Ever since Asher returned to Chicago Med, she’s been trying to stand up for other heroin users. She knows what it takes to stay sober and wants to help others get there, too.
Archer took her side when she fought the AI program automatically flagging patients as potential drug users.
But on Chicago Med Season 8 Episode 14, she may be on her own after Archer learns that a new mother is using heroin.
The issue involves whether to let the mother go home with her newborn. According to a clip in the spoiler video, Archer doesn’t think it’s appropriate, but Asher disagrees.
Asher doesn’t want to give up on this woman after going through her own battle with heroin addiction. But is she making the right call by fighting to keep this mother and child together?
Things get tricky when a parent struggles with addiction. In many cases, CPS does what that computer program did and automatically assumes that a parent with a drug problem will neglect or abuse their child.
It doesn’t necessarily mean that, but on the other hand, we’re talking about a woman who just gave birth for the first time.
Newborns need lots of care, and caring for a tiny, helpless baby can be stressful. New parents often find it challenging to get enough sleep or tend to their other needs, and if this mother doesn’t have a support system at home, she’ll find it difficult.
And people with drug addiction problems often turn to their favorite substance when stressed, so having a baby in the house could lead to a vicious cycle of drug abuse and neglect.
Still, every case is different, and taking the baby away could send the mother into a tailspin, making it harder for her to kick her habit.
Archer is an old-school doctor who likely comes from the outdated abstinence-only model of substance use treatment. Asher first came into Will’s life when she went to a safe house for users set up to try to reduce the harm to heroin users; she understands the value of practicing harm reduction.
That alone will cause the two to butt heads.
That’s a shame; they’ve gone from enemies to colleagues, and Asher has gotten close enough to Archer to convince him to try to rebuild his relationship with his son instead of distrusting Sean all the time.
Rather than being at each other’s throats, Archer and Asher need to figure out a treatment plan that serves the mother’s and child’s best interests. Taking the baby away is not the only option; they need to ensure the child’s safety while the mother works on sobriety.
Asher and Archer aren’t the only ones who will clash; Charles will get caught in a labor dispute.
Charles’ relationship with Liliana puts him in a unique position. Most doctors are unaware of the lives that blue-collar workers lead, such as janitors and cafeteria workers. These people are vital to the hospital’s ability to stay open, yet they are often invisible to the medical staff.
But Charles is dating Liliana, so she’s no longer invisible to him. When negotiations break down over a new contract, it’ll test his loyalties.
He’s dating Liliana, but Sharon has been his best friend for ages, and he knows she has a good heart. How will he navigate this conflict?
Charles might try to make the union’s case to Sharon for Liliana’s benefit, but that’s not likely to go over well. Sharon may not appreciate his interference, and Liliana may feel he’s speaking for her.
This storyline is compelling partially because we rarely address class issues on medical dramas. Doctors get glimpses into patients’ lives — including some who don’t have the funds to pay for needed treatment –, but those issues are secondary to whatever the doctors are going through.
Besides the Janitor on Scrubs, how often are the custodial staff featured on medical shows?
AI will probably feature prominently in this story. Some people fear technology will take over jobs such as cashiering and cleaning. Since Dayton owns the hospital, he probably wants to introduce AI solutions for some of this type of work.
That could be why the negotiations break down in the first place. The labor union may want to keep AI out of janitorial work, while Dayton insists on using technology throughout the hospital.
If so, it’s not only Sharon that Charles or the union will have to win over. Dayton is not easily persuaded to abandon tech solutions and will dig his heels in twice as hard if he’s pressured to do so.
I also wonder if there’ll be any fallout from Will and Grace’s decision to ignore data about that patient’s chance of survival in favor of doing everything to help her.
Grace swore never to abandon her data again, another surgeon was pissed, and only Will thought they did the right thing.
Will anything come of the other surgeon’s complaint? And how does Will view Grace now that she’s flip-flopped back to the side of data over humanity?
What do you think, Chicago Med fanatics? Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know!
Don’t forget that you can watch Chicago Med online while waiting for the newest episode to air.
Chicago Med airs on NBC on Wednesdays at 8 PM EST / PST.
Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on Twitter.