‘Chicago Med’: What Those Tragic Events Mean for Ethan’s Return?

by Suzanne Halliburton
Barry Brecheisen/Getty Images

Chicago Med fans, did you shed a tear when Ethan lost his father?

Wednesday’s episode of Chicago Med was an emotional return for Brian Tee’s Dr. Ethan Choi. The character still is mostly off the show as he does physical therapy to return full-time to Gaffney Chicago Medical Center. In actuality, Tee took a leave of absence from the Dick Wolf series to star in Amazon’s Expats with Nicole Kidman.

But on Wednesday, Chicago Med fans got a glimpse of Ethan, the former head of the ER, in a most heartbreaking way. The doctor found out that his father was dying of a brain tumor. And he learned that his dad declined treatment for the tumor. Imagine how overwhelmed a doctor would be to learn that his own father wouldn’t let him know these medical details.

Choi hasn’t appeared on Chicago Med since Nov. 10 for the episode Just as a Snake Sheds Its Skin. The current storyline was set up in last season’s finale when Choi suffered a gunshot. He still relies on a cane to help him get around.

Chicago Med Had An Emotional Ending for Ethan

Brian Tee talked with TV Insider about Wednesday’s episode. “You’ll meet Ethan’s dad Patrick Choi (Francois Chau), and in doing so you’ll get a better understanding of him.

“Ethan is a complicated individual. He’s had a troubled past and experienced a lot of trauma in his life. He tried to live by a code of morals and ethics, that has led to who he is and the choices he’s made. Change has to come and that is what you’ll see in seasons to come and what I’m excited about what’s next for Ethan.”

Ethan and Patrick were estranged. But thanks to Ethan’s friendship with Dr. Daniel Charles (Oliver Platt), he’s trying to reconcile with his dad. The father wants to send Ethan on a bizarre errand. Ethan just found out about his father’s condition, but Patrick only wants Ethan to put snow tires on the truck. So Ethan begrudgingly goes off on said errand. He receives a phone call from Daniel, who tells him his father passed away while Ethan was out of the house. It seems Patrick didn’t want his son there to see him die.

Ethan Choi Fans Face Another Wait to See Him Again

If you love Ethan, you’re not going to like this news. He doesn’t return again until the 18th episode. For context, Wednesday’s hour was No. 12 of the season. He’ll have dealt with the loss of his dad, plus the trauma of a long recovery from a gunshot.

Plus, Chicago Med won’t return for another month. All NBC primetime shows will go on hiatus for much of February when the network goes 24/7 with the Winter Olympics in Beijing. Chicago Med is expected back Feb. 23.

But once Ethan returns, he’ll be a different character. Diana Frolov, the Chicago Med showrunner, described how Ethan will evolve.

“Yeah, he’s been changed,” Frolov said in an interview with TV Insider last month. “It’s been a very traumatic event for him to be shot like this and he’s been reevaluating himself because of it. We’re going to play that out with Dr. Charles.