“The Blues” New Amsterdam Episode 13
Another Day, More Patients
Dr. Bloom overlooks the ED, reviewing charts, triaging patients, offering instructions for her staff as she prepares to wrap up her shift. The ambulance brings in Mrs. Medrano, an unconscious diabetic with familial ties at New Amsterdam. Bloom has a VIP patient scheduled but makes time for this one last patient.
Behind a desk overlooking the coffee shop, Vijay spies on the interaction of Rohan and Ella, convinced that Ella is a damsel in distress and Rohan is engaged in revenge toward his father. As he looks on, Floyd walks up and asks what he is doing. Before Kapoor could finish his explanation, Reynolds is backing out of any involvement in “family drama”. He suggests Kapoor let the situation lie and as Kapoor protests again, Floyd backs away. Before he leaves, he loudly outs Kapoor’s presence with the offer of coffee.
Outside the hospital, Kapoor asks Rohan why he didn’t stop by while he was in the area. Not having wanted to bother his busy father, Rohan intended to visit Ella and avoid an awkward discussion. No such luck, Rohan. Vijay is convinced that Rohan is spending time with Ella to get back at him for not loaning him money and is so worried about protecting Ella, he once again alienates his own son. Not pulling any punches this time, Rohan explains that it was easier to stay sober when he didn’t have to deal with Vijay.
Later in the day, Vijay skulks up to Ella who is pleased to see him and report that she is looking forward to going to Battery Park with Rohan that evening. Vijay plays the apologist for his son’s behavior and explains his need to protect Ella from Rohan. Rather than its intended effect, Kapoor’s explanation alienates Ella as well.
Clinging to Obsolescence
Ms. Medrano and Dr. Bloom have been joined in the trauma bay by her daughter Dr. Medrano when Max walks in. He introduces himself to the patient and offers to answer any questions she may have. At least any except the one on her mind, “Where’s my boat?” Ms. Medrano is a fishing boat captain in NY despite the rest of the industry moving to other locals. This conversation sparks a new idea for change at New Amsterdam.
We next see Max reviewing a list of jobs. Max begins speaking with various groups of employees looking to review positions for obsolescence and assign them new, more meaningful work. Of course to the staff, this translates to “Are we being fired?” Of course, in Max’s idyllic mind, he is simply looking to create a more efficient, better New Amsterdam and give everyone a job that contributes to that mission. His plan: have everyone stop working for one day. If nobody misses them, their job might be obsolete, and he wants those employees to come see him for new work assignments. Bless his cancer ridden body, the chemo might be getting to him. Not every employee wants to work as hard as Max. Do we think anyone will take him up on this offer?
We find Max chasing after Dora for a change. She gloats about the momentous occasion when the esteemed Dr. Goodwin chased her down. He is concerned that she hasn’t called or texted him about his new initiative. With a note of sarcasm, she asks if he really thinks people will admit to getting paid to do nothing and ask for more work.
As it turns out, people will. First the parking attendant finds Max and explains that he has been replaced by the automatic arm. He used to love the interaction with patients and staff but now everyone ignores him. The x-ray printer is less enthusiastic about new tasking when approached by Max and decides he would rather ride it out until retirement. A spunky young, IT professional has been complaining to administration for a bit about her job being obsolete. Along the way, Max promises to find them all new jobs.
The Dancing Oncologists
Dr. Sharpe happens upon Dr. Pentaki who has “accidentally on purpose” found himself on the floor. He invites Helen on a small adventure to see Radiohead in Philly but Helen balks at the overnight nature of the trip. Rarely without her composure, a flustered Helen walks away torn between what she wants and that for which she is ready.
Later in the evening, Helen Sharpe and her baggage (literal and figurative) wait for Dr. Pentaki outside his office. As he spots her he walks over to apologize for his behavior. Helen explains that she wants to go on adventures and have fun, but she hasn’t wanted it in so long and she is scared to take a risk again. Deciding to press forward they agree to an adventure. Arm in arm the pair head off on an adventure to Philly with a soundtrack by Radiohead.
As Max and Lauren discuss Mrs. Medrano, Max walks Lauren right into Iggy Frome’s office. Just as Dr. Bloom comments on the importance of the VIP patient they are on their way to see, she is confronted with the brutal reality. She is the patient and Dr. Frome is ready for her.
Helen catches Max in the hallways and asks after Dr. Bloom. He tells Sharpe that Lauren is with Iggy and Helen feels immediate remorse about making the report. Max assures her she did the right thing, but she isn’t sure that she has lived up to her obligations as a friend.
Behind closed doors, Dr. Frome assumes his usual style in opening a patient’s life and ascertaining the real issue. Despite his polite and professional demeanor, Dr. Bloom is defensive and combative. As she starts to leave, Iggy stops her. Her job depends on her staying and talking Iggy who has been empowered to decide on her fitness for duty.
A defiant Lauren Bloom attempts to shift blame to Iggy for persecution. As Iggy tries to clarify the situation, Lauren backs down. Dr. Frome is Dr. Frome and he patiently listens until he finds an opening. He asks questions and as Bloom lies to him, he stops her and calls her out on the lying. They review a case in which a patient could have been killed by her orders save Casey stopping the administration of the drug. Frome disclosed that multiple people have complained that Dr. Bloom is making mistakes on reports, is distracted with erratic behavior. Iggy asks what he has wrong and Bloom sits quietly without response.
Having broken through the admissions phase, the real work begins for Dr. Frome. Iggy is in his wheelhouse now. He asks Lauren to talk about her life before her Adderall use. Reluctant to disclose information about her childhood, Iggy prods her with the suggestion he could write his report now. Lauren takes a seat and reveals that her mother was an alcoholic. The parties were great but afterwards, her mother complained, was mean and regularly got sick. Lauren took over the role as caretaker and cleaned her mother up from the age of 7. When Frome poked about her Dad, she got defensive again. Iggy noted that her Dad neglected her, and Lauren got defensive that he was an amazing Dad. Just then, Iggy finds the crux of the issue. Lauren is like her father, “an emotionally closed off workaholic who is in complete denial that her personal life is on fire”.
Lauren accuses Iggy of twisting her life around. Iggy asks for a different story, for her to set him straight. Lauren admits her dad wasn’t perfect, but she knew he loved her. As Lauren pushes on Iggy telling him she won’t blame her dad for her mistakes, he agrees. He doesn’t blame her dad either. But Iggy doesn’t back down. He finally asks her what she is running from. She isn’t running from anything. She runs to the crisis. For Lauren, her whole life trained her for crisis management. Without a crisis, she is a boat drifting about with no mooring. After a few more questions, Iggy clears her to return to service.
Three steps out of the office, she is faced with Helen Sharpe who apologetically admits to the report. With flat affect, Lauren tells her it isn’t a problem, she was cleared and walks on toward the ED. Upon returning to the ED, Lauren is overwhelmed and immediately wants to take an Adderall.
As Iggy is packing up for the day, a distressed Lauren enters and finally, FINALLY opens up. She harbors deep seated guilt for going to Washington for school and leaving her 12-year-old sister (now in rehab) behind. She carries around survivor’s guilt for saving herself from a terrible situation. Iggy consoles her and waits for her to admit to needing help. When she does, he assures he they will.