How ‘Chicago Med’ Star Marlyne Barrett Creates an In-Universe Plot Hole

by Taylor Cunningham

One Chicago Med actress had multiple identities in two of Dick Wolf’s most popular franchises. And no one seemed to notice.

The star—Marlyne Barrett—plays fan-favorite nurse Maggie Lockwood on Med. And she’s been a regular since the very start. Because she’s so loved, she’s also appeared on Chicago P.D. five times and Chicago Fire ten times.

And it seems like Barret is also a Dick Wolf favorite actor because the famed showrunner has used her in his other wildly popular Law & Order universe—in six separate roles. And she played three of those roles during the same year.

Marlyne Barrett first jumped into Law & Order in 2005 when she was using her maiden name Marlyne Afflack. In a Season 15 episode titled Obsession, she played a woman named Alana Sinclair who was connected to the murder of a conservative talk show host.

Two months after Obsession aired, the actress starred in season one of the now-canceled Law & Order spinoff Law & Order: Trial By Jury. In an episode titled Pattern of Conduct, she played Diane Harris. And her character was loosely based on a woman who made sexual assault allegations against the late Kobe Bryant.

Seeing a familiar face in the same universe within that short of a time span could seem odd. But Dick Wolf didn’t mind. And he proved that by casting Barret once again in a Law & Order: Special Victims Unit that debuted only a month later.

During a season 6 show called Night, Barret became Sarah Miller. Sarah spoke with detectives Stabler and Benson after being a victim of assault.

‘Chicago Med’s’ Marlyne Barrett Went on to Star as Three More ‘Law & Order’ Characters

By the end of 2005, Marlyne Barrett had become a regular Dick Wolf muse. And she went on to pick up three more Law & Order names before finding her series regular spot on Chicago Med.

The next year, Barret finally broke away from playing a victim when she starred as Dr. Donner in Conviction, which was another short-lived Law & Order spinoff. The doctor was a psychiatrist at a mental health institution who helped Billy Desmond solve a case.

You’d think Barrett would have had been done with Law & Order after playing four different people. But she wasn’t. That same year, she returned to Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as a villain. In the episode Cage, she starred as Alma Cordoza, a woman who was kidnapping young children.

Then in 2007 and 2008, Marlyne Barrett starred in her final Law & Order gig as a defense attorney named Bocanegra, who gave the main characters a lot of trouble.

We’d think that casting the same face to play six different people in the same universe would create a major plot hole for Law & Order. But as always, Dick Wolf pulled the casting off flawlessly.