Before taking his place with the transplant teams, Iggy delivers some long-awaited news to Jemma. Blanca has been named an Emergency foster provider and passed her home visit. Jemma has a home and can move in the next day. Overwhelmed with fear and feelings of inadequacy, Jemma has a breakdown that lands her in a secluded room. Lacking stability and never having felt like anyone wanted her as family, Jemma has big feelings that come out as she repeatedly throws herself against the wall. Dr. Frome, in his patented style, speaks gently with Jemma, waits for her to hear him and tells her she is worthy and wanted.
Of course, we have been watching this story unfold since the pilot and it is beautiful. Iggy Frome is captivatingly good at calming Jemma and following through for this girl, who has bounced from foster house to foster house. These are necessary steps for her to learn self-worth and value. Jemma struggles to believe that she really does have a home, a place that she belongs, that she is wanted. Jemma gets just that the next day when Dr. Frome takes Jemma to her new home at Blanca’s house. A pie-eyed girl surveys the space as Blanca opens the door to Jemma’s room. It is a beautifully decorated space and Jemma can hardly believe that she has her own space. Iggy offers up the best therapy he has, “Welcome home, Jemma”. You can almost feel the healing begin in Jemma’s heart at that very moment.
The Unsolvable Puzzle
Not everyone was keen to hear Iggy’s advice at the Dam on this day. Our beloved Neurologist is still struggling with his own family estrangement and it has given our favorite puzzle solver a less than pleasant demeanor. Before embarking on the transplant day, Vijay stands outside the restaurant his son manages. The pair make no contact and Vijay Kapoor seems truly at a loss. The tenacity with which he solves medical problems is there, but the undercurrent of complicated emotions seems to muddy his path forward. When the domino chain breaks down, Dr. Kapoor lets his emotions out ever so slightly. When Iggy offers advice to his friend, Kapoor all but barks at Dr. Frome.
In no uncertain terms he lets Dr. Frome know that he will not be a patient, nor will he be spoken to like one. The space between him and his son, missing his late wife and the close call with the father/son pair and death seem to be pushing Kapoor toward resolution. How do you resolve a conflict when one party is unwilling? We see a little progress when Vijay again stands outside the restaurant managed by his son. This time, the two make eye contact and one puzzle piece seems to be placed. The puzzle isn’t solved, but it seems like it may be in progress.
A Hero Turned Fighter
It wouldn’t be an overstatement to call Max Goodwin the hero of New Amsterdam. The problem with being a hero? There is always a battle to be waged. This time the fight is not with the Dean, not with Helen Sharpe and despite some appearances it isn’t with himself. This time, Max must bring all the fight he has to his battle with cancer.
Our hero is not alone in his fight. He has a supremely qualified Oncologist and a fierce advocate in Georgia. The only question is: will Max fight as hard for himself as he does everyone else? Can he look in the mirror and as “How can I help?” We know that is a weak spot for him. We have seen him use every delay tactic of which he could think to avoid facing this cancer treatment head-on. And we don’t know why. Is he afraid of losing his job as Medical Director? Is he afraid of losing Georgia again? No, it turns out our fast-walking, faster-talking, brilliant Medical Director is, at the end of the day, human. What if I can’t do this? That is the question a groggy Max scrawls onto paper as Georgia brings his lunch to him in that hateful bed. Step one of treatment preparation is complete. Max has had his back molars removed. To her credit, Georgia has been a pillar for Max so far. In answer to his question, she curls up to his side. They’ll do it together. We are all on #TeamMax.
I love that the episode highlighted living donors. So often organ donation (especially in Hollywood) results from a tragic death and the desire to make lemonade. Living donors continue with life after recovery and sometimes there is no long-term impact to the donor. For the most part, the writers of New Amsterdam have been amazingly accurate with information and have served as a de facto education resource. More impressive than the various informative details we learn each week is the depth and quality of character development.
In 42 minutes, they tell stories, we get snippets of the personal lives of the doctors and lives are saved. This show is well balanced, and I find it a refreshing change from most medical dramas. Not since ER has a medical show been this well balanced in storytelling. On the other hand, this isn’t presented as a stoic watch from out there and don’t get involved show. Viewers are not treated like acquaintances watching from the waiting room.
We’re the immediate family and the show unapologetically asks us to experience all the feelings of being immediate family. I hate to say it, but NBC has an emotional tone set for Tuesday nights and if some tissue company isn’t smart enough to capitalize on it, they aren’t paying enough attention. Speaking of, get the tissues ready for our next appointment. It looks like the time has come for our hero to face down his ultimate foe. See you next Tuesday at The Dam!
Stay connected with So Many Shows: