best known for his witty one-liners, valuable counsel, and heartwarming vulnerability that helps patients each day, so fans couldn't wait to catch up with him in Season 8 of Chicago Med.
Dr. Charles' Personal Mental Health Journey
As fans geared up for Season 8 of Chicago Med, all eyes were on the Head of Psychiatry to see how he was dealing with the end of his patient relationship with his therapist. Fans learned at the end of Season 7 that his therapist had begun developing feelings for him, prompting the bittersweet discontinuation of her services. Ahead of Season 8, NBC Insider chatted with Chicago Med showrunner Andrew Schneider to explore Dr. Charles' future at the hospital.
"Through his own search, we're going to kind of explore the state of psychiatry in the U.S. now as opposed to when he was coming up in medical school in his residency," Schneider told NBC Insider. "It's very different now."
Chicago Med viewers got their first taste of the new challenges Dr. Charles faced in finding a therapist during Season 8, Episode 3 ("Winning the Battle, but Still Losing the War"). The episode began with Dr. Charles in a therapist's office answering an endless lineup of questions. But, toward the end of what felt like an interrogation, the person asking the questions revealed that she was the receptionist, not the therapist, and the entire interaction had strictly been a preliminary measure.
Dr. Charles left angrily, telling the receptionist to cancel the session altogether, and realized that half the difficulty of getting help for mental health issues was finding a therapist invested enough to help. As Dr. Charles handled these daunting headaches, he got some unexpected help after being introduced to a new psychiatrist at the hospital.
New resident Dr. Nellie Cuevas and Dr. Charles butted heads
Throughout Season 8 of Chicago Med, Dr. Charles worked closely with Dr. Nellie Cuevas (Lilah Richcreek Estrada), a new resident at Gaffney Medical introduced in Season 8, Episode 1 ("How Do You Begin to Count the Losses"). Dr. Charles instantly noted Dr. Cuevas' medication-first approach and difficulties in developing trust with her patients.
Her medication-centric viewpoint initially caused tension between Dr. Charles and Dr. Cuevas but, after a few vulnerable exchanges, the two doctors learned a great deal from each other. She learned to be more open-minded when treating patients, while her learned the value of a refreshed perspective on the field. Together, they became a dream team to many Chicago Med patients, adopting a delightful combination of old-school and new-school practices.
And, while many beloved Chicago Med fan favorites bid farewell in Season 8, Dr. Cuevas cemented herself as a valuable part of the revamped team.
Dr. Charles's New Therapist: Dr. Otis Greenwell
In Season 8, Episode 4 ("The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Teacher"), fans saw Dr. Charles in therapy with Dr. Otis Greenwell (Dr. Stef Tovar). Finding a therapist with whom he could connect was challenging, but it was instantly clear that Dr. Greenwell understood how to best work with Dr. Charles.
The episode took a thrilling turn after Dr. Greenwell seemed to have a heart attack during a session, and Dr. Charles rushed him to Med, where it turned out that Dr. Greenwell had actually only had a panic attack. The realization led to a touching moment of vulnerability between the mental health professionals, shining a light on the value of everyone having a reliable support network — especially those in the mental health field.
Dr. Charles' Relationship with Liliana Wapniarski
Dr. Charles grew a lot throughout Season 8 of Chicago Med, which may be in part thanks to the introduction of Liliana Wapniarski (Alet Taylor). Dr. Charles met Liliana after watching her sing at a local bar, only to learn that her day job was as a custodian at Gaffney, and she'd been cleaning his office each night for years.
They'd previously always missed out on meeting one another but, once they did, their chemistry was instantaneous and it didn't take him long to ask his her on a date.
Historically, as fans know, Dr. Charles has been a tad unlucky in love and, despite the many swoon-worthy Chicago Med love stories surrounding him, Dr. Charles had struggled to make anything romantic stick. (He had been married three times, but was been single for years before meeting Liliana.)
Despite his past, the work Dr. Charles accomplished in therapy had finally put him in a better place to date. During the courting phase, Dr. Charles and Liliana initially struggled to acclimate to their unconventional workplace dynamics. Those tensions all came to a head in Season 8, Episode 15 ("Those Times You Have to Cross the Line"), when a custodial strike required Dr. Charles to stand up for Liliana within his workplace and oppose some of his own supervisors.
Dr. Charles joined the strike, and the custodial union finally got their accommodations granted. All the while, Liliana could finally see that Dr. Charles had her back. His support was all Liliana needed to know what they had was special, so Dr. Charles and Liliana became official, joining the ranks of heartwarming Med couples.
And, in the Season 8 finale ("Does One Door Close and Another One Open?"), they agreed to move in together.
This story was originally published on October 6, 2022. It was updated July 31, 2023.