Tuesday night’s new episode of Chicago Med entitled “This Is Now” is going to be different from most others that are out there, mostly through the lens of the subject matter. This story will feature the aftermath of a horrific mass shooting, one that causes the hospital to fill up with an influx of patients beyond which they have the capacity to properly treat. There will be a scramble for rooms, medicine, and proper treatments as patients are dying — it’s a tragic episode that shows the aftermath to such an unspeakable tragedy.
This episode is also going to have a personal element to it courtesy of what happens with the character of Natalie Manning. Her son and nanny are missing in the midst of what happened and she has to endure one of the most terrifying times of her life while also helping others through their own.
In helping to set things up, show executive producers Andrew Schneider and Diane Frolov shared some of their thoughts about this episode, why it was important to tell this story now, and what you can expect to see with Dr. Manning’s story in particular. (This is the first part of our interview with Schneider and Frolov, with the second part coming up soon and revolving around the upcoming finale.)
CarterMatt – What went into the decision to do a mass shooting story at this point?
Diane Frolov – We wanted to illustrate the impact of first responders and to see it from that point of view — and to also see the impact of it on hospitals. We thought that this hadn’t really been looked at.
Andrew Schneider – After the horrific Vegas shooting, we heard about this guy and questions about his motives. Yet, there’s a much larger story with the medical community trying to deal with the scale of the shooting — how do they distribute patients, how do they do triage. There was no infrastructure for this kind of mass casualty. That’s what we wanted to look at from this point of view.
Frolov – Just to highlight how terribly damaging these gunshots are. They’re just horrific in their impact on the human body.
Schneider – Even for those who survive, it’s a horrible, life-changing event, physically and emotionally.
Will the doctors have varying reactions to dealing with this many patients?
Frolov – Yes. There’s triage which is extremely painful for doctors when they have to move on to the next patient. We also have in the episode a situation where we run out of morgue space. Where do you put all the bodies? The doctors’ lounge then becomes the morgue. None of our doctors have ever seen or experienced anything like this. It’s very traumatic for them.
Some of the information that is out there for this episode suggests that Dr. Manning will not know where her son is in the aftermath of what happened. How will that factor into this story?
Schneider – She’s torn over her son’s whereabouts and her responsibility to treat the victims who keep streaming in to the hospital.
Frolov – She can’t go out and go looking for him. It’s just a mounting a worry and she can’t contact the caregiver. She’s just living in this world of anxiety.
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