Chicago Med recap of winter finale ‘Secret Santa Has a Gift for You’

It’s that time of year again! Decorate the tree, get a nice cup of cocoa, and cozy up on the couch to watch the One Chicago dramas presenting their holiday episodes. Chicago Med did not disappoint with their final episode before holiday hiatus.

Chicago Med, Fire and P.D. will return with new episodes on Wednesday, January 5.

Here is the recap of Season 7 episode 9 Secret Santa Has a Gift for You

The episode begins with Halstead (Nick Gehlfuss) at a tree lighting ceremony where Jessa Rinaldi’s niece is singing in the choir. Jessa (Angela Wong Carbone) invites Halstead to her apartment. 

Back at Gaffney Chicago Medical Center, Vanessa (Asjha Cooper) receives her negative drug test results and thanks Maggie (Marlyne Barrett) with a big hug. Maggie says that she feels it’s her fault and that she’s responsible for the stress Vanessa is under. Vanessa says that she understands that Maggie wanted to meet her daughter.

Back at Jessa’s apartment, she and Halstead enjoy some eggnog and sit on the couch to discuss Vasik. She tells Halstead that they can help him financially and tells him that he can trust her. She is offering him the same arrangement they had with Dr. Cooper. She explains that for every Vas-COM catheter the hospital orders he would get a percentage. Halstead asks if it’s considered a kickback and she says there are ways around any illegality. It is then revealed that he was recording her and is playing the recording for Sharon Goodwin (S. Epatha Merkerson) and Peter Kalmick (Marc Grapey), the Head of Legal Department, who says it’s a “friggin’ disaster” and they agree to keep this clandestine meeting to themselves. He asks Halstead to send the recording to him as he packs up his briefcase and leaves. 

Chicago Med – Nick Gehlfuss as Dr. Will Halstead, Angela Wong Carbone as Jessa Rinaldi


After the commercial break, Maggie escorts in a couple with a baby who is having excessive vomiting. Dr. Dylan Scott (Guy Lockard) suggests that the baby is dehydrated and they want to put her on IV fluids.

Avery Quinn (Johanna Braddy) meets with Dr. Marcel (Dominic Rains) and her mom Dr. Blake (Sarah Rafferty) comes to interrupt them. 

Dr. Marcel and Dr. Blake meet with Reuben Carmona (Alfonso DiLuca) and they discuss his liver transplant.

Dr. Halstead and Dr. Scott tell the parents of the vomiting infant that the baby has a mild electrolyte imbalance and the baby will not require surgery. They believe she has a viral stomach bug and they want to monitor her and continue fluids.

Vanessa tells Dr. Stevie Hammer (Kristen Hager) about a woman who was brought in for having a seizure. Upon examination, her liver is enlarged. Before they can begin any testing it is revealed that the insurance is not going through. The husband hands over a credit card to cover the charges until the insurance situation can be resolved. The woman keeps telling her husband that she will take care of telling her job that she won’t be there, and then says she will work out the insurance thing herself.

Chicago Med
Chicago Med – Asjha Cooper as Vanessa Taylor, Kristin Hager as Dr. Stevie Hammer

Then a man, Kyle Liddell (Stephen Friedrich) is brought in after falling and hitting his head after stepping in front of a bus. Dr. Dean Archer (Steven Weber) has soft restraints put on him with a guard at the door and Dr. Daniel Charles (Oliver Platt) comes to talk to him. The man is confused and believes he was at the college campus where he teaches, but he was actually in downtown Chicago. He tells Charles that he has schizophrenia, the meds he’s on, and who his regular doctor is.

Charles tells Archer that he’s not suicidal, but Archer insists that he takes him to the psych ward. He seems somewhat discriminatory towards the man. 

Chicago Med
Chicago Med – Steven Weber as Dr. Dean Archer

Halstead then sees Matt Cooper (Michael Rady) who says he was lucky he was with Halstead. Halstead asks him if he has any regrets about Vas-COM. Matt brushes him off and shows him a villa he wants to rent in Montenegro. Halstead smiles and acts impressed, but you can see he’s feeling something else. 

Marcel and Dr. Blake are looking at a scan and she notices Marcel is wearing aftershave. He asks if it bothers her and she says not unless he wears the same one her ex wears. Before they can conclude their assessment of the scans, they are told that Mr. Carmona, the man who was scheduled for the liver transplant, is now crashing. 

