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What's Next for Dr. Ethan Choi on Chicago Med?
"He recognizes the gray and is becoming more comfortable living in that," Chicago Med's Diane Frolov explains.
Dr. Choi on Chicago Med, played by Brian Tee, is an excellent physician and calming presence on the show. Dr. Choi has been through a lot in the past few seasons, and these challenges have led him to dramatically evolve as a character. As Season 8 of Chicago Med is in full swing, viewers may have noticed Dr. Choi is taking a more relaxed take on life. But where did Dr. Choi's metamorphosis begin? NBC Insider chatted with Chicago Med showrunner Diane Frolov to discuss Dr. Choi's Chicago Med journey, his brief hiatus on Chicago Med, and what's next for Dr. Choi now that he moves forward from recent events.
Dr. Choi left Chicago Med temporarily
Throughout Season 8 of Chicago Med, fans have watched Dr. Choi attempt to redefine himself in the Emergency Room. In earlier seasons, Dr. Choi embraced a direct and authoritarian approach to managing residents and treating patients. Dr. Choi was great at his job but sometimes struggled at connecting with colleagues because of his militant approach to treatment. But according to Chicago Med showrunner Frolov, that all began to change when Dr. Choi was forced to take a brief hiatus from the ER. "You know, it really started with him being shot," Frolov explained.
Fans will recall the end of Season 6 when a gun-wielding patient ambushed Dr. Choi and Dr. Archer (Steven Weber) in a parking lot. Choi tried to take the gun away from the patient and was shot, leaving him with serious injuries (though he survived, thankfully). Still recovering, Choi made things worse for himself by getting herniated lumbar discs, putting him out of commission for several months. He officially recovered and returned in Season 7, Episode 12, where he received devastating news: his terminally-ill father passed away.
Needless to say, Dr. Choi has been through it. Luckily, through the support of his Chicago Medical Center colleagues and a bit of soul searching, Dr. Choi has been able to accept his father's death and the trauma of the shooting. So what doors does that open for Season 8 of Chicago Med?
What's next for Dr. Choi on Chicago Med?
"[Dr. Choi's] gone through a tremendous metamorphosis," Frolov revealed. "And he continues to do that. That's what we're gonna be playing." We see those changes actualize in the latest episode, "Winning the Battle, but Still Losing the War," when incoming resident Dr. Tanaka-Reed (Devin Kawaoka) tells a fellow resident to look out for the notoriously unpleasable Dr. Choi as a supervisor. Dr. Choi's reputation of impatience has preceded him. Meanwhile, Dr. Hannah Asher struggled with treating a patient that recognized her from when she was still an addict. Dr. Choi offers valuable advice, admitting he understands how frustrating it can be to be constantly "compared to the former version of yourself."
The scene aligns heavily with what the Chicago Med showrunners revealed will be Dr. Choi's latest arc. "As he changes, people still hold on to the old idea of Ethan," Frolov concluded. "Ethan being rigid and by the book. He's not that anymore. He recognizes the gray and is becoming more comfortable living in that."
What about Dr. Choi's love life on Chicago Med?
Speaking of comfortable living, Season 8 has brought forth many questions surrounding Dr. Choi's love life after the return of a beloved character. At the end of Season 6, Dr. Choi's relationship with Nurse April (YaYa DaCosta) ended, but April is now back in Chicago, connecting with Ethan at his father's grave.
April and Dr. Choi were a fan favorite couple despite their often rocky relationship. But now that they've both had time to explore and evolve within their lives separately, a reunion might be in store. Based on their weighted interaction, in which they clarified their relationship status, there might be a rekindling on the horizon. Considering the positive strides Dr. Choi has made in Season 8 so far, a Chexton reunion could be the cherry on top.
Brian Tee reveals Dr. Choi will leave Chicago Med in Season 8
In an interview with Deadline, Tee confirmed that his last episode of Chicago Med is Season 8, Episode 9, titled “Could Be The Start Of Something New.”
"What we’ve been planning for Dr. Choi’s sendoff is fitting, and it’s beautiful. I think the fans are going to absolutely love it," Tee reveals. "It’s going to bring a little bit of the new Ethan and a little bit of the old. Know that Episode 9 is going to be an amazing one.”
Watch Chicago Med Wednesday nights at 8/7c on NBC and next day on Peacock.
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