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Dr. Daniel Charles is the Head of Psychiatry at Gaffney Chicago Medical Center. He has also made several crossover appearances on Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D. and Chicago Justice. He is portrayed by Oliver Platt.

Biography

Daniel has been married four times. His first wife was Caroline "CeCe" Charles, with whom he had a daughter named Robin. Robin is an epidemiologist who worked at Med for a time and was romantically involved with Connor Rhodes. His marriage to CeCe caused a break with his parents, who refused to accept him marrying an African-American woman.

His second wife was Susan Charles, with whom he has a daughter named Anna. Susan and Anna moved to Milwaukee after their divorce, but returned some time during season 5.

Not much is known about his third wife, except that she was from Spain and loved the poet Lorca.[1]

After her return to Chicago to seek experimental treatment for her cancer, Daniel re-marries CeCe in a surprise Hawaiian wedding ceremony, attended by his mother with whom he has reconciled. CeCe passed away from lymphoma shortly after I Can't Imagine the Future. In Guess It Doesn't Matter Anymore he is seen visiting her grave site.

Daniel had a brother named Tommy who died of a drug overdose. He is still in touch with his nephew Matty who, like his dad, also got addicted to drugs but managed to recover.

Daniel has struggled with depression for which he takes antidepressants. At several points he has decided to self-medicate by adjusting his dosage due to the medication making him numb, often with less than ideal results.

Season One

Derailed

A patient named Jamie who has been in and out of the hospital since he was 8 years old is brought in for shortness of breath. Jamie suffers from cystic fibrosis, and it is revealed that Daniel has been helping him cope with his condition. When Jamie turns out to have pneumonia and wants to give up and not be intubated in order to save his life, Daniel manages to convince him to go for "one more round." When Jamie receives a new set of lungs, Daniel spends the night by his bed in order to be present when he wakes up.

Season Two

Dr. Charles recruits Sarah Reese as a trainee psychiatrist after she quits Pathology.

In 2x09, Dr. Charles reveals that he had a brother who overdosed. This is after he, Reese and Rhodes are in a disagreement over whether a patient is eligible for a heart transplant or not since she was addicted before. Dr Charles is reluctant to give her a yes as he feels she will relapse like his brother did.

Later on, Reese has a breakdown after a difficult case and says she isn't cut out to be like him. He persuades her.

In "Love Hurts", as Dr. Charles is leaving the hospital after a long day, he is approached by an upset Jack Kellog who tells him that he has been waiting for him all day and that he hasn't answered any of his messages. Dr. Charles tells him that he had an unusual day(his daughter Robyn was in the hospital and they found out the cause of her psychiatric symptoms). Before he can finish Jack Kellog yells "LIAR", pulls out a small revolver and shoots Dr. Charles in the left abdomen at close range. After realizing what he has done, he shoots himself in the head. Staff and security personnel star running towards the scene. He survives the shooting.

Season 3

Following his shooting in the Season 2 finale, Dr Charles makes a full recovery and must make a psychiatirc assement in court of Jack Kellog. Dr Charles says that he believes Kellog was insane and is not suited to go to prison. Despite this, Kellogg is sent to prison due to the testimony of Sarah Reese who believed he was sane and rational enough for prison. Dr Charles is extremely angry at Dr Reese for giving this testimony and tells Sharon Goodwin that he knows Kellog will not survive in prison. He is consequently correct, and discovers that Kellog has been murdered by other inmates.

Dr Charles begins treating Robert Haywood due to his need for a heart transplant, and later discovers he is his resident Sarah Reese's father.

Dr Charles orders a head study along with some of the other tests being done. It reveals that Robert is a psychopath. He consults with Dr Abrams who believes that the scans come from one of Dr Charles' criminal patients. Dr Charles doesn't tell Robert this, instead saying that he had an anti-social disorder.(Born This Way)

Dr Charles later receives a package about Robert. It consists of articles about women who have gone missing around the country which coincides with the dates for which Robert was a visiting professor in the same area. (Crisis of Confidence)

Dr Charles investigates these claims, first by going to Robert's apartment by chance with Sarah. He then finds a key amongst his things to a storage locker owned by Robert where he finds evidence that Robert may have committed the crimes in the package. He contacts the police about his findings but they seem uninterested as the case was over ten years ago. The parents of one of the girls that went missing then contacts Dr Charles. He goes to meet them and realizes further evidence that Robert may have killed the college girls.