Chicago Med
Chicago Med – Dominic Rains as Crockett Marcel, Sarah Rafferty as Dr. Pamela Blake

They rush into his room and he is unconscious. The doctors immediately try to assess his condition, intubate him and take him up to get a CT scan.

Back in Goodwin’s office, Halstead and Goodwin are joined by Kalmick, She asks if he went to the board with their information. He says that he did and claims they are very grateful for her and Halstead uncovering the fraud. Goodwin says, “ok…” waiting for the “but”. He then goes on to explain that the board has decided a way to move forward and protect the interests of the hospital. Halstead questions what that means exactly and Kalmick continues on, stating that Dr. Cooper will be immediately fired and Chicago Med will discontinue use of all Vasik equipment.

Halstead and Goodwin are shocked at the minimal response and Goodwin asks about contacting the FBI. He tells her that the board doesn’t feel that going to the FBI would be in the hospital’s best interest. Halstead is floored and Kalmick asks Goodwin to back him up. She understands that the board doesn’t want the negative publicity. She also asks about Dr. Cooper’s father-in-law and how much he was involved.

Halstead is infuriated and asks about all the other Vasik executives and is incredulous over Matt Cooper facing no consequences. Kalmick explains that the board is looking out for “the greater good”. Before Halstead and Goodwin can voice any more grievances over the decision, Kalmick stands up, demands that they keep this incident between the three of them and advises them not to jeopardize any of their jobs.

After he leaves, Halstead said he would go to the FBI. Goodwin tells him that he can’t go to the FBI. The two argue briefly and she insists that he gets back to his real job, which is practicing medicine and to put all this fraud business in the past. 

Dr. Marcel and Dr. Blake confer with Dr. Sam Abrams (Brennan Brown) about Mr. Carmona’s condition and it seems his liver is failing and causing brain edema. The other Abrams says that he can fix the brain edema before they can do the liver transplant. 

Chicago Med
Chicago Med – Dominic Rains as Crockett Marcel, Sarah Rafferty as Dr. Pamela Blake,
Brennan Brown as Dr. Sam Abrams

The woman with the enlarged liver and insurance issue is taking a downward turn and has more pain and is displaying jaundice. The tests were inconclusive and Vanessa wants to start antibiotics but Dr. Hammer wants to do more tests before they start them. Before she can be wheeled up to CT, Maggie comes in to tell them that their credit card was declined. The husband claims they never use that card and the woman is visibly upset. Maggie says that she can go up for tests and they can deal with payment later. 

Dr. Charles meets with Liddel, the Schizophrenic man and tells him that he spoke to his regular doctor who told him that he has been managing his condition really well over the past few years. Charles wonders what triggered this recent episode. He asks if he’s had any big changes in his life. The man explains that everything is otherwise really great in his life. Charles asks him about new medications or lifestyle changes. He tells Charles that he recently started drinking tea that is supposed to keep your mind focused and that he gets it at a local health food store. Charles asks him if he remembers the name of the health food store and he tells him. Charles is obviously going to look into that tea.

Archer asks Charles about getting the mental patient out of his ED. Charles confronts his lack of patience for the mentally ill. Apparently Charles has been keeping score and mentions several other instances of his discrimination. Archer Tries to explain his lack of patience, understanding, and empathy is based on his own experiences during his time in combat and Charles explains that trauma induced mania and mental illness are not the same thing. Archer then dismisses Charles as “splitting hairs”. Charles tells him that he admires Liddell (the schizophrenic) for his courage. Archer is shocked and Charles asks if he can show him what he means. 

Charles takes Archer back to his office and gives him a simulation to try in order to see, hear, and feel what these kinds of patients go through. We are then shown the POV of the simulation including the negative voices one might hear. Within a few seconds you can see Archer is already uncomfortable with the simulation. He takes off the visor and is visibly upset with what he has seen and heard. 

Reuben made it through the brain surgery, and has marginally improved. Marcel says that the new liver could resolve the enema, but Blake says he could get worse from the surgery. They decide that they don’t have a choice because Reuben’s blood type is rare and he can’t wait for another donor liver and decide to follow through with the risky surgery.

Dr. Scott and Halstead are called into the vomiting infant’s room and they are forced to intubate. Scott assures the family that he will get to the bottom of their infant’s illness and Halstead asks for consent to a scan. The parents tell him to do whatever they need to do to save their baby. 

