There are changes coming to Gaffney Chicago Medical Center. Both Guy Lockard and Sarah Rafferty, who portrayed Dr. Dylan Scott and Dr. Pamela Blake, respectively, are leaving NBC’s “Chicago Med,” Variety confirms. Additionally, Yaya DaCosta, who exited the show in 2021 after six seasons, has returned as April Sexton.
During the Season 8 premiere Dylan chose to leave his job at the hospital following the death of Jo (Riley Voelkel), an undercover cop he became romantically involved with last season, who died in the ER. Co-showrunners Andrew Schneider and Diane Frolov confirmed his exit.
“Right now, we’ve finished that arc of his story, so he is leaving right now, but we have people leave and we have them come back. We’re leaving that door open,” Frolov told Variety. Schneider added, “We love Guy. He did a great job and was wonderful to work with. But what was sort of the cornerstone of his character was a doctor who had been a cop, and couldn’t escape his past — it becomes very evident in the premiere episode. So having really resolved that, we felt we had really covered his story arc, but Guy is so good and was such a wonderful character that we would welcome bringing him back in the future.”
For Rafferty, her character underwent surgery at the end of Season 7. After Rafferty gave Crockett (Dominic Rains) her power of attorney, he was forced to make a difficult decision upon complications during surgery. Neither option was ideal, but he chose to risk her mobility over risking her life. She suffered a minor stroke during the operation, losing feeling in her hands. She briefly appeared in the Season 8 premiere, but there are no plans to have her return at this point.
“He will hear about her. There will be references to her. We won’t see her, but we will be dealing with the emotional aftermath from his point of view,” Frolov said, with Schneider noting that she’ll be in rehab to get her motor skills back. “If the character’s alive, the character can and very often will come back.”
The other major surprise during the season premiere was when Ethan (Brian Choi) went to visit his father’s memorial and came face-to-face with April. The pair had been previously engaged, but broke up after a very rocky relationship that spanned seasons. April left at the end of Season 6 when she entered a nurse practitioner program. (DaCosta exited the show last year when she landed the lead in Fox’s “Our Kind of People.” The drama was canceled after one season.)
“We were talking about what we want it to do story-wise, particularly with Ethan and resolving that relationship. We never really got to finish it. We really wanted to, so we reached out to see if she would come back for this,” Frolov said, noting that DaCosta was in a few episodes this season. “They’re not sure where the other one stands, so they’re gonna tread softly on that.”
Schneider added that DaCosta was “very excited” to return: “She wanted to honor that character, and to give a resolution to April’s relationship with Ethan.”