From Connor leaving to a major death, ‘Chicago Med’ kicked off season 5 with an unforgettable premiere. HL spoke EXCLUSIVELY with the show’s EPs about the game-changing premiere and what’s ahead for Natalie, Will, and the rest of the crew.
The Chicago Med season 5 premiere featured the departures of Connor and Ava — in two very different ways. After Connor confronts Ava about killing his father, Ava kills herself in front of him. After Ava’s death, Connor knew he couldn’t stay in Chicago. He walks out at the end of the episode hoping to start anew elsewhere. HollywoodLife talked EXCLUSIVELY with showrunners Andrew Schneider and Diane Frolov about Connor and Ava’s exits. Andy revealed that they “knew something bad was going to happen to Ava” but they did consider having her survive her suicide attempt. “But we thought it gave more closure to the story if she died and would really help cement Connor’s decision to leave the hospital,” Andy said. As for Connor, killing off the character was never a discussion. “We really wanted him to be able to walk out,” Diane said. Andy added, “We didn’t want to kill him.”
From the premiere to the second episode, the show will jump forward about four to six weeks. Despite the time jump, Connor’s absence is still going to be impacting the Chicago Med crew. “It’s a major blow to this family of doctors. So yes, his absence will be felt,” Andy said. The showrunners are also not ruling out the possibility of a return down the road. “He’s alive and there’s nothing to say that he couldn’t come back,” Andy noted.
Elsewhere in the episode, Natalie barely survives the car crash she was in last season. When she finally wakes up, she is suffering from memory loss and can’t remember Phillip’s proposal at all or what she was going to tell Will. “It has a long fallout affecting all the characters,” Andy said about the aftermath of the crash. “But specifically with Natalie, she doesn’t have a memory of that day and she finds herself engaged to a man. She struggles with the fact that she doesn’t have the feelings for him that she feels she had and should have. But that could be part of her brain injury.” Diane added, “We’ll also be dealing with the fact that when she comes back in the second episode after her therapy, people wonder and doctors wonder if her medical judgment has been affected.”
Despite the fact that Natalie doesn’t remember Phillip’s proposal and their relationship is in a weird place, we have not seen the last of Phillip. “Phillip is the perfect guy, in a way,” Diane told HollywoodLife. “He takes care of her. He’s attentive to her. He very supportive of her in her recovery. She just can’t remember.” However, Will is not giving up on Natalie. “He’s picking up on her ambivalence so he can’t help but maintain hope that there’s a place for him, that she could break it off with Phillip,” Andy teased. “So we form this kind of triangle because Will is not willing to let go.”
April and Ethan also find out that they were not pregnant, but this opens up the discussion of children between them. “That issue of should we have a child is the big thing in this season and they want a child. There will be some difficulties on this path,” Diane revealed.
In another sad twist of fate for the Chicago Med crew, Maggie is diagnosed with cancer. While Sharon knows about her diagnosis, Maggie is determined to keep it a secret. “She’s very sincere about wanting to do that,” Diane said. “But it’s a big, big struggle and it’s an emotional struggle because these people are her friends, and she’s not allowing them to be her friends. So that’s the core of it.” Maggie will be dealing with the physical effects of chemotherapy and trying to keep her cancer a secret will add “another level of stress and difficulty to her life,” according to Andy. Chicago Med season 5 airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC.