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Chicago Med Season 7 Will Bring New Faces and More Crossovers

The executive producers tease what's to come when the medical drama returns.

Jean Bentley

The departure of longtime cast members is always an emotional moment on a long-running show, especially one like Chicago Med that follows a close-knit group of friends and coworkers. But the exit of Yaya DaCosta as nurse April Sexton and Torrey DeVitto as pediatrician Natalie Manning in the Season 6 finale leaves room for new blood in the emergency department.

"There's a sadness to it, and melancholy, but it does give us the opportunity to bring in new characters with new storylines, new issues," says co-showrunner Andrew Schneider of the new season, which premieres Wednesday, Sept. 22 at 8 p.m. on NBC. "They're both actors we admire, we really like. It was hard to let them go."

But Schneider and his partner, co-showrunner Diane Frolov, have plenty of plans for Chicago Med in Season 7. For starters, there are two new faces in the form of new doctors Stevie Hammer (Kristen Hager) and Dylan Scott (Guy Lockard). And Steven Weber's Dr. Dean Archer will return full time, which will cause plenty of chaos considering he's not well-liked in the hospital. Ethan (Brian Tee) is recovering from a gunshot, so can't tell the rest of the Med team that he has misgivings about his old military buddy — not to mention the fact that his off-and-on love, April, has gone.

Will Halstead (Nick Gehlfuss) and Crockett Marcel (Dominic Rains) will both deal with the absence of Natalie in their own ways, with Crockett focusing on a new specialty and Will teaming up with Sharon Goodwin (S. Epatha Merkerson) to investigate a doctor suspected of Medicare fraud. And nurse Maggie Lockwood (Marlyne Barrett) will have to deal with the fact that the daughter she gave up for adoption years ago, Vanessa (Asjha Cooper), is now a med student working in the ED.

Below, Schneider and Frolov reveal what's to come for the team at Chicago Med this year.

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Dominic Rains as Crockett Marcel, Nick Gehlfuss as Dr. Will Halstead, Chicago Med

George Burns Jr/NBC

What kind of effect will Natalie's exit have on Crockett? And Will, too, obviously.
Frolov: We touch on that in the first episode. They both feel her loss. You know, Crockett in some ways said goodbye to her earlier last season when they realized it wasn't working out. But he obviously misses her. And so does Will.

Schneider: But you will see that their relationship has had a positive effect on Crockett. It's grounded him in a way that he hadn't been for a long time. And both Will and Crockett sharing this mutual loss, it kind of brings them closer together despite the jealousy that they experienced last season.

What about Ethan with April leaving?
Schneider: Well, he's getting over his gunshot injury.

Okay, yes, we should address that first. But I'm assuming he'll be back.
Frolov: Yeah, he's coming back. He's weak, and he's in rehab right now. He will be coming back within the first nine episodes.

Schneider: But he has to deal with the injury. He's not completely healed and for him to get back with having this injury is not an easy transition.

Frolov: So by the time he gets back, there's been a big space between April leaving and him coming back. So it's not as immediate. And also she's not really gone gone. She's away at school.

Schneider: She can come back anytime.

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There's that expression "doctors make the worst patients," and Ethan is probably the worst example of that. He's not a guy who likes to accept help from people.
Frolov: 
That's right. And he has a journey with that, because obviously he's going to have to go through a lot to get back up again. So he is going to have to rely on people.

Does that leave room for a love interest? Or is that not really his focus this season?
Schneider: Not immediately. In the immediate time, he's got to concentrate on getting back in shape to be able to perform because his work is so important to him.

Frolov: It's actually a process for doctors coming back into the ED that have had injuries like this, that they have to more or less prove their physicality, their ability to work in the ED. So we're going to have scenes with him working on a simulator - a dummy, more or less.

Schneider: The thing with an ED doc is it takes physical strength and speed. And he's got to make sure he's up to snuff.

Frolov: Yes. So it's a training that he will be going through.

Does that mean more shirtless pull-ups? Don't think I forgot that scene.
Schneider: Well I don't know, with that back injury I'm not sure pull-ups are in order, but we'll see. Probably by the end of the season, yeah, he'll be doing all that stuff. He'll be punching the heavy bag.

Moving on to Maggie, what in the world is she doing with the whole Vanessa situation?
Frolov: She's gotten herself into a mess here. As you saw at the end of last season, Vanessa has discovered everything and doesn't want Maggie telling people, doesn't want her reputation influenced by that. And so Maggie is going to attempt to honor that but Maggie is a mother so she'll have this constant tension in her: When does she intervene? When does she pull back? And Vanessa's angry.

Schneider: Eventually, the secret will come out.

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I can imagine. This is television we're talking about.
Frolov: Yeah, it raises a lot of issues between the two of them.

Schneider: Balancing maternal feelings with her professional protocols. It's not easy.

Frolov: And respect for Vanessa.

What else can you say about the rest of the old guard that we have here at Med and what they're going to be facing?
Schneider: I can tell you about Goodwin. She has a big storyline where she suspects Medicare fraud has been going on by a doctor in the hospital. But she can't prove it, and she wants to enlist Will Halstead to help her uncover this so she can clean up the mess.

Frolov: That's a big story that runs through numerous episodes.

Schneider: And changes the relationship between Will and Goodwin.

That's probably good, because Will is nosy as hell and he doesn't keep out of anybody's business.
Frolov: That's right! That's why she picked him.

Steven Weber's Dr. Archer is back full time. Will he clash with Ethan when he comes back?
Schneider: He'll clash with a lot of people because he can be an abrasive character. He's got his own emotional issues that lead him sometimes to do not the best things. But he's a really good doctor.

Frolov: Yeah, he's a really good doctor and a very complicated person.

He thinks he's doing the right thing. He thinks he knows best.
Schneider: Yeah. And it's always coming out of patient concern. Even though he'll do some things that are untoward, but it's all toward the patient.

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Guy Lockard as Dr. Dylan Scott, Kristin Hager as Dr. Stevie Hammer, Steven Weber as Dr. Dean Archer, Chicago Med

George Burns Jr/NBC

As far as the new doctors go, we have Dr. Dylan Scott, a Chicago police officer who becomes a doctor. What can you say about him?
Frolov: Well, the CPD actually pays for medical school while you're in the police force. And so he's going to talk about this, but he had an incident that inspired him. He was never planning on this. But it really speaks to the heart of him. Being a doctor in particular, he's a pediatrician. So the way he looks at it is that children are our future and that's where his investment is with them.

Schneider: But he will often have conflicts between his old world of police, of law enforcement, and medicine because sometimes the priorities are very different. And he can get caught in the middle.

Frolov: And he comes from a family of cops. His dad is a cop, his sister is a cop. So there initially was tension in the family about him leaving the family business and there's still little pokes about that in the family.

Schneider: He knows Will's brother, and he's good friends with Atwater. He and Atwater were in the academy together. There's more crossover with PD through this character.

Are they going to be the big multi-episode crossovers or is it going to be the typical smaller ones where we just see the characters pop in and out as they normally would?
Schneider: At this point, it's the smaller version. The COVID protocols for shooting are making it very difficult to have the big mass crossover, but we will definitely be looking to do, no question, a crossover.

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What can you say about Dr. Stevie Hammer, who's a new emergency room attending physician?
Frolov: She also has a very complicated past which is going to spool out.

Schneider: Which she doesn't talk about, but it affects how she treats patients, and her personal life, and will come out through the course of the season.

Frolov: And you wouldn't guess her past by looking at her. In the first episode we will see where she came from. It does change how you look at her.

Schneider: And there's an interesting relationship with Will. She went to medical school with Will and they were very competitive. She was number one in her class, and as Will says, he was not. There's a certain kind of friendly rivalry and competition between them.

Who is she interacting with the most? Or is she going to get a little bit of time with everybody?
Frolov: She's really interacting with everybody. For instance, she has a special kind of relationship with Vanessa because they're both women in medicine, and they both had to really fight their way there. They're both very, almost obsessive about their training and they push themselves very hard.

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Who is she interacting with the most? Or is she going to get a little bit of time with everybody?
Frolov: She's really interacting with everybody. For instance, she has a special kind of relationship with Vanessa because they're both women in medicine, and they both had to really fight their way there. They're both very, almost obsessive about their training and they push themselves very hard.

Schneider:
Vanessa looks up to Stevie as a mentor.

Frolov:
It's a hard route for both those two, and they find a bond in that.

What else should we know heading into season 7?
Frolov:
We are going to give Crocket a bit of a professional journey. He is going to be headed toward a specialty. So we'll see in the first few episodes as he's contemplating his future and what he wants to do and, as Andy was saying, this comes out of his relationship with Natalie and reevaluating his life and his past and all of that, actually planning a future.

Chicago Med premieres Wednesday, Sept. 22 at 8/7c on NBC.