He later goes to see Robert as he is leaving to go live with Sarah and talks to him about something he found in his home -a toy which was part of a three part set, the other two belong to a murdered/missing girl. Robert than has a heart attack. Dr. Charles is about to begin compressions when he hesitates. Sarah sees him hesitate, knowing that Dr. Charles was willing to let her father die due to his crimes.

Season Four

Dr. Charles goes with the Dr. Reese and the police to Robert Haywood's storage unit. Sarah Reese later comes to tell Dr Charles she has decided to complete her residency at another hospital and leave Chicago. She tells him it is because of him and the fact he was willing to let her father die due to him being a murderer. He later finds out from Noah Sexton that Sarah felt he was the father she always wanted, and he was greteful for him bringing her into psychiatry.

Season Five

Never Going Back to Normal

Dr. Charles cuts his honeymoon with CeCe short after the attack on Will and Natalie. He treats a young man who is showing signs of schizophrenia. He receives a lot of resistance from the boy's grandmother, who refuses to accept the possibility that her grandson has a psychiatric illness.

We're Lost in the Dark

Dr. Charles consults on Will's patient who is having seizures she claims were caused by a gas leak at her school. When Will learns that there was no gas leak and the two girls who came in with her begin experiencing the same symptoms, Will fears an infection with a contagious disease, but Daniel suspects the symptoms are psychological. Despite Will and Goodwin's protests, he takes all three patients into the same room and gives them a placebo and therapy for coping with stress, returning all three girls to normal. He determines that they were suffering from a case of mass hysteria, rather than something physical.

In the Valley of the Shadow

When CeCe falls and breaks her wrist, Daniel goes to great lengths to convince her not to undergo a risky surgery, but to accept a cast instead. He is called in to evaluate a young man suffering from terminal brain cancer who is planning on committing suicide through an overdose of medication so that he can have his brain cryogenically frozen. While he initially deems the patient capable of making his own decisions, he reconsiders as the patient's heart stops in order to give the parents a little more time with their son. He is eventually able to convince the parents to let their son go as that is what he wanted.

Infection: Part II

Daniel and the rest of the ED staff deal with the influx of patients infected with the flesh-eating bacteria. He plays a pivotal role in extracting valuable information from a woman suffering from paranoid delusions.

Got a Friend in Me

Daniel treats a woman who is brought in extremely agitated and diagnoses her with bipolar disorder. He is disheartened when she decides to check herself out against medical advice, but she quickly returns and he is able to start treating her. When he arrives home, he is horrified to learn that CeCe has secretly planned to reunite Sharon and Bert by inviting them both for dinner without the other one knowing.

The Ghosts of the Past

Daniel is called to his ex-wife Susie's house, where he is admonished for not having spent any time with his daughter Anna after their return from Milwaukee a year ago. Anna has been suspended from school for vaping, and he decides to take her to work with him. He puts her in his office and orders her to do her homework. When he returns, he discovers Anna has gone through his desk and has found a bottle of alcohol, which he claims was a gift. He gives her an angry lecture about vaping and leaves.

When Anna wanders around the hospital and is confronted with the realities of the ED, he comforts her and she expresses her anger and sadness over him seemingly having forgotten about her. He tells her he loves her and promises to do better, saying that he lost sight of her due to CeCe's illness.

Season Six

When Did We Begin to Change

After having recovered from COVID-19 which he possibly contracted from his daughter Anna, Daniel returns to work where he counsels the hospital staff, in particular Will Halstead, helping them to cope with the COVID-19 crisis. At home, his relationship with Anna continues to remain strained. Anna feels guilty that she likely infected her father with COVID-19, because she went out with friends after he forbade it.

Those Things Hidden in Plain Sight

Anna calls Daniel to his ex-wife Susan's house, saying it's an emergency. Susie complains of stomach pain and initially plays it down, but when she coughs up blood he has her taken to Med, where she is treated by Crockett for a stomach ulcer. During a talk, Anna reveals to him that she has found out that her mother is planning on moving them to Arizona. When Daniel expresses his displeasure to Susie about taking his daughter away, they have an argument. He commiserates with Crockett about ex-wives.

