Chicago Med Season 8 Episode 11 Review: It Is What It Is Until it Isn’t

Jack Dayton’s lack of interference with the hospital was too good to be true. He’s always had a conflict of interest because he owns AI tech that can be used in medicine.

OR 2.0 is one thing, but now that Asher and Sharon have declared war on Dayton’s AI program for flagging opioid abusers, it’s on!

On Chicago Med Season 8 Episode 11, Asher’s attempt to protect a patient falsely flagged as a drug abuser may have set off a larger-scale conflict than she realized. This is going to be great!

Asher’s problem was simple, at least on the surface: the AI program flagged a patient as an opiate abuser when she had a rare type of lung cancer that mimicked the signs of opiate abuse. It was logical to conclude that the program was interfering with patient care and needed to go.

Neither Asher nor Sharon cares that they’re about to piss Dayton off. They’re all about patient care. And now that Archer’s involved, it’s on.

Archer never trusted OR 2.0 or any other AI program, and now he has an additional reason for his skepticism: he wants Sean to be given a fair chance to turn his life around.

Sean: I was thinking about what you said yesterday, about what comes next. Yes to school. Yes to a job. Yes to all of it. I want to start again and do everything right this time. Will you help me?
Archer: It’s us against the world, son. Us against the world.

Of course, Sean would have a rough go of it even without AI programs making rental or employment decisions.

Because of their criminal records, former prisoners often find it hard to get a job or an apartment. In many places, it’s legal to discriminate against those who have been in the criminal justice system, and studies have shown that many ex-convicts feel too discouraged to try if the job asks about their criminal record on the application form.

Putting AI in charge of evaluating applications will only worsen that problem.

None of that has anything to do with the AI in the hospital — no one will deny Sean healthcare (though that AI program might refuse him painkillers if it is reinstated!). But Archer undoubtedly feels this is one way he can fight back against a system stacked against his son.

Archer will fight like hell to rid the hospital of all AI, including 2.0, which will put him in direct conflict with Dayton.

It’s also foolish.

While there are problems with relying on AI algorithms, not all AI is created alike. In fact, OR 2.0 allowed Marcel to operate on his patient without removing a bullet that would have led to the boy’s arrest for a crime he didn’t commit.

Dr. Asher was right in her initial complaint, but it wasn’t only the AI at fault. Asher asked Archer to evaluate her patient, and he observed what appeared to be tell-tale signs of addiction: pinpoint pupils and no reaction to being told she needed a lot of tests. So even without the AI, the hospital might have made the same mistake.

Archer’s evidence was so convincing that Asher was beating herself up for having fallen for an addict’s lies!

AI cannot be blamed for this error, considering two doctors also made it. AI can be overridden, but only if the humans in charge determine it’s appropriate to do so.

Before moving on, can we take a minute to appreciate Jen Lilley’s acting throughout her guest spot?

Lilley has always been an impressive actress; when she was on Days of Our Lives, she created a believable character despite the lack of backstory and clear motivation she was given when she first joined.

But this role allowed her to demonstrate an astonishing range of emotions.

She made viewers feel Jodi’s fear and extreme pain in the waiting room and her confusion after her diagnosis. And she did it all without inviting a single comparison to Theresa Donovan, even though her DAYS character was a drug abuser.

Well done!

Asher’s story dovetailed nicely with Will and Maggie’s. These two were also fighting hard for justice for their patient. In their case, it wasn’t a computer system causing problems; it was police officers with preconceived notions.

Maggie: Come on. Male, black, average height. That could be a lot of people.
Will: It could be him.
Maggie: I don’t know. The way he grabbed my hand at the end…
Will: I know. I felt it too.
Maggie: I don’t know if he did it or not, but one thing is for sure: the cops have already decided he did.

Maggie was right; the police had already decided Aaron was guilty. He fit a generic description of the suspect and had a bullet in his body, which was good enough for them.

Aaron didn’t help himself by refusing to tell the doctors what had happened to him before they got the cops involved. If they’d known he was a minor who was afraid of being arrested for a crime he didn’t commit, they might have been able to get a social worker’s assistance before reporting the gunshot wound to the cops.

Given his history, it was understandable that Aaron didn’t trust anyone. He also knew that being in the store at the time of the robbery would be enough to convict him even though he’d done nothing but eat a sandwich.

But the doctors didn’t know this until after they’d called the police, so it was hard for them to protect him.

Sharon and Marcel’s creative solution wouldn’t have worked without the OR 2.0 technology. This is why Archer’s dislike of all AI risks throwing the baby out with the bathwater, though Dayton’s commitment to all AI systems is also troublesome. Both men need to learn that not all Ai is created equal.

Finally, Lieu’s friend had an interesting problem, though it had too many solutions.

His vitamin B1 deficiency led to his cognitive and memory problems, but one B1 shot shouldn’t have been enough to fix it.

If he had an eating disorder, he needed more treatment than discussing how his eating habits led to this problem.

Adding a brain tumor to the mix complicated things unnecessarily, especially considering there was already one patient in the hospital with a surprise tumor!

Besides, it would have been more compelling if Omar’s headaches were a response to the anxiety and trauma of the COVID lockdown so that Charles could help him begin to work through the problems behind his disordered eating.

What did you think, Chicago Med fanatics? Are you excited about the war between Archer and Dayton? How did you like Will and Maggie’s story? And what did you think of Jen Lilley’s guest appearance?

Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know!

You can watch Chicago Med online if you’d like to see it again.

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.


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