Chicago Med
Chicago Med – Guy Lockard as Dr. Dylan Scott

Vanessa confers with Hammer over the enlarged liver lady’s scans. They still can’t discern what’s wrong with her. Hammer thinks her condition could be caused by something she saw when she herself experienced homelessness. They agree that the couple is not homeless, but she feels if she can do a more thorough exam, she might be able to get to the bottom of it. 

Halstead and Scott confer about the infant and are at a complete loss. Scott notices that Halstead is upset about the case. 

Hammer checks the woman with a light and discovers a scab indicative of an insect bite and she and Vanessa agree to run a blood analysis. 

Charles tells Liddell about the tea and that it has St. John’s Wart, which is contraindicated for use with certain psych meds. He tells Liddell to lay off the tea and he should be back in control of his mental illness within 24 hours. 

During the liver transplant, Dr. Abrams heckles Marcel and Blake, claiming that their patient will be brain dead before they can complete the transplant. Blake asks Abrams to treat him medically as they operate and he begrudgingly gives medical advice. 

The baby is stable, but they believe she has a genetic issue that can present at birth or several months after. They vow to do everything they can to keep her alive. 

Vanessa and Hammer have the woman’s prognosis. She has contracted typhus. They can treat it and she should recover quickly. Her husband is dumbfounded and demands to know how she caught typhus. Hammer explains that it was from a flea bite, most likely from an infected rat. The woman tries to minimize the situation by saying that it doesn’t matter how she caught it as long as they can treat it and she will recover.

Her husband presses on and knows there is something amiss after the insurance didn’t work and their credit cards were declined. She finally admits that she hasn’t worked in 3 months and that she’s been hanging out in their storage locker. She was fired and she didn’t want to tell her husband. She had been trying to find another job in the meantime, but was unable to. 

Charles tracks down Archer and has a chat with him about the unsettling simulation. Miraculously Charles actually got through to Archer with that simulation and it seems like he might have gained a little empathy. Charles also alludes to Archer’s own mental health struggles, specifically regarding PTSD. Archer of course shoots him down and claims it’s not so bad, but it comes and goes. Charles tells him that he is here for him. In a very rare display, Archer apologizes for his actions, yet he still isn’t reaching out for help with his own PTSD. 

The baby will need a liver transplant, but she is currently stable. Scott asks what’s up with Halstead and he alludes to the fraud without detailing.

Blake tells Reuben’s family that the liver transplant (and brain surgery) went well and they are thrilled for their loved one.

Blake and Marcel chat in the break room and she suggests opening and sharing some champagne to celebrate and wish each other a Merry Christmas. They notice they are standing under some mistletoe and share a passionate kiss. 

Chicago Med – Dominic Rains as Crockett Marcel, Sarah Rafferty as Dr. Pamela Blake

Hammer shares how hard it was keeping up the lie and hiding her mother from everyone. Vanessa confesses she’s been living a lie as well and that it’s hurting her too much.

Scott has escorted some pediatric patients to receive Christmas gifts from Santa in the lobby as Blake and Marcel walk down the stairs together and discuss their kiss. 

Vanessa takes the microphone from Santa and announces to the whole hospital that Maggie is her biological mother and that she is grateful and blessed to have her in her life. After the initial shock, the lobby erupts with applause.

Chicago Med
Chicago Med – Marlyne Barrett as Maggie, Guy Lockard as Dr. Dylan Scott

FBI comes in and gives Goodwin some warrants, “pursuant to their conversation” as the Kalmick is visibly shocked. Matt Cooper is taken into custody and arrested by the FBI. Jessa blames Halstead and Matt is shocked and asks if it was him. Ironically it wasn’t, it was Goodwin.

Chicago Med
Chicago Med – Angela Wong Carbone as Jessa Rinaldi, Michael Raddy as Matt Cooper

Halstead asked her why she called but wouldn’t let him. She explained that it was her responsibility and that if there was any fallout, it would come down on her and not him.

Chicago Med
Chicago Med – S. Epatha Merkerson as Sharon Goodwin, Nick Gehlfuss as Dr. Will Halstead

Kalmick said there would definitely be fallout, which she’s obviously fine with because she was compelled to do the right thing.

Chicago Med is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, in association with Wolf Entertainment. Filmed at Cinespace Chicago Film Studio.

Executive producers:
Dick Wolf, Diane Frolov & Andrew Schneider, Matt Olmstead, Michael Brandt, Derek Haas, Michael Pressman, Stephen Hootstein, Arthur W. Forney, Peter Jankowski  

Created by:
Dick Wolf & Matt Olmstead

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