Do You Know the Way Home?

Susie informs Daniel that her transfer to Arizona has gone through. Daniel counters that taking Anna away violates their divorce agreement, but before they can discuss it further he is called away to the ED. Daniel, Ethan and April treat a patient named Lisa who is afraid of needles, and they become suspicious when she becomes increasingly anxious to leave, can't present a consistent story, and appears unfamiliar with modern technology. They eventually figure out that Lisa is actually a woman named Kelly Bissett who disappeared as a child.

When Your Heart Rules Your Head

Anna comes to Dr. Manning seeking birth control after Anna and her boyfriend decide they are ready to be sexually active. Dr. Manning agrees to discreetly help her and orders labs to determine her eligibility. At the end, Daniel meets with Anna who wants to talk to him but his lawyer comes up to speak with him and he promptly sends him off. Realizing it was not the best time, Anna told her father to forget what she was talking about and he offers to take her home which she gladly accepts.

Don't Want to Face This Now

Dr. Charles ends up finding one of Anna's pregnancy pamphlets and is able to put two and two together. He locates Anna walking somewhere and pulled up and had her get in the car. Dr. Charles reveals to her that he is aware of her pregnancy, to her dismay. Dr. Charles asked her if anyone was pressuring her to have sex but Anna denies this and reveals to her father that she was trying to be safe with her boyfriend. Anna also reveals that she had to see her boyfriend behind her mother's back because she was not allowing her to do much since the pandemic. She also tells him that she tried to inform him of the pregnancy before his lawyer showed up. She soon lashes out at him for being too busy arguing with her mother to never acknowledge her, before storming out of the car. At the end of the episode, Dr. Charles comes home with pizza to give Anna but she reveals that she is bleeding. Worried, Dr. Charles immediately gets his daughter to the hospital and Natalie reveals it was a chemical pregnancy and she lost the baby because of it. After Natalie leaves. Dr. Charles tells Anna that she was right in their argument but he confirms that no matter what he does love her just like her mother does. Although Anna is sad about losing the baby, she take solace in knowing that her father was there for her when she needed him the most and they hug. She asked her father if they need to tell her mother but Dr. Charles tells her they can wait to do so.

Fathers and Mothers, Daughters and Sons

Daniel is given a paper to sign by Anna, which is her science test that she had earned a D, to his disappointment. Anna proceeds to tell him that she did not inform her mother because she might punish her. She then proceeds to hurry out to catch an Uber.

Daniel later revealed that Susan won the custody battle and was preparing to move her and Anna to Arizona. During a Zoom conversation with Anna, Daniel hears her rant on how she does not want to leave Chicago and he believes it might because of her life with her friends while assuring her things will get better. However, he is surprised and touched when Anna tells him that the real reason why she is upset is because she does not want to leave him and explains she does not want to leave him because he understands her the most. When he tries to continue the talk, he is called in for something and Anna states she knows he's working and ends the call, to his dismay. Daniel later revealed to Susan about the chemical pregnancy something that left her distraught. At the end of the episode, he is drinking at home sad when Anna comes in and she tells him to speak with her mother who asks him to let Anna stay because she felt they disconnected and because he had a better understanding of her. Despite trying to assure her, Daniel is surprised when Susan ignores his pleas and leaves. He is left speechless and can share a stunned look at his daughter.

Relationships

Family

Robin Charles

Robin is his oldest daughter.

Anna Charles

Anna is his youngest daughter.

It is shown that in spite of their disagreements, Anna truly loves and respects him, as she tells him that the real reason why she is upset about leaving Chicago is because she does not want to leave him and explains she does not want to leave him because he understands her the most without judging her. This left him touched that his daughter thought highly of him.

Friends

Sharon Goodwin

Sharon is one of Daniel's closest friends, as well as a valued colleague. He is also good friends with Sharon's ex-husband Bert, which occasionally leads to him having to carefully balance two friendships with two people who have become estranged from one another.

Dr. Sarah Reese

Dr. Sarah Reese is Daniel former protégé when she was a psychiatry resident at the hospital. They generally had a good relationship, even though it can get strained at time due to disagreement. But once she sees that he was willing to let her dad die because he was a serial killer she said that she couldn't train under him any longer and so ended up transferring to another hospital. After she leaves, Noah tells him that she once told him that she was thankful that he (Daniel) brought her into psychiatry and that he was like the father she always wanted.

Memorable Quotes

  • (to Sharon about Connor): "He is going to light up some estrogen receptors around here."[1]
  • (to Connor): "Is that your dad? (-Yep.) Fathers like that keep me in business baby!"
  • (to Sharon): -Sharon: "Look at this ED Daniel, we don't get this without that. Downey helps make Chicago Med a destination Hospital" -Daniel "Yeah, Like Disneyland!"
  • "Sometimes, when somebody that we love gets sick, it's very easy to lose sight of the person and see only the disease. Remembering that our loved one is still there? Not always easy."

Notes and Trivia

  • The only Spanish he knows are the lines "death, viscous death, leave a green branch for love" by the poet Lorca[1];
  • He touches his chin when bluffing at poker;
  • In the season 5 episode We're Lost in the Dark, Daniel treats three patients suffering from mass hysteria using a placebo, despite having vehemently criticized the practice in the past for violating doctor-patient trust.

Appearances

Season 1 Appearances
"Derailed"

"INO"

"Fallback"

"Mistaken"

"Malignant"

"Bound"

"Saints"

"Reunion"

"Choices"

"Clarity"

"Intervention"

"Guilty"

"Us"

"Hearts"

"Inheritance"

"Disorder"

"Withdrawal"

"Timing"

Season 2 Appearances
"Soul Care"

"Win Loss"

"Natural History"

"Brother's Keeper"

"Extreme Measures"

"Alternative Medicine"

"Inherent Bias"

"Free Will"

"Uncharted Territory"

"Heart Matters"

"Graveyard Shift"

"Mirror Mirror"

"Theseus' Ship"

"Cold Front"

"Lose Yourself"

"Prisoner's Dilemma"

"Monday Mourning"

"Lesson Learned"

"Ctrl Alt"

"Generation Gap"

"Deliver Us"

"White Butterflies"

"Love Hurts"

Season 3 Appearances
"Speak Your Truth"

"Nothing to Fear"

"Trust Your Gut"

"Naughty or Nice"

"Mountains And Molehills"

"Ties That Bind"

"Over Troubled Water"

"Lemons and Lemonade"

"On Shaky Ground"

"Down By Law"

"Folie à Deux"

"Born This Way"

"Best Laid Plans"

"Lock It Down"

"Devil In Disguise"

"An Inconvenient Truth"

"The Parent Trap"

"This Is Now"

"Crisis Of Confidence"

"The Tipping Point"

Season 4 Appearances
"Be My Better Half"

"When To Let Go"

"Heavy Is The Head"

"Backed Against The Wall"

"What You Don't Know"

"Lesser of Two Evils"

"The Poison Inside Us"

"Play By My Rules"

"Death Do Us Part"

"All The Lonely People"

"Who Can You Trust"

"The Things We Do"

"Ghosts in the Attic"

"Can't Unring That Bell"

"We Hold These Truths"

"Old Flames, New Sparks"

"The Space Between Us"

"Tell Me the Truth"

"Never Let You Go"

"More Harm Than Good"

"Forever Hold Your Peace"

"With A Brave Heart"

Season 5 Appearances
"Never Going Back to Normal"

"We're Lost in the Dark"

"In the Valley of the Shadows"

"Infection: Part II"

"Got a Friend in Me"

"It's All in the Family"

"Who Knows What Tomorrow Brings"

"Too Close to the Sun"

"I Can’t Imagine the Future"

"Guess it Doesn't Matter Anymore"

"The Ground Shifts Beneath Us"

"Leave the Choice to Solomon"

"Pain is For the Living"

"It May Not Be Forever"

"I Will Do No Harm"

"Who Should Be the Judge"

"The Ghosts of the Past"

"In the Name of Love"

"Just a River in Egypt"

"A Needle in the Heart"

Season 6 Appearances
"When Did We Begin to Change"

"Those Things Hidden in Plain Sight"

"Do You Know the Way Home?"

"In Search of Forgiveness, Not Permission"

"When Your Heart Rules Your Head"

"Don't Want to Face This Now"

"Better Is the Enemy of Good"

"Fathers and Mothers, Daughters and Sons"

"For the Want of A Nail"

"So Many Things We've Kept Buried"

Gallery


